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NBA Rumors for Monday, October 27
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 9:00 a.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are engaged in serious talks with center Anderson Varejao on a contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Talks have progressed in recent weeks, but there's no agreement imminent, sources said. Yahoo
Varejao, 32, could become an unrestricted free agent in July 2015. Nevertheless, he and Cavaliers officials have a mutual desire to reach an agreement in the near future and continue a 10-year partnership. Cavaliers star LeBron James has a strong bond with Varejao, with whom he played six seasons before James left Cleveland in 2010 to sign with the Miami Heat. Yahoo
As Kawhi Leonard holds firm on his desire for a maximum contract, extension talks with the San Antonio Spurs have failed to gather traction despite a looming Friday deadline, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Leonard, the 2014 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, would become a restricted free agent in July without an extension agreement by midnight Oct. 31 – the deadline for eligible extensions for the NBA's draft class of 2011. Yahoo
San Antonio could sign Leonard to a five-year, $90 million-plus extension now, if the Spurs were willing to make him their designated player. San Antonio could also negotiate a four-year deal at the maximum contract level – or below – before the Friday deadline. As a restricted free agent next summer, the Spurs could also sign Leonard to a five-year extension at or below the maximum contract level. Yahoo
Nets coach Lionel Hollins, on Deron Williams: "I hate that the media has disparaged him so much. There’s so many expectations on a guy when he comes to another team in a trade. And then, he got the big contract, and then there’s even more expectations. To not be healthy to be able to do what he wanted to do is disappointing for him. But the fans and the media didn’t quite take it that way, and I think he’s healthy now and he’s in a good frame of mind, and he’s shown a lot of qualities. … Is he gonna be the 23-year-old Deron Williams? Heck no. But the Deron Williams that he can be and I see him being is going to be pretty good. And he’s gonna be one of the top guards in the league, and that’s good enough with me." NY Post
Pacers: "We got some guys we think are going to step up and play well," [Larry] Bird said Saturday night at a charity event. "I thought George Hill was excellent during training camp; he's gotten a lot better. I'm just amazed by how much better (Hill) has got."
Hill is beginning his fourth season with the Pacers. He averaged 10.3 points in 76 games last year, when Indiana went 56-26 and lost to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals. AP
Forward Joe Ingles was waived by the team Saturday, clearing the way for guard Jared Cunningham to break training camp with the Clippers. Ingles, a member of the Australian national team, played in five of the Clippers’ preseason games, averaging 1.2 points and 1.0 rebounds. OC Register
Cunningham played his way onto the roster in camp, showing Rivers he was capable of playing both backcourt positions. An injury to Jordan Farmar and a planned night off for Chris Paul, opened the door for Cunningham last Tuesday at Golden State, and he responded by leading the team with 23 points. OC Register
J.R. Smith said "it's a struggle" to adjust his game to be more of a facilitator and put his teammates before his own offense -- one of the major tenets of the triangle. Smith said he is "thinking too much" and isn't sure where his shots will come from, but he said he's not alone. "I don't think it's just me," Smith said. "I'm not going to take that burden on myself. Everybody's not getting in the right spots at the right time. That's all right." NY Newsday
Knicks: Starting point guard Jose Calderon did not play in Friday night's game in Montreal because of a calf strain and Anthony didn't play during the fourth quarter. But he was on the floor in the third when the Raptors went on a 21-3 run. The Knicks looked hapless on both ends and extremely frustrated when their shots weren't falling. NY Newsday
The Mavs reached the NBA maximum of 15 players Saturday when they waived center Bernard James, guard Doron Lamb and forward Ivan Johnson. Most of the $915,243 James was slated to make this season is guaranteed. But the Mavs decided the 3-point shooting Charlie Villanueva displayed in the eight preseason games outweighed what they received from James. Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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