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The 2014 NBA trade deadline date was Thursday, February 20 at 3pm ET.
NBA Rumors for Wednesday, April 23
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Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic, who helped lead the Suns to a 23-win improvement while establishing career highs in scoring and field goal percentage, is the winner of the 2013-14 NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. The annual award is presented to a player who has made a significant improvement from the previous season. InsideHoops
Dragic received 408 of a possible 1,134 points, including 65 first-place votes, from a panel of 126 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers (158 points, 13 first-place votes) and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans (155 points, 16 first-place votes) 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 received. InsideHoops
Phil Jackson's formidable task of rebuilding the Knicks and establishing a professional, winning culture at Madison Square Garden has already hit a familiar roadblock: James Dolan. Just one month into his role as Knicks president, Jackson has already clashed with Dolan, the chairman of Madison Square Garden, over personnel decisions, the Daily News has learned. According to a team source, Jackson is looking to remove several staff members, which is commonplace when a new administration takes over, but Dolan opposes removing certain employees. NY Daily News
According to the source, Dolan’s reaction to Jackson’s request was to tell the 11-time NBA championship coach to simply focus his attention on building a winning team. To say that “minor friction,” as one Garden source called it, can be classified as Jackson’s honeymoon with Dolan being over may be stretching it a bit. But at the very least it proves that Dolan — surprise, surprise wasn’t being entirely truthful last month when he claimed he was “willingly and gratefully” giving up control of the basketball decisions to Jackson, the Hall of Fame coach. NY Daily News
It is unclear which employees Jackson wants to remove, but with the entire coaching staff fired on Monday, it is most likely personnel with the medical staff, front office and/or the media relations staff. Bleacher Report reported that Steve Mills, Allan Houston and Mark Warkentien could all be reassigned or possibly dismissed. Among the coaches fired on Monday was long-time assistant Herb Williams, who is well-liked in the organization. Within one hour, there was a report that the organization would “encourage” the next head coach to keep Williams. It was an odd story, which read like it was planted by someone other than Jackson, because why would Jackson fire Williams and then encourage the next coach to rehire him? NY Daily News
On the eve of this Eastern Conference series, the wobbling No. 1 seed punctuated its final playoff preparations in a most self-destructive way: Two Indiana Pacers dragged a cursing, cut Evan Turner out of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse court, untangling him from a practice-floor fistfight with teammate Lance Stephenson. Turner hadn't been the first Pacer to lose his temper with Stephenson these tumultuous several weeks, and Stephenson's relentlessly irritable nature suggests Turner won't be the last. These scrapes aren't uncommon in the NBA, but this confrontation had been weeks in the making and that reflected in the ferocity of the encounter, sources told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo
"This stuff happens, but the timing wasn't ideal," one witness told Yahoo Sports. If acrimony naturally lingered into Saturday, make no mistake: Stephenson and Turner weren't the reason the Atlanta Hawks embarrassed the Pacers in Game 1. Maybe it tilted the mood of locker room, but no one dared suggest that it held responsibility for deadening the Pacers into defeat. Yahoo
"We know that Larry [Bird] and Donnie [Walsh] and [Kevin Pritchard] put a team together to try and win a championship this year," Hibbert told Yahoo Sports. "We know that's the goal, and we know that's the kind of talent we have here. It's up to us now to do it, to get it done." These aren't the Pacers of the relentlessly patient Donnie Walsh anymore, and rest assured: Bird won't let a collapse go unaccounted. Frank Vogel's coaching job is on the line, and perhaps Hibbert's future with the Pacers, too. This is Indiana's championship time, and the stakes are immense. Yahoo
What kind of abode can you buy with more than $100 million in career earnings? A veritable palace with a trophy room, a wine cellar evoking a European monastery, a private theater with your own monogrammed seating, an arcade, an indoor basketball court plastered with press clippings and not one but two garages to store your fleet of luxury automobiles. Such is the splendor of Tony Parker’s custom mansion, recently valued as the fourth-most expensive home in the San Antonio area by a local magazine. San Antonio Express-News
NBA superstar Joakim Noah has sued his former shoe sponsor -- claiming Le Coq Sportif makes TERRIBLE SNEAKERS that may have damaged his feet ... TMZ Sports has learned. Noah quietly declared war on the French company in a D.C. court back in November ... claiming LCS signed him to a 6-year $6 million deal back in 2007, only to screw him out of more than $1.65 million. In the suit, Noah says he was pumped about the deal at first -- but shortly after he signed, LCS shut down its U.S. offices, fired the guy who signed Noah, and started looking for ways to back out of the deal. Noah claims things came to a head in 2013 when they suddenly stopped paying him money he believed they were obligated to pay. TMZ
Flip Saunders is a former coach himself, so he knows how coveted a head coaching job in the NBA can be. The Timberwolves' president of basketball operations may also soon find out how difficult filling an opening can be as well. Saunders started the search for a new coach in earnest on Tuesday, one day after Rick Adelman announced his retirement. It's a move that has been expected for some time, and Saunders has no doubt been kicking around possibilities. As a former coach, and a well-respected basketball mind, Saunders has a vast reservoir of contacts in the coaching fraternity, contacts that he will need to tap during a delicate search for a new leader. AP
Hanging over the process is Kevin Love's uncertain future in Minnesota. Love can opt out of his contract after next season. The possibility of losing the face of the franchise, one of the best power forwards in the game and a relentless worker who has improved every summer could give some coaches pause when considering Minnesota. AP
The NBA announced on Monday that the referees incorrectly called Rockets center Dwight Howard for his sixth foul with 10.8 seconds left in overtime in Game 1. On Tuesday, the Rockets gave feedback on the league's transparency. "Well, I guess we have to go play those 10 seconds back," Howard joked after the Rockets' practice. "Can't do nothing about it now, it doesn't matter. We just have to win Game 2." ESPN.com
But not everyone is cheering the league's transparency. "It almost makes me more mad that they announced it, knowing that it was wrong," Rockets forward Chandler Parsons said. "It was obvious," Parsons said of the botched call. "But it doesn't do anything now for us that [the league] said that. At least they owned up to it, but it doesn't change the fact that we're down 0-1." ESPN.com
"Sometimes it's in your favor and sometimes it's not," Lillard said. "But it's not like they're going to replay the last 30 seconds of the game. It happened, but one play never dictates the outcome of a game." ESPN.com
Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul will be limited in practice over the next two days by an injured right hamstring heading into Thursday's Game 3 of the team's first-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors. "He won't do much," coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday. "He may do a little tomorrow but nothing today. We're not doing anything today anyway, but I don't need him doing anything." ESPN LA
Miami Heat starting point guard Mario Chalmers is questionable for Wednesday’s playoff game against the Charlotte Bobcats after bruising his knee Sunday in Game 1. Chalmers was limited in practice Tuesday and will be reevaluated by team trainers before Wednesday morning’s shootaround and then again before Game 2 of the first-round playoff series. The Heat defeated the Bobcats 99-88 on Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. Wednesday’s Game 2 is at 7 p.m. (TNT, Sun Sports). Miami Herald
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