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These are basketball rumors from four days ago. For the most recent stories click here.

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NBA Rumors for Friday, April 22

InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 4:00 p.m. ET. We update this page several times a day. Most of our updates throughout the day appear on our basketball blog.

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The Grizzlies announced Friday afternoon that rookie forward Jarell Martin will miss the rest of the playoffs because of complications from an earlier surgery to repair a left foot fracture. Martin originally underwent surgery Sept. 3 for the injury. He will now undergo a procedure to alleviate soreness in the same foot. Martin’s availability for summer league is in doubt for a second straight year. He didn’t participate with the Griz during 2015 summer league play due to a stress fracture in his foot. Memphis Commercial Appeal

nba rumors Jameer Nelson’s preference is to return to the Nuggets next season. Not only just return, but get back to playing a big role on the court. He’s got two years left on the three-year, $13.5 million deal he signed with the team last summer. But he played a total of just seven minutes in the Nuggets’ last 24 games of the season as D.J. Augustin took over the primary reserve point guard role. Nelson doesn’t want a repeat of that next season. Denver Post Blog

If it appears that a drop off in playing time is in store again, Nelson wouldn’t be apprehensive at all to authorize his agent to request he be traded. His first choice, however, is to return to the Nuggets with his role restored. Denver Post Blog

The Nuggets have a decision to make. Connelly has said he’d like to talk to Augustin about a possible return, and if the Nuggets do bring the speedy guard back they’ll likely get pressure from Nelson to deal him to a team that will play him. Sitting and watching an entire season won’t sit well with the veteran. Denver Post Blog

nba rumors Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, who more than tripled his scoring average from the previous season, is the winner of the 2015-16 NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. The 6-4 guard joins Kevin Duckworth (1987-88) and Zach Randolph (2003-04) as the only Trail Blazers to earn the award, which is designed to honor an up-and-coming player who has made a dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons. InsideHoops

McCollum received 101 first-place votes and 559 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets (seven first-place votes, 166 points) and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks (four first-place votes, 99 points) finished second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. InsideHoops

Golden State guard Stephen Curry, expected to be named the league's most valuable player for the second consecutive year, was fourth in the most improved balloting (83 points) with seven first-place votes, 13 second-place votes and nine third-place votes. Denver's Will Barton ranked fourth in the voting with 62 points, and Boston Celtics forward and former Marquette star Jae Crowder was fifth with 45 points. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

nba rumors Scott Brooks has accepted the Washington Wizards' head-coaching job, and you know what's coming next. For weeks Brooks has been perceived as Kevin Durant bait, the ex-coach with the ear of the soon-to-be free-agent star, the connection that could make a difference in a high-stakes courtship. He's the Durant whisperer, the asset that, coupled with a young roster and a familiar zip code, could lure Durant. Yahoo Sports

It's nonsense, of course, a narrative that never made much sense. Durant isn't coming to Washington. It has nothing to do with Brooks, who Durant respects and has even missed at various points this season. For all of Brooks' flaws, Durant knew this: He held everyone accountable, and his track record of player development defined him. Durant and Russell Westbrook became MVP-caliber players under Brooks, while the likes of James Harden, Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson thrived, too. Yahoo Sports

nba rumors Kevin Durant isn't bound for Washington, friends say, because … it's Washington, it's home, and, like so many athletes, Durant isn't all that keen on returning to play in the city in which he grew up. Friends, family – some real, some claiming to be – all come out of the woodwork in those situations, and Durant, who has tightened his inner circle considerably in recent years, isn't interested in dealing with them. His lone trip to D.C. this season was stressful, league sources told The Vertical, reinforcing to friends that wherever Durant signs next summer, Washington won't be it. Yahoo Sports

In Game 3, the Grizzlies should not start Zach Randolph. This is a more difficult case to make from a political perspective than from a basketball perspective. Randolph is, as ever, a powerful influence in the locker room and is a playoff-proven performer. He would not like to be benched, even if he ended up playing more minutes overall against potentially more favorable matchups. It would not be an easy card for coach Dave Joerger to play. Speaking before practice on Thursday, Joerger made it clear he wouldn't be afraid to do something unusual, saying, "I don't think I got into the NBA by playing safe. Oklahoma City, Zach gets thrown out for -- whatever -- I could have played Ed Davis." Memphis Commercial Appeal

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