HoopsHype rumors

June 20, 2013 | 09:33 PM ET Update

Nuggets CEO Josh Kroenke made a bid for Rivers approximately 10 days ago, informing general manager Danny Ainge of his willingness to part with a pick if the Nuggets were able to procure Rivers. Nevertheless, Boston wasn't prepared to start the process of letting Rivers leave and discussions never went beyond one brief conversation between Kroenke and Ainge, league sources said. Yahoo! Sports

Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan was introduced Thursday as a senior basketball adviser, an undefined role that allowed him to rejoin the Jazz after abruptly resigning as head coach in 2011 and paving the way for Corbin. "I wished I could have called him down to sit beside me at times," Corbin said, sitting beside his longtime mentor at the Jazz’s practice facility Thursday morning. The last time they shared the dais, Sloan’s eyes were red and he fought back tears. It was February 2011 and he announced his sudden departure from the team. Since then, he has been courted by nearly every team with a coaching vacancy. He said Thursday he always hoped that a new role with the Jazz would materialize." Salt Lake Tribune

June 20, 2013 | 08:25 PM ET Update

Doc Rivers never planned to be a part of the Celtics' rebuilding process, and the club was basically aware of that fact when he signed his latest contract, a source told the Herald today. That person further insisted the coach did not initiate the process that may yet send him to the Clippers for compensation, though that possibility seems to be growing more distant. The Celtics have stated consistently that they want Rivers to remain with them and that he has been discussing with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge how best to transition the team with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in their latter years. Boston Herald

Danny Green, whose red-hot shooting has helped the Spurs battle defending champion Miami to a 3-3 deadlock in the Finals, is dealing with illness on the verge of tonight’s Game 7. “I’m not feeling the best I can,” he said. “A little under the weather.” San Antonio Express-News

The 76ers have decided not to hire a head coach before the June 27 NBA draft, but that might not be as risky as some think, an NBA source said. The reason is new general manager Sam Hinkie, said the source, who asked to remain anonymous. "I know Sam, and he's a really sharp guy," the league source said of the former Houston Rockets executive. "He's got a plan in place. Whether or not he's going to share it with everyone, I don't know. "He knows the game and how it's played. I have to assume that things will fall into place." Philadelphia Inquirer

June 20, 2013 | 07:20 PM ET Update

Cousins is eligible for a contract extension this summer, and Fegan wants a maximum deal for his client with the threat of a trade demand looming if a deal isn't reached. So even with all the kind words thrown his way, Cousins is keeping quiet about the Kings. Cousins did post a congratulatory Twitter message to the city of Sacramento and Mayor Kevin Johnson once it became official the Kings would not relocate to Seattle. Sacramento Bee

Oladipo's work ethic almost has taken on mythic proportions, with even casual college basketball fans and armchair draft experts raving about his "motor" on the court. His story could've been written by Horatio Alger. His parents emigrated from Africa — his dad from Sierra Leone, his mom from Nigeria — and settled in suburban Washington, D.C. His dad earned a Ph.D., while his mom became a registered nurse. Mike Jones, Oladipo's coach at DeMatha Catholic High School, said Victor demonstrated an unmatched drive, almost always attending optional 6 a.m. open-gym sessions to hone his game. "He really worked as hard as he possibly could, and if the gym was going to be open, you knew you could count on Victor being there," Jones said. "He kind of became like the Pied Piper. When Victor worked out, other guys wanted to work out, too. His outlook and his approach are definitely contagious." Orlando Sentinel

And, within a few days, some NBA team will pick him early in the NBA Draft. "[It's] surreal sometimes," said Oladipo, who earned his college degree in three years. "Sometimes I wake up at night or wake up early in the morning, and just think, 'Wow. I'm about to be in the NBA.' I've been dreaming about this all my life." Orlando Sentinel

June 20, 2013 | 05:39 PM ET Update

#SacKings announce Friday pre-draft workout featuring Bucknell's Mike Muscala: Here are the five participants who will participate in tomorrow afternoon's workout: Archie Goodwin (Kentucky) 6-5, 190; Ian Hummer (Princeton) 6-7, 230; Nick Minnerath (Detroit) 6-9, 215; Mike Muscala (Bucknell) 6-11, 230; Khalif Wyatt (Temple) 6-4, 215 Sulia

June 20, 2013 | 04:34 PM ET Update

Jarvis Varnado will play on Miami’s summer league team in July and be in the fall training camp, critical moments for him to prove his standing to Heat management. Varnado, 25, is confident the Heat will keep him through his non-guaranteed contract next season, but he also understands the burden of continuing to make strides. “Most definitely, I look forward to coming back,” Varnado told RealGM. “Miami is a great city and the fans are great and my teammates are great. Right now, I just got to show what I can do in summer league and hope for it.” RealGM

Bobcats assistant Stephen Silas will continue on the Bobcats staff, after working under his father, Paul, and Mike Dunlap last season. Clifford is expected to make at least one more hire. Charlotte Observer

James Dolan's blues band, JD and the Straight Shot, announced it will hit the road in July with the Eagles on their "History of the Eagles'' tour for 11 shows from July 6 through July 25th. It kicks off July 6 in Louisville and ends in the Woodstock area, July 25 in upstate Bethel. Dolan has opened before for the Eagles before, as well as Joe Walsh and ZZ-Top. New York Post

SNEAKERS: WHAT THE NBA PLAYERS WEAR

Nike clearly leads the pack in terms of NBA endorsers, but Chinese brands like Li Ning and Peak are emerging powers. Check the Sneakers pages to see which specific shoe model each NBA player wore this season.

   
June 20, 2013 | 04:04 PM ET Update

The deal could still get done, but one of two adjustments may need to be made: the Celtics may need to offer more in the deal than just Garnett, with draft picks the most logical possibility; the Clippers, who have been attempting to give up just one first-round draft pick, may be allowed to give up less in the trade. The real trade value of the 37-year-old is at the center of this discussion, as the idea that Boston could net two first-round draft picks and a respectable replacement in Jordan who is 13 years younger clearly doesn't calculate for league officials. USA Today Sports

I spoke with Andrei Kirilenko from the south of France just a few minutes ago and he said he probably won't decide whether to pick up his $10 million-plus option for next year until after next week's draft. Kirilenko has until June 29 to make up his mind, a curious date because it's two days after the June 27 draft. "I think it will come right after the draft,'" he said of his decision when reached today just after dinnertime in France. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

COMMERCIALS: ALL DURANT, ALL THE TIME

Kevin Durant has come second in the draft and MVP votings, but nobody in the NBA can touch him nowadays when it comes to pitching products - whether it's shoes, video games or soft drinks. He leads our Commercials Rankings and No. 2 (Kobe Bryant) is not even close.

   
June 20, 2013 | 01:59 PM ET Update

Kendrick Perkins: This my first summer without having surgery so I'm just excited about it. I definitely didn't like how I finished the season this past season, or the postseason. I was kind of embarrassed about the way I played. So the only way to go about it is to go back to the drawing board and I'm just treating this summer like I'm a rookie again. I'm working out with the young guys and I'm acting like I don't even have a contract. That's how I'm working. Oklahoman

The late James Gandolfini twice made offers to LeBron James to join the Knicks that that world's best player refused. Gandolfini, who died of an apparent heart attack on Wednesday while vacationing in Italy, was recruited by the Knicks to appear in a video that the club presented to LeBron when they visited the free agent in July 2010. In the video, the Sopranos stars, Gandolfini and Edie Falco, reprised their roles as New Jersey's favorite mafia couple and explained to James why signing a free agent contract with the Knicks was in his best interests. New York Daily News

June 20, 2013 | 01:02 PM ET Update

As the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics seemingly inched closer to an agreement that would bring an end to their on-again, off-again negotiations and finally send both Celtics star forward Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles, sources close to the process said Thursday that a hurdle at league level threatens to scuttle the talks yet again. Sources told ESPN.com that it has been communicated to both teams by the league office that the NBA has questions about the proposed transactions involving Garnett and Rivers and the appearance that they are connected. ESPN.com

The Clippers' Jordan, in an appearance on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on Thursday, said he understands "it's a business" and wouldn't have any hard feelings for the team that drafted him if he's shipped out. "I've been with the Clippers since I was 19," Jordan said. "That's all I know. I love L.A., I love the Clippers, I love my teammates and everything we stand for. [But if he's traded] I'll still be doing the thing I love, and that's playing basketball every day. No matter what team I'm on, I'll still be having a great time." ESPN.com

Mark Heisler: #Celtics, #Clippers in lockdown--but NBA has problem w/twin transactions. Team official: 'NBA guys say they don't see how this can happen' Twitter @MarkHeisler

Despite having signed a contract in Spain, Walter Hodge has drawn interested from the Knicks. "They want me to be their point guard in the Las Vegas Summer League. They're very interested and it would be a great opportunity for me. But right now I don't know if I'll be able to do it. I would ask first for Baskonia's authorization," said Hodge. Primera Hora

The Knicks haven't determined if Carmelo Anthony needs surgery to repair his torn left labrum, but as of late last week, Anthony reported that the shoulder was "feeling better," according to a league source. "He said he was feeling better," the league source said. "It was improving." An MRI taken shortly after the season showed that Anthony had suffered a small tear in his left shoulder, according to another league source. ESPN.com

The Knicks haven't acknowledged the injury publicly, but the plan, one league source said, was for Anthony to rest for 3-4 weeks before determining the next course of action. Saturday will be four weeks to the day since the MRI first revealed the tear. The fact that Anthony hasn't undergone surgery yet is a positive sign. The Knicks and Anthony, obviously, hope surgery to repair the injury can be avoided. But a league source says the surgery option has not been ruled out. ESPN.com

Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd will appear in court on July 13 to face a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated last summer, a Southampton Town Court spokesperson said Thursday. Media reports previously stated that Kidd would appear in court June 20, but Kidd said Wednesday night that those reports were inaccurate. "It's a legal matter, and we'll let the legal process play itself out," Kidd said recently. ESPN.com

June 20, 2013 | 11:13 AM ET Update

“Yesterday, Chris Paul — really over the last 36 hours or so, Chris Paul really started to pressure the Clippers to get this deal done,” Wojnarowski said. “If they wanted to keep him in L.A. and to keep him off the free agent market July 1, that they had to get this deal done and to throw that extra draft pick that Danny Ainge has wanted, get this done and all but certainly lock him down to stay with the Clippers. That is what started to happen. The Clippers called the Celtics back yesterday afternoon, reported at Yahoo!, and started a dialogue again. WEEI.com

Wojnarowski said the deal makes perfect sense for Garnett, who has a chance to compete for a championship with the Clippers and does not have to play 37 minutes per night. However, he also said trading Garnett and his no-trade clause to the Clippers makes sense for the Celtics, who can use Jordan and the two first-round picks to help rebuild. “For the Celtics, I really think this is a win-win,” Wojnarowski said. “They wanted Doc to be their coach. They weren’t trying to run him out. But when he expressed his desire to do this, to get two first-round picks out of this, to get a young player, DeAndre Jordan, who they like but they don’t love him — I think everyone in the league feels his contract, he is overpriced. But I know DeAndre is excited about coming to Boston. He feels like maybe it has run its course with him and the Clippers. Maybe he will develop better in Boston. This is a situation where Boston is ready to do this, too. They are not sending Doc away angrily.” WEEI.com

Gal Mekel, MVP of the Israeli Winner League Finals, could play the NBA Summer League in Orlando with the Pacers. Mekel is working out with Bucks. The Israeli PG will have some workouts with the Mavericks but he is drawing interest from the Pacers, as reported by One. Sportando

Seven words that will be immortalized forever if the Heat wins tonight: "Get those mother[bleeping] ropes out of here!" Moments after Ray Allen hit his game-tying three-pointer in Game 6, that's what he screamed at nobody and everybody about the yellow ropes arena personnel had moved into position around the periphery of the court in preparation for the post-game trophy ceremony. Miami Herald

"People put the label on McGrady that he's not a hard worker, or that he's lazy, but that wasn't the case at all," Thomas said. "When you watched him play, he was always in position, and he was faster than everyone else, so once he got there, once he got to the position, everyone else was a second late. Which, consequently, gave him some time to relax." Grantland

McGrady still intrigues. Media members quickly built a circle around him on an off day's practice at a time when Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, and other Spurs were available to them. One reporter began a question by stating that McGrady had not played the night before. "Shit, I don't think I am going to play," McGrady said. "I watch just like you. I just have a better seat." Grantland

McGrady considered becoming the face of the post-Jordan Bulls. Jerry Krause initially wanted to draft McGrady in 1997, but backed away at the last minute. Signing with Chicago would mean more exposure, more endorsement dollars, and probably more success. "That's where he should have went," Smith, his AAU coach, said. "He should have went to Chicago. There's no question. There's no doubt in my mind." Grantland

Davis and Rivers sought ways to wrest the most from McGrady's talent. "I'm sure there were times when he wondered, Well, why are you questioning my work ethic? I just gave you 37 points," Davis said. "But, had he worked harder, maybe that was a 47-point night. Maybe there was no need for him to try to make one at the buzzer. Had he done this the whole game it wouldn't have even been close. Only he knows that. We look at it and we say, 'Man, he's not working hard enough.' But sometimes guys have an easiness about them that makes it appear that way, and again only Tracy can answer that." Grantland

"That's really the story of my career," McGrady said, not with regret or resignation, but with clarity. "What if. What if Grant Hill was healthy when we were in Orlando and what if the Magic would have signed Timmy as well? What if I was healthy when Yao was healthy and when we played a Game 7 against the Lakers in the second round? What-ifs. That's what you can put on my career. 'What If: Tracy McGrady's Career.'" Grantland

Noel has been under fire lately or a myriad of things, including his circle of friends, his weight and his prospect as a NBA player. HOOPSWORLD caught up with Nerlens in between two-a-day rehab sessions in Birmingham, Alabama to clear up some of the misconceptions about his status as the possible top pick. “I’m just taking it day-by-day,” Noel said. “This only comes around once in a lifetime, so it’s a dream come true for me to be in this position so I’m doing my best with it.” HoopsWorld

Noel has taken some criticism over how long it took him to select an agent and whether the people in his life were hurting his draft stock. “That’s just what they’re saying,” said Noel. “This has been the most focused I have been in my life. I’ve had so many things going on in the last few months from having meetings, to meeting with teams and interviews. Everything has just been so organized for me. They’ve done a great job by helping me, organizing everything. I’ve been very fortunate to have them.” HoopsWorld

Noel has also taken some heat for his NBA Draft Combine weight, a shocking 206 pounds. “Right now I’m at 218 pounds,” Noel said. “[People] act like I’m a grown man already; I know I’m still nineteen, and I still got some work to do with my body and everything basketball related. I feel all that’s going to come in time. You look at a lot of people that came into the league, Shaq, Dwight Howard, they grew into their man bodies like a lot of players in the NBA. I feel like that will come with time.” HoopsWorld

Tony Snell appears to have made an impression on the Sacramento Kings. With the NBA Draft now a week away, the 21-year-old wing returned to the capital city yesterday for another pre-draft workout before Kings decision- makers. “I was a little surprised, but I was happy at the same time,” Snell said of his second audition with Sacramento. “That means I did something good in the first workout so I tried to prove myself again today.” According to the former New Mexico wing, there wasn’t much different between this Kings workout versus his first. Cowbell Kingdom

However, his demeanor on Thursday was night and day compared to his appearance in Sacramento 11 days ago. Snell appeared more confident and relaxed in his session with the media this time around. Following yesterday’s workout, new Kings coach Michael Malone took some time to speak one-on-one with Snell. Malone said afterwards he made a point to assure Snell of the Kings’ interest. “I just told him when you have guys back here for a second time, we’re not bringing guys back in that we don’t like,” Malone said yesterday. ”So Tony had a very good career at New Mexico and he’s played very well for us in the two times he’s been here.” Cowbell Kingdom

"He has the same kinds of skills (as me). He creates problems for the other team on both offense and defense. One of his attributes that most people don't recognize is his passing. And I don't think there's anybody in the league who can guard him one on one. ... A guy like Tim Duncan gives a coach a wide range of things you can do. Tim can play with almost anybody, and there are a lot of guys who can't do that." USA Today Sports

Fourteen years after his first ring came with the likes of David Robinson on his side and Patrick Ewing on the other, Duncan could use another 30-point, 17-rebound outing like he had in Game 6 to help seal this deal. But Russell, who told Duncan five years ago that the Spurs star was the player who most reminded him of himself, will see him as a once-in-a-generation player even if he doesn't. "Playing with Tim Duncan creates great opportunities," said Russell ,who sat down with USA TODAY Sports after an appearance on NBA TV before Game 6. "Certain things happen, and it frees certain players. USA Today Sports

"(Late Celtics coach Red) Auerbach had a system where there's a place for every kind of player," Russell said. "Never once in the years he coached that I was there did I ever hear him say to a player, 'You have to change this.' He said my job as a coach is to figure out what you do, and find a place in the system." It's not all that different than what Popovich has been able to do with the Spurs, making the most of role players like Steve Kerr, Brent Barry, Bruce Bowen in the past and Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Matt Bonner in the present. Asked if he saw similarities between the Celtics' Red Auerbach and Popovich, Russell agreed. "Yeah," he said. "Even when they had a bad year, it was a good year. I think he does a remarkable job." USA Today Sports

TWITTER MEDIA: FOR NEWS UPDATED TO THE MINUTE

If the Rumors page is not enough to get your NBA fix, check the Twitter Media page for constant updates on the latest goings on in the league.

   
June 20, 2013 | 09:02 AM ET Update

However, ESPN.com has learned the teams will have at least one more hurdle to clear even if they finally agree to a trade framework after days of talks and multiple breakdowns in discussions. Sources say the Clippers and Celtics, to push the trade through, will have to convince the league office that the deals were not contingent upon each other. According to NBA rules, side agreements or contingencies are prohibited in any trade or free-agent signing. Rules also prohibit coaches from being traded; teams can convey cash or draft picks as compensation to get a coach under contract released from those obligations. ESPN.com

However, another source close to Rivers said Rivers is split about returning to coach the Celtics, especially with the unsavory publicity his desire to coach the Clippers might have caused in Boston. But because of the non-compete clause in his contract, Rivers can only coach for the Celtics for the next three seasons unless the team grants him permission to leave, which would require a lot of compensation. Another NBA source said that Rivers would likely either coach the Celtics or the Clippers next season, but that it was unlikely that Rivers would walk away from the game altogether, even for broadcasting. Boston Globe

The issues between CP3 and Blake Griffin weren't that they dislike each other, but rather that they were vying for control of the team. It went something like this, according to a source: Paul would be very exact about how the Clippers should play and if there was any divergence, he'd make his unhappiness about it painfully clear. Griffin, in turn, would see the team kowtowing to Paul and question -- especially if Paul's plan de-emphasized Griffin -- why the team was capitulating to Paul. All that said, Doc did wonders bridging the gap between Rondo and the Celtics' Big Three, so if anyone can make this work, it's him. The ultimate question, of course, is will the talent be commensurate with what Boston had for that one successful run? Sulia

According to people with knowledge of the situation, Beal remains sidelined but is expected to be cleared by July 1, nearly three months after doctors diagnosed a stress injury in his right fibula. The delayed recovery puts in doubt Beal’s availability for NBA summer league in Las Vegas, which begins on July 12, sources said. Washington Post

A person close to Beal maintained that it’s “too early to say” if he will be able to participate in summer league. Another added that “summer league is not imperative. There is a chance that he doesn’t” participate. Washington Post

Next week, Len said he won’t be thinking about competing in All-Star games or championships. He just wants to enjoy the moment of being drafted into the NBA. His mother and sister flew in from Ukraine and will attend the draft. Len’s almost finished visiting teams, and he’s finally ditched those pesky crutches. Len’s reality is setting in: He’s going to be an NBA player. “Are you kidding? I’m very excited,” Len said. “It’s like I have been chasing this dream since I was 13.” Diamondback Online

By the time this week concludes, the Cavaliers should have a clear plan regarding the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. All five candidates under consideration will visit Cleveland Clinic Courts this week, including Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel today. Most mock drafts around the country project the Cavs to select Noel, but sources within the organization seem cool on him. Noel played in just 24 games because of a left knee injury his freshman year and his offensive skills are limited. He has spent time during his rehab working on his shooting. Akron Beacon Journal

Without a summer league and training camp, that will limit his impact and expectations as a rookie. But that isn’t what concerns the Cavs, a league source said, despite owner Dan Gilbert’s claims that the team is expected to compete for a playoff spot next season. The Cavs are still viewing this offseason with a long-term lens, one league source said, and won’t overreact in free agency or the draft based strictly on a desire to make the playoffs this season. Akron Beacon Journal

This is the part where Tony Mitchell puts his mind on display. His physical gifts have never been in doubt. Physical gifts are why Mitchell began his sophomore season at North Texas as a lottery possibility and are now the reason he still has a good shot at the first round of the Draft -- despite his best efforts at playing his way out of guaranteed money. "He's the best athlete here," is how one general manager described Mitchell at the Chicago pre-Draft combine a couple weeks ago, a gathering of most of the top prospects. "It's not even close. He's a freak of nature." NBA.com

Mitchell readily admits that he gave into the gloom of a 12-20 season at UNT and a coaching change, when the proper response would have been to fight through it. "I feel like since our season was so tough, I couldn't get up for the games somewhat," he said. "We had a losing record, so it was tough for us to get up for games, for everybody. At the same time, I tried to be a positive influence each and every game. There's no excuse for that. Effort is yourself and individually. It's really no excuse. I just have to show them that I can give effort now." NBA.com

Front offices are weighing multi-million dollar investments, and with Mitchell, they have to decide on a player who should have crushed the Sun Belt Conference on athleticism alone yet struggled to deliver consistent energy. Not that Mitchell doesn't regret how he handled things. "Most definitely I do," he said. "This is the same question every time. I wish I could have changed it. But at this point I can't. I just have to keep going, keep on going forward and just work hard." He was asked what he would have changed most of all. "I would just change my effort," Mitchell said. "How I competed each and every game. Not go up and down and just have a straight path and just go straight. Keep playing 110 percent each and every day. "I think it hurt [his Draft stock] a lot. With me being a top-five pick in the beginning of the season, from where I'm at now, I think it tremendously hurt me." NBA.com

Do you see yourself as the kind of coach who's going to be pestering the front office to get you what you think you need? Jason Kidd: "No, I'm not going to pester. Billy has been doing this for a long time. He's put together a Finals team. So I trust him in what he thinks the team needs. If there's trades to be made during the season, I believe he can get it done. I think I'm in good hands. He understands what it takes to win." NetsDaily

The Nuggets’ media guide will need an extensive makeover for next season as the mass exodus continues out of their front office. Nuggets director of player personnel, Mike Bratz, and scouting director, Dan Tolzman, are both leaving the organization. Tolzman will join former Nuggets executive vice president of basketball operations, Masai Ujiri, in Toronto. Denver Post

When Kim Kardashian first arrived to Cedars Sinai to deliver her baby, she didn't get the fancy celebrity suite she had hoped for 'cause they were all in use ... and one of the VIP occupants was Dwight Howard's newest baby mama, TMZ has learned. Sources connected to the births tell us ... before Kim went into labor, she had made arrangements to stay in one of the fancy suites at the L.A. hospital. But the baby came 5 weeks early, and the fancy suites were all booked. So Kim was placed in another unit. But while Kim was laid out in bed, Kanye roamed the maternity ward ... and bumped into NBA superstar Dwight Howard, whose lady was giving birth to his child. TMZ.com

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