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BASKETBALL RUMORS FROM THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, NBA owners are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. The league plans to consider all options to resume the season, sources told ESPN, but the financial realities of the situation demand near-immediate action. That has become clear in talks between the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and player agents, sources told ESPN, as the league tries to get its finances in order in the event the rest of the season must be canceled. ESPN.com

Facing up to $1 billion in losses, the chief focus for the NBA from a business standpoint is to contain as much of that loss as possible -- to flatten their financial curve. The NBA gave teams a directive on Thursday that players will receive their full paychecks on April 15 as scheduled, but what happens next remains unclear. ESPN.com

If the NBA continued to pay the players' salaries as if nothing had happened and the rest of the season was canceled, players would wind up with close to 58% (based on basketball revenue dropping from a projected $8 billion to $7 billion) of this season's revenue, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks. The current CBA calls for players to set aside 10% of their salary to cover potential shortfalls in an escrow account and it currently holds roughly $380 million. But this system wasn't built to withstand such a dramatic loss of revenue and the current escrow amount wouldn't come close to evening things out. ESPN.com

The players who truly are being impacted by this are those who were set to be free agents this summer -- most notably Anthony Davis. The sweeping uncertainty could lead many players to either take short-term deals or pick up their player options. Combine that with a limited number of cap-space teams and what was anticipated to be a tepid free-agent class, and there will likely be far less movement than a season ago. ESPN.com

The Bulls are hiring Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas to head their basketball operations, and Karnisovas plans to hire a person of color to be the franchise’s general manager, a league source told Yahoo Sports. COO Michael Reinsdorf, the son of Jerry Reinsdorf, spearheaded the hiring of Karnisovas, and the Bulls asked for permission to interview Oklahoma City Thunder vice president of basketball operations Troy Weaver, an African-American. But they were denied by the Thunder, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo Sports

Noordin Said, a beloved security official to NBA players and numerous musical artists, died Tuesday in New York after contracting COVID-19, his daughter confirmed to Yahoo Sports. Said’s mother, Anezia Clemons, who lived with him in New York, also died from COVID-19 approximately seven hours before her 56-year-old son, who died at 1:32 a.m. ET on Tuesday. “I still can’t believe it,” Said’s daughter Samantha told Yahoo Sports. “I don’t believe it. It’s so unreal. You don’t realize how bad this virus is until it hits home. We thought my grandmother passing was kind of taking one for the team. It was almost like she was saying, ‘Take me instead of my son.’ But no … the virus attacked my dad’s lungs really bad, and that was the issue.” Yahoo Sports



BASKETBALL RUMORS FROM WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2020

It was two weeks ago that an emotional Karl-Anthony Towns took to Instagram to announce his mother was on a respirator and in a medically induced coma as she battled COVID-19. There was no word of an update on how Towns’ mom, Jacqueline Cruz, had been doing since then until Monday, when John Calipari, Towns’ college coach at Kentucky, said she is still in the hospital. Calipari held a Facebook Live chat and said he has been getting updates from Towns’ father, Karl Sr., on Cruz’s condition in a New Jersey hospital. “She’s fighting. She’s there …” Calipari said. “Keep praying for her. Send her unbelievably positive thoughts, and I just can’t wait until she gets out of that hospital.” Star Tribune

Rosas declined to comment on the state of Towns’ fractured left wrist, which had kept him out for the past 12 games the Wolves played. The Wolves were hoping rest and treatment would heal Towns’ wrist and that he would not need surgery. Star Tribune

The 2020 NBA Draft, whenever and however it ends up taking place, is shaping up to be heavy at the guard position. One of the highest rated prospects entered his name into the mix on Tuesday. Arizona point guard Nico Mannion, a 6-foot-3 pass-first point guard, declared for the draft after one year in college. He is projected by most mock drafts to be taken in the lottery. That means he could be one of the best options on the board when the Wizards make their first round pick. They currently have the ninth-worst record in the NBA. NBC Sports Washington

One of the Warriors’ options for their first pick in the 2020 NBA Draft would bring a lot of hardware with him to the Bay Area. Dayton forward Obi Toppin won the John R. Wooden Award on Tuesday, completing a sweep of all the major individual awards. The 22-year-old already had won the Naismith Trophy, as well as the Associated Press and National Association of Basketball Coaches player of the year awards. NBC Sports Bay Area



BASKETBALL RUMORS FROM TUESDAY, APRIL 7, 2020

In recent weeks, officials within the NBA and NBPA have been collaborating in assessing the viability of multiple blood-testing devices for the coronavirus that could provide accurate results within a matter of minutes, a process that would hopefully enable the league to track the virus in what is considered a critical first step toward resuming play in the near future. Multiple league sources close to the situation said the league and players union have been looking at what those familiar with the matter describe as "diabetes-like" blood testing in which someone could, with the prick of a finger, be tested quickly, and results could be gained inside of 15 minutes. ESPN.com

The wider availability of the devices the NBA and NBPA have been assessing was unclear. But many team officials around the league said that if an effective rapid-testing approach is cleared and made available, the timing of when such a method could be utilized in the NBA is still unclear and must be handled delicately and appropriately, given the steep shortages of testing available nationwide. "We are going to be clearly second in line to health care workers, transportation workers, public workers, things along those lines," a longtime NBA head athletic trainer said. ESPN.com

Commissioner Adam Silver said Monday night that he has told people in the NBA that there will be no way for the league to make a decision about when it can return until May 1 at the earliest -- and probably not even then. "Essentially what I've told my folks over the last week is we should just accept that at least for the month of April, we won't be in a position to make any decisions," Silver said in an interview with TNT's Ernie Johnson aired on the NBA's Twitter page. "I don't think that necessarily means that, on May 1, we will be [in that position], but at least I know that just to settle everyone down a little bit." ESPN.com

Adam Silver: "It doesn't mean that, internally, both the league and discussions with our players and the teams we aren't looking at many different scenarios for restarting the season, but I think it honestly is just too early, given what's happened right now, to even be able to project or predict where we will be in a few weeks." Silver said repeatedly throughout the interview that part of his hesitancy to make any sort of prediction about when, or if, the NBA would return is how much things have changed since Silver initially brought the league to a halt on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 shortly before the Jazz were supposed to play in Oklahoma City against the Thunder. ESPN.com

Silver reiterated something he had said during the shutdown -- that 99% of fans don't ever attend an NBA game. This has given him an opportunity to think about different ways the fan experience could be altered and improved as a result of the league being forced to spend time away from the game instead of ramping up for its busiest time of year. He also added that "what keeps him up at night" is the 55,000 jobs the NBA creates -- including its day-of-game workers -- and how those people are being impacted, like millions of others, because of the shutdown. ESPN.com

The Nets must discern how best Prince helps them win, presuming he’s not a trade casualty as they chase a third star this offseason. Prince could move back to small forward; but after having shot so poorly but still hoisting a team-high 431 3s, he might be a poor fit with Durant and Irving. He could serve as Durant’s backup and second-unit scoring punch, with Joe Harris, spacing the floor for the starters. NY Post



BASKETBALL RUMORS FROM MONDAY, APRIL 6, 2020

Kentucky freshman Tyrese Maxey declared for the 2020 NBA draft on Monday. "My thoughts were that we would be playing for a national championship [today]," Maxey told ESPN. ESPN.com

Maxey is the No. 8 prospect in the ESPN Top 100. He averaged 14 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his lone season with the Wildcats. The 6-foot-3 guard burst onto the college scene with 26 points in an opening night win over then-No. 1 Michigan State at Madison Square Garden. ESPN.com

Stanford freshman guard Tyrell Terry plans to enter the 2020 NBA draft, sources tell ESPN. Terry is the No. 20-ranked freshman prospect on ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony's list of top 100 prospects. ESPN.com

French point guard Theo Maledon has submitted paperwork to the league office to make himself eligible for the 2020 NBA draft on Sunday. "I am excited to announce that I am declaring for the 2020 NBA draft," Maledon wrote in an email to ESPN. Maledon, the No. 15 prospect in the ESPN Top 100, plays in the EuroLeague and French LNB for ASVEL, averaging 7.1 points and 2.3 assists in 17 minutes. ESPN.com

Former Knicks point guard Chris Childs ripped ex-teammate Latrell Sprewell for being “a pawn’’ in the Charles Oakley saga. Sprewell showed up sitting next to owner James Dolan at the next home game after Oakley was ejected and arrested at the Garden in February, 2017. Sprewell had been estranged from the franchise since being traded in 2003, but sat baseline for that Knicks-Spurs game. Dolan sat in the middle flanked by Sprewell and Bernard King. NY Post



BASKETBALL RUMORS FROM SUNDAY, APRIL 5, 2020

The NBA and ESPN are working on televising a H-O-R-S-E competition involving several high-profile players, sources told ESPN. Discussions have been ongoing among the NBA, NBPA and ESPN about a competition among several players in isolation -- presumably using home gyms -- that would include them competing shot for shot in the traditional playground game, sources said. ESPN.com

The Class of 2020 will arguably be the most star-studded in the history of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. All eight finalists -- led by the late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett -- were selected Saturday for enshrinement and will be inducted Aug. 29 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Bryant, Duncan and Garnett will be joined by 10-time WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever; coach Kim Mulkey of three-time women's NCAA champion Baylor; five-time Division II coach of the year Barbara Stevens of Bentley University; four-time NCAA coach of the year Eddie Sutton; and former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, a two-time title winner. ESPN.com

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and the NBA, in collaboration with Huang Ping, China's consul general have collaborated to donate one million surgical masks to be distributed to New York City's essential workers. In addition to the masks, Nets owner Joe Tsai and his wife, Clara Wu Tsai, are donating 1,000 ventilators to bolster resources during the coronavirus pandemic. ESPN.com

The NBA and WNBA, in addition to players and teams, have committed $50 million to coronavirus-related relief efforts. Two days before Saturday's donation, Cuomo announced that New York's stockpile of ventilators was projected to last only six days. And New York officials have said the state has yet to reach the peak of the virus. ESPN.com

As part of larger corporate cutbacks amid the coronavirus pandemic, layoffs are underway within the Utah Jazz. Those cutbacks include non-basketball personnel, and some employees are taking salary reductions, sources told ESPN. The Jazz are one of approximately 80 companies within the Larry H. Miller Group, which confirmed the layoffs as "a small percentage of our workforce" in a statement on Friday afternoon. ESPN.com


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