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NBA rumors on Derrick Rose, Joel Embiid, the Raptors, Sixers and more
November 24, 2017

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NBA rumors What “they” had presumably done, in the loss that unfolded earlier that evening, was yank [Jonas] Valanciunas from the game a few minutes into a disastrous third quarter, never to see the floor again. It was the third straight game Valanciunas hadn’t played in the fourth quarter. It was the third straight game he had played fewer than six minutes in the third quarter. And it was part of an early-season trend that doesn’t bode well for his place in the Toronto rotation. Heading into Friday’s game against the Pacers, the big Lithuanian was averaging about 21 minutes a game, a career low for a player who averaged about 26 minutes a night in each of the past three seasons. In five of the previous six games, he had played fewer than 20 minutes. Toronto Star

“Frustrated,” Valancinuas said after Wednesday’s game, asked by a reporter to describe his state of mind. “It’s been tough, man. I’m just doing my job, using my opportunities. I get time, I play hard. If I don’t get time, I wait for the time to come to me.” At Friday morning’s shootaround Toronto coach Dwane Casey was asked what sort of message he was conveying to Valanciunas in the wake of yet another late-game benching. Casey pointed out that Valanciunas wasn’t the only big man pulled early in Wednesday’s epically bad third quarter. Serge Ibaka suffered the same fate (although Ibaka, unlike Valanciunas, was reinserted to play all 12 minutes of the fourth). Toronto Star

NBA rumors As he continues to "re-evaluate his future in the NBA" while away from the Cleveland Cavaliers, point guard Derrick Rose could potentially be leaving more than $80 million of Adidas endorsement money on the table, should he decide to retire outright.

While Rose is on a one-year, veteran's minimum contract with the Cavaliers for this season, he still has seven seasons left on the 13-year, $185 million Adidas extension he signed in 2012. The brand is "absolutely" protected, according to an industry source familiar with NBA endorsement deal exit clauses.

NBA rumors A big part of having fun on the court for Joel Embiid is trash talk. He insists he doesn’t initiate it, but he’s more than happy to give it back. He’ll be without Ben Simmons Saturday night against Orlando, but he’s eager for some banter with the Magic. NBC Sports Philly

Joel Embiid: “Me talking trash, it doesn’t usually happen because I want to, it’s because the other guys start talking trash. So if any of the guys want to, I’m up for it. It elevates my game, it makes me play better because I know if you talk trash to me I’m going to talk back, and I’m going to back it up, and that’s going to make me play better. I can’t wait, I really hope they do [trash talk]. It’s going to be exciting.” NBC Sports Philly

NBA rumors The Knicks were forced to shuffle their lineup and rotation Friday night because Enes Kanter woke up with back spasms. The starting center - who often doubles as the team's emotional leader - was replaced in the lineup by Kyle O'Quinn, but, more interestingly, the injury cleared the way for meaningful minutes from Willy Hernangomez. NY Daily News

The Knicks typically carry a surplus of centers, but were actually shorthanded Thursday. In addition to Kanter's absence, Joakim Noah did not travel to Atlanta because of an illness, Hornacek said. It meant the Knicks would rely heavily on Hernangomez, who finally got his chance Friday to build off the hype from last season. NY Daily News

On Nike: The reported $1 billion deal bought the sportswear giant a lot of freedom, including the ability to do away with traditional home and away uniforms. Those have been replaced by “Icon” jerseys (primarily gold), “Statement” jerseys (primarily purple) and a “City Edition” uniform that will be rolled out over the course of the season. They also have uniforms called “Classics” (a throwback to the Minneapolis Lakers powder blue) and “Association” (primarily white). The Lakers often send a notice out on social media indicating what uniform they will be wearing prior to tipoff — such as the white jersey prior to their game at Sacramento on Wednesday night. OC Register

NBA rumors The Jazz have announced that the accurate pronunciation of Jazz forward/center Ekpe Udoh’s last name is “OO-Doe.” Many listings had the pronunciation as “YOU-Doe.” Inside Hoops

His name is pronounced EPP-ay OO-Doe, not “You-Doe” as sometimes used in the past. His name translates to Lion. The Jazz are tied with the Toronto Raptors for the NBA’s most diverse team with a league-high seven international players listed on the roster. Deseret News

Point guard Patrick Beverley was lost for the season after he underwent an arthroscopic surgery to repair the lateral meniscus and a microfracture procedure on his right knee. So the Clippers needed someone to uplift them. And it turned out to be Griffin. After his first-quarter assist to Johnson, Griffin found Austin Rivers for a dunk and then hit reserve center Willie Reed with a lob pass for a dunk. LA Times

For those who have been screwing up Ekpe Udoh’s name for the past few months, the Utah Jazz sent out a press release to clarify the pronunciation. His name is pronounced EPP-ay OO-Doe, not “You-Doe” as sometimes used in the past. His name translates to Lion. The Jazz are tied with the Toronto Raptors for the NBA’s most diverse team with a league-high seven international players listed on the roster. Deseret News

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