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NBA Rumors for Monday, April 14
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 1:00 p.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
A person familiar with the situation says the Detroit Pistons have decided not to renew Joe Dumars' contract as president of basketball operations. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made any announcement on Dumars' future, says Dumars will remain with the Pistons as an adviser. AP
Dumars' termination as president of basketball operations is imminent with one game remaining, Wednesday at Oklahoma City, but he did not resign. The team opted not to renew his contract and offered him an advisory position outside of basketball operations, which he accepted, sources said. The game also figured to mark Chauncey Billups' last time on the Pistons' bench as a roster player, though the injured veteran did not play. Michigan Live
Wentworth and Norment will oversee operations during the general manager search. Assistant general manager George David and director of basketball operations Ken Catanella will oversee draft preparations. Several other key figures also may have been on the Detroit sideline for the final time, including interim coach John Loyer, unrestricted free agents Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva, and restricted free agent Greg Monroe. Michigan Live
“Obviously, we were very encouraged,” Spoelstra said of [Dwyane] Wade. “We’ll proceed with a very careful eye and see how he feels [Sunday]. He’s been doing a lot of work behind the scenes. He probably felt like he should have been cleared a week ago, but we wanted to be very patient with him.” Miami Herald
Before the game, James said he expected Wade’s cardiovascular stamina to be below his normal standard, but Wade’s legs never weakened and the Heat’s shooting guard never asked to come out of the game. Wade didn’t play in any games over the past two weeks, but he worked out several times a day on the court in addition to training with weights and conditioning on the treadmill and stationary bike. Miami Herald
“I’ve just been a workout fiend,” Wade said. “It has been good to go from where you can’t do much, and then when you start feeling it turn a little bit, and then you start feel yourself getting a little better, then you feel yourself getting much better. “Now, you’re able to start working and trying, as much as possible, to get some kind of flow, some kind of rhythm, some kind of confidence back in it. Being this close to the playoffs, I didn’t want to come back too soon. So it’s just trying to be as smart as I can be.” Miami Herald
Saturday was the Heat’s first game to feature Wade, James, Bosh, Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem in the starting lineup together since early November and might be the last until the first game of the playoffs. That’s less than ideal, but Wade said he isn’t worried about cohesion. “We didn’t have rhythm our first year together, and we went to the Finals,” Wade said. Miami Herald
[Vince] Carter said it wasn’t easy adjusting to a reserve role, not something a player of his caliber is often asked to do. He is 26th all-time in scoring with 23,171 points, seven shy of passing Adrian Dantley for 25th. Sacramento Bee
Carter said once he understood and embraced his role, he knew he could still have an impact off the bench. “It’s just pride,” he said. “Being able to put your pride aside first is the toughest thing. Your minutes are cut back and your shots are cut back compared to being a starter, but you can still be the player you are. You just have to fit it into the confines of a sixth-man role, and a lot of guys can’t do it.” Sacramento Bee
Longtime starters say it’s difficult to adjust to not being on the court for tip -off. Carter agrees. “Oh, yeah, it’s tough, but at this point in my career, I just want to win and dominate in my time on the floor,” Carter said. “I’m able to transform that into less minutes but effective minutes, and that’s what it’s all about. I’ve always said with the sixth man it’s not about the points you score but the difference you make for your team, and that’s what I try to do. I want my minutes to count when I step on the floor for the team.” Sacramento Bee
On Kyle Lowry: His 11.2 win shares heading into Sunday’s game in Detroit ranked him eighth in the league, behind only seven unquestioned superstars. In franchise history, only Carter (twice) has topped that figure. If he manages to keep his player efficiency rating over 20.0, he will join Carter, Bosh, Tracy McGrady, Jose Calderon and T.J. Ford as the only Raptors to ever do so. Only Carter (in 2000 and 2001) and Bosh (in 2007) have ever been named to any of the three all-NBA teams as Raptors. Lowry could become the third, although that is not a certainty. “I saw glimpses of it when I was his teammate in Houston,” Raptors reserve forward Patrick Patterson said. “Now that I’m here in Toronto with him, he’s taken over and is surpassing everybody’s expectations.” National Post
“Shane Battier is one of the best and taking [charges] — since college he was doing it,” Lowry added. “When I got a chance to play with him [in Houston], it kind of makes you understand … the meaning that it brings to the game and your teammates. You get the possession. You get a foul [on the opposition]. It’s a momentum-changer, also.” If there is a connective tissue to Lowry’s game, it is that obsession with the possession. In a game in which the object is to score more points than the opponent, Lowry knows you cannot score without the ball, so he has added some atypical elements to his game that attempt to maximize how often his team has the ball. National Post
Many outsiders have noted that Lowry, identified as a problematic influence on his teammates by so many coaches and reporters, is at the end of his contract and looking for a fatter new one after the season. Lowry is keenly aware of context, so it is tough to deny that it has played a part in his lighter touch with the coaching staff and media this season. However, beware of the too-simple explanation. “You know, I’ve heard of that,” said Chuck Hayes, Lowry’s teammate in Houston and Toronto, when asked of the perception that surrounds Lowry. “But I’ve never seen it. The talent is not in question, and it’s more than his attitude or whatnot. But I don’t think he has a [bad] attitude." National Post
Oklahoma City (Indiana’s next opponent) is locked into the #2 seed out West. How they will handle Sunday’s game from a rest standpoint is to be determined, but that decision could play into the East home court race. Miami faces a playoff opponent next as well, and the Wizards have plenty to play for as they look to stay in the sixth spot. The earliest Atanta could know their opponent is Monday night, but it very well could be Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, before we know for sure. HawksBasketBlog
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