HoopsHype rumors

January 13, 2013 | 07:52 PM ET Update

A European Internet report Sunday said Gelebale had reached agreement with an NBA team. The Wolves have pursued him for weeks and David Kahn said before tonight's game that their still very interested. He did say there was a deal, but did say, "I heard there was a report. We are working on some things." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Chris Herring: Anthony said the fasting was for spiritual reasons. Said he was going out now to find the biggest steak he could right now. Twitter @HerringWSJ

If the Orlando Magic needed any additional proof that power forwards Glen Davis and Al Harrington progressing in their return from injuries, Davis and Harrington provided that evidence Sunday afternoon. Davis and Harrington joined the Magic in Washington and participated in portions of practice at Verizon Center. It was the first time this season all 15 players on the roster have attended a practice on the road. It’s unclear whether Davis will play Monday night against the Washington Wizards, and Harrington is at least a couple of weeks away from playing in a game. Orlando Sentinel

In case you missed Kami's post from earlier in the week, our very own Lavoy Allen is up for HoopsHype's Tweeter of the Year. Between posts about bowel issues, Andrew Bynum's hair and shameless plays for Stacey Dash's love, it's not hard to see why. But as one of the league's premier Twitterers, Lavoy should know better than to post photos like this one of his girlfriend. LibertyBallers.com

January 13, 2013 | 04:14 PM ET Update

"We have a lot of questions that we want to answer and they still aren't answered," DiLeo said. "We have to be patient and try to get some answers. But for the future, we feel we're in good position, we feel we have a lot of options, so we'll just try to answer those questions and move on. We built this team and we want to see this team on the court [with Bynum] and see how we can play with this team. On the other hand, if there is an opportunity that arises that we think can improve our team, then we'll do that. But we don't want to jeopardize anything for the future." Philadelphia Inquirer

The Nets track all his games, blowouts or not, watching video and not just highlight packages. Billy King has personally scouted him and met with him. Still, It's not a guarantee that the Nets roster will include the 6'8" Bojan Bogdanovic next season. He has an "NBA out" this July on this three-year contract that will permit him to sign with Brooklyn. He hasn't said much about this recently but at the beginning of the season, he told a Turkish paper that he'd like to play, but...only if he's going to contribute. Whether I'm with the Nets will depend on how I play and what the results of my club will be. I'm not that crazy about the NBA league, but I'd like to try it. I feel that I can play in the NBA, but I do not want to go sit there and be satisfied with the fact that I was there. NetsDaily

The Brooklyn Nets announced on Sunday that they have signed Damion James to a 10-day contract. James is Brooklyn's first NBA D-League Call-Up of the season, joining the Nets from the Bakersfield Jam. In 17 games for Bakersfield this season, James averaged 15.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 28.9 minutes per game. RealGM

However, George Hill scored 19 points, D.J. Augustin had a season high-tying 18 and Indiana rallied to beat the Bobcats 96-88 Saturday night for its fourth straight win. Lance Stephenson added 17 points and David West had 14 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists for his first triple-double. "That was a really good win," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "A lot of guys stepped up, in particular David West with a triple-double." Charlotte Observer

Dwane Casey knows how changes can be made abruptly in the NBA. So the Toronto Raptors coach was not too stunned to hear that Jim Boylan was replacing Scott Skiles as Bucks coach a few days ago. Boylan's Bucks meet the Raptors in a Sunday matinee, Canadian style. "Nothing surprises me in the NBA," Casey said in his remarks to reporters about an hour before tip-off. "I've been there before, seen it, done it, been in that situation. "That's our league. Not trying to be flippant about it. There's different situations, circumstances or whatever it is. I do know Scott has done a good job with that team. They've got his personality. They play hard; they scratch, they claw. So you're in for a 48-minute fight. "That's what we're going to face today." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

January 13, 2013 | 12:32 PM ET Update

“It’s my ninth year in the league man,” Jefferson said to HOOPSWORLD regarding the trade rumors. “It’s just part of the business. My first couple of years in the league I used to be listening to the rumors daily and then I’d hear my name in those types of trade rumors. But this is my ninth year and its part of the business. There are things you’re just going to have to deal with. It’s just like you say they’re rumors, you know, so that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to be true. It’s a part of the game.” HoopsWorld

While Jefferson’s future in Utah past this season remains up in the air, the veteran makes it clear that playing in Utah and finishing what he’s helped build over the past few seasons is at the top of his future priority list. “The great thing about Utah’s crowd is that they’re not just there to watch basketball, they know basketball,” Jefferson said about his joy playing in Utah. “They’re on you if they know you’re supposed to be doing something that you’re not doing, but they truly support you. It’s a great feeling playing for them. It is good to play in front of people who know the game of basketball, who knows you’re not superman, can do everything or make every shot. Utah fans just want you to play hard and that’s something you can do, something you can control. It’s great playing in front of them.” HoopsWorld

Consider that Hickson, who makes $4 million annually, is averaging a double double (12.2 points, 11 rebounds) this season. He's well regarded by fans. He's appreciated by teammates. Also, he's an unrestricted free agent by the end of the season, and anyone who has ever spent any time around owner Paul Allen knows that he'll be irked if Olshey loses the 24-year-old Hickson at the end of the season without getting something for him. Oregonian

That's not the tricky part. Because even as the Blazers love Hickson, there are a number of league executives who don't believe he has trade-deadline value beyond, maybe, a couple of future second-round draft picks. Sacramento waived him last season. Cleveland struggled to trade him in 2011, getting Omri Casspi and a conditional pick for him. Even after posting encouraging numbers at the end of last season, there wasn't much interest in Hickson last summer beyond Portland, which signed him to that modest one-year deal. Oregonian

The Obama administration has spoken to the Heat about possibly swinging by the White House when it plays in the Northeast (but not against the Wizards) later this month, so the team can be honored for the 2012 championship. Obama was unavailable when the Heat visited Washington in early December. Miami Herald

January 13, 2013 | 09:20 AM ET Update

The only option Cuban would never consider is trading Nowitzki, who would have to approve any deal involving him anyway due to the no-trade clause in his contract. “I just wanted to make clear to him that we’re in this through thick and thin,” Cuban said. “So there’s no way that I’d trade him, no matter what.” ESPN.com

"When Dirk has something on this mind, he's never shy," Cuban said. "If he's going to tell you what he said in the media, you don't think he's going to dump on me? I mean, I've got texts from every single year and emails from every single year. Dirk wants to get it out of his system and then at the end of the email or text it's like, `Don't you worry. I'm a warrior and I'm going to lead these guys and we're going to get it rolling." ESPN.com

Executives and agents around the league are convinced the Cavaliers won’t do anything to jeopardize their ability to sign a free agent to a max contract during the summer of 2014, when LeBron James can again become a free agent. As fans in Northeast Ohio continue to howl and remain divided about the possibility of his return, more and more people around the league believe there is a strong possibility James will indeed return to Cleveland after next season. Akron Beacon Journal

With Varejao now removed from the equation, various front office executives around the league polled this week believe the Cavs’ plan will remain unchanged. They have tried unsuccessfully for three years to rent their cap space to another team willing to give up a first-round pick in an effort to shed an unwanted contract, and that will continue to be the plan for the next month. They have Luke Walton’s $6 million expiring contract and about $10 million in cap space to shop as a few teams around the league begin scrambling to avoid the league’s stiffer cap penalties. The Cavs’ parameters, however, are a little more complex than they were the last couple of years. With the summer of 2014 quickly approaching, the length of a contract the Cavs will absorb is now limited. Akron Beacon Journal

Memphis coach Lionel Hollins reiterated comments from a day earlier that he'd like to keep the Grizzlies together with Gay's name consistently turning up in trade rumors. The trade deadline is Feb. 21. Hollins says the Grizzlies are championship contenders. ''That's usually when you're trying to get there, you win a lot of games but you don't do well against the contenders. You might win one or two. But we've been able to compete with every last one of them," Hollins said. USA Today Sports

Even coach Lionel Hollins, the most successful coach in Grizzlies history, waits on an extension in the final season of his contract. “Hopefully I’ll have this team the whole year, and if I don’t, I’ll coach other guys,” Hollins said. “If they don’t give me an extension, then I’ll decide what I’m going to do. I think our team has done well growing as a group each year and developing to the point this year where I feel we’re a legitimate contender. We’ve [been able] to play with [everybody] out of the top teams. That’s usually when you’re trying to get there, you win a lot of games, but you don’t do well against the contenders. You might win one or two, but we’ve been able to compete with every last one of them.” NBA.com

“If we discuss it that means you think about it,” said Gay, the team’s leading scorer and its longest-tenured player now in his seventh season. “I’m not going to try to think about it. I’m just trying to win games.” NBA.com

Don’t expect the Cavs to offer forward Omri Casspi a qualifying offer this summer. That would make Casspi an unrestricted free agent in July. However, no one expected the Cavs to offer Luke Harangody a qualifying offer in June 2012, either. A rumor surfaced that Casspi had asked to be traded. A source said it’s nothing but a rumor. It’s time to part ways with Casspi, however. Morning Journal

Free agent forward Kris Joseph, recently waived by the Boston Celtics, is looking at options from several overseas teams right now, agent Chris Grier-Luchey told HoopsHype. Grier-Luchey said Joseph has offers from Italy, France and China, but may also consider playing in the D-League and wait for a 10-day contract. HoopsHype

The odds of catching a big fish (Chris Paul or Dwight Howard) this summer are awfully slim, as Dirk Nowitzki noted, much to Cuban’s chagrin. However, Cuban insists that chance to make a major splash in the free agency market isn’t the only reason he deemed it wise for the Mavs to create financial flexibility, an infamous decision to this point. “Despite what you guys think – and what Dirk says – it’s not like we put all our eggs in one basket,” Cuban said. “We put all our eggs in all baskets, wherever the opportunities come. One of the reasons you take a step back salary-wise is so that you can take on salary (in trades), so it’s not about just the free agents.” ESPN.com

The verbal war between Knicks forward Steve Novak and Bulls guard Nate Robinson continued yesterday on Twitter. Robinson fired back at Novak’s Friday postgame dig, a return salvo for Robinson for imitating the “discount double-check” move Novak uses for a 3-point basket. So after Novak referred to “little Nathan” Friday, Robinson posted on @nate_robinson: “@stevenovak20 lol at ur comment ... I forgot u invented that move u must play for the packers and ur name is Aaron Rodgers.” Robinson added a hashtag with a vulgarity and “clown.” New York Post

Of course, his words are drastically different on the court. Four-letter words often fill the air. He curses to motivate himself, to chastise himself, and to encourage teammates. There is such a stark contrast between the on-floor Garnett and the one who wishes media members happy holidays after interviews. “Ever since I moved from the South to the North [as a 17-year-old], Northern people are a lot more aggressive than Southern people,” said Garnett about his move from South Carolina to Chicago as a high school senior. “One of the lessons I learned living in Chicago is no one’s going to give you anything and you have to take it. I’ve carried that mentality into the league with me. Sam Mitchell helped kind of massage that mentality: stand your ground, this a man’s league.” Boston Globe

Asked if he is the Sam Mitchell to Jared Sullinger, Garnett said, “I’m more like a — yeah, never mind. I was going to say something but I won’t. “When I came into the league, I was trying to prove something to myself and everybody who doubted me, and to this day I think I am still driven by those same things. I’ve never been short of encouragement. I’ve never been short of inspiration and things that’s going to get me going. I’ve always found an edge and been able to keep it.” Boston Globe

Yes, it was that kind of loss, one the Bulls had few excuses to blame bad luck, lack of preparation or fatigue given the Suns were being dominated in Brooklyn Friday while the Bulls were winning in Manhattan. Though the Bulls uncharacteristically came to blame the officiating as they panicked late, bringing on four technical foul calls and Deng at times so angry and frustrated he failed to run back on defense while arguing with the officials, a stance which only can get you a technical or a tryout with the Miami Heat. “People have been thinking I’m a superhero, so I had to show them I’m human and I get frustrated, too,” Deng joked with media afterward. “I am disappointed that I let my frustration get the best of me. I’ve definitely got to keep my composure. I thought I got fouled a few times, the refs didn’t see it and I’ve got to do a better job of handling it.” Bulls.com

CBSSports.com: Chris Paul is held as the gold standard in this league when it comes to the point guard position. His work ethic, skill, the way he's so proficient at everything. But even then, I really believe Kyrie has a chance to be the best point guard in the league in the next, really, four to five years. Do you agree? Byron Scott, head coach, Cleveland Cavaliers: I think it is. I think one thing that he needs to do this summer is call Chris Paul and work out with him. CBSSports.com: Why's that? Scott: Because then he would learn from the best. I know he's friends with LeBron James. I know Kevin Durant. He needs to work out with some of these guys, some of the biggest stars in this league, and see how they work. I think he'd have a different perspective on what this is all about. I think it would help him tremendously. But I do think in the next 3-4 years ... He and I have talked about this. He has the possibility of being the best point guard in this league. CBSSports.com

CBSSports.com: You get the first pick, you get the kid with all this talent, but then he comes in with kind of attitude. Does that make it easier to deal with all these growing pains the team is going through? Scott: It does make you more excited, because we know that we have a few of the pieces in place, they're just young pieces. They have to mature and grow and gain that experience. One thing I love about Ky at 20 years old is that he really is more mature than most 20-year-olds. He has a pretty good idea of what he wants to do, what he wants to be in this league. He has a vision of where he's going to be in the next four years. You don't see that in most 20-year-olds when they come in the league. Most times they just want to play. They don't really think about next year or the year after. He's thinking about two, three years from now down the line. His maturity level is totally different from most guys I've coached at that age. CBSSports.com

It’s easy to study Smith and see trouble. He is tattooed on almost every available inch of skin. You don’t have to wonder about his vamp life, as he openly calls it, with his waking hours often ending when the sun is rising. He posts on Twitter for all the world to see, from fans to coaches to the NBA’s nervous security crew. But if you look carefully, Smith says, you will see that he isn’t what you think. "It’s odd in a way," Smith said. "I’m just happy people get to see the real me. I’m not a wild kid doing whatever he wants to do. It’s a blessing in disguise coming to the Knicks because some people don’t play as well or aren’t as focused when they’re home. For me, this year has been a total 180." Bergen Record

In Denver, he became close friends with Carmelo Anthony, the two most dynamic players on the team and also the most constant source of headaches for head coach George Karl. "I think J.R. and I will probably play golf someday and laugh about all the crazy things we went through," Karl said. "And the turmoil I caused him and the turmoil he caused me." Bergen Record

"He’s always had a good heart," said Marcus Camby, a teammate then and now. "It takes guys a few years, probably a few different teams and a few different scenarios to graduate on a maturity level, and J.R. in Denver was still young. "Sometimes he would be late to a lot of functions, practices — oversleeping. That just came from him being young. His talent was always there. He was a guy who could probably roll out of bed and put on a performance." Bergen Record

Limited to four games this season while recovering from hip surgery, Chandler is set to return to the court Sunday night when the Denver Nuggets face the Golden State Warriors at Pepsi Center. Chandler, a versatile wing player, came back to Denver last spring after playing in China but appeared in eight games before being sidelined by pain in his left hip. He had surgery to repair a labral tear on April 30 and spent the offseason regaining his strength and mobility. After returning in time for Denver’s season-opener, Chandler played in only four games before realizing that his hip needed more time to heal. “It’s tough because you want to do a lot of things your mind tells you to do but your body can’t,” he said after a light workout Saturday. “You just want to go out and play good for the team, for yourself, for the fans. “People are asking you all the time, ‘What’s wrong? Why aren’t you playing?’ People on the outside really don’t know what’s going on, so people kind of criticize. That’s part of the game.” NBA.com

John Paxson, Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations, witnessed this scene and was asked if expectations are moving too fast given how prudent the organization is regarding Rose's return. "Expectations are going to come from every angle," Paxson said. "We're going to remain patient. Until we get him into real practice situations for an extended period of time and see how his body responds, we're not even going to come up with a plan for him to play. "Our priority is to make sure he's healthy and he's healthy for the long term. Everything will be dictated by that." Chicago Tribune

Rose, for example, is dying to get back on the court and firmly believes he can make a title run this season, even though the Bulls, collectively, are a worse team than the one he came up short with last season. His advisers are the ones trying to slow his roll, asking him to take the long view and give his knee another full summer of work before subjecting it to the rigors of NBA competition. RGIII clearly has the same competitive mentality, which is why it's vital someone with a more sober and objective view take the wheel. "Someone has to be the adult in the room," said an NBA source. Sulia

All indications are the Knicks not only will see the Pistons and the sights while in London, but Iman Shumpert as well. Shumpert, who tore his left ACL and meniscus in the playoffs last April, could make his long-awaited season debut when the Knicks play in London on Thursday, coach Mike Woodson acknowledged yesterday. “If I was playing or not, I was going to go to London. I don’t know if they knew that. I knew that,” joked Shumpert, whose perimeter defense will be a blessing for the recently defensively- challenged Knicks — “huge,” according to J.R. Smith. “It is a big step for me, them considering me playing against Detroit.” New York Post

Mike Dunleavy and Houston assistant Kelvin Sampson are expected to get a call from the Bucks to fill their coaching vacancy. We’ll give the early edge to Dunleavy, based on the fact that he once coached the team and is still a huge fan favorite from his playing days. He also wants to be considered for the Brooklyn job in his home borough. New York Daily News

The reality in Milwaukee is that coach Scott Skiles wanted out months ago, putting his house up for sale in the area and banking that he could get the Orlando job. It didn’t happen, and Skiles had no interest in a contract extension with a roster that is a strange combination of aging veterans, solid but not spectacular youngsters, and the backcourt of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, who can score but can’t defend. Boston Globe

By all accounts, Carlesimo has learned, evolved into more of an NBA coach 15 years after the Sprewell choking incident. Still, it's not easy to shake the past or a personality, especially as the only current NBA coach who made his bones in college. Even in his dealings with the media, there are signs that Carlesimo still has a college coach's mentality — like when he painstakingly mentions the contributions of every last player in postgame interviews, right down to the 12th man’s minutes in garbage time. Guys like Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Calhoun, Dean Smith and Bobby Knight never made the jump to the NBA. Rick Pitino and John Calipari failed when they tried. New York Daily News

There are strong indications, though nothing official, that the Maloof family has NOT closed a deal with the Hansen-Ballmer group in Seattle. That is counter to the report that said the Maloofs had a handshake agreement with Hansen-Ballmer, and is obviously very, very good news for Sacramento. Sulia

Sacramento officials are still lining up financing. They are playing catch up to Seattle, on the business side and the government side, and so this remains a steep climb. But some insiders believe Sacramento has a legitimate shot at pulling this off. There is real optimism. Sulia

In the latest twist to the future of the Kings, CBS13 on Saturday confirmed a new player in a bid to keep the team in Sacramento. The Bay Area investors who bought the Downtown Plaza shopping center this year also could be part of a group who want to bid for the Maloof’s stake in the Kings to keep the team in the Capitol City. JMA Ventures’ plan includes building a new entertainment and sports complex at the Downtown Plaza rather than the downtown railyards site that the city has proposed as the future home of a new $400 million arena. CBS Sacramento

Johnson has worked to keep the Kings in Sacramento. Mention of the hot-button topic sent the packed ballroom into laughter and applause. “We got a team for sale in Sacramento,” Johnson said. “So, should I have my people talk to your people? How does that work?” After a dramatic pause, James said, “That is how it works.” James then motioned to his personal manager and lifelong friend Randy Mims and said, “Randy, did you bring my checkbook.” After another round of applause, James added, “I’ve got to check with my savings and figure out how I can make that work.” Johnson shot back, “Y’all heard him, right? We’re going to have to talk to [NBA commissioner David] Stern how a current player can own a team that he doesn’t even play on and plays 3,000 miles away…” Miami Herald

In a stunning new twist on the Sacramento Kings saga, a group including the new owner of Downtown Plaza is proposing to buy the team and build a $400 million arena on the site of the troubled shopping center. A source connected to the proposal said the group believes it would make a viable alternative to the Maloof family's potential sale of the team to a consortium planning to relocate the Kings to Seattle. Sacramento Bee

A source said the group includes other deep-pockets investors who have the ability to pull the deal together. "We make the case to the NBA that we've got the funding," said the source, who insisted on anonymity. Sacramento Bee

The source said the group includes JMA Ventures, the San Francisco investment firm that bought Downtown Plaza last year at a bargain-basement price. Any deal for the Kings would have to be approved by the NBA Board of Governors, and Sacramento officials are hoping to present a credible alternative to Chris Hansen, the hedge-fund manager who wants to buy the team and move it to Seattle. Sacramento Bee

James doesn’t have any plans to buy an NBA franchise … yet … but, in all seriousness, the city of Sacramento will always hold a special place in James’ heart. It was at ARCO Arena where James played his first game as an NBA rookie. He scored on his first shot, a 16-foot baseline jumper. His first dunk came near the end of the first quarter. For James, the possibility of no longer visiting Sacramento once a year for games sent him down memory lane Thursday and again Friday. “I was nervous. I was excited. It was like a dream come true for me,” James said of his first game. “I couldn’t sleep the night before. I take a nap before every game my whole career — didn’t get a nap that day. Miami Herald

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