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Sunday, November 19 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors The Orlando Magic will not hold their annual summer league in Orlando next year and will participate instead in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, team officials told the Orlando Sentinel. The decision is a radical departure for the Magic, who ran and managed their own summer league in Central Florida 14 times since 2002. Orlando Sentinel

Twenty-four teams participated in the NBA Summer League this past summer. Each team had three preliminary games followed by a tournament with seedings based on the preliminary games’ results. Teams in Las Vegas played a minimum of five games overall. Meanwhile, eight teams participated in the Orlando Pro Summer League this year and played five games apiece. In addition to the Magic, the other teams were the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder. Orlando Sentinel

Clippers: “They want me to shoot a little more,” [Wesley] Johnson said Saturday, smiling. “I understand that they do, but it’s just me letting it come to me. I just see how the game feels out and then just go like that. But I think they want me to just go out there and just have an imprint on the game. Just go out there and junk it up, do whatever.” Johnson did shoot the ball Friday at Cleveland, looking more engaged than he has all season. He was six for 10 from the field, scoring 15 points. LA Times

The Clippers called up guard C.J. Williams from their Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario team that plays in the development league. The former North Carolina State standout scored two points and had four rebounds against the Hornets in his NBA debut. LA Times

Skal Labissiere is shooting 1-for-15 in two games since returning to the starting lineup. He’d gone from starting to out of the rotation to back to starting in the last few weeks, so it’s not surprising he looks shaky on offense. It appears the Kings will stick with him in the starting lineup for now, but he’ll have to break out of his shooting slump to stay on the floor. He only played 11 minutes Saturday. Sacramento Bee



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Saturday, November 18 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors After suffering yet another road loss Friday night in Brooklyn, 118-107, [Utah Jazz] players were visibly disappointed in the visitor’s locker room at Barclays Arena with the latest effort. The decision to rule out Ricky Rubio (Achilles soreness) and Thabo Sefolosha (knee soreness) on game day left a big hole in a roster that’s already dealing with the absence of Rudy Gobert, Joe Johnson and Dante Exum. Deseret News

“It’s tough right now,” said Jazz forward Joe Ingles. “We’re missing some big pieces of our team. It’s frustrating because we played hard and no one’s out there not trying, but it’s frustrating because we can’t get over that hump right now. We just need to stick together.” Deseret News

Rookie Donovan Mitchell has been the lone bright spot with his stellar play, but even he has things to work on such as better decision-making. Deseret News

NBA rumors Who knew, but Willie Cauley-Stein felt trapped in the starting lineup. Not that the third-year big man was against starting, but starting at center left him feeling boxed in. After a season-high 22 points and 10 rebounds helped the Kings to an 86-82 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night at Golden 1 Center, Cauley-Stein was feeling free in his new role as a reserve. Sacramento Bee

President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today that the Philadelphia 76ers have restructured the terms of forward Robert Covington’s contract for the current season and signed Covington to a multi-year contract extension. According to ESPN.com, it is a four-year, $62 million extension that “will include a $15 million renegotiation bump on Covington’s $1.57 million salary this season, plus an additional four years that will keep Covington under contract through the 2021-22 season.” Inside Hoops

NBA rumors Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose remains out with a sprained left ankle. He received additional imaging and evaluation today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health by Cavaliers team physician Dr. James Rosneck and Dr. Brian Donley. Due to continued symptoms, the ankle will be immobilized in a boot for the next week and he will also undergo an extended treatment process over the next two to three weeks. Inside Hoops

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday that test results confirmed guard Delon Wright sustained an injury consistent with a dislocated right shoulder. The injury occurred in the second quarter of Toronto’s game November 15 at New Orleans. Inside Hoops

Miami came in averaging 7.6 fastbreak points per game, good for 24th in the league. Friday, they had 19 fastbreak points in the first half alone – three more than their previous season-high for game in a win over the Clippers. Last season, over the second half of the season, Miami averaged 11.7 fastbreak points per game. Playing fast is hard to do in this league when the other team is scoring and Miami’s early defensive struggles have been well documented. But when the defense is on like it was Friday the Heat has to get easy buckets in transition. We’ve seen too many times now where the Heat’s offense goes into a lull in the halfcourt. Friday, it didn’t in the first half. Miami Herald

Kris Dunn showed at the very least, he has that in his DNA in his best game as a Bull with a career-high 22 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Leave it to Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg to point out a forgotten stat: one turnover in 26 minutes. “That’s the biggest thing I’m proud of,” Dunn said. “Everyone knows I’ve had a lot of careless turnovers in the season. It’s one thing I’ll take credit for.” Dunn scored 13 with six assists in the fourth quarter alone as the Bulls outscored the Hornets 40-28 for the comeback victory. NBC Sports Chicago



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Friday, November 17 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors The minutes are so high for LeBron that Draymond Green of the Warriors is talking about it to the media. He was interviewed by USA Today recently and said: "My concern would be that LeBron is playing so many minutes right now... Yeah, he’s super human but eventually his super human powers go away." NBC Sports Washington

Green is known for speaking his mind and LeBron doesn't always agree with him, but in this case he does. Here is what LeBron told Cleveland.com when he heard Green's comments: “Draymond’s right... We want to get those minutes down for sure. But as of right now, we’ve had two point guards out and we’ve had some different lineup changes, so, I’ve had to play more minutes than I would like, and more minutes than my teammates would like me to have.” NBC Sports Washington

NBA rumors But Heat guard Dion Waiters let it be known that the disparity of calls was a frustration in Wednesday’s 102-93 loss to the Wizards. It was bothering him enough that he raised the issue without prompting after practice Thursday. “I don’t want to make it a big thing, but I’m just saying it so it can get it out there and they can take notice,” Waiters said. “And not just certain guys get certain calls, that’s not cool. You’ve got to treat everybody equal. At the end of the day, a foul’s a foul, bottom line.” South Florida Sun Sentinel

“We’re top five in teams getting to the paint, but we get to the free throw line the least,” [Dion] Waiters said. “Sometimes that can be frustrating just not being able get the calls that some of the other guys get. I don’t know what else I need to do. “You watch games and you see guys get to the free-throw line who [are] nowhere near as aggressive as you. It’s tough, especially with me, Goran [Dragic], [James Johnson]. If you watch, it’s contact every play with us. I’ve got to do a better job trying to keep my cool, but sometimes I get frustrated because I know for a fact that I’m getting hit.” South Florida Sun Sentinel

NBA rumors The Clippers have lost six consecutive games, falling to 5-8. In the midst of it all, the Clippers lost Patrick Beverley (sore right knee), Danilo Gallinari (left glute injury) and Milos Teodosic (plantar fascia injury to left foot). All three are on the five-game trip, but none of them are expected to play against Cleveland on Friday night. LA Times

“I think we recognize the situation we’re in,” Blake Griffin said. “We’re pretty banged up right now. But we’ve been in some of these games and had a chance to win I’d say at least half. So, I think our spirit is pretty good. I just think we need to keep doing what we’re doing. We’re learning from each loss. But we do need to be better at executing once we figure out what we’ve done wrong.” LA Times

NBA rumors The Mavericks have agreed to sign G-Leaguer Antonius Cleveland to a two-way contract. To make room Gian Clavell, who also was a two-way contract player, will be released. Dallas Morning News

Mark Cuban: "I knew it was just a matter of time that we would have to take a step back in order to go forward. I didn't think it'd be this painful. Somebody just came out and said after the Spurs, we've had the fewest days in the loss column of any team in the NBA over the past 20 years, so it's certainly new territory for us, but we think we're going to be able to turn it around relatively quickly." Dallas Morning News

Cuban: "We went from old last year to much younger this year and our face being younger with Dennis [Smith Jr.], with Harrison [Barnes], with Seth Curry, etc. We've just got a strong nucleus so I think we're going to get back. Watching our games now, you can see where our youth has hurt us. Particulraly, Dennis is going to be phenomenal but when you hand the keys to a 19-year-old, there are going to be challenges at the end of games. We've lost some close ones at the end. That happens now, but it pays dividends often in the long run. Hopefully by the end of this year we'll be on a roll or next year we'll have it turned around." Dallas Morning News

On the Mavs: The only silver lining in what could be a galactically bad record is that this is the last year that the NBA will employ the current lottery system, where the team with the worst record has a clear advantage to get the No. 1 overall draft pick. It's way too early to throw in any towels. However, the Mavericks have to be open to all possibilities moving forward. President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson was in Chicago on Tuesday to watch Michigan State and Duke, the two top-ranked teams in college basketball, both loaded with potential lottery choices in June. Dallas Morning News

The Raptors will be without point guard Delon Wright for a while. The 25-year-old Wright suffered a dislocated right shoulder in the game in New Orleans on Wednesday, the team announced Thursday, and a return date has yet to be contemplated. Toronto Star

Two men who pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in a case that involved NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris have been sentenced to 60 days in jail in Phoenix. Maricopa County Superior Court officials say Julius Kane began his sentence immediately Thursday while Christopher Melendez was sentenced to three years of probation and 60 days of deferred jail time starting on Nov. 16, 2018. ESPN.com/AP



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Thursday, November 16 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors The irony of Robert Covington's impending payday is that he was so drastically underpaid before that the Sixers were well-situated for another team-friendly deal. And that's exactly what they got. Covington is expected later this week to sign a four-year, $62 million contract to remain a Sixer. Per multiple reports, the framework of the deal is that $15 million will be added to Covington's salary this season, and then it will play out past this season as a four-year, $45 million deal. NBC Sports Philly

A healthy Covington could have surely received more money on the open market next summer, but that's where his previous contract came into play. Covington was making $1.6 million this season. The idea of immediately adding $15 million to his net worth was too tempting for Covington to pass up. Plus, he wanted to be here after helping build the foundation for the Sixers' future. His contract situation was always set up to play into the Sixers' favor. NBC Sports Philly

NBA rumors Heat captain James Johnson is being honest about his play this season. “I’m killing myself every night, every day,” he said Thursday before Miami traveled to Washington D.C. for Friday’s game against the Wizards. “It’s just been terrible performances out of me and not just from an offensive standpoint, the defense. I can put my prints on the game better on the defensive end. Our second unit, Tyler (Johnson) and me we should come in and have that same affect we had last year and we haven’t been able to do that.” Palm Beach Post

Point guard, and fellow captain, Goran Dragic, believes the 6-foot-8 Johnson is pressing, possibly trying to live up to the four-year, $60 million contract he signed this summer. “He’s putting too much pressure on himself and that’s what we want to eliminate, those thoughts. Just go out there, don’t think too much, play free and only good things are going to happen,” Dragic said. “I talk to him a lot, I already tell him ‘Don’t put pressure on yourself.’ He’s set, he signed the deal and we need him to be back to his old JJ, not to put too much pressure about the contract or what people expect." Palm Beach Post

Miami Heat forward Okaro White has undergone surgery to repair a fifth metatarsal fracture in his left foot. The 85-minute procedure was performed by Dr. Thomas San Giovanni and HEAT team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute at Doctors Hospital. Inside Hoops

The shot will forever be remembered in Warriors history. Scratch that, the shot will forever be remembered in NBA history. “I made the game-winning shot in the finals against my f---ing idol," Kevin Durant said to GQ Magazine. "Somebody that I really, really, really followed since I was a ninth-grade high schooler. I felt like he was passing the torch to me.” With 52 second left in Game 3 of the NBA Finals and the Warriors trailing the Cavaliers, 113-111, Kevin Durant grabbed a rebound from an errant 3-point attempt. He dribbled down the left-side of the court and squared up LeBron James behind the 3-point line with 47 second left. Swish. NBC Sports Bay Area

The Jazz (6-9) have lost six of their last seven games and now face the hardest December schedule in the NBA, according to ESPN’s NBA Basketball Power Index. Utah’s next three games will be played on the road at Brooklyn on Friday, at Orlando on Saturday, then in Philly on Monday. Then to make matters worse, star center Rudy Gobert continues his battle with a right tibia contusion for a minimum of four weeks while Joe Johnson is still dealing with right wrist tendon instability and is out for at least two more weeks as well. Both guys are with the team on the road trip. Deseret News

Washington has won five of its last six games — the outlier, the Nov. 7 humbling to the Dallas Mavericks — while holding each opponent to fewer than 100 points. This season, the Wizards are 6-0 when keeping a team to under the century mark. “That is our go to,” Bradley Beal said after the Wizards’ 102-93 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday. “When we do that, it is proven. We have success keeping teams under 100 and getting wins. When we continue to have that defensive mind-set we are a really good team. We showed a lot of glimpses of it [Wednesday].” Washington Post

Paul Pierce sees things a little bit differently, though. That’s because the longtime Celtics star believes the time is now — not “the future” — for Boston to overtake the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. Pierce, now working as an NBA analyst, debated the topic Wednesday on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown.” He faced some pushback from Jalen Rose and Chauncey Billups, both of whom still like the Cavs in the East despite Cleveland’s sluggish start and status as the oldest team in the NBA. NESN

Very rarely does Draymond Green ever shy away from expressing himself, through his on-court aggressiveness, emotions with officials and his honest opinion. So after initially declining to address Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for saying Green demanded an apology for criticizing the use of the term “owner” in sports, Green spent about 7 1/2 minutes defending himself during an appearance on Thursday at the Harvard Kennedy School. “When you look at the word ‘owner,’ it really dates back to slavery,” Green said. “The word ‘owner’ and ‘master’ dates back to slavery. However it was then, if you were a slaveowner, it’s kind of your job. You owned slaves. They did the work for you. You sold the cotton.” San Jose Mercury News

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said Thursday he is "in the very early stage of evaluating" the opportunity to bring an NHL team to Houston. That came on the heels of a report that Fertitta recently met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Houston Chronicle



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Wednesday, November 15 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors The injury bug continues to bite the Utah Jazz organization. The team announced Tuesday that veteran guard Joe Johnson will miss at least two more weeks with tendon instability on his right wrist. Johnson consulted with a hand specialist and is showing progress but will be re-evaluated in two weeks, per team officials. Deseret News

Utah (6-8) will also be without star center Rudy Gobert for at least another four weeks with a bruised knee. Deseret News

NBA rumors With D’Angelo Russell out indefinitely with a knee injury and Jeremy Lin already sidelined for the season, also with a knee injury, the Nets were game, but woefully shorthanded against the Celtics. And scalding-hot Boston predictably proved to be too much, with the Nets falling 109-102 in a tightly contested affair Tuesday. NY Post

Hearing Boston fans take over the Barclays Center was just salt in the Nets’ various wounds, and listening to them serenade New Jersey-bred Celtics star Kyrie Irving with chants of “MVP!” as he took free throws with two minutes left was an added insult. But to be fair, Irving looked the part, dominating in his return from a facial fracture and then giving his shoes to some troops seated courtside. NY Post

NBA rumors Putting up a near-franchise-record first half and getting major production off the bench from C.J. Miles, the Raptors beat the Houston Rockets 129-113 at the Toyota Center on Tuesday night in a wildly entertaining game. The Raptors didn’t try to outshoot the most prolific three-point shooting team, and they didn’t try to get into a track meet. They were poised any time the Rockets made a run, finished the final five minutes strongly and beat a good team on the road. Miles hit six three-pointers and finished with 19 points, rookie OG Anunoby had 16 points in his first start and DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 27. Toronto Star

James Harden had 38 points — half of them on free throws — for the Rockets. “What happens is, they hit a couple and people lose their will, their resolve to keep playing hard,” Casey had said Tuesday morning. “The way we beat them here last year, we played harder for 48 minutes, and that’s what you’ve got to do. Toronto Star

NBA rumors Knicks: “We’re not running the stuff we did last year with the mix of plays,’’ said Hornacek, whose club is off to a surprising 7-6 start and playing host to Utah on Wednesday. “Our guys are feeling comfortable with what we’re running. We’re going to get better at that. It’s a style most of those guys like to play. It makes it easier for them. Even in this system, there’s a lot of teaching we have to do. We have to continue to learn the little things that will make it easier especially in pressure times like (against the Cavaliers).’’ NY Post

One key to Hornacek’s attack, according to sources, is having his two big men running the floor with reckless abandon — Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter. Each are suited well for that style. Hornacek calls it “rim running.’’ Even if the two bigs don’t get the pass on the break, they are helping spread the floor out by running with pace. In one instance against Cleveland, Hardaway hit Porzingis with a deep pass in stride that led to a breakaway layup. NY Post

Kristaps Porzingis says the organization has more "confidence" in the Knicks' offense this season now that head coach Jeff Hornacek is "running his own stuff." Last year, under the influence of ex-team president Phil Jackson, Hornacek blended aspects of Jackson's triangle offense into sets that he ran while coaching the Phoenix Suns, which players and coaches said led to confusion amid a 51-loss campaign. ESPN.com

Timberwolves young star Karl-Anthony Towns will be just a little less young come Wednesday, when he celebrates his 22nd birthday with a home game against San Antonio and perhaps a greeting sung to him by rookie teammate Justin Patton. Before he does, Towns in Monday's 109-88 victory at Utah became only the second player in NBA history to reach 3,000 career points and 2,000 rebounds before he turned 22. He did so by grabbing his second rebound of the night, just 85 seconds into the game. The only other player that young and that prolific: Dwight Howard. Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Heat will be without forward Okaro White in Wednesday’s home game against the Wizards. White, 25, suffered a left foot injury in Tuesday’s practice. He will be re-evaluated Wednesday. Palm Beach Post

The Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers and affiliated venture capital partners have chosen names for their North American League of Legends Championship Series franchises. The Rockets will name their team Clutch City Gaming, while the Cavaliers will adopt the 100 Thieves brand previously owned by Matthew "Nadeshot" Haag, sources close to both NBA teams told ESPN. ESPN.com

Klay Thompson seemingly dismissed that he is dating supermodel Abigail Ratchford in an interview Tuesday with Damon Bruce of 95.7 The Game. In an Instagram post this past summer, Ratchford might have insinuated she had relations with Thompson — whose aloofness in reply to Bruce’s inquiry on the subject may show a certain disdain for the idea itself. San Jose Mercury News



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Tuesday, November 14 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors Previously Porzingis, who has admitted to lingering swelling, had only donned the sleeve during practice so it wouldn’t affect his shooting motion. But after shooting just 7-of-21 for 20 points in the 104-101 Knicks’ collapse, he may ditch it. It was only the fourth time in the 12 games he’s played this season he didn’t score at least 30 points. “It was for extra protection for the elbow,’’ Porzingis said. “It didn’t help as much. If I fell on it, it hits so hard, the little protection didn’t do anything.’’ NY Post

Ramon Sessions was spared and believes he’ll still help the Knicks — and rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina. To make room for Joakim Noah on the roster, the Knicks axed popular forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas and kept the demoted Sessions, who lost his starting point-guard job to Jarrett Jack after the season’s third game. NY Post

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek refused to talk about why Kuzminskas was deemed unworthy of the roster but admitted adding Doug McDermott in the Carmelo Anthony trade was a major factor. Kuzminskas, 28, was in the final year of his two-year pact, being paid $3 million. NY Post

Kyrie Irving joined the Celtics for their flight to New York yesterday, with the very real possibility that the point guard could return to action for tonight’s game against Brooklyn. Irving, who suffered a small fracture underneath his right eye during Wednesday’s win over the Lakers at the Garden, has been upgraded to questionable status for the game. Boston Herald

You could feel the tension brewing between Joel Embiid and Willie Reed less than two minutes into the second quarter, and it was no surprise things got chippy. Reed took exception to Embiid’s defense when he was called for a traveling violation. Embiid pointed at Reed and smiled it off, which didn’t exactly squash the issue. Quite the opposite, actually. NBC Sports Philly

On the next trip down the court, Reed pulled Embiid down by the shoulder as the Sixers’ center went up at the basket. Embiid hit the ground, bounced back up and got in Reed’s face. The big men were separated and Reed was issued a Flagrant 1 foul. NBC Sports Philly

In the past six days, the Wizards have notched convincing wins against the Lakers, Hawks and Kings, none of which are good teams. But in locking down on defense and not letting bad teams sneak up on them, the Wizards feel good about the adjustments they made. Gortat, in particular, is singing a much different tune. "We really took this personally. We had teams like Phoenix and Dallas coming here and punking us in front of our own crowd. That's not nice. That's definitely not nice. We all got a lot of fire for that," he said. "We almost killed each other in practice." NBC Sports Washington

Gortat apologized to the fans at morning shootaround before the Wizards' win against the Lakers last Tuesday. He apologized again on Monday after the Wizards' 110-92 win over the Kings. NBC Sports Washington

Another game, another easy win for the Golden State Warriors, who have now won seven straight games, all by double-digit margins. But Monday night’s 110-100 win over the Orlando Magic was unusual, because the Warriors were without Stephen Curry. And without Curry, the Warriors looked like a significantly different team on offense. San Jose Mercury News

While, yes, the Warriors adapted to not having Curry on the court, they only had 23 3-point attempts Monday, their lowest total of the season and 10 attempts off their season average. The difference in the contest might have been Green’s big offensive night — he was 8-for-11 from the floor and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. If not for that, Monday’s game could have been a tight affair — but such is the embarrassment of Golden State’s riches. San Jose Mercury News

The Clippers have lost six consecutive games, each one more painful than the last. The Clippers have lost eight of nine, the suffering etched on their faces every time. “Every loss concerns you,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “But I like this team. We’ve just got to get right. But I want to win while we’re not right. Right now we’re not.” The Clippers were in the game right up to the end, even taking a 101-100 lead on a free throw by Willie Reed with 45.1 seconds left. LA Times



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Monday, November 13 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors Jazz center Rudy Gobert was examined Saturday by the Utah Jazz medical staff and underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) testing. The MRI revealed a right tibia contusion. The injury took place when Heat guard Dion Waiters, while hustling for a loose ball, dove recklessly into Gobert’s legs. The 7-1 center will be reevaluated in four weeks. Inside Hoops

“It feels better than it looked on the video,” Gobert said Friday. “I think it was a dirty play, but no matter what the most important thing is to keep getting better and to win tomorrow." Deseret News

Waiters responded to the Gobert’s dirty play accusation ahead of Sunday’s game against the Pistons. “I’ve never been a dirty player in my life,” Waiters told the Sun-Sentinel. “I went for the ball. Tell him to get out of his feelings and that’s what it is, just like that.” Deseret News

NBA rumors The Knicks have waived forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas. Kuzminskas, 6-9, 215-pounds, averaged 6.3 points over 14.9 minutes in 68 games during his rookie season for the Knicks in 2016-17 after signing as an undrafted free agent on Jul. 9, 2016. The Lithuania-native has appeared in one game this season. Inside Hoops

It is unclear if Noah, 32, will be in the Knicks' rotation when he returns. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek has said he'd like to play Noah but is also happy with his current center rotation, which includes starter Enes Kanter and reserve Kyle O'Quinn. "All I can do is just be as ready as possible," Noah said Friday. "I feel like I've put myself in that position, grinding hard. Whatever my role is I'll accept it. ... We're all in this together and whoever's out there fighting we're going to support them." ESPN.com

NBA rumors At the home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday, Charlotte Hornets fans will notice a little something new on their team’s classic pinstriped jerseys. The Hornets will announce Monday that they have signed a three-year advertising deal with LendingTree, the Charlotte-based online marketplace that matches borrowers with lenders. As part of the deal, Hornets jerseys will have a 2.5-inch LendingTree patch on their left sides, opposite the Jordan Brand Jumpman logo. Charlotte Observer

The Hornets and LendingTree would not disclose the price tag of the partnership. But based on the size of the Charlotte market and the Hornets’ performance, the deal is likely worth $5 million to $7 million per year, industry experts say. As part of the deal, LendingTree becomes the title sponsor of the new Hornets mobile app. The company also gets prominent fixed signs throughout the Spectrum Center, new digital signage, banner ads, and TV and radio game ads, Hornets Chief Marketing Officer Pete Guelli said. LendingTree is now the “official loan shopping partner” of the Hornets, too. Charlotte Observer

Playing against the 2-11 Mavs, the Thunder were supposed to be in control, but they were missing two starters, as Steven Adams sat a second straight game with a calf injury, and Carmelo Anthony was out with back soreness. It meant Westbrook and Paul George were rolling as a superduo, reminiscent of the way things used to be for Westbrook a few seasons ago when another certain superstar played alongside him. And much in the same manner of how so many of those Thunder wins would go, Westbrook was the spark to ignite the Thunder, and George was the gasoline to blow it wide open. ESPN.com

If you build it, they will come. That’s not necessarily so, especially in the case of Little Caesars Arena, where both the Pistons and Red Wings have had trouble drawing large crowds early in their respective seasons. The attendance issues in the first season at the ballyhooed new state-of the-art arena in Detroit, which attracted the Pistons from their still-pretty-darn-good home at The Palace of Auburn Hills, has been well-documented. Detroit News



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Saturday, November 11 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors Kyrie Irving: During the first quarter against the Charlotte Hornets, the Celtics star point guard took a wayward elbow from center Aron Baynes and went down in a heap. Baynes’ blow caused Irving to stay on the floor for a few minutes before being taken to the locker room while bleeding heavily from the nose/mouth. NESN

Celtics big man Aron Baynes hit Irving while trying to defend a Kemba Walker shot attempt. After fouling Walker on a drive, Baynes spun to box out and his right elbow smashed Irving, who immediately collapsed to the floor clutching his face. Irving was attended to by Celtics trainer Art Horne and left the court clutching a towel over his bloodied face. ESPN.com

NBA rumors After a shootaround Friday [Joel Embiid] told reporters about a dinner he had with Draymond Green over the summer. "I told him I was gonna kick his ass," Embiid said. "I love the way he talks trash, and I feel like I’m kind of the same so it’s gonna be a fun battle, especially going against Steph, Klay, KD. I still haven’t played against them, so I’m excited.” The Sixers selected Embiid with the third overall pick of the 2014 draft knowing he had a foot fracture. It did not heal properly, costing him what should have been his first two NBA seasons. A knee injury then cost him all but 31 games when he finally debuted last season. SF Chronicle

Kevin Durant sustained a thigh bruise in the first minutes of the game against Miami on Monday night. He limped it off and finished the game, playing 33 minutes, but was hampered Tuesday to such a degree he missed practice and the game against Minnesota on Wednesday. NBC Sports Bay Area

Eleven games into the season, those questions have been answered. Nemanja Bjelica leads the NBA in 3-point shooting, hitting 59 percent of his long-range attempts (16 for 27). He’s shooting 60 percent from the field. “I’m in a good rhythm, and coach (Tom Thibodeau) wants me to shoot the ball as much as I can,” he said. The latter part might be the key. Thibodeau and his staff have implored Bjelica to shoot the long ball. St Paul Pioneer Press

Pat Riley's personal commitment to those impacted by Hurricane Irma and well as to the Miami Heat's Homestrong Initiative provided an additional payoff Friday to a pair of veterans. In honor of Veterans Day, former Heat players Alonzo Mourning and Glen Rice worked alongside members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade, Inc. and staffers from Weston-based Ultimate Software to help renovate the homes of two Miami-Dade veterans whose homes suffered damage from Irma. South Florida Sun Sentinel



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Friday, November 10 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors As part of the offseason creativity required from Miami Heat General Manager Andy Elisburg in order to return the core of last season's roster, the four-year, $52 million free-agent contract [Dion] Waiters signed in July included a $1.1 million bonus for appearing in at least 70 games this season. Waiters already has utilized two of the maximum 12 games he can miss over the 82-game schedule, in order to return to South Florida at the start of this six-game trip for the Sunday birth of his daughter. South Florida Sun Sentinel

NBA salary is computed on a 190-day calendar, not by games, leaving Waiters' pay at $58,000 per day, including full pay for the three days he was away from the team for his daughter's birth. Coach Erik Spoelstra said he cognizant of Waiters' bonus but also committed to the best possible outcome for his player and his team. South Florida Sun Sentinel

NBA rumors Coach Jeff Hornacek praised [Joakim] Noah during preseason for looking a lot more spry than his first disastrous season with the Knicks. But he knows something has to shake up with the roster and indicated he’d like to roll with Noah eventually. NY Post

The Knicks have to create one spot on the roster for Noah, and beyond the centers, Ramon Sessions, Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Michael Beasley are not safe, either. The center glut, though, is so crowded Willy Hernangomez has been mostly out of the rotation. “We’re going to have to figure that out when we can,’’ Hornacek said. “With Scott [Perry] trying to figure out what our moves are. If all four centers are there, it’s going to be a situation where we’re to have to take a look at whether we can keep all four of them out there. It’s already tough enough trying to get Willy minutes. But Jo, he’s been working hard in practice. He’s been doing a great job. So we’ll try to get him worked in at some point.”

Head coach Jeff Hornacek expects Kristaps Porzingis to return to the lineup when the Knicks take on the Sacramento Kings after their 7-foot-3 leading scorer sat out Wednesday’s loss in Orlando with right elbow and left ankle injuries. “I would think so … He’s fine. He practiced today,” Hornacek said on Friday. NY Daily News

NBA rumors Rockets guard Chris Paul remains out for the Rockets, but looked significantly closer to a return as he joined the team for Friday's light practice. The practice was not much of a test of his readiness to return, still not projected until next week. Friday's practice between games and before a back-to-back was more of a walk-through than a full practice and not as much of a test as his workouts have been. Houston Chronicle

Stephon Marbury doesn't look like he's happy about Jimmer Fredette making waves in the Chinese Basketball Association. The two ex-Knicks got into an altercation during a game in China between the Beijing Fly Dragons and Shanghai Sharks following a hard foul. Fredette was driving for a layup late in the third quarter when Marbury tried to stop him from scoring. Marbury made contact with Fredette on his way up, knocking the ball out of his hands, and the forward didn't appreciate it. NY Daily News

Hornets point guard Kemba Walker says the difference now is how [Kyrie] Irving applies himself on defense, not traditionally his strength. "He’s a lot better defensively," Walker said at Friday-morning shootaround at TD Garden. "He wanted to come to a team and be a leader, and you can see that. I don’t know what goes on within, but when I watch the Celtics play I can tell they feed off Kyrie." Charlotte Observer



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Thursday, November 9 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors Clippers starting point guard Patrick Beverley has a sore right knee and has returned home to Los Angeles. Beverley will not play Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder or Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans. He flew home Wednesday. LA Times

“It’s a sore right knee, but everything looks good,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said at practice Thursday at Chesapeake Arena. “He’ll miss the rest of the trip.” The Clippers think Beverley will probably be out for about a week. LA Times

NBA rumors The Cleveland Cavaliers' slow start has been linked to such things as a shortened training camp, roster turnover, roster age, a defensive efficiency rating that is last in the league and a string of injuries. So maybe it shouldn't be surprising that LeBron James isn't counting on Isaiah Thomas to fix everything when he returns from a right hip injury. "To be honest, I don't think it's too much expected [of Thomas]," James said before shootaround Thursday morning, ahead of the Cavaliers' game against the Houston Rockets. "I don't think we're relying on IT to come back. We want him to take his time. When he feels he's ready, he's going to fit right in. ESPN.com

The Cavaliers said in September that they expect Thomas, a two-time All-Star point guard, back on the court by January. Thomas has progressed in his rehab, however, and there have been recent clues that suggest he will return even sooner. ESPN.com

It’s been a tough season for the Boston Celtics’ ankles. Jayson Tatum became the second Celtics player to suffer an ankle injury this campaign, exiting halfway through Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers with right ankle soreness. Tatum received an X-ray on that ankle mid-game at TD Garden, and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday that initial test revealed no breaks or fractures. NESN

The Mavericks went through a rare practice on Thursday. Not that practices are rare (although they haven't been frequent with the busy schedule thus far. But it was a practice after a win. And when you've only had two victories in 12 games, it's fair to say the atmosphere was a bit different Thursday at the spirited, two-hour workout. "Our vibe was good the practice in Washington," coach Rick Carlisle said after practice. Dallas Morning News

Ray Allen has fired the second shot while describing the end of the Heat’s Big Three era. After Dwyane Wade compared the 2013-14 season to a “bad marriage,” Allen told Sports Illustrated that the organization and coaching staff “didn’t adjust” to having older players on the team. Allen, who has not played since the 2013-14 season, was promoting his new book, “From the Outside: My Journey Through Life and the Game I Love.” “It certainly was tough on all of us as players,” Allen said. “Organizationally, I don’t think they ever adjusted. Most of the guys, having gone to so many Finals, me being an older player, having played a lot of basketball the last five, six years, organizationally and coaching wise they didn’t adjust." Palm Beach Post

The Kings assigned center Georgios Papagiannis to the their G-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, Thursday. The third-year center has appeared in two games this season for a total of 12 minutes, tallying four points, two rebounds, one assist and a blocked shot. Sacramento Bee

Astros star George Springer will participate in the Rockets' "First Shot" promotion before tonight's Rockets game against the Cavaliers at Toyota Center. The "First Shot" is a new promotion the Rockets are doing this season where a local celebrity shoots one free throw before the game. A made free throw earns $5,000 for charity, while a missed free throw earns $1,000. Houston Chronicle

Three U.C.L.A. men’s basketball players, including LiAngelo Ball, the brother of the Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, will not play in an exhibition game on Friday in Shanghai. Multiple news media accounts said the players were detained on suspicion of shoplifting. Coach Steve Alford announced the decision to bench the players, but would not elaborate on the nature of the circumstances. Both U.C.L.A. and the Pacific-12 Conference used the term “situation” to describe what was going on with the players. “We are aware of a situation involving U.C.L.A. student-athletes in Hangzhou, China,” U.C.L.A. said in a statement. NY Times



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Wednesday, November 8 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

The Rockets are the NBA’s only team rated among the top 10 offensively and defensively. They rank fifth offensively, averaging 108.4 points per 100 possessions. That will be tested with the Cavaliers the second-ranked offensive team and the Grizzlies, Saturday’s opponent, the third-ranked defensive team. Houston Chronicle

The Phoenix Suns would love for the Miami Heat to be bad this season. But not too bad. The Suns, who play host to the Heat on Wednesday night, are owed two first-round draft picks from Miami as part of the Heat’s February 2015 trade for point guard Goran Dragic. But Phoenix will get Miami’s first-round pick next June only if lands outside the top seven in the draft. Miami Herald

Warriors forward Kevin Durant will miss Golden State’s game Wednesday night against Minnesota with a left thigh contusion, the team announced after shoot-around. Durant sustained the injury during the first quarter of Monday’s win over Miami. In 33 minutes, he scored 21 points on 5-for-13 shooting. SF Chronicle

NBA rumors While Tony Parker already has three practices under his belt with the Spurs’ G League team, Kawhi Leonard doesn’t seem close to doing three-on-three work, let alone five on five. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked before Tuesday’s game with the Clippers why the 35-year-old Parker is progressing faster with his rehab than Leonard, who is 26. San Antonio Express News

“He’s just coming along more slowly, for whatever reason,” Popovich said of Leonard, who missed all of the preseason and the first 10 games of the regular season due to right quadriceps tendinopathy. “It’s just been more difficult for him to get through the rehab routine. His body hasn’t reacted the same way." San Antonio Express News

NBA rumors Chicago Bulls power forward Bobby Portis says he still hasn't spoken to teammate Nikola Mirotic after the two got into an altercation in practice on Oct. 17 that left Mirotic with a concussion and several facial fractures. Portis was suspended eight games for punching Mirotic and makes his season debut Tuesday night against the Toronto Raptors. ESPN.com

"No, I haven't talked to Niko," Portis said before the game. In his first public comments after the fight last month, Portis said he texted and called Mirotic but did not hear back from him. On Tuesday, Portis noted that he has not tried to reach out to Mirotic since. ESPN.com

Throughout his extensive head coaching career that includes more than 800 NBA games, Stan Van Gundy was obsessed with the pick-and-roll offense. He estimates he's utilized it 90 percent of the time. Getting out of his comfort zone wasn't easy. But changes were needed following the Detroit Pistons' disappointing 2016-17 season. So, Van Gundy switched to a motion offense, where center Andre Drummond is the hub, and everyone is involved. The early results have been promising. The Pistons are 7-3 heading into Wednesday's game against the Indiana Pacers at Little Caesars Arena (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit). Michigan Live

Nine games into his NBA career, Warriors rookie Jordan Bell has outpaced most everyone’s expectations, including his own. A player who fell to the second round — No. 38 overall — of June’s draft is making head coach Steve Kerr find him minutes in a crowded frontcourt. With instincts, court awareness and defensive versatility that belie his experience, Bell already looks like a foundational piece of the Warriors’ future. San Francisco Chronicle

Ben Simmons needs to become a more consistent outside shooter. However, he has been a matchup problem for opposing teams. He’s too big for point guards to defend and too athletic for forwards to keep up with. Brown said it’s “quite special” to see Simmons on the court after the time they spent together studying the NBA game. Philadelphia Inquirer

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek isn’t surprised Kristaps Porzingis won Eastern Conference player of the week honors on Monday after a four-game stretch (three wins) in which Porzingis averaged 33.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.25 blocks. “He should’ve got it,” Hornacek said on Tuesday night before the Knicks hosted the Hornets. “He’s been great. He’s carried us." NY Newsday



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Monday, November 6 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors Russell Westbrook, along with the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder, doesn’t think Carmelo Anthony should have been ejected for his flagrant 2 foul on Jusuf Nurkic during Sunday night’s 103-99 loss at the Portland Trail Blazers. “It was nonsense, man. You can’t get kicked out for some nonsense like that,” Westbrook said. “Being able to go to the basket, protecting himself. Guy got hit, that’s fine. He got up. The crowd reacted. They made a play, kicked him out of the game. That’s unacceptable in my opinion. That’s not worthy of getting kicked out the game. But it is what it is.” Norman Transcript

Anthony finished what was originally called an and-one after meeting the 280-pound Nurkic at the rim during the third quarter of Sunday’s game. The Blazers center went in the air, arms up. Anthony lifted into him, knocking an elbow into his cheek and contorting his body before finishing an awkward bucket. The basket brought the Thunder within nine points with Anthony about to go to the line. After review, officials took back both the make and the foul on Nurkic, assessing a flagrant 2 foul to Anthony and handing him an automatic ejection. He finished with 15 points in 23 minutes. Norman Transcript

Spurs rookie guard Derrick White fractured his right wrist while playing in a game for the Austin Spurs on Saturday night in Austin, the Spurs announced Monday. A timeline for White’s return will be determined at a later date, according to the Spurs. San Antonio Express News

Chicago Bulls swingman David Nwaba is expected to miss two to four weeks because of a right ankle injury. Nwaba, who turned the ankle in the third quarter of Saturday's loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, is now in a walking boot as he begins the rehab process. "He's going to be probably two to four weeks," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "He's got a severe ankle sprain. He's off the crutches now, he's in a walking boot, but he sprained it pretty good." ESPN.com

NBA rumors There was a time, not too long ago, when Jarrett Jack thought his career was done. He had a torn ACL, a partially torn meniscus and, progressing into his mid-30s, the slow recovery wavered Jack's confidence. "The rehab was easy as far as putting in the work and doing the exercises. But the doubt of, 'When I get back on the court, am I still going to be able to play? Am I doing this all for no reason?'" Jack told the Daily News. "Even when I do the exercises, man, it's still not feeling the same. Wondering physically if you'll ever get back and then after you do, mentally not allowing that to stop you." NY Daily News

The 34-year-old's play will also force the Knicks into some tough decisions. With Joakim Noah slated to return from his PED suspension on Nov. 13, New York will have to create a roster spot to keep Jack. Preferably, the Knicks would like to get a draft pick in return by trading away a frontcourt player - with both Kyle O'Quinn and Willy Hernangomez on desirable contracts. NY Daily News

However, the Knicks could also waive a player and eat his guaranteed contract. Sessions, Michael Beasley and Mindaugas Kuzminskas are the obvious candidates. NY Daily News

Porzingis has scored 30 or more points in seven of the first nine games — arguably the best start to a season in Knicks history. He’s now averaging 30.2 points. Before the season opener, Porzingis said he had three goals in mind for the season: All-Star berth, Most Improved Player and Defensive Player of the Year. None of the three appears out of reach. All-Star is a gimme, and he should be considered a top candidate for MIP with his shooting percentage at a lovely 50 percent. (Anthony shot 43.3 percent last season.) NY Post

Utah is one of three teams in the league who have yet to win a road game, joining Dallas and Brooklyn. “Anytime you get beat the way we did tonight, there is a lot to fix,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said after the Houston loss. “We didn’t play like this against the Clippers or the Suns. This was different.” Deseret News

Detroit has won five of six — including a well-documented west road swing in which it knocked off the Los Angeles Clippers and defending champion Golden State Warriors — and is off to its best 10-game start since 2008-09. The Pistons are home Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers (5-5). Detroit News

The 76ers will be without two major rotation players when they kick off their five-game road trip Tuesday night in Utah. Joel Embiid is out for Tuesday’s game. The team is calling it load management and said he would be available for Thursday’s game in Sacramento. Guard Jerryd Bayless suffered a left wrist injury in the fourth quarter of Friday’s 121-110 win over Indiana and is out for at least Tuesday’s game. After the game, X-rays were negative but based on continued discomfort, he didn’t practice Monday and underwent MRI and CT scans. Philly Inquirer

Nine games into the season the Clippers still don’t have an identity. Is Rivers’ team the one that gave up a basket seemingly every time Miami came down the floor while allowing up 62 first-half points? Or is it the one that gave up just four field goals in the fourth quarter, when it roared back from a 23-point deficit at the start of the period to take a one-point lead with 2:55 left? “I like the way we’ve been playing overall. I still don’t like the way we play in stretches,” Rivers said. “We don’t put a full game together. And that’s what we have to do.” LA Times

The Celtics have burned through the haze of gruesomely losing Gordon Hayward 5 minutes and 15 seconds into his tenure, won 8 in a row for the first time since the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce/Ray Allen era, and own the best record in the NBA with the mighty Golden State Warriors coming to town 10 days from now. Imagine how fun this team would be if Danny Ainge knew what he was doing, huh? Boston.com

After the first 10 games, things appear to be settling for the Blazers. Damian Lillard is no longer struggling with his shot. Jusuf Nurkic has steadied after battling turnovers and foul trouble. And CJ McCollum is once again one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters. But what to make of the rest of the Blazers? Outside of Ed Davis, who has provided a consistent rebounding presence, the Blazers never quite know what they are going to get. Maurice Harkless has been somewhat non-descript. Al-Farouq Aminu is sidelined for at least a couple of weeks. Evan Turner, after a strong start, has become erratic. And against teams that don’t have Suns on the jersey, Pat Connaughton has been decidedly more miss than hit. NBC Sports Northwest

The NBA has fined disgruntled Phoenix guard Eric Bledsoe $10,000 for his controversial tweet from last month, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough told azcentral.com. The NBA had not announced the fine as of Monday morning. McDonough confirmed the fine to azcentral.com on Sunday but declined to comment further. ESPN.com

Dennis Rodman is making a plea to POTUS on the eve of his trip to South Korea -- asking him to make peace with his North Korean bro, Kim Jong-un, as tensions rise over nuclear warfare. "Donald Trump, please, help us," Rodman said to TMZ Sports in Newport Beach. "You always say, 'unite.' I'm all about that." TMZ



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Saturday, November 4 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors Warriors head coach Steve Kerr knows he really messed up whenever his daughter, Maddy, feels compelled to send him video evidence of one of his in-game outbursts. After a particularly expletive-filled tirade in Thursday night’s win over the Spurs, Kerr’s phone lit up with a meme of him unleashing on an official. “Honestly, I need to do better,” Kerr said after shoot-around Saturday at Pepsi Center. “That was embarrassing. My daughter sent me a meme that was all over the Internet. I just hung my head in shame. I am passionate and intense, but I can’t use that wording. I would never say that to anyone normally, and it’s just awful. I saw that and I was like, ‘I need to do better.’” SF Chronicle

With just three home games in nearly three weeks to start the season, only one team (the Toronto Raptors) has played fewer games on its home court than the Rockets. The Rockets, however, viewed the week at home, even with the much-tougher competition than they have played recently on the road, as a chance to make up for the early-season losses in Toyota Center and get the practice time in to make repairs. Houston Chronicle

DeMar DeRozan is coming off arguably his best performance of the season, with a season-high 37 points — including a trio of three-pointers on seven attempts — in Friday’s 109-100 road win over the Utah Jazz. . . . Bradley Beal, who put up 27 points the last time these teams met in March, is averaging 24.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and three assists a game — topping DeRozan in all three categories in the early going. Toronto Star

John Wall could miss his first game of the season while dealing with a left shoulder injury. Wall, who has started all eight games while averaging 20.5 points and 10.4 assists per game, received treatment Saturday on his sore and sprained shoulder but is considered “questionable” to play ahead of the Washington Wizards’ Sunday night matchup against the Toronto Raptors, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Washington Post

Warriors point guard Shaun Livingston will rest for Saturday night’s game against the Nuggets, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said after shoot-around at Pepsi Center. Livingston, 32, will take the occasional night off during particularly busy stretches this season. Kerr plans to take the same approach with Andre Iguodala and even some of the Warriors’ starters, though he won’t rest his All-Stars in mass like he did last season at San Antonio. SF Chronicle

Whatever Draymond Green thinks, he usually speaks. So it only seemed natural Green would have plenty to say after Mavericks owner Mark Cuban criticized him to ESPN about Green’s recent call to stop using the word “owner,” arguing “to be owned by someone just sets a bad precedent to start.” “For him to try to turn it into something it’s not is wrong,” Cuban told ESPN. “He owes the NBA an apology. I think he does, because to try to create some connotation that owning equity in a company that you busted your ass for is the equivalent of ownership in terms of people, that’s just wrong. That’s just wrong in every which way.” San Jose Mercury News

The Spurs announced Saturday they have assigned rookie point guard Derrick White and second-year pro Davis Bertans to the Austin Spurs, their NBA G League affiliate. White and Bertans will be available to play against the Texas Legends at 7 p.m. Saturday at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park. San Antonio Express News



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Friday, November 3 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors The Washington Wizards will have their chance Friday to back Bradley Beal's contention that Washington is at the top of the class in the East -- at least for a night. Beal, speaking in an interview with ESPN's The Jump alongside backcourt teammate and superstar point guard John Wall, said he "firmly" believed Washington was the team to beat the Eastern Conference and that, already, the Wizards controlled their own fate. ESPN.com

"I feel like we're the best team. That's just the way I feel," Beal said Friday before the Wizards hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). "I always stand by it because I mean, why would I sit here and say another team's better than my team? I'm not going to sit here and do that. I've got confidence in myself and my teammates and what we can bring to our team and what we can accomplish." ESPN.com

NBA rumors Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris will make his 2017-18 season debut during Friday night's visit to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Morris, acquired this summer in a swap that sent Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons, missed the start of Boston's training camp while on trial for aggravated assault in Arizona. He played in only one exhibition game after being acquitted and the team held him out of game action at the start of the regular season while Morris both got himself in better shape and battled knee soreness. ESPN.com

Morris was projected as a frontcourt starter for Boston before the season and Stevens has used multiple bodies next to Al Horford early in the season. Stevens said the team will let matchups dictate whether Morris eventually shuffles into the starting lineup once he's off his minutes restriction. ESPN.com

NBA rumors The Miami HEAT and exclusive TV partner FOX Sports Sun today announced that former HEAT point guard and current Radio and TV Studio Analyst, John Crotty, will become the team’s next Color Analyst for all game broadcasts beginning next season. Crotty, who has been a member of the broadcast team since January of 2005 when he first became the club’s regular radio analyst, will become the seventh person to serve in the role for the franchise and just the second former player. NBA.com

The Miami Heat are keeping a popular member of the family on their minds while on their longest road trip of season. Dan Bisaccio, an assistant video coordinator, is in South Florida while dealing with health issues. The Heat have been wearing T-shirts this week that read ’10 Day,’ which is Bisaccio’s nickname. Spoelstra gave a “shout out” to Bisaccio, 28, on Thursday while explaining the shirts. Palm Beach Post

Rockets center Clint Capela was stunned, unaware of his place on top of one of the NBA's statistical categories. "I didn't know that," said Capela, when he was told he leads the league, making 70.7 percent of his attempts. "Really?' Though he, like many others, quickly credited the passes that set him up at and above the rim, much of the improvement has also come from finishing more aggressively. Houston Chronicle

Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu is expected to be sidelined 2-3 weeks because of a right ankle sprain. Aminu had been ruled out for the Blazers' 113-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. ESPN.com

Portland Trail Blazers' forward Al-Farouq Aminu is expected to miss two to three weeks with a right ankle sprain, the team announced on Thursday night. Aminu suffered the injury with 2:13 left in the fourth quarter of Portland's 112-103 overtime loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. He rolled his ankle while battling for a rebound and limped to the bench on the next defensive possession. In eight games, Aminu is averaging 9.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and a team-high 1.3 blocks in 30.2 minutes per game. Oregonian

Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki and former Knicks forward David Lee are engaged, the athletes announced in a pair of Instagram posts. "Happiest day of my life yesterday saying yes to my soulmate," Wozniacki captioned a photo of her mammoth new engagement ring resting on her finger. NY Daily News

Rapper ScHoolboy Q's got an ice-cold reality check for Lonzo Ball -- saying the Lakers superstar needs to get the hell out the studio and "STICK TO BASKETBALL." With Lonzo droppin' more tracks in recent weeks, we had to ask Q if he wanted to get in on the aspiring emcee's career like DJ Mustard and DJ Quik. His answer -- "HELL NAH! 'Cause I rather see that n***a score some points and get some damn assists." TMZ



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Thursday, November 2 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors The updates on the two injured Celtics are very encouraging, though, based on the relative severity of their injuries, that's where the similarity stops. Marcus Morris (sore left knee) won't play [Wednesday] against Sacramento, but he could be available on the road trip that begins Friday in Oklahoma City. Boston Herald

Gordon Hayward on his thoughts immediately following the injury: “It was like once my brain figured out what had happened, I was hit with shots of pain. The training staff came running over to me super fast, but however long it was—three seconds, five seconds—I just remember sitting there, looking at my foot the wrong way, and it felt like an eternity. Dr. Rosneck, the Cavaliers doctor, braced me as he explained that they wanted to try and pop my ankle back into place. I held on, and the moment they did it, there was just a massive shot of pain, probably the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life.” Boston.com

Hayward on transitioning back to basketball: “I’ve started by watching the games. At first, it was just grueling to try and watch. I was overwhelmed with frustration, knowing that I can’t be a part of it right now. I’m not even with the team. It’s hard mentally to watch the games because I’m sitting here thinking, ‘I’m not going to be able to help the team on the court this year.'” Boston.com

NBA rumors The Oklahoma City Thunder have declined forward Josh Huestis’ 2018-19 option, The Transcript has confirmed... Declining the option, which was worth $2.2 million next season, means Huestis will now become a free agent at the end of this season. "It’s the organization’s decision…But that’s not something that I am focusing on too much," Huestis said. "Just wanna get out there, play basketball, and the rest will take care of itself." Norman Transcript

Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd had to go to another sport to find a comparison for Russell Westbrook. “He is the [Mike] Tyson of basketball,” Kidd said before the Thunder’s Tuesday night game in Milsaukee. “From the jump ball, he is coming as Tyson did get off the stool. When the bell rings, he’s coming for you. And whenever he’s on the floor, he plays at one speed, and that’s fast and hard.” Norman Transcript

Steven Adams is second in the NBA in dunks this season, and it can attributed to the 7-footer having way more room to operate on offense thanks to the spacing provided by Anthony and George on the perimeter. Some of the Thunder's best offensive possessions of the season have ended with an Adams bucket, and they've been an effect of the previous two elements of Westbrook's efficiency and the surrounding shot makers. Oklahoman

Among players averaging 12 or more drives per game this season entering Wednesday, [Dion] Waiters is ranked sixth in the league with a field-goal percentage of 51.4 on drives ahead of players like Ben Simmons, Russell Westbrook and even teammate Goran Dragic. And Waiters is doing it on a troublesome left ankle that’s already caused him issues this season. This is just a continuation of the improvement Waiters made in this department over the second half of last season. He shot 48.7 percent on drives over his final 25 games last season after shooting just 36.4 percent on this type of play in his first 21 games of the year. Palm Beach Post

The 76ers have decided to stay with Dario Saric. The power forward will make his third consecutive start Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks at Wells Fargo Center. Saric started the past two games because guard J.J. Redick was sidelined with lower-back tightness. However, Redick is available Wednesday. The two will start alongside Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Robert Covington. Philadelphia Inquirer



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Tuesday, October 31 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

Jarrett Jack is the only Knick with a non-guaranteed deal, but he’s making it very easy for the team to keep him. They will have to do something soon to create a roster spot. The Knicks have been able to carry an extra guy on the roster because Joakim Noah is on the suspended list. Management could try to trade someone for a draft pick or do a two-for-one deal to keep Jack before Noah comes off in two weeks. NY Newsday

NBA rumors Though the exact game will be affected by his suspension for Friday night's fight against the Warriors, Markieff Morris' return to the Wizards could happen any day now, as the power forward is 5 1/2 weeks removed from the sports hernia surgery he had on Sept. 22. His initial recovery timeline was six to eight weeks and it's looking more and more like Morris will hit the front end of that timetable. Head coach Scott Brooks indicated to reporters on the Wizards road trip this weekend that Morris will return soon, perhaps by the end of the week. NBC Sports Washington

Nobody is worried about Heat guard Tyler Johnson’s shooting. Not Tyler and especially not coach Erik Spoelstra. “Tyler’s a winning player,” Spoelstra said today after shootaround. “The shot doesn’t define him and his impact. He makes a lot of intangible winning plays. When he’s at his best he’s a whirling dervish, you see him all over the place, around the ball, making things happen. If he’s not involved (he’s) making himself involved defensively. He’ll get there.” Palm Beach Post

This is an excerpt of what Cleveland Cavaliers Coach Tyronn Lue said to reporters after his team lost at home to the New York Knicks Sunday: “Tonight’s loss and the last couple are unacceptable, and the only way we’re going to be able to get out of it is to put the work in — as players, as coaches. And we’re going to do that. So, (I’m) not concerned. … But, when you lose to teams the way we’ve been getting beat, it’s unacceptable.” Washington Post

After Sunday’s loss, Cleveland has now been outscored by a combined 62 points by the Magic, Pelicans and Knicks. The Cavaliers rank 27th in the NBA in defensive rating — ahead of only the Timberwolves, Mavericks and Nets (for the record, Golden State is ranked 26th). Cleveland continues to juggle lineups, moving players in and out due to both injury and performance, and it’s hard to blame Lue for trying different things. Still, at least one person — James — isn’t worried. Washington Post

Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard Alex Abrines invaded a scrum of three reporters talking to Adams shortly after Monday’s practice to pose as a fourth and ask one of his own questions, “What do you think of the new point guard?” Abrines, of course, played the final few minutes of Saturday’s blowout victory over the Chicago Bulls at the point. It was his first time at that position, he said, since he was 13 years old. Yet, he ended the night with zero assists. And Adams made sure to remind him of that once he heard the question. Norman Transcript

NBA rumors Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has exercised its fourth-year option on forward Frank Kaminsky. “We’re happy to have Frank as a part of what we’re developing here in Charlotte,” Cho said. “His work ethic and commitment to improvement are showing early returns this season and we look forward to what the future holds for Frank.” Inside Hoops

Cody Demps is back to the hardwood. The former Sacramento State star reported to training camp with the Reno Bighorns, G League affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, early last week with hopes to make the club’s final roster. The Bighorns are allowed to keep 10 of the 15 players trying out, with two additional injured reserve spots. Sacramento Bee

The Philadelphia 76ers picked a heck of a night to be in Houston to watch a baseball game. Brett Brown and his boys took in the World Series last night down in Texas in what turned out to be one of the craziest World Series games of all time. Of course, being at such a wild game, their star Joel Embiid had to share the experience with his Twitter followers. NBC Sports Philly



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Sunday, October 29 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

NBA rumors Warriors guard Draymond Green emerged from the pile of bodies with a ripped jersey, and a lot to say as he walked back to the locker room following a first-half scuffle with Wizards guard Bradley Beal Friday night. “They out to get me, bro!” Green yelled on his way to the locker room. “They’ve been that way, though! Bay Area News Group

Beal and Draymond Green earned ejections after a fight in the final minute of the first half of the Wizards' loss to the Warriors. In most games, an eye for an eye would leave things relatively equal. But with Morris already out due to injury and the Warriors still having three All-NBA players on their roster, a close loss resulted in the Wizards kicking themselves for losing their composure. Beal's departure cost his team and he knows it. Beal apologized to his teammates not once, but twice; at halftime and after the game was over. He felt that Green pushed him over the edge, but did not consider than an acceptable excuse. NBC Sports Washington

NBA rumors The NBA has granted the Boston Celtics an $8.4 million disabled player exception for Gordon Hayward, ESPN has confirmed. The Celtics have until March 10 to utilize the exception, which was expected to be granted. Hayward suffered a dislocated left ankle and a fractured tibia in Boston's season opener and will be out for the season. ESPN.com

Rockets forward Trevor Ariza, who was thought to be out for all three games of the Rockets' road trip, was upgraded to questionable to play Saturday against the Memphis Grizzlies. Ariza was scheduled to be reexamined next week in Houston, but experienced no pain in his sprained left foot in Charlotte. He went through shooting drills Friday morning and was on the active list and in uniform, though he was ruled out for Friday's game against the Hornets. Houston Chronicle

Delta Airlines says a charter flight carrying the Oklahoma City Thunder from Minneapolis to Chicago apparently encountered a bird early Saturday when it was landing, causing damage that prompted some players to post photos on social media showing the caved-in nose of the plane. Carmelo Anthony, Josh Huestis, and Steven Adams all posted photos of the plane shortly after it landed around 12:45 a.m. Detroit News/AP

NBA rumors The Hawks played their first home game of the season but once again couldn’t finish. Dennis Schroder’s steal and score got them within 101-98 before Nikola Jokic hit a free-throw line jumper over Dewayne Dedmon. Taurean Prince’s turnover was followed by a Nuggets giveaway in transition, giving the Hawks the ball back down 103-98 with 46.3 seconds left. But Prince missed an open corner 3-pointer and that was pretty much it. Atlanta Journal Constitution

Schroder returned to the lineup after a two-game absence because of an ankle injury. “It’s not 100 percent but almost,” Schroder said before the game. “I will give it a shot and see how it goes.” Early in the game Schroder seemed reluctant to attack the basket. He was a bit more aggressive later but not like usual. Atlanta Journal Constitution

Brose Bamberg fortified its lineup by signing forward Dorell Wright for the rest of the season. Wright (2.06 meters, 31 years old) arrives from Bosnian club Igokea, with which he has averaged 26.8 points in 56.0% three-point shooting (14 of 25) plus 4.3 rebounds in four Adriatic League games this season. Euroleague.net

Valencia Basket reached a short-term agreement with forward Damjan Rudez, who signed a three-month deal with his new team on Thursday. Rudez (2.05 meters, 31 years old) arrives from Orlando of the NBA, where he averaged 1.9 points in 44 games last season. He started his career with Zrinjevac Zagreb of his native Croatia. Euroleague.net

The tributes for Alvin Attles popped up everywhere. The Warriors featured a retro court. Kerr wore a suit similar to what Attles wore as a former Warriors’ head coach (1970 to 1983). And the Warriors offered various tributes to Attles’ role as a revered player and coach. The 80-year-old Attles was not there, though. He has been hospitalized recently for unspecified reasons. “It’s nothing grave or life threatening,” said Attles’ son, Alvin III. “It’s just that age. At that age, you understand things happen.” San Jose Mercury News


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