HoopsHype rumors

March 24, 2012 | 05:04 PM ET Update

The Los Angeles Clippers re-signed free agent forward Bobby Simmons, whose second 10-day contract with the Clippers expired on March 18, the team announced Saturday. In 13 games played for the Clippers this season, Simmons has tallied 3.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 37.1 percent from behind the three-point line. ESPN.com

Fred Kerber reports Saturday that the "very, very small line" found in Brook Lopez's CT scan three days ago was not the result of his original break on December 21, but instead a by-product of his ankle sprain on March 4. Additional tests on the Nets center, who has missed all but five games this season, found a small line or crack resulting from the ankle sprain he endured after coming back from a broken foot. NetsDaily

The agent for Boston Celtics guard Mickael Pietrus reportedly said there was good news after Pietrus took a scary fall to the floor Friday night. Pietrus' agent, William McCandless, said initial tests on Pietrus were normal and that, while he might have a concussion, he should be able to play again this year, according to ESPNBoston.com. "He was a very lucky man," McCandless said, according to the website, adding that the X-ray and CT scans Pietrus took Friday did not show anything abnormal. Chicago Tribune

Hardly a day goes by that an NBA scout or executive doesn’t reach out to Wilson Arroyo about Dion Waiters. Arroyo coached Waiters at Burlington (N.J.) Life Center and is now with the New Jersey-based AAU program Team Final. “The San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz have been calling me, and a couple of background-checking people have called,” Arroyo told SNY.tv Friday by phone. “They do background checks for the NBA.” ZagsBlog.com

Tyson Chandler said if he weren't on the Knicks and saw how differently they've played for Mike Woodson since he replaced Mike D'Antoni, he would think the team stopped playing for its former coach. "If you look at things, it looks like we're playing harder now than we did before," Chandler said before Toronto ended the Knicks' winning streak at five games. "I'm the same as you. If I stepped out, I would say 'yes.' " But Chandler said that isn't the case, and he feels badly for D'Antoni that it appears that way. "It would be disappointing to me for Coach's sake because I feel like he's a great coach," Chandler said. "I think you should play the same way regardless. It's our profession." Newsday

March 24, 2012 | 02:00 PM ET Update

But. Just this week, BallinEurope contributor David Hein ran an excellent and extensive interview with the former Jazzman on his heinnews.com (part one may be found here; part two is linked below) in which, upon touching on innumerable subjects, Kirilenko comments on his future plans … with slightly different estimates and emphatic feeling. “I was always saying that I would love to play in the best league in the world. So, yes, in the end of the season I will consider all the offers from the NBA again,” Kirilenko told Hein, but, more significantly, “that does not means I will definitely go.” Also of note in the heinnews interview is Kirilenko reckoning that “I think I still have three to four years of highest-level basketball in future.” Further, European fans may be slightly disheartened to read that he “was never thinking about slowly finishing career somewhere. As soon as I see I don’t belong to the best in the world I will retire.” Ball In Europe

The Los Angeles Clippers today re-signed free agent forward Bobby Simmons, whose second 10-day contract with the Clippers expired on March 18th. In 13 games played for the Clippers this season, Simmons has tallied 3.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game, while shooting .371 from behind the three-point line. Simmons, who was the 29th GATORADE Call-Up of the 2011-12 season when the Clippers signed him to his original 10-day contract on February 27th, averaged 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in 21 games played for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League this season. Simmons also played ten games for the Bighorns during the 2010-11 season after playing two games with the San Antonio Spurs. NBA.com

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed Justin Dentmon from the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League to a 10-day contract. A 6-0, 185-pound guard, Dentmon has appeared in 38 games with the Toros this season, averaging a team-best 22.9 points, 5.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.47 steals in 37.3 minutes while shooting .463 (285-616) from the field, 421 (88-209) from three-point range and .865 (212-245) from the foul line. A D-League All-Star, Dentmon has scored in double figures in 37 of 38 games, including 28 games with 20-or-more and six games with 30-or-more. NBA.com

Saying he agreed with the punishment and reiterating his apology for the incident, New Orleans Hornets forward/center Jason Smith said Saturday he accepts the punishment handed out by the NBA on Friday, suspending him for the team's next two games tonight against the San Antonio Spurs and Monday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Smith was disciplined for taking out Clippers forward Blake Griffin with a hard, body-check foul in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's win over Los Angeles. At the time, Smith was assessed a flagrant 2 foul, which called for an automatic ejection. New Orleans Times-Picayune

"It's something I never want to do again," Smith said. "I think I got caught up in the heat of the moment. It was an emotional game, a very physical game, There's still no excuse for what I did. I want to make it blatant that I apologized to Blake. He's an admirable player . . . . a well-liked player. "I didn't want to give up on the game. When you see a person in transition like that, it's hard to defend a person like that. I thought it was a good suspension. There's no way to determine how many games you get suspended for certain actions. I thought it was fair. You've got to take what you get and definitely have to own up to it and just learn from it." New Orleans Times-Picayune

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (groin) is a game-time decision for Saturday night's contest against the Toronto Raptors. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau did not sound optimistic that Rose would be on the floor. Rose did some running in a pool during Friday's practice and has started doing some light shooting after practices, but he likely is still at least a few more days away from seeing any game action. "Derrick's doing just the shooting part," Thibodeau said. "He's moving along fine. We'll see." ESPN.com

March 24, 2012 | 09:10 AM ET Update

But Garnett is a free agent after this season, and there's no word yet on what his plans are for the future. One thing is clear though: if he wants to play, the Celtics want him playing in Boston. "Oh yeah, absolutely. We want him back," Rivers said. "I think it will come down to if he wants to play or not. But, you know, who knows? So many games and so many things can happen. Being around this as long as I have I know it is very emotional how the season ends. And a lot of players have made poor decisions on the end of a season, so we'll have to wait and see." CSNNE.com

I'd be shocked if Pat Riley wasn't able to land a starting-caliber center for a third consecutive offseason, so if you had to guess, who is Miami's starting center next year? Some interesting names are Spencer Hawes, Mehmet Okur, Chris Kaman, Jermaine O'Neal, Marcus Camby. -- Lou. A: Kaman has been coveted before, but the issue is whether he would be willing to take a pay cut all the way down to the taxpayer mid-level exception. With the Heat's tax situation, even a sign-and-trade for Kaman would be difficult. I would think the 76ers would keep Hawes, and I'm not sure anyone else on that list, because of age or injury, makes sense for the Heat. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Kaman has apparently concluded that no contender he could join would give him the shots and minutes he'll get in New Orleans for the rest of the season, which is something he has to factor in with free agency looming in July. The 29-year-old, selected as an All-Star as recently as 2010, is averaging 13.3 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Hornets after they initially (and briefly) excused him from the team in January while pursuing potential trades. ESPN.com

The fans have started booing the beleaguered center during pregame introductions, he quietly hoped he would be included in a trade- deadline deal, and the Warriors believe there is still a market for the 25-year-old 7-footer. "This is the franchise that gave me an opportunity, and I have spent my whole career here, so I'm not one of those guys who is going to demand a trade or say, 'I don't like it here,' " Biedrins said. "We have to finish this season and see where it goes from there. We'll have a talk after the season and evaluate the situation, but I don't like to complain about things." San Francisco Chronicle

When his name was discussed in trade talks this month, opposing teams told the Warriors they would have to include Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh or Klay Thompson and take back a bad contract in order to deal Biedrins. Still, co-owner Joe Lacob stood by his decision to amnesty Charlie Bell's one-year, $4.1 million deal in a KNBR interview and says Biedrins will have worth. "I think there will be value for him. It might be a year away, if he's still not playing well and he's still not part of our plans," Lacob said. "He'll be an expiring contract, and there will be value. He's a 7-footer who is agile and healthy." San Francisco Chronicle

The Clippers are expected to re-sign small forward Simmons before Saturday's game. Simmons signed two 10-day contracts with the Clippers but didn't get another offer from the team after his deal expired last Sunday. The Clippers told Simmons they hoped to bring him back after the three-game trip. Los Angeles Times

The Spurs plan to sign dynamic guard Justin Dentmon to a 10-day contract, according to a league source. San Antonio traded for the former Washington Huskies standout prior to the season and it's paid off pretty well. Ridiculous Upside

Chicago's talks with the Los Angeles Lakers regarding Pau Gasol before the trade deadline never got too far, largely because the Lakers had no interest in taking back Carlos Boozer ... and because the Bulls weren't about to find a third team willing to join the talks to absorb the three years and $47 million remaining on Boozer's deal to help Chicago get the Spaniard. File this away, though. Sources with knowledge of Chicago's thinking told ESPN.com that Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was prepared last week to go into the luxury tax if necessary if a legit trade scenario involving Gasol had materialized. ESPN.com

Yet one source close to the talks insists that the Hornets, Lakers and Rockets were still searching for a consensus on the last piece of the trade framework needed to satisfy league salary-cap regulations when news of the trade began to spread And sources say that's partly because Smith didn't accept the sign-and-trade terms that were presented when he was asked to be part of the swap. The principal pieces of the original three-team deal were indeed all agreed to: Paul would be going to the Lakers; Pau Gasol was bound for Houston; and New Orleans would be receiving Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic, along with a 2012 first-round draft pick from the Rockets that had been previously acquired from the New York Knicks. But based on that trade construction, sources say the Lakers would have been forced to absorb another $3 million more in salary to make the cap math work. ESPN.com

The teams involved concluded that the best way to solve that issue would be for the Hornets to sign and trade Smith to the Lakers as part of the exchange. The Lakers, however, were prepared to guarantee only the first year of the three-year deal required in all sign-and-trades. Sources say Smith promptly rejected that offer, believing he should hold out for a longer-team deal, then had his decision vindicated when the Hornets later offered him a three-year deal worth $7.5 million with the first two years fully guaranteed. ESPN.com

Foster's retirement has him mulling a next move. He has yet to file his retirement papers and the team would like him to help out. "He's still on our roster," Vogel said. "I would like him to be around the team as much as possible, practices, film sessions, just keep an eye on things, using his experience and his leadership and his voice in the locker room. I'd still like to have that the rest of the season." Indianapolis Star

Jazz guard Earl Watson said Friday if Sacramento forward DeMarcus Cousins wants to start something again with a Utah player, the Kings big man should pick him instead. "You can quote me on that," said Watson, prior to tipoff against Denver. The small but fiery veteran didn't play Thursday during the Jazz's 103-102 against Sacramento. But he proudly watched Utah guard Devin Harris stand up to Cousins, coldly eyeing the moody forward during an in-game confrontation and never giving ground. Salt Lake Tribune

So what really happened in Milwaukee? Stephen Jackson: I just think it was a tough situation. I was used to winning and I kind of felt like I was in a situation where losing was accepted. And that's not me. It's something I could never do, so I think that's why me and coach [Scott Skiles] clashed ... we're losing and I feel like I should be playing more and I'm not playing. I didn't go to college, but it felt like a college atmosphere and that wasn't me. There was a lot of negative stuff going on there and I didn't want to feed into it. And that's why I felt I needed to leave. ESPN.com

You know people are going to wonder how much you have left. And you know I'm going to ask: Can you still make love to pressure? Stephen Jackson: Make love to pressure! I'm waitin' on the pressure. You know I'm waitin' on it. You already know. ESPN.com

Owner Mark Cuban isn't too pleased that Dallas Mavericks fans have resorted to booing Lamar Odom. "I don't like it," Cuban said before Friday's game against the San Antonio Spurs. "Lamar's had some bad breaks. "He's made the right passes and we just haven't been able to finish the shots, and he's been taking the ball to the basket and it just hasn't been falling. I understand the fan's perspective, but I don't like it and hopefully LO will use it for motivation." Fort Worth Star-Telegram

It was one of the strangest nights of the season Friday in San Antonio. The Mavericks played poorly. Then they played great for about eight minutes. Then they were terrible again. Lamar Odom had the first DNP-CD that he could ever remember having. Coach Rick Carlisle explained that he wanted to look at a different rotation. Then after the game, Carlisle said Odom definitely figures into the rotation going forward. But nobody's quite sure how, even Odom. Dallas Morning News

It should be mentioned that Odom handled the situation very well. He answered every question, albeit some of them in very esoteric fashion. He stood up to the situation. "There's a first time for everything,'' said Odom, who could never remember being a healthy scratch at any level. "Expect the unexpected as far as life is concerned. I'm a team guy. He's the coach.'' Dallas Morning News

"I have to stay focused and try to go ahead and do my job,'' he said. "That can happen. It's all about keeping ready. That happens (losing confidence). It happens with missed shots and when you don't play well. But I'm so much more than a sportsman. There isn't much I haven't seen in life. "We still got games to play. From the looks of it, they're going to have an NBA playoffs. This team is looking like they're going to play for it all. Hopefully, my time will come.'' Dallas Morning News

Sixers coach Doug Collins said it’s no mystery as to why forward Thaddeus Young had one of his worst games of the season Wednesday against the Knicks. Collins said it’s because Young’s weight is down to 213 pounds, or two less pounds than guard Evan Turner. “My two-guard weighs more than my power forward,” Collins said. He said Young’s weight loss stems from the upper respiratory virus that he had two weeks ago that kept him out of the game March 7 against the Celtics. Typically, Young weighs around 220 pounds, although Collins would like him to be 225 pounds. Courier-Post

Jazz forward Josh Howard recently underwent surgery on his left knee, O’Connor said. While Utah initially ruled Howard out for the rest of the 2011-12 season, he hopes to return before the year is complete. The Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday that Howard was upbeat after receiving a pre-surgery second opinion and could soon begin his recovery process. O’Connor said there’s no official timetable for Howard’s return, though, and the Jazz don’t want to rush him back. "We just don’t know. It’ll probably be two to three weeks for an update," O’Connor said. "But the problem is, I don’t want to say it’s this long and it’s not, and then you go, ‘Oh [no].’ " Salt Lake Tribune

Mickael Pietrus, injured in the second quarter of the Celtics' game at Philadelphia Friday night, will not be admitted to a hospital, according to a team source. Pietrus, who underwent tests at a local hospital, then was released, was set to spend the night at the team hotel in Philadelphia. Boston Globe

"It looked awful," coach Doc Rivers said. "I just saw his neck snap. You knew that was bad. He was throwing up on the floor, so that's not very good either." San Francisco Chronicle

Weber State's Damian Lillard has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2012 NBA Draft, multiple sources told CBSSports.com on Friday. A formal announcement is expected at a later date. CBSSports.com

One of the factors that has appears to have saved Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro from joining Portland's Nate McMillan and New York's Mike D'Antoni on an unusually long list of March firings so far is the fact that the Clips have no assistant who slides easily into an interim role. Veteran dismay with the Xs and Os , according to one source close to the situation, is not restricted to Del Negro, suggesting that promoting Marc Iavaroni to interim coach would not be received well by the Clips' vets. (Dean Demopolous and Robert Park after Del Negro's other assistants. ESPN.com

Del Negro's contract is guaranteed for the rest of this season, and the Clippers have the option to renew his contract for next season. The only assistant coach on Del Negro's staff with NBA head-coaching experience is Mark Iavaroni, who spent two seasons as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. Los Angeles Times

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, on the other hand, refuses to touch the topic of his contract nearing its end. “I’m not going to talk about my contract situation,” Carlisle said Friday afternoon on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Galloway and Company, staying consistent with his policy on the matter. “We’ve got games to win. We’ve got a locker room full of free agents and a bunch of guys that I have such great respect and gratitude for. Right now, we’re in a foxhole fighting for our lives. The coach talking about his contract situation is not appropriate.” ESPN.com

However, there is already media buzz in Portland about trying to pry Carlisle away from the Mavs. Carlisle enjoyed his time as a Trail Blazers assistant early in his coaching career, and he’d have a young franchise player to work with in LaMarcus Aldridge. The Knicks job could be attractive to Carlisle due to the superstar talent in place along with Tyson Chandler’s leadership. And the Clippers job, which isn’t open yet, is certainly intriguing. ESPN.com

Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird is denying a New York Post story saying he has decided to step down at the end of the season. "No decision has been made. End of story," Bird said through a team spokesman. Indianapolis Star

Bird and team owner Herb Simon have a handshake year-to-year agreement. Bird told The Indianapolis Star in January that he'll decide his future once the season ends. "I talk to Larry every day. He has not said anything to me about leaving," Simon said Friday. "He can stay here as long as he wants." Indianapolis Star

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Anthony Parker has closely followed coverage of the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager shot Feb. 26 by a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer. With the Cavaliers playing Friday about 30 miles from the site of the shooting, Parker used his Twitter account Thursday to voice frustration over the handling of the case with these two Tweets: • "Staying away from wearing hoodies in gated communities here in Orlando," Parker wrote in reference to Martin's attire at the time of his death. "Don't want anymore victims of 'self defense'. #TrayvonMartin" Cleveland Plain Dealer

Others around the NBA joined the chorus Friday in calling attention to the case. Players from the Miami Heat -- including former Cavalier LeBron James -- and New York Knicks expressed strong opinions. The Heat's Dwyane Wade posted a picture of himself from a previous photo shoot wearing a hooded sweat shirt to his Twitter and Facebook pages. On his Twitter account, James linked a photo of the Heat team, all wearing hoodies, their heads bowed. Meanwhile, Knicks star Amar'e Stoudemire encouraged players to wear hoodies during pregame warm-ups around the league. Cleveland Plain Dealer

During a day when the Miami Heat took a team photo wearing hoodies to show support for Trayvon Martin and New York forward Carmelo Anthony showed off an image of himself wearing a hooded sweatshirt, Watson changed his main Twitter image to a photo of him wearing a white hoodie. Watson on what provoked the change and his thoughts about Martin's controversial death: I've been following it as much as I could and I started to follow it on Facebook. If you don't catch the news and just ask a question [on Facebook], people answer. And I heard an audio tape — it was sad — of the shot and the shooting and being on the phone with the police. You could hear the kid in the background screaming for help. 'He's going to kill me, I'm about to die. Help, help.' You hear that one shot. [Pop.] And then it was silence. So I see it on Facebook, cause I guess the kid had on a hood or something and he had some Skittles and an iced tea. Salt Lake Tribune

Earl Watson: This is not even a controversial stance. It's a stance for human rights. It's a stance for civil rights. It's a stance for just love. A kid, 17 years old: that could be any kid. … The audio tape is what really gets you. The kid, hearing his last words. that kid is only 17 years old. I just remember when I was 17. You never what he could've become and it's just sad that nothing has been done. And it's more disappointing that laws can actually protect that. Here, we're all worrying about that Kony kid over in Africa — Kony 2012. And here we have a situation where it's not massive. But I don't think there's a difference between one person losing their life and a million. It's not fair and it's not right, so we have to stand up for what we believe here, first. Salt Lake Tribune

Earl Watson: Decision to wear the hoodie: The hoodie was just support for him and his family. It's tough, because there's me losing my little brother in a car accident when I was 17. Let alone that family losing their kid to a brainless, insensitive, act of violence. And the fact that the shooter could actually hear those words before he shot him that last time shows he didn't care. Salt Lake Tribune

Scott was playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1992 when that city erupted into violence after a jury acquitted four L.A. police officers -- three white and one Hispanic -- accused in the videotaped beating of black motorist Rodney King. Scott recalls walking out of The Forum on April 29 after a playoff game and into the "chaos." "If it gets out of hand, it sets us . . . it almost sets us back as a people," Scott said. "Then, all of a sudden you start talking about race again. That's something I'm hoping, and I think a lot of people are hoping, we can get past that. But it keeps going back to that, and the longer this thing lasts -- just like it did in L.A. at that particular time -- the worse it gets." Cleveland Plain Dealer

A federal grand jury has upped the stakes against former New Jersey Net Tate George, whom last year federal authorities accused of running a $2 million Ponzi scheme. George, 43, of Newark, was indicted yesterday on four counts of wire fraud, all tied to allegations that a purported real estate development firm he ran was nothing more than a sham investment scheme. That is up from the single count of wire fraud he was charged with in September following his arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Newark Star-Ledger

The indictment, announced by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, carried a few new details about the case against George. Authorities previously accused the former point guard, best known for sinking a buzzer-beating shot that sent the University of Connecticut to the 1990 NCAA regional finals, of holding himself out to potential investors as the chief executive of a $500 million real estate development firm known as The George Group. He also claimed falsely to have a personal wealth of more than $12 million, according to yesterday’s indictment. Newark Star-Ledger

The Bulls will honor the memory of Sun-Times sportswriter Lacy J. Banks with a moment of silence before the game Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors. Banks, who covered the Bulls and the NBA during his 40-year career at the Sun-Times, died Wednesday of heart disease at 68. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Joyce, and their daughters, Nicole Chapman, Noelle Banks and Natasha Banks, as well as five grandchildren. The Bulls have arranged for his family to attend the game in a private box at the United Center. Chicago Sun-Times

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