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December 18, 2014 | 09:58 AM ET Update

Given Rondo's looming unrestricted free agency, any deal would have to come with assurances that he'd be willing to re-sign with his new team. While those discussions have yet to take place with agent Bill Duffy since no trade agreement is in place, a person familiar with Rondo's thinking said the possibility of competing for championships in Dallas or Houston intrigues him. CBSSports.com

Ken Berger: LAL more viable option in free agency than trade for Rondo. Best asset is 1-5 protected pick, which could move if Rondo makes them better. Twitter @KBergCBS

Ben Rohrbach: Ainge says he'd like to see Rondo shoot more. "I know he can shoot it, but he just loves passing." #LoveActually Twitter @brohrbach

A player that increasingly intrigues Raptors management is Memphis centre Marc Gasol. The Spaniard is a free agent this summer. The greatest lack on the Raptors roster is a truly dominant big man. Gasol is a Jungian figure that features prominently in GM Masai Ujiri’s bedside dream diary. Gasol, 29, has good fiduciary and competitive reasons to stay where he is, but it’s still the Western Conference. He might be great for five or six more years and never make it past the second round of the playoffs. Maybe Gasol can be convinced that he should take a free-agent discount in order to ride roughshod over the Eastern Conference for the foreseeable future. Toronto Globe & Mail

So we all know what Anthony must know — that even money can’t can’t gloss over the mistake he made. But he steadfastly insisted as he readied for this trip that he won’t allow regrets to drift into his mind. “No, if I start doing that and saying what if to myself and second-guessing and questioning myself, it won’t be right,” Anthony said. “For me, mentally, it won’t be right, so I’ll not allow myself to sway toward asking myself what if with this situation or that situation. “What’s done is done. I kind of don’t look at it, I kind of don’t think about it anymore. That’s in the past for me, just a situation that I had to deal with, that I went through this off-season. As far as now and thinking about that situation, it doesn’t even come close to me thinking about that.” Bergen Record

After all, when you have been where he has, being unsure whether you will start or not doesn't even register on the drama scale. His NBA journey to this point? "If I wanted to complain about it, I would say it's been unfair,'' Robinson said. "If I stick to me and not complain about it, I would say I've just had a tough road.'' Oregonian

Mitch McGary’s rough rookie season continues. The Thunder forward will miss the next 2-3 weeks with periostitis (inflammation) in his left tibia. It's not expected to be a serious injury, but McGary's court activity will be lowered as a treatment. This news comes only a few days after McGary finally made his NBA debut, scoring three points and grabbing four rebounds in six brief minutes against the Suns on Sunday. Oklahoman

Mark Cuban's negotiations with Sony might have been released by a hacker, but don't expect the majority of his communications with Mavericks players to ever make it into the public sphere. The Mavericks owner told For The Win that he communicates with his team using Cyber Dust, the private messaging app he introduced earlier this year. The app quickly deletes messages after they are read and alerts users when a screengrab is taken. "What happened … can and will happen to more athletes," he said in a conversation with For The Win over the app. Indianapolis Star

Former Phoenix Suns forward Richard Dumas has pleaded guilty to two counts of theft after being accused of stealing merchandise from an exchange store. Maricopa County prosecutors say 45-year-old Dumas entered his plea Thursday. He's scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 20. Contra Costa Times

December 18, 2014 | 07:13 AM ET Update

Adrian Wojnarowski: The Dallas Mavericks are serious suitors for Rajon Rondo, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Houston's discussed Rondo deal with Boston too. Twitter @WojYahooNBA

As part of package, the Mavericks are willing to give Boston a 2015 first-round pick with limited lottery protection, sources told Yahoo Sports. Before a deal is consummated, Dallas needs to confer with Rondo's agent, Bill Duffy, about the franchise's ability to re-sign him as a free agent in the summer. Those conversations wouldn't happen until an agreement is in place. Yahoo! Sports

The prime plan, as noted here for more than a year, has been to add a high-quality player to a rotation featuring Rondo, believing this would be the quickest way to push the club toward contender status. That was the desire last summer when the Celts tried most everything possible, to no avail, to get into the Kevin Love sweepstakes. Boston Herald

That was the plan to some degree even into last week. But president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has, according to league sources, begun to realize that the chances of acquiring an impact player are moving from slim to pipe dream and that the feared longer rebuild may be on the horizon. Boston Herald

The third option, if the Celtics cannot get a star to pair with him or get a worthwhile return in trade, would be to let Rondo walk. This would be the last choice, but word continues to be strong that the club will not take on anything that might weigh down its rebuilding just to get something for its best player. Boston Herald

Every year around this time, the trade rumors start swirling around the Celtics point guard, and this season is no different. “It’s a way of life since I’ve been here,” he said after Wednesday’s win over the Magic. “It’s just part of it.” WEEI.com

While the Celtics seem willing to part with Rondo for the right price, Rondo reiterated publicly his desire to stay in Boston. “How many times do you want me to say it?” he asked. “We discussed it on media day. My thoughts and my opinions as far as the organization hasn’t changed, so … I’m enjoying life. You can’t win ‘em all, but these guys are funny, I’m young and I’m doing what I love to do. It’s a dream come true. I can’t be upset about anything, really. “I just want to be a better person each year, be a better teammate each year, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job so far, just trying to lead these young guys. I’m not that old, but they make me feel like it.” WEEI.com

Adrian Wojnarowski: Trade market for Lance Stephenson continues to be lean for Charlotte, league sources tell Yahoo. Talks with Indiana yet to gain traction. Twitter @WojYahooNBA

Charlie Villanueva: On his decision process of choosing the Mavericks over the Clippers: "To be honest, when I was with coach [Rick] Carlisle it just seemed so real. He was speaking from the heart. That's what I loved about him. Obviously, his resume speaks for itself. Just sitting down to talk to him man to man. I was there for two days and he personally worked me out both days. It just showed how much he cared about his players and wants his players to be successful. The thing that he always said was like, if I did decide to come here that he would make sure that I would become a better player. Not to take nothing away from what the Clippers and Doc Rivers is doing, but it just felt right with Rick. It was just a feeling. I went with a feeling in my gut and I feel like I made the right move." Dallas Morning News

Irving is frustrated that his shot isn’t falling, but he admitted to losing track of Mack a couple of times on Wednesday. (It was more than a couple). Irving’s defense is improved over past seasons, but now comes the next important step when he has to learn how to do it every single night. That goes for all the players, not just Irving. Akron Beacon Journal

The crowd, which was amped early, left in the fourth quarter as the Cavs turned in their most disappointing performance of the year. Losing happens, especially against a talented team like the Hawks, but the fight wasn't there, something Blatt admitted after the game. It left him sitting at the podium after the game with very little to say. "I don't want to get up and walk out of here, that's not fair to you," Blatt said. "I really don't have too much to say. That was embarrassing how we played. I apologize to all the good fans that came out here as they always do. Really just a poor, poor performance and I don't really have a whole lot to say." Cleveland Plain Dealer

The three ball was Atlanta's weapon of choice, hitting 16-of-28, including a franchise-record nine in the second quarter as the Hawks outscored Cleveland, 39-26, to take a halftime lead. "Very damaging," James said of the Hawks' three-point shooting. "A three ball is an equalizer in our game. That's the way they go. They had five or six uncontested threes and we can't accept that. If guys are going to make shots, they have to make shots over us, contested. We can be satisfied with that but we can't be satisfied with the open looks they got." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Bucks General Manager John Hammond sensed from his first encounter with Parker that the player’s desire to be special, plus his support system, separated him from other rookies. “He came in for his press conference and I’m sitting there next to him and I’m thinking, ‘Is this guy 19 or 29?’ Because he had that kind of poise, that kind of maturity about him already,” Hammond said. Washington Post

Bucks Coach Jason Kidd benched Parker for the entire fourth quarter of wins against Memphis and Oklahoma City last month. After matching his season low with six points in a similarly season-low 21 minutes in the Thunder win, Parker emerged from the training room with an ice pack on his right shoulder — the result of a strain suffered during summer league — but offered no excuses or complaints. “No need to get back out there if it’s working,” Parker said, while adding Kidd didn’t need to explain his decision for not playing him in those situations. “I can get an idea of what I need to do to stay on the floor. Be aggressive, do things that I can do on the defensive end, to make sure I can do my assignments.” Washington Post

Now Parker is left with a long road to recovery. But he is also left with the measured calm of an “old soul.” And he is left with that imagination he lauded to the children at Discovery World. The scoring touch that propelled him to average 14.3 points on shooting 60.6 percent in six games in December, including a 22-point game against James’s Cavaliers, will do him little good in the days ahead. Wisdom and imagination — tools that have brought him so far already — must now be relied upon once again. “For me, stay consistent, stay on yourself,” Parker said when asked about motivations in November. “The goal is to try to be remembered as much as possible. Washington Post

Parker began fantasizing about a career in the NBA when he was about 6. He grew up watching old tapes of his father, Sonny, a wing with the Warriors in the late ’70s and early ‘80s. He studied the greats while watching “NBA Hardwood Classics” and mimicked their moves at the Mormon Church in Chicago’s Hyde Park. But as he navigated through his lone season at Duke, and his play began to resemble that of a high lottery pick, the dream gave way to angst and the road ahead of him became real. “I was afraid of leaving, afraid of what could happen in the future,” Parker said. “You don’t want to go away from school. You grow up when you go away from school. Nobody wants to grow up.” Washington Post

Jeff McDonald: Patty Mills (shoulder) has graduated to contact work, went through entire shootaround today. Still looking at January return, per Pop. Twitter @JMcDonald_SAEN

"Michael Malone is a good man," Ranadive said. "He's an honorable man, and he did great things for this organization. ... We needed a coach [in 2013] that would restore structure, restore discipline, restore a system defense, and I consulted with some of the experts in the business and they said [Malone] was a great choice." ESPN.com

Charlie Villanueva on how he proposed to his fiancée: "Well the good thing is that my lady so happened to be from Dallas. That kind of worked out. I was nervous, to be honest. I've never been that nervous in my life. It was worse than sitting in the green room waiting for my name to be called. I went out to dinner and took her to the American Airlines Center and that's where I did it. I just felt like it was right, her being from Dallas, watching the Mavericks growing up to now being with a Maverick. I just felt like doing it in Dallas was the right spot." Dallas Morning News

When the Raptors went to Drake — the team’s “Global Ambassador” — and asked him during which game he wanted to hold “Drake Night,” his choice was easy. “If there’s anybody I want to beat, it’s the Nets,” the rapper said before the Raptors went out and did just that, 105-89, at Air Canada Center on Wednesday night. “I had some conversations with the guys and asked them to overdo it for me,” he continued with a smile. “I got to choose which game was going to be ‘Drake Night’ this year, and I felt like this was the one.” New York Post

BUZZ METER: WHO'S TRENDING IN THE NBA TWITTERSPHERE?

Who's the man of the minute in the NBA Twittersphere? Find out here who's getting the most mentions at any given moment.

   

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