HoopsHype rumors

May 1, 2012 | 09:31 PM ET Update

Chad Buchanan: Let's say we were to extend Nicolas early, back in January. Whatever we would have signed him at would have eaten up into our cap room. Let's say, hypothetically, you have $15 million in room, say you sing him for $10 million. So you have $5 million in cap room this summer to spend. Because we didn't get a deal done with him, he has what is called a cap hold, which is $5.4 million in room that is getting eat up on your books. So now you have this amount of room to spend on free agents and you can go over, on top of that, and re-sign Nic because you have his Bird rights. TrailBlazers.com

One of the West general managers said Davis "is probably going to be better than Blake Griffin," and his GM colleague upped the ante by saying he expects him to be better than 14-time All-Star and future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett. "There's not one doubt in my mind that he's going to be way better than Blake Griffin," the second GM said. "I don't even think it's going to be close. I think he might end up being a little better than KG. SI.com

Scott Skiles will return to coach the Milwaukee Bucks next season. Skiles told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Tuesday that he would be back as the team's coach. His agent, Keith Glass, confirmed the decision in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. Glass said Skiles would not necessarily receive an extension before next season. Skiles has a year left on his contract, which was extended in 2010. ESPN.com

May 1, 2012 | 05:49 PM ET Update

Can you imagine Jason Kidd as Warriors' back-up PG next season? You can bank on GSW exploring such a possibility, no doubt. Kidd, a free agent come July 1, is an ideal fit in many ways. Experienced. Can Start. Local hero. A true PG who can mentor Curry. It's probably only possible if Mavs land Deron. Kidd, who said he's willing to backup Deron, would then have to choose to sign with GSW. But GM Bob Myers did talk about Curry reaching another level. It makes sense he'd look into the future HOFer Sulia

Dwyane Wade talks about playing Thursday at Madison Square Garden: “It’s no secret other than AmericanAirlines Arena, it’s my favorite place to play,’’ Wade said. “There’s something about the Garden… So I look forward to how this team is going to respond in a very hostile environment.’’ Sulia

NBA Scout on Derrick Favors "I think he is growing, he has a ways to go. He has a presence on the floor, he is a big body at the rim on both ends, he can challenge shots, he doesn't block every shot but people know that he is there. He is physical. I think he is still growing into his body. He is young he is going to put on more muscle. If he can keep the quickness with the weight he puts on he will get better and better." More from the Scout - Read more › Sulia

Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler is recovering after successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a labral tear in his left hip. The procedure was performed Monday by Dr. Marc J. Philippon. Chandler is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in October. NBA.com

May 1, 2012 | 03:51 PM ET Update

Wallace has to make a decision on his one-year player option worth $9.5 million by June 15. At any time, the Nets can sign him to an extension of up to two years on top of the one-year player option. The extension could be no greater or less per year than 7 percent of $9.5 million. So we're looking at having Wallace locked up somewhere in the ballpark of three years, $29 million. That would avoid Wallace going to free agency, but obviously at a steep price. If the Nets lose Wallace, they essentially traded a first-round pick for 16 meaningless games with the Nets. If Wallace opts out – which King said he expects – the Nets can sign him up to five years because they retain his Bird Rights. “Deron (Williams) is 27 years old. Gerald is 30. The goal is to win now. Three years can go by quick, four years can go by quick. …When you have that window, you go for it,” King said. “I told (Wallace) that in his (exit interview) as well that he deserves a multi-year contract.” New York Daily News

Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen encouraged Chicago Bulls players, still dealing with the loss of Derrick Rose to a knee injury, that they are "still the best team in the NBA ... so go out there and play like it" before Game 2 of their playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. "Yes, you lost one of your brothers -- a warrior in every sense of the word -- but I know and you know you've still got a lot of fight left," Pippen wrote in a letter to the team posted on the Bulls website Tuesday. "You're still the best team in the NBA until an opponent proves otherwise. So go out there and play like it. You've earned that much with Derrick along the way, but you also won a lot of games without him. It's time to meet the challenge." ESPN.com

With Rose facing a six- to nine-month rehab following surgery, Pippen wrote that the best tribute the Bulls could make to their injured leader is to win. "With or without Derrick, the ship has to continue to sail," Pippen wrote. "And as he told many of you, it's time to re-dedicate yourselves to staying on track. I know none of you are ready to stop working and you want more than anything to win for Derrick. That's the best tribute you could make for him. And in a way, it would very much make him a part of it. "He'll be with you the rest of the way whether he's in the gym or not, watching and supporting. While you hate to see what happened happen, adversity often brings a team together even more than they were before. It's all about how you react to that adversity." ESPN.com

Tiago Splitter was not present for the second straight day during the team’s media session Tuesday morning and is questionable for Wednesday’s Game 2 against Utah. Splitter was wearing a cast on his sore left wrist during Monday’s practice, when he was seen only riding an exercise bicycle and not taking place in court activities. Splitter’s injury officially is listed as a bone bruise. San Antonio Express-News

Winning an Olympic gold medal has been a goal of Rose's, but he may never get the chance if what NBA Commissioner David Stern told ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd on Monday becomes a reality. "My own view is that post-London, we should be thinking about what soccer does and make it 23 and under," Stern said. Chicago Sun-Times

There's an increasing sentiment that the current U.S. Olympic model isn't working. Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen both suggested players should be paid for participating. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban complained to Greg Couch of FoxSports.com last week that NBA owners allow their assets to make millions for the U.S. Olympic Committee while receiving nothing in return. "It's the biggest mistake the NBA makes,'' Cuban told Couch. "If you look up stupid in the dictionary, you see a picture of the USA Dream Team playing for free for corporate America so the U.S. Olympic Committee can make millions of dollars. If you come up with something that you own, that you give it to me for free so I can make billions of dollars, I want it. "And it has nothing to do with patriotism. It's all about money. You don't see the Olympic Committee saying, 'Oh we made so much money. Let's give it to people.'" Chicago Sun-Times

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was honored Tuesday as the 2012 winner of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2011-12 NBA Coach of the Year. Popovich totaled 467 points, including 77 first-place votes, from a panel of 119 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. It was his second time winning the award. Popovich, who turned 63 in January, previously won the award in 2002-03, when he was the last coach to win a championship during the season he was honored. ‘To be singled out amongst so many wonderful coaches in our league is a humbling experience,” said Popovich, who is in his 16th season as the head coach of the Spurs. San Antonio Express-News

If the Charlotte Bobcats head down that assistant-ready-to-be-a-head-coach route, here are two names worth considering: Golden State’s Mike Malone and Orlando’s Steve Clifford. Malone is a defensive specialist who is Mark Jackson’s lead assistant with the Warriors. Previously he worked for the New Orleans Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers. He was a big part of Monty Williams’ improvement of the Hornets’ defense when they went 46-36 two seasons ago. Malone might be appealing enough that he could have multiple options to become an NBA head coach once all the jobs open this off-season. Charlotte Observer

May 1, 2012 | 01:27 PM ET Update

Peter Stringer: Josh Smith says Rajon Rondo is the "head of the snake" for the Celtics and his absence will drastically change complexion of Game 2 Twitter

KC Johnson: C.J. Watson, on starting for Rose: "I’m very comfortable. My teammates believe in me. Coach believes in me. That’s all that matters." #Bulls Twitter

Brian T. Smith: #Spurs' Tony Parker said he's already anticipating a more physical #UtahJazz team. Not concerned and not getting into media talk. Twitter

Amar'e Stoudemire visited a hand specialist in Manhattan Tuesday to determine if he suffered ligament or tendon damage when he cut his hand punching through a pane of glass, a source told the Daily News. The same source says Stoudemire will not play in Game 3 Thursday night against the Heat at the Garden and the Knicks fear the All-Star power forward will not play again in the best-of-seven series. The Knicks trail the Heat 2-0 in the first-round series. New York Daily News

Allen said surgery after this season is “inevitable,” but for now, he is faced with uncertainty as he tries to get back on the court during the playoffs. After following the same routine for so long, though, veering off track is challenging. “It’s almost like when you’re younger, you just kind of flip and flutter throughout the universe and you think everything is great,” Allen said. “When you’re young, that’s all right because you don’t know any better. But when you get older and you’ve done something for so long – like I look at a clock, I know where I’m supposed to be. Now I look at a clock and I’m just trying to stay out of everybody’s way. CSNNE.com

“It’s tough because when you’re out, you want to be there for everybody and you want to be part of the team, but also you stay out of the way because everybody needs to get what they need so they can be ready for the game.” CSNNE.com

Quincy Miller originally said he wasn't going to enter the Draft after one season at Baylor. But he changed his mind last week and put his name in, and is likely to go somewhere in the first round despite lingering concerns about his right knee. Miller had been a top collegiate prospect after wowing people in the FIBA Under 18 Championships tournament in San Antonio in 2010, hitting the gold medal-winning 3-pointer for the U.S. team over Brazil. But Miller tore his ACL early in his senior year in high school, and missed most of that season. Although he recovered enough to start 35 games for Baylor, which set a school record for wins this season, pro scouts don't believe he's anywhere near as explosive as he once was. "He was really up and down this year," one college scout said. "You look at his game logs, they were all over the place. He's a future pick. He may end up being picked by a pretty good team and they might get something down the road. But he could be picked in the Lottery because somebody decides they'd rather gamble on something like that than take a guy who's more polished and is closer to his ceiling." NBA.com

Jeff Goodman: SMU's Larry Brown has also hired former NBA players Eric Snow (player personnel guy) and George Lynch (strength/conditioning) - per source. Twitter

Now comes the confession of one such author, Ted Kluck, who wrote an e-book called "Jeremy Lin: Faith, Joy, and Basketball." It was released on April 1 by the Christian publisher Bethany House Nonfiction. Writing for his own blog, Kluck makes a frank assessment of the Lin craze in a post titled "Should I Feel Sheepish for Writing a Jeremy Lin eBook?" noting that hopes that he was going to be the next Tim Tebow appear to have been wildly misplaced. "He played sensational basketball for three weeks and then we all jumped on the bandwagon," Kluck pithily concludes. New York Daily News

I remember talking to a respected agent a couple of weeks into Linsanity, and he was rueing not being able to enlist the young point guard as a client of his own. As Lin sits at the end of the Knicks bench, watching LeBron James dunk his way to the second round of the playoffs, I am sure that agent is no longer nursing any such regrets. New York Daily News

May 1, 2012 | 10:22 AM ET Update

Stefan Bondy: From everything I've been hearing, Deron Williams is leaning toward re-signing with the Nets. There's still a lot that can happen, though. Twitter

Early Monday afternoon, Carlisle insisted he is not posturing for more calls from game officials. Then with 5:04 left in the first quarter of Game 2 on Monday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, there was an altercation between Nowitzki and Thunder center Kendrick Perkins following a 3-point basket by Kevin Durant. Nowitzki and Perkins exchanged expletives while being separated by teammates. Carlisle stormed onto the court, pointing and shouting at Perkins and the officiating crew. At one point, Perkins swatted Carlisle's hand away. Perkins was assessed a loose-ball foul. Perkins and Nowitzki were given double-technicals for shoving each other. Oklahoman

It took less than seven minutes for the physical play of Game 2 to get out of hand. Dirk Nowitzki took a shot in the eye after making a jump shot with six minutes to go. On the way downcourt, Nowitzki gave Serge Ibaka a not-too-subtle elbow to the rib cage. After an exchange of possessions, Nowitzki hit another jumper. When he went down to play defense against Kendrick Perkins, the two got tangled up underneath and they squared off. It appeared that Nowitzki gave Perkins a hard shove and Perkins responded with a swing of his right arm, although it was difficult to tell if it was a punch or not. Dallas Morning News

Dwain Price: For now, Mavs owner Mark Cuban said he's not talking during the playoffs. He did that last year -- starting in the second round. Twitter

Or go back to the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals. The Nets had a 21-point lead to start the fourth quarter of Game 3 and lost. Sure enough, the Nets recovered to win the series and advance to the NBA Finals. "One game is one game," said Hollins. "You have to go play. Last year, Dallas was better than Portland. (In 2006), the Heat were the better team. If you're good enough physically, you'll get it done. If you're not, you won't." Memphis Commercial Appeal

And here's a picture of my brother's television, which was sent to me during the game. LeBron is showing off his "XVI" mouthpice. XVI = 16 = the number of wins it takes to be NBA champions. Miami Herald

So, exactly how did the Lakers muzzle the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 and limit them to only 88 points on 35.6 percent shooting Sunday at Staples Center? The Lakers said it was a good defense; the Nuggets said it was cheating. Denver coach George Karl said Lakers center Andrew Bynum was guilty of playing an illegal zone defense on "about 30" possessions, which helped to account for his NBA record-tying 10 blocked shots. "If people cut through the lane, you can touch them and you can stand there the whole time," a smiling Bynum said when told of Karl's accusation after the Lakers' practice Monday. "That's part of the game." Los Angeles Daily News

Mike Brown, the current Lakers coach, said he applauded Karl for trying to gain an advantage for Game 2 by complaining about illegal defenses in Game 1 by adding, "Maybe George is doing the right thing, following Phil's lead. "I know I've said stuff before. Does it change things for the next game? I don't know. If Phil's done it, Phil's got 11 of them (NBA championships as a coach), the most. It's got to work to a certain degree." Los Angeles Daily News

Add another name to the ever-expanding list of Kevin Garnett’s critics. Hawks rookie forward Ivan Johnson became the latest to join the chorus this afternoon after Hawks practice. “Garnett, he’s a dirty player,” Johnson said. “He gives me a lot of elbows and I can handle that.” Boston Herald

Amar’e Stoudemire may have literally punched the Miami Heat’s ticket to the second round after the Knicks’ power forward, in a show of frustration and selfishness, suffered a lacerated left hand during a postgame tirade immediately following the Heat’s 104-94 Game 2 victory Monday night. A Knicks official confirmed that Stoudemire had cut his non-shooting hand when he punched a small glass door that protects a fire extinguisher just outside the Knicks’ locker room. Stoudemire’s hand shattered the pane and he needed an undetermined number of stitches to close the wound. New York Daily News

Steve Novak was crushed about Knicks teammate Amar’e Stoudemire’s lacerated left hand, explaining he thinks Stoudemire never realized the danger when he punched the glass case of a fire extinguisher after last night’s Game 2 loss to the Heat. “I feel awful for [Stoudemire] because he plays with emotion,” Novak told The Post. “And you’re walking in a hallway, and I don’t think he ever thought for a second that it was going to be glass, that it was going to shatter.” Novak said he “was right behind [Stoudemire],” though he cautioned, “but I didn’t actually see his hand. “I think that it’s just really unfortunate,” he said. “I just feel bad for him.” New York Post

The fire extinguisher incident with Amar'e Stoudemire has cast a complete pall over this franchise as he is expected to miss Game 3 and maybe the series. "He's probably going to be out,'' Chandler said. "Without him, it'll be more difficult.'' We've heard there was a lot of blood but still have no information on the number of stitches. This will be tough for Stoudemire to live down, especially since his trick dunk in Game 2 last year's first round caused his back pull. Sulia

Woodson was told not to address specifics of Stoudemire fiasco in press conference other than to tell media he had the lacerated hand. But Woodson said something in the room quite telling about how his #Knicks match up with Miami. "It is not a big secret,’’ Woodson said. “Those are three All-Stars, three finishers, three guys who were in the finals last year and they are playing like that right now.’’ In other words, Melo-Amar'e-Tyson don't stack up. Sulia

Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith will travel to the Los Angeles area Tuesday and visit with Dwight Howard, who is recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back, both Smith and Magic CEO Alex Martins said. "The intent is to check in, see how he's doing, both from his rehab as well as his spirits, to see him in-person," Martins said before the Magic faced the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of the teams' playoff series Monday. "We've been communicating with him via phone and text, but it's just an opportunity for us to see how he's doing." Orlando Sentinel

Smith will spend about 24 hours in L.A., and he plans to return to Orlando in time for Game 3 Wednesday night at Amway Center. "They're all my kids," Smith said of his players. "I've got one of them that's not with the team, that you want to have with the team that's injured, that's down. So you've got to go see him. You've got to pep him up a little bit and tell him he's doing the right thing by his body. "He can't travel and he can't do much," Smith added. "His doctor's orders and pretty much our orders are to get his back right. He can't do anything for anybody at this point in time, so he has to get right." Orlando Sentinel

Knicks injured point guard Jeremy Lin participated in shootaround yesterday but interim coach Mike Woodson admitted he can’t gauge whether Lin can make it back as soon as Sunday’s Game 4 because of the lack of practice time. Though the Knicks plan to practice today and tomorrow, Woodson doesn’t think there could be a full-blown scrimmage because of the injuries and illnesses. Lin said he plans to make it back by series end but that could only happen if the Knicks don’t get swept. “He shot today,’’ Woodson said. “He went through some halfcourt offensive sets that we had to put in. He is moving around. “We will probably have a better feel once we get back to New York to see where he is [for playing].’’ New York Post

Now sporting a cast on his sore left wrist, Spurs center Tiago Splitter did not participate in the team’s Monday practice. Coach Gregg Popovich is not counting on the second-year center from Brazil to be available for Game 2 of the first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz. Splitter’s injury officially is listed as a bone bruise. “They’ve got him in some sort of a cast right now,” Popovich said of Splitter. “It’s something we won’t be able to tell very honestly until Wednesday. I’d say he’d probably be doubtful.” Should Splitter be unavailable, DeJuan Blair would move into the backup position behind starting center Boris Diaw. San Antonio Express-News

Allen sat out Game 1 due to lingering pain with a right ankle that will require surgery after the season to remove bone spurs. Rivers had dubbed Allen at "50/50" before Sunday's game, but he was unable to go. Allen was back on the floor getting up shots as the team prepared to practice Monday afternoon, but Rivers suggested he didn't think Allen would be ready for Game 2. "If Ray is not ready, he’s not ready," said Rivers. "One thing I don’t do -- I’ll never do it, and maybe I’m wrong in it -- I don’t ever put a guy out if he isn’t ready. I just won’t put him on the floor. If Ray told me he could play and [team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] said he didn’t think he could play, Ray would not play. That’s just the way it is. [Allen] said he felt a little better, but I don’t see it right now." ESPN.com

The House reversed itself Monday and approved a tax rebate bill for the New Orleans Hornets after failing to approve it last week. House Bill 1072 by Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Jefferson, cleared the chamber 60-41 after being sidetracked 49-46 last Wednesday, four votes short of what is needed to pass most bills through the House. Ron Forman, chairman of the Superdome Commission, the state agency that oversees the New Orleans Arena, the Hornets' home, and Doug Thornton, the regional vice president of the company that operates both the Superdome and the Arena, were in the Capitol most of Monday to visit with lawmakers. The only New Orleans area House member to vote against the bill was Rep. Harold Ritchie, D-Franklinton, who represents a portion of St. Tammany Parish. Reps. Jerry "Truck" Gisclair, D-Larose, and Rep. Scott Simon, R-Abita Springs, were absent for the vote. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Khloe Kardashian has been benched from her reality TV show. Kardashian and Dallas Mavericks scrub Lamar Odom, who headline “Khloe & Lamar,” are ending their E! series, according to TMZ.com. The duo won’t return for a third season of “Khloe & Lamar,” a spinoff off “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” so Odom can get his struggling NBA career back on track. New York Post

When Etan Thomas asks, “Who’s your daddy?” it is not a rhetorical question. The 11-year-NBA veteran and former Syracuse standout center explores all angles of male parentage in his latest book, “Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge,” out Tuesday. A father of three, the 33-year-old Harlem-born Thomas understands daddy issues intimately. The Obama administration even chose him to participate in the President’s town hall meetings on fatherhood. New York Daily News

What motivated you to write this book? Etan Thomas: I just wanted to go through each topic and aspect of fatherhood. Some parts focus on young men getting over the anger of not having a father with them. In another chapter, I deal with the fact that when kids are younger and come from a single-parent home, all these statistics tell them that they are not going to be successful. They are going to end up in prison. I want to tell young people they can create their own path and here are some people who have done just that. These are people who have been through situations way worse than yours. Just look at Baron Davis and Kevin Durant, both of whom were able to rise above their upbringings. New York Daily News

The Lakers are no strangers to playoff uncertainties, and another has appeared in their domain. Reserve power forward Jordan Hill, accused of choking a girlfriend, was charged with a third-degree felony Monday and was expected to appear soon in a Houston court. It was unclear when he would have to answer in person to the charges. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison. A spokeswoman for the Harris County district attorney said Hill needed to be present Tuesday in Houston for a hearing at 9:30 a.m. Central time, but Hill's agent said a court appearance wasn't mandated yet. "Jordan will spend [Monday] night in his bed in L.A. preparing for the game," agent Kevin Bradbury said. Los Angeles Times

On his Twitter account Monday morning, Hill posted "Unbelievable!!!!!!" and "Wowwwww," apparently in response to the breaking news of the alleged dispute. He talked to reporters later in the day after practicing with the Lakers at their training facility in El Segundo. "I just want to apologize to fans, to the Lakers organization, to everyone," Hill said. "I can't speak on [the charges] right now. I'll let my attorney and my agents take care of it. Unfortunately, it happened at this time, but I'm going to continue to keep my head up and keep working and keep playing." Los Angeles Times

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