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NBA Rumors for Saturday, April 19
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Knicks president Phil Jackson and owner James Dolan addressed the Knicks after their final game on Wednesday, a Knicks player confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com. While Jackson commended the team for its effort and complimented coach Mike Woodson, he made it clear that there would be personnel changes this summer, the player said. “He credited Woody," said the player. "But he also said that there’s going to be changes, some of us won’t be in this room next year.” ESPN NY
The player said Jackson told the Knicks that they owed a lot of gratitude to head coach Mike Woodson. The player also said Jackson indicated that the team needed to start “thinking differently” and thinking about “what we can do to contend” for a title. Jackson and Dolan’s postgame speeches were first reported by the New York Daily News. ESPN NY
Regarding the offseason changes Jackson mentioned, the Knicks aren't expected to have much of an opportunity to re-shape the roster this summer. Even if free-agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony signs with another team, the Knicks still will be over the salary cap thanks to the contracts for Andrea Bargnani ($11.5 million in 2014-15), Amar'e Stoudemire ($23.4 million) and Tyson Chandler ($14.6 million). ESPN NY
Kobe Bryant looks to be having an excellent anniversary trip in Paris, judging by the photos posted on his wife's Instagram account, but on the off chance he happened to be watching Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak's 45-minute news conference Friday to close the worst season since the franchise moved to Los Angeles, there was something Kupchak really wanted him to understand. "I've already used the word patience I think once or twice, so if [Bryant] is in Europe watching this, I'm sure he's saying, 'Why is Mitch using the word patience?'" Kupchak said. "He's not the most patient person in the world. And that's never going to change." ESPN.com
Kupchak: "Because of that, we've been to the Finals a bunch of times and we've won five championships. So, it's hard to criticize him. "We want the same thing. We both want to win as much and as soon as possible. But it takes an organization a long time to get in the position that we're in where we have options financially going forward for the next year or two or three and we just have to make wise decisions using that space. If you don't make a wise decision, then you can set yourself back 6-7 years, and we don't want to do that." ESPN.com
A month ago, when his former coach Phil Jackson signed on to become the president of the New York Knicks , Bryant said he has "not one lick" of patience for a rebuild and called upon Kupchak and Lakers management to turn the team back into a championship contender as quickly as possible. He softened some of his criticism soon after, explaining that his comments may have sounded too harsh because of the frustration he felt at sitting through a 55-loss season. ESPN.com
"This organization is just not going to go [down]," Bryant said in an interview with ESPN's Darren Rovell. "It's not going to take a nosedive. But I think we need to accelerate it a little bit for selfish reasons, because I want to win and I want to win next season. So, it's kind of getting them going now as opposed to two years from now." ESPN.com
The Lakers have only three players under contract for next season -- Bryant at $23.5 milion, Steve Nash at $9.7 million and Robert Sacre at $915,243 -- and the team has an option on young point guard Kendall Marshall for $915,243. Nick Young has a player option for $1.2 million, but he's said he's likely to opt out and test free agency. ESPN.com
Mike D'Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers' coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family. How long D'Antoni retains his job won't be decided at least until next week. General manager Mitch Kupchak praised his embattled coach Friday while the Lakers finished their final exit interviews and headed to an unusually early summer following a franchise-worst 55-loss season. D'Antoni will meet with Kupchak and Lakers owner Jim Buss in the near future to determine whether the veteran coach returns. AP
"He's under contract for two more years," Kupchak said. "If anything changes, we'll let you know." D'Antoni will make $4 million next year, and the Lakers hold an option for 2015-16. If he is asked to leave, the Lakers will have their fourth head coach in just over three years since Phil Jackson walked away from the team in 2011. AP
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is plotting the team's future after an unexpectedly successfully season, and he's confident that future includes Eric Bledsoe. McDonough says the backcourt of Bledsoe and Goran Dragic is as good as any in the league. AP
Bledsoe is a restricted free agent and McDonough has repeatedly said the Suns will match any offer another team may make. He says the Suns would prefer to work out a deal before free agency begins. AP
Memphis Grizzlies reserve rookie guard Nick Calathes has been suspended 20 games for violating the league's anti-drug policy, the league announced Friday night. The suspension will take effect immediately, meaning the team will be without Calathes when it opens its first-round Western Conference playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night. ESPN.com
Harris is one of three founders of Apollo Global Management, a publicly listed alternative investment manager. The 76ers were valued this year by Forbes at $469 million, 23rd in the NBA, and have both a television deal with cable station Comcast SportsNet and a lease with the Wells Fargo Center through 2029. Harris bought the group for about $280 million in October 2011. Apollo invests heavily in distressed properties -- which one could argue would include the Sixers. The Milwaukee Bucks were sold this week for a reported record $550 million, a sum that could make even billionaires consider selling for a tidy profit. Harris said, no way. AP
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