HoopsHype rumors

May 4, 2013 | 09:40 PM ET Update

Barnes was able to have a career season after he signed with the Clippers for the veteran's minimum before training camp began at the urging of Paul. Barnes had 30 points and 10 rebounds Friday against the Grizzlies. He said he will explore his options but hinted that Paul already had begun recruiting him to re-sign with the team. "Chris and I have already been talking about it," Barnes said. "We talked about it on the plan last night. He's obviously the franchise player but we also talked about what I was thinking about doing. Without giving anything away, he was doing his job (in recruiting me)." ESPN.com

Ben McLemore's former AAU coach says he received thousands of dollars in cash, lodging, meals and trips from a middle man who courted the Kansas player on behalf of sports agents and financial advisers during the 2012-13 college basketball season. USA Today Sports

Darius Cobb, a St. Louis-based AAU coach, told USA TODAY Sports that he accepted two cash payments of $5,000 during the regular season from Rodney Blackstock, the founder and CEO of Hooplife Academy, a sports mentoring organization based in Greensboro, N.C. Cobb says he also received three all-expense paid trips to Los Angeles — and that a cousin of McLemore's, Richard Boyd, accompanied him on two of them — for meetings in January and February with sports agents and financial advisers hoping to represent McLemore if he left for the NBA after his redshirt freshman season at Kansas. McLemore, 20, declared for the NBA draft on April 9 USA Today Sports

Cobb detailed his involvement during more than 10 hours of interviews with USA TODAY Sports at his home and elsewhere in the St. Louis area. Cobb says he is telling his story because he wants to help educate basketball families such as the McLemores and expose individuals who pursue college athletes and their families while the players still have amateur eligibility. "I don't want to hurt the family, I want to protect the family," Cobb says. "If there had to be a bad guy, if there had to be a fall guy, let it be me, as opposed to ruining a great kid who has busted his butt to get where he is. Let me be the crooked AAU coach. I was willing to take the brunt of it for the sake of this kid. I wanted to keep him pure." USA Today Sports

Billionaire Paul Allen may be one of the richest men in the world with top-notch security, but even he isn’t immune from identity theft. A man accused of stealing Allen’s identity and racking up charges on his credit card is set to plead guilty for his crimes, according to federal prosecutors. Allen owns the Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Seahawks and was a co- founder of Microsoft. Brandon Lee Price of Pittsburgh will plead guilty to four counts of bank fraud, according to Margaret Philbin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh. Price is set to change his plea during a court appearance in a few weeks. KATU.com

May 4, 2013 | 06:18 PM ET Update

Woodson said Stoudemire will scrimmage with his teammates on Thursday. If his knee responds well, he will scrimmage again on Friday. "If he feels fine after Friday then I think we will play him Saturday," Woodson said. ESPN.com

General manager Danny Ferry, who will get to put his imprint on the franchise heading into his second year, said Saturday it was too soon to make a call on the future of a coach he inherited. Ferry said the disappointment of a six-game loss to the Indiana Pacers needed to wear off a bit before he decides whether Drew should get another contract. "We're going to take some time, give it some distance, give it some space from the season, from the playoffs, from the emotions of that," Ferry said on the practice court at Philips Arena. "Then we'll make decisions that we feel are best in the short-term and long-term interests of the team." ESPN.com

Whoever runs the Memphis Grizzlies’ Instagram account has a wicked sense of humor. The sixth and final game of their playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers was a rough affair, with Blake Griffin and Zach Randolph getting on the floor at one point. The Grizzlies, a team known for their self-proclaimed “grit-and-grind” style, owned this, posting a picture of Blake getting knocked around by a few Memphis players with the caption “WHOOP THAT CLIP.” As chants go, it’s more creative than “Honey Nut Cheerios.” For The Win

May 4, 2013 | 03:23 PM ET Update

Andre Iguodala can make $16 million next season playing for the Nuggets, but he has the choice to opt out of his contract and sign a new, longer deal with Denver or with another NBA team. Re-signing with the Nuggets would give him a chance to sign for an additional fifth season. But other teams, notably Dallas and Atlanta, will have ample salary cap space this summer if they want to go after Iguodala. "When I go to Los Angeles and sit down and talk to my agent, we'll start having conversations," Iguodala said Friday. "I didn't really think the season would be ending this early. It was never on my mind what I would do next year. My whole thought process was about how deep we can go, and how can we improve on the team we have right now." Denver Post

Asked if how these playoffs played out gives him less hope of future success in Denver, he said: "It doesn't give me less hope, especially considering we had one of our leading scorers (injured Danilo Gallinari) down and our youth. They have nowhere to go but up, and that's something you have to take into consideration. ... I definitely want to win a championship. At the same time, it's a business, but I don't think it's a factor. The front office knows what I bring to the team, so we'll see what happens. There are so many factors that I haven't even thought of yet." Denver Post

The Houston Rockets obviously aren't all the way out of OKC's lives, given how intertwined these franchises will be for the foreseeable future after the late October blockbuster deal that made Harden a Rocket and the sideline rush from Houston's Patrick Beverley that left Westbrook with a season-ending knee injury. The Thunder were nonetheless thrilled late Friday night to finally get away from them, at least for the next few months, by scrapping to a 103-94 triumph at Toyota Center that ended a costly, agonizing series in six games. "I was starting to hate those guys," Kevin Durant admitted at the post-game podium, paying tribute to the Rockets' stubborn resilience but also revealing a measure of the tension that has built up over the past two weeks and, really, these last six months. "I was starting to hate every one of them guys on their team. That's what happens in a series ... I'm sure they felt the same way about us." ESPN.com

Speaking on what could be the final day of the Chicago Bulls’ season, Derrick Rose said he’s unaware of outside criticism of his decision to sit out the season after May 2012 surgery to repair his torn left ACL and wouldn’t be bothered by it anyway because he’s listening to how his body feels. “That’s my first time hearing about it,” Rose said Saturday of the critical fan contingent. “I barely turn on the TV. I’m with my son all day. So that’s about it. Chicago Tribune

“I’m feeling about the same, still being patient, still trying to take care of my body and just trying to enjoy this time and cheer on my teammates.” Rose said there’s no benefit to announcing that he’s out for the season and said watching playoff games in street clothes has been difficult. “It’s been hard,” he said. “But I’m able to get past it, knowing that my teammates are out there playing hard, giving the game everything they got. That’s all I can ask for. Chicago Tribune

Asked about the perception that his inner circle of older brother Reggie Rose and agent B.J. Armstrong has influenced his decision, Rose acted incredulously. “Who said that? If anything, it’s up to me,” Rose said. “My brother and them can’t tell me what to do with my body. They give me control. I’m in control of the whole process. It’s really all on me.” Asked what the benefit of sitting the entire season is, Rose said: “Being healthy. Health-wise, if I do take the whole year off and don’t play anymore, I know I’m going to come back a better player. I guess my body will be healed more but who knows? Chicago Tribune

Luol Deng remains at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago after experiencing complications from the spinal tap administered to test for viral meningitis and obviously won’t play in Saturday’s Game 7. “He’s still not feeling well, so that’s a concern,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. Chicago Tribune

Sources close to the situation likewise said Friday that McHale's willingness to keep coaching the Rockets is believed to be in the "90 percent" range, amid persistent rumbles in coaching circles that the Rockets would inevitably pursue Stan Van Gundy -- who's been on friendly terms with Howard all season since they went their separate ways -- if McHale decided he needed to walk away from the game after the tragic loss of his daughter Sasha in November. "It's been a long year for me personally in a lot of ways," McHale said. "But these guys fought hard for me every night. We didn't always play the smartest and we didn't always play the cleanest, but ... for a young team that's an impressive thing." ESPN.com

Andray Blatche, while noting that he doesn’t know whether he’d return as a free agent after the season, echoed Johnson’s sentiment. “As far as the job he’s done, he’s done a great job,” Blatche said. “The whole coaching staff in preparing us and getting us ready for these games. Our scouting report has been pretty good, that’s what has helped us in getting back from 3-1.” New York Daily News

The Milwaukee Bucks have announced two new additions to their senior management business team and promotions of current management and staff members to three executive vice president positions and seven vice president roles. Jamie Morningstar will serve the Bucks as Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service and joins the Bucks from Madison Square Garden where she was Vice President of Service and Retention. In her role at MSG, she managed the season ticket base for the NBA's N.Y. Knicks, NHL's N.Y. Rangers and WNBA's N.Y. Liberty, including the renewal and transition of 10,000 plus accounts and $250 million in revenue during the multi-year transformation of the Madison Square Garden arena. NBA.com

May 4, 2013 | 08:55 AM ET Update

Clippers sources insist no decision has been made on Del Negro yet and that this early playoff exit won't be the only basis upon which he's judged. The team won a franchise-record 56 games this season and Del Negro has always had a good relationship with the team's ownership. ESPN.com

The team is expected to take "about a week" to evaluate the season before making a decision on Del Negro, according to one source. Officially Del Negro's contract runs a few more months, and the Clippers have been known to take their time with such matters -- interim coach Kim Hughes famously worked several months after he was dismissed as interim head coach -- but "that's not going to happen this time," the source said. ESPN.com

As for Coach Vinny Del Negro, he said, "Absolutely," he would like to return, but team President Andy Roeser said not so fast. He said the team will "assess where we are going," but he also said he doesn't believe the decision on who coaches the Clippers should be left to Paul. Los Angeles Times

"We just lost the game. We're going to let the dust settle a little bit and then evaluate everything," a clearly disappointed Sacks told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "Our coaches and players did a good job this year. But right after the game, I can't really comment on it." "It" would be the future of head coach Vinny Del Negro, whose contract expires at the end of June. According to a source, the Clippers had preliminary discussions with Del Negro about an extension to his contract before the season, but tabled them indefinitely, effectively putting Del Negro in a make-good situation. "That's what it was last year, too," Del Negro said after the game. The Clippers had a team option on him after last season as well. "So I just go about my business. I think my staff has done a fantastic job. I give them a ton of credit. Players. You've got to deal with a lot of things when you're in this position, but I enjoy it. "It's something that I want to do, not something I have to do. I enjoy it, I enjoy the competition, I enjoy seeing guys develop and come together as a team. A lot of things are thrown at you, that's for sure, but I love the challenge of it." ESPN.com

A tantalizing candidate to be the Clippers' next head coach posited by one NBA executive if the team would like to maximize its chances of Chris Paul re-signing with the franchise: Chauncey Billups. I can't tell you if Billups is interested in retiring as a player at this point, or even if being a head coach is what he wants to do next, but he certainly knows the game well enough, has long held unusual authority among his peers on the court and in the locker room. Then there's this: no one is closer on that team than Paul and Billups. I also know that Paul's control of the franchise, by virtue of the fact the Clippers will do anything to keep him, is nearly absolute. As for the current head coach, Vinny Del Negro, the consensus around the NBA is that this first-round ouster is almost certain to cost him his job. There are plenty of contributing factors that led to their demise that Del Negro couldn't control -- Billups' Achilles tendon issues, Blake Griffin's high ankle sprain, to name two -- but owner Donald Sterling simply invested too much in this team to be out of the postseason already. If Del Negro stays, it's because Paul wants him to stay and I haven't heard from anyone that Paul is willing to go to bat for Del Negro in that way. I only hope that over the next few months Paul doesn't feign that he will have nothing to do with who gets the job next or del Negro not being retained. The only way that could be true is if he tells the Clippers definitively that he is not coming back; otherwise, they are assuredly going to be highly interested in who Paul thinks should run the team. Sulia

Garnett, who will turn 37 later this month and just completed his 18th NBA season, said it was simply too early to know whether the trio will be back in Boston next season. "I haven't really thought about it, to be honest with you. I'm kind of digesting , obviously, the current, and Doc came to me, pulled Paul and I to the side and all three of us agreed to speak later -- too emotional," said Garnett. "Obviously, it was a big game, tough loss, especially at home. But more importantly in the future, it's a different day for that conversation." ESPN.com

"One of the big reasons I came [to Boston] was because of Paul," said Garnett. "Obviously, you want to be in a situation where it's better. I want to make sure that I'm able to always help a team. I want to be in positions to where I'm giving something. I demand a lot of myself, both physically and from a skill level. But I'd be lying to y'all if I said Paul didn't play into that factor. Like I said, it's too soon of a conversation for me right now." ESPN.com

"Whatever [Garnett is] going to do is up to him," said Terry. "He’s earned the right to make a decision. I think he’s signed for two more years here, as am I. I’d hate to see him go. I hope he’s not thinking that. It’s solely up to him. It’s on him. No pressure from this side of the locker room. Again, just an honor to play alongside a great like him." ESPN.com

Garnett made it clear, though, that for the Celtics to contend next season, or even to be a viable playoff team, that changes would be needed. “We need some additions,” he said. “Health hit us pretty hard this year, and I’m sure we’re going to address that.” Boston Herald

When the cameras were turned off and almost everybody, Josh Smith said what he really thought. Of course he knew this was probably it. “As I walked off the court, everything just sort of hit me,” the Hawks’ forward said late Friday night. “Just the uncertainty of what the future holds. Just thinking about all of the relationships I’ve had here and the people who’ve crossed my path since I’ve been here. I just … I just don’t know.” Does he want to come back? “The only thing I know is I want to be able to experience free agency. I want to explore my options and see what’s out there. I don’t have any certain idea what’s going to happen.” He didn’t sound like a guy eager to return. The fact most in attendance Friday night didn’t sound eager for him to be back — screaming the usual “Nooooooooos!” when he pulled up for jumpers and booed when he missed — speaks volumes about the situation. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

How much Smith’s shooting was because of poor decision making — the fans’ vote — and how much could be attributed to health reasons is uncertain. Smith conceded that the sprained ankle he suffered late in Game 2 bothered him the remainder of the series and hindered his ability to drive to the basket. But that doesn’t explain everything. “My shot just wasn’t going,” he said. Hawks coach Larry Drew, who has his own future to worry about, defended Smith. “As a team, we didn’t do a good job with our job selection. We settled. It wasn’t just Josh Smith,” he said. “Josh Smith, we need to remember, while a lot of people talk about his shot selection, he brings a lot of other things to the table. His effort against an All-Star, Paul George, was absolutely phenomenal. Josh is a versatile guy. He brings a lot to the table.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

J.A. Adande: Grant Hill told me a while back he's "probably" done after this year. Like the way he fought vs Gasol and ZBo tonight. Gave what he had. Twitter

Barnes made his first seven shots, including his first five three-point tries. Overall, he made 11 of 14 from the field, six of seven beyond the arc. He also had a team-high 10 rebounds in almost 37 minutes, but the Clippers were eliminated by the Grizzlies. Barnes, who will be a free agent this summer, was also called for a technical foul in the third quarter. "We had to play Matt a lot at the four [power forward]," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "But he played hard for us." Los Angeles Times

Some NBA players genuinely dislike each other. At this point, it’s safe to put Blake Griffin and Zach Randolph at that level. The first-round playoff series between Griffin’s Los Angeles Clippers and Randolph’s Memphis Grizzlies has been defined by physical play, as have their games throughout the regular season. And Blake and Z-Bo have always been at the center of that. In Game 6 of the playoffs, the two feisty big men turned a battle for a rebound into a full-blown wrestling match. Randolph got whistled for a technical, even though it looks like most of the contact was initiated by Griffin. If this series goes to a seventh game, they might have to build the court in the shape of an octagon. For The Win

As the Knicks move on to the second round tomorrow, it will be without Steve Novak and Amar’e Stoudemire. Novak is out indefinitely with back spasms as he missed last night’s series clincher after sitting out the second half of Game 5. Mike Woodson wasn’t even sure Novak will be back by Tuesday’s Game 2. The Stoudemire issue is in flux. Woodson had said Stoudemire would be back for the second round but because the Celtics series was extended to six games, Stoudemire was unable to start scrimmaging. When asked if Stoudemire would suit up tomorrow, Woodson said no. “He’s not at that stage yet,’’ the coach said. New York Post

"I don't think about any of that stuff," said Rivers. "Danny knows me pretty well. I immerse myself; that's the only way I can do it, probably to a fault. Pretty much unlivable during the year. So I don't know. Danny knows he gives me at least a week to do just whatever I do -- and I don't know what I do, sit and watch cartoons or something -- then we'll talk about it. But Danny has already worked on [offseason planning]. He never shows me. I don't want to hear it, I don't want to see it, I don't want to know anything. We'll figure it all out, and we'll see." ESPN.com

The Nuggets shot only 34.7 percent Thursday, their worst performance since the first game of the season. After the 92-88 loss Thursday, veteran guard Andre Miller said Denver was "outplayed, outcoached, out-toughed." Asked for his reaction, Karl said: "I'm OK with it. There are parts of that that are correct, parts that could be argued. Andre is a passionate guy. He understands the game of basketball and I have no problem with the commentary." Denver Post

Old Dominion University men's basketball coach Jeff Jones announced today that Bryant Stith has been as an assistant coach. Stith, an All ACC performer and a 10-year NBA veteran who has coached Brunswick County High School to three straight Virginia AA State titles, will begin his duties on May 10th. Old Dominion

Carmelo Anthony said his wife, La La Vazquez, has a right to be “upset’’ her name resurfaced during the Celtics series. Boston reserve Jordan Crawford, according to replays, appears to have shouted a vulgar remark at Anthony regarding Vazquez after the final buzzer of Wednesday’s Game 5. Vazquez expressed her disapproval Thursday on Twitter and Anthony said she has the right to express her views — even if it focused more attention on the controversy. “I would be upset too if I was her,’’ Anthony said at the Knicks’ shootaround at Suffolk University yesterday morning. “She’s always getting thrown into the mix of the Boston Celtic series. I would be upset if I was here. She’s her own person. At the end of the day, she has the right to say whatever she wants to say.’’ New York Post

Sources connected with the Bryant family tell TMZ ... the dispute between mother and son erupted over real estate. We're told Kobe offered to buy his parents a "nice house" in Vegas for significantly less than a million bucks, but they wanted something bigger and more extravagant and Kobe drew a line in the sand and refused to up the ante. Our sources say Pamela was infuriated and believed Kobe was shortchanging them, especially compared to what he does for Vanessa's mom, Sofia Laine. Kobe put Sofia up in a $3.2 million house in Newport Beach, CA, which sold recently. After the sale, Kobe moved Sofia to another multi-million dollar mansion nearby. TMZ.com

From Kobe's perspective, our sources say he's really upset because he believes he's stepped up for years, by giving his parents millions of dollars. This feud has been brewing for years ... dating back to when Kobe's parents went ballistic when he married Vanessa without a prenup. TMZ.com

Magic Johnson has just been swatted ... but this one is RADICALLY different from all the others ... because the LAPD is clearly hip to the prank now ... TMZ has learned. Someone placed the electronic 911 call within the last hour ... claiming multiple shots were fired at Magic's L.A. home. We're also told the caller claimed the shooters were holding someone hostage. TMZ.com

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