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NBA Rumors Stories for Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Updated 4:20 p.m. ET

Lakers center Tyson Chandler revealed he nearly wound up signing with the Warriors last week. In the end, the allure of going back home to Los Angeles was too much for the 36-year-old to pass up. After negotiating a buyout with the Phoenix Suns on Nov. 4 and he cleared waivers, the 7-foot-1 Chandler said there were a few teams who expressed interest in signing him. He said he then trimmed his choices down to just two, the Warriors and Lakers. Mercury News

“I think it was like five teams, and I narrowed it down to two,” Chandler said Tuesday, before confirming the Warriors were involved. “And then I had to do some heavy thinking and praying and then I can only see myself in a Lakers uniform, so it kind of made the decision for me.” Mercury News

I know what you’re thinking. The Warriors are too good, too talented, with too many prime years ahead of them to allow their dynasty to be imperiled by the animosity that exploded near the end of Monday night’s loss to the Clippers — an unseemly scene that resulted in the one-game suspension of Draymond Green and free agent-to-be Kevin Durant apparently muttering, “This is why I’m out.” Disharmony in the locker room? It just couldn’t happen that way. But it could. We know because it’s happened before — to a championship Warriors team. Mercury News

Here’s what ESPN reporter Tim McMahon said in a cut from the website’s latest power rankings: “Don’t be deceived by DeAndre Jordan’s solid statistics. He has been a major disappointment for the Mavs. He has rubbed teammates the wrong way with what they perceive as selfish play, the most blatant example being when he stole an uncontested rebound from Luka Doncic by putting his forearm in the prized rookie’s back and tipping the ball away. Jordan’s disinterest in playing help defense has been a big problem as Mavs opponents light up the scoreboard.” Star Telegram

Gordon Hayward’s season has been a bumpy ride, as expected for someone just one year removed from suffering a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle. But the Celtics forward is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team reach their potential during his first season back on the court, including a possible change in role. “For me, I’m happy to be on the court, No. 1 more than anything and, No. 2, whatever I can do to help us win,’’ Hayward said per The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “I said it before the season, it’s whatever to me.” Boston.com

The Kevin Knox era is finally here, 15 games into his rookie season as he was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time by Knicks coach David Fizdale. And it coincided with the end of — at least temporarily — Frank Ntilikina’s run as the starting point guard. Fizdale shuffled his starting lineup again as the Knicks prepared to face the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena Wednesday night, inserting Knox and Emmanuel Mudiay into the starting five and removing Ntilikina and Damyean Dotson in an effort to jump-start the sluggish offense. NY Newsday

The Suns have struggled out of the gate to a record of 2-11 so far this season, despite getting the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and selecting Deandre Ayton out of Arizona. However, their struggle isn't unusual. In the last 15 years, there have been just four cases of a team selecting first overall in the draft and then reaching the playoffs the same season: Andrew Bogut with the Milwaukee Bucks, Ben Simmons with the Philadelphia 76ers — although he did sit a year — Derrick Rose with the Chicago Bulls, and Andrew Bargnani with the Toronto Raptors. Arizona Republic

We’re only a few weeks into the NBA season and the Portland Trail Blazers are already figuring out which lineups work best on the court. According to NBA Stats, the Blazers five-player lineup of Evan Turner, Al-Farouq Aminu, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic has the highest rated differential in the NBA. Through 12 games, Portland’s five-man lineup has a 127.0 offensive rating and 83.5 defensive rating. NBC Sports



NBA Rumors Stories for Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Updated 2:00 a.m. ET

Caris LeVert, the Nets’ breakout star of the season, left Monday’s game with a gruesome leg injury. And by the look of it, the young guard – who has had to overcome serious foot injuries in the past – won’t be back anytime soon. The Nets lost their cornerstone player for an extended period of time. NY Post

With just 3.7 seconds in the first half of the Nets’ game against the Timberwolves, LeVert was contesting a shot by Josh Okogie. He got tangled up with the Minnesota guard, and as they tumbled to the ground his right leg appears to snap and bend right above the ankle. NY Post

In the joyful moments after a nail-biting victory over the Atlanta Hawks, the years seemed to fall away for LeBron James and Tyson Chandler, the two oldest Lakers. They bumped chests and embraced. Afterward in the locker room, James interjected when a reporter asked Chandler what James said during the celebration: “I said ‘That’s my dog!’” he shouted, laughing over the din. But then, as 18-year-veterans do, Chandler started looking forward. “I love to learn in games like this because then the young players are a little more receptive,” he said. “So I’d rather learn on nights like this than to take the ‘L’ from this. Then it’s kind of hard to preach the kind of things you want to preach.” OC Register

Joel Embiid sank a three-point shot from the top of the key with less than two minutes left, turned around and raised his arms in the air. Once against, the Philadelphia 76ers’ star center got the best of the Miami Heat. Embiid scored 35 points — including 16 from the free-throw line — and JJ Redick added 25 to lead Philadelphia to a 124-114 win over Miami at AmericanAirlines Arena in a contest that featured 54 personal fouls and never saw a team lead by double figures until that Embiid three-point shot and Ben Simmons followed with a ferocious one-handed dunk shortly afterward. Miami Herald

One thing Lillard seems to be doing more this season is passing in the mid-post off drives, which is the area from around 6-10 feet. In seasons past, when he got a step on defenders and made it to that area of the floor, it was more than likely that a shot was going up. In 2018, he’s passing as a plan from there, and I think it shows trust in his teammates. It’s telling about his work ethic that Lillard has become better at the thing he’s perhaps best at — attacking the rim — and I’ll be watching to see how that continues to affect his scoring and his teammates as the season goes along. NBC Sports



NBA Rumors Stories for Monday, November 12, 2018
Updated 7:00 a.m. ET

A sellout Moda Center crowd collectively gasped in fear on Sunday night, when Portland Trail Blazers' All-Star Damian Lillard crashed awkwardly to the court in the first quarter of a victory over the Boston Celtics. The play happened a little more than four minutes into the game, when Lillard battled for a rebound with Celtics forward Gordon Hayward under Boston's basket. Lillard elevated to the right of Hayward, near the baseline, tapping the ball to a teammate. But he endured a nasty fall, his legs spreading as he landed and his right knee bending awkwardly. Oregonian

Lillard went on to play nine minutes, 44 seconds in the first quarter, subbing out with 2:16 left after scoring five points and recording all six of the Blazers' first-quarter assists. By the end of the night, Lillard had finished with 19 points, 12 assists and five rebounds, logging his first double-double of the season as Portland beat Boston 100-94. But he played through right knee pain all night. "It was sore the whole game," Lillard said. "I felt kind of limited moving." Oregonian

The Blazers played six games over an 11-day stretch and finished the home stand 5-1, notching resume-building victories over the New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks, L.A. Clippers and Celtics along the way. Their only loss came against the Lakers on Nov. 3. The hot streak moved the Blazers into second place in the Western Conference standings and into a tie for the third-best record in the NBA after 13 games. Oregonian

The Detroit Pistons were trailing by 21 points midway through the fourth quarter when Blake Griffin put his shoulder into Malik Monk's thigh while the Charlotte guard was airborne and attacking the rim, causing him to tumble hard. After a review, officials ruled it a flagrant 2 and ejected Griffin. The Pistons went on to lose to the Hornets 113-103 at Little Caesars Arena. It was a frustrating day for a team that couldn't get shots to fall. No one was more frustrated than Griffin, who wasn't getting the calls he apparently felt were warranted. Michigan Live

"I just think he's getting hit on a lot of shots," Pistons coach Dwane Casey said [about Blake Griffin]. "That frustration builds up and he's had a lot of load on himself, bringing the ball up the floor, handling the basketball, being a point forward and then going down in the paint and battling there, so I think it's taken its toll on him. "I got to do a better job of getting him some more relief, getting him out of the game a little bit more, finding places where he can rest. But I got to look at the film. Officials aren't going to change the way they call it, so we have to adjust, but I do think he's getting banged and hit down there. I got to go back and watch the film and send it in (to the league)." Michigan Live

Knicks rookie center Mitchell Robinson was drafted 30 slots behind Orlando’s rookie Mo Bamba, but only one of them made the history books Sunday at the Garden. Robinson set a new Knicks rookie record for blocks with nine as the lone home-team standout in Sunday’s 115-89 shellacking by Orlando. Robinson, who had a handful of rejections at the perimeter, broke the record shared previously by Kristaps Porzingis and Lonnie Shelton, who both had seven. NY Post

Frank Ntilikina played the game’s first six minutes Sunday night and wasn’t heard from again. He missed all three of his shots, was a minus-12 and his evening ended when he roughly backed in D.J. Augustin and was called for an offensive foul. Ntilikina complained to the referee that Augustin flopped. NY Post

Tyson Chandler has been seamless in his role as supreme closer for the Lakers. He played 8:56 in the fourth quarter Sunday, none more important than those final few seconds in which he saved the day for the Lakers with his block of Young’s potential game-winning shot. Chandler had three rebounds in the fourth, all of them offensive. “It’s atmosphere, in all honestly,” said Chandler, who finished with five rebounds. “Again, the energy around here, professionalism, the way they go about the day to day, made my transition easy.” LA Times

You want to talk about an eternity? Ask the Lakers how long it has been since they last felt what it was like to be over .500. The once-proud franchise, with those 16 championship banners hanging from the rafters, went nearly two years since a 111-109 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 22, 2016 put them at 8-7 to start Brandon Ingram's rookie year. Rob Pelinka was James Harden's agent then, not the Lakers' general manager. Magic Johnson was more apt to rip the team on Twitter, than to dress down their coach in a closed-door meeting as he did recently in his role as team president of basketball operations. LeBron James was basking in the glow of his championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Barack Obama was president. Instagram stories were just being rolled out on the app. ESPN.com

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