Julius Randle will have foot surgery Tuesday

Los Angeles Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle will undergo surgery on Tuesday morning to replace the screw in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. The surgery will be performed by Dr. David Thordarson of the Cedars-Sinai Orthopaedic Center.

It was previously declared that Randle would miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season after suffering a fractured tibia of his right leg in the season opener on October 28.

Wesley Johnson suffers strained right hip flexor

Los Angeles Lakers forward Wesley Johnson sustained a strained right hip flexor in tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers and will not return. Additionally, Johnson will not accompany the team to Portland for tomorrow night’s game.

Johnson will have an MRI in Los Angeles tomorrow and an update on his status will be given at that time.

Sacramento Kings rookie forward Eric Moreland underwent surgery Saturday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The surgery was performed by Dr. Arthur Ting in Fremont, California, after an initial consultation with Kaiser Permanente.

Moreland will begin rehabilitation immediately and should be ready for NBA Summer League play.

The 6-10 forward totaled two points (1-1 FG) and one rebound in two minutes off the bench in three games with the Kings this season. He averaged 13.7 points (.592 FG%), 12.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in seven contests with the Reno Bighorns.

Here’s the Northeast Ohio Media Group reporting on the Cavs:

Cavaliers General Manger David Griffin says head coach David Blatt isn’t going anywhere.

He met with members of the media prior to his team taking on the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday and discussed the rumors surrounding his head coach and gave an update on where they’re on the trading circuit.

Here is Griffin’s presser transcribed centered on Blatt and trades.

“This narrative of our coaching situation is truly ridiculous. It is a non-story. It’s a non-narrative. Coach Blatt is our coach. He’s going to remain our coach. Do not write that as a vote of confidence. He never needed one. It was never a question. So don’t write it that way. I heard the entire audio file of LeBron James’ comments. No more than three different times he said, ‘We’re growing together everyday, the team grows together everyday and I’m happy with who we have at the helm.’ But that wasn’t a sexy pool quote, so we kept looking for something else until we could pool something that sounded negative. That narrative is done. No change is being made, period.”

Utah Jazz waive Toure` Murry

The Utah Jazz have waived guard Toure’ Murry.

Murry (6-5, 195, Wichita State) was originally signed as a free agent on Aug. 28 and appeared in one regular season game for the Jazz. He also had two assignments with Jazz’s exclusive NBA Development League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede (Nov. 13-Dec. 2 and Dec. 31-Jan. 3), where he saw action in seven games (six starts) and averaged 13.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals in 31.3 minutes of play.

Following the move, the Jazz roster now stands at 14 players.

The team is 12-22 so far this season. They’re being led by small forward Gordon Hayward (18.9 ppg), Derrick Favors (15.4 ppg), Enes Kanter and Alec Burks, who both average 13.9 ppg — though Burks is injured and will miss the rest of the season.

Late Saturday night, the Los Angeles Lakers recalled center Tarik Black and guard Jordan Clarkson from the Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-League).

In his first appearance with the D-Fenders, Black recorded a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds in 33 minutes of action. Clarkson netted a game-high 35 points, handed out 11 assists and grabbed six rebounds in 44 minutes for Los Angeles. In five games with the D-Fenders this season, Clarkson is averaging 22.6 points, 7.8 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game.

Here’s Boston.com reporting on former Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who now plays for the Dallas Mavericks:

rajon rondo

Prior to his season-high 29-point performance Friday night against the Celtics, former team captain Rajon Rondo admitted to the media that his defense hadn’t been there during the last two years of rebuilding in Boston.

While addressing a question about the Mavericks’ improved defense since his arrival in a trade in mid-December, Rondo acknowledged what many Celtics fans had seen lately: his defensive effort was not his focus most nights in green.

“I haven’t played defense in a couple of years,” Rondo explained. “I’ve been able to hide it a lot with Avery Bradley on the ball. He’s helped me out, the young guy. But here [in Dallas] they expect me to play defense. And in the West, if you don’t play defense you’ll get embarrassed every night at the point guard position. I took it as a challenge [for] myself.”

Emeka Okafor may not return until next season

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on veteran NBA big man Emeka Okafor:

emeka okafor

Former Washington Wizards big man Emeka Okafor will consider holding off his return to the NBA until the 2015-16 season.

Okafor, 32, missed all of last season to recover from a herniated disk in his neck.

Now the veteran center is drawing attention from teams that need a little frontcourt help. However, he might wait until the summer before he commits to a new team to give himself more time to extend his strength and conditioning work.

Pistons playing better basketball lately

Here’s Michigan Live reporting on the Detroit Pistons, who through Friday’s games are on a four-game winning streak:

Pistons playing better basketball lately

The impact of the Detroit Pistons’ bench has been undeniable during their four-game win streak.

The Pistons beat the New York Knicks 97-81 Friday, boosted by a 33-18 scoring advantage in the second quarter, when they typically play predominantly bench players.

“Our second group came on in the first half and set the tone again for us,” Pistons guard Brandon Jennings said.

The Pistons have outscored opponents in four of the last five second quarters. They have scored 33 or 34 points in four of the last five second quarters. Their second-quarter scoring average is 31.6 over the last five games.

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on the Nets, who are 16-16 for the season and on a three-game winning streak:

Bojan Bogdanovic falls out of Nets rotation

Much ballyhooed rookie Bojan Bogdanovic has fallen out of the rotation. In fact, he received his first DNP-coach’s decision Friday night. Granted, he didn’t play until garbage time in Chicago Tuesday night. He shot 38.8 percent in December. Hollins told reporters in Orlando: “It’s not what Bogie’s done, it’s what he’s not done. You’ve got to play and compete and go out and play well, and (Sergey) Karasev has shown me a lot in practice. We were struggling, I just gave (Sergey) a shot and he played well. It’s also a product of Bogie just hitting a wall and not being aggressive.” As a starter, Karasev is averaging 8.3 points on 41.7 percent shooting. His basketball IQ has been excellent, his defense competent.

Rodney Hood out one week with foot injury

Rodney Hood out one week with foot injury

Rodney Hood was examined by the Utah Jazz medical staff and underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) testing yesterday at the University of Utah. The MRI results showed inflammation in Hood’s left foot. As a result, Hood’s left foot will be placed in a boot and he will continue to participate in treatment, conditioning and restricted weight training for approximately one week at which time he will be reevaluated.

The 22-year-old Hood (6-8, 215, Duke) has appeared in 22 games (five starts) as a rookie, averaging 5.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 18.2 minutes. He was originally selected in the first round (23rd overall selection) of the 2014 NBA Draft, becoming the first former Duke player ever to be drafted by the Jazz.

Atlanta Hawks for sale

If you want to buy an NBA team, an opportunity is developing. Unfortunately, though, it could cost more than expected, and you can blame Donald Sterling for that. Ever since the Los Angeles Clippers sold for billions instead of millions, the value of almost every franchise probably flew up. Anyway, here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting that the Hawks are for sale:

The Hawks are for sale – as in 100 percent of the franchise.

According to person familiar with the situation, agreements have been reached between all three ownership groups to sell their complete stakes in the team. Those agreements have been approved by the NBA.

The team will be officially on the market next week, according to a league source. The investment banking firm Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sports has been retained to handle the sale process. The firm can now begin the process of gathering and vetting prospective buyers. Estimations are the franchise could be sold for upwards of $600 million dollars.

The Washington-based group, led by controlling owner Bruce Levenson, announced in September that it would sell its 50.1 stake following the discovery of a racially inflammatory email that rocked the franchise. An independent investigation discovered an e-mail Levenson wrote in 2012 that included racist remarks about the fan base and game operations. Levenson’s partners Ed Peskowitz and Todd Foreman are also stakeholders in the original group known as the Atlanta Spirit.

That Kyle Korver jumpshot is special

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on shooting guard Kyle Korver, whose ability to shoot a basketball is something special:

Kyle Korver doing amazing jumpshot-things

Korver leads the NBA in 3-point percentage at .520 (91 of 175). He led the league last season at .472 (185 of 392). He also holds the record for best percentage in a season of .536 (59 of 110) set in the 2009-10 season with the Jazz.

The shooting guard is flirting with the 50/50/90 mark this season of shooting better than 50 percent from the field and 3-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line. He is currently the only player in the NBA shooting at least 49 percent from the field (.498) and 3-point range (.520) and 90 percent from the free-throw line (.938). He ranks third in the league in effective field goal percentage at .679, which takes into account all three percentages.

Korver has made four or more 3-pointers in a game 12 times this season. He has made five or more five times already after accomplishing that feat seven times all of last season. Korver is still well over 50 percent from 3-point range despite going a combined 3 for 13 in games last week against the Bucks.

The Detroit Pistons have won three games in a row, and are playing solid basketball. Looking good lately is point guard Brandon Jennings. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

Pistons, Brandon Jennings doing well lately

When Josh Smith was abruptly released almost two weeks ago, the Detroit Pistons lost one of their most experienced players not to mention their most dominant personality both on and off the court.

That created a void that needed to be filled and Brandon Jennings has been up to the challenge.

Jennings has been the Pistons’ on-court leader since Smith was waived Dec. 22 and he’s also become more vocal off of it, according to coach Stan Van Gundy, who has seen a big difference in his veteran point guard over the past 10 days.

“Brandon has noticeably gotten back to probably what is his natural personality,” Van Gundy said Wednesday. “He’s really having fun. He’s talking a lot, joking with guys, things like that. I think he had been suffering. He hadn’t been playing real well, we hadn’t been winning. He had gotten really quiet.

David Lee remains a reserve for Warriors

Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on the Golden State Warriors, who are having a fantastic season, and seem to be sticking with David Lee as a reserve, not a starter:

David Lee remains a reserve for Warriors

Coach Steve Kerr on Tuesday made official what had been presumed for weeks. Draymond Green, who assumed the role when Lee strained his left hamstring in the Oct. 24 preseason finale, is the starting power forward until further notice.

“With David, I wasn’t planning on bringing him off the bench,” Kerr said. “But he got hurt. He had a great preseason. He was going to be the starting (power forward). He got hurt. I put Draymond out there. Draymond took the job.”

Lee missed the first three regular-season games, returned for the fourth and was re-injured after seven minutes. He missed the next 21 games, a period during which the Warriors put together the best start in franchise history (22-3) and reeled off a franchise-record 16-game win streak before Lee returned Dec. 22.

“At that stage,” Kerr said, “you’re going to stick with what got you to 22-3.”

Difficult times for Miami Heat lately

Here’s the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporting on the Miami Heat, who are certainly a different team now that LeBron James is gone:

At 14-19, the Heat still hold the eighth-seed in the Eastern Conference race for the postseason. The question is for how long. Things don’t get any easier in the upcoming weeks. Five of the next six games are against teams in playoff contention, including four on the road versus Western Conference powers.

It’s not exactly the ideal schedule for a team still trying to figure out what has gone wrong of late. The Heat have dropped seven of 10, with some of the losses coming against bottom-feeding teams.

dwyane wade

“If I had that answer, then we wouldn’t be in this situation,” guard Dwyane Wade said. “Bad stretch.”

For the first time, the Heat are pointing fingers at every aspect of the game. In the past, it was either offensive spacing or defensive issues. Now, it’s both simultaneously.

Hard work from Dewayne Dedmon paying off

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on some Magic-related hard work:

Hard work from Dewayne Dedmon paying off

Dewayne Dedmon has plenty to be thankful for when he looks over the last year.

On Jan. 1, 2014, he was a member of the NBA Development League’s Santa Cruz Warriors, hoping an NBA team would just give him a chance.

On Thursday, exactly one year later, Dedmon spent New Year’s Day in a far different situation: as a member of the Orlando Magic. Not only is he on an NBA roster, but lately he’s carved out consistent minutes in the Magic’s playing rotation.

“It’s definitely gratifying,” Dedmon said. “It definitely shows that in 2014 I really put in a lot of work and hard work does actually pay off. It means a lot. If you look back at what 2014 had in store for me and to be where I am right now, it’s definitely gratifying.”

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on a young Celtic:

Celtics rookie James Young making progress

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens continues to suggest that rookie James Young has made the sort of progress that could help him fight his way into the team’s already overcrowded rotation sooner than later.

Young was back with the team Thursday after scoring 25 points during his latest one-game stint with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League. The No. 17 pick in June’s draft has been slowed at times this season by injuries — whether it was the pre-draft car accident that kept him out of summer league, a hamstring injury that kept him out of most of the preseason, or a shoulder injury that recently shelved him for two weeks. But Stevens said Young is making progress behind the scenes and positioning himself for potential playing time. Now he just needs an opportunity.

“I think that he’s really getting better,” said Stevens.

LeBron James injured, out two weeks

LeBron James injured, out two weeks

LeBron James injured, out two weeks

LeBron James was evaluated yesterday at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health by Richard D. Parker, MD, Cavaliers Head Team Physician. Tests included physical exam, radiographs and a MRI, the results of which
revealed left knee and low back strains. These conditions will be treated via a multimodal approach consisting of anti-inflammatories, rehabilitation, training room treatments, and rest.

LeBron is currently projected to be Out for the next 2 weeks.

Nets assign Markel Brown and Cory Jefferson to D-League

The Brooklyn Nets have assigned Markel Brown and Cory Jefferson to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, pursuant to the flexible assignment rule, General Manager Billy King announced today. The flexible assignment rule was used because the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Nets’ D-League affiliate, had four players on assignment at the time the Nets initiated Brown and Jefferson’s assignments to the D-League.

Brown, a 6’3” rookie guard, has appeared in seven games with the Nets this season, averaging 1.9 points in 5.4 minutes per game. He was selected with the 44th pick of this year’s NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and traded to the Nets in exchange for cash considerations.

Jefferson, a 6’9” rookie forward, has appeared in 15 games (one start) with the Nets this season, averaging 3.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.9 minutes per game. He was selected with the 60th pick of this year’s NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and traded to the Nets in exchange for cash considerations.

These will be the first D-League assignments of Brown and Jefferson’s careers and the first D-League assignments the Nets have made this season.

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