HoopsHype rumors

September 19, 2013 | 10:02 PM ET Update

NBA veteran Donte Greene has been confirmed as a late addition to the Dongguan Leopards for their three-game New Zealand tour against the Breakers. The Brian Goorjian-coached Leopards from China are touring New Zealand in the first of what's hoped to be a regular series of games between the two clubs. Originally it had been anticipated the Leopards would not have their American imports for the pre-season tour, but the addition of Greene, with more than 250 games of NBA experience, adds serious interest to the series. Stuff.co.nz

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN CELTICS HISTORY

How bright is Boston's history? Well, the first 19 players in the list won NBA titles with the team.

   
September 19, 2013 | 09:03 PM ET Update

RealGM: You've played for three different NBA teams. Where did you feel the most comfortable - Memphis, Cleveland or Philadelphia? Pargo: I felt most comfortable in Cleveland. I was given an opportunity, unfortunately by Kyrie Irving being hurt. Coach Byron Scott showed a lot of trust in me, and I was able to play with some freedom. It was just unfortunate the way the situation ended in Cleveland. RealGM

A walk into the Lakers’ training room on Thursday morning showed a picture that’s became all too common this offseason, but one that’s visually appealing for Lakers fans nonetheless. Kobe Bryant continued his rehab on his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon, as expected, the latest involving running at 75 percent of his body weight on a treadmill. Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti expects Bryant remains a “few weeks away” before advancing to full-weight bearing running, though he acknowledged that’s a “nebulous term.” Los Angeles Daily News

Varejao spent most of the summer rehabilitating his quad in Brazil and working to strengthen his leg. He has only recently started playing pick-up games and, though his quad feels good, he estimates he's at about 70 percent heading into the start of training camp. "I need to get rhythm back but it feels good,'' he said. "I'm very happy. I've been testing my quad in those pick up games, setting a lot of screens, going up for offensive rebounds -- that's my game. It feels good. It feels, actually, great. I don't even think about it any more, which is good.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

Anderson Varejao is still coming down from the high of his September 7 wedding to Marcelle Silva in Rio de Janiero. There were 1,000 guests and 22 bridesmaids and 22 groomsmen, including Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anthony Parker and their wives. The ceremony was at a beautiful church, and the reception was at the historic Copacabana Palace, where the guests danced to two bands and a DJ. "It was good, fun,'' Varejao said, beaming. Cleveland Plain Dealer

A honeymoon in the New York area was scrapped when his wife got sick, so instead the couple returned here, where Varejao reported to the Cleveland Clinic Courts more than two weeks ahead of the start of training camp on Oct. 1. "I'm ready to get to work,'' Varejao told The Plain Dealer on Thursday afternoon. "I'm excited and I'm ready for the season. I can't wait.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

Kelly has already gone through plenty, having surgery in April to repair a screw that was initially inserted in his right foot in March 2012 to treat a broken bone. “Ryan has already done this twice. So this makes us want to take this really slowly and bring him back one step at at time,” Vitti said Thursday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo in a wide-ranging interview with this newspaper. “We want to make sure the screw is in there and the bone is healed around the screw.” Los Angeles Daily News

Although some in NBA front offices, most vocally Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks, have rallied against their star employees heading off on national duty, Buford and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich are not among them. "I saw R.C.," Parker said. "He wants me to play less minutes to be ready for the Spurs next season. But I have a great relationship with the Spurs. I'm very lucky to have R.C. and Coach Pop to let me play for my country. They know that I love playing for my country. "I take a lot of pride playing for France. I'm just happy that I have the Spurs organization to let me do that." ESPN.com

September 19, 2013 | 07:42 PM ET Update

Priority Sports: Congrats to James Johnson on his new contract with the #ATLHawks. We know you’re going to take advantage of this great opportunity! #NBA Twitter

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed forward Chris Wright and guards Carlos Morais and Julyan Stone. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed. Wright participated on the Raptors’ entry at the 2013 NBA Las Vegas Summer League and 2012 training camp in Halifax. During five games at Summer League he averaged 10.0 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting .588 (20-for-34) from the field. Wright spent the 2012-13 season with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League and earned third-team All-NBA Development League honours. He appeared in 39 games with the Red Claws and ranked 10th in League scoring with 18.3 points per game. Raptors.com

However, ask about the offseason moves made by Pacers officials – signing C.J. Watson, Chris Copeland and trading for Luis Scola – and Granger lights up in excitement. “It’s really encouraging,” he said. “They kinda see the potential that this group has and I think we’re really going for it. We really are title contenders now and we have to show it. “I think [Scola’s] probably our biggest free agent pickup. In my mind, he’s a starting power forward in the NBA and I don’t know how we pulled him off and how we got him but we did. I think that’s the brilliance of Donnie [Walsh] and Larry [Bird].” NBA.com

Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams (sprained right ankle, bone bruise) is confident that he’ll be ready for the start of training camp on Oct. 1, but will undergo another MRI next week before being cleared to get his walking boot off. “(My ankle’s) good. It’s good. As long as I’m ready for the start of the regular season (Oct. 30 in Cleveland), that’s all that matters, but I’ll be ready for the start of camp,” Williams said Thursday at his Dodgeball charity event in Manhattan. ESPN.com

 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN WARRIORS HISTORY

Wilt Chamberlain never won a championship with the Warriors, but his monstrous stats make him the clear pick for No. 1 player in franchise history.

   
September 19, 2013 | 05:30 PM ET Update

SOCIAL MEDIA VIDEOS: THE BEST OF VINE AND INSTAGRAM

Adding to our social media tools, you can now watch here all the videos NBA players are posting online – including those by Nate Robinson, Iman Shumpert and JR Smith, of course.

   
September 19, 2013 | 03:35 PM ET Update

Looking ahead, Williams wants to return to pushing the pace. "I definitely want to get back to running, and I think we want to as well," he said. "I think it's good. I've had a lot of success playing a lot more up-tempo, like my time in Utah, and I want to get back to playing like that. I think even though we're an older team, we still have guys that can run the floor. Like Paul [Pierce] and KG [Kevin Garnett]; even though they're older, they can still run. They're smart basketball players, so it's not about being the fastest guy; it's about being efficient and being smart about how you play." Bleacher Report

September 19, 2013 | 02:41 PM ET Update

There are still scars about how close the Spurs came to a fourth title since Parker arrived in Texas, at how -- but for Ray Allen's impeccably timed 3-pointer that sent Game 6 to overtime -- Parker could now be going for his second championship of the summer. Three months later, the memories remain painful. "I was lucky enough to win three times already," Parker said. "It's obviously going to hurt until I die. I'll be 95 years old and dying, and I'll be like, 'Oh, Game 6.' That's life." ESPN.com

The San Antonio Spurs today announced several front office promotions and additions entering the 2013-14 NBA season. Sean Marks assumes the role of assistant coach for the Spurs after serving the past season as director of basketball operations/Toros GM. Brian Pauga, currently director of scouting, adds Austin Toros general manager to his duties. Additionally, Will Hardy has been promoted to video coordinator, Anthony Falsone joins the Spurs as the athletic performance coordinator and Matt J. Herring assumes the role of athletic performance associate. NBA.com

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN KNICKS HISTORY

Carmelo Anthony already ahead of Phil Jackson, but still far away from the all-time New York greats.

   
September 19, 2013 | 01:40 PM ET Update

The Cavaliers are expected to start Tristan Thompson at power forward and not use Bennett at small forward this season, a source said. It is possible that if center Andrew Bynum isn’t able to return from his lingering knee injury by season’s start that Bennett could become the starting power forward if Thompson moves to center. Yahoo! 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.

   
September 19, 2013 | 09:57 AM ET Update

The New York Knicks coaching staff would like to sign Earl Barron, but team management is not in any rush to do so, according to a source close to the veteran free-agent center. "The Knicks coaches want Earl, but ownership wants to wait," the source told Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report

A second source familiar with the Knicks' free-agency plans confirmed they are interested in Barron, 32, who appeared in seven games (six starts) for the Knicks in 2009-10, averaging 11.7 points and 11.0 rebounds over 33.1 minutes. Last season—while he only played in one regular-season game for the Knicks, an 11-point, 18-rebound performance on April 17 against the Atlanta Hawks—the source said he impressed Knicks coach Mike Woodson during his short stint. "I think Mike Woodson likes him a lot because of the professionalism he showed this year," the source said recently. "He went from a vacation—a weekend trip with his family—to flying into D.C., drove to the airport and flew to New York and got in at midnight. He worked out for the coaches at 6 o'clock that morning, took the physical after that and then played 36 minutes that same night, and he had almost 20 boards. Earl kept his body right." Bleacher Report

One of the likely reasons why the Knicks are not all in agreement on signing Barron is that they're still evaluating other centers—one of whom is Hamed Haddadi, who worked out for the Knicks last month. "Still not finalized with Hamed. Hope/expect to get closure this week," a source close to Haddadi said via text message. "Don't think it will be New York, but not done." Bleacher Report

However, Arenas may get the opportunity he has been looking for in the coming weeks. The combo guard has been training in Las Vegas and Los Angeles this summer, and looking very good. He’s in excellent shape and performing very well in pick-up games against fellow NBA players. Sources close to the situation say that the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in Arenas and that they may extend a training camp invite to the 31-year-old. HoopsWorld

Add Damien Wilkins to the list of former Hawks who will be in training camp. Wilkins, who played 52 games for the team during the 2010-11 season, will be a non-roster invite when camp begins Oct. 1. Wilkins joins former Hawks player Royal Ivey, who agreed to an invitation Wednesday, in camp. Like Ivey, Wilkins played last season with the 76ers. The 6-foot-6 guard/small forward averaged 6.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 18.0 minutes in 61 games, including 21 starts. The invitations to Wilkins and Ivey could be out of concern that Lou Williams may not be ready by the start of the season as he rehabs from a torn ACL. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

While Rockets general manager Daryl Morey recently took to reddit to defend his starting point guard, there’s still the possibility that Lin could be dealt before the trade deadline. Morey is known for wheeling and dealing just before the deadline, and he’ll pull the trigger if the right transaction presents itself. Lin, for his part, isn’t worried about the trade rumors. “It’s just part of it,” Lin said of the trade rumors. “We’ve all had to deal with it, the guys who have played in the league, except for a select few. For me, I’ve dealt with it for my whole career. I mean, I’ve dealt with rumors about being cut so I can deal with trade rumors.” “I still remember what it was like being on the edge of my seat and wondering if I was even going to be on a roster tomorrow,” Lin adds with a laugh, “so this is nothing.” HoopsWorld

Knicks forward Metta World Peace expects his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, to play for the right to hoist the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy this season. "I think the Lakers are going to go to the NBA Finals," World Peace said during a signing for his children's book "Metta's Bedtime Stories" in downtown Manhattan on Wednesday. "I think Kobe [Bryant's] gonna be healthy, they're gonna get Pau [Gasol]. The Lakers are gonna make a big trade like they always do. They're gonna get another good player, boom, boom, and they're gonna go to the Finals. I believe it. Kobe's gonna come back, he's gonna play team ball, and Pau's gonna play well." ESPN.com

Stephen Curry indicated the Golden State Warriors are aiming for 50 wins this season when he said earlier this month that there's a number that "has a five in front of it" written on a whiteboard inside the team's practice facility as a goal. Apparently, that's not enough for Andre Iguodala. Not after he helped the Denver Nuggets win a franchise-record 57 games last season. And not after he turned down more lucrative offers to sign a $48 million, four-year deal with the Warriors this summer. Fifty wins? "I would say more than that," Iguodala said Wednesday at the team's downtown Oakland headquarters, where most players have been voluntarily working out for about three weeks before training camp starts Sept. 29. "I just have really high expectations for us. I won't say too much about wins. I'd rather fly under the radar." Associated Press

Luckily for Thompson, and perhaps the Cavs, he had a great opportunity to work on the switch in game conditions as the Canadians competed in the FIBA Americas Championship in Caracas, Venezuela. "It was picture perfect,'' Thompson said of the chance to compete at such a high level. "You can drill it. You can have dummy defense. But nothing's like the game. So I used that time to try to qualify and represent my country but also to gain game experience with the right hand. It was a great experience, getting 15 or 20 games under my belt with the right hand. It was a positive.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Boston Celtics may begin training camp without its starting backcourt from last season. Four-time All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo is still on the mend from a torn right ACL injury that was surgically repaired in February, and his backcourt mate Avery Bradley is also questionable due to the recent death of his mother. "He's going through a very difficult time," Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com. "His mother passed away and they were very close and he's expecting a baby any day. He's got a lot going on." CSNNE.com

Chris Brickley, who teamed up with J.R. Smith's younger brother, Chris, at Louisville in 2010, and has since worked out several NBA and former top college stars, was hired by the New York Knicks on Tuesday as an entry-level trainer. He officially starts on Thursday and will be with the team almost every day and attend all home games. According to Brickley, he will be assisting with "a little bit of everything," including workouts, practices, pregame preparation and film work. "I am excited about the opportunity to work for such an outstanding organization," he told Bleacher Report. "I will work tirelessly to do my part in helping the Knicks have a successful season." Bleacher Report

The new scoreboard in Denver’s Pepsi Center, home to the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche, is going to be the envy of indoor arenas everywhere. Assuming indoor arenas feel envy. The massive new screen is the largest in the NBA/NHL, and the size of it is almost hard to comprehend. For The Win

One of those players is Damian Lillard, whose play during one of the most successful rookie campaigns in Trail Blazers history has raised expectations for the upcoming season. Walton said that Lillard reminds him of two of his former teammates, both in the way he plays and how he carries himself. "Fun, a real fun player," said Walton of Lillard. "I remember running with Bobby (Gross) and Lionel (Hollins), how fun it was, what special players they were and really are. Damian is a lot like that because yes, he's got a dazzling game, but really it's his personality, the same thing that defines any great talent. He has a personality and a dynamism about him that inspires, rallies and ultimately builds communities. We're very hopefully and we're extremely confident about him and his chances to lead this team to the Promised Land." TrailBlazers.com

Houston Rockets guard and famed beard enthusiast James Harden is VERY protective of his legendary facial hair -- but the NBA star tells TMZ he'd ONLY consider shaving his crumb catcher if it raises money for charity. But not just ANY charity ... Harden says it "depends on which charity." And EVEN IF he finds the right charity, Harden tells TMZ the razoring of the face fuzz would have to raise more than $80,000!!! TMZ.com

In a dramatic and definitive end to a two-year odyssey that began in 2012 with a search of his Larkspur, Colorado home by the Douglas County Sheriff's Internet Crimes Against Children unit, Andersen was found to have been a victim of an internet impersonator in Canada, with that announcement made Wednesday. "I would describe him today as solemn," agent Mark Bryant told the Sun Sentinel of Andersen's reaction. "If they would have just left this, then he would have been left with this. And not only would he have been left with this, a lot of victims would have gone undetected." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Bryant not only praised authorities in both Colorado and Canada for the thoroughness of their investigation, but also of handling matters in a fashion in the intervening months that did not interfere with what turned into Andersen's first NBA championship. "Chris had texted me on Monday, 'Two more days, right?' " Bryant related to the Sun Sentinel. "He's usually a little more jovial. The onus of these labels that were out here and he had to live with, I can't even describe it. Thank God for the distraction down there called the Miami Heat World Champions." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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