Trail Blazers deny that team has made decision on Brandon Roy

Brandon Roy

The Trail Blazers have not made any decisions on using the amnesty provision to waive Brandon Roy.

Team president Larry Miller, in a packed news conference at the Rose Garden on Wednesday, was adamant a that column by The Oregonian’s John Canzano — which quoted a source saying Portland had decided to waive Roy — was dead wrong.

“We have not, and regardless of what’s been said by John Canzano and others out there, (made a) decision on amnesty as of yet,” Miller said.

In addition to Canzano, and at least one national website reported that the Blazers intended to use the amnesty clause to jettison Roy’s contract from the salary cap.

— Reported by Mike Tokito of the Oregonian

Tyson Chandler expects to leave Mavs

Tyson Chandler

In a surprise development on the first day that NBA teams and agents could start talking about new contracts, Tyson Chandler came away convinced that his time with the Dallas Mavericks is coming to an end.

“I really think I’m going to be on a new team come training camp,” Chandler told in a telephone interview Wednesday night. “I’m really taking a hard look at all of my options, trying to see what best suits me.”

Chandler’s doubts about the Mavericks’ willingness to re-sign him to a lucrative long-term deal will be welcome news for organizations throughout the league. Chandler and Denver center Nene rank as the two most coveted unrestricted free agents in the 2011 class, but the overwhelming sentiment in many front offices has been that Chandler’s return to Dallas was essentially a done deal after the 7-footer’s role in helping the Mavericks win their first championship.

Chandler, though, insisted Wednesday that such assumptions are a misnomer and admitted for the first time that he’s disappointed by the club’s decision not to offer him a contract extension after he was widely credited — most notably by Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki — for changing the team’s defensive culture after three first-round exits in the previous four years.

— Reported by Chris Broussard and Marc Stein of

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Nuggets hope to re-sign Nene, Arron Afflalo


Denver Nuggets General Manager Masai Ujiri said he will try to re-sign free agents Nene and Arron Afflalo when teams can agree to terms with players starting Dec. 9.

Nene opted out of the last season of his contract and is one of the most sought-after players on the market. Ujiri said he has contacted the center’s agent and wants to bring him back.

Afflalo is a restricted free agent.

— Reported by the Associated Press

Kris Humphries files for annulment against Kim Kardashian, says he was defrauded

Kris Humphries

TMZ has learned … Kris Humphries just filed for an annulment against Kim Kardashian, on grounds Kim defrauded him into marrying her.

Sources close to Kris tell TMZ … Kris was not in on the alleged fraud, meaning he did not stage the marriage for Kim’s reality show.  We’re told Kris wanted this to be a genuine marriage, but Kim was never really on board.

Kim has already filed for divorce — but according to the docs, obtained by TMZ — Kris wants Kim to pay his attorney’s fees.

— Reported by TMZ

Nets GM denies Dwight Howard trade talks

Dwight Howard

Nets general manager Billy King vehemently denied rumors Wednesday that he was in trade discussions with the Orlando Magic regarding All-Star center Dwight Howard.

“I’ll go on the record that I haven’t talked to Orlando about a trade since February, right before the trade deadline,” King said at a press conference at the team’s practice facility. “I have not had any conversations at all with my good friend Otis (Smith, the Magic general manager).

“So, I don’t know where that is coming from.”

There were published reports which stated the Nets were in talks with the Magic about trading two first-round draft picks and center Brook Lopez in return for Howard, who is in the final year of his contract and will be a free agent next June.

King also promised that if a trade does happen involving any Nets, it won’t be a long, drawn-out process like the three-month pursuit of Carmelo Anthony was last season. Several Nets were subjected to daily rumors throughout the early part of last season and Anthony eventually ended up landing with the Knicks.

— Reported by the Associated Press

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Las Vegas NBA odds say Heat will win 2012 championship

LeBron James

The Las Vegas oddsmakers are banking on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat to get back to the NBA Finals in 2011-12, and once again the folks in Sin City view the Heat as the favorites to win it all.

Miami’s Big Three, runners-up a year ago, are listed at 2-to-1 to take home the title in the truncated NBA season.

“There was very heavy betting on the Heat at the start of last season because you have LeBron and Chris Bosh and they’re saying that they’ll win seven championships,” Benjamin Lee Eckstein of said. “Once again this year they’re the immediate favorites.”

— Reported by Bernie Augustine of the New York Daily News editor says: We have a ton of NBA free agents who still need to find homes and plenty of trades that may materialize, but just based on the core players each team has under contract right now, this certainly seems reasonable.

Suns want to re-sign Grant Hill

Grant Hill

More than most NBA executives, Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby knows the importance of the impression that this morning’s calls to agents gave.

Babby was an agent. He was Grant Hill’s agent. But Wednesday, his Suns were the ones sending out a message to Hill’s current agent about how badly Phoenix wants to re-sign him.

At 7 a.m. Phoenix time, the Suns began talking to agents of players. That meant checking in on some of their own guys but the first calls needed to go to the agents of free-agent players to show the Suns’ interest. The Suns will be feeling out the market for a scoring wing player and a backup point guard but there will be no spending that disrupts the salary-cap space they have set up for the summer of 2012. The free agent priority is getting an agreement with Hill, who is still represented by Babby’s former firm with Jim Tanner acting as Hill’s agent.

“Grant is an absolute first order of business and top priority,” Babby said of Hill.

— Reported by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic

NBA age limit issue still being debated

While it has been widely held that the NBA would like to push the age limit to 20, sources familiar with the dialogue between the two sides now say it is expected to remain at 19 for at least the first two years of the new deal and possibly beyond that.

Several alternatives have been discussed, sources said. One option would be to allow players to enter the draft directly out of high school but have the option to withdraw and go to college, similar to the draft rule used by Major League Baseball. Under this concept, a player would next be required to attend at least two years of college before entering the draft again.

Another option would be to revise the rookie salary scale by adding incentives to stay in college longer, a source familiar with the labor talks said. Potential incentives would include increasing the salary range for each year a player stays in school or allow him to qualify for free agency sooner.

— Reported by Ric Bucher of ESPN the Magazine

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Bulls focused on an extension for Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose

The Chicago Bulls’ “top priority” during Wednesday morning’s initial contact period between teams and agents will be to set up the framework of Derrick Rose’s contract extension, according to a league source…

No matter when he officially signs, Rose is due for a mammoth raise from his rookie contract, based upon a new wrinkle to the collective bargaining agreement, which is expected to be ratified at some point in the next few days.

“The Derrick Rose Rule,” as it’s being called around the league, rewards players of Rose’s caliber by enabling a player finishing his rookie contract to make 30 percent of a team’s salary cap — up from 25 percent — if he’s been voted an All-Star starter twice, made two All-NBA teams or won an MVP award.

— Reported by Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago

Chris Paul reportedly uninterested in Celtics

Chris Paul

All of the chatter about Boston’s interest in Chris Paul is a moot point because the All-Star point guard will not sign a long-term contract extension with the Celtics, according to a person close to the situation.

Paul, who will become a free agent after the coming season, essentially has veto power over any trade because no team will give up valuable assets for him without assurance that it can sign him for the next several years.

Boston would love to acquire Paul for a package built around point guard Rajon Rondo, and has been seeking a third trading partner to sweeten an offer to New Orleans. But Paul’s reluctance to commit to Boston long-term should quickly put an end to the scenario.

— Reported by Chris Broussard of ESPN the Magazine

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