HoopsHype rumors

September 27, 2013 | 09:00 PM ET Update

Deng's six-year, $71 million deal expires after this season. Herb Rudoy, Deng's agent, said recently that Deng would "definitely explore free agency" after general manager Gar Forman informed him no extension would occur this offseason. Sources said cursory discussions produced such a gulf that counteroffers weren't exchanged. Chicago Tribune

Dudley is one of the most active participants in social media in the NBA. He was nominated for the HoopsHype “2012 Tweeter of the Year,” an award won by his new teammate Jamal Crawford. However, he did not immediately join the Twitter-sphere. Dudley said future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal got him into it when the two were teammates in Phoenix. “Another thing that’s cool is something that Shaq kind of got me into, is connecting with fans,” Dudley explained. “My whole thing is, I wish when I was a kid, that I could have got free tickets. I never went to NBA games or baseball games, so it’s a way to connect with the fans.” NBA.com

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN CLIPPERS HISTORY
Getty Images

Modern-day Clippers like Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are among the all-time best players in franchise history.

September 27, 2013 | 08:15 PM ET Update

The New York Knicks have signed veteran forward Ike Diogu, who has been out of the NBA for nearly all of the last two seasons. The team announced the move Friday. ESPN.com

Howard, for the moment anyway, appears to have found his new home. "In Orlando, the years that we went to the Finals and made it deep into the playoffs, we spent a lot of time together," he said. "I really like that about this team. It's a close knit team. The chemistry is already there. We spend time with each other. Also, we've been texting and talking about ways we can improve as a team. That's one thing I really like. "For any team to be successful, you have to have a great environment. You don't want to work in a bad place. What happened in LA was just unfortunate. We were all playing with injuries last season, and things that happened. (But) it's over. It's done with. You can't go back and pull different situations out and talk about it. I'm in a better place mentally, physically and spiritually now, so I'm looking forward to the season." USA Today Sports

When will Russell Westbrook return? The All-Star point guard, perhaps unintentionally, added to the ambiguity when he uttered three frightful words. “I'm not sure,” Westbrook said when asked specifically whether he is “expecting” or “hoping” to be back for the start of the regular season. “I just wake up in the morning, get to my rehab and then go back to sleep and do it all over again. I just take it one day at a time, man, and try not to look ahead. When something like this happens you have to take it slow. I mean, there's no need for me to rush into looking ahead on the schedule or anything like that. Just take it one day at a time and try to find a way to get back.” Oklahoman

Westbrook and Thunder general manager Sam Presti expressed similar sentiments earlier this week to The Oklahoman, and Westbrook's media session Friday reinforced those statements more than shed any more light on when the All-Star point guard will make his 2013-14 debut. Westbrook hasn't played since April 24, when Houston guard Patrick Beverley dove into his right leg and tore his lateral meniscus. At his preseason news conference Wednesday, Presti said Westbrook is “healing properly” and “on pace.” Oklahoman

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN BULLS HISTORY
Getty Images

Very few doubts with the Top 2, but who comes after Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen?

September 27, 2013 | 07:44 PM ET Update

Hedo Turkoglu remains on the Orlando Magic’s roster for now, but his days playing for the team are over. Although team officials and Turkoglu’s camp have not reached a buyout deal, both sides have agreed that Turkoglu will not be with the team when it convenes for the start of training camp Tuesday or at any time after that. “Our organization has a great deal of respect for Hedo and the contributions he’s made to the team over the years,” Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan told the Orlando Sentinel. Orlando Sentinel

Former UConn star Charlie Villanueva was recently in court to testify that a man took $250,000 of Villanueva's NBA money, allegedly for a real estate investment, and spent it on personal indulgences, including a really, really bad pitch tape for a TV reality series about the stresses and strains of, to use his words, "being an NBA legend." The (dubious) legend in question is ex-player and current defendant Tate George, who until recently stood mainly as a cautionary tale about what happens when you take the passion you once had for guarding the Fab Five and direct it at Five Guys instead. Hartford Courant

Ex-Philadelphia 76ers star Nick Young couldn't possibly be guilty of raping the woman who's suing him, because his DNA doesn't match the DNA police collected from her ... according to documents Young just filed. In Young's legal response to his accuser ... he says the lack of DNA evidence should be enough to dismiss her sexual battery lawsuit -- and further, he claims the woman is just making a money grab. As TMZ first reported back in May ... the woman claims Young drugged her and raped her after they met at Crown Bar in West Hollywood. TMZ.com

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN LAKERS HISTORY
Getty Images

Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson headline a fantastic list that includes up to 33 NBA champions.

September 27, 2013 | 06:06 PM ET Update

As one rival team executive said of Thursday’s moves: “It was all to keep Carmelo.” The same executive said he believed that, if the decision had to be made now, Anthony would leave. Bleacher Report

Anthony is said to be agitating for change, for help on the court, for reassurance that the Knicks are capable of acquiring elite talent. If he elects to stay next summer, it will have to be with the confidence that the Knicks can land another star in 2015, when they are expected to have millions in cap room. Bleacher Report

Sebastian Telfair has received interest from a number of NBA teams this offseason, but sources close to the situation say that he’s also considering signing a deal with a team in Europe. The 28-year-old continues to weigh his options. If he signs overseas, it’s possible that he could sign with an NBA team later in the season once he has returned to the United States. Telfair spent last season with the Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors. HoopsWorld

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed center Dan Gadzuric, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released. NBA.com

So with Friday being the Thunder's media day, it was Durant's turn at the response to the response to the response to the response, and he took the high road, heaping praise on Wade. "Dwyane Wade is a great, great player, man," Durant said. "I'm not discrediting anything he's done or nothing like that. I just voiced my opinion. He's a great, great player. Finals MVP and champion. I didn't mean to disrespect that or take that away or anything. I just voiced my opinion as of today. I love you D-Wade, man. It's just competition." Durant's right (about voicing his opinion). He was asked, and he answered. He said what he thought and Wade took offense to it. Don't we want professional athletes to give us their honest answers? CBSSports.com

Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose is "way more confident" as he returns to the court for the first time in 18 months following knee surgery, and he said his main focus is leading his team to an NBA title. "The thing that drives me is just winning the championship," Rose said Friday at Bulls media day. "That's the only thing on my resume that I'm missing. This is a great time to do it where everybody is watching. It's the biggest stage you could possibly play on. My teammates are preparing themselves for a big year and I am too. It should be a crazy, magical year where I think there's going to be a lot of people watching. It should be exciting to the Bulls fans." ESPN.com

Jason Richardson doesn’t expect to play until “January, maybe February,” as the 12th-year guard continues his rehab following left knee surgery in February. He said as much Friday at PCOM, during the 76ers' media day proceedings. Richardson said his recovery workouts are limited to weight-lifting, as his doctors have warned him against impact conditioning. He might be able to resume basketball activities as early as November. Sixers Dish

Troubled NBA star Lamar Odom has taken a page from Amanda Bynes' playbook and hired her lawyer for drunken-driving case in southern California. Lawyer Richard Hutton appeared on Odom’s behalf in a Van Nuys courtroom Friday and got the athlete's arraignment postponed to Oct. 10. New York Daily News

September 27, 2013 | 03:53 PM ET Update

How are you feeling physically? Alex Len: I'm feeling good. I've started playing. I've been playing for two days already, playing pick-up games. My ankles are feeling good and I'm ready for training camp so I'm looking forward to it. Q: Are you back to 100% and totally cleared to play? Alex Len: Not 100% yet. When I play pick-up games, I start every game but they pull me off to the side after a couple minutes because they don't want me to overdo it before the season, you know? I haven't played for about 5 months so I'm out of shape. Training camp is going to be a lot of running just to get in shape, get my wind back. Bright Side of the Sun

One early sign: According to league sources, Silver has begun to play more of the bad-cop role in certain negotiations. In a recent meeting on league business, Silver was feisty and combative while Stern kept his distance and couldn't have been nicer, one person familiar with the talks said. Sounds like the new boss is going to be a lot like the old boss. CBSSports.com

The NBA is on an international push and why not? Its players want to push their brand internationally, particularly in Asia, and each NBA team has a 1/30th share of NBA INternational. Yormark is not shy about the ultimate plan for the Nets, as the Nets CEO tells Bloomberg News. "We want to be the home NBA team in Beijing. We want to be the home NBA team in Moscow. So we have global aspirations and with the star power we have now, and especially when you speak to Russia with Andrei Kirilenko, we have the direct connect to those consumers and now we have to leverage it." NetsDaily

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN JAZZ HISTORY
Getty Images

Karl Malone and John Stockton are followed by a player whose jersey was just recently retired by the Jazz and another one that gets booed when he returns to Salt Lake City.

September 27, 2013 | 02:56 PM ET Update

Without a contract into the start of training camp, free agent forward Mickael Pietrus will scour the market over the next few weeks in hopes – and expectation – of a full salary guarantee to sign with an NBA team, a league source told RealGM. Pietrus has worked out with several teams, including the San Antonio Spurs two weeks ago, and the 31-year-old recently rejected a training camp invitation from a team, a source said. RealGM

China CBA new comer Sichuan added Iran NT Super Star and best Asian center Hamed Haddadi to their roster . Haddadi played last 5 seasons in NBA. His contract will be +1.3 Million USD for season. Haddadi start last season with Memphis Grizzlies (NBA) then he got traded to Toronto Raptors (NBA). after that he signed at Phoenix Suns (NBA) where he averaged 4.1ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.2bpg in 17 games. Asia-Basket.com

Scott Agness: Pacers have officially signed @Rasual Butler and Hilton Armstrong. They’ll have 17 in camp. Full roster: http://t.co/rQ3JzsZNms Twitter @ScottAgness

Despite making an immediate impact as a rookie last season, New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis still lacked the necessary strength to battle efficiently against bigger post players. At 6 feet 10, 220 pounds, he often couldn’t deny players from easily backing into him to get their desired shots near the basket. But given clearance to eat just about anything he wanted, Davis spent most of the offseason working to bulk up. With training camp set to open Tuesday, Davis hopes a stronger upper body and a few extra pounds will make a difference. ``I have gained at least 10 to 12 pounds, and I want to gain at least five more,’’ said Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012.``That’s the ideal goal for me right now. I’ve been staying on top of it, eating more and gaining weight. "I’m eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything helps and it is showing.’’ New Orleans Times-Picayune

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Chase Budinger has cartilage damage to his left knee and will visit noted sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews next week. Budinger re-signed with Minnesota in July after spending an injury-filled first season with the Timberwolves. He tore meniscus in his left knee early last season and underwent surgery in November, returning in March to play a total of 23 games. The Sports Network

Philadelphia 76ers forward Arnett Moultrie is expected to be out until at least January with an injured left ankle that required surgery. Moultrie suffered an injured medial malleolus of his ankle last week and underwent surgery on Thursday. Fresno Bee

The 43-year-old Raptors GM reaches back to his days in Europe. He was on a team in Belgium’s second division. They were in a playoff against another, markedly less talented squad. They’d lost the first two games. Ujiri was travelling between cities with a Congolese teammate and a couple of journalists. One journalist put that question to Ujiri’s teammate, “Do you feel pressure?” “He started laughing and he looked at me. He said, ‘I have an uncle in the Congo . . . ’ — this was during the war — ‘. . . His wife just died, probably of AIDS. He has eight children. The youngest is six months. He has no job. They all live in one room. He has no hope. He doesn’t know how he’s going to feed them tomorrow. That’s pressure.’ ” Toronto Star

Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry has left Nike to become the centerpiece endorser for Under Armour, sources told Yahoo Sports. Curry, 25, has developed into one of the NBA's best players, its most devastating outside shooter and one of its most coveted endorsers. Yahoo! Sports

NBA Media Day kicked off on Friday, and Evan Turner of the Philadelphia 76ers was getting ready to provide his insightful thoughts on the upcoming season after losing Andrew Bynum and Jrue Holiday in the offseason. Thinking that the camera wasn’t rolling just yet, the guard decided to have a little fun with the mic. Unfortunately, the camera did roll at the worst time possible, at least for Turner. SheridanHoops

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN HEAT HISTORY
Getty Images

Many players from the current squad in the list – including the two guys at the top.

September 27, 2013 | 09:30 AM ET Update

The Kings have reached an agreement on a contract extension with center DeMarcus Cousins for four years worth approximately $62 million, league sources confirmed Thursday night. The most Cousins was eligible for under the collective bargaining agreement was five years and $80 million. The contract takes effect for the 2014-15 season. Sacramento Bee

Cousins deal will include no early termination option, which could've been possible after the third year of the deal, a source said. Yahoo! Sports

No matter his involvement in a project, the talk always circles back to James’ plans when he becomes a free agent in mid-2014. There’s speculation he may jump ship for the Los Angeles Lakers, though he seems pretty happy living the Miami dream. “I miss the slower pace back home but have grown used to my new city’s little perks like fresh fish and sweet fruit,” he said, already thinking of a retirement homestead. “It will definitely be someplace warm. I don’t want to go back to cold winters.” WWD.com

The Heat wanted to bring in point guard Roddy Beaubois, who averaged 7.1 points for Dallas the past four seasons, for an audition, but a wrist injury prevented it. Miami Herald

Harden told Comcast SportsNet in Houston today that he believes the Wade/Durant exchange was genuine. Asked if he's a top 10 player, Harden said: "For sure. Last year, I got a chance to prove it... I've kind of always been looked over." Rockets center Dwight Howard said: "I told James [to] just stay away from [getting involved in the Wade/Durant back and forth]. We do our talking on the floor." Miami Herald

Thomas has since been dismissed by F.I.U., so that conflict no longer exists. A person with ties to Madison Square Garden and with knowledge of the Knicks’ situation maintained that the hiring of Mills would not set the stage for Thomas to have an influential role with the team. “This is not an Isiah story,” said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. New York Times

Kaplan said Grunwald "couldn't have handled that tough situation better." He also disagreed with the way Dolan treated Grunwald, who was reassigned on Thursday and replaced by Steve Mills. Here's what Kaplan said about the move: "Glen's firing is absurd and the timing is cruel. Here is a guy that remarkably created a winning atmosphere in one of the most toxic NBA environments today," Kaplan said in an email to ESPNNewYork.com. "He did everything he was asked to do by his owner, and did it with a smile on his face. The only good news is that some lucky team will have Glen fall in its lap and he can finally work for a team that appreciates his enormous talent and class." ESPN.com

While speaking with league sources about the four-year contract extension DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to with the Kings in principle, I learned another interesting bit of information: NBA Commissioner David Stern plans to attend the Kings home/season opener Oct. 30 at Sleep Train Arena. I am assuming Stern will be in Miami the previous night for the championship ring ceremony at the Heat-Bulls game, and then just hop onto his private jet for the 3,000-mile flight to California. No one should be surprised. Keeping the Kings in Sacramento has been on Stern's 'to do" list for at least a decade. And, obviously, his relationship with Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, and former Golden State Warriors minority owner Vivek Ranadive - who had been itching to become a majority partner - facilitated the sale of the team and the proposed downtown arena. After this ordeal, there is no way the Commissioner, who retires Feb. 1, misses out on the emotional opening night celebration. Sacramento Bee

It wasn’t that long ago that a few of us, myself included, were very intrigued by the possibility of Terrence Williams backing up Rajon Rondo. Then, in May, TWill got himself caught up in a bit of a mess that involved accusations of pulling a gun on the mother of his child. I spoke to his attorney Aaron Kiviat today, and he told me that King County Prosecutors have decided not to pursue the case. In a statement, his attorney said the following: Terrence feels grateful for the diligent and thorough investigation that the King County Prosecutors Office and the Kent Police Department conducted in this matter. Terrence was confident from the beginning that he had acted in self-defense, and is vindicated in knowing that law enforcement felt the same way after reviewing all of the evidence presented to them. RedsArmy.com

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