HoopsHype rumors

April 2, 2013 | 08:38 PM ET Update

Steven Adams is leaving Pittsburgh after just one season. The 7-footer from New Zealand struggled for much of the season, but has decided to declare for the NBA Draft, sources told CBSSports.com. CBSSports.com

Multiple NBA executives told CBSSports.com that Adams is projected as a first-round pick. According to sources, one of the primary reasons for Adams deciding to leave college after just one year is to help provide for his family. He has 18 siblings and his father passed away when Steven Adams was 14 years old. CBSSports.com

Michigan forward Mitch McGary has surged up draft boards after averaging a double-double in four tournament games. ESPN’s Chad Ford projects the freshman as a first-round prospect. But McGary is very clear: He plans to return for his sophomore season. "I haven’t even thought about (leaving),” he told MLive.com after practice Tuesday at the Crisler Center. “I don’t have a decision to make -- I’m coming back.” Is he 100 percent sure? “Yeah,” he said with a laugh. “I’m coming back.” Booth Newspapers

Freshman forward Alex Poythress will return to the Kentucky men's basketball program for the 2013-14 season, head coach John Calipari announced Tuesday. "I'm really happy that, after talking with his family and evaluating his options, Alex has decided to return for his sophomore season," Calipari said. "Alex is a great kid with a lot of potential and I'm excited to be able to work with him next year. I believe we have only scratched the surface with Alex, and another season in college will get him closer to reaching his dreams." University of Kentucky Official Athletic Site

April 2, 2013 | 06:18 PM ET Update

With his second 10-day contract set to expire on Tuesday night, guard Jannero Pargo plans to sign with the Charlotte Bobcats for the remainder of the season on Wednesday, agent Mark Bartelstein told RealGM. Pargo has given the Bobcats stability and an offensive spark since first signing with the team on March 14. He has averaged 9.4 points and 2.5 assists in 10 games for the Bobcats, highlighted by five double-digit scoring outputs. RealGM

Jeanie Buss: @kobebryant This worries me http://on.nba.com/XwSygB I don't want to imagine the Lakers without Kobe. :-( #sadface #DoNotRetire. No one caught fire anywhere near as often as Robinson this season. The feeling here is he should stay. One thing seems obvious, though, he's not going to change. "I don't know the future, man. I'm just playing as hard as I can," Robinson said Sunday. "Wherever God wants me to be, I'll be there. If it's here, it's here. If it's not, I don't know. "I just go like a hermit crab. I go place to place if I have to. So whatever it takes to put food in my kids' bellies and a roof over their head. It doesn't matter to me." Arlington Heights Daily Herald

There’s a popular bumper sticker on the streets of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, that reads, “This car is protected by the blood of Jesus.” But there’s one teacher at the International School of Tanganyika who needs one that reads, “This car is protected by Hasheem Thabeet.” On one occasion when that teacher was stopped at a red light, a group of children ran up and started cleaning her windows — a common occurrence in the streets of the country’s largest city. But as she tried to tell them she didn’t need that assistance, the light turned green and they ran from the car, leaving the windshield wipers up. She quickly pulled off to the side of the road to fix the wipers and talk to the kids. That’s when a luxury car pulled over behind her and Thabeet unfolded all 7 feet, 3 inches of himself from it, asking if everything was all right, if she needed any help. They spoke to the kids and got her car’s wipers sorted out and then Thabeet was off. New York Times

Minor nicks, as Heat coach Erik Spoelstra put it, will keep Miami starters LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers from playing against the New York Knicks. Spoelstra ruled all three out for Tuesday night's game, with James battling hamstring tightness and Wade and Chalmers dealing with right ankle sprains. "Everybody's human," Spoelstra said. ESPN.com

The Phoenix Suns today announced that the club has reached an agreement with President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby on a new two-year contract. The deal will keep Babby in his current position through 2014-15. “Lon has led our front office during this important transition period for the organization and he has my full support as we continue to rebuild,” said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver. NBA.com

Kohl, who purchased the Bucks in 1985 from Jim Fitzgerald for approximately $19 million, is apparently still receptive to bringing on an additional business partner. The possibility of the 76-year-old Heisley re-entering the Bucks’ picture is highly unlikely. Heisley suffered a debilitating stroke in February and remains in a Chicago-area hospital. I’ve been told he’s been in a coma for more than a month and the prospects of a recovery are extremely bleak. Racine Journal-Times

Mayor Mike McGinn is hoping he can help convince the NBA to let Seattle area investors buy the Sacramento Kings and move the team north. He's in New York City right now, along with King County Executive Down Constantine and investor Chris Hansen. Together they'll be making a pitch to members of the NBA Board of Governors about why the Kings should be moved. "We'll be making the pitch sometime in the late morning (April 3). We'll just be there to talk to the NBA about the support Seattle has for a team," McGinn told KIRO Radio's Luke Burbank Show. MyNorthwest.com

Kevin Johnson: "It would be unprecedented for the NBA to rip the heart out of a city and move a team from one city to the other when the fans support it and you still didn't build it. That has never happened. When you see a team leave, it's (because) they don't have the important corporate support and they can't build a building. Those aren't the cases in Sacramento. USA Today Sports

Q: How much stock do you put in that premise that the NBA would be extremely hesitant to walk away from an arena plan with this sort of public contribution because of the precedent it would set with other cities? More and more, it seems as if that's a huge factor here. A: "I fully agree. It would be unprecedented to leave this market that's done what Sacramento has done. Typically, relocation is caused by lack of fan support, no arena, and that doesn't apply in this case. We believe strongly that keeping the team in Sac is in the best interests of the city, the team, and the NBA. There are three key components - the market, where 19 of out of 28 seasons we sold out, (and have) 100 percent market share. When you put Sacramento and Seattle side by side over the 23-year period where both of them have had NBA teams, Sacramento outdrew Seattle 20 of the 23 seasons. And then when you think about the significant public investment. This is a public-private partnership, a significant public investment, with strong local and state political support. This is the kind of commitment the NBA loves for a city to do. USA Today Sports

The moment will be seared into the minds of long-suffering Sacramento Kings fans forever. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof standing together at center court, holding hands and raising their arms in triumph after both sides agreed to an arena financing plan to keep the NBA team in town for at least another 30 years. "There's going to be a beacon of light shining bright in 2015 — a brand new arena," a teary eyed Gavin Maloof told a raucous crowd during a timeout in a win over the Utah Jazz on Feb. 28, 2012. "We still love you. We always loved you, and we always will love you." Oklahoman

Shaquille O'Neal is famous for his big mouth, but is it bigger than Jimmy Kimmel's? Shaq is getting his number retired by the Los Angeles Lakers tonight, and when he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday, he was presented a special challenge. The talk-show host challenged the Big Diesel to something called a Peep-off, to see how many of the marshmallow Easter candies the two could fit in their mouths. The results may surprise you. USA Today Sports

SUNS.COM: What have you been up to most recently, and is the game still a major part of your life? HORACIO LLAMAS: Yeah, I’m in Cancun playing for a team in the Mexican league. The league that we’re a part of plays teams from all over Central American, from Mexico to South America. We’re in the semifinals of our playoffs right now, and last year we won it. This run has been really important for us. NBA.com

In a video interview with HuffPost Live, Phil Jackson is asked whether sports organizations and players need to be more inclusive of gay athletes. Jackson, who played 12 seasons in the NBA and coached for 20, winning 11 championships along the way, had this response: That's a ridiculous question. I mean, none of us have probably ever seen it in all our careers. There's no inclusiveness to be had, so it's really a strange question. Jackson was then asked whether he meant there were no gay athletes in the NBA, to which he responded, "I've never run into it in all my career." Interesting, because in summer 2000, Jackson was entering his second season as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, who had won the 1999-2000 NBA championship. The Lakers were in the market for a skilled backup center who could fit seamlessly into the triangle. Jackson reached out to free agent John Amaechi, who was coming off a solid season with the Orlando Magic. ESPN.com

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle offered his condolences after former NBA referee Greg Willard died Monday night at the age of 54 because of pancreatic cancer. “We’ve all known about Greg Willard’s situation for many months,’’ Carlisle said after Tuesday’s shoot around at Loyola Marymount University. “We followed the situation closely and we’re all very sadden that he’s passed. “The hope is that this will bring more attention to one of the most aggressive and under-screened diseases that we have.’’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Former NBA player Javaris Crittenton has been indicted on murder charges, Atlanta TV WSB-TV tweeted. Crittenton was charged with murder in August of 2011 of a 22-year old woman in Atlanta and was released on bond in September of that year. USA Today Sports

April 2, 2013 | 12:42 PM ET Update

Like many aspiring NBA prospects, Sims is forced to continuously weigh the pros and cons between both playing close to home in the D-League, or making a move overseas to go where the more lucrative opportunities may be. With just a few weeks left in the NBA season and the chances of earning a call-up perhaps growing slimmer by the day, the big man has opted to go where the money is. Overnight Tuesday, Sims was en route to the Philippines, where he will join the Petron squad. At this point in the season, "getting noticed" and being able play stateside could just as well be valued less because of the little time left in the regular season. Thus, it makes sense for Sims to cash in on a different opportunity before perhaps returning to the states in time for Summer League. Ridiculous Upside

The Celtics lost their seventh game in the last nine last night, but there was a bright spot in the 110-100 defeat to the Timberwolves. Avery Bradley broke out of his offensive funk with 19 points, the total he had in the last four games combined. The third-year guard shot 28.9 percent from the floor in the 10 games prior, but he drilled a 19-footer to begin this one and finished 8-for-14. “He needed it,” said C’s coach Doc Rivers. “It was good. I think five games in a row we’ve run the first play of the game for him, and finally he came up with a jumper. I just really believe he needed it to go in. I told him after the game the arc was back on his shot; it wasn’t flat, so that was good to see. I think that’ll make him a better defender, too. He’ll be able to relax.” Boston Herald

Said Bradley, “I haven’t been playing as well as I wanted to. Tonight it was good to see some shots go in. It was just confidence. It’s always good to see them go in. When you’re not making shots and you’re not able to help your team, it’s hard. It was hard for me, because I didn’t feel like I was performing well for my teammates. I’m just going to continue to play hard, if I’m making shots or not. That’s all I can do.” Boston Herald

Underneath the uniform of the man who can soar like a superhero is a padded tank top that covers his chest, now a part of his game-day attire since undergoing open-heart surgery in January of 2012. Green first wore the protective layer once he began playing again last summer, and there was an adjustment period to the new part of his uniform. "When I first started wearing it last summer and started playing, it felt weird," Green said. "I had to get used to it. It was tight, uncomfortable, you name it, that’s what it was. Before I didn’t wear a tank top or anything, just a jersey." Nike created a customized tank top with padding in the chest and along the sides for Green. While he waited for his to arrive, he borrowed one of Rajon Rondo's. CSNNE.com

Fair enough. But it’s what Babby didn’t say — or couldn’t say — that intrigues us. Will he be around to make the call on Hunter? As hard as this is to believe, who coaches the Suns next season isn’t as important as who’s making the basketball decisions. Phoenix isn’t going to be a playoff contender in 2013-14, and its championship hopes are years away. What’s paramount is that the right people are building the team, so whoever’s the coach has a fighting chance down the road. Arizona Republic

New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who is in the final season of a $57 million contract, has left agent Scott Boras to sign with a company founded by Jay-Z. Roc Nation, an entertainment company founded by Shawn Carter, also known as Jay-Z, announced Tuesday that it is getting into the sports representation business through a partnership with Creative Artists Agency (CAA). This arm of CAA will be known as Roc Nation Sports, which simultaneously announced that its first sports client is Cano. ESPN.com

Sources say Jay-Z himself is planning to be a certified agent, first in baseball and eventually in basketball and football. In order to represent clients in basketball, he would have to give up his small share of the Brooklyn Nets. ESPN.com

Roger Mason: RIP to @nba referee Greg Willard. Prayers out to his family and friends. #nbafamily Twitter @MoneyMase

April 2, 2013 | 09:15 AM ET Update

It was a Gibson foul with 2:37 left in the first quarter that was upgraded, and the upgrade was met with surprise in the Bulls' locker room Sunday night after their win over the Detroit Pistons. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported the upgrade Saturday. "I really can't dwell on it," Gibson said. "It's part of the game. I'll have to just keep moving forward. "That game is behind us now. Just focus on getting wins. Like I said before, I didn't try and hurt him. I think he's a great player, I just tried to make a good foul without trying to hurt anybody, but sometimes it goes that way. But by all means I'm not a dirty player, nor is Kirk, but we'll have to wait until we see him again." ESPN.com

“I think so,’’ Lawson said when asked if the Nuggets could beat the Heat for the title. “They beat us twice early in the year when we weren’t really in sync. We were still trying to find ourselves. So I feel like if we play them now it would be a better game and we could actually beat them.’’ Denver did give the Heat two good games in November, but lost 119-116 at Miami and 98-93 at home. So what makes Lawson think the Nuggets could turn the tide if the teams meet in the Finals? “Teamwork, and we could throw a lot of people at LeBron (James) and (Dwyane Wade), and not just one person,’’ Lawson said. “We can throw (Andre) Iguodala and (Danilo Gallinari) and Corey Brewer and Wilson (Chandler). You can throw so many people at (them). And then we have so many weapons.’’ FOXSports Florida

The simple fact is, Lillard wants to win and he has bigger goals he wants to accomplish rather than just setting a three- point record. He feels he can be one of the very top players this league has to offer and he's on a mission to prove that. “I think I can be a first team All-NBA, I think I can be an All-Star, I think I can be an MVP,” Lillard told CSNNW.com. “That's just my opinion. I don't know when, but how I plan to work and how much better I want to be, I feel like anything is possible.” CSNNW.com

Returning to Toronto for the first time since he was traded on Jan. 30, Calderon was honored with a standing ovation during pregame introductions and a special video tribute during a first quarter timeout. "It felt great," Calderon said. "It's got to be one of the better moments in my career, for sure." ESPN.com

Proving that old habits die hard, Calderon mistakenly started walking toward the Raptors' locker room at the half, laughing when he realized his error. "They called me back really quick," he said. "It was just three or four steps." Calderon acknowledged that it was "a weird feeling" to play as a visitor in Toronto. He said he'd struggled with his emotions all day, no more so than during his video tribute. "It was emotional," he said. "No tear was out but I was close." ESPN.com

Larry Sanders has had his share of incidents with officials this season, but even his harshest critics would agree this one wasn’t his fault. In the opening seconds of Milwaukee’s 131-102 blowout home win over Charlotte on Monday, Sanders decked referee Bill Kennedy with a right elbow to the face as he came down from winning the opening tip. Kennedy fell backwards onto his back and stumbled trying to get back up, holding his head in pain. The game was briefly delayed but Kennedy, a 15-year veteran, was able to continue. SI.com

But what probably did the most to help Noel was the way the players who will be competing with him for the top spot in this year’s draft almost universally fell flat in the tournament—it’s an open race for the No. 1 slot, and no one really seized the opportunity to put their stamp on the tournament. Thus, if you ask most executives around the league, Noel comes out most likely to be No. 1, almost by default. “In a draft like this, you’d like someone to really stand out and show you something when you get to the tournament,” one NBA executive said. “That just didn’t happen. Most of the players we were watching were just sort of average, or even worse. You don’t make your decisions in the draft based on the tournament but you would like to see some guys really separate themselves. No one did.” Sporting News

(Steven) Adams told reporters after Pittsburgh's loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament that he had no intention of declaring for the draft. That jibes with what we've been hearing, which is that he'll spend at least one more year under Jamie Dixon's tutelage at Pitt. ESPN.com

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has been leading the city's efforts to keep the team from leaving -- first, for Anaheim and now, for Seattle -- every step of the way during this three-year ordeal. As chance would have it, Johnson had a wedding to attend in New York over the weekend, so fittingly, the old point guard has been in the city for days, just waiting for what could be his final chance to save his city's team. "It's a culmination of a three-year saga," Johnson told CBSSports.com Monday night. "We've fought so hard as a community because this is our only basketball team. And you don't want anybody taking away something that's yours when you've done what you needed to do to keep a team there. And it's bigger than basketball for us. It's about jobs, it's about civic pride, it's about an opportunity to revitalize our downtown area. "It's a defining moment for our city," he said. CBSSports.com

The Hansen group also has put in a bid for the 7 percent of minority shares in the Kings that are in bankruptcy, potentially strengthening its position. But a league source told CBSSports.com that the other minority investors have the right of first refusal, and will be exercising that right before Wednesday. Those shares will be part of Sacramento's proposal, not Seattle's. It's a collision of two cities desperate for membership in the NBA -- one that has had its team slowly pulled out from under it for three years, and another that had its SuperSonics shipped to Oklahoma City in 2008. In terms of fans who love the game and yearn to be a part of it, there can only be one winner here. And one loser. “We have a love affair with the NBA,” Johnson said. “We're one of 30 cities that have an NBA team in the world and we don't want to lose our team.” CBSSports.com

As Johnson prepares for Sacramento's final stand, amid the subtle signs of springtime in New York, he can step before the owners knowing he has done everything in his power. He's held up his end of the deal. A book about all this is there for the writing, I told Johnson Monday night, but the fearless mayor of Sacramento quickly corrected me. “It's got to have a good ending,” he said, “for me to think about writing a book.” CBSSports.com

With time healing all wounds, Kobe Bryant's eyes lit up surrounding Shaquille O'Neal's jersey retirement ceremony when the Lakers (38-36) play tonight against the Dallas Mavericks (36-37) at Staples Center. "It's going to be great," Bryant said following the Lakers' win Saturday over the Kings. "It's well-deserved, beyond well- deserved. I'm very very happy for him and proud of him." Long Beach Press-Telegram

"Shaq and I have a really, really good relationship now. We appreciate each other more now than ever," Bryant said. "The further you get away from the history that you had together, the more you put perspective on it on how dominant we were." Long Beach Press-Telegram

He did not catch much of the Louisville-Duke game, and definitely not the part that made some people turn away, and you can probably imagine why. "I didn't see my own injury," said Shaun Livingston, "so I don't want to see anyone else's." SportsonEarth

He turned his phone off, "changed my numbers," he said. People were well-meaning but he just didn't want to re-live it, to provide constant updates, to deal with the silent and awkward pauses in conversations. He leaned on family, close friends, his faith and, mostly, his love for basketball. That kept him going. "A lot of the process is mental," Livingston said. "That's what's going to bring you back." SportsonEarth

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Nene and Emeka Okafor were participants in a basketball clinic for children at the 135th annual Easter Egg Roll and watched as the president missed badly on a series of jumpers and airmailed another. He asked for a new ball in the midst of his misfiring and missed at least 13 shots in row overall, including one layup attempt that hit nothing but the glass. “He missed a lot in a row. We told him move in a little bit. Then he ended up missing a layup and it got out of control,” Beal said. “He has a few excuses he could use. I think he was warming up to at least sprinkle one in. I don’t know.” Washington Post

Obama, a former high school basketball player in Hawaii and an avid hoops enthusiast, finally made a layup and left the court after finishing 2 of 22. The miserable shooting display led Wall to share a few jokes while offering to supply some advice. “I told him ‘I’m on a hot stretch this month,’ ” Wall said. “I said you was shooting like I was shooting the first month I came back. He kept saying I’m going to leave for like five minutes, 10 minutes. He didn’t leave until he made one.” Washington Post

Magic Johnson's 20-year-old son hit the Sunset Strip, hand in hand with his boyfriend ... and his parents couldn't be happier for their kid. Earvin Johnson III -- aka EJ -- is one of Magic's 3 kids. The Lakers legend tells TMZ, "Cookie and I love EJ and support him in every way." Magic goes on, "We're very proud of him." TMZ.com

Madison Square Garden boss James Dolan was so furious with a security guard who didn’t recognize him outside the swanky Delta Sky 360 Club that he fired her right on the spot, sources told The Post yesterday. But the hothead exec had a change of heart overnight — and the guard was back at her post the very next day, sources said. Dolan, 57, was walking into the exclusive club during Sunday’s Knick game against the Boston Celtics when security guard Fiordaliza Hernandez asked him for his ID — which he never wears, sources said. New York Post

LeBron James: RIP to one of our NBA refs Greg Willard due to cancer! Prayers goes out to his family and friends #NBAFamily Twitter @KingJames

Saw referee Bill Spooner in Detroit last Friday for the first time in a long time and when we were catching up before the game, he mentioned that former ref Greg Willard was having a terrible time fighting pancreatic cancer that hit him last year. I got to know Greg just a little bit over the years in various Marriott concierge lounges and he was a very nice man and a fine referee. That’s what made it hard last night when I got news that he’d passed away; six months younger than I am and a terrible, terrible loss. Toronto Star

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