HoopsHype rumors


December 22, 2014 | 08:51 AM ET Update

Weekend Trade Rumble: Heard various Pacers were asked if Indy should try to bring Lance Stephenson back. Response NOT one of encouragement. That's Charlotte's challenge in trying to move Stephenson. Pacers were worn out by season's end & he had Hornets exasperated in record time Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

Suns guard Goran Dragic left open the possibility of going to any team in free agency when talking before Saturday's game and stuck to the idea after the game when asked again about being an unrestricted free agent in July. "It's still early to talk about that," Dragic said. "Right now, I want to be 100 percent focused on the team and try to help the team and players. In the offseason, I'm going to probably sit down with my family first and with my agent and try to explore all the options. From there, I'll try to choose the one best for me." Arizona Republic

"As an athlete, you need to be focused every game," Dragic said. "That's why, even if there's some trade rumors, I never read those and I never pay attention because that's a really bad thing. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. The only thing I can do is be a good professional and be ready every game and help my teammates." Arizona Republic

But when asked if he’d consider heading overseas, the Italian 7-footer bristled. "You asking me if I still want to play in the NBA?" Bargnani said. "Why wouldn’t I? You mean homesick? Right now my focus is coming back. I’m not thinking about that. I love playing in the NBA. I’m in the NBA. Right now all my focus is, I got to get back." Bergen Record

The coach said general manager Sam Hinkie will pick the addition to the roster. A team source said that former Sixer Malcolm Thomas is among the candidates. The power forward was waived on Nov. 10. At the time, he had to have knee surgery that sidelined him four weeks. Philadelphia Inquirer

Zoran said he has no regrets about negotiating a buyout from Spanish club Unicaja Malaga to come to the NBA, even if it means being relegated to developing through individual work and rare practices. "I know it's my rookie year and that's how it is," Zoran said. "I must be patient and practice hard. When I get an opportunity, I need to show what I have. "I am happy. Everybody basketball player's dream is to come to the NBA but my dream was to come here and stay in the NBA." Arizona Republic

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook took exception to questions Sunday about his perceived lack of passing following the Thunder's 101-99 loss to the Pelicans. "It's one game, man. I'm not going to keep answering questions about me not passing when we lose," Westbrook said. "When we won eight in a row, nobody said nothing about me not passing. So I don't want to hear it now." ESPN.com

In those final 298 seconds, Westbrook didn’t pass the ball. Not one time. I don’t mean he got no assists. I mean, he didn’t pass the ball. Westbrook took eight shots, most of them belonging in the dubious category, contested drives or quick long balls. Westbrook made just one of those eight shots and committed another turnover. The Thunder scored a solitary two points in the final 5 1/2 minutes and lost to the Pelicans 101-99 Sunday night. Oklahoman

Dalembert claimed he was the recipient of a Valanciunas elbow earlier in the game and was simply trying to break free of his opponent’s hold. Under NBA rules, the league reviews flagrant-2 infractions for possible suspensions. “I did see the replay,’’ Dalembert told The Post while mingling with his Canadian relatives. “Honestly, if I really wanted to hit him, he wouldn’t be playing right now. He was holding my arms. I kept mentioning that. Actually he was the one who elbowed me in the first half. He kept holding me, I said, ‘Stop holding my arms,’ and I made that sudden movement and I actually hit him.’’ New York Post

Dalembert said there was talk about the Knicks sending the tape to the NBA to attempt to reverse the call. “He was a little exaggerating,’’ Dalembert said. “Maybe the way it looked on TV wasn’t what it was. If I really hit him, he’d be really like …’’ Dalembert recently lost his starting job, but coach Derek Fisher started him to open the second half. The Knicks already were depleted with Amar’e Stoudemire taking another “recovery day’’ and not making the trip. “I was upset,’’ Dalembert said. “It was the first time in my career I got kicked out. I didn’t like the fact … I didn’t try to do anything intentionally. We were all physical down there.’’ New York Post

Young surprisingly did not draw an NBA-imposed suspension despite shoving his right forearm to the throat of Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in Friday’s game. Young was soon called for a flagrant foul 2 and ejected. “I’m a nice guy, man,” Young boasted before playing in the Lakers’ 108-101 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday at Sleep Train Arena. “‘Swaggy P’ don’t get fined!” Los Angeles Daily News

“I don’t try to get into what the league thinks,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “I just knew that when I didn’t hear anything today that it was good news. Normally, you don’t hear the league calling you and saying, ‘He’s not suspended.’ I didn’t think it was enough to warrant a suspension. But I also understand the rules about above the shoulders.” Los Angeles Daily News

Young has whispered in recent days about participating the NBA’s 3-point shooting contest. After shooting 4 of 9 from the perimeter against the Kings, Young basically roared by boasting “I’m the best 3-point shooter in the league.” Los Angeles Daily News

Waiters contributed 13 points in the fourth quarter, doing so one game after he didn't play a single minute in the second half of a win Friday. "I mean, he's learning every day," James said of Waiters. "He's a young guy. He hasn't experienced much in this league. For him to have a game like he did today, we needed it. We needed a spark off the bench. He was aggressive, he was decisive with what he wanted to do, and it was a huge, huge boost for our bench." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Alex Kennedy: Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel had a heated exchange during tonight's win vs ORL. Brett Brown said he loved the passion/intensity. Twitter @AlexKennedyNBA

A sore and struggling Kobe Bryant is considering taking some time off to rest. "I don't have much of a choice if the body is feeling the way it's feeling right now," Bryant told Yahoo Sports. "You got to be smart. You got to make sure you get enough return on your investment. With the amount of work that I do and put into my body and to get my body ready, for it to be sore as it is right now, sometimes you do have to consider sitting down. Yahoo! Sports

When asked if Bryant's offensive struggles were due to fatigue or being aggressive offensively, Scott said: "That's fatigue. I think that goes hand in hand. I'm going to think about it tonight and sit down with Kobe tomorrow and we'll talk about it. We'll come up with a solution and try to figure out the next few games and what we want to do." Yahoo! Sports

Right now, Grizzlies swingman Tony Allen can’t see a return to action anytime soon. “Nah, man. My eye is messed up. It hurts,” Allen said on the eve of the Griz game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in Quicken Loans Arena. Allen likely won’t play for a third straight game. Judging by how his right eye looks, it’s difficult to know when he’ll play. Allen has a right corneal abrasion, an injury suffered last Tuesday when he got poked in the eye during a victory over the Golden State Warriors. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Chris Dempsey: Gallo is expected to have surgery in the next day or two, and there is a tentative timetable now; out three weeks. #Nuggets Twitter @dempseypost

Winning over the royal son of the franchise, cornerstone Stephen Curry, was an important first step. Curry was close with former coach Mark Jackson, and the Warriors’ superstar was vocally unhappy when Jackson was fired. “It was two separate decisions that were made this summer,” Curry told FOX Sports after the Warriors' recent win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. “I wasn’t happy with the first one, letting Mark go. But obviously if that was the decision they made, they better get the right hire, and I think they did. Obviously, it’s shown with how we’re playing. “He’s the right man for the job.” FoxSports.com

“He’s been great,” Curry said. “He’s very comfortable in his role. He started this summer with reaching out to every player and expressing what their role was going to be and how he envisioned running the team. That he wasn’t coming in trying to reinvent the wheel with drastic changes because we were already a 51-win team with pretty much the same core back in action and great talent around us. “He understood he was taking over a solid roster. We could get better; obviously, we didn’t win a championship. But we were very competitive and laid a foundation for success. It wasn’t that he was building from the ground up. It was just about fine tuning what he saw we could do better.” FoxSports.com

Asked how the new coaching staff fits in with this locker room, Green lumped them right in. “It’s a great coaching staff. Easy to get along with. Easy to accept coaching from. Easy to accept criticism from. They do a great job. They’re fun guys, not uptight. Not that our last coaching staff was uptight either. They do their job, and we have fun together. It’s a good combination.” FoxSports.com

There were people who questioned your ability to coach at the beginning. Did you ever question your ability to coach? Jason Kidd: No. I never thought, "This is not for me." I thought I was doing the right thing the whole time. Bleacher Report

What did you think about that criticism? Jason Kidd: It was no different than me being a player. They've always questioned me. I'm the lightning rod for being questioned. I was trying to tape that thing together with duct tape. I was trying to stay positive. Coming in every day wondering if we could practice because we had injuries and an older team. We all learned from each other. We learned we weren't going to quit. When it turned, it turned. It's almost like anything I've been involved in—it's always bad and at some point it turns good. Bleacher Report

What would you do different about your exit from Brooklyn? Jason Kidd: Nothing. B/R: If they had given you what you were looking for, would you still be there? Jason Kidd: I didn't ask for anything. I asked them to improve the franchise. B/R: What's the biggest misconception about how you left? Jason Kidd: The power struggle. There was no power struggle. There's still no power struggle. Bleacher Report

What prompted you to leave or ask out? Jason Kidd: They wanted to fire me, they didn't think I was doing a good job, and when I say "they" I mean management. Then it all changed when things started going well. Also I think the biggest thing, and we don't talk about it anymore, but Brooklyn gave Milwaukee permission to talk to me. That's where it all starts and ends. It's as simple as it gets. Everybody can run with their conspiracy theories or power struggles. But at the end of the day, Milwaukee asked Brooklyn for permission and they granted it. Bleacher Report

At what point was Brooklyn talking about firing you? Jason Kidd: Early December. So things got better, but you hadn't forgotten that? Jason Kidd: Oh yeah. I don't forget anything. But that never stopped me from doing my job. Bleacher Report

The other Jordan CP3 sneaker, the signature line by Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, also Jack's favorite player, was placed on his mother's grave in Erie. The shoes were the last gift Lisa Elaine Gallagher gave her youngest child before she died of brain cancer in September at age 49, and Jack wore them long after it became obvious they were too small for his rapidly growing feet. “He really struggled with the loss of his mother,” said his father, Mike Gallagher, 51, who has Pittsburgh roots. “He said, ‘But they're Mom's shoes.’ ” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mr. Paul wrote the initials on his shoes and led the Clippers to a 104-98 victory, scoring 23 points in an emotional night for Jack, his father and the National Basketball Assoication superstar. “Some things are bigger than the game of basketball,” Mr. Paul said in a television interview after the game. “As a kid, I couldn't imagine losing any of my family members, let alone my mom, and to see how strong he was was inspiring to me.” Mr. Gallagher said the chance for his son to meet Mr. Paul and his teammates “really brought him out of the shell he was in.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Former NBA big man Daniel Orton was involved in a brawl during a CBA game. Per Basketball Buddha, And on Sunday, December 21st 2014, Orton lost control and took on th entire Tianjin team after one of their players pissed him off by tying him up in a semi leglock. Sportando

The Chicago Bulls are currently in 4th place in the NBA Eastern Conference, but they’re in first place in having fancy nights out on the town. Pau Gasol took his teammate Nazr Mohammad to the opera this weekend, because they are more cultured than you. Yes you, you simpleton. For The Win

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