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NBA Rumors for Monday, August 18
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 8:00 a.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
Shawn Marion wanted another shot at an NBA title. He'll get it playing with LeBron James. The free agent forward has agreed to a contract with the Cavaliers, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Sunday. The 36-year-old Marion informed the Cavs this weekend that he will take a minimum deal and play for them next season, said the person who spoke condition of anonymity because the contract has not been finalized. AP
Marion also had interest in signing with the Indiana Pacers, who is looking for help after losing Paul George for the season with a broken leg. AP
The Cavs can only offer Marion a deal worth $1.4 million because they're out of room under the salary cap. AP
When Rich Paul was a boy, he would ride the bus here to the center of his hometown to treat himself to a $1 hot dog. One morning this month, he drove his Mercedes to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and was halfway through his steak and eggs when his phone started dancing on the white tablecloth. The news was out: The Cleveland Cavaliers were trading their young stars Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, and a future pick, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love, the superstar forward and the man LeBron James called soon after announcing that he was coming home. They had won a gold medal together at the London Olympics, and James believed they shared a high basketball I.Q. The Cavaliers were remaking themselves for a title run in a hurry. NY Times
Rich Paul and his father used to live in a one-bedroom apartment above R & J Confectionary. They were up each morning at 6:30 to punch in lottery tickets and sell milk and bread to the denizens of Glenville. No one had much in that East Cleveland neighborhood ó people worked two jobs and grandmothers were raising their grandchildren amid late-night gunshots and crack houses. There were weeks when Rich Paul Sr. gave away more than he sold, and when the pay phone outside rang, he always answered, even though he knew it was going to cost him bail money or a trip to the emergency room. He came up with the tuition to send his son across town to Benedictine, a predominantly white Roman Catholic high school. NY Times
The Wizards reached the playoffs last season for the first time since 2008 and the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time since 2005. The last trip to the finals came in 1979, nearly 10 years before [DeJuan] Blair was born. ďIím still young so Iím just trying to have fun and take Washington to places that they never been," Blair said. "It takes a team and I think we have a great team and a great organization to do it. D.C. is rising and we all just got to take it one day at a time and get better and become a unit.Ē Perhaps the most remarkable part of Blair's five-year NBA career is that he's played five years and counting. Despite his robust success at Pittsburgh, Blair slipped to the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft because of knee concerns. Specifically, due to the lack of ACL's. CSN Washington
NBA Rumors for Sunday, August 17
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 2:00 p.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
Free-agent forward Shawn Marion has committed to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that Marion informed the Cavaliers this weekend that he intends to sign with them this month, despite the fact that Cleveland can only offer him a minimum deal. ESPN.com
The chance to play with LeBron James and immediately compete for a championship, sources said, clinched Marion's decision to choose Cleveland in the face of a ramped-up pursuit by the Indiana Pacers. As ESPN.com reported earlier this week, Pacers president Larry Bird invited Marion to Indianapolis earlier this week for a face-to-face recruiting pitch over dinner, with Indiana in desperate need of veteran help on the wing after the season-ending compound leg fracture suffered by star swingman Paul George on Aug. 1. ESPN.com
The Pacers confirmed this week that they've already been granted a $5.3 million disabled player exception by the league in the wake of George's season-ending injury suffered on Team USA duty, so Indiana did have the means to outbid Cleveland. But the Pacers would stray into luxury tax territory if they spend more than $1.7 million of that exception, with Bird vowing at his news conference that Indiana -- maintaining a longstanding team policy -- remains unwilling to be a tax team. ESPN.com
There was concern on the U.S. side as they took the court at the United Center, knowing that the Brazilian team they were facing was loaded with talent and experience. However, none of that mattered in the end, as the United States was able to put away the Brazilians 95-78 Saturday night before a loud and appreciative sellout crowd. This exhibition - or "friendly" -- was quite a bit tougher than the final score indicated. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski had full respect for Brazil, knowing that they featured NBA stars Tiago Splitter, Nene, Leandro Barbosa and Anderson Varejao. Brazil's size and strength in the front court figured to be a problem for an American team that seemed to have matchup problems with that size and strength. Team USA Basketball
The Americans appeared to have an edge in speed and quickness, and it quickly showed. USA Basketball ran out to a big 29-15 lead in the first quarter, and they were able to put Brazil on their heels quickly. Much of that was due to the aggressiveness of Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, James Harden and hometown hero Derrick Rose. However, the biggest contribution came from 6-foot-10 Anthony Davis, who scored 20 points, had eight rebounds and five blocked shots. Davis stood up to his bigger and more experienced opponents on every occasion. Team USA Basketball
For the first time since Paul George's gruesome leg injury in Team USA's scrimmage almost two weeks ago, players and coaches spoke openly about the impact the Pacers star's broken leg has had on the team. Team USA guard Stephen Curry was one of several players who acknowledged that George's injury left him asking those closest to him whether he should continue playing for the national team as it prepares for the World Cup of Basketball in Spain later this month. "Reacting to Paul's injury is natural," Curry said. "I think just talking to my family and guys in the Warrior front office, just kind of seeing where everybody was, but at the end of the day it's a great honor to wear this jersey and to have these experiences and I'm going to take advantage of it." ESPN Chicago
"Look, USA Basketball is in existence because it's all about representation, representing your country in international play," Colangelo said. "Not just on the senior men's level, but all of the age levels both male and female. And it serves a purpose, a big purpose. In fact, having this kind of opportunity with the coaching that they get in the summer when they're with us and the experiences. Before this injury, before the injury to Paul George, I was able to say we've never had an injury -- and there's always a first -- so it happened and that's unfortunate." ESPN Chicago
Colangelo: "But in my mind I was an owner, I was an owner in the league, I spent 45 years in the NBA, I get it. I understand it. I know how valuable the players are. They're valuable assets. We take every precaution to make sure nothing happens. But these guys are going to play, whether they're with us, or they're going to come back here and play this summer in pick up games and things do happen. I've lost players in my career in summer leagues, I've lost them during the regular season, and I've lost them in pick-up games -- season-ending injuries. So one injury doesn't make ... that's not the whole thing. It's just part of the game. Anyone who's played understands that's part of the game." ESPN Chicago
Call him the $62 million man. Carmelo Anthony has elected to take half of his $22.5 million this season up front. Because the five-year, $124 million contract is built similarly for future seasons, heíll have $62 million up front over the course of his deal. According to the Wall Street Journal, Anthony, per NBA rules, took the maximum allowable 50 percent of his new pact in advance. NY Post
[Adam] Silver wants to balance out the lottery, maybe awarding the bottom six teams with equal odds for a shot at No. 1. Maybe then a scenario can unfold like it did in ... well, May. The Cleveland Cavaliers didn't try to tank last season, but surprisingly won the lottery despite just a 1.7-percent chance and the ninth-worst record (33-49). All that did was allow the Cavs to pick Andrew Wiggins, trade him in a deal for All-Star Kevin Love and make LeBron James' homecoming the league's next feature attraction. Orlando Sentinel
The low bid on the Thunderís new basketball floor was $109,670.40 by Sport Court West (sportcourtwest.com), about $90,000 under what the city had set aside for the project. The new floor will replace the Thunderís original floor from 2008. Plans call for it to be installed by Sept. 30. Connor Sports Flooring will manufacture and install the Thunder court, said Brandi Connolly, the companyís senior director of marketing. Oklahoman
Construction crews are pouring a lot of water on the site of the new Sacramento Kings arena. But not as much as you might think. Some Sacramentans who witnessed the early days of work at Downtown Plaza have contacted The Bee, wondering why the crews are hosing down the demolition site in a time of severe drought. According to the Kings, the water use is considerably less than if Downtown Plaza remained open as a shopping center. The construction project uses only 14 percent as much water as the mall did, according to the team. Sacramento Bee
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