NBA Rumors for Monday, May 2
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Nic Batum had a career year with the Hornets after the trade that acquired him from the Portland Trail Blazers in June. Coach Steve Clifford said Monday there’s no question Batum is the top priority among five unrestricted free agents who were in the Hornets rotation this season. The other four are Al Jefferson, Jeremy Lin (assuming he exercises his opt-out), Marvin Williams and Courtney Lee. Charlotte Observer/a>
On Nic Batum: So is he predisposed to remaining a Hornet? "Why not? I don’t know (what will happen in) a crazy summer for a lot of people. But why not?" Batum said. "I want to talk to them first, for sure. July 1 will be a crazy day, but will Charlotte be my first call? Yes." Charlotte Observer/a>
Stephen Curry was expected back on the court for more light shooting Monday to test his sprained right knee, still with the hope he could be ready to return for Golden State's Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals Saturday at Portland. Coach Steve Kerr said Monday that the reigning MVP wouldn't be available for Tuesday night's Game 2 with the Warriors up 1-0 in the best-of-seven series after a 118-106 win Sunday in the opener. Star Tribune/AP
Justin Lin, Andrew Dodge and Alfredo Botello are ready to shoot some intergalactic hoops with LeBron James. The Fast & Furious 6 and Star Trek Beyond helmer is co-writing, with Dodge and Botello, Warner Bros.' Space Jam 2. Lin is also looking to direct and produce via his Perfect Storm Entertainment, and sources say he will be thoroughly involved in the creative development of the project. Hollywood Reporter
Q: What do you think Popovich thinks of you? Craig Sager: “I always viewed myself as a nuisance in his mind. I thought ‘Oh God. Here comes Sager. I’ve gotta talk to him,’ but I think over the years he kinda understood me more. I think I earned his respect. Then, talking to him off camera he was always great. I think he has fun now with these interviews.” Oklahoman
Q: You’re required to talk to the coach at times during the game, but is there a time that’s off limits? Craig Sager: “Last night (Game 1) … we have a 20-point rule. If a team is up or down by 20 points, you don’t interview the coach because it’s like the coach ahead is gloating and the coach behind is rubbing it in. But last night it was close to 40 and they (Turner Sports) said ‘you can do the interview with Pop.’ I go ‘What?’ They said ‘yeah the NBA approved it because you guys get along so good. Just don’t ask him specifics about the game.’ I go ‘what do you mean don’t ask him about the game?’ They told me (the NBA) doesn’t want that. I say ‘if I make it light-hearted he’s gonna be p***** as hell at me, because I don’t joke with him. I let him do what he wants. I don’t fire back." Oklahoman
"What goes through your mind after a game like that?" a reporter asked Durant following the loss. "I'm not telling you," responded Durant, whose face remained tilted toward the ground, avoiding eye contact like a scolded child. Durant was neither nasty nor aggressive in his response. He wasn't even icy. The voice was weary, dispirited. San Antonio Express-News
Westbrook shot just 5 of 19 for 14 points, including 1 of 7 with Leonard guarding him on Saturday. In a 93-85 loss to the Spurs at the AT&T Center in March, Westbrook was 5 of 16 for 19 points and nine turnovers. “I'm just trying to be where he is at all times and show hands,” Leonard said, wearing a black hoodie with his massive “KL” hand logo spread across the back. Oklahoman
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Key NBA rumors-related dates
The 2016 NBA trade deadline was February 18. The 2016 Playoff Eligibility Waiver deadline is March 1. The playoff roster deadline is April 15 at 3pm ET.
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