HoopsHype rumors

December 12, 2012 | 08:27 PM ET Update

Saturday night's alright for fighting -- and for Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio's season debut. A league source told 1500ESPN.com that Rubio will play on Saturday at Target Center against Dallas. 1500ESPN.com

Howard will be a free agent at the end of this season. I ask him if he knows now where he will be playing next year, and he says, "I know." I suggest that means the Lakers because he could not know of any other opportunity at this time. But I still make a pitch for the Clippers, figuring he might want to play for the best team in town. Los Angeles Times

He laughs, and when I suggest that some opine that if this season falls apart it will persuade him to leave, he says that's not the case. He says the Lakers are all about championships, and "what's not to like about L.A.?" Los Angeles Times

He thinks about things all the time. He recently shut down his personality when quizzed by an Orlando reporter he believes betrayed him earlier. As tough as he wants to be, he has to overcome his own sensitivity, challenging himself on the ride home for how he handled the reporter. "People don't know how hurt I've been, and sometimes I allow it to show," he says. Los Angeles Times

December 12, 2012 | 07:31 PM ET Update

As he walked toward the locker room, Harden was asked if he was aware that later that evening he was going to face a team that had passed on a chance to acquire him last summer. “I don’t know anything about that,” Harden said. Washington Post

For those wondering why the Lakers' coaching change has had no impact on the team's fortunes, one big reason is, according to sources, that an ill Dr. Jerry Buss ordered the firing, posthaste, from his hospital bed, without concern about who might replace him. Sulia

From “cruise ship” to “glowing volcano” to “Jell-O mold,” there have been some imaginative adjectives attached to the latest Seattle Arena design proposal, which 360 Architecture presented Tuesday night. In its original proposal last month to Seattle’s Downtown Design Review Board, the architecture firm commissioned by Chris Hansen, the billionaire hedge fund manager who’s building the arena to bring the NBA back to town, emphasized that it wanted the arena to have an iconic form. They may have found such a form with the orange truncated cone located at the center of the building encased by glass concourses. That doesn’t mean they’ll have a popular icon, but plenty of Seattleites hated the Space Needle when it first went up for the 1960 World’s Fair and now it’s the symbol of the city. SI.com

December 12, 2012 | 05:46 PM ET Update

The Boston Celtics have assigned center Fab Melo to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. Melo, a 7’0” center, averaged 6.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 23.4 minutes over five games for the Red Claws. RealGM

Here are some more comments from Carlisle: On his overall feelings for Terry: “He’s just a special guy and one of the greatest players to ever wear a Mavericks uniform. He obviously will be Mavs’ royalty for life, without question. I hope some day that he comes back and he can work with our franchise. I hope I’m around when he’s done playing so he and I can work together. That would be great.” How important was it for Terry to buy in to the sixth-man role early in Carlisle’s Dallas tenure: “It wasn’t really a buy-in thing. He loved the challenge of it and he understood the necessity. For us to be the team that we could be it was necessary for him to do that and he went at it full-bore” Boston Herald

Terry has moved on in Boston, averaging 11.4 points as a Celtics starter, but he’ll always be considered a Maverick by many. And he’ll certainly always be a champion, having played a huge role in the Mavs’ 2011 title run. “He was special obviously,” said Mark Cuban, who laughed when he recalled refusing to approve a trade that would have sent Terry to Utah for Raul Lopez during his first year in Dallas. “He got off to a rough start, but he just worked all the time and we wouldn’t have had our ring without him. He caught a lot of grief, and he just kept on working harder and harder and harder. “People blamed him when we didn’t win in the playoffs, but when it came time to shine, he shined. So you can’t say enough great things about Jet.” ESPN.com

“Last year we depended on [Lou Williams] a lot,” Collins said. “Lou was our money guy and [Andre Iguodala] would make some plays for us at the end of games. Jrue and Evan were evolving, and now you see those guys taking on more responsibility.” “But I think every team would say they would want to have the ultimate closer,” Collins continued. “I mean, do you want Michael Jordan or committee? Do you want Mariano Rivera or four short relievers? You want somebody that is going to slam the door, and what we are trying to do is develop that. And the thing I loved last night was that Jrue missed the two free throws and came back and buried that jump shot. And we went right back to him. From my stand point, I had forgotten those two free throws, and I wanted him to.” CSNPhilly.com

Some unexpected teams have gotten off to good first-quarter starts. We check in with NBA scouts to see which ones have staying power. New York Knicks. East scout: “I don’t think they’re the best team in the East, that’s Miami. And by the end of the year, you know Boston is going to get back into the picture in that division. But bringing in Jason Kidd has been an underrated move. He gives them a lot of stability, he can play multiple positions and he is a champion. Having him and (Tyson) Chandler there is big.” Oregonian

Reigning NBA MVP LeBron James said he's not at all surprised by the way Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has played this season. He said he expected it. "Absolutely," James said after Wednesday's shootaround. "And this is what he expected out of himself as well. But when you're dealing with injuries, it kind of hampers your game. I mean I've watched him a lot, went to see him a few times in college, so I knew what he was capable of doing. It's good to see him play at a high level right now. Health has a lot to do with it." San Jose Mercury-News

James and Curry go even farther back. Curry, then with Davidson, was an instructor at James' summer camp. When Curry gained national fame in the NCAA tournament, James was one of his biggest fans, even went to watch Curry play a few times. He said he was drawn to Curry by his ability to make his teammates better. "Can anyone name one of his teammates in college?" James asked the throng of media. "Right now. Go. . . . My point exactly. And he raised all their levels to another height because he was able to transcend their games and play at that high level. So I kind of gravitated towards that." San Jose Mercury-News

James said Curry is now taking the Warriors to another level. "He's definitely MVP for that team, for sure," James said. "And with the way that they're playing as a team, he'd get a few votes, of course. It's early in the season. . . . No one would've said that they'd be where they are right now -- second in their division and in the middle of the pack as far as playoffs. So he's definitely playing at a high clip right now." San Jose Mercury-News

DWYANE WADE Q: What do you make of this Golden State team and the way they shoot the ball? “This is a very, very good team. Coach Jackson has done an unbelievable job with the team. Obviously they have guys that can shoot the ball. They have two of the best shooters this game has ever seen in Curry and Thompson. Them guys can shoot it. They have these green lights that I used to have before. That is awesome for them. They’re just playing With a lot of confidence. David Lee is Mr. Consistent. Every year you can book him for 20 and 10. They got the right group of guys. This is going to be a tough game. This is a game they’re going to make us move around a lot, going to challenge us defensively. On offense we’ve got to stay on the attack and not let them lull us to sleep with their zone or their trap, etc. So we’ve got to stay on the attack. And on the defensive end, we’ve got to be aware and we’ve all got to stay together. Otherwise it will be a long night.” Contra Costa Times

The Warriors had the fourth-worst defense in the N.B.A. last season, allowing their opponents to score an average of 109.1 points per 100 possessions. This season, though, the Warriors are allowing just 104.3 points per 100 possessions, a rate that puts them in the top half of the league. Shot defense is by far the most important component of an effective defense, and as would be expected the Warriors have made great strides in that area. Effective field goal percentage is an adjusted shooting percentage that takes into account the extra point provided by the 3-point shot. Over the past two seasons the league average has been close to 49 percent. New York Times

Life's good when you're His Airness. Michael Jordan is just about to move into a new 28,000-square-foot, $12.4 million home on Florida's Jupiter Island. Among his neighbors will be one Tiger Woods. The three-acre home, under construction since 2010, is located on three parcels in Jack Nicklaus' ultra-exclusive Bears Club community, which means you probably won't be able to wander in off the golf course and ask MJ for a glass of water. (You could possibly join the Bears Club ... if you could come up with the reported $350,000 initiation fee and $25,000 annual dues.) Yahoo! Sports

The NFL isn’t the only league Terrell Owens wants to play in. Owens, who was last seen begging the Jets to give him a chance, also begged the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers to sign him, according to Clippers forward Blake Griffin. “Terrell Owens is always — he was at our practice facility this summer, begging coaches for a 10-day contract,” Griffin said on the Dan Patrick Show. Although Griffin allowed that Owens “can play a little bit,” it’s safe to say that at age 39, Owens won’t be taking up a second career in the NBA. And seeing as he hasn’t played in an NFL game since December 19, 2010, we can just about declare his first career over as well. NBCSports.com

December 12, 2012 | 02:08 PM ET Update

The Lakers aren't the only Western Conference team looking for help at the point guard position. According to two people with knowledge of the situation, the Memphis Grizzlies are working out veteran point guard Mike Bibby today in Phoenix. Bibby, the 34-year-old who lives in the Phoenix area, has been out of work since playing 39 games for the New York Knicks last season. USA Today

There apparently was an urgent reaction from the organization about it because Love met with David Kahn and Rick Adelman on Tuesday shortly after the story hit the Web and Love said he plans to talk to owner Glen Taylor about his comments. "I meant what I said, I told David there's nothing to apologize about," Love said. "The only thing I was sorry about is that I did in public and if there's a learning expereince from that, it's not to do that again. "A lot of athletes these days say the right thing and aren't outspoken. I happen to be in this article. I'm not going to go forward and say I have anything to apologize about. I said what I felt. I didn't mean to alienate my team, my coaches, the organization or more importantly the fans...I said a lot of things about the team and were we're at this point and I'll continue to say it throughout the year because that's how I feel." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"I'm not going to fall back and say I didn't mean the things that I said. I do believe this is the closest knit team that we've had. The coaching staff has been great and we have a chance to make something very special this year and for years to come. I'm definitely happy with...I've mentioned it this summer, it keeps coming up again. The acquisitions we made this off-season, I'm very happy with. As far as the state of the team, I think we're fine." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"I never have a problem with anybody getting paid. If there's one guy to get on the team it's Ricky Rubio. I've kind of been enamored with him since he got here. He's a pass-first point guard, a guy I haven't really played with before. I'm not going to pick favorites but he's one of my favorites teammates and one of the best guys to be around. And I've mentioned since Day 1that it's refreshing to be around him because he loves the game so much "If he were to get paid that, then I'm happy for him. Ricky is a tremendous player. I just hope he comes back and helps us very soon." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Mayo was upset that Cousins caught him with a shot to the groin area in the second quarter of the Kings' loss. Cousins said after the game and reiterated after practice Tuesday that he didn't do it on purpose. "In slow motion, it looks like I did it on purpose," Cousins said. "But you look in real speed, you see what happened. Of course it's gonna get thrown out there that I did it on purpose." Sacramento Bee

Perhaps Mayo never heard Cousins' explanation, but that didn't stop Mayo from saying Cousins is a "garbage player" when he resorts to such tactics. "I heard," Cousins said. "This coming from a guy that doesn't have a great image himself. So what does his really mean? I'm fine with it." Sacramento Bee

Of course, Terry wants more than just a job. He expects his No. 31 to hang in the American Airlines Center rafters after he retires, even pointing to a suggested spot while celebrating with a victory cigar dangling from his mouth on the day of the championship parade through downtown Dallas. "We'll deal with that," Cuban said, grinning. "I'm not opposed to it, let's put it that way." ESPN.com

Former San Antonio Spurs center Fabricio Oberto may be done with basketball but his time in the NBA, and international play will live on in Argentina. Oberto has opened up a museum in Cordoba, Argentina (via Argentinean site Uno Entrerios) showcasing his pro basketball career including his Spurs jerseys, replicas of the 2007 NBA championship trophy he won as a Spur, his Olympic medals and various awards he won. ProjectSpurs.com

December 12, 2012 | 08:23 AM ET Update

If you missed out on the draftstreet promotions this year there is no need to worry because they are back for the 2012-2013 season! Draftstreet turns the season long grind into quick hitting one night leagues and the best part is that you can win cash every single day. You draft a team for one night and get paid out as soon as the games end that night. DraftStreet.com is at the forefront of this new trend in the fantasy world and is giving us a great promotion: a FREE one-day fantasy league with $300 in prizes exclusively for HoopsHype fans. This free contest will be salary-cap style drafting where everyone tries to assemble the best team out of the available players. You will have a $100,000 budget to build a team of 2 forwards, 2 guards, 2 centers, and 2 utility players. Each NBA player has been assigned a price based on their expected fantasy performance. For example, Kevin Love costs $19,253 where as Gerald Wallace only costs $11,644. HoopsHype

A source told ESPNLosAngeles.com that the Lakers' options at this point are somewhat limited, but they'll likely consider free agents such as Delonte West, who was cut by the Dallas Mavericks in October, and Eddie House, as well as a trade. ESPN.com

Marc Stein: Two other available PGs that I have to believe Lakers will look at in addition to exploring trade options: Mike James and Jonny Flynn Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

Seven out of nine D-League executives and coaches voted Chris Douglas-Roberts the player most likely to get called up by an NBA team. CDR has been that good with the Legends. The former Net (and Laker and Mav) is currently leading the NBADL in scoring at 27.8 ppg with great percentages from all over the court. "His ability to score the basketball is as good as anyone I've seen in my years in the D-League," one of the executives polled said. "He's a fluid player, can score with guys hanging all over him." HoopsHype

The Washington Wizards turned down a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder for James Harden this summer because team owner Ted Leonsis was unwilling to commit to what would have been a roughly $80 million, five-year contract for the high-scoring player, according to multiple people with knowledge of the proposed deal. Washington Post

Leonsis, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld and Thunder General Manager Sam Presti all declined comment when asked about the proposed trade. One Wizards official denied that Oklahoma City had offered Harden in exchange for Beal and Singleton, stating that the Thunder was also seeking an established player — which the Wizards didn’t have — in return. “That’s not true,” the official said about the proposed deal. Washington Post

"I don't know if we're too slow of a team," Bryant said, "and need to change things up a little bit and play a slower game." Bryant also suggested he may reach out to former Lakers about the team. "The one thing about this organization is there are a lot of great players who came before you that are always one phone call away," Bryant said. "I have no problem picking up the phone, talking to them and getting some advice." Long Beach Press-Telegram

They couldn't handle the ball, committing 18 turnovers. The Lakers didn't get back on defense, yielding 24 points off those turnovers. They couldn't make free throws (25 of 40 from the line). Kobe Bryant scored most of the points (42 points on 16 of 28 shooting). "This is the most challenging stretch that I've been in (in) my 17 years," Bryant said. "Most baffling too." Long Beach Press-Telegram

And just like that, the greatest player in Nets history consecrated the Barclays Center while wearing a Knicks uniform, deciding a 100-97 pulse-beater that made you check the schedule for the next encounter, and left the guys in the winning locker room shaking their heads. “Father time, I don’t know,” Tyson Chandler marvelled. “He makes shot after shot, play after play — whether it’s a steal or a 3 or diving for a ball, getting a helmet ... he just makes play after play after play, and I don’t understand it. That’s why he’s a Hall of Famer.” Newark Star-Ledger

"The opportunity is here," Chandler remembered telling his former Dallas teammate when decision time was approaching in July. What Chandler meant was, the opportunity was in New York for Kidd. But the impact Kidd has made on the Knicks after the first quarter of this season suggests otherwise. The opportunity was for the Knicks to be touched and transformed by Kidd, not the other way around. "We can make a run at this thing," Chandler said. CBSSports.com

Duncan, Gregg Popovich told media representatives from Boston to Orlando, should not have been excluded last season and is playing even better this season. Duncan intends to put a halt to any and all future stops on Popovich’s Tim-for-All-Star tour. “I will not be campaigning,” he said. “I haven’t heard what Pop’s been saying, but I guess I’ve got to talk to him. “I wouldn’t complain if I’m not on the (All-Star) roster. I want to play well and want to feel good about what I’m doing on the court, but I am not going to be unhappy if I don’t make it.” San Antonio Express-News

In case the audio wasn't clear enough, Simers wanted to know if the Lakers had bothered to go over defensive sets during the team's shootaround that morning, possibly unaware (or, just choosing to act unaware) that not a single shot has to go up during the course of an NBA team's shootaround. Because of the presumptive nature of Simers' questioning, and because T.J. wasn't at the shootaround, D'Antoni relayed that the columnist was "starting to piss [him] off." Yahoo! Sports

"Unbelievable," Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said of playing for Del Negro. "This is the most fun I've had since high school. He gives me a lot of freedom. He trusts me on the court. We have a great rapport, talk about everything. He knows how to communicate with his players. I love playing for him." Chicago Tribune

Despite a setback in funding, Virginia Beach took another step toward building a new arena and presumably luring the Sacramento Kings east. Their council voted 9-2 on Tuesday night to continue negotiations with entertainment giant Comcast-Spectacor. Just four days ago, Governor Bob McDonnell declined to include a $150-million subsidy for the project in Virginia’s state budget. There is belief among the council that McDonnell can still provide state assistance, but needs more time to assess the benefits of the deal. The new proposed 18,500-seat arena is expected to cost roughly $346 million to construct. Virginia Beach is expected to kick in at least $241 million, while Comcast Spectacor has committed to providing $35 million to the project. Cowbell Kingdom

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