HoopsHype rumors

April 21, 2012 | 04:14 PM ET Update

The executive committee includes Maurice Evans, Chris Paul, Keyon Dooling, James Jones, Matt Bonner, Roger Mason, Theo Ratliff and Etan Thomas. After a unanimous vote, the group suggested that Fisher resign. The committee scheduled a conference call with Hunter and discussed some of the concerns that Fisher has brought up relating to the union’s leadership and practices. Hunter provided in-depth answers and erased the group’s concerns. The board scheduled a similar phone call with Fisher to discuss his allegations and, but Fisher failed to call in. “Derek has the right to handle this as he sees fit,” Evans said. “We have already expressed what our desires are as a board. We didn’t expect this from Derek, with the leadership he has displayed in the past, and it was becoming a huge distraction from the great season that the NBA is having right now. The executive committee understands that we don’t make decisions as individuals. We make decisions as a whole. This is not about Mo Evans, Billy Hunter or Derek Fisher. This is about us making decisions collectively and when we don’t demonstrate that desire to make decisions as a group, we think it’s in the best interest to part ways.” HoopsWorld

The NBPA just did a financial audit in February and didn’t find any issues, according to sources close to the situation. Fisher is calling for transparency, but other members of the executive committee don’t believe there are any problems with the union’s business or financial practices. “I can’t speak on Derek’s behalf, I can only speak on behalf of the group, but we believe in transparency and believe in being forthright,” Evans said. “We want nothing more than to be transparent with the entire general body as we represent them. This isn’t about our individual desires. We just want to move forward and help the union to function better. We don’t want to be a distraction to our players. We want to shift the focus away from Derek, Billy and the executive committee and back onto the great season that we’re having.” HoopsWorld

“We believe that Chris Paul will be the next president,” Evans said. “He played an intricate role during the lockout and throughout the negotiations. He has the confidence of a lot of guys on the board and around the NBA. Going forward, we believe that he would do a great job. That has yet to be determined or voted on and we’ll address those matters down the road. For now, we’ll continue to support every member of the executive committee and value every member’s opinions.” HoopsWorld

From the time Lewis was acquired from Orlando in exchange for Gilbert Arenas in December 2010, the primary selling point was that his exorbitant contract included a buyout that could remove him from the books in 2012. Lewis earned enough incentives from his time with the Magic that he can be bought out for $13.7 million of his $22 million salary before next season, which would provide considerable savings for the Wizards to sign potential free agents or acquire talent in trades. If the Wizards bought out Lewis, they would still have the amnesty clause available to possibly part ways with Andray Blatche. Washington Post

Though his numbers have declined dramatically since he made his last all-star appearance in 2009, the 32-year-old Lewis believes he still can be a contributor for many years to come — once he gets healthy. “I still feel like I got a lot of basketball in me. I know I can still play at a high level. I know I can still run and jump. It’s just getting healthy,” Lewis said. “I know I’m not nowhere near the end of my career. I feel like I’m most definitely in my prime. You’re going to look up one day and say, ‘Sweet Lew’ is back.” Washington Post

Puerto Rican team Mets de Guaynabo signed for the season Derrick Caracter. The player has started the season in NBA with the Lakers but was assigned to Los Angeles D-Fenders (4 games at 15.5ppg and 7.5rpg). Caracter has also played with Rio Grande Valley Vipers (11.2ppg and 5.4rpg in 5 games) and Idaho Stampede (10ppg and 6.8rpg in 4 games). Sportando

Dwight Howard is making his first steps toward recovery from season-ending back surgery. The All-Star center for the Orlando Magic was scheduled to begin his post-operative walking program Saturday, one day after a herniated disk was repaired and some fragments removed during a procedure in Los Angeles. Howard's surgeon, Dr. Robert Watkins Sr., said Friday's operation was "uneventful" and Howard was resting comfortably. "The more formal core stabilization program will begin in three weeks," Watkins Sr., who was assisted in the procedure by son Dr. Robert Watkins Jr., said in a statement. "The timing of his return to basketball will depend on his response to the rehabilitation program. We anticipate a full recovery." ESPN.com

April 21, 2012 | 07:25 AM ET Update

Marcus Camby: It's been great being back home. Portland was eliminated last night (Tuesday) and they're getting hammered tonight (Wednesday), so being traded here, just being in a situation to actually compete for the playoffs is great. With me being a free agent [in the summer] and the Rockets looking for a big man in the middle, I hope we can get something done in the summer. I want to stay. I actually built a house from scratch in Houston like five years ago with the intentions of finishing my career down there. So it's crazy how things play out. From the coaches and from management and my meetings I've had with them, I think they enjoy what I've been doing with my play and my leadership. I know from talking to my representative that there's going to be a lot of suitors at the end of the season, but this is where I want to be. It's something we'll definitely address at the end of the season. ESPN.com

Q: Do you have it in your head how much longer you want to play? A: I want to play 20 [seasons]. That's the goal. That's the magic number. I'm at 16 now, so we'll see. Now I'm more able to think the ballgame through and see different spots out there on the court where I can make plays for my teammates. [Smarts] definitely helps balance what you lose physically. It definitely does. Coming in, I don't want to say I was a Vince Carter high flier, but I definitely had more spring than I do now. But I still think I can do all the little intangible things out there. ESPN.com

What the Nets are thinking— reportedly — is that they need to upgrade the roster and power forward is one place they feel they can do better. The team reportedly plans to chase after Boston’s Kevin Garnett as they try to add star power for when they move into the Barclays Center. Humphries claims not to hear all the speculation, and goes about his business not thinking about any of it. “There’s not a team in the NBA that doesn’t want Dwight Howard; there’s not a team that doesn’t want whoever the best player is at each position,’’ he said. ”Hopefully, I’ve put myself in the position these last couple years where teams value me and (want me to) be a part of the future. Newark Star-Ledger

A high priority for the Nets in the offseason will remain a starting power forward, with unrestricted free agents Kevin Garnett of the Celtics and Ersan Ilyasova of the Bucks leading targets. Of course, there is the Deron Williams factor as the Nets move to Brooklyn. Williams, who has missed two games with a sore calf and whose status for Saturday night’s game in Milwaukee will be updated this morning, is at the core of the move with his impending free agency after the expected opt-out of his final contract year. The thinking has been: Get Howard, keep Williams for sure. New York Post

So Howard’s back issue, one of the avalanche of injuries that socked the league in its asinine shortened-with-little-preparation schedule, forces the Nets and Magic to re-plot strategies. There are best-case scenarios: Howard is healthy, becomes a Net and both Williams and Gerald Wallace stay. There are worst-case scenarios: Howard doesn’t arrive, Williams and Wallace leave. And there is a very possible scenario of signing a four to add to a front line alongside small forward Wallace and center Brook Lopez. That could keep Williams around and if the Nets continue adding assets such as Gerald Green and MarShon Brooks, they will field a highly competitive, playoff-likely (if healthy) team in Brooklyn. New York Post

Lester Hudson left the Cavaliers this week after the expiration of his second 10-day contract because, according to sources close to the situation, Hudson didn't want to sign a deal with a team option for next season, as Cleveland preferred, unless he was receiving more guaranteed money in 2012-13. Such contracts are commonplace around the league on late-season signings. Among the recent players to sign such two-year deals -- which are offered to give teams an extra trade chip as much as anything because the second year of the contract is not fully guaranteed -- are Boston's Sean Williams; Charlotte's Jamario Moon; Houston's Courtney Fortson and Diamon Simpson; and the Cavaliers' Manny Harris and Donald Sloan. ESPN.com

Former Nevada guard Armon Johnson will finish out the season with an NBA team. The New Jersey Nets announced Friday that they signed Johnson for the rest of the season, which ends Thursday. Johnson had completed a 10-day contract that he signed on April 9. Johnson played in five games for the Nets, averaging 4.4 points with a season-high six points in three games. Reno Gazette-Journal

Olimpia Milano is again on the market looking for a new combo guard who will be replacing the injured JR Bremer for the final part of the season. The Italian team made an offer to Aaron Brooks in the last days but the player turned it down. Brooks has spent the season in China with Souther Tigers losing the final against Beijing Ducks led by Stephon Marbury. Sportando

This season, though, D12 never came close to earning a suspension triggered by technical overload, despite all that coach- and contract-related tension that presumably could have pushed him over the edge. And he's not alone in dodging tech-related trouble. Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins has been hit with 17 T's this season, which should have earned him three one-game suspensions based on the prorated scale implemented for the 66-game schedule, which calls for players to be suspended for one game when they reach 13 T's and an additional game for every odd-numbered tech after that. But Perkins has gratefully seen five of his 17 techs rescinded by the league office, putting his total at 11 and ensuring that he won't lose a single game to suspension if he can get through Oklahoma City's next three on the schedule (road dates against the Kings and Lakers and a home encounter with Sacramento) without a T. ESPN.com

It's clear that opposing players don't like getting dunked on by Griffin, then seeing him pose over them. And then, beyond that, having to see the highlights over and over of the spectacular play. As a result, opponents are being more physical with Griffin, and in some cases hard, flagrant fouls have been committed against the Clippers' All-Star power forward. "I was told by somebody — I ain't going to say who — he is Public Enemy No. 1 as far as dunking," Chris Paul said after Thursday night's game in Phoenix. "We try to protect him. He gets beat up on the offensive end." Los Angeles Times

Speaking on SportsCenter, Abdul-Jabbar said that Bynum needs to check his "ego" and suggested that his career year has led to his acting out and misbehaving. "Andrew is doing very well on the court," Jabbar said. "He just needs to try to calm down his ego a little bit." Bynum, 24, is averaging a career-high 19.2 points and 12.3 rebounds per game this season. Along the way, he's beefed with Lakers coach Mike Brown, hoisted an ill-advised 3-pointer, said that he doesn't participate in team huddles, and received a fine for his behavior. "It's starting to get to him how successful he's become, maybe," Abdul-Jabbar suggested. "I don't know, I haven't talked to him so I don't know. This is just my observations from afar because I'm no longer coaching with the Lakers. He's doing very well and it seems to have gotten to his head a little bit." CBSSports.com

Perish to think what will happen if they should ever win their first playoff game since 2001. Or their first playoff series since 2000. What will we get then? Champagne? Parades? Holidays? Because this was the thing that was impossible to escape if you grinded your way through all 48 minutes of this indifferent 98-90 loss to the 21-41 Cavaliers: This is a team that sure acts like it’s accomplished something. “Disappointing,” was the word that Carmelo Anthony used but his coach, Mike Woodson, opted for a more appropriate adjective. “Unacceptable,” Woodson said. “Completely unacceptable.” New York Post

Kobe Bryant said he felt great after logging 30 minutes Friday night in his return from a sore left shin. “I feel fresh,” Bryant said. He scored 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, but the Lakers were blown out by San Antonio. Lakers coach Mike Brown was pleased with Bryant’s performance in his first outing in eight Lakers games, and Bryant said he intends to play the remaining two regular-season games. “I’m not on vacation,” he said. “I was hurt. If I’m healthy, I play.” Orange County Register

The team doctor for the Orlando Magic said he believes Dwight Howard will recover fully after undergoing back surgery on Friday, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Dr. Craig Mintzer told the newspaper that Howard is doing well after the surgery and should recover in about four months without complications. "He shouldn't have restrictions whatsoever. He should come back fully. There shouldn't be an issue there. Really, it's just a matter of time," Mintzer told the Sentinel. ESPN.com

Stoudemire said the bulging disk was discovered then but was not considered a big issue. Nevertheless, it became more noticeable after an MRI exam in late summer, and the setback in his rehab forced him to enter training camp not in proper condition. “It wasn’t as herniated [last April],’’ Stoudemire said. “I don’t think they saw it until later on that summer. That’s why I came to training camp not really ready to go. It took a while to get to here I was 100 percent and in top shape and had explosiveness back.’’ New York Post

Stoudemire said he didn’t feel symptoms from his bulging disk until the Detroit game last month. “I wanted to use the guys who were working on me, but I couldn’t,’’ Stoudemire said of his offseason rehab. “The problem with the lockout, you can’t use the Knicks training staff. When the injury first happened in Boston, I couldn’t use the same training staff here that knew about the injury. I had to go out and find other specialists to work my back. It was a somewhat displeasing thing for me. I wanted to use guys that I was working with.’ “I’m actually pain-free. I’m doing a great job attacking the injury and making sure everything around the injury is secure. “I responded to [the epidural] great. It was the first time I ever heard about it, so I did my research on it and it worked out great for me. It took me about two days. Once that procedure was done, I took more time to strengthen the injury.” New York Post

Despite widespread speculation about whether Andrew Bynum might play for Team USA in the Olympics this summer now that Dwight Howard and LaMarcus Aldridge are out after surgeries, nothing has changed for Bynum and his advisers — who continue to believe it is crucial for Bynum to rest and attend to his troublesome knees in the NBA offseason. “I’ve got to take care of my legs in the offseason,” Bynum said late Friday night. About rest, Bynum said: “I need it.” Orange County Register

"Probably not," Bynum said when asked if he would consider playing in the Olympics. "I've got to take care of my legs in the offseason. I've got some things (treatment) planned on my knees. I need it. I need to have some therapy." Bynum's history of knee trouble began when he suffered a partial dislocation of his left knee in a game Jan. 13, 2008 against the Memphis Grizzlies. He tore the medial-collateral ligament in his right knee Jan. 31, 2009 against the Grizzlies. "For selfish reasons you always worry about Andrew's knees and health and the wear and tear on that part of his body, so the more games and more practices he has it's more wear and tear," Lakers coach Mike Brown said Friday morning. "You hope he takes the summer and rests, especially after a long playoff run." Los Angeles Daily News

Bynum has not played for Team USA in the past, which figures to be a strike against him as the June 1 deadline for the roster's selection approaches. The style of play in the Olympics also might not make it necessary to find a replacement for Howard. "I think the international game is a little different, you don't necessarily have to have a power guy or skill guy around the basket, especially the way these international teams play and the zones you face," Brown said. "Yeah, I think he'd be great for anybody and everybody, but it's just a matter of what Coach K (coach Mike Krzyzewski) and his staff, and (USA Basketball chairman Jerry) Colangelo are looking for." Los Angeles Daily News

"People can speculate all they want, but there's no reason to speculate." Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo, attempting to shoot down media suggestions that whatever role Carmelo Anthony played in Mike D'Antoni's departure in New York could cost Melo his spot on the Olympic team this summer. ESPN.com

Tyson Chandler is even more of a stone-cold lock among Knicks candidates because of the growing need for size in the wake of the surgeries suddenly required by Dwight Howard (back) and LaMarcus Aldridge (hip), but Melo's not far off. Not with the way he can score all over the floor and play as a 4-man internationally just like he's been doing in New York with Amare Stoudemire out. "He will be on that team," one USAB insider said ESPN.com

Steve Kerr and John Hammond -- two candidates who have been down this road before -- are back in the mix of the Trail Blazers' search for a general manager. Team president Larry Miller, who is heading the search, said he is not taking no for an answer when it comes to Kerr, the former Phoenix Suns general manager and current TNT television analyst. According to agent Mark Bartelstein, Kerr will have lunch with Miller this weekend in San Diego, even though he already has told Miller he is happy being a father, husband and television analyst for TNT. "I haven't given up on Kerr," Miller said Friday. Oregonian

Kerr, 47, was Miller's first target last May after Rich Cho was fired, but he turned down the overtures, citing his desire to be with his family. Bartelstein on Friday reiterated those sentiments. "Steve's life right now with TNT and his family could not be better," Bartelstein said. "He hasn't had one thought for being a coach or a general manager. But when someone calls, you listen." Oregonian

“Today was wasn’t really about Plan A or Plan. Today was about ‘does it make sense for us to keep talking?’ and we both agreed it did.” “I don’t know what the hard deadline is. But I can’t imagine us going longer than another week or two. I just can’t imagine that scenario. And quite honestly, I don’t even know if we can make it today. That’s what we want to find out – when is the drop dead deadline to be able to have everything in place to be able to make 2015? I don’t know that answer. That’s what the next couple weeks is really about for all of us.” Cowbell Kingdom

There is a civil war at the NBA Players’ Association, with the union’s executive committee rallying behind executive director Billy Hunter and asking for the resignation of president Derek Fisher. “The NBPA issued this statement this afternoon: “On Wednesday, April 18th, the NBPA Executive Committee cast an 8-to-0 vote that it lost confidence in Derek Fisher’s ability to act as Union President and requested Derek’s resignation. “The Executive Committee based its decision on numerous instances over the past six months where Fisher engaged in conduct detrimental to the union, including acting in contravention of the players’ best interests during collective bargaining, declining to follow the NBPA Constitution, and failing to uphold the duties of the Union President. “To avoid further damage to the NBPA and its 450 members, the Executive Board again calls for Derek’s resignation.” SheridanHoops

Fisher, a 37-year-old guard with the Oklahoma City Thunder, has been hearing from players and teams offering support and encouragement. Several players told Yahoo! Sports Friday they support Fisher’s push for union transparency, and they and members of their teams were contacting him to lend support. “So the next step is simple," Fisher wrote in the email. "All players have a voice. Any and all players may request an independent review of the business practices and finances and a player representative vote can be taken at a time when all 30 player representatives can be present. A firm of the players choosing may conduct the review. “The allegations that are now being directed at me are defamatory. But I urge our members to order an independent review beginning immediately and that will be proven along with finding out definitively if there are any issues with the NBPA's business practices and finances.” Yahoo! Sports

Over the past several days, Hunter has launched an all-out assault through the eight-man executive committee to push out Fisher. Hunter successfully thwarted an audit of the union’s business and financial practices that Fisher pitched to the executive committee. Hunter had the union's executive committee vote to seek Fisher's resignation, but Fisher refused to step down and has been working to gather a coalition of players to challenge Hunter’s business and financial practices, sources told Y! Sports. Fisher has told peers he will not resign, but rather fight Hunter for further transparency regarding the NBPA. Yahoo! Sports

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