HoopsHype rumors

May 5, 2012 | 08:40 PM ET Update

Cuban also insists that, contrary to widespread speculation, he has not formulated a firm plan for how the Mavs will approach this offseason. He said the Mavs will study the market first and take a reactive approach. That contradicts Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson's comments earlier this season about targeting a "big fish" -- presumably All-Star point guard Deron Williams -- in free agency. Dirk Nowitzki has also mentioned recently that the front office's December decisions can't be judged until it's seen whether the Mavs land a "big fish." ESPN.com

With 22.2 seconds left in the extra period, Glen Davis posted-up George Hill and made a layup that tied the score 99-99 as Davis fell to the ground. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy wanted a foul call on Hill, but a whistle never came. "I thought Glen had the three-point play on that dish to the rim," Van Gundy said. "I thought he got fouled, but they saw it differently. And that would've changed the game. If he goes up and makes a free throw, they may still score, but they can't hold for one shot." Orlando Sentinel

Even with his defending NBA championship team on the verge of first-round elimination, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had no regrets about his post-lockout decision not to retain the core of last season's team. "If you want to nail me for something, I'll be the first to admit that it was a huge (expletive) that I didn't fight for the new (collective bargaining agreement) harder," Cuban said before the Mavs attempted to avoid being swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder in Saturday's Game 4. "I said it before, I'll say it again. It put us and other teams in a bad spot, and it was an overnight handshake deal that I should have fought harder. I'm the first to say that. "That was my mistake, because once that thing passed, our hands were tied in a lot of respects. But within that, we did the best we could. And we're not out of it yet." ESPN.com

Cuban, who was confrontational and critical of the media for not studying and fully understanding the complexities of the new CBA, claimed he hasn't had any second thoughts after not offering a long-term deal to Chandler, who was widely recognized as the Mavs' emotional leader last season and won the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award with the New York Knicks this season. "Oh, hell no. No, no, no, nope," Cuban said when asked if he has second guessed himself. "Not even a millisecond. Because those that are talking otherwise haven't read the CBA, like I know you guys haven't, and are just talking out their ass without any foundation." ESPN.com

Praised for his defensive effort after being put into the starting lineup for Game 2, Sixers guard Evan Turner was quick to deflect the flattery. He's learned about defense in the NBA from teammate Andre Iguodala. "If you ever sat there and talked to him, he's like a coach," Turner said of Iguodala. "When there comes a timeout he can tell you everything that's broken down. Once he says stuff, you know he's telling you right, and you don't have to worry about much." Philadelphia Inquirer

Turner went on to call Iguodala a "defensive genius." When told of Turner's comments, Iguodala smiled and recalled one of his first lessons to Turner. "I've been in the league a long time, and when Evan first got here he kind of took things for granted, which rookies do," Iguodala said. "And then he kind of learned his lesson from Kobe Bryant. Every time Kobe scored, [Turner] would look at the bench with his hand up. I'm like, 'OK, keep playing. He's going to score a lot more.' I'm trying to teach him the basics of NBA basketball, especially with being a defender. Philadelphia Inquirer

May 5, 2012 | 05:35 PM ET Update

Looking at your own free agents, how do you go about evaluating where they fit? Jason (Thompson), once he became a starter, showed he's a good complement to DeMarcus, (and) doesn't necessarily need the ball to score. He's going to run the floor, he gives you another passer out there as a big guy, and he started finishing better this year. … So he's somebody we will definitely give the qualifying offer to and look to re-sign. After that, it's Donté (Greene), and we really haven't sat down and discussed the rest of the roster. Donté had some really good stretches for us, too. We'll have to wait and see how the draft order sorts out and see to what extent it becomes a potential allocation of resources. Sacramento Bee

Q: You didn't use the amnesty clause last season. Is that going to be something that is an option this offseason? Geoff Petrie: There's tremendous advantages to amnesty and you saw it this year. The main advantage is you get that money knocked off you cap and your (luxury) tax and that's not an issue for us. The main advantage is the ability to go out and spend it again. That's not something we've really had much discussion about, the second part of it. Just in it of itself, it just creates more room and less tax and if you're not going to spend the money again it doesn't make any difference. Sacramento Bee

"No question," was Jason Terry's response when asked if he's thinking that tonight's Game 4 could be his last wearing a Dallas Mavericks uniform. "All that’s on the line and all those thoughts are there," Terry said. "And that means more of a reason why I want to come out and play well tonight and get the win." It's been a wild eight-year run in Dallas for Terry, who was acquired in 2004 in a no-win situation to take over for the beloved Steve Nash. It didn't help that Nash and the Suns eliminated the Mavs in the second round with the former Mavs point guard nailing a huge 3-point shot with Terry playing off of him and Dirk Nowitzki then giving his new teammate an earful. Bygones are bygones. That's what winning a title will do for you. That was just 11 months ago, and now here the Mavs are, not only staring down first-round elimination, but a sweep at the hands of the youthful Oklahoma City Thunder. "But no excuses," Terry said. "Come out here tonight. If we get one it's going to get scary. The pressure is on them." ESPN.com

Scowling Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins has seen very little of heavyweight counterpart Brendan Haywood in this series. Whether that's Perkins taking Haywood out of the game or Haywood taking himself out is a point of debate, perhaps. But Perkins said he thinks something is not right with the Dallas Mavericks big man who has played a total of 36 minutes in the first three games of the series. "Brendan’s a good player, man. I remember when he was with the Wizards he was averaging a double-double, so you just never know," Perkins said. "Could be body aching, it could be a mental thing. But I know he’s not himself lately, so I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but I know he’s not himself. But, you know, you got times where you go through stretches like that." ESPN.com

Following a team film session on Saturday, Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said center Joakim Noah is "doubtful" to play against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Noah turned his left ankle during the third quarter of Chicago's Game 3 loss on Friday night. The 76ers lead the series 2-1. Initial X-rays on Noah's left ankle were negative, a league source said. The Chicago Tribune, however, is reporting that the team hasn't ruled out a fracture. ESPN.com

After Chicago's 79-74 loss, Noah was seen on crutches with a black aircast on his left ankle. He did not speak to reporters. Thibodeau wasn't letting his team use Noah's injury as an excuse. "The thing is, injury is part of the game," Thibodeau said. "You have to have a mental toughness to get past all of that. We've had injuries all year and you just deal with it. If you look, you can find something every night, every game. Shorthanded, regular season, back to back, early start, whatever it is, or you can find a way to win. That's what you need. You need guys that have great will to win, and no matter what the circumstances are will find a way to win." ESPN.com

Caron Butler will be in the starting lineup Saturday for the Clippers in Game 3 of the playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center despite a fractured left hand, said sources who were not authorized to speak publicly on the situation. The decision was made after Butler practiced Friday and after he saw a hand specialist Thursday, the sources said. Butler, who is right-handed, did some shooting at practice with a brace on his hand. Butler was injured in the third quarter of Game 1 in Memphis on Sunday and the original diagnosis was that he would be sidelined four to six weeks recovering from the injury, putting his return in late May at the earliest. Butler was told by the specialist that if he injured the hand any further that the time frame for him to return would most likely remain the same, the sources said. “He’s a battler,” Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro told reporters after practice Friday. “He wants to be out there, but we also have to be smart about it.” Los Angeles Times

Q: What was Keith Smart able to get out of this group that you were looking for after taking over? Geoff Petrie: Every coach, with the lockout and no practice time to speak of, it was tough on anybody and affected change. He certainly changed us offensively from where we were, a very low place to start with. And he found ways to try and get guys going and get his best guys on the floor like Tyreke at small forward. John (Salmons) had about 20 what I would call John Salmons game after the first 20 because Keith started giving him the ball and let him run the offense and that got him going. And certainly making a decision to put Isaiah out there, those were all things he was trying to find a way to use people and find what combinations are going to work best together. And we were in a lot of games. It's not like we were getting blown out all the time. But we've got to start winning more the goes. Sacramento Bee

You have one year left on your contract. How much longer do you want to stay in this business? Geoff Petrie: I honestly don't think about that. I think about next year and what we do. Whatever the future holds after that, personally or collectively, I really don't spend much time pondering that. I would really like to see the team get on an upward trajectory, regardless of whether I keep doing this or doing something else. Sacramento Bee

May 5, 2012 | 11:27 AM ET Update

Noah is in bad shape. Initial X-rays were negative, however the team hasn't ruled out a fracture, two sources said. C.J. Watson, who failed to score, continues to battle lingering ankle and elbow injuries, and has a broken jumper to boot. Chicago Tribune

Sporting News was able to catch up with Jennings’ agent, Bill Duffy, at the Celtics-Hawks playoff game here at TD Garden. Duffy said he had heard about Hammond’s comment. “I was surprised by it,” he said. “But I was mostly surprised because it was not something that we have sat down and talked about.” Duffy said it was likely that those discussions would start in the coming week. Sporting News

Will you ever leave the Raptors like Chris Bosh did? - @TheOnlyDalmar AB: All I can say is that I love Toronto and playing for the team. HoopsHype

If you could, would you welcome a chance to play power forward with Orlando and be paired up with Howard? - @GrantSinnfor3 AB: I don't think Howard is going to be a Magic for much longer. HoopsHype

Novak insisted yesterday he doesn’t think about free agency during the season, but he said he definitely is interested in returning to the Knicks, who head into tomorrow’s Game 4 vs. the Heat just one loss from being swept out of the playoffs. “Absolutely,” Novak told The Post yesterday. “Without a doubt. This has been a really good year. I think obviously speaking exactly where we’re at now, we’re down 0-3 and things don’t seem as good. But I feel like we’ve done good things and we’ve made big steps.” New York Post

Appearing on camera for the first time since he underwent back surgery April 20, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard told a paparazzo today that he would never quit on his team. “I’ve never been a quitter my whole life,” Howard told the celebrity gossip website TMZ as he walked back from a rehabilitation session in Beverly Hills, Calif. “I’ve played through many injuries. This is just one that I can’t play through, and I would never quit on my team. I would never quit on my fans. I would never quit on anybody, my coach, whoever it is. I’ve never been a quitter. For people to say that, it hurt.” Orlando Sentinel

According to a person familiar with the situation, Woodson would like Anthony to shed some weight before training camp. Anthony, who has been outclassed by the Heat’s LeBron James in this first-round disaster, has the worst NBA playoff winning percentage, .308 (a record of 16-36), for any player who has been in at least 50 games. “Expectations aren’t going to change in New York, you know that,’’ Woodson said. “They shouldn’t. Rightfully so. Anthony’s going to have to raise his game. He’s got to do things this summer to better his game — as well as Tyson [Chandler] and Amar’e [Stoudemire]. If I’m the head coach here, I have to make sure it happens. It’s the only way to get out of the rut in terms of him being a first-round exit. He’s got to change that.” New York Post

If anyone on the Thunder knows how tough this first chance at a closeout game will be it's Fisher, a five-time champion who has appeared in more playoff games than any active player. “They still have a number of guys that were on their championship team a year ago,” Fisher said. “And when you have championship DNA you don't quit. And so we can't expect this team to quit because they're down three games. I anticipate they'll play their best game of the series (Saturday). And we're going to have to figure out a way to try and best that in order to win.” Oklahoman

Derek Fisher said Lamar Odom, his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate, has damaged his reputation among fans and NBA teams with his Mavericks flameout this season, but that the forward is working to repair his personal life and is hopeful to return to the league next season. "I'm sure he has (hurt his reputation) and it matters to him," Fisher said. "If he never plays basketball again, personally, I could care less because I want him to be where he needs to be on a personal level. I think he will (play again). I think he wants to. The main thing is just that on a personal level he's in a good space. If that's in place, the basketball part will take care of itself." ESPN.com

Over at ESPN, the fantastic Tom Haberstroh had players PER (Player Efficiency Rating, a good snapshot number looking at a players statistical performance) and found that LeBron had the second highest PER in the league in the fourth quarter. Here are the top 5: NBCSports.com

And so this is his pitch to win you back: to defy medical odds and play — or, at the least, to make it seem as if he might play — when the Knicks-Heat series resumes — and likely concludes — tomorrow at Madison Square Garden. “With this type of injury, playing [tomorrow] would be out of the question for most people,” Stoudemire said yesterday, after spending a couple of hours running drills while the rest of the Knicks were practicing. “I feel I’m blessed. I heal fast. I persevere through a lot of injuries.” New York Post

Michael Cunningham: Josh Smith sitting out #Hawks practice today: "Every day I rest the better [the knee] feels." Twitter

Michael Cunningham: Josh Smith on what could keep him from playing GM 4: "If I fall down the escalator and re-injure something." #Hawks Twitter

Celtics guard Avery Bradley left Friday night's game vs. Atlanta with an injury to his left shoulder. Bradley walked off the court with team doctor Brian McKeon near the end of the third quarter. He did not return to the game. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Bradley has been dealing with a shoulder injury all season. Usually, when Bradley's shoulder slips out of place, trainers pop it back in. "They tried to pop it back in, and it didn't go back in," said Rivers. "We'll evaluate him tomorrow and go from there." Boston Globe

The Boston Celtics continue to be ravaged by injuries, with Avery Bradley the latest victim. The 6-foot-2 guard suffered a left shoulder injury in the third quarter of Boston's 90-84 Game 3 win over the Atlanta Hawks. He finished with five points while playing 25 minutes. After leaving the game in the third, team officials initially believed that he would be back in the fourth quarter. However, the C's quickly reversed course and said that he would not be able to return. "It's really sore," Bradley told CSNNE.com after the game. "Every time I go to extend my arm, and it gets hit, it comes in and out." CSNNE.com

Bradley will be undergo further evaluation on Saturday. He told CSNNE.com that he did not have any tests such as X-Rays or MRI's performed on it following Friday's win. When asked whether he expected to play in Game 4 on Sunday, Bradley said, "of course. As of now, yeah." CSNNE.com

With loss of Howard/Rose, not surprising Jerry Colangelo has backed off on comparisons to the Dream Team. Four months ago, the USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo predicted this year’s Olympic team would offer a “fair comparison with the Dream Team.’’ That was seconded by Miami forward LeBron James, who said, "We can stack up with those guys." But Colangelo now says he’s “not going to be making any comparisons regarding our team’’ to the Dream Team. Sulia

B-Corsairs coach Reggie Geary was selected Coach of the Year. He is the league's second ex-NBA player to be picked for the award. Fellow American John Neumann, a high-scoring forward in his days at Ole Miss before turning pro, guided the Rizing Fukuoka to the Final Four in 2007-08 as an expansion team, and became the league's first foreign coach to earn top honors. Japan Times

Hammond said he was comfortable with the contract situation, working in the final year of a deal extended in October 2010. Both Hammond and Skiles received four-year deals when they were hired in April 2008 and had the deals extended after the Bucks reached the playoffs in 2010. "I worked for the first half of my life without a contract," Hammond said. "I didn't even know what a contract was, really, until I came in the NBA. It's a part of what we do. "It's like the senator said. Most of us go to work every day and have a job to do, and we do it day to day, week to week and surely year to year. I would approach it the same way. "And I'm going to go back to it again. I'm going to repeat this a few more times over the next few months. We all have to get better, and it's going to start with me." Hammond was named the NBA executive of the year for th Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is in the market for his eventual successor. Taylor told The Associated Press on Friday that he is looking to add a minority partner who could buy a part of the team that includes an option to buy Taylor out after observing the day-to-day operations of running a professional sports team. Taylor said he has yet to speak to any specific candidates, but made it clear that one of the biggest priorities for him will be a commitment to keeping the Timberwolves in Minnesota. "I could find somebody to buy the team. That's not my problem," Taylor said at his office at Taylor Corp., a privately held printing and marketing giant. "I have to find someone that's committed to here. It's always best if it would be a Minnesotan. I'm telling you I don't know that's the way it's going to work out. I haven't had a lot of Minnesotans step up." MSNBC.com

Julius Erving is back with the 76ers. During an informal halftime press conference during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, a Sixers’ team executive announced that Dr. J had agreed to a four-season pact to serve as “strategic advisor” to the team. The role was newly created for Erving and will be one he pursues on a part-time basis while tending to his other business interests. “My role will be similar to Reggie Jackson’s in New York and many other retired athletes,” Erving said. CSNPhilly.com

Fesenko, Pacers forward Danny Granger and other players on the team were leaving Club 23 in Downtown Orlando at around 2:45 a.m. Thursday when they got into an argument with a group of people outside the bar. Orlando police riding bicycles moved in to make sure the incident didn't escalate to a fight and the Pacers walked away from the pack. Cell- phone video of the incident was posted on TMZ.com. "I was approached by a group of people. They started verbally abusing me," Fesenko said after the Pacers' practice Friday afternoon. "We just, we did the mature thing. We walked out of there. That's it." Orlando Sentinel

What do you want a bunch of 20-somethings with cash to do on a free night? Sit in the hotel and study for the LSATs? Read the collected works of Proust? "Some drunk guys raised their voices, the whole thing was defused and we walked home," said Dahntay Jones, who was among the Pacers who spent part of the night at Club 23 right down the street from the team hotel. "Everybody did the right thing, the mature thing. And actually, the guys came over later and apologized." Indianapolis Star

Danny Granger was still scratching his head after Friday's practice, trying to figure out how he and his teammates became a TMZ staple. "My wife called me about it," he said, smiling. "I couldn't believe it. Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing." Indianapolis Star

Former Kansas University and current NBA basketball player Marcus Morris has entered into a diversion agreement with prosecutors related to a February incident at a Lawrence nightclub. Morris, 22, currently a Houston Rockets player, received a misdemeanor battery citation in Lawrence Municipal Court. Police said early on Feb. 26 a male employee of The Cave, 1200 Oread Ave., alleged he was punched by a man after a verbal dispute turned physical. It was also alleged that another man punched the employee from behind, police said at the time. Lawrence Journal-World

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