HoopsHype rumors

January 27, 2013 | 08:32 PM ET Update

A return to the court and his debut with the Sixers seems to be a real hope right now. Bynum has stated his hope is to come back sometime around the mid-February All-Star break. “We were talking about Andrew (Saturday) night where people have to understand that you totally change the personnel that you’ve got to play when he’s on the court and you totally change how you are going to have to guard. You’re not going to trap Jrue (Holiday) if Andrew is in the pick and roll and he (Bynum) rolls you can’t just have a man pick him up. Philadelphia Inquirer

“It’s encouraging as Andrew is doing more and more work. Just watching when Jrue has struggled or Evan (Turner) has struggled, just watching how teams have defended them. And they’re doing exactly what you should do. But when you have a great player or a big guy who demands a lot of attention around that basket you have to defend totally different.” Philadelphia Inquirer

January 27, 2013 | 07:07 PM ET Update

One team that rival execs expect to be at the forefront of the Pierce pursuit is Memphis, which delayed but did not solve its long-term payroll concerns by getting under the luxury-tax line with last week's trade with Cleveland. While Memphis can survive for the rest of this season without trading Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph or Marc Gasol, it still cannot sustain such a top-heavy payroll for the next two seasons. Pierce would keep the Grizzlies dangerous -- arguably, make them more dangerous -- for the rest of this season, and allow them to reorganize their spending as soon as next season. CBSSports.com

With the Feb. 21 trade deadline fast approaching and the free agent-to-be who used to be known for his joyous ways waffling again about whether he's happy, Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is sending mixed signals again — just as he has done so often in these last two roller-coaster seasons. Yet when asked about his state of mind Saturday, Howard insisted that a Lakers' shakeup won't be happening any time soon. "My mind-set? Nobody's going anywhere," Howard told USA TODAY Sports. USA Today Sports

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce walked over to ABC's Doris Burke for a postgame interview fresh off a triple-double performance in a double-overtime win Sunday against the defending champion Miami Heat. Any smiles quickly evaporated. Burke was the first to tell Pierce the bad news: All-Star Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo likely is out for the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. USA Today Sports

"Oh my god," Pierce said, interrupting Burke after she mentioned the injury. His face coiled into a grimace, as though he had been punched in the gut. "We've just got to rally around each other," said Pierce, who had 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the 100-98 victory. "I feel for him. He was having such a great season, making the All-Star team. It's disappointing news. Guys just have to step up." USA Today Sports

January 27, 2013 | 04:52 PM ET Update
January 27, 2013 | 03:55 PM ET Update

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo will have surgery for a torn ACL he suffered when he hyperextended his right knee Friday and is expected to miss the rest of the season, the team said Sunday. A date for the procedure has yet to be determined, and it was uncertain what Rondo's expected recovery time would be. ESPN.com

January 27, 2013 | 03:01 PM ET Update
January 27, 2013 | 02:41 PM ET Update

David Baumann: Solid #NBA source tells me the Boston @Celtics are fearing a possible torn ACL for Rajon #Rondo. Results from MRI coming soon. Updates ASAP. Twitter @DavidBaumann33

Dwain Price: The #Mavs haven't made a decision yet on PG Mike James, whose second 10-day contract expires tonight at midnight. Twitter @DwainPrice

In Orlando, Vucevic is emerging as one of the most pleasant surprises in the league. But given the opportunity to put on a general manager's hat, Vucevic, just 22, demonstrated his understanding of NBA business. "I would have traded me for Andrew Bynum," he said with a laugh. Philadelphia Inquirer

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, arguably the team's most valuable player, wasn't suited up today for the big home game against the Miami Heat and the first time facing ex-Celtics guard Ray Allen at home. Just before tipoff the Celtics said Rondo was heading for New England Baptist Hospital for an MRI on a hyperextended right knee. Courtney Lee started in his place. USA Today Sports

January 27, 2013 | 08:38 AM ET Update

Stephen Curry has been extended an invitation from the NBA to participate in the three-point shootout during next month’s All-Star weekend, but he’s debating whether to head to Houston for just one event. “It would be a big commitment heading down there for one event so I’m figuring out if I’m going to make that commitment,” Curry told RealGM on Saturday night. RealGM

The spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team is secure. Next up for Pacers swingman Paul George is to decide if he wants to participate in the Slam Dunk competition Feb. 16 in Houston. George took part in the event last year, losing to Utah's Jeremy Evans. "I don't know if I'm going to do it," George said. "I'm going to keep it open. It's kind of a been-there-done-that type of thing." Indianapolis Star

George has spent the past few days telling a lot of people "thank you" via text message, phone call and Twitter. "It's been amazing how many people have reached out to me," George said. "I appreciate all the support I've gotten from people." Indianapolis Star

The Cavs' trade with Memphis illustrated what a team armed with cap space can accomplish. Whenever a team can turn Jon Leuer into Marreese Speights and a first-round pick, it's a win. The deal was lopsided and a feather in Grant's cap. The Grizzlies needed to get under the luxury-tax threshold. His last two transactions have helped re-shape the team. His waiver claim of journeyman Shaun Livingston was also a shrewd move. Grant will be on the prowl for more young talent at the Feb. 21 deadline. Three players with expiring contracts, Luke Walton, Daniel Gibson and Omri Casspi, could be moved. ESPN's Marc Stein said not to be surprised if the Cavs flop Speights to another team at the deadline. News-Herald

It has been an awfully quiet month since the Wolves announced Roy is pursuing a last-gasp alternative-treatment plan for his degenerative knees. That announcement came just hours after the Target Center media room was arranged for a news conference that never occurred. One last hope to get himself healthy enough to play again, right? Maybe not. Maybe this alternative treatment is simply a way to bide time and keep Roy and his $5 million salary slot on the roster in case the Wolves need his contract to swing a substantial deal by the Feb. 21 trade deadline. As soon as he retires, that salary slot goes away. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

The Wolves will re-sign both Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson for the rest of the season, won't they? They almost certainly will, but they will have to make a roster move to do so. The Wolves used an open roster spot to sign Gelabale to a 10-day contract and are likely to resign him to another when the first one expires Tuesday. They signed Johnson to a 10-day deal after the league granted their request for a roster exception because they had four players injured for the next two weeks or more. They could reapply for another exception Tuesday, but thereafter would have to create a roster spot for him because a player can only be signed to two 10-day deals before their contract must be guaranteed for the rest of the season. To do so, the Wolves would have to trade a player such as Lou Amundson for a future pick or waive a player. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Speights had the ability to veto his inclusion in the trade to the Cavs. By doing so, he gave up his "Bird" rights, which means the Cavs cannot exceed the cap to re-sign him. He has a player's option on his contract for next year worth $4.5 million. If he plays well in the second half of the season, agent Andy Miller might recommend pursuing a multiyear deal. News-Herald

It appears that Royce White can finally get back to playing basketball. White was reinstated by the Houston Rockets and will report to the team's D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, on Feb. 11, according to a joint statement released Saturday by the Rockets and White. White has been inactive all season, and the team suspended the rookie forward on Jan. 6 after he refused an initial assignment to Rio Grande Valley. The sides "reached an agreement that addresses the major issues" facing White and the Rockets, the statement said. USA Today Sports

Warriors injured center Andrew Bogut said he had a moment on the bus ride from Chicago to Milwaukee. Something about the sign the Welcome to Wisconsin sign that made him a bit sad. “It brought back a lot of memories,” said Bogut, who spent eight years in Milwaukee before being traded to the Warriors in March. “You guys know that I didn’t like the cold, but there was something about driving in that was nostalgic. This is kind of where I turned into a man, grew from a boy into a man. It will always have a special place in my heart.” Contra Costa Times

Did you want out of Milwaukee?: “I was ready to go, but I wasn’t. It was a situation that I wasn’t playing. I was hurt. The Bucks were making a push to get the seventh or eighth seed, so I knew they were probably going to make a move. I was told that obviously I might be packaged with (Stephen) Jackson. They were trying to make a Jackson deal. That’s just the way it is. If I was John Hammond, I probably would have done the same thing. … I wasn’t stomping my feet to get traded. San Francisco Chronicle

Vucevic's former Sixers teammates knew they were losing a promising young player. "It's hard to give him credit because he's a [Southern Cal] guy," said all-star Jrue Holiday, who attended crosstown rival UCLA. "But seriously, we knew that Vuc could play. He had some trouble being consistent as a rookie, but you know that's going to be the case. "The team made a business decision," Holiday continued. "Andrew Bynum was coming off a great year. They had to do that." Philadelphia Inquirer

Even though Bryant ended up scoring less than half of his 28.9 points per game average, good for third best in the league, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said it shouldn't be looked at like a "sacrifice" by the All-Star guard. "If you win, is it really a sacrifice or is it, 'Yeah, you played the right way?' " D'Antoni said after practice Saturday. "I don't know if it was a sacrifice, is all, but (Bryant) set the tone. There's no doubt about it. He played like Oscar Robertson played back in the day -- 14 assists, nine rebounds, and he got easy shots all over the place. Some nights it's 14 points, some nights it's 30 points, but he'll read the defense." ESPN.com

Bryant addressed the new role on Twitter after the game, quoting a fan that referred to him as "Kobe Johnson" (after Magic Johnson, the greatest point guard in Lakers franchise history). Bryant also responded to a tweet that said, "You should pass more often bro." Bryant replied, "u know what? In this situation, I think u r 100 % right." The 14 assists were one shy of Bryant's career high in February 2002 against Washington and nearly matched Utah's team total of 16. According to ESPN Stats & Information, it was just the fourth time in Bryant's 17-year career that he played 30 or minutes and finished a game with more assists than field goal attempts (he was 7 for 10 on Friday), and the Lakers are 3-1 in those games. ESPN.com

Howard said Bryant's adjustment on offense helped not just him, but the entire team. "We have to play for each other to win," Howard said. "All of us have to sacrifice part of who we are, part of who we've been, especially on the offensive end for the team. Still bring the same kind of energy, but we have to figure out a way to all put it together. I'm sure everybody on this team wants to be the guy to score, make plays and all that stuff, but we have to figure out ways to do it together. If you get everybody else involved early and throughout the game, it just makes it tough for teams to guard. "(Bryant) did a great job of that (Friday) night. When he plays that way, it makes it tough for teams because he's passing. He's throwing lobs. He's picking the defense apart. Now he can get the chance to go one-on-one, where he's dangerous." ESPN.com

Full-body ice baths to Bryant have become a normal habit for him as well, a part of his everyday lifestyle. He even goes so far to call it "The Tub of Youth." The benefit of icing can reduce pain, muscle spasm in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues in the body, which is effective for reducing inflammation. Minimizing the inflammatory response is a key component to avoiding injuries, reducing muscle soreness and speeding up recovery. "It's tough, but it's something you have to do," Bryant said. "When you're playing in the league for so long, you have to find ways to recover, you have to find ways to be committed to that and do that on a consistent basis." NBA.com

During the month of December, the Lakers shooting guard recorded at least 30 points in 12 of 14 games, including a stretch of 10 straight. He also became the first player in NBA history to score 30 or more points in six consecutive contests after turning 34 years of age. "The guy is beating Father Time," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin stated before the Lakers hosted the Jazz in early December. "It seems like, if it's possible, he's continuing to get better." Bryant finished the final month of the 2012 calendar year with averages of 33.79 points, 5.57 rebounds and 4.64 assists, all-time highs in each category for any month during his entire career. That streak also coincided with 10 straight games of 40-plus minutes. "My wind feels even better," he said postgame after the Lakers 111-98 victory over the 76ers. "I feel like I can run all day long. A lot of that has to do with diet and being committed to it, and watching what I eat." NBA.com

Before the Clippers played the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night at the Rose Garden, Odom had taken a total of 200 shots, the ninth-highest on the team. He’s making just 37% of his shots, 12.2% (six for 49) of his three-point shots. But that doesn’t mean the Clippers don’t want Odom to shoot the basketball. “I don’t want to rattle the boat,” Odom said after taking some extra shots at Saturday’s shoot-around. “Everything is good. There will be a time when it’s time for me to excel offensively and to pick up some of the slack. I’m working my way into it.” Los Angeles Times

Smacked in the head by Suns guard Shannon Brown, Ginobili ended up in a heap on the court under the Spurs basket, players from both teams pushing and shoving, referees separating potential combatants. Brown was charged with a flagrant foul, penalty-2, and ejected from the game. Ginobili made both foul shots to trim Phoenix’s lead to a single point heading into the final period and thanked Suns forward Markieff Morris for awkwardly crashing into him after Brown’s hit. “I kind of got pushed into him and it was lucky he was there,” said Ginobili, who scored 18 points after going scoreless in the Spurs’ easy win in Dallas on Friday night. “I had lost my balance and hitting him put me back upright. So I was actually very lucky.” San Antonio Express-News

Ginobili never saw Brown’s forearm coming at his head because he had faked his way past the Suns defender at the top of the key and was headed to the basket for what he thought would be an easy layin. “I was going to the rim and felt a boom to my head,” he said. “I imagined it was a flagrant but I saw it only on the replay afterwards.” Ginobili’s teammates were divided on whether Brown’s play was malicious. “I thought that was very dirty,” point guard Tony Parker said. “He didn’t need to do that. I think it was a big momentum change. Definitely everybody looked at each other and said, ‘You know what, let’s finish them.’?” San Antonio Express-News

The Mavericks will be without an All-Star representative next month in Houston, but owner Mark Cuban is certain that Nowitzki missing the showcase event for the first time since 2001 will be a one-time thing. “I don’t have any doubt,” Cuban said when asked if Nowitzki would be an All-Star again. “There’s no doubt in my mind at all.” Dallas Morning News

Q: Do you think this team is a legitimate championship contender? Iman Shumpert: Definitely, I think so. I think it’s a whole mental thing, us getting out of the first round. I think once we get out of the first round we’ll be fine. It’s not only us, it’s the city, and I think this year, adding a Jason Kidd, already having a Tyson Chandler, a Rasheed Wallace — these guys all have rings. ... Rasheed Wallace is on my ear during a game telling me on the road, “Look, we only have to be within six points with six minutes to go.” When I see six minutes in the fourth quarter, and we’re down six, in my head, I’m thinking, “Man, we need to hurry up and get a steal. I need to hurry up and start getting things moving. I’m not trying to make this a free throw match.” And they’re in no sort of panic at all. Jason Kidd is trying to almost grow me up as fast as he can with just learning time, score, situation. He’s trying to say like, “Look, it’s gonna be a time where you’re gonna have to make these type of decisions — let me tell you what I know about this, this, this ... how the ref’s [are] calling it, what we need to do. Every timeout, he’s right here. New York Post

Byron Scott could only smile. "Great coaching, that's all that is," he joked after his All-Star point guard, Kyrie Irving, hit a 3-pointer with .7 seconds left to lift the Cavaliers to a 99-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night. The fifth game-winner of Irving's career, and second this season, enabled the Cavs to improve to 13-32 and post their first three-game winning streak of the season. It also was just their second win on the second night of a back-to-back in 14 tries. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Much as they did in Friday's victory over Milwaukee, newcomers Speights, Shaun Livingston and Wayne Ellington brought the Cavs back, and a tip-in by Thompson gave the Cavs an 80-79 lead with 8:47 left, their first lead since the first quarter. Irving took it from there, with 12 points in the final period. It was his first victory over Toronto in four tries. (He was injured for the victory in Toronto on April 6 last season.) "Hell, yeah, I wanted to get a win," Irving said. "It's personal for me. I've been in the NBA a year and a half and haven't gotten a win against Toronto. To get a game winner here and beat them on their home court feels good." Asked what was going through his head when the ball went through, Irving said, "'Let's get out of Toronto, let's go home, fellas.' That's all I was thinking." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Marcus Camby is walking around without a boot on his injured left foot and hopes to start running to 2-3 weeks. Camby has been out since Jan. 10 when he re-aggravated a previous foot injury. The Knicks announced the next day that Camby would be sidelined for 2-4 weeks with a plantar fascia injury in his left foot. ESPN.com

Q: What’s one anecdote about coach Mike Woodson that makes him unique? Iman Shumpert: The first day he became head coach, at halftime of the game — Melo’s going off. Melo’s got like 16 or 18 at half. We’re blowing the Trail Blazers out, we’re already up by 15, and we’re all hyped up. We’re like in the locker room laughing, everybody’s like talking, communicating like, “Man, we need to do this, ah you missed a layup on this though, we gotta clean this up, we gotta do this,” so we’re all talking. And Woody comes in there, he looks like he’s [ticked]. And so we all like sorta tighten up. He goes straight up to Melo: “I don’t give a damn how many points you got. You have no rebounds right now. You can’t play for me with no rebounds.” I think Melo finished with like seven, eight rebounds after that. But it’s like the fact that he walked in, and just walked straight up to Melo’s face and did that, I think it established in the room for the rest of the year how serious he was about he doesn’t care how much we’re winning by if we’re not doing the things we’re supposed to do. New York Post

New Suns interim coach Lindsey Hunter won his first two games, but it’s highly doubtful that Alvin Gentry sent a congratulatory note to his successor. Suns insiders say that Gentry more than once had Hunter removed from practices when Hunter was serving in his role as a first-year player development coordinator. Hunter was regarded as a spy for the front office, which was all but confirmed after the Suns fired Gentry and tabbed Hunter over Gentry’s longtime assistants, Elston Turner and Dan Majerle, each of whom was more deserving for the interim post New York Daily News

Source: Mastrov and Burkle are indeed committed to putting together a proposal for purchasing the Sacramento Kings and keeping them in Sacramento. The biggest hurdle will be convincing the current NBA owners to keep the Maloofs from following through with their existing agreement to sell and send the team to investors in Seattle. Still hard to imagine Hansen and Co. would invest not only in building a new arena but agree to a deal that includes a $30 million non-refundable payment if they weren't given some sort of guarantee above and beyond the Maloofs, but I guess we're going to find out. Sulia

With the Spurs in town Friday night, Cuban told the reporters present to watch him sweat that he wants to bring the All-Star Game back to Dallas soon, but with a twist. This time, Cuban wants the game played at American Airlines Center, rather than Cowboys Stadium, where it was held in 2010 before a record crowd of 108,713. “I wouldn’t do it there again,” Cuban said. “That was a one-off. Been there. Done that.” He continued: “The first one was so successful, you don’t try to top it. The last thing I would want to do is throw a party and have no one show up.” San Antonio Express-News

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