HoopsHype rumors

April 28, 2013 | 11:30 PM ET Update

The Howard the Lakers saw in the second half of the season is the one they signed up for, and the one they’d like to sign to a max contract once Howard hits free agency this summer. There a lot of reasons Howard will likely return to Los Angeles, financial and otherwise. But he’s going to pursue all of his options before making that long-term commitment to the Lakers. “I’m going to step away from everything for a couple of weeks and clear my head before I deal with or talk about anything as far as next season,” Howard said. “I think I deserve that.” NBCSports.com

When Howard was asked to sum up his first year in Los Angeles afterward, his response was hard to dispute. “It was like a nightmare,” Howard said. “It was like a bad dream, and we couldn’t wake up out of it. That’s what it felt like. It seemed like nothing could go right from the start — injuries and all that stuff. But we’ll get an opportunity to get some rest for guys who are injured or coming off of injuries, get a chance to rehab, and think about what we can all do to better ourselves.” NBCSports.com

Pau Gasol downplayed on whether his Lakers future hinges on whether Dwight returns or not. "I don't know if that's 100 percent accurate," Gasol said. "I think they will try to get Dwight and extend him. That's why they brought him here. That's the team's base for the future. I don't think everything is set in stone in the sense that if he stays, I'm definitely gone or if he goes, I'm definitely here. Ownership has to answer that." Sulia

Eric Pincus: Gasol hopeful the Lakers will keep him - knows there will be changes - clearly emotional at what could be the end for him in LA Twitter @EricPincus

April 28, 2013 | 09:45 PM ET Update

Shaw is ready to coach his own team, but according to a source, he is cautious, looking for the right job. Yes, he has previously interviewed for nine head-coaching positions, but year after year, teams go through thorough searches looking for their “right” guy when, too often, they have a candidate in mind but do the extensive search so as not to appear hasty. (Cleveland was the exception this spring when they targeted Brown and re-signed him in short order.) CSNPhilly.com

Durant's 41 points helped the Thunder to the win on Saturday night. A victory on Monday would complete the four-game sweep and send them to the second round of the playoffs. He broke into a huge grin when asked how it felt to run the offense without Westbrook, who had season-ending knee surgery Saturday. "I tell you, it's fun," he said. "I feel like I'm playing street ball again, just having the ball in my hands all the time and initiating the offense." NBA.com

April 28, 2013 | 06:30 PM ET Update

Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade will miss Sunday's playoff game against the Milwaukee Bucks as he continues to recover from soreness in his bruised right knee. Wade worked out on the Bradley Center court for 20 minutes with the Heat's assistant coaches before the start of Game 4 against the Bucks, but was later ruled out. ESPN.com

April 28, 2013 | 02:32 PM ET Update

Rondo is expected to return sometime early next season but his rehabilitation is in the early stages after tearing the ACL on Jan. 25 at Atlanta. "I like to compete, I want to play but I'm fine where I'm at right now," he said before Game 4. "I'm just trying to support my teammates. That's all I can do and that's what I am going to do. I've been watching for four months now, it's hard sitting on the sideline watching. Can't do anything about it." Boston Globe

"We're going to pull out this win and I'm hoping that my knee will be ready for Game 5," World Peace said in an interview with CBS Sports Radio on Saturday. "And then we could do some special stuff [in] Game 5 and push for a Game 6. ... You've got to keep pushing and that's what you're seeing from the Lakers. Everybody's continuing to give 100 percent. We're not giving up; absolutely not." CBSSports.com

Adrian Wojnarowski: Michigan State's Adreian Payne will return to school for his senior year, a source told Y! Sports. Midnight deadline to enter NBA Draft. Twitter

Phil Jackson was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2011, the former Lakers’ coach reveals in his new book. According to the O.C. Register, Jackson revealed the bad news to his team during the playoffs as what sounds like an attempt to motivate. The Big Lead

After doctors assured him the cancer could be controlled by drugs temporarily, Jackson waited until after the season to undergo surgery. Jackson decided to divulge his situation to his players when he sensed the team was lacking something in the playoffs. The Big Lead

“Shocking,” Pau Gasol said Saturday, remembering Jackson’s disclosure to the team. “But then you also could understand certain moments of his demeanor, energy and involvement because of what he was going through health-wise. It explained certain things. It was a shock. A difficult moment for the team.” Gasol said Jackson talked with team captains Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher privately before telling the whole team in a video session – but Jackson was left second-guessing the revelation in which he became teary-eyed as he spoke … the Lakers strangely fading in that series vs. Dallas. The Big Lead

Concrete predictions on what NBA relocation committee will recommend to league owners Monday re: Kings' future are hard to come by. But I've heard a couple plugged-in league insiders say this weekend that SAC still very much in game for keeping Kings Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

April 28, 2013 | 11:19 AM ET Update

Drew is in the final year of his contract. The Hawks hired Danny Ferry as the general manager last summer, and there has been speculation ever since that Ferry would look to hire his own coach. There have been no discussions between Ferry and Drew concerning an extension, according to the source. Philadelphia Inquirer

A coaching search remains in Philadelphia after Doug Collins stepped down, and the 76ers are seeking a young dynamic replacement who could help upgrade a flawed roster. While Brian Shaw's name has been mentioned, someone to watch is former assistant, and former 76er, Aaron McKie, who is familiar With the roster and is a Philadelphia native. Boston Globe

However, Harris, who briefly addressed this subject Saturday at an announcement that the Sixers were acquiring a new NBA D-League franchise (the Delaware 87ers), sounds wedded to his original position. "Obviously the sooner the better in terms that there are other teams that want coaches," Harris said. "Having said that it's a really important position, so the answer is it's not possible to put a time frame on it. "Clearly we are sequencing it quickly. We're not waiting around, but there is a lot of work to be done. It's just hard to put a time frame on it. Faster is better but only if you find the right person." Philadelphia Inquirer

The most pressing question is will Howard re-sign? He could for five years and $117.9 million instead of a four-year, $87.6 million deal with another team. "I haven't thought about it," Howard said. Los Angeles Daily News

The Lakers won't have much clarity elsewhere. They could use the amnesty provision on Bryant ($30.5 million), Gasol ($19.9 million), World Peace ($7.7 million) or Blake ($4 million). World Peace might opt out of his player option in hopes for a longer but less expensive contract, although that runs the risk of the Lakers letting him walk. The Lakers also will have expiring contracts to Antawn Jamison, Clark, Morris, Goudelock, Robert Sacre and Devin Ebanks, although the latter is sure to leave considering he's rarely played all season. Los Angeles Daily News

While the Celtics' could wind down season in disappointing fashion perhaps because of injuries and age creeping into the once-energetic bodies of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, there will be intrigue this summer. The organization must choose whether to reload for one more championship run or cut ties with its most popular player. Pierce has a team option on his contract for 2013-14 at $ 15.3 million, with a $ 5 million buyout before June 30. Meanwhile, Chris Wilcox's minimum salary is the only guaranteed money that will come off the books next season, ensuring the Celtics will again be a luxury-tax team. Even jettisoning Pierce's contract would not offer financial flexibility because they would still be over the salary cap. Boston Globe

JR Smith is looking for a long-term deal. His postseason performance may clinch his exit from New York as I have a player option on his contract for $ 2.9 million. The Knicks, who are well over the salary cap, would only be able to offer Smith their mini mid-level contract significant because they have no contracts coming off the books and will still be in luxury-tax territory. Boston Globe

He arrived in a July trade and embraced the adventure of a new city and the new situation that would have been difficult for many players to accept. Jarrett Jack actually liked the unknown. The season-long discovery process led to a decision. He wants to re-sign with the Warriors in the summer, even with the clear understanding he might be giving up the chance to start somewhere else for the certainty of a backup role to Stephen Curry at point guard in Golden State. Jack is so sure of it, he told NBA.com, that he has informed management and directed his agents to re-enforce the message that he is hoping to stay once he becomes a free agent in July. NBA.com

“That’s one of the reasons why I’m really trying to enjoy the moment right now,” he said Saturday with the Warriors holding a 2-1 lead over the favored Nuggets in the best-of-seven first round that continues Sunday night at Oracle Arena. “I’m appreciating everything that’s going on. In the summer, hopefully that process is a little bit further than we all want it to be. There are a lot of variables that go into making that decision. Hopefully, I can stay right here. I told my agent. I’m sure he spoke to the powers that be that I have desires to stay right here and help this franchise grow to the best of its ability. “I think it’s just a perfect marriage. My teammates, the camaraderie we have, I like my role. I like what I’m able to bring to this team. Could I go somewhere and it would be bigger, but we might not be playing for as much? I try to make it a perfect marriage. The economics, that’s going to take precedent at times, but you also want to be happy. That’s the most fulfilling thing I have playing on this team.” NBA.com

“I’ve been in that capacity before,” Jack said. “It doesn’t make or break or define the player that I am. Could I go somewhere else and [start]? Yeah. But I like who we have here. I like the role that I’m in and am comfortable in. If it’s able to work out, I would love to be back here.” NBA.com

Joel Przybilla barely played during the regular season and hasn’t played during the playoffs. The Bucks’ reserve center, who has overcome some serious injuries in recent years — he has twice ruptured his right patella tendon — isn’t ready to hang up the sneakers. Przybilla, who will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, said he hasn’t been this healthy in years and could still contribute to a team. “I’m definitely keeping the door open,” the 33-year-old Przybilla said. Racine Journal-Times

The Cavs own a team option on swingman C.J. Miles' $2 million contract for next season. It's not cut-and-dry that they pick it up, like once thought. News-Herald

But Anthony has created his own way to lock in this season: He isn't reading the papers or listening to sports talk radio at all. That's been his policy all season because too much negativity "crept in'' the previous two years. "I felt like I could just focus in on playing basketball and getting better and making my team better,'' he said Saturday. "A lot of things throughout the course of a season are always said about this, about that. If you listen to it and you read it, the negativity could easily sink inside you.'' Newsday

The incident, for which Smith was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 7:06 remaining in Friday’s Game 3. The Knicks lead the series 3-0, but their chances of posting a sweep and gaining extra rest will be compromised without Smith, their second-leading scorer. The incident also calls into question whether the flaky shooting guard is going to keep his head throughout an ongoing playoff journey. Smith has been ejected three times this season, all on the road, including regular-season games at Indiana and Golden State. “I’m always in J.R.’s ear,” coach Mike Woodson said. “That one incident [Friday] night is not going to deter me on how I think about J.R. He’s had a helluva year. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do.’’ New York Post

The Knicks have outclassed Boston, holding them to 75 points per game on 39.5-percent shooting. “For this organization, it’s great for not only our players and ownership, it’s great for our fans,” Woodson said. “People who came out and pay their hard-earned money to watch us play, we had some tough years. They should be enjoying this.’’ Boston coach Doc Rivers fumed about the Smith elbow, saying he wished he was “still a player’’ so he could settled the score. The NBA may not have wanted Smith on the parquet today for fear of a potential rhubarb. “He’s handled it the right way,” Anthony said. “He felt bad about it. We accepted it and moved on.” New York Post

After Robinson took exception to Watson trying to clear space for himself by swinging his arm out in Robinson’s direction, Robinson grabbed Watson and drove him into the scorer’s table, where they had to be separated by the referees. Robinson picked up a personal foul on the play, and both were assessed technical fouls, as well. “He pushed me, and I was holding him so I wouldn’t fall into the table,” said Watson, who said he was confused about what he did to earn a technical foul. “It was nothing.” When Watson was asked if he thought it was a cheap shot by Robinson, he made it clear how he feels about his counterpart. “I mean, that’s in his character, so that doesn’t surprise me,” Watson said. New York Post

Nuggets center JaVale McGee promises not to let Golden State's 7-foot bruiser, Andrew Bogut, get to him. The two had a dust-up in Game 3, which resulted in a technical foul for Bogut, during which McGee said Bogut tried to provoke him: "He told me to punch him in the chin. That was idiotic. I'm never going to tell someone to punch me in the chin." This series has been an exercise in patience for McGee — and most of the other bigs on the Nuggets' roster. The minute Golden State's David Lee was injured, the complexion of the series changed from one the entire team could love to one where small ball is severely cutting into the time of Nuggets' post players. So McGee's time on the court at the same time as Bogut's, which was endangered because Bogut starts and McGee comes in as a reserve, is even shorter. Denver Post

"It's a miracle," said Noah, who is playing through plantar fasciitis in his right foot. "Before the series started, I thought I wasn't going to be able to play." Noah didn't just play. He stuffed the box score with 15 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks before fouling out with 4:21 remaining after sinking a 17-footer for the first points in the third overtime. "The crazy thing is as the series has gone along, he has done more and more," Carlos Boozer said. "Last game, he had one point and that point gave us the cushion we needed to win. (Saturday), he had a monster double-double, countless blocks. "Joakim has been a complete warrior. He's amazing. I'm very proud to be his teammate." Chicago Tribune

Warriors C Andrew Bogut said he's never played in an atmosphere like Game 3 in Oracle Arena, but he has a suggestion: "Let's take out the seats and get 25,000 in here. You don't need 'em. They didn't sit in 'em for most of the night, anyway." Sulia

In 2012-13, teams averaged 19.95 3-point attempts the compared with 14.68 per game in 2002-03. Twenty years ago, teams just attempted 8.95 3-pointers per game. In the early years of the long-range shot, the 3-pointer was limited to specialized shooters. Nowadays, even lumbering centers are trying their luck from 23 feet, 9 inches. "For better or worse, enjoy your own impression because we do not have an impression, but our teams are hot When it's a thing of beauty. And when to they're not they can go 3 for 41, "Stern said last week. "And it's an interesting discussion, and it's also interesting to note the way Un certain teams are now defending the three, giving up the midrange shot, and the statistical variances that eats into play. That's relevant because many of our teams, and soon to be all, are so focused on analytics and the percentages that go with taking shots and various formations that we just think it's interesting. It was not a presentation for purposes of a result, just as an observation to let our teams know where the game is going. " Boston Globe

Woodson reiterated that Amar’e Stoudemire (knee) “absolutely” will be reinserted into the rotation upon returning, possibly during the next round. Woodson and Tyson Chandler both dismissed the notion that the $100 million forward coming back might mess with the team’s chemistry. “No, the veteran leadership and the coaching of this team wouldn’t allow something like that. Amar’e is eager to play and I think he’s only going to help the team when he does come back,” Chandler said. “The great thing about when you’re out and your team is winning, it gives you some comfort. I went through the same thing when I was out...It just gives you a little sense of security that you can actually allow your body to heal.” New York Daily News

"He has been working hard and getting a lot of shots up every day," Reggie (Rose, Derrick's brother) said. "Most of all, he is getting his mind ready, getting comfortable with his body. I think (his mind) is probably at a good 90 percent now." When asked if it needs to be 100 percent to return, Rose replied: "His 100 percent might not be your 100 percent. It's hard. But the Bulls organization has basically told him: We support you. When you are ready, we will welcome you with open arms." Chicago Tribune

Like coach Tom Thibodeau, Rose has not ruled out his brother returning for a potential series with the Heat. "I think anything is possible," he said. Chicago Tribune

His extensive workload came on a left calf muscle sore enough that he needed a postgame MRI. Results weren't immediately available, but Hinrich said the injury "is pretty bad." Given his grittiness, Hinrich will play in Game 5 on Monday if at all possible. His 18 points and 14 assists marked his first playoff double-double since May 2007, and his assists tied the franchise playoff mark shared by Michael Jordan and Sam Vincent. "He's unbelievable," coach Tom Thibodeau said. Chicago Tribune

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook underwent knee surgery Saturday to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee and will miss the rest of the playoffs. The team said Saturday that Westbrook would begin rehab immediately and that a timetable for his return to the court will be determined in the offseason. The surgery was performed at the Stedman Clinic in Vail, Colo. "Although we are of course disappointed that Russell will be unable to return to the floor with his teammates this season, the opportunity to repair the meniscus as opposed to remove it was the best possible scenario for Russell's long term health as a player and person," Thunder executive vice president and general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. "Russell's health and well being are obviously our number one priority through this process and today's procedure helped solidify our belief that Russell will have many productive years of basketball in his future." ESPN.com

But Gasol said he’s experienced the most frustration nursing never-endining injuries including knee tendinitis, a concussion and plantar fascia in his right foot, ailments that sidelined him for a total of 33 games. Even if he’s suiting up Sunday for Game 4 against the Spurs, Gasol said he’s far from healthy. So much that he said he will explore various non-surgical procedures to treat the knee tendonosis in both of his knees. “It’s something I’ve dealt with all year, but I have to do something to regenerate the tissue,” Gasol said, “so I don’t have to play with this pain.” Los Angeles Daily News

Kobe Bryant went to Germany two years ago to have a derivation of the platelet-rich plasma procedure on his right knee, which entailed involves blood being taken from the patient and isolating the components in hopes of accelerating the healing process and relieving pain. Would Gasol go to Germany, too? “I’ll go to wherever I need to go,” Gasol said. “It’s a possibility.” Los Angeles Daily News

Unofficially, the team’s medical staff estimates it could be a week to 10 days for Splitter to return, a timetable that would make him available for most if not all of the second round. “He’s been really special for us,” Popovich said before Saturday’s practice at a gym in Santa Monica, Calif. “Hopefully, we can get him back as soon as possible. Somebody else will have to step in and guard their big guys.” San Antonio Express-News

Though it left him with blurred vision, point guard Tony Parker seemed unconcerned about a scratch to the white part of his right eye, suffered when Darius Morris reached for a steal midway through the second quarter Friday. “It was a little bit blurry in the second half, it’s a little bit blurry this morning,” Parker said before Saturday’s workout. “The doctors say (Sunday) it should be fine.” Parker made three consecutive jumpers after the poke but said his vision got worse as the game went along. “I was not really seeing the rim,” Parker said. “I asked the doc, ‘I think something’s wrong with my right eye.’” Parker is on a three-day regimen of special drops in the eye to promote healing. His latest injury is opposite the eye scratched in the infamous New York City nightclub brawl last summer and is significantly less severe. San Antonio Express-News

Even though the Lakers eventually rebounded to record the league's fifth-best record during the second half of the season at 28-12, and even though General Manager Mitch Kupchak has given him a vote of confidence, it still feels as if he's not the right coach. Dwight Howard seems to agree with that, and if the Lakers re-sign Howard, D'Antoni soon could be gone. Los Angeles Times

For support, he has phoned his 99-year-old father, Lewis, a former high school coach who has lived in the same Mullens, W.Va., home for nearly a century. "He's followed every one of my games this year," Mike D'Antoni said of telecasts during which he's been frequently criticized. "Good thing about being 99, he probably doesn't hear." For inspiration, just before some games he would sit in his Staples Center office and watch streaming videos of his son Michael's high school basketball games in Rye, N.Y. "I do not regret taking this job for one minute," D'Antoni said. "The only thing I regret is not being there with my son all the time during his senior year." Los Angeles Times

Kuester, 58, returned to the NBA the following season as Brown's lead assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was relieved of his duties after one season and became an advance scout. So, does he want to get back in the league? Sources are torn whether he'll join Brown's staff. He was an assistant under Brown with the Cavs in 2007-09. News-Herald

One name that makes sense is former Cavs guard Eric Snow, who was an assistant under Larry Brown at SMU this past season. He doesn't have vast coaching experience, but he seems like he'd be a Brown-type guy. He's disciplined, hard-working and no-nonsense. Snow, a Canton native, played for the Cavs from 2004-08. The Cavs could keep one of the holdovers from Coach Byron Scott's staff — Jamahl Mosley or Nate Tibbetts — or perhaps Canton Charge coach Alex Jensen. One former player who likely called Brown is ex-Cavs forward Donyell Marshall, who is living in the Cleveland area. He coached in the NBA Development League two years ago. News-Herald

Q: When you plan toward the Thunder’s future, how far ahead do you look? Five years? 10? 20? Sam Presti: It is impossible to put a specific number on years out that we look and plan, but part of our job is to always to look for ways to maximize the present while also staying vigilant and aware of what will ultimately allow the Thunder to endure and thrive in the future. There are so many variables that come into play in professional sports, and many of them are out of your control at the end of the day. However, as an organization we put a strong premium on sustainability within our market and, therefore, the future is a daily part of our process. Oklahoman

The 12 owners on the NBA's relocation/finance committee will make the recommendation on the future of the Kings: • Peter Holt, Spurs (chairman of the board of governors) • Micky Arison, Heat • Clay Bennett, Thunder • Jeanie Buss, Lakers • James Dolan, Knicks • Wyc Grousbeck, Celtics • Ted Leonsis, Wizards • Greg Miller, Jazz • Robert Sarver, Suns • Herb Simon, Pacers • Larry Tanenbaum, Raptors • Glen Taylor, Timberwolves Sacramento Bee

As expected as Lebron James rise to superstardom is, is just as unexpected as Lenny Cooke’s fall from the spotlight was. As a high school recruit Cooke was ranked above Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire by numerous analysts but says his own complacency lead to his eventual downfall. Now as his documentary, the Lenny Cooke Movie is being played at the Tribeca Film Festival Cooke gets to use his story to help young talented kids not repeat the same mistakes. Page 31 caught up with Lenny Cooke who broke down why he feels this story needs to be heard, his 2013 NBA Finals predictions, and his favorite moments of the film. Page 31

Michael Jordan’s Wedding Tent is 40,000 sq ft, 5000 sq ft larger than his 35,000 sq ft home in the elegant and classy Bears Club in Jupiter, Fl. As you can see from the aerial, Jack Nicklaus has graciously allowed Jordan to place the largest tent in wedding history on the driving range of his renowned golf course in order to house the only 2,200 invited guests! jeffrealty.com

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