HoopsHype rumors

March 1, 2013 | 06:39 PM ET Update

Adrian Wojnarowski: After a buyout with the Sacramento Kings, guard Aaron Brooks and the Houston Rockets are discussing a deal, league sources tell Y! Sports. Twitter @WojYahooNBA

The 76ers and center Andrew Bynum are considering arthroscopic surgery on the player’s right knee in order to clean out loose cartilage, a procedure that would likely end the season for the center for whom they traded so many young assets, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Bynum suffered a setback in the form of swelling in his right knee following his participation in a five-on-five scrimmage, first reported in the Inquirer, last Friday. While the Sixers have been unable to practice recently due to the schedule, Bynum would not have been able to participate due to the swelling in his knee, which was also first reported by the Inquirer on Friday. Bynum said his left knee “feels good.” Philadelphia Inquirer

The Mavericks have made a habit of not looking backward for anything, and they don’t make an exception for Deron Williams. When the free agent from The Colony spurned the home-town team last summer to stay in Brooklyn with the Nets, the Mavericks refused to play the what-if game. “In free agency, we can’t always get what we want,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “It’s not a Wish concert. It didn’t go the way we wanted so we have to move on as a franchise.” As for wondering what might have happened if Williams had come home to the Mavericks, it’s not worth the mental effort. “It was over in July,” Nowitzki said. “We kept our cap space and we’ll see what happens this year.” Dallas Morning News

O’Neal will be a free agent at season’s end, and you can bank on the interest level from teams being much higher in him than it was last season. There’s no guarantee he’ll be back, but now nobody can say he’s walking away because he can’t play anymore. “At the end of the day I came back and I put in the work I put in this summer for me, as a man looking into the mirror and saying ‘did I finish this the way I thought I could finish?’, O’Neal said. “That’s what it’s all about for me. As long as my family is happy with me I’m happy.” HoopsWorld

Which leads me ask, what's up with JaVale McGee? Andre Iguodala: JaVale McGee is one of the smartest guys I know. Like, he's a nerd, plays with gadgets and is into technology. He's funny--he's got crazy jokes and his timing with jokes is really funny. You have to be really smart to think the way he does. He's a thinker, so his mind goes into a lot of different places, and I think that can be taken the wrong way when he's on the court--he can be an over-thinker at times. GQ.com

Someone was telling me the other day that Dwyane Wade was one of the first fashion-forward guys of your generation, but I think you were, too. Andre Iguodala: You had a lot of guys who cared about how they presented themselves. But that was the beginning of his stardom, so everybody was paying attention. I've always tried to look the part. I always wanted to present myself well, and express my style with my clothes, as well as who I was as a basketball player. Since the dress code, guys have to dress the same way, but we express ourselves differently within that. That's one thing that's my definition of fashion, is that I want to express myself through clothes. It doesn't have to be trendy or like anybody else, it's just how you want people to see you. GQ.com

But you have to think six months ahead? Andre Iguodala: Right. So coming soon I'll be shopping for fall. It's not that hard, actually. It's like, What don't I have? First of all I tried to build a base of things that I needed, and then you start filling in around that. It took me like a year or two to get everything I needed, and now I might buy one or two pieces that might not look as good in ten years because they're kind of trendy, but other than that I have my base, which is stuff that is pretty timeless. GQ.com

March 1, 2013 | 04:57 PM ET Update

Team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was coy this morning when asked about Terrence Williams' contract, telling the Globe "we're still negotiating" with a wry smile. The Celtics were indeed negotiating with Williams' representatives on a deal not only for the remainder of this season but a conditional deal for 2013-14, according to an NBA source. Williams has played three games for the Celtics entering tonight's game against the Golden State Warriors but has impressed with his ability to play point guard. Boston Globe

The Celtics have plucked their third player from the Chinese Basketball Association, agreeing to a 10-day contract with former Duke center Shavlik Randolph, who is eligible to play immediately. Randolph has already received his clearance from Foshan Long Lions before he signed with the Celtics, giving the club a much-needed big man. Randolph has not played in the NBA since 2009-10 and has played just 95 games since declaring for the 2005 draft following his junior season at Duke. Boston Globe

The Hawks assigned rookie forward Mike Scott to their NBA Development League affiliate in Bakersfield (Calif.) Friday. Scott will have an opportunity to play at least three games. The Jam play in Los Angeles Saturday, where the Hawks will spend an off day, and then play home games Sunday and Tuesday. Hawks coach Larry Drew said some of the coaching staff will watch Scott play in Los Angeles. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

He didn't play. At all. A coach looked at his roster, looked at the opponent, and for five consecutive games decided that Jamison was not one of the guys who gave his team the best chance to win. Antawn Jamison, the ninth-leading scorer among active players in the NBA, a guy who has averaged 19 points a game and will soon pass 20,000 career points, went down in the box scores with a DNP-CD for five consecutive games in late December. "Never in my career had that happened to me," Jamison said. "Never. I just didn't know what was going on. Did I do something wrong?" ESPN.com

Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum has swelling in his injured right knee and says he does not know if he'll play this season. Bynum has yet to play for the Sixers because of bone bruises in both knees. Bynum says he has swelling in his right knee from a five-on-five scrimmage last week. Oklahoman

New Orleans Hornets Senior General Manager Dell Demps announced Friday that backup Jason Smith will miss the remainder of the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He will have surgery to repair the injury early next week. Details regarding a rehab schedule will be released then. New Orleans Times-Picayune

The State Department is criticizing North Korea for "wining and dining" visiting ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman while its own people go hungry. Spokesman Patrick Ventrell Friday distanced the U.S. government from Rodman's visit to Pyongyang this week and his praise for the nation's leader Kim Jong Un and his predecessors. Rodman departed the country Friday, calling Kim an "awesome guy." He watched a basketball game with the authoritarian leader Thursday and later drank and dined on sushi with him. Ventrell told reporters that North Korea has a horrific human rights record, possibly the worst in the world. He said, "You've got the regime spending money to wine and dine foreign visitors, when they should be feeding their own people." ESPN.com

March 1, 2013 | 12:58 PM ET Update

But Bryant, 34, is getting pretty specific with his retirement estimate. His contract expires after next season. He said recently about his retirement plans: "I'll be 35, 36 years old. I'm not just going to sit and do nothing." Bryant said before the season he knew what his next career might be, but he wasn't ready to share it publicly. Whatever it is, Wright Thompson's stirring portrayal of Michael Jordan's unsatisfying retired life for ESPN The Magazine – "Man, I wish I was playing right now. I would give up everything now to go back and play the game of basketball" – looms as further reminder that Bryant had better not sell his career short. "He has the gift and the curse of having gone first," Bryant said. "I have the gift and the curse of having gone second. I get a chance to watch and learn from things that he's done. The good and the bad." Bryant also feels Jordan is not his equal in one interesting sense. "M.J. retired a couple of times. Just 'cause it's a lot. It's a lot," Bryant said before this season. "I mean, I've been playing 17 years straight. That's a long run, not taking any breaks." Orange County Register

As for Monroe's future, contract talks with the Pistons could begin after his third year, which would be this summer, but Falk said the sides will put things off until July 2014, when Monroe will become a restricted free agent. "Greg isn't gonna go backwards between his third and fourth year," Falk said. "I don't think I've ever done an extension after a third year. In the 90's you maxed out a guy after his second, but the (CBA) rules are different now." "When I evaluate things, with a player of Greg's stature: Take the money out of the equation. I can get it from five different teams. 'Are there players I want to play with? A coach I want to play for? A city I want to live in?' My job is to make the money as insignificant as possible (relatively)." Detroit News

Only time will tell what road the Pistons and their big man are headed down. "What incentive does a player have to do an extension after his third year? For me personally, it's difficult to do that," Falk said. "Larry (Bird) offered a significant extension. The structure of the CBA, for me, I can't speak for others, I question why that makes sense. "Do you want to play in a warm-weather market? A big city? For Roy Hibbert he was comfortable in a small market. Some players feel the opposite." Detroit News

After receiving letter of clearance from the Chinese Basketball Association on Friday morning, forward Shavlik Randolph has signed a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics, agent Joel Bell told RealGM. RealGM

The Nets will team up with DeleteBloodCancer.org for a bone marrow donor drive at their game Friday night against Dallas at Barclays Center. Everyone entering the arena will receive a sports bag featuring the Delete Blood Cancer logo with the words “Join The Team.” New York Daily News

Ending his unexpected round of basketball diplomacy in North Korea on Friday, ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman called leader Kim Jong Un an "awesome guy" and said his father and grandfather were "great leaders." Rodman, the highest-profile American to meet Kim since he inherited power from father Kim Jong Il in 2011, watched a basketball game with the authoritarian leader Thursday and later drank and dined on sushi with him. At Pyongyang's Sunan airport on his way to Beijing, Rodman said it was "amazing" that the North Koreans were "so honest." He added that Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founder, "were great leaders." "He's proud, his country likes him -- not like him, love him, love him," Rodman said of Kim Jong Un. "Guess what, I love him. The guy's really awesome." ESPN.com

March 1, 2013 | 08:40 AM ET Update

The Chicago Bulls are in talks with Louis Amundson about signing the veteran power forward, according to league sources. A decision is expected Friday, sources told ESPN.com, with the Bulls and Amundson's agent, Mark Bartelstein, scheduled to talk about specifics. ESPN.com

Kupchak insists he's not losing sleep over Howard's uncertain future. While Howard spoke earlier in the season as if it was a foregone conclusion that he would re-sign, he has since changed his stance and said he will make up his mind in the summer. "Losing keeps me up at night," he said. "If we win, why would anybody think to leave Los Angeles? I'm not sure why anyone would think that anyway, but winning solves all the problems. USA Today Sports

Rasheed Wallace’s surgery in which a screw was inserted into his left foot Thursday at the Hospital for Special Surgery was done with his goal of returning sometime during the playoffs. Wallace could have just called it a career, placed a cast on the foot for 12 weeks and been done with basketball. According to a source, he contemplated that possibility the last several days. The Knicks, however, announced an eight-week timetable that could put him back on the court in the middle of the first round. But one leading medical expert said Wallace will not be at 100 percent healed after just eight weeks from surgery to repair a Jones fracture of his fifth metatarsal. New York Post

Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson couldn’t believe what he was hearing on the other end of the phone. Stephenson was upset when coach Frank Vogel called to tell him that the NBA had fined him $35,000 for his part in the skirmish against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. But then Stephenson’s phone rang again and it was teammate Roy Hibbert calling to tell him not to worry about the fine because the center would pay it for him. The league suspended Hibbert a game for his part in the incident. “That means a lot. It means we’re together,” Stephenson said. “I was willing to help him, so he felt like he wanted to help me. I really appreciate it.” Indianapolis Star

“I didn’t know about it until I read the paper and then I thought, ‘Wow,’ ” Pacers President Donnie Walsh said. “I haven’t seen too many teams do that, even good teams. That was a great gesture.” Indianapolis Star

While Howard returned from his April back surgery to start the season on Oct. 30, he's clearly not himself physically just yet. Howard has consistently said he'll decide if he wants to return in the summer. "I think he should get more credit for the reality of what has taken place," Kupchak said. "Here's a guy who didn't have to come back. Forget whatever he needs (because of) this summer as a free agent, because doctors are going to say that after a year you're going to be fine. But he came back because after a year he wanted to play and he wanted to win. And then he's also had the torn labrum (in his right shoulder). I just thought he was getting unfairly criticized." USA Today Sports

Kobe Bryant said Antawn Jamison "is like a little cockroach" Thursday, and meant it as a compliment. Here's why: "He just keeps finding cracks," Bryant said of Jamison's effectiveness away from the ball. Sulia

Those inconsistencies led to a 110-107 buzzer-beating loss to the Bucks on Wednesday night. The Rockets had started the game making 12 of their first 13 field goal attempts and jumped out to a 28-11 lead. "It sucks," Lin said. "That's how I would see it. It's just kind of, like, tragic to see how good we can play and then, the next thing you know, a minute later, we're like a completely different team. "I think it's complacency," he continued. "In my opinion, I think we get comfortable. Our guard goes down a little. We share the ball a little less. We run a little less hard. We play a little less hard on defense. And you just can't play the game of basketball like that. You can't flirt with the fine line of complacency and being totally locked in. So every little bit of slippage that we give up will come back and hurt us." CSN Houston

"Early in the season, we dropped so many games," Lin said. "And then we went through a stretch where we were winning every close game. So sometimes, you have to be able to go through these times to be able to look at what doesn't work, what works. I guess it makes everything more rewarding at the end of the day. You really do learn and grow from your losses, so definitely, for us, we think, if we go on a nice little win streak right now, then it makes this tough stretch worth it." CSN Houston

Dwight Howard won't ever publicly divulge whether he will re-sign with the Lakers this offseason until that moment comes. But he sounded certain on whether he wants to play in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "No doubt," he said. Long Beach Press-Telegram

It is believed in some Team USA circles that Deron Williams has played himself out of contention for the 2016 team, while Dwight Howard is viewed as a 50-50 proposition for Rio. But come to think of it, if Colangelo wants Howard in the mix, it's hard to think of a coach more capable of handling the drama that comes along with him than Rivers. It's just one of many factors that would make him ideal for the job. CBSSports.com

With Mike Krzyzewski making it clear that he believes it's time to end his long association with Team USA, there's a near-unanimous feeling in basketball circles that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would be the logical replacement to coach the team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. But a person briefed on internal discussions regarding Coach K's successor told CBSSports.com that another high-level NBA coach shouldn't be ruled out: Celtics coach Doc Rivers. CBSSports.com

Rivers was in London for the Olympics as a studio analyst for NBC Sports, and he made his presence felt around the team -- staying in the team hotel and eating meals with the players. During the Celtics' run of success during the now-crumbling Big Three era, Rivers forged strong relationships with some of the biggest stars in the game -- many of whom will still be with Team USA in Rio. Also, there's a feeling among some involved in Team USA that Rivers' personality and skilled handling of star egos would provide a more natural transition. "With Doc, I think it would keep the same chemistry going," one person briefed on the matter said. "If Pop comes in, he would want his own way of doing it -- kind of the Spurs' secretive way of doing things -- and out of Jerry's norm." CBSSports.com

Saunders played at the University of Minnesota and was an assistant there. His long coaching career included a decade directing the Wolves. So when is Saunders, 58, leaving the periphery and returning to the game he's loved since he was a boy? "I'm keeping my options open," he said. "If the right situation comes along? I'll evaluate that. I want to be able to build something, want to go to a place where something can be accomplished.'' Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Saunders admits to missing coaching, but also talks with interest about being a general manager. At one point he will talk about the joy of working with people, the next the lure of assembling a team. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Bayno had normal nights like that through the rest of his playing career and they followed him into coaching. Somehow, he was always able to manage it. He worked under P.J. Carlesimo at Seton Hall and Larry Brown at Kansas, and helped John Calipari resurrect the program at UMass. It wasn't until he was a hot shot 32-year-old hired to get UNLV back on the national map that it really started to catch up to him. Now an assistant with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Bayno has been sober for nearly 11 years. He had to go through the CBA, ABA and the Philippines to re-establish himself in the hoops community, and he's spent that time also searching for a little more balance in a life that was sometimes consumed by the game. Boston Herald

"Going through the experiences I've gone through has helped me to continue to grow as a person and help find that peace," Bayno said. "That's what we're all looking for, peace of mind, and to be happy with who we are and where we are and our jobs." Boston Herald

It all started to unravel in 1999, his last full season in Vegas. Bayno told himself he wasn't going to drink during the season, but UNLV suffered a particularly difficult loss to Oklahoma State on Dec. 18. A holiday break started on Dec. 22, and Bayno was asked to join some buddies for a late lunch after some Christmas shopping. "Boom, we're at lunch, a couple beers, a couple glasses of wine and it turned into four in the morning, out all night," he said. "I just woke up that morning ashamed and really broke down." Boston Herald

The proposed bid of 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and billionaire Ron Burkle to purchase the Sacramento Kings and construct a downtown arena has a chance to challenge a Seattle ownership's group to move the franchise. Mastrov and the local investors' bid is "slightly lower," than the $341 million that the Chris Hansen-Steve Ballmer group has agreed to pay for the available 65 percent of the Kings, a high-level source involved in the talks told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday night. "They have a shot," the source said. "It's still a long shot, but the bid will be close enough to cause real debate." Yahoo! Sports

While the amount of the Burkle and Mastrov bid was not revealed Thursday, the mayor said it would be "very strong and competitive." Seattle hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer have a binding agreement with the Maloof family to buy the Kings in a deal that values the franchise at $525 million, or about $341 million for the 65 percent they control. A source familiar with the Mastrov offer said it's expected that the NBA will look over the proposal and forward it to the Maloofs, who have the right to "entertain" other offers as backups in case the NBA rejects the Seattle bid. Beyond that, the process isn't quite clear. "It's not like there's a manual for how to do this," the source said. "This is somewhat unprecedented in the history of the league." Tacoma News Tribune

Michael Jordan has been sued by a woman who claims he fathered her 16-year-old son ... and she wants a paternity test to prove it. Pamela Smith claims in her paternity suit -- filed February 6 in Fulton County, GA and obtained by TMZ -- she became pregnant after having sex with Jordan in 1995. Pamela gave birth to Grant Pierce Jay Jordan Reynolds -- aka Taj -- in June 1996. BTW, Jordan was married to Juanita Vanoy at the time he allegedly had sex with Smith. Pamela says in her legal docs she welcomes a paternity test to prove Jordan's the dad. She wants full custody and child support. She also wants Jordan to pay the kid's medical expenses. TMZ.com

Welcome to Sam Choy's Pineapple Express, may I help you? Rudy Garciduenas was one of the most sturdy and respected links on the Lakers' food chain. Today he works in a food truck. For 26 years, through Showtime and Shaq's Time and Kobe's Team, Garciduenas served as the Lakers' equipment manager, one of the few reliable constants in a sea of locker-room change. Two seasons after losing his job in a purge of staff members who were close to departed coach Phil Jackson, he has traded a life of passing out uniforms to one of passing out Brah Barbeque Pork Sandwiches for $8 each. His story is an old one, and a new one. It is the time-worn Hollywood tale of the fleeting existence of those who serve the stars. Yet it uniquely involves an organization that was long run like a family, a Lakers culture that has slowly chilled since the benevolent late Jerry Buss placed its basketball operations in the hands of son Jim. Los Angeles Times

Garciduenas, who was laid off in June 2011 with nearly 20 other longtime employees, including training staff members and an assistant general manager, learned of his departure when he received a letter about temporary insurance. He received no severance pay. There was no farewell party. He spent the next year living off unemployment and retirement funds. He came close to selling some of his valuable Lakers memorabilia to make ends meet but finally worked his way into this truck. On a recent afternoon on a narrow Hollywood street surrounded by post-production studios, Garciduenas could be found serving lunch to a long line of office workers with his same trademark Lakers smile and good humor, one bit of his Lakers past missing. He has seven NBA championship rings — one more than Michael Jordan, two more than Kobe Bryant — yet he never wears one to work. "I'd rather not end up with teriyaki sauce all over them," he said. Los Angeles Times

Garciduenas was the guy in charge of procuring and maintaining a selection of Shaquille O'Neal's size-23 shoes. To illustrate the uniqueness of such footwear, he would occasionally wear one of Shaq's shoes on his head. In appreciation of his work, O'Neal helped him buy a truck whose license plates eventually read, "THNX SHAQ." Garciduenas was the guy who purchased and transported the special high chair that creaky Phil Jackson would require on the bench. He was the guy running for the white towel to cover up Robert Horry when a broken drawstring dropped his pants to his knees in Sacramento. He was the guy hurriedly stitching the corners of a name onto a jersey of a hastily acquired player and praying they would not fall off until a seamstress arrived the next day to make them permanent. "We all love Rudy, all of us; you can't find a single person who doesn't love the guy," Lakers spokesman John Black said. Los Angeles Times

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