HoopsHype rumors

August 2, 2013 | 06:30 AM ET Update
August 2, 2013 | 09:48 PM ET Update

Tim Reynolds: Expect Oden to sign early next week. (Some details still to complete.) Also, I wouldn't expect to hear formally from the Heat before then. Twitter

Chris Tomasson: Mike Conley Jr. said that Greg Oden chose Heat because of the talent, they can bring him along slowly and he can win a title. Twitter @christomasson

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August 2, 2013 | 08:58 PM ET Update

"The past six years have been tough for me," Oden said, "but there’s nothing I can do about it now. The past is the past. All I’m focused on is right now. And right now I feel great and I’m looking forward to playing again.” Grantland

After hiring their last three head coaches primarily based on their NBA experience, the Los Angeles D-Fenders are targeting a former D-League champion this time around. The D-Fenders, the Los Angeles Lakers' D-League affiliate, are in advanced discussions to hire Springfield Armor head coach Bob MacKinnon to fill the vacancy caused when Mark Madsen joined Mike D'Antoni's staff on the Lakers, according to multiple league sources. ESPN.com

August 2, 2013 | 08:51 PM ET Update

Here's where I really tried to pin Jeff down. My lead in was that last season there were five teams (Denver, Houston, OKC, SA and Miami) that scored at least 102.9 points per game. Given that, I asked for a one word response on whether the Suns scoring average for the 2013-14 season would be higher or lower than 102.9 points per game... Coach Hornacek's one word reply: "What did we average last year? (It was 95.2 by the way) Over 102.9, we would hope we can get there. If we can get there I think that's a good start for us in our first year. So, hopefully, I would say yes." Bright Side of the Sun

The DeVos family, which owns the Magic, recently restructured how the ownership of the franchise was divided among the family members. Although 87-year-old Rich DeVos remains the head of the franchise and the team’s governor, a percentage of the franchise was redistributed evenly to his four children. The restructuring was approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors, a league source said. Dan DeVos, the Magic’s chairman and one of Rich and Helen DeVos’ sons, said the restructuring was done as an estate planning move. He also said the restructuring is a sign that his family has no plans to sell the franchise. “There’s no desire to sell,” he said. “In fact, as time goes on, there’s more engagement by the family at all levels. The second generation, for sure. The third generation is very excited about it. So it’s not a point that’s being discussed.” Orlando Sentinel

The goal, Guelli said, is to hit more than 90 percent on renewals, where most of the NBA's strongest franchises check in each offseason. The Bobcats won't reach that figure this season—they'll be closer to 85 percent—but it isn't out of reach as the Hornets' return in 2014-15. To put those numbers in perspective, an industry source tells Sporting News the Bobcats are in the NBA's top 10 for new season ticket sales for next season. The Bobcats ranked 24th in home attendance last season. Sporting News

Craig Ehlo was released without bail Friday and ordered not to contact family members or return to his rural Spokane County home by a superior court judge. Appearing in a yellow jumpsuit via teleconference at the Spokane County Courthouse, Ehlo agreed with orders made by Superior Court Judge James Triplet not to leave Washington state and not to posses fire-starting materials. Triplet set an arraignment for Ehlo on charges of first degree reckless burning, a class C felony, Aug. 14 at 9:30 a.m. Spokesman-Review

August 2, 2013 | 07:30 PM ET Update

I just talked to Mike Conley, agent for Greg Oden. Gave some details on Oden such as when he'll make decision, etc. --Conley said Oden still plans to be make his decision tonight but nothing is super imminent since he has a call with a team around 6:45 p.m. So the decision could still be a few hours away. --Conley said the Miami Heat are still very much in the mix. Sulia

August 2, 2013 | 05:13 PM ET Update

The Magic have yet to reach an agreement with small forward Hedo Turkoglu, another veteran player whose contract is only partially guaranteed for next season. Turkoglu, a 13-year veteran who has been with the Magic for two stints, is hoping to work out a buyout with the Magic so that he too can join a veteran-laden team. The 32-year-old Turkoglu averaged career lows across the board last season, but is hoping he can still catch on with another team and continue his NBA career. NBA.com

Peter Vecsey: Don't know if it's news to you but it was news to me when told today Lionel Hollins turned down offer to become Maurice Cheeks' top aide. Twitter @PeterVecsey1

August 2, 2013 | 03:03 PM ET Update

Al Harrington: It's Official... Orlando has waived me! I just want thanks all the Orlando Fans that embraced me in my short stay there. It was my pleasure playing in front of you guys. Also wanna thank Coaching staff and medical department for helping me get back on court to do what I love the most. And that's to Hoop with the Best! Now that I'm almost 110% back healthy I'm so excited for my immediate future. Let the phone start ringing. I'm ready!!!!! Instagram

After the initial contract fell through, Julyan Stone is still in discussions for the Toronto Raptors to honor their deal, with three other NBA teams emerging as a serious suitor, a league source told RealGM on Friday. While a contract hasn’t been signed, Masai Ujiri and Stone’s representatives have maintained dialogue surrounding a potential deal for the free agent. RealGM

The Bobcats' team shop has benefited from the name change, too, even as old merchandise is being liquidated, thanks to some smart marketing. The new Hornets uniforms, logos and other gear have not been unveiled, but the team created two sub-brands—"Back the Buzz" and "Buzz City"—using familiar colors to begin building interest. The "Back the Buzz" gear is so popular it had a 100 percent sell-through rate and has the team chasing additional inventory. "A slow window turned into a hot sales opportunity," Guelli said. "The sales in our team stores have doubled this summer from where they were last year." Sporting News

August 2, 2013 | 01:34 PM ET Update

Free agent forward Ivan Johnson has been engaged in preliminary conversations with six NBA teams, a source close to Johnson relayed to CSNNW.com. As reported by ESPNNewYork.com, the Knicks are one of the interested parties. However, the same source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said there isn't anything serious with these discussions at this point with Greg Oden, Lamar Odom and Antawn Jamison still out on the market. The source added that there is no front-runner for the services of Johnson. CSNNW.com

 

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August 2, 2013 | 12:33 PM ET Update

Marc Stein: One FA big man likely to benefit from Greg Oden's expected decision today is Lou Amundson, who has drawn interest from some of same teams. Hearing that Heat, Kings and Mavs (all Oden finalists) as well as Hawks, Knicks and Pacers have registered level of interest in Amundson Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

Slava Kravtsov might be on the market soon for any team to claim. The 25-year-old center, involved in the sign-and-trade that also sent Khris Middleton and Brandon Knight to the Milwaukee Bucks for guard Brandon Jennings, is expected to be released by the Bucks because of a surplus of big men. The 7-footer spent one year with the Pistons and showed promise in the short stints he played. He averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 rebounds in 25 games last season. Detroit Free Press

CSP Limoges made official the signing of Alex Oriakhi. The rookie has been selected with the 57th overall pick by the Suns in the 2013 NBA Draft. Sportando

The Cleveland Cavaliers surprised everyone when they selected UNLV power forward, Anthony Bennett, with the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. CBC’s The National host, Peter Mansbridge, shot some hoops with the Canadian baller as part of their one-on-one interview. But when Mansbridge asked Bennett to palm the ball, Bennett said his hands were too small. Small hands aren’t necessarily the biggest impediment for NBA success. Shawn Kemp had famously small hands, so much so he couldn’t palm the ball, which makes some of his more acrobatic dunks that much more incredible. But Kemp went on to make six All-Star teams during an excellent NBA career before weight problems robbed him of his explosiveness. Dime

HOOPSWORLD spoke with Dr. Derek Ochiai, a leading Surgeon and Sports Medicine expert based in Arlington, VA, on what to expect from Smith once he returns to action from the two surgeries. “The meniscus should heal, and most of the time, this is not a chronic issue with modern repair techniques,” Dr. Ochiai said. “The patellar tendon part of the surgery possibly may not ‘fix’ the issue completely, and sometimes even after the surgery, an athlete may have some continued, although less, pain in the front of his knee. The patellar tendon injury would be more worrisome from the standpoint that it could continue to be a lingering issue long term, which could potentially limit explosive jumping. “Repair or debridement (where the torn part of the meniscus is trimmed away and the meniscus does not have to heal) of a torn meniscus in the knee is a very common operation in sports medicine. Chronic patellar tendonitis requiring surgical treatment is less common, since many times this can be effectively treated non-operatively.” HoopsWorld

Montenegro have had to be patient but at last, NBA center Nikola Vucevic has joined the team in training ahead of the EuroBasket. The Orlando Magic big man wasn't able to play in Hungary over the weekend in a couple of friendlies that his national team won against the hosts and Austria. He is expecting to fit in quickly. "I'm glad I'm joining the rest of the team," he said. "They've been working hard since the beginning of July and in Zlatibor doing their strenuous preparations, so it is my pleasure that I am joining the preparations and am ready to start working with the rest of the team. "I worked individually in Bar (Montenegro) so believe that there will be no problem getting used to the system of work in Zlatibor and continue preparations for the European Championship, which we all await with great impatience." FIBA.com

The Hawks hired Jim Thomas as an assistant coach Friday, completing the staff of Mike Budenholzer. Thomas, 52, most recently served a college scout with the Thunder the past four years. He was also an assistant coach and scout with the Raptors and a scout with the Knicks. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, a passionate basketball fan, believes LeBron James would be a "beast" in the NFL if the reigning NBA MVP made a Michael Jordan-esque midcareer decision to switch sports. Asked a hypothetical question about James' potential if he opted to focus on football, Bryant enthusiastically discussed with ESPNDallas.com why he thinks the 6-foot-8, 250-pound Miami Heat star could be an impact player as an NFL tight end or receiver. "That dude is just that talented," said Bryant, who is coming off a breakout season of 92 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. "I think it would take him probably about a good two weeks to get very acquainted with football, knowing what he's supposed to do. I think that's all he'd need with his physical ability. ESPN.com

The day after he signed the third-largest contract in franchise history, Wall announced that he would direct $1 million toward local charities, in conjunction with Leonsis’s Monumental Sports and Entertainment Foundation. “It’s a humbling experience and great opportunity to sign this contract, but it’s not about just for me,” Wall said. “The main thing is giving back and giving back the right way. Giving back to these charities is a great opportunity.” Washington Post

August 2, 2013 | 08:45 AM ET Update

Former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden plans to choose his new team Friday, according to sources close to the situation. Sources told ESPN.com that Oden, after showing off his skills for several teams over the past few weeks, has not yet ruled out any of the six teams chasing him but is most likely to select his destination from the trio of Miami, San Antonio and Dallas. ESPN.com

DeMarcus Cousins will be heading into his fourth season in the NBA and he's in negotiations with the Sacramento Kings for what could be a "max" contract. Cousins has had plenty of issues in his first three seasons in the league, suspended by his team and the NBA. He believes he's maturing. "I've matured. I'm 22 now, I'm in my fourth season, I've matured." WKYT

Plenty has changed in Sacramento with new ownership, a new G-M and a new coach, Michale Malone. Cousins likes what's happening. "Whoo, very excited. Excited where our organization is going, I believe in the right direction now. I'm just glad to know where I'll be." WKYT

If you take the word of Flip Saunders, the president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves, you can quit worrying about the club signing Nikola Pekovic. Saunders believes it’s just a matter of time before the 6-11 center from Montenegro agrees to a deal with the club. “Yeah, I’m still optimistic,” said Saunders, who plans to travel in the near future to New York to speak to Pekovic’s agent. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Marc Cornstein, the agent for free-agent point guard Beno Udrih, told The Post five teams are still in the mix for his client’s services. The Knicks appear long shots because they only have the $1.4 millon veteran’s minimum to offer. “If he signs with the Knicks the reasons will not be because of the money,’’ Cornstein said. “It would be a disservice to say they’re long shots or favorites. He’s examining the situations.’’ New York Post

After a resurgent campaign, free agent guard Mike James has been elevating his fitness and has received interest out of a few NBA teams, staying confident about signing with a franchise ahead of training camp for his 12th season. “The expectation is he will sign, he deserves it and so we will see how it shakes out,” James’ agent, Bernie Lee, told RealGM. “Mike simply wants an opportunity like everyone else to prove his worth. One thing Mike has shown over the last few years is he has nothing to hide and he will play for opportunities.” RealGM

The Mavericks expressed interest in James on the first day of free agency and discussions with the organization are ongoing. Dallas went 16-7 in the games James started last season. Down to his weight as a rookie, James believes he can play a significant role or help mentor younger guards. “Every time Mike has been asked to show something over the last two years, he’s stepped up,” Lee said. “When given the opportunity, he will do so again.” RealGM

No, contrary to the rumors circulating in the basketball universe, he is not ready to retire. Far from it. He has not lost an ounce of the desire that he had the day he first set foot in the league. He is simply a veteran player whose career has taken enough twists and turns the last five years you’d need motion sickness medicine to survive it. “It’s been a ride, a wild ride,” said Childress, who is three weeks away from finishing up his degree at Stanford while training vigorously in Palo Alto, Calif., and contemplating his next basketball move. “It’s not about the money for me. It’s about having an opportunity to get back out there and play the game at the highest level. That’s what is important to me.” NBA.com

“I feel like I’m the best I’ve ever been right now,” Childress said. “When I was with the Hawks it was a little different. I’d been there four years and really grown in that system. We all knew each other and knew each other’s tendencies. And I don’t think I’ve changed as a player since then. For a guy like me, it’s always been a matter of the right fit. My time in Phoenix … it just wasn’t the fit i thought it would be and they thought it would be. That’s not a good or a bad thing, it’s the way it is. You look around the league every year and guys are in situations that work and some that don’t, and a change of scenery changes everything.” NBA.com

“We honestly haven’t seen enough of him the last couple of years to know what he’s got [left] and what’s driving him now,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “There’s no doubt he was a solid payer before he went to Europe. He was one of the best sixth-men in the league and on a team that was on the rise. I watched him a little bit when he was in Europe and he played well. He didn’t dominate necessarily, but he was solid. But since he came back [to the NBA] it’s been a mixed bag. The Suns were a mess when he was there and they ended up amnestying him. And he only played like 14 or 15 games with the Nets before they waived him. This is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business, man. Everyone knows that.” NBA.com

Boston Celtics draft pick Colton Iverson signed a one-year deal with Besiktas of the Turkish League, a source with knowledge of the situation told MassLive.com early Friday morning. The team issued a press release announcing the Iverson signing last week but nothing was official at that time. Booth Newspapers

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported last week that the Bulls and Heat are expected to face off against each other in the season opener on Oct. 29. Bulls third-year guard Jimmy Butler says he and his teammates will not be looking forward to seeing LeBron James and Co. get their championship rings. "I don't think anybody wants to watch that on our team so we won't pay too much attention to it," Butler said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "They deserved it. They won a championship, definitely, but they got to deal with the Chicago Bulls for 48 minutes coming out right after that, they get their rings." ESPN.com

Stoudemire will not return to the Olajuwon camp in Houston to work on his post moves again this month as had been planned, The Post has learned. Stoudemire had planned to return to Texas to refine the post moves he learned last summer. That Olajuwon is about to be named to the Rockets staff as instructor for Dwight Howard and Omar Asik is not a factor in Stoudemire not attending. According to a Rockets source, Houston is allowing Olajuwon to fulfill any of his prior commitments with opposing players this month before he exclusively works with Rockets big men. Hence, Stoudemire might never work with Olajuwon again. New York Post

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said last month the plan was for Stoudemire this summer, but he never said Stoudemire wouldn’t make it to Olajuwon’s camp. It was Woodson’s idea last summer for Stoudemire to add a low- post element and work with the coach’s former Houston teammate. Stoudemire has been touring Israel since mid-July, exploring his Jewish roots after coaching Canada in the Maccabiah Games . “The main thing with Amar’e is we need him to rest,’’ Woodson said at the Las Vegas summer league. “Last summer, he put in a lot of time. He had some bad luck because he worked his butt off last summer. This summer we’ll rest him and make our push to get him ready for vet camp.” New York Post

Marcin Gortat has taken permission to leave the training camp of the Polish national team for three weeks but, in principle, his participation at EuroBasket 2013 is not under question. The Polish center flew to the USA on Thursday to undergo medical tests, after completing the first stage of preparations for the EuroBasket together with the rest of the team, in Gdansk. "Physically, I feel better and better, the rehabilitation is going well, but I still feel the pain of the foot, even during training," the 29-year-old big man said. Eurobasket 2013

Saunders also said he remains optimistic that Rick Adelman is ready to return as coach next season. “I think he feels very good about where we’re going,” he said. “Feels very good about what we’ve done to improve the team. We’re moving forward to try to change some things to keep our players healthier over the course of the season. We’re being very proactive in doing that. I think he feels, as we feel, that if we can keep our team healthy and with the pieces we’ve added, we have a chance to do something special.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

The Knicks did not issue a statement regarding the status of the highly respected McGuire, 49, who was not retained after 25 years with the organization. McGuire’s contract expired on July 31, but, according to a team source, the college scout was informed in January that his pact would not be renewed. New York Daily News

The Knicks are also reshuffling the medical staff, as strength and conditioning coach Bill Burgos has returned to the Orlando Magic after spending the last two seasons in New York. Burgos departed because of family reasons, and was not being singled out for the Knicks’ injury problems last season. The Knicks lost a total of 254 player games to injuries last year. Only the Minnesota Timberwolves (341) had more. The Wizards were third with 221. New York Daily News

While there were recent indications the NBA could be dragged into the Biogenesis scandal, a league source says that the evidence it has gathered shows only one NBA player "might" be involved. NBA HQ apparently has been doing its own investigating and is cautiously optimistic that there was neither wholesale involvement nor a big-name player from its ranks. Sulia

Jermaine O’Neal is ready to cash in his chips. The NBA big man has put his Henderson, NV, home on the market a mere six days after inking a one-year, $2 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. O’Neal previously listed the home during the 2011 NBA lockout for $3.55 million, the same amount he paid for the property in 2007. The NBA veteran is now poised to lose a considerable amount of money on the house after relisting it for just under $3 million. Built in 2006, O’Neal’s posh desert pad offers a total of six bedrooms, nine baths and nearly 7,500 square feet of living space. The home has standard amenities such as a formal entry, a dining room and a total of four fireplaces, and also some not-so-standard perks such as an indoor basketball court, an in-house movie theater, a game room and a wet bar. The athlete’s home rounds out with a five-car garage and an outdoor patio that includes a pool with a waterfall and slide, fountains and an outdoor kitchen. Realtor

Daniel Kellerher, who has struggled with homelessness and drug addiction for almost 20 years, said he was stomped in the back of his leg while he slept in a doorway on Northwest 3rd Avenue in Old Town Portland. A police officer who witnessed the attack pulled over and spoke with Kellerher. Jones was then placed into custody and booked in the Multnomah County Jail on harassment charges. “I didn’t do nothing. I was laying there sleeping,” Kellerher said. “It was a shock, you know? Something like an electric fence went through me at that point in time.” kgw.com

Kellerher said it still hurts to sit on one side. “Why the heck does he want to mess with the homeless? That’s what I can’t figure out, why these guys out here they think they’re better than us, because we sleep in a doorway and they sleep in a god dang bed?” Kellerher said. “Ain’t nobody out here on these streets better than the next person. We all get up. We all put our pants on one leg at a time.” kgw.com

 

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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