HoopsHype rumors

July 14, 2013 | 08:50 PM ET Update

The Houston Rockets prove that you don't have to bottom out like the Orlando Magic are doing in order to rebuild into a championship contender. Or so says former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy points to Houston GM Daryl Morey, who has chosen to always try to put a competitive product on the floor while the Rockets have built themselves into a contender. The Rockets have had six straight winning seasons and still have managed to acquire Dwight Howard and James Harden over the last two offseasons to make themselves a serious contender to win the Western Conference next season. Orlando Sentinel

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.

   
July 14, 2013 | 07:00 PM ET Update

In April, Bender launched a company based on an odd-looking device he invented to help others avoid the knee troubles that put an end to his promising NBA career. Already, he's brokered a deal with California-based Relax The Back retail chain, which sells wellness, fitness and medical items coast to coast. On that day sitting in front of Simon's house, Bender, who passed on college to leap to the NBA, took his first business course. And it wasn't just Simon's riches that fascinated the teen. There was something else. Ventura County Star

Even after signing a four-year, $28.5 million contract following the 2001-2002 season, Bender couldn't stop thinking about his "long-term future." "He was always a quiet guy," said Donnie Walsh, who was Pacers president when Bender was drafted. "After a while, you realize that behind all that quietness is an extremely thoughtful guy. And a very smart guy. You could see that in the way he played, but also in the way he handled himself off the court." Bender was as eager to talk about business as basketball, Walsh noted. "I'm not surprised he's gotten into business after his playing days," Walsh said. "He always had the interest and drive." Ventura County Star

July 14, 2013 | 05:35 PM ET Update

But if Rondo is the next to go (as it has been rumored), it won’t be to the Miami Heat. Or at least so he says. Speaking at his own basketball camp in Kentucky, Rondo was caught on tape vowing that he will never play with LeBron James and Co. FOXSports.com

July 14, 2013 | 03:20 PM ET Update

Marc Berman: USA Today now reporting "never mind" about Clippers on top of Metta list. More to point. Cllips not that interested. Twitter @NYPost_Berman

General manager Daryl Morey insists he is not looking to deal guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik in the wake of signing Dwight Howard He has cited Lin’s ability as an attacking guard as a good fit with Howard. He has talked about the value of Asik’s defense off the bench. On Saturday, he added another reason. “The reality is James (Harden) and Dwight (Howard) want to play with Jeremy and Omer,” Morey said. “I’ve been kicked down to assistant GM. They’re going to be here.” Houston Chronicle

 

SOCIAL MEDIA PICTURES: PHOTOS PLAYERS POST

Just like everybody else, NBA players are spending more and more time on social media sites and photo-sharing services. Check all the pictures they are posting on Instagram, Twitter and more here.

   
July 14, 2013 | 12:39 PM ET Update

The Cavs possess their mid-level exception worth about $2.65 million. They used the rest of their salary-cap space signing Bynum. There was some talk about bringing former Lakers forward Metta World Peace to the team. The Lakers used the amnesty provision on him and waived him. However, World Peace is not what the team needs. It might be a case of him being more of a bother than he's worth. Coach Mike Brown and the former Ron Artest are close. His kids love him, too. News-Herald

Johnson said the Knicks would love to add a banger-type big man. They likely will re-sign Kenyon Martin, but he was no help against the Pacers. The Knicks have been told by agent David Falk that Elton Brand won’t be signing with them. “We were exposed needing a big man,’’ Johnson said. “[Roy] Hibbert just destroyed us. We didn’t have anyone to deal with David West. Once we went small-ball, David West had his way. We need a rebounding, big man rather than putting all the emphasis on Tyson [Chandler] all the time. We needed another big [in that series]. If Amar’e [Stoudemire] was 100 percent healthy, that would have helped a whole bunch.’’ New York Post

The Wolves hired Kahn as president of basketball operations in May 2009, two years after Kevin McHale drafted Brewer, who played for Randy Wittman, McHale and Kurt Rambis in his three-plus seasons with the Wolves before Kahn traded Brewer as part of a big trade that sent Carmelo Anthony from Denver to New York. Brewer went to New York in the deal and was waived soon after by the Knicks. The Wolves got Anthony Randolph in return. “If McHale drafted you, you were gone,” Brewer said, “unless your name was Kevin Love.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

July 14, 2013 | 10:06 AM ET Update

Dave McMenamin: Got word from @robmurphyEMU who spoke to Wesley Johnson: Wes is besides himself with excitement for the Lakers opportunity Twitter @mcten

The Pistons are quite interested in Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, but they don’t have a package to offer that would attract president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to making a deal. The Celtics would presumably ask for emerging center Andre Drummond, who is as close to untouchable as a younger player can get. Detroit would like to send the Celtics Brandon Knight and an expiring contract, but that wouldn’t be nearly enough. Detroit doesn’t have a first-round pick to offer because of the Ben Gordon deal that gave the Bobcats the choice of a Pistons draft pick over the next four seasons. Boston Globe

During a youth basketball summer camp in his native Lousiville, Kentucky, someone asked Rajon about his status with the Celtics. Rondo told his camp attendees “I’ll never play for the Miami Heat.” The reasons for his contempt concerning the back-to-back champs can be tied to his battles between the Celtics and Heat once LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the team in the summer of 2010, and his previous battles against LeBron with the Cavs. Dime

The Knicks are interested in one of the best centers still available in free agency, Samuel Dalembert, according to a player source. On Friday, the first day of the NBA summer league at UNLV's Cox Pavilion, Knicks GM Glen Grunwald and Dalembert's agent, Marc Cornstein, were spotted chatting. ESPN.com

At this point, however, the Mavericks are the front-runners to land Dalembert, who averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 16 minutes per game last season for the Bucks. Sources indicated to ESPNDallas.com that the Mavs are optimistic they will reach an agreement with Dalembert soon. ESPN.com

The Knicks could lose out twice to the Mavericks -- also in the pursuit of big man Brandan Wright. That's because Wright will likely re-sign with the Mavs because they can exceed the cap to sign him using the Early Bird exception. Even though the Knicks are a competitive team that plays in the No. 1 media market in the league, they are cash-strapped. And this hasn't been the offseason for financial sacrifices due to the new CBA, thinning roster spots and fewer opportunities to make more money. ESPN.com

While in Las Vegas, the Knicks will be closely monitoring bigs Jerome Jordan, Liam McMorrow and Jeremy Tyler, who finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds in the team's summer league debut Friday. Tyler has the most NBA experience out of the three, playing in 63 games since 2011 for the Warriors and Hawks. ESPN.com

While the Knicks signed summer league player C.J. Leslie to a partially guaranteed contract -- he gets paid through Jan. 7 -- they're still interested in securing a veteran small forward who could possibly start alongside Carmelo Anthony, according to a player source. That's because coach Mike Woodson favors using Anthony again at the 4 position next season, as he did this past season when Anthony became the league's leading scorer. ESPN.com

If the Knicks are doing background checks on Metta World Peace, all James Dolan has to do is pick up the phone and call his unofficial consultant, Isiah Thomas. Thomas, the former Knicks president and head coach, coached World Peace for two seasons with the Indiana Pacers when the Metta still went by the name on his birth certificate, Ron Artest. Thomas, according to a source, enjoyed his brief time with Artest, who was named to the All-Defense second team in 2003. New York Daily News

Knicks GM Glen Grunwald wants to add another point guard and the club recently reached out to former Knick Nate Robinson, according to a league source. Robinson is not expected to return to the Chicago Bulls because Derrick Rose is now healthy. New York Daily News

Robinson would consider a return to New York but only if he doesn't receive a more lucrative offer elsewhere. The Knicks can only give him a minimum contract or the mini-mid-level, assuming it is still available. New York Daily News

Add small forward Al Harrington to the list of potential Knicks targets. Harrington, a former teammate of Carmelo Anthony’s in Denver, is expected to be bought out by the Magic. The former Knick is in Vegas, where he owns a home. New York Post

The Knicks may re-sign aging Kenyon Martin but there’s a big chance the younger, taller Tyler will be invited to training camp — maybe even with a partial guarantee. Ironically, he grew up a fan in San Diego. “The Knicks have always been my favorite team,’’ Tyler said. “I’d love to be part of the organization. People would say, ‘you’re from San Diego. Why aren’t you a Lakers fan?’’’ New York Post

Now, a week into the N.B.A.’s summer signing period, he remains without a new team, and it could be weeks or even several months before he knows what his future holds. As he waits, he finds himself in a historic position as the first openly gay free agent seeking another contract. It is a moment being watched closely for its perceived sociological significance, although Collins himself is determined to keep his focus on basketball. “I look at it, honestly, like any other free agency in the past several years, where I know I have to stay patient,” said the 34-year-old Collins, who played in only 38 games last season, averaging 10 minutes a game as a defensive-minded center for Boston and later Washington. “And I know that at this point in my career, you remain hopeful that there’s a job and an opportunity waiting for you once teams start to fill out their rosters.” New York Times

For now, Collins is spending time with family and working out daily near his home in West Los Angeles, waiting to resume his career. He will interpret the implications of the whole process at some later date, when the hypotheticals have given way to concrete facts. He will either be signed, or he will not. “It won’t weigh on me,” Collins said. “I’ve been blessed. I’ve played 12 years in this league. Not a lot of professional athletes, not a lot of basketball players, can say that they’ve played for over a decade. But at the same point, I still feel like, just like a lot of other professional athletes, that I still can contribute to a team and I still have something left to go out and prove.” New York Times

Regardless, Tellem said he was “cautiously optimistic” that Collins would be on a roster by opening night. Tellem has represented both Jason and his twin brother, Jarron, since the two entered the league in 2001, and they all refer to each other as family. “Obviously, I feel the pressure to do my very best for him, which I always do,” Tellem said. “But even more so now.” New York Times

In his first comments since agreeing to join the Nets, Andrei Kirilenko tells a Russian publication that money was a consideration for him, but that he couldn't resist a chance to win a championship. He admits as well that both Mikhail Prokhorov and Deron Williams were big in helping him make up his mind, and that although there was a "family debate" on what to do, "it became clear that a combination of factors won Brooklyn a landslide victory." NetsDaily

As for the controversy, Kirilenko dismissed it. "It is foolish to say that - to even think about it. Masha (his wife) and I were arguing about it: which is better - to go for a lot of money or play wherever you want, and try to achieve something big. I have in my career earned decent money. Even indecent (laughs). And to not use this chance, which is available with the Nets would be wrong. Gone are the days when I would had have a desire to earn more." NetsDaily

Charlotte Bobcats guard-forward Jeff Taylor had a weight problem. Just not the kind most of us experience. After traveling around the country last spring for predraft workouts, he wasn’t himself. He had dropped about 15 pounds from his playing weight at Vanderbilt and he never gained it back during his rookie season. “Last year I felt weak and never had a chance to build back up,” Taylor said at a practice Saturday on UNLV’s campus. “During the season it’s hard to start gaining weight.” Charlotte Observer

Last season the 6-foot-7 Taylor was down to 208 pounds. Now he’s back up to 222, and he’s performing better. In the Bobcats’ opening game of the Las Vegas summer league Friday, Taylor scored 24 points off 9-of-17 shooting, including a spectacular second-half dunk against the San Antonio Spurs. Charlotte Observer

In a wide-ranging, 14-minute interview with beat reporters before the Bulls defeated the Grizzlies 81-67 in their summer-league opener, Thibodeau didn't shed much light on his relationship with Forman. Nor did he deeply address the surprising departure of lead assistant Ron Adams, which lifted the curtain on some strain between coaches and management. "Hey, it's fine," Thibodeau said. "(Executive vice president John Paxson) and Gar are in charge of putting the roster together. I have a voice. They make the final decision. That's the way it works." Chicago Tribune

Speaking to the media on Saturday for the first time since lead assistant coach and close friend Ron Adams was let go, Thibodeau did his best to dismiss the idea there’s a rift between him and general manager Gar Forman. “No, we’re fine,” Thibodeau said before the Bulls played the Memphis Grizzlies in their first NBA Summer League game. Chicago Sun-Times

Madsen still gets asked about his dancing everywhere he goes. If he's at a basketball game, the topic might come up two or three times. He doesn't mind. In fact, fans might be treated to an encore performance should the Lakers win another title. "All I can say is, if we win this next year, I don't want it to just be me dancing," Madsen said. "I want everyone to be dancing, and I'm willing to teach moves." Los Angeles Times

When the ball is thrown up and it's time for business, it's hard to tell that Steven Adams is still two weeks shy of his 20th birthday. You also wouldn't imagine how laid back he is off the court. Food is one of his biggest fetishes. “He loves food,” said Liggins. “He goes crazy about food. Any food. He wants food.” Less than three minutes after Liggins revealed that information, Adams walked around the corner with a plate piled high with food. He was the only Thunder player to emerge from the locker room with a plate. “Food is amazing,” Adams said. “I love food. It's good. It's from my family, I guess. My family is quite big and we all eat a ton so I think that's where it came from.” Oklahoman

A quote about you last year: “He was never in shape. He didn’t care.” Andrea Bargnani: Who’s that coming from? Q: No name was put on it. Andrea Bargnani: I can tell you that coming into the training camp I was in great shape. And then after the [elbow and wrist] injury, it took me two months to get back on the court. And because of the injury, I couldn’t lift weights at all for two months. That was so bad. When I came back, I was weaker. It was impossible to be in shape. New York Post

Former Cavaliers' guard Baron Davis told the hosts of "The Champs" podcast he was inducted by aliens in the desert while driving from Las Vegas to L.A. two weeks ago. "I'm a little tired and see this light and I think it's a big truck," Davis said. "The next thing you know I was like in this big steel thing...with these crazy looking half-human people." Sounds ridiculous, but maybe he nodded off. Maybe the big steel thing was Madison Square Garden and one of the big-eyed beings poking at Davis was Spike Lee? The hosts weren't sure what to make of his story, twice asking him if he were serious. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Dwyane Wade: Wow!!! Stunned!!! Saddened as a father!!! Some1 make sense of this verdict for me right now please!!! Don't worry I'll wait... Twitter @DwyaneWade

 

SOCIAL MEDIA PICTURES: PHOTOS PLAYERS POST

Just like everybody else, NBA players are spending more and more time on social media sites and photo-sharing services. Check all the pictures they are posting on Instagram, Twitter and more here.

   

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