HoopsHype rumors

April 16, 2012 | 08:09 PM ET Update

Amid widespread speculation about Amare Stoudemire's return from a back injury, a source close to the New York Knicks veteran power forward said Stoudemire may return later this week. Stoudemire will not play on Tuesday against Boston and is unlikely to play on Wednesday in New Jersey. But there is a possibility that he returns to the team later this weekend, either Friday night against Cleveland or Sunday against Atlanta, according to the source. "It's a possibility," the source said. ESPN.com

Former St. John’s freshman Moe Harkless will sign with agent Happy Walters within a week or so, his mentor, Nate Blue, tells SNY.tv. “It’s a great agency,” Blue said of Rogue Sports. “They have tons of young clients and will work to get Moe in the right situation as he did with Iman [Shumpert] and others. He’s very smart and respected and will give him great advice.” ZagsBlog.com

Hummel is ready to move forward after hiring Mark Bartelstein as his agent. Former Purdue center JaJuan Johnson, now a rookie with the Boston Celtics, believes Hummel can make it in the league. Journal Gazette

According to The Times-Picayune, Benson reiterated his wish to change the current team’s name from Hornets to the Jazz or something more reflective of New Orleans. The city had the Jazz for five years — from 1974-79 — before folding up its tent and moving to Utah. “I’m going to ask all of you to help me with this, too,” Benson said. “We want to change the name from Hornets . . . . to something that means New Orleans and Louisiana. The ‘Hornets’ doesn’t mean anything.’Deseret News

The National Basketball Association’s Development League on Monday unveiled a unique deal that will see sponsor logos on all its playoff team jerseys. The league signed a pact with Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. BBVA to make the bank the presenting partner of the D-League playoffs and finals. marketwatch.com

Dwayne Schintzius was a good kid and a good student whose first love, his dad said, was actually baseball. But at 7'2", Dwayne realized his destiny was on the hard-court, not the diamond. "If he had any future it had to be in basketball," said Ken. WTSP.com

April 16, 2012 | 06:26 PM ET Update

The Wolves have to extend him a qualifying offer this summer to protect the right to match any other team's offer, although Beasley's at $8 million for next season is nearly double what Randolph's will be. Very unlikely that either gets that qualifying offer, but both still could be re-signed as unrestricted free agent for less than that, depending upon what action either of them gets from other teams on the open market. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“I’m definitely sick of taking hard hits,” Griffin said after the Clippers’ shootaround Monday. “…There’s a point, I can’t remember what game it was, in my mind where I thought this is kind of ridiculous. I’m sick of it, but it’s going to keep on happening.” Orange County Register

Carmelo Anthony saw the opportunity for a “new start” in New York once coach Mike D’Antoni resigned and was replaced by assistant Mike Woodson. In an interview on WFAN on Monday morning, Anthony said Woodson called him out in one of his first team meetings as coach. “It was a new start for me, a new start for the team, a new start for the New York Knicks when coach Woodson came on,” Anthony said. “The most important thing is he held me accountable for everything. I hold myself accountable for everything. It was a lot more responsibility that I had to take on and I was willing to do that. New York Post

For what seems like the first time in a long time, the Orlando Magic have received some good news on the injury front. An MRI today showed that Glen Davis suffered no structural damage when he hurt his right knee Sunday night, team spokesman Joel Glass said. Davis mildly hyperextended the knee. His availability for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers is being called a gametime decision, but it's difficult to envision him playing this evening. Orlando Sentinel

According to sources familiar with the Clippers thinking, there was some internal talk about whether to replace Del Negro midway through the season when they dropped 11 of 19 games. But those talks never became actionable because Sterling continued to strongly support Del Negro, and the organization wanted to give him the opportunity to work through the issues that befell the team following Billups injury. ESPN.com

Mayor Kevin Johnson said today the effort to keep the Kings in Sacramento "is not over," although he offered few clues as to how the city will deal with the collapse of the arena project. At a press conference to celebrate the success of the fundraising campaign to keep city pools open, Johnson said, "This is not over, we're going to figure out something." He said he's not sure whether the Kings owners, the Maloofs, want to stay in Sacramento, despite the Maloofs' insistence over the weekend that they're committed to the city. "They told me in New York that they can change their mind," the mayor said. Sacramento Bee

Despite all the excitement surrounding the handshake deal for a new downtown arena made more than a month before, Johnson -- who raised some $10 million from these same business leaders the year before as a way of showing the league how badly the Maloofs had mismanaged this market -- had a warning for the group. He told them that a bit of bad arena news "might be coming out of L.A.," as one source who was in the room remembered, a clear foreshadowing of the Los Angeles Times report published just hours later that detailed the Maloofs' concerns about the deal and raised the possibility yet again that they might be on the move. SI.com

Johnson -- who had seen Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof cry tears of joy when they had the "framework" agreed to at All-Star weekend in Orlando; who had celebrated with the team's owners on the Power Balance Pavilion court as if this game was over; and who had spent so much of his time in office pushing this revitalization project only to see it fall apart at the end -- was fuming about this failed partnership again. He said the Maloofs "should be ashamed to show their faces in Sacramento," the source said, then offered an unsolicited reminder that his Plan B was still very much in play: Ron Burkle. SI.com

A year after Johnson partnered with the L.A.-based billionaire to put pressure on the Maloofs to sell the Kings, sources say he remains in constant contact with Burkle and is still hopeful that he will eventually take over the team and keep it in Sacramento. Burkle, the Pittsburgh Penguins' owner who was ranked 107th on Forbes' list of richest people in America last year (net worth of $3.2 billion), was a major part of Johnson's pitch to stop the Maloofs from moving to Anaheim. SI.com

Meanwhile, the Maloofs, who initially claimed that a $3.25 million redevelopment fee was the main holdup of the deal, have likely lost more than that in team sponsorships and future attendance by way of this public relations disaster. Because so many businesses agreed to one-year deals last season as a result of the one-year reprieve, sources close to the team say there are more than 50 partners up for renewal for next season and there's simply not much incentive to invest in the future. And while the Power Balance Pavilion crowd at Sunday night's game against the Trail Blazers was surprising in its size (16,012) and serenity -- not to mention the appearance of Joe and Gavin Maloof, who watched the game from their suite but scrapped a plan to sit courtside and perhaps even address the crowd -- it's hard to imagine the support continuing without the return of hope here. SI.com

On the Maloofs' intentions ... "Our intention is still to try to get something done. You have to remember that this is a $400 million deal. We received the term sheet, for what it's worth, eight days before the deadline. We turned it around as soon as we could, and then we had comments and didn't hear back on our comments until a few days ago, and that was that. Are we open to further negotiating? Of course. We want to keep trying, because we feel it's important for the team and important for the city. But we are not plotting to move. That is not an option." SI.com

On the Maloofs' reaction to the public bashing and their troubled relationship with Johnson ... "Well, it's pretty tough [for the relationship to improve] when somebody calls you names. We're not politicians. We're business people. We don't play in that field. What we have is a transaction that is a business transaction. I see irony behind the fact that for the 'Think Big' group, if you look in the book itself, it says that all parties had to be comfortable with the deal. It just so happened that we weren't comfortable and the city wasn't comfortable with it, but why blow each other up [in the media]? It's not fair. We haven't done that, and I think it's classless that somebody would say that about my family. It's not fair. SI.com

On Stern's private reaction to the Maloofs' declining a deal he brokered ... "I can't speak for David, but I can tell you that we don't always agree. He doesn't always agree with other owners. There are just times when you don't agree. But I think at the end of the day, we're not going to take away any effort from the commissioner of the NBA. They worked very hard, just like we have, but it just hasn't worked at this point." SI.com

Arash Markazi: The @NBA officially announced that New Orleans will host the 2014 NBA All-Star Game. Twitter

April 16, 2012 | 02:30 PM ET Update

The Washington Wizards have done excellent work in the past with their forays in the NBA Development League's player pool as evidenced by Cartier Martin once again this season. On Monday morning, following the release of Roger Mason Jr., the team has decided to make a move to the D-League once again by calling up Morris Almond. Ridiculous Upside

Almond's season in the D-League ended last weekend when his Maine Red Claws failed to make the playoffs, but sources tell Ridiculous Upside he'll get a second chance to play this season when he signs with Washington this week. Ridiculous Upside

SLAM: Next year, being a restricted free agent, is Portland a place you’d like to stay and possibly re-sign with moving forward? JH: Of course, I would love it. I’ve been getting some positive feedback from Coach, and from the organization as a whole, and I would love to re-sign here. As far as the guys on the court, as far as my teammates go, we all like each other off the court and we all get along too. Guys hang out off the court, and I think that builds a chemistry that leads to winning basketball. So I would love to come back here, continue to be a Portland Trailblazer, and help be part of something special that we’re building here. SLAM

SLAM: What were your initial reactions when you first learned that you’d finish this season as a member of the Portland Trailblazers? JJ Hickson: I was really excited. I was ecstatic about joining this team in Portland, and getting into a situation where I could really prosper, and show what I can do. SLAM: Why do you think the situation in Sacramento didn’t work out the way that you and the organization had hoped it would when they first traded for you? JH: As far as Sacramento, there wasn’t, and isn’t, any bad blood on either side there as far as me, the organization, and the team are concerned. There wasn’t any animosity there on either side at all, and I wish their team the best of luck. It just wasn’t a good fit for me there. I don’t have anything negative to say about that team, it just wasn’t a good fit for me, as far as my game is concerned, and I’m happy now to be a Portland Trailblazer. I’m glad to be in this situation, and I’m just focused on trying to make the most of it. SLAM

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent center Mikki Moore to a contract, the team announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released. Moore, a 12-year NBA veteran, is being called-up from the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League, where he has appeared in 33 games this season and averaged 11.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.06 blocks in 28.1 minutes per contest. He is shooting 55.4% (134-242 FG) from the field and has posted six double-doubles. This marks the 53rd GATORADE Call-Up of the 2011-12 NBA season. NBA.com

One Western Conference GM wrote that he'd favor keeping Ibaka because he suspects Harden's agent, Rob Pelinka, will demand a max deal for Harden, "and he's easier to replace," the GM wrote. "I would keep Ibaka," an Eastern Conference exec said. ".....so hard to find frontcourt players with presence in the paint ....love Harden, but I would rather have to replace a scorer off the bench, than search for a big like Ibaka." NBA.com

Rose, who has a well-documented fear of needles and said he would not be getting stitches, wore a band-aid over his nose for the rest of the game. "I was mad," Rose said. "I'm sick and tired of people trying to take cheap shots at me. You got to say something." ESPN.com

Rose was fined $25,000 last month for making comments toward officials after a March 12 game against the New York Knicks. "I've gotta be the only superstar in the league that's going through what I'm going through right now," Rose said at the time, referring to a lack of foul calls in his favor. "But I can't say too much about it." This time, he took matters into his own hands. He felt it was time to stand up for himself against Villanueva. "You got to," Rose said. "He didn't even aim for the ball. At least go for the ball. I felt like he didn't and that's the reason why I got mad a little bit." ESPN.com

Roy became Rookie of the Year and a three-time All-Star while Foye's promising rookie season alongside Kevin Garnett quickly regressed because of a sophomore-season knee injury and a work environment that crumbled when Garnett was traded away. "I understand the whole Foye-Roy thing, I didn't ask to be selected there," he said. "I worked my butt off. I had a great college career. Whatever happened, happened. It just seemed like I was hated because of someone else's success. If I hadn't gotten hurt, I would have been right up there, playing my butt off helping the Wolves become a contender. It didn't happen. It seemed like people turned on me after my second year. "I loved being in Minnesota. Minnesota was great to me. The people outside of basketball were great to me. But at the same time I was frustrated for being blamed for something I couldn't control." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Warriors forward David Lee might be done for the season because of a groin injury. "The doctors called me and said you've got to shut this guy down," Warriors general manager Larry Riley said. The morning after scoring a game-high 30 points in a loss to Dallas, Lee had an MRI in an attempt to find the source of his pain. Friday's MRI revealed a strained groin and a stress reaction. Team doctors told Lee if he played before his groin were fully healed, he would risk further injury. "He wanted to play, but I'm not going to let him," Riley said. "But I told him he could hurt that thing even worse. I'm not going to let him play until he can't hurt it anymore." Contra Costa Times

Rivers' pedigree as the son of a solid pro player and outstanding NBA coach is a blessing, but could also be a burden. Scouts aren't certain whether Rivers' confidence will serve him well at the next level or put a target on his back that may be difficult to escape. If Rivers, who is likely to go in the lottery, somehow slipped down to where Boston is drafting -- somewhere in the 20s -- it could provide an agonizing call for the Celtics' organization. "He's got a lot of maturing to do," said a Southwest Division scout. "It's gonna be interesting to see how he handles an NBA locker room. Guys aren't gonna care who he is." NBA.com

Said another Northwest scout: "He's probably somewhat spoiled. He's got the mindset of Michael (Jordan), where he knows how good he is -- or he thinks he knows how good he is -- and he thinks he can knock down shots any time he wants to ... I don't think he's close to anybody, but I don't think Kobe (Bryant) was close to anybody coming out of high school. "He's got a high opinion of himself. He's Doc's son. He's grown up around the NBA. He went to a very good high school, and he went to Duke ... but the times I've talked to him, and they were brief, he seemed fine to me." NBA.com

Earlier today, I reported that the Ohio State University’s forward Jared Sullinger signed with veteran agent David Falk. His teammate William Buford has also selected his representation and decided to sign with Herb Rudoy and Ron Shade of Interperformances. Rudoy and Shade have already signed 1st Team Associated Press All-American Draymond Green of Michigan State University and will also be representing him leading up to the 2012 NBA Draft. Sports Agent Blog

Olek Czyz, a 6’7 forward from Gdynia, Poland who played college ball at Nevada, has signed with Brad Ames of Priority Sports & Entertainment. The news of the signing was first reported on Twitter by Vilnius, Lithuania-based basketball agency, Jump Start Agency. Jump Start Agency has a proven track record placing American players with overseas basketball teams, and appears to be very interested in Czyz’s future potential based on the company’s Tweet. Sports Agent Blog

When NBA Commissioner David Stern introduces New Orleans Hornets owner Tom Benson at a 2 p.m. press conference day, Stern will also announce that the league has awarded the 2014 All-Star Game to the city, a source confirmed Monday morning. New Orleans Times-Picayune

The NBA is awarding New Orleans the 2014 All-Star game, now that Tom Benson has agreed to buy the Hornets and sign a lease extension at New Orleans Arena, a person familiar with the decision said. ESPN.com

The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press on Monday because an announcement by NBA Commissioner David Stern was scheduled for the afternoon. Stern had already pledged that New Orleans would get an All-Star game once a new owner and lease extension were in place, and because of potential conflicts with Mardi Gras, awarding the game in 2014 made the most sense, the person who spoke to the AP said. ESPN.com

The 2013 game will be played in Houston, and Mardi Gras falls on March 4 in 2014, well after the usual mid-February date for NBA All-Star weekend. Mardi Gras falls in mid-February in 2015 and 2016, so if the NBA had given the 2014 event to New York, as some predicted, it would not make sense to hold the game in New Orleans again until 2017. By then, Benson would be 89 years old. Stern was in New Orleans on Monday to introduce the New Orleans Saints owner as the new Hornets owner. The two announced an agreement Friday for Benson to take over the Hornets, who have often been on shaky ground since arriving in the Big Easy in 2002. ESPN.com

April 16, 2012 | 09:19 AM ET Update

People around the league disagree on how much Malone is calling the shots, but they all agree on this: Malone, 41, is one of the best assistant coaches in the game and Jackson will be tested next season when Malone is likely gone. The Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers will need head coaches, to name a few teams, and one league source said "it's a lock" that Malone will have a head-coaching job next season. Orlando center Dwight Howard reportedly has told team officials that he wants Malone to be the Magic's next head coach. San Francisco Chronicle

"It's a very insecure profession, people get fired all the time, and you live out of a suitcase," Brendan Malone said. "I told him to get married and have kids, and if you want to travel all across the nation that badly, buy a Winnebago." Michael Malone almost took his dad's advice after his playing days were over at Loyola University in Baltimore. He wanted to become a Secret Service agent and was set to become a Michigan state trooper in 1995 to get the law-enforcement experience needed to pursue that career. But two weeks before Malone was set to start at the Trooper Academy, he got a call from Pete Gillen offering him an assistant's job on his staff at Providence. From there, he went to Virginia and then Manhattan College before the NBA called in 2001. "My dad could see then that I had a great passion for it," Malone said before the season. San Francisco Chronicle

He played the next 18 games despite the injury, wearing tape over his injured finger and scoring in double digits eight times, but the pain suddenly became too unbearable. After scoring just three points in a loss to Cleveland on Saturday, Mason elected to have surgery to and effectively end his season. Mason said he would have the procedure on Monday in New York, while the Wizards plan to waive the eight-year veteran shooting guard and use his roster spot to add another back-court player for the final six games of the season. “I didn’t want anyone to hit it so I kept it quiet,” Mason said in a text message. “Plus I wanted to keep playing thru it to show young guys toughness and leadership.” Washington Post

The Wizards (14-46) also signed forward James Singleton for the remainder of the season. Singleton signed a 10-day contract on April 5 and averaged 9.8 points and 7.7 rebounds in six games for the team. Washington Post

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has lobbied the league to immediately begin making basket interference situations in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime reviewable after such a play worked against the Mavs in their 112-108 overtime loss Sunday to the Los Angeles Lakers. It appeared that Lakers forward Matt Barnes touched a Pau Gasol 3-point attempt from the corner as it neared the cylinder with 3:49 to go in overtime. Barnes' hands then came down on the rim and then he and Gasol instantaneously waived their arms in the air to suggest that Barnes did not make contact. The basket was ruled good and the Lakers took a 103-101 lead. "Any potential basket interference in the last two minutes of a game or overtime should be reviewed," Cuban said he wrote in his email to the league. "I didn't bring up that play up at all. "You've got to make that reviewable. You have to ask them to change the rule." ESPN.com

Cuban said he hopes the league takes immediate action. "I'm going to ask the league to change the instant replay rule," Cuban said. "The competition committee, it will get to them at some point, but if it's just common sense and doesn't happen so often, they're pretty smart about doing that stuff." He said, however, that he doesn't expect to wake up Monday morning with a new rule in place. "They could (change it now)," Cuban said. "They won't, but they'll probably change it this summer." ESPN.com

You look at some recent fourth-quarter flameouts in losses — at Atlanta, at Indiana, at Chicago and in the Heat’s first trip of the season into New York. In all of them, when Anthony couldn’t get it done, the Knicks were toast. Even before he scorched them, the Heat knew what was coming. “He’s back to playing Carmelo Anthony basketball,” James said on Friday. “He’s going to make a lot of shots.” But who else can make one in the playoffs, when Anthony doesn’t have it going? He loves it now, having the ball and the spotlight all to himself. But there will come a time when he’ll need to embrace a second scorer, like Stoudemire, if he wants to have a chance to win a ring. “Doing it by yourself is for when you’re young, when you’re 22, 23, 24,” Wade said. “That’s for then. But when you get older, you appreciate it more when you’ve got other guys who can really get the job done, and you don’t have to do it every possession, or you don’t have to have the ball 90% of the game. It’s an adjustment, but it’s a good adjustment to make. If you can get it right, it makes it easier for you. It makes it easier for the team. It saves you.” New York Daily News

Stan Van Gundy made a surprising change to his rotation in Sunday night’s 100-84 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, electing to use Chris Duhon instead of Ish Smith as the backup to Jameer Nelson. The move caught many Magic fans off guard. Smith has become something of a cult hero in Central Florida. Many fans think he creates better for teammates and handles the basketball better. There’s no question he plays at a faster pace than Duhon. I asked Van Gundy why he made the switch after the game. “I loved the way that Ish had played,” Van Gundy said. “He still may play a role here. When we’re struggling, I wanted to go back to veteran guys. I think Ish penetrates the ball very well — maybe better than Chris right now — but I think we get better organization on the floor with Chris, which helps the other guys play well.” Orlando Sentinel

As he ran up and down the court, Andrew Bynum took deep breaths. It had little to do with the normal fatigue that surrounds a typical basketball game. It had everything to do with fighting an upper respiratory infection he suffered the night before the Lakers' 112-108 overtime victory Sunday over the Dallas Mavericks. "It was was just hard to breathe," said Bynum, who finished with 20 points on nine-of-24 shooting and 16 rebounds. "I was tired." Los Angeles Times

“It’s not a bad shot until you miss it. That’s how it always is,” said Crawford, who is connecting on 40.6 percent of his field goal attempts this season. “I probably do take bad shots, but in a sense, we kind of need some of those shots I take. I can always improve on it and I will.” Washington Post

Another topsy-turvy campaign in Washington is ending with Crawford playing a role similar to the one he had envisioned when he arrived for training camp. He is a focal point of the Wizards’ offense, leaned upon for his playmaking and scoring ability, and making shots as he said he’s being doing “since I popped out.” Washington Post

But when the Washington Wizards’ season began, that desire got him in a little trouble when he didn’t get an opportunity that he felt he should’ve had a chance to earn. Coming off a solid finish last season as a rookie, Crawford started at shooting guard the first two games for the Wizards, but felt as if he was merely keeping the seat warm until Nick Young regained his conditioning after re-signing with the team during training camp. “It wasn’t my job at all. I didn’t get a chance to lose it,” Crawford said. “You could all kind of see that I was just holding a position. It wasn’t that they really wanted me to start. That was more disappointing than anything, the fact that I came in wanting more and I was trying to show them that I can bring some winning here, too.” Washington Post

“He plays with a chip on his shoulder and that helps drive him to be player that he is, it also can be viewed negatively and hurt him,” Evans said. “I try to challenge him. He accomplishes the difficult things and makes those look easy — scoring 20 points in a row on a back-to-back is difficult in this league. Accepting criticism from a coach or from a player, be it right or be it wrong, is a colossal challenge for him at times. When I paint the picture for him, he becomes receptive.” If placed in the same situation after another strong finish, Crawford said he would be better prepared. “I ain’t going go into next season like I did last season, hoping for something,” Crawford said. “You don’t know how long you’re going to get to start or play a lot of minutes in the league, for your career, so I’m just looking to take advantage.” Washington Post

Dwight Howard will rest his injured back for the next 10 days and then will be reevaluated, Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith said Sunday. Smith acknowledged that there is no guarantee that Howard, who has a herniated disk in his lower back and has suffered from persistent back spasms, will be available when the playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 28. “It's not up to me,” Smith said before the Magic faced the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. “His body's going to have to pretty much tell us if he can go or not.” Orlando Sentinel

Center Marc Gasol suffered what is believed to be a hyperextended left knee midway through the fourth quarter. The 7-footer was examined by the Hornets' team physician and then went for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to determine the extent of his injury. Gasol sat on a trainer's table after the game with his left knee wrapped in ice. He did walk off the court without assistance. Teammate Zach Randolph followed Gasol into the locker room as play resumed. "I just went through that," Randolph said, referring to a partially torn MCL that kept him out most of this season. "I was just praying he was all right. I think the big fella will be fine." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Gasol crashed to the floor after scoring a layup while Hornets guard Xavier Henry was called for a blocking foul. Gasol remained on the floor for several minutes before Randolph and reserve center Hamed Haddadi helped him to his feet. He went to the bench for the timeout, and returned to attempt the free throw. Gasol didn't complete the three-point play. Allen then immediately committed a foul so that Gasol could leave the game with Marreese Speights taking his place. The Grizzlies were already scheduled to remain in New Orleans Sunday night and fly to Minneapolis this morning. So Gasol's status will be known long before Memphis plays on the road Tuesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Griz coach Lionel Hollins didn't want to speculate following the loss to the Hornets, which really had few redeeming qualities. "It wasn't a tough one," Hollins said of the defeat. "It was nasty, ugly. There was nothing tough about it. ... Our defense -- period -- was atrocious. We just didn't must up the energy we needed." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Tyson Chandler's knee is connected to the Knicks' heart. If the third-quarter collision Chandler had with Miami's Joel Anthony, which noticeably restricted Chandler's movement, turns into a lingering injury, it will be yet another obstacle for a playoff run. "I should be fine,'' Chandler said, though he had difficulty dressing after Sunday's 93-85 loss to the Heat. "It's hard to judge anything right now, fresh off the game. It's just really sore right now, but I think I'll be OK.'' Newsday

Deng has been fighting through a torn ligament in his left wrist for most of the year, and the injury seems to be winning. Deng played nearly 45 minutes in the Bulls’ overtime win against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday but was 1-for-8 from the field, scoring two points. Coach Tom Thibodeau was asked if he’s concerned about resting Deng or at least keeping an eye on his minutes down the stretch. ‘‘If you studied his total minutes, you would see that he’s had plenty of rest this year,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘If you compared his total minutes for the season, don’t forget he’s missed nine games already, so he’s not a guy that’s piled up a ton of minutes.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

Jeremy Lin, who had surgery two weeks ago today, is hoping to begin light jogging by the end of the week. “I think he’s still on the bike and probably doing pool work, probably,” Mike Woodson said. “But no jogging as far as I know.” When Lin spoke with reporters last Sunday, he expressed optimism that he could return for the playoffs although he didn’t think it was realistic that he’d be ready for the first round. New York Daily News

Orlando center Glen Davis left the Magic's game against Cleveland in the first quarter with a sprained right knee and did not return. Davis, averaging 8.9 points and 5.4 rebounds, has started the last four games in place of Magic star Dwight Howard, who is out indefinitely with a herniated disk in his back. Davis was injured Sunday when he went up for a shot and came down awkwardly on the leg. He crumpled to the floor and was down for a couple of minutes. ESPN.com

Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown looks like he could be the next to lead SMU’s men’s basketball program, according to a source. Brown met with SMU officials Sunday in Dallas to discuss the position, which has been open since SMU fired Matt Doherty on March 13 after six seasons. Dallas Morning News

Popovich’s penchant for sidelining perfectly healthy players in the name of rest and relaxation has taken fire from two fronts. One is from those who argue along “integrity of the game” lines. When Popovich chose not to take any of his Big Three on the road to Utah last week, for instance, it helped the Jazz get a win vital to their pursuit of the Western Conference’s final playoff seed, artificially affecting the race. Popovich’s counter-argument? If a team is unhappy with its playoff lot, it should have won more games. “I think people should mostly take care of their own business and end up where they end up based on how well they play, not based on other people,” Popovich said. San Antonio Express-News

The New Orleans Hornets announced Sunday night that new owner Tom Benson will be formally introduced on Monday afternoon in a news conference at New Orleans Arena. NBA Commissioner David Stern is expected to attend, along with Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Benson purchased the Hornets for $338 million, assuring the franchise's long-term future in New Orleans. Benson attended the Hornets’ game Sunday night against the Memphis Grizzlies with his wife, Gayle. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Eric Rose, spokesman for the Maloofs, furnished a scathing rebuttal to CBSSports.com in which he stated, among other things, that Lehane "does not know what he is talking about." "Wild accusations cannot mask the financial calamity which would have befallen the city of Sacramento had the parties proceeded on a railroad arena project that made no economic sense," Rose said in the written statement. "The spokesperson for the utility companies who caused the California energy crisis and Goldman Sachs during the financial crisis is apparently now hunting for his next crisis management client." CBSSports.com

When former University of Florida men's basketball star and NBA first-round draft choice Dwayne Schintzius was battling leukemia two years ago, he became emotional as he explained a mid-life revelation. "I never knew there were so many people who cared about me," he said. He was a basketball giant (7-foot-2, 275 pounds) with a larger-than-life personality. He was enigmatic, stunningly athletic, often controversial and always outspoken. Yet, in the last few years of his life, he was never more human. Tampa Tribune

Schintzius, the former Brandon High School standout who endured months of complications after receiving a second bone-marrow transplant from his younger brother, Travis, in November, died Sunday from respiratory failure at the Moffitt Cancer Center, his family said. He was 43. Twice divorced with no children, he was survived by his younger brother and his parents, Ken and Linda. The family said plans for a memorial service are pending. "He was my big brother and I looked up to him and idolized him my whole life," Travis Schintzius said. "He's at peace now. He's not suffering any more. Now he's probably cracking jokes and making people laugh in heaven." Tampa Tribune

Last summer, Schintzius received special recognition for courage when the Tampa Bay Sports Commission gathered leaders of the area's sports franchises for its "Sneaker Soiree" awards program. "People are giving me an award, I guess, for fighting for my life," Schintzius said then. "I don't deserve the award. The people at Moffitt are the true heroes. They saved my life." Schintzius' basketball career was nothing but lively. Known for his "Lobster" mullet hairdo, which was featured prominently in a Sports Illustrated profile, Schintzius declined to trim his locks at DeVoe's request. He walked away from UF just 11 games into his senior season, saying he was tired of DeVoe's dictatorial manner. Tampa Tribune

Last week, it was reported that Kellogg, 30, has been charged with beating the 10-year-old son she had with Curry with a belt. After her son told a teacher that he’d gotten a “whipping,” the school contacted the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the boy was allowed to go home. Kellogg took him to Silver Cross Hospital on the advice of a DCFS investigator. “I took him there just being cooperative with the DCFS” Kellogg said. “I discipline my son with love, but because a celebrity is involved everybody is trying to make this incident bigger than it is.” Southtown Star

Waiting for Dwyane Wade outside the visitors’ locker room at Madison Square Garden yesterday afternoon was Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who had her family with her, her trademark sunglasses in her hands, was wearing a 10,000 watt smile and showing off bright eyes that could melt a glacier. Who knew? She made small talk with Wade about a book he is finishing writing, and he told her he planned to spend the evening enjoying Manhattan before getting ready to play the New Jersey Nets tonight. SheridanHoops

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.