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January 25, 2015 | 11:00 PM ET Update
January 25, 2015 | 08:39 PM ET Update

The Charlotte Hornets and Brooklyn Nets have restarted trade discussions, this time focused on guard Joe Johnson, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The Hornets and Nets are discussing a larger package that would likely include guards Lance Stephenson and Gerald Henderson and forward Marvin Williams, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo! Sports

Charlotte owner Michael Jordan has been intrigued with the possibility of Johnson, who has struggled recently with tendinitis. Johnson, 33, has one of the three major contracts that the Nets would ideally like to unload, what with the $23.1 million on his 2014-'15 deal, and $24.9 million in the final season of his 2015-'16 contract. Yahoo! Sports

Brooklyn has been unable to muster a market for guard Deron Williams, who has missed nine straight games with a rib injury. The Nets are still intent on moving Brook Lopez, with the Denver Nuggets remaining an interested trade partner, league sources said. Yahoo! Sports

THE TOP 100 PLAYERS OF THE CENTURY

From Jameer Nelson to you know who, HoopsHype ranked the best players so far in the 21st century.

   
January 25, 2015 | 05:58 PM ET Update

He received a standing ovation in warm-ups on Saturday ("How many times do you get an ovation just coming out to warm up?," he said with a laugh) and the love-fest continued once his name was announced in the starting lineup. "They definitely got behind me, supported me and let me know that they didn't take my gesture for granted," Aldridge said. "They let me know that they appreciated it, and they had love for me, and that was one of the better moments of my career. I felt like they embraced the moment and what I was trying to do." USA Today Sports

"It was just me (making the decision)," he said. "I hadn't played in ... five or six days, and it was just getting to me. So when I went to shoot-around (on Saturday), I wanted to try to shoot with (the injured thumb). Then they taped me up, and I shot with it. So then, I was like, 'Well, I want to play one-on-one,' and I played one-on-one with one of the (assistant) coaches full court. And that felt good. After that, I just felt like, 'You know, I want to give it a try.'" Because surgery will be required at some point, the reality is that Aldridge can't do any more harm to his thumb that couldn't be fixed by the forthcoming procedure. The Blazers' season, of course, was at risk in ways that Aldridge wasn't ready to accept. "This wasn't a one-game thing," Aldridge said. "Once I said I was going to try, then I was back. And if it became too much, then I was going to have surgery. ... So as of now, I'm back. But if I get it whacked or if something happens where I can't tolerate it and I'm not playing at a good enough level to help the team, then I'll have surgery. But as of now, I think they have done a good job of protecting it, so I'm back for the season and then I'll just have surgery in the offseason." USA Today Sports

THE TALLEST PLAYERS IN NBA HISTORY

There's been 20 players 7-foot-3 or taller in the NBA. Sadly, most of them were no good.

   
January 25, 2015 | 05:21 PM ET Update

Team medical personnel will work with Brandon and his representatives in determining the next course of action and treatment for the injury. No timetable is being placed on Jennings’ return at this time. NBA.com

The Cleveland Cavaliers have recalled guard Joe Harris from the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League team, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Harris has played in two games for the Charge this season, averaging 18.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in 39.5 minutes per game. Harris has played in 35 games (one start) for the Cavs this season, averaging 2.8 points in 11.1 minutes per game. NBA.com

The Denver Nuggets have recalled rookie guard Erick Green from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today. Green appeared in two games for the Mad Ants, averaging 21.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.00 steals in 35.8 minutes per contest. Green will be available for Denver’s game tonight vs. Washington. NBA.com

THE BEST NICK YOUNG QUOTES EVER

Swaggy P actually said all these things. We're lucky to have him in the NBA.

   
January 25, 2015 | 04:20 PM ET Update
 

SOCIAL MEDIA PICTURES: PHOTOS PLAYERS POST

Just like everybody else, NBA players are spending more and more time on social media sites and photo-sharing services. Check all the pictures they are posting on Instagram, Twitter and more here.

   
January 25, 2015 | 03:55 PM ET Update

NBA SALARIES BY COUNTRY

More than 20 percent of the money spent on NBA salaries is going to international players. Who's getting the biggest part of the pie?

   
January 25, 2015 | 01:35 PM ET Update

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Elijah Millsap to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, financial terms were not released. Millsap signed the first of two 10-day contracts with the Jazz on Jan. 5 and has appeared in 10 Jazz games since, averaging 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 20.4 minutes. NBA.com

Is this an issue now? Yes. Jimmy Butler, who leads the NBA in minutes played, is already showing signs of fatigue as he tries to defend high-octane wing players every night and carry the scoring load as Rose works his way back. While neither Thibs nor Butler would ever acknowledge such fatigue, opposing players say privately that Butler isn't the physical force he was just a month ago. One of the reasons the Bulls became the popular pick as the team to win the Eastern Conference was Butler's emergence as a two-way force, so his maintenance has become nearly as important as that of Rose, Noah and now All-Star starter Gasol. ESPN.com

After two seasons of replacement-level production in Detroit, Knight started his time in Milwaukee with a hamstring injury 105 seconds into his Bucks career. But he overcame the injury-marred start and finished his first Bucks season with 4.0 wins above replacement (WARP) to rank 94th in the league. This year, Knight has already compiled 5.1 WARP, 26th in the NBA. He's been the Bucks' best overall player and seems to enjoy playing for Kidd on one of the league's most improved teams. "[Kidd] has helped me in everything, thinking the game, being smarter with decision-making," Knight said. "Overall he just has a great feel for the game and he transfers that to us, allows us to think about the game the same way he still does." ESPN.com

January 25, 2015 | 12:16 PM ET Update

Allen is making it known that he wants to return to the NBA, and his list of suitors is growing. The Wizards and Cavaliers are the most notable teams interested, but watch out for the Bulls, who are in need of another long-range shooter with Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Doug McDermott battling injuries. Boston Globe

To this point, Danny Ainge has not received a deal enticing enough to give up the versatile forward, but it’s likely been hard for him to demand much value for a guy who doesn’t see the floor for more than 20 minutes a night on a rebuilding team. The good news for Ainge is that reality has changed for Bass in the last couple days. Olynyk’s latest injury has provided the Celtics and Bass with a valuable opportunity that will continue in the coming weeks: A chance for Bass to showcase his ability. Boston Globe

The Nets remain a team in transition but it doesn’t appear they’ll make any major moves before the trade deadline. They were in serious discussions with the Hornets involving Lance Stephenson for Brook Lopez but talks broke off. Lopez has one year left on his contract, a player option for $15 million, and the Nets would be best served to trade him before the contract expires. He doesn’t appear to fit into Lionel Hollins’s system. Hollins likes physical, defensive-minded centers. Boston Globe

It seems as though fooling the officials into calling a foul when there wasn’t one is among the criteria the league looks at when deciding to crack down. J.J. Redick and Andre Drummond are the latest to receive warnings, and in both cases, fouls were called when the contact appeared to have been exaggerated. NBCSports.com

“I have confidence in myself and my teammates have confidence in me,” said Bradley. “I have confidence because I put the work in. I know if I’m not making the shot, Evan [Turner] can make the shot, Jared [Sullinger] can make the shot. That’s what kind of team we are. We all have to go out there and believe that we can make the shot. I just have the confidence in myself that every shot is going to go in.” Boston Globe

Either way, Bryant is now hurt, likely gone for the season, facing yet another rehab, and it’s not clear how this will affect what should be his final season in the NBA. “Nobody wants to see that happen,” said Spurs guard Manu Ginobili. “It sucks. The league needs him. He’s one of the best players that ever played.” ESPN.com

"When somebody like that of that stature goes down, it’s not good for everybody, obviously for his team but for the league and you miss guys like Derrick Rose for instance, the last couple of years, or Kobe or anybody else like that," Popovich said. "It’s a loss for the league, for fans, for all of us. I can think of a lot of shots Kobe’s made that’s basically knocked us out, and in an odd, weird sort of way I still enjoy it. When you see a talent like that, when they don’t play anymore then you say ‘Wow, I got to see so and so play.’ He’s one of those kind of guys.” ESPN.com

Spurs guard Tony Parker agreed. “When I first came here, Spurs-Lakers, that’s all we talked about,” Parker said. “It was a huge rivalry, with him and Shaq. Those were great years. “They always say good stuff has to have an end, but hopefully we can see him one more time next year and he’ll be healthy and finish on a high.” ESPN.com

The Hornets are still looking into the status of point guard Kemba Walker, who sat out Saturday’s game with ongoing left-knee soreness, and center Bismack Biyombo, who left the game after suffering a knee contusion and did not return. Hornets general manager Rich Cho said the team will continue to evaluate Walker, who has now missed three of the last five games. Walker will have a magnetic resonance imaging and it’s possible he could need surgery. However, he has played with this injury, resulting from a cyst in his joint, since high school in New York City. Charlotte Observer

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN BULLS HISTORY

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

   
January 25, 2015 | 07:24 AM ET Update

After crumpling to the floor on a non-contact play in the third quarter of a loss to Milwaukee, Jennings is set to return to Detroit on Sunday for an MRI exam on his left Achilles. Both the Pistons and Jennings are bracing for the worst, sources told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo! Sports

Things already weren't going well for the Detroit Pistons when they faced off against the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday night. The Bucks were in the process of blowing out the Pistons when Brandon Jennings suffered what looks to be a very serious injury. While trying to deny an inbound pass in the backcourt, Jennings took a bad step and immediately started writhing in pain on the floor. CBSSports.com

Vincent Ellis: SVG on Jennings: "It doesn't look good. He'll certainly be out tomorrow and for the foreseeable future and it doesn't look good." Twitter @Vincent_Ellis56

There was strong word that if Prince wasn’t moved by the deadline that the Celtics would seek agreement with him on a buyout of this final year of his contract (he makes a bit more than $7.2 million). But coach Brad Stevens has taken a strong liking to Prince, who had four points in 17 minutes in last night’s 100-99 win against the Nuggets. It’s fair to assume he may lobby to keep him on the squad the rest of the season if he is not traded. Considering their rebuilding situation and the desire for a high draft pick, the Celts certainly don’t mind a few extra losses if they serve to enhance their position in next June’s dispersal. Boston Herald

According to league sources, the Celts would still like to move Prince for a draft pick before the Feb. 19 NBA trade deadline. But it’s what could happen if he’s not dealt that may be up for more discussion in the coming days. Boston Herald

Hornets guard Lance Stephenson has heard all the trade rumors -- including one that recently fell through that would have sent him to his hometown of Brooklyn. But he says he's more concerned about working his way back from an injury than on whether he has a long-term future here. "You can't help but hear stuff," said Stephenson, 24, who signed a three-year, $27- million deal with Charlotte in the offseason after three years with the Indiana Pacers. "I just want to stay focused and stay positive and try to help this team. I'm here, and that's all that matters right now." Newsday

Asked if the Rockets would be at a disadvantage because they could not reach agreement on a deal in 2012, Dragic said, “Oh, no. No. Nothing like that. “Every team in the NBA is an option to me, because it is a privilege to play for any team in the NBA. When the time comes I’m going to sit down with my family and my agent and try to make the best decision for myself.” Houston Chronicle

After a pulmonary embolism, there is also fear of long-term damage to the heart. According to experts, Teletovic likely will undergo stress tests soon for that reason. Medical experts say even if his bloodwork is normal, Teletovic could be on blood thinners for six months to a year. Teletovic is a restricted free agent this summer, and the Knicks could have a lot of interest in him because of his shooting ability as a 6-foot-9 big man for the triangle. The Nets can match any offer. New York Post

Days after his friend and former teammate Shawn Marion said he would retire after the season, Rockets guard Jason Terry maintained he has not changed his plan to play until he is 40-years-old. “I was shocked,” Terry, 37, said of Marion’s decision. “He told me in Cleveland the last time we played them. “I think I can play until the age 40. That’s my goal, something that I set out to do when I first came into the league. My idol is Gary Payton. He played 20 years. Hopefully I can do the same.” Houston Chronicle

Bobby Brown, whose contract with Dongguan Leopards includes an NBA out, could be available for NBA teams on February 1 since his club is no lock to make the postseason. Brown, who has experience in the NBA with Sacramento, Minnesota, New Orleans and LA Clippers, would be more than open to playing for the Cavaliers. "Right now, I'm focused on Dongguan and winning games with my teammates," Brown told HoopsHype. "I will say this about Cleveland: How could anyone not want to play with LeBron? First off, he is the best player in the league and second, you have a chance to be a part of a championship team. Plus, playing in Europe, I was a big fan of (David) Blatt and always wanted to play for him. Also, I have known (David Griffin) since I was in the draft and have always been a huge believer in him." HoopsHype

He loved playing for the Warriors and was embraced by Bay Area fans — and the organization, too. But it didn’t last. “The old ownership that they had, they didn’t know what direction they wanted to head in,” Ellis said. “I figured my time there was wearing out. So I had to do something. “When the new ownership came in, they had an idea of what they wanted to do. And so I just was like, ‘I know my time is done here.’ “When you’re in a place where everything stops running through you, then you know that it’s about time to leave. So I was ready and prepared for it.” Dallas Morning News

“If you don’t win, that’s when you go in a dark place,” he said. “I’m a great competitor, and I want to win. That’s who I am. And if I’m not winning, I’m a different type of person. That’s one thing that Golden State couldn’t understand. It was like they were accepting losing. And they wanted me to accept and embrace losing. I couldn’t do that. “If you’re mad at your best player because he’s tired of losing, then it should be a question about your character and what you’re trying to do.” Dallas Morning News

He has had no communication with LeBron James. The All-Star has not called nor sent a text. Northeast Ohio Media Group asked Waiters if he would have preferred if James gave him a ring. "Man, he had his chance to reach out," Waiters told NEOMG. "I'm not losing any sleep." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Nuggets starting point guard Ty Lawson steered clear of any extensive comments concerning his early Friday morning arrest on suspicion of drinking and driving when he returned to the team Saturday. Lawson said he "apologized to the team," but the details of what he said stays between him "and the team." Lawson also met with Nuggets coach Brian Shaw. "I talked to him," Shaw said. "I left him to deal with his teammates on his own, with them. Denver Post

The wall is the fatigue level that creeps up on him and every player during a game. Only since his rookie year, he has been able to fight through that wall and continue. Right now he can’t. “Coming back I knew with all that rest I had, I would have that energy the first couple of games but I knew adversity would hit eventually,” he said. “I knew I would get fatigued. It’s easier when you are in complete shape through summer and training camp. You get into the season and when that fatigue hits you can fight through it. Now when it hits me it’s like hitting that rookie wall that you’re not used to when you first get in the league. That’s all it is.” Toronto Sun

LaMarcus Aldridge made his dramatic return Saturday, playing through a torn ligament in his left thumb. And by night’s end, he was showered with chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Washington Wizards 103-96. Aldridge had 24 points, nine rebounds and a game-sealing steal. He even got a post-game curtain call from PA announcer Mark Mason as he walked off the court after giving a TV interview. “I didn’t even know that he was waiting on me,” Aldridge said. “It was kind of surreal. That was a fun moment.” Columbian

Are you going to play the rest of the season? Or will you just see how much you can tolerate? My idea now is to play the rest of the season, but if it gets too much where I'm not playing at a very good level then I'll stop. But hopefully it goes well for us. Oregonian

Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum said he has been playing with a torn ligament in his right wrist since Dec. 17, when he fell after making a dunk against Milwaukee. Batum missed the next game, Dec. 19 at San Antonio, then played in the next two games before sitting out the Dec. 23 game at Oklahoma City. He said he has aggravated the injury several times - usually when he falls to the court. On Thursday against Boston, it was a third quarter fall that took him out of the game and ultimately led to him missing Saturday's 103-96 victory over Washington. Oregonian

Anthony, who missed six games earlier this month with recurring soreness in his left knee, was back out of the Knicks’ lineup on Saturday, getting a recovery day on the tail of back-to-back games after playing 41 minutes in Friday’s win over Orlando. “For now, I think kind of coming off the two weeks and still basically weak from being back from that stretch, I thought it was best for now,” Derek Fisher said before the game. “But there’s no concrete plan to stay with it that way. I’m hopeful that as we get through this weekend and approach next week — we got a back-to-back Wednesday, Thursday — he’ll be in there.” New York Daily News

Odds are strong Nets 3-point shooting specialist Mirza Teletovic will recover from his pulmonary embolism and play at some point next season in the NBA. Serena Williams suffered a blood clot in her lungs in 2011 after sleeping in an awkward position on a cross-country flight from JFK to Los Angeles and wound up winning three more U.S. Opens. She still is going strong. But there are no guarantees this doesn’t turn into a career-threatening episode, according to medical experts. New York Post

“It was very shocking,” Joe Johnson said, “because I’ve honestly never heard of athletes, especially when you are working out and training hard every day, catching blood clots. “It’s random and just to hear that and then hear some of the things that he said over the course of the past week of so about how he can’t breathe. … It’s kind of scary.” New York Post

Jahlil Okafor, the 6-foot-11, 270-pound 19-year-old Duke freshman phenom from Chicago. “I’ve talked to over two dozen NBA general managers and scouts, asking who they would take No. 1 if the draft was held today, and every single scenario that answer was Okafor,” ESPN draft insider Chad Ford said in a phone interview. “Okafor is the guy right now. He’s the most dominant college basketball player in the country.” New York Post

“I think there’s a significant gap between him and everybody else,” said one NBA scout who has seen Okafor several times. “I don’t think there’s any question that he’s the best college player this year. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s skilled. He’s worked on his body from high school to college. Every time I see him he looks thinner. “The thing that stands out when you watch him him workout is [that] his touch out to 10-to-12 feet is pretty amazing for a guy whose hands are as big as they are.” New York Post

A second NBA executive said Kentucky’s versatile 6-foot-11 forward Karl-Anthony Towns of Piscataway, N.J., and Dallas point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who opted to play overseas in China rather at SMU, are other possibilities, depending on who lands the first pick. Ohio State dynamic freshman guard D’Angelo Russell is a possible sleeper, as well. “It’s not 100 percent,” another NBA scout maintained. “There’s definitely other options. It depends on the need of a team. [Okafor will] definitely be in every single talk for the No. 1 pick.” New York Post

Jerry West knows the feeling Klay Thompson was feeling Friday night. He has often reflected about a game in which he made 16 of 17 shots and also made all 12 of his free throws. But the 76-year-old Warriors executive assistant was quick to say that Thompson's 52-point outing against Sacramento, particularly his 37-point quarter in which he made all 13 of his shots and was 9 for 9 from beyond the 3-point arc, was a feat so unprecedented and exciting that it kept him up all night. "I flew back (to his home in Los Angeles) after the game, and honestly, I couldn't go to sleep," West said Saturday. "I was replaying in my own mind what I had just witnessed. It was incredible to watch. It's something no one's watched, to be honest with you. The people that were fortunate to be there saw something that's probably not going to happen for a long, long time if it ever happens again." Contra Costa Times

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said that Cleveland forward Shawn Marion would always have a job waiting for him in Dallas when his time as a NBA player comes to an end. Marion announced his retirement earlier this week, after 16 seasons – five with the Mavericks. Cuban said that the organization would “have a big deal for him” when Cleveland came to town on March 10. Dallas Morning News

When asked about Forbes’ valuation of his franchise, a not-too-shabby $1.15 billion, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was not impressed. “I’d say off by about 150 percent,” Cuban said. “Yeah, but it’s not for sale so it doesn’t matter. People have got to realize that those valuations are meaningless. Absolutely meaningless. They have about as much impact on business than Deflategate has on the NFL. Something to talk about, but no substance.” Dallas Morning News

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggested the NBA should do away with fan balloting for the All-Star game, saying the leading total of 1.5 million votes for Golden State's Stephen Curry was so low it was "embarrassing." Cuban said Friday the roster should be expanded to 14 players from the current 12. He said coaches or general managers or both should choose the teams. The outspoken owner said the low total for Curry was evidence that the "system's broken, absolutely, positively broken." "And fans are allowed to vote more than once, right?" Cuban said "That's embarrassing. To think that we couldn't get people to vote enough times. No one even tried to hack it. That's how bored they are." USA Today Sports

Wade has asked the NBA to further improve the ways it protects players from the most unruly of fans, making that request during the league's brief investigation of his incident with the crowd in Charlotte on Wednesday night. "The NBA is an unbelievable league, and I'm one of the first ones to be doing NBA Cares and all these things in the community, but they need to protect us a little more," Wade told The Associated Press. "They need to do a better job of protecting players in the arena. It's open game on us. We're big boys, we can take it, but everyone has their breaking point." Boston Herald

Retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal is getting into the sitcom game. O’Neal, 42, will star in and produce a half-hour comedy pilot for truTV called “Shaq Inq.” The series will be a “workplace comedy loosely based on the wild and frenetic business empire of Shaquille O’Neal,” according to the network. There’s no word on who will co-star with O’Neal in the pilot, which he is co-executive-producing with Mike Tollin (“Smallville,” “Arli$$.”) New York Post

 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN PISTONS HISTORY

The Bad Boys beat the stars from Larry Brown's 2004 team at the top of the ranking.

   

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