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These are yesterday's basketball rumors. For the most recent stories click here.

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NBA Rumors for Thursday, July 31

InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 9:00 a.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.

nba rumors The Minnesota Timberwolves were engaged in serious Kevin Love trade talks with no teams other than the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, adding to the growing belief around the NBA that Love teaming up with LeBron James is inevitable, according to sources briefed on the situation. ESPN.com

After ESPN.com reported last week that the Cavaliers remain the front-runners to acquire Love in a trade co-headlined by No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins, sources this week have described the Cavs as the only team in contention for Love. Sources say the Chicago Bulls have become increasingly pessimistic about their chances of trumping Cleveland's offer, while the Golden State Warriors remained unwilling to bend on their longstanding refusal to surrender Klay Thompson in a deal for Love. ESPN.com

Wiggins is not eligible to be dealt until Aug. 23 after signing his rookie contract last week, but numerous league insiders -- some of whom are gathered in Las Vegas for this week's Team USA training camp -- have begun to describe a Love-to-Cleveland trade as a "when" transaction as opposed to an "if." ESPN.com

The Warriors conceivably could still give Cleveland something to worry about if they suddenly put Thompson on the table while the Cavs are waiting for Wiggins to become trade eligible, but sources say Taylor prefers a package headlined by Wiggins to a Thompson-led haul for Love. Thompson is eligible for a lucrative contract extension from the Warriors or any team he's traded to between now and Halloween, whereas Wiggins is not only the biggest prize from last month's draft but also far more affordable over the next few seasons. ESPN.com

nba rumors Kings: The team is also close to finalizing a deal to bring back free-agent forward Omri Casspi. The Kings still are looking to gain roster flexibility by trading one or more of their power forwards and possibly dealing guard Jason Terry, who has said he would prefer not to play in Sacramento. The Kings say they have no plans to buy out Terry, who is due $5.45 million this season. Sacramento Bee

Meanwhile, the Kings are trying to avoid paying the luxury tax and will continue to look for ways to shed salary to stay below the tax line of $76.829 million. Sacramento Bee

nba rumors The Michael Beasley reunion tour is looking more and more like a limited engagement with the Miami Heat. ESPN reported that the offensive-minded forward had a free-agent workout Wednesday with the Los Angeles Lakers at the team's practice facility in El Segundo, Calif. Beasley has been in Los Angeles working out with childhood friend Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward who now is working in Las Vegas with the U.S. national team. South Florida Sun Sentinel

Beasley rejoined the Heat on Sept. 11, 2013, two months after the team's amnesty release of forward Mike Miller, who spent last season with the Memphis Grizzlies and recently agreed to join James with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both the Heat and Lakers still have roster spots available. Teams can carry as many as 15 players during the regular season and up to 20 during the offseason. South Florida Sun Sentinel

nba rumors The league is looking into changing how the draft works, so that the bottom feeders of the league aren't assured a top pick. A source told the Daily News that the NBA "has a strong incentive to get this done this year" on changing how the draft works. Philadelphia Daily News

The source also said that the move is directly related to what the Sixers did last season and what they are forecasted to do this season, with top pick Joel Embiid most likely sidelined for the season after foot surgery and 10th pick Dario Saric contractually bound for two more seasons of play in Turkey. Philadelphia Daily News

An ESPN.com report said the Sixers have objected to the possible overhauling of the lottery for 2015, as they possibly could be hurt the most by the proposed changes. That will probably all be sorted out in October, when the NBA's Board of Governors meets. In the meantime, it will be another year of some bad basketball, a lot of players hitting the floor that maybe shouldn't even be in the NBA and a whole lot of losses for the Sixers. Philadelphia Daily News

As of today, the starting lineup for the team's opener could be: MCW, Thompson, Young, Henry Sims and Noel. That would leave a bench of the rooks and Tony Wroten and other fill-ins backing a group that may, or may not, include Young when the season starts. There doesn't seem to be a lot of scoring punch among this group and the team averaged just 99.5 points a year ago, 19th in the league out of 30. The Sixers' offensive rating of 99.4 (points per 100 possessions) was last in the league even though they led the league in pace at 99.2 (number of possessions per 48 minutes). Philadelphia Daily News

League sources said Wednesday afternoon that the Sixers would not get any sympathy from fellow franchises. That's because for the second straight season, the Sixers are expected to field a roster below NBA standards in order to guarantee losses in hopes of a high draft pick. This tactic, said one Eastern Conference executive, is having "a negative effect on the integrity of the NBA." He believes the proposed new format, which could come to a league vote in the fall, would go a long way in preventing teams from duplicating what the Sixers are doing. Philadelphia Inquirer

Under the current format, the team with the worst record has a 25 percent chance of receiving the top pick in the draft lottery. The squad with the second-worst record has a 19.9 percent chance, while the third-worst team has a 15.6 chance of getting the No. 1 pick. The odds keep shrinking until the lottery team with the best record has a 0.5 percent chance of moving up to No. 1. Philadelphia Inquirer

The Sixers believe they are just taking advantage of a system that has been in place, and they're not the first team to do so. However, a league source said that teams believe the Sixers made a mockery of the rules by fielding a roster full of NBA Development League talent. Philadelphia Inquirer

The Sixers have not made any free-agent acquisitions and are $30 million under the salary cap. They also acquired two first-rounders in center Joel Embiid and forward Dario Saric who might not see the court next season. Philadelphia Inquirer

The Sixers also have tried to trade power forward Thaddeus Young, arguably their best player. Philadelphia Inquirer

nba rumors Heat president Pat Riley said Wednesday that he sees an evolving role for starting point guard Mario Chalmers, while insisting LeBron James’ praise of Shabazz Napier had no influence on Miami trading up to draft him. On the decision to give Chalmers a two-year, $8.3 million contract after a poor NBA Finals performance, Riley said: “Mario is a big-game player. He learned more than ever in this [Finals] that you can never take anything for granted at this level of play. Miami Herald

Riley: “We’re looking at Mario differently in this roster. He’s a point guard, but we’re also looking at him as a [shooting guard]. Mario can be very effective as a long-armed [shooting guard] who can shoot the three.” Miami Herald

Meanwhile, Riley said he likes Justin Hamilton and indicated he probably will retain the second-year center, who has a Friday deadline to guarantee half of his $816,482 salary for next season. Miami Herald

Miami Heat President Pat Riley is speaking out at length for the first time since LeBron James left the franchise, saying that he wants the team "to be as good as it's ever been" going forward. Riley spoke with reporters Wednesday after the team completed the signing of Chris Bosh to a $118 million, five-year contract. Riley expressed disappointment that James returned to Cleveland, and revealed that he was working under the premise during free agency that the four-time MVP would be staying in Miami. AP

nba rumors Reports out of Las Vegas say Pistons third-year center Andre Drummond should make the USA FIBA World Cup team as a second-team backup to starters Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Davis (New Orleans) is projected as the starter at power forward, Cousins (Sacramento) the starter at center. Detroit Free Press

Other projected starters are Stephen Curry (Golden State), James Harden (Houston) and Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City). With decisions not to play from Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard, the U.S. team is short on big men, which makes Drummond almost a lock to make the team. Detroit Free Press

The Wizards have waived center Melvin Ely, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The move comes two weeks after the team acquired the veteran from the Pelicans and a trade exception from the Rockets as part of a three-team sign-and-trade that sent Trevor Ariza to Houston. Washington Post Blog

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed second-round draft pick Johnny O'Bryant. General manager John Hammond announced the signing Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. AP

O'Bryant, the 36th overall selection in the June draft, was one of two second-round picks made by Milwaukee. The physical forward played in all five NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas earlier this month and averaged 8.2 points and 5.4 rebounds while playing 18.2 minutes per game. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Warriors’ Steve Kerr went out of his way to pick the brain of Bill Parcells in preparation for a future in coaching, and in his quest for knowledge, he turned to another Super Bowl-winning coach in Pete Carroll on Wednesday. According to Seahawks.com, Kerr attended Seattle’s training camp in Renton, Wash. in order to “soak in Carroll’s coaching philosophy” before his first season as Warriors coach. “As a young coach I just like to see people at work,” Kerr told Seahawks.com. “And Pete obviously is one of the best. He’s one of the most intriguing people that I’ve met and that I’ve sort of watched over the years as a football fan. “I’m thankful that he gave me the opportunity to come visit with him.” Bay Area News Group Blog

nba rumors A short film appeared on YouTube today called, “Jeremy Lin Goes Hollywood.” It is only about six minutes long, but it has two musical numbers, neither of which is about Hollywood. It’s hard to say what they are about. Well, the first number has a clear message of “Cheer up, Jeremy,” and it has to do with being bummed out about getting “mean tweets.” It’s just hard to say why any of this is happening. The second number is about … I’m really not sure on that one. Washington Post Blog

Former NBA star and current TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley’s act of kindness has sparked a national outpouring of generosity in the wake of an unspeakable tragedy in Philadelphia. Barkley has offered to pay for the funeral arrangements of three children killed last Friday when a stolen SUV driven by two men plowed into the fruit stand the children and their mother had set up on a North Philly street corner. The victims — 15-year-old Keiearra Williams, 10-year-old Thomas Joseph Reed and 7-year-old Terrence Moore — and their mother, Keisha Williams, were trying to raise money for a church playground. Keisha Williams is still in critical condition after being struck by the vehicle. Another woman helping at the fruit stand was also injured. The female owner of the SUV was allegedly sexually assaulted by the men after the carjacking, and she was injured in the crash as well. NY Daily News

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