HoopsHype rumors


December 20, 2014 | 08:35 PM ET Update

Alex Raskin: Regarding the @Adrian Wojnarowski report about the #Nets, #Kings and Deron Williams: Sacto made the call and talks are not ongoing. Twitter @alexraskinNYC

Without Lopez, second-year big man Mason Plumlee has starred, averaging 14.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in Lopez’s absence. Despite the Nets current three-game losing streak, the former Duke star has reached double figures in his past five games and scored a career-high 23 points in a loss at Toronto on Wednesday. “It’s not just offense, defensively he’s rebounded better, he’s rotating better. He’s just doing,” Hollins said. “Instead of thinking, ‘I should be playing more, I’m not getting this, I get yelled at all the tine,’ he stood up as a man and said I have to play better. Once he acknowledged that, he started playing better.” New York Post

David 'Dubi' Pick: Mavericks Rajon Rondo takes Jason Kidd's old locker. Awesome nugget from my guy @BallinWithBryan. Twitter @IAmDPick

Prior to the Trail Blazers’ game versus the Pelicans Saturday night in New Orleans, Lopez addressed the rumor linking the 7-0 center to the 5-10 television personality from Calabasas, CA. Lopez said that, while he cant divine Khloe’s desires, he can understand why the tabloids would float their names as a potential item. “You know, I’m not exactly certain of the veracity of those rumors,” said Lopez. “But what I can comment on, I suppose, is the fabrication of that power couple by the press. Obviously they were looking for two people with a lot of influence on popular culture, on the youth, and they were looking for two movers and shakers. Frankly, I’m not surprised they came up with my name.” Forward Center

Though Lopez knows there’s a downside to being a budding superhunk. There’s a potential for British-invasion, teen girl pandemonium breaking out in ever city RoLo travels to. Despite the dangers, Lopez says it’s his duty to give the world as much Lopez as they can handle, for the sake of humanity. “In the end, the Beatles went down in history, didn’t they?,” said Lopez. “I think the four men of the Beatles are an apt comparison for one Robin Lopez.” Forward Center

December 20, 2014 | 07:31 PM ET Update

The Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings are discussing a deal centered on former All-Star guard Deron Williams, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The Nets have been shopping their high-priced star players, and the Kings have been probing the market for an impact point guard. No deal is imminent, but the talks are ongoing, sources told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo! Sports

Ohm Youngmisuk: Sources confirm @WojYahooNBA report that Nets + Kings have talked possible trade involving Deron Williams. As Woj reports, nothing imminent Twitter

Sacramento has significant interest with Williams, but a hurdle to a possible deal is the Kings’ desire to have center Mason Plumlee included into the package, league sources said. Brooklyn has considered Plumlee a significant part of its future core. The Kings have been thrilled with Collison, who has emerged as a strong leader and a popular teammate this season. There remains a reluctance for Sacramento to move him in a deal, sources said, but the Nets would need a point guard to replace Williams. Yahoo! Sports

On the bright side, barring a miraculous turnaround, the Knicks are bound for the draft lottery. They also have all those expiring contracts, onerous ones that belong to players like Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani. Remember him? Bargnani last appeared in a game on Jan. 22 — nearly a year ago. And while Bargnani will be gone by the summer, his presence will linger. As part of their deal for him with the Toronto Raptors in 2013, the Knicks gave up their 2016 first-round pick. New York Times

Chris Vivlamore: Hawks have indeed recalled Mike Muscala from D-League. Will rejoin team in Houston for tonight's game. #ATLHawks Twitter @CVivlamoreAJC

Eric Bledsoe had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Thomas scored 22 points, and the Phoenix Suns beat New York 99-90 on Saturday. It was the seventh straight home loss for the Knicks, who haven't won at MSG since beating Philadelphia on Nov. 22. New York has lost four straight overall and is 5-24. "I can just see it out there on the court, that we don't believe in ourselves to be able to go down the stretch and win basketball games," Carmelo Anthony said. USA Today Sports

Mike Miller was held out of Saturday's Cavaliers practice with a sprained right ankle he sustained in Friday's win over the Brooklyn Nets. Miller played on the ankle after rolling it, so it isn't being viewed as a significant injury. The sharpshooter was 7-of-8 from 3-point range in his first start and first game back from a concussion. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Rajon Rondo joined the Dallas Mavericks this week after he was traded away from the Boston Celtics. Saturday, the point guard had his introductory press conference in Dallas where he talked about being “fired up” and excited to play for a title contender. He was also asked an awkward question, to which he, coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban all had perfect reactions. For The Win

New York Knicks guard Pablo Prigioni has quite the warmup routine — or at least he did on Saturday’s game against the Phoenix Suns. Spoiler alert: it involved leg kicks and Tinashe’s seductive hit 2 On. For The Win


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

December 20, 2014 | 03:37 PM ET Update

The Phoenix Suns, who visited the lowly Knicks on Saturday, are in a bit of a quagmire with free agent-to-be Goran Dragic, rival executives say. Multiple teams already are inquiring as to what it would take to break up the Suns' three-headed guard rotation of Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas -- with Dragic, a prospective free agent, garnering the most attention. Coincidentally, executives have gotten the impression that Dragic is the one Phoenix would most like to keep if they do, indeed, decide to make a move. CBSSports.com

The team to watch here is Houston, which has been after Dragic since he left as a free agent in 2012. Dragic can, and will, opt out of his $7.5 million contract for next season. CBSSports.com

Dragic insisted he would not be turned off by the prospect of teaming with the grumpy Kobe Bryant. “I’m never intimidated. I don’t believe that’s the case that they’re intimidated, that nobody wants to come to LA,” Dragic said. “He’s a great basketball player, one of the best in NBA history, and they didn’t have luck with picks and some situations that they’re in, but everything can change for next season.” New York Post

The Hornets aren't having much luck drumming up quality offers for Lance Stephenson, who they signed to a three-year, $27.4 million deal this past summer. After winning 43 games last season and making the playoffs, Charlotte is an abysmal 7-19 -- and chemistry, or lack of it, is a big part of the problem. The Pacers have had high-level internal talks about making a play for Stephenson, sources say, but there's a lot of hesitation -- and for good reason. CBSSports.com

The Nets also are active in the trade market, but rival executives doubt they'll find a taker for Deron Williams, who has two years and $43 million left on his contract, or to a lesser extent, Joe Johnson, who has one year and $24.9 million left. "Those contracts are hard to swallow," one exec said. CBSSports.com

Brooklyn might have better luck unloading Brook Lopez on a rebuilding team willing to take a chance on the injury-prone center, who has one year and $16.8 million left. In any scenario, the Nets have indicated no willingness to take on contracts that go beyond next season, as they are positioned to have $50 million in cap room when the new TV deal kicks in and won't jeopardize it for a short-term fix, league sources say. CBSSports.com

Count Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant among those impressed by the Dallas Mavericks’ deal for his breakfast buddy, Rajon Rondo. “It obviously makes them a much, much better team,” Bryant told reporters in Los Angeles via ESPN.com’s Baxter Holmes. “On top of [being] a great distributor [and] an orchestrator, he’s a phenomenal defensive player as well. Makes them even more lethal.” ESPN.com

“I think or I hope nobody on the team wants to quit. We’re going to have to play until the end. I don’t care if it’s 5-and-100. We have to go out there every night and play hard,” Calderon said after the Knicks lost for the 13th time in 14 games. “We’re trying to build something. We’re trying to get something done here. We don’t know what’s going to happen, what the future is going to be for us or even what is going to happen tomorrow after all that’s going on in the NBA. New York Daily News

Joseph Goodman: Chris Bosh is out for Sunday's game against the Rondo-less Celtics. Would be surprised at this point if Bosh made it back for Christmas. Twitter @JoeGoodmanJr

An auction house is offering the winning bidder of a pair of shoes, advertised as worn by Michael Jordan during his freshman year at North Carolina, a chance to return them and get his money back. An official from Grey Flannel Auctions told ESPN.com on Sunday that it had received a letter from Lindsay Reed, who was a student manager on the team in the year before Jordan's freshman year (1980-81) and the team statistician for Jordan's freshman year, that assured them that what they sold days ago for $33,387 could not have been game worn by Jordan. "The 1981-1982 UNC basketball team did not wear blue Converse basketball shoes at any point during the...season," Reed wrote. "I challenge anyone to produce a photograph of a 1981-82 UNC basketball game (home or away) in which any member of the 1981-1982 UNC basketball team is wearing blue Converse shoes. No such photo exists." ESPN.com


There's no shortage of great players who don't have their jerseys hanging in the rafters at the arenas of the teams they starred for.

December 20, 2014 | 12:55 PM ET Update

"How many game winners has he hit like that?" Lin asked, referencing Bryant. "I'm obviously rooting for him to hit that shot. I thought it was a good look. It was a very, very hittable shot. That's just a matter of time before he starts hitting those game winners." Then Lin added, "I like game winners too. I would love to shoot some. But I get it. That guy is kind of the king of game winners. He's going to hit that shot. He'll figure it out. That's why he is who he is." ESPN.com


NBA players spend a lot on real estate. But where and how much exactly? Find out here

December 20, 2014 | 11:18 AM ET Update

Cavs General Manager David Griffin did consider trading for Corey Brewer, but decided that he wanted to hang on to his $5.3 million trade exception. Minnesota traded Brewer to Houston on Friday for Troy Daniels and two second-round picks. It's mostly a salary dump, as Brewer has the right to become a free agent after the season. Houston used its trade exception to take on Brewer's $4.7 million contract. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Griffin has decided to wait, his goal being to add another big man -- one who can block some shots and rebound. The trading deadline is February 19, and there may be some big men available close to the deadline. If Griffin had made a strong bid for Brewer, that would have been the Cavs main in-season move. The salary cap would have prevented most other deals. The trade option is the key because it allows a team to get rid of a contract (as Minnesota did with Brewer), but not take back much money. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watched his team start 19-7, lead the league in scoring and field goal percentage and register several routs. And he knew the Mavericks simply weren’t good enough to contend at the top of the Western Conference. “We needed to be better defensively,” Cuban said, following Friday evening’s news conference with new additions Rajon Rondo and Dwight Powell. Boston Herald

“I mean, teams were walking in and shooting better at the 3 than they were in the gym by themselves. So that had to change and stop. “We didn’t have a lot of length at the point guard position, either. We needed to get a lot taller or a lot longer. Rajon’s the best of both. He’s not taller, but he’s so long that he’s as good as 6-4 or 6-5, so he can guard much bigger.” Boston Herald

But the surprising move to waive Mekel freed up a roster spot and may have been a financial decision. And it might not mean Mekel is gone for good, Williams said. "We just felt like it was a move that we wanted to take a look at him," Williams said. "We thought he did a good job, (but) there are some particulars financially that I am not going to discuss, that's for Dell and his staff (to discuss). They do a good job of keeping the organization in a good place. We like (Mekel) a lot. That doesn't mean we won't bring him back. But at this point we felt like we were going to go in a different direction." New Orleans Times-Picayune

The Wizards erased a fourth-quarter deficit Friday for their sixth straight win and 11th in their last 12 games. Pierce scored 14 points for Washington (19-6), which enters play Saturday with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and the fifth-best in the NBA. "Even though we had a comeback -- that's nice and all -- but we're building for the long run," Pierce said, according to the Post. "It's not about today, winning the game today and how we won. We're building habits for the great teams, we're building habits for the playoffs, and that's what I'm looking at each and every night." ESPN.com

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says that the perception of tanking in the league is greater than the reality of it. "I absolutely don't think any team is trying to lose," Silver said in an interview with ESPN's Andy Katz for "Outside the Lines." "No player is going out there to lose," Silver continued. "In terms of management, I think there's an absolute legitimate rebuilding process that goes on. It's so hard to win in this league, and it's so complex. ESPN.com


Aside from player and team Instagram pictures, you can now check out the photos NBA cheerleaders are posting online on HoopsHype.

December 20, 2014 | 07:53 AM ET Update

Sources told ESPN.com that O'Neal, who opted to spend the start of this season with family and focusing on business interests while deciding whether to come back for what would be his 19th season, is "highly intrigued" by the idea of joining the Mavericks as a free agent in the wake of the Rondo deal. ESPN.com

“Well he’s had a terrific year, had a real solid year last year for Golden State despite having some injury issues,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. “I have not talked to him yet myself. “It’s a possibility, but I don’t want to jump the gun out of respect to him and his family, so we’ll see. It’s certainly one option.’’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Calderon still has two years left on his pact after this season. There’s speculation the Suns would trade Dragic if they had the slightest hint he was eyeing a departure. Any play on Dragic could mean Calderon gets shipped out. Dragic is a younger, sleeker model. Meanwhile, Calderon has emerged as a leader in the locker room even as the Knicks’ season spirals out of control at 5-22. New York Post

Jamal Crawford hears the chatter. While some athletes say they tune out trade rumors or speculation, particularly when it involves themselves, Crawford hears it but doesn’t stress about it. “I’m done worrying,” said Crawford, who’s on his sixth different team in 14-plus NBA seasons. “I’ve proven myself, honestly, over the course of time…Me personally, I’m fine. I can play basketball anywhere, so I’m not worried about it.” NBA.com

If the Clippers make a trade or bring in a free agent such as Ray Allen, Crawford said he’d understand and he’d welcome the addition. That could mean fewer minutes for him. It could even mean he gets dealt. But he’s not sweating it. “I’ve been in trade rumors ever since I’ve been here, which is the weirdest thing,” Crawford said. “But that’s part of the business, honestly. I can play wherever. I can play here, I would love to play here. But if not, if something happens, you move on and do what you’ve got to do.” NBA.com

The Mavericks acquired Rondo from the Celtics for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, a 2015 first-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick. Meanwhile, a Lakers official downplayed reports the team had offered Steve Nash’s expiring $9.8 million contract and a first-round pick from Houston to Boston for Rondo. “We haven’t talked about anything as far as trades are concerned,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said about recent conversations he had with general manager Mitch Kupchak. “We talked about our players and how we can get them better.” Los Angeles Daily News

Durant said some nice things about him earlier this week, commending Bryant's often abrasive leadership style and saying he would love to play alongside him. Scott answered with a laugh when asked about it Friday. "I would love for him to play with Kobe too. Especially from a coaching standpoint," Scott said. "I don't want the NBA to think I'm tampering or anything like that. I'm just answering questions." Los Angeles Times

On Friday he sent Alexey Shved to the Houston Rockets in exchange for the Rockets' 2015 second-round pick and Ronny Turiaf from the Minnesota Timberwolves and the rights to Spanish League player Sergei Lishouk. The Sixers will waive Turiaf. Lishouk, 32, will never make their roster. The team is expected to trade his rights at some point. Philadelphia Inquirer

Derek Bodner: Source confirms that #sixers intend to waive Ronny Turiaf, as expected. Malcolm Thomas a possibility, depending on how his rehab is going. Twitter @DerekBodnerNBA

The Sixers will free up a roster spot by waiving Turiaf, who has an expiring contract. The source said the team was considering re-signing power forward Malcolm Thomas. Thomas was waived Nov. 10 to free up a roster spot while he had knee surgery. Philadelphia Inquirer

All that wasn't enough for Ainge to keep the star point guard who could have left as a free agent after the season. Or to reject a Dallas Mavericks offer that gave Ainge more assets to continue shaping the young roster into a contender. "There was definite uncertainty into what may happen this summer," Ainge said before Friday night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, "So that was a big factor." USA Today Sports

Rajon Rondo talked about heart. He talked about being rejuvenated. He even talked about re-signing with the Mavericks in the summer. All good bullet points in his introductory news conference as one of the Mavericks’ new cornerstones. Then, he touched on the topic everybody wanted to hear about, the one goal he and all Mavericks now can legitimately embrace. “I’m dying to get a ring again,” Rondo said. “I just want to get another parade.” Dallas Morning News

"Jameer (Nelson), we haven’t tried to acquire Jameer, just because we’ve had the point guard position pretty set. He’s been a starter for 11 years, and an NBA Finals team, and been a terrific opponent against us. A guy that we’ve really respected, but a great high-character guy that can shoot and has great leadership qualities. So we’re excited about all three of them.” CSNNE.com

So I know a lot of you aren’t real familiar with the players that we brought in," Ainge said. "But like I said earlier, Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright, as an example are two players that we’ve tried to acquire in the past. Thought they were under-valued players in their minutes, in their contributions so far. And time will tell if we were right or wrong on that, but we really like them, and think they fit into a good team in a rotation role. CSNNE.com

“At the end of the day, we all know what the goal is and that’s to win a championship,’’ Anthony said. “I know that I’m a winner. Even though you might lose some games here and there, I know I’m a winner. I’ve won already. I’ve won off the court and on the court. I’m living the American dream. That’s winning to me. Nobody can say anything about [me] being a loser.” New York Post

Still, Anthony hears the negative vibes swirling around the Big Apple. “Everybody has an opinion,’’ Anthony said in the interview. “ Everybody knows it all. They think they know you. You kind of become what the back page says you are. That’s messed up. I think just going through it, and you’ve seen the worst of the worst. Being here at the bottom and you can easily see how people will dismiss you, step on you and forget about you. This is the belly of the beast. New York will eat you alive if you let it.” New York Post

Anthony resisted the chance to play for a title contender in Chicago and re-signed with the Knicks for $124 million in July, a choice that cast him as greedy to his critics and perhaps placed him in basketball purgatory for at least one year. Though he described the decision to stay as “tough,” Anthony banked nearly $50 million more in New York than he could have made with the Bulls. By siding with the only real guarantee in the NBA — the guaranteed contract — Anthony made a long-term business decision over a logical basketball one. “Regardless of what happened, it would all come down to the money. That’s just the life we live. You can’t escape that,” said Anthony, who admits his attitude in previous contracts was “don’t leave no money on the table.” Washington Post

Never mind the murmurs that sometimes rise to audible levels. Never mind the continued insistence by some Syracuse fans that he should have stayed for his junior season, that he could have rescued the Orange from its current 6-3 predicament. Grant has no regrets. "Not at all," he said Friday night before the Sixers faced Charlotte at the Wells Fargo Center. "My dream was to make it to the NBA and I'm here now. What happens from here on out is up to me." The Post-Standard

Vucevic, Fournier’s closest friend on the team, said he was impressed by the toughness displayed by the Frenchman. For Fournier to miss only the time it took to get the stitches, Vucevic said it shows the third-year guard’s dedication to his teammates. ``He didn’t (back off) and he was very aggressive. (Him possibly shying away from contact) was on my mind too because it’s only normal when you have an injury like that to be less aggressive, but he still had a couple of nice dunks and drives,’’ Vucevic said. ``He’s a tough guy to come back in Toronto and Boston and he didn’t take any time off even though it was a big cut. It could have been a big issue and it shows that he’s tough and he’s committed to this team. ``I guess I can’t really talk trash about his ponytail anymore.’’ NBA.com

Young called Thunder forward Steven Adams a “sneaky, dirty player” that let to an on-court altercation and an eventual ejection in the Lakers’ 104-103 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday at Staples Center. Young argued he “most definitely” did not deserve the ejection, an automatic ruling after being handed a flagrant foul type 2 with 11:24 remaining in the game. “I feel bad about getting ejected,” Young said. “But I play with the heart on my sleeves and it shows out there.” Los Angeles Daily News

The question in play first started when Adams set a hard screen on Young. Tired of Adam throwing what he called “little hits” that included sticking out his knee during screens, Young shoved his forearm into Adam’s throat before officials soon separated them. Lakers center Robert Sacre and forward Carlos Boozer soon intervened, too. “At the time, he had my arm caught up,” Young said. “That’s all I had with my right hand. You didn’t see all that. He knows all the tricks and trades. But if you look carefully, he had my whole left arm locked in for the whole play.” Los Angeles Daily News

"I got caught up in the moment, but Adams is a sneaky, dirty player," Young said. "He started talking to me the whole game, but I didn't think I was going to get ejected. I lost my mind a little bit, checked into the crazy house." Said Scott: "Nick definitely overreacted, and he's too valuable for us to overreact and get kicked out of a game like that." Los Angeles Times

The Clippers were called for seven technical fouls, including five during the fourth quarter and three on the same sequence after center DeAndre Jordan told officials that Kenneth Faried knocked him in the head underneath the basket. "I just keep saying, 'Coaches and players get technicals for losing their composure,'" Rivers said afterward. "I don't know if we lost our composure today. I'm pretty sure we didn't." Los Angeles Times

Whether it was Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, Matt Barnes or DeAndre Jordan, the talk was about the officiating and how the Clippers felt like it was 5-on-8 at times. “It’s getting out of control, man,” Barnes said. “Some of the techs we got tonight were … I mean, we’ve got to do a better job of watching ourself, but I got a tech for saying, ‘He’s not shooting the ball.’ (Hedo Turkoglu) got a tech for saying, ‘That’s not a foul.’ I mean, this is just getting out of control, man. “They’re just whistle-happy.” Orange County Register

Johnson's dunk on Andre Drummond made it 95-75 midway through the fourth and on Toronto's next possession, Drummond smashed into Johnson with a forearm and hip smash. That set off a melee that saw Drummond get a flagrant foul and four technicals called. At least one Raptors fan was ejected at the same time after a verbal altercation with the Pistons' Josh Smith. "That was nasty, but that's basketball," said Johnson. "I don't expect anything less from anybody that's trying to win. Frustration sets in when you want to win — no hard feelings." USA Today Sports

He pump-faked Andre Roberson into the air but couldn't connect on an off-balance 17-footer. Bryant then took off an athletic sleeve he wore on his left arm and threw it in frustration behind him. He finished with nine points. "I don't have my legs," Bryant said, adding he got a clean look before his last shot. "It's frustrating." Ryan Ward: Kobe Bryant: “It was the shot I wanted to get. I was trying to figure out if I had time to draw contact. It just threw me off a little bit.” Twitter @Lakers_Examiner

Mike Miller made his coach look like a genius Friday night. Miller, showing little rust from missing seven games with a concussion, scored 21 points on seven 3-pointers in his first start of the season, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Brooklyn Nets 95-91. Cavaliers coach David Blatt's decision to start Miller, who missed one 3-pointer in eight attempts and played 33 minutes, paid off in a major way. "When the fire is hot, you want to let it burn," Blatt said. "It was burning tonight." ESPN.com

When he was recovering from his concussion, he would put in extra hours of conditioning and shooting. He didn't want to just get back on the court. He wanted to be a force. It's another reason why his teammates adore him. "What makes me feel good is seeing my teammates succeed," James said of Miller. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Pau and Marc squaring off for the first time with Pau as a Bull ended up taking a back seat to the storylines of Jimmy Butler's continued stunning offensive prowess, Nikola Mirotic's 3-point marksmanship en route to his career-high 27 points and a defensive effort that held the Grizzlies to 39.4 percent shooting and no fast-break points until the final quarter. But their sibling rivalry never get old, particularly since Pau won his Rookie of the Year award here way back in 2002. "It's special to have the opportunity to play against your brother at the highest level of basketball," Pau said. "We're both doing pretty well so it's meaningful. It's a lot of pride involved. But it is a little weird. "We're both competitive. We don't like losing. As much as we love to see the other one play well, in these particular matchups, we're hoping the other one doesn't have a good game and your team wins. Ultimately, that's what we stand for." Chicago Tribune

Deron Williams’ healthy start to the season came to an abrupt halt against the Cavaliers on Friday night. Williams left the Nets’ 95-91 loss with a strained right calf, an injury that has him ticketed for an MRI exam to check its severity and find out whether or he’ll be able to take the floor Sunday against the Pistons at Barclays Center. New York Post

“No, not yet,” Williams said after the game when asked if he knew the severity. “I’m going to get an MRI [Saturday], but the doctor said it wasn’t too bad.” Williams left the game after landing following a jump pass to Kevin Garnett with 4:39 remaining in the second quarter, but said the injury started to crop up earlier in the first. New York Post

Starting small forward Kawhi Leonard is expected to return next week despite what has been revealed as a torn ligament in his right hand. Leonard’s injury is officially listed as a bruised right hand. But Spurs coach Gregg Popovich described him as having “something kind of torn in there” before Friday’s home game against Portland, with Leonard then providing further clarification. Leonard said the injury “isn’t as bad as it sounds” and that he should return “soon.” San Antonio Express-News

Jerry Zgoda: Flip said if Mo can play 10-15 mins & is OK, team probably won't have to add a pguard. He's hoping Ricky will be ready for contact in 2 wks Twitter @JerryZgoda

McDermott said he is shooting, riding a stationary bicycle and will start running in water when the stitches from last Saturday's arthroscopic surgery to remove a small meniscus in his right knee are taken out soon. He sounded confident he would beat the six-week estimate to return. "When we got the MRI, I was definitely shocked," said the rookie, who never missed a game in high school or college. "But then (team physician Brian) Cole explained this is very minor and I'll be feeling (ready) to play within a week." Chicago Tribune

According to the Memphis Grizzlies’ Facebook page, a team personnel intern named Brandon recently had his car stolen — so the Grizzlies players chipped in to get him a new one. The heartwarming clip can be seen above, and just because the players can obviously afford to do this, that doesn’t make the gesture any less special. NBCSports.com

Hanging on the windows at Quicken Loans Arena were posters of Kyrie Irving's new logo, which is on the tongue of his signature Nike shoe. It was similar inside the arena. Posters were handed out and there were stations all around for Cavs fans to pre-order Irving's colorful sneakers before they can be purchased on Dec. 23. It was a special promotion, a celebration for Irving, the Cavs two-time All-Star, who has been through a lot in his four seasons. That's why even after misfiring on 12 of his 18 shots, continuing his slump, Irving had a good night. "It's truly a dream come true," Irving said after the game. Cleveland Plain Dealer

On December 16, 2014 Kings fans in attendance for Peja Stojakovic's retirement ceremony had the opportunity to take a postgame on-court photo with No. 16's banner before it was raised to the Sleep Train Arena rafters. See how the abundance of fan images generated a legendary mosaic. NBA.com

Former NBA center Darko Milicic, a 7-foot Serb who spent 10 years with various teams after being the second overall pick in the 2003 draft behind LeBron James, has lost his first kickboxing fight. The 29-year-old Milicic sustained a bloody cut on his left leg in the first round of an exhibition match Thursday night against Serbian fighter Radovan Radojcic. The World Kickboxing Association bout had to be stopped in the second round. New York Post

Milwaukee Bucks star O.J. Mayo has a $19k problem on his hands ... because a charter airline company says he didn't pony up the cash to fly -- and put the crew in danger by using "illegal narcotics" ... TMZ Sports has learned. According to a lawsuit filed today by Quantum Jets ... Mayo booked a flight from Houston to L.A. on July 16th, but couldn't pay for the entire flight. The airline agreed he could give them a down payment, and pay the rest the next day. TMZ.com


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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