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August 21, 2014 | 10:00 PM ET Update

Mark Berman: Agent Aaron Goodwin on Francisco Garcia returning to the Rockets: "He liked the opportunity. He felt he could continue to help the team in a number of ways outside of just being a good guard on the team. He thought that he'd have an opportunity to play there a little bit more with Chandler Parsons being gone." Twitter @MarkBermanFox26

The Warriors not only dangled both him and Lee in talks with the Timberwolves, league and team sources say, but they apparently initiated the conversation. Various reports on the deal's likelihood of going down bubbled for several weeks, and while GM Bob Myers declined to address the subject directly, he certainly didn't discourage the notion that Thompson and Lee were available for the right price. Bleacher Report

Myers' attempt to be as honest as possible is appreciated, but it has come with a price. While attempts to reach Lee or his representatives were unsuccessful, a source close to Thompson said the shooting guard is "pissed" that the Warriors legitimately considered moving him. Bleacher Report

Eventually, they passed on everything because there wasn't a strong consensus in the organization that they'd definitively be better. And when it became clear that Love would be headed to Cleveland instead of a Western Conference rival, such as the Houston Rockets, it made the need to roll the dice even less enticing. Bleacher Report

The Charlotte City Council is scheduled Monday to discuss upgrades to Time Warner Cable Arena, which opened in 2005. The Charlotte Hornets and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which manage the city-owned building, have requested more than $40 million in improvements for the uptown facility. The city says the operating agreement with the Hornets requires the city to make improvements to keep the arena among the NBA’s most modern. The Hornets requested a number of enhancements, such as renovating restaurants and suites, improving lighting, moving the ticket office and upgrading locker rooms. The city likely would pay for the improvements using hospitality taxes, including a hotel/motel tax for general tourism. Charlotte Observer

August 21, 2014 | 07:03 PM ET Update

The CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment will step down next year. The company announced Thursday that Tim Leiweke will stay until June 30 or a successor is appointed. The MLSE properties include the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC. Leiweke, who joined the group in April 2013, says he plans to own and operate his own business. In his short tenure, Leiweke helped Toronto land the 2016 NBA All-Star game, fired Toronto FC's president and general manager Kevin Payne and brought in former star player Brendan Shanahan as president of the Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs missed the playoffs last spring, but the Raptors returned to the postseason for the first time in six years. Toronto FC is in third place in the Eastern Conference standings. NBA.com

The referees that will officiate the games at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup have been announced. The 38 officials come from 28 countries across FIBA's five continental zones. They rank in age from 27 to 50 (average age of 38.7) and have between three and 20 years of experience as FIBA referees (average of 11.6 years). Click here to view the full list of referees. FIBA.com

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August 21, 2014 | 04:27 PM ET Update

Drew Gooden will not be able to represent Finland in the upcoming FIBA World Cup because his application for dual citizenship will not be cleared in time for the tournament, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The Wizards big man, whose mother is Finnish, was not on the 12-man roster Finland submitted Wednesday for the competition, according to reports out of Finland. The tournament will begin Aug. 30 in Spain. Finland’s first game will be against the United States. Washington Post

In a recent phone interview, Gooden explained that he grew up with his father, Andrew, in Oakland, Calif., but made summer-long trips to Finland every two years to spend time with his mother’s family. He roamed his grandparents’ farm — situated about four hours north of the Finnish capital of Helsinki — milking cows, hunting, fishing, and tending to chicken coops. The biennial visits left an impression on Gooden, who identifies as Finnish. “Half of my family is still over there and I communicate with them all the time,” said Gooden, whose father met Lear while playing professional basketball in Finland. “So it’s like I have time spent there. It’s not like I’m doing this because I just happen to be half-Finnish. No, I really actually have ties to Finland and the culture.” Washington Post

But the situation was complicated because Gooden played for Team USA in a tournament in Brazil in 2000 while attending Kansas and he had never applied for dual citizenship before. He waited until this spring to begin the paperwork process — he recalled starting on it during the Wizards’ first-round playoff series victory over the Bulls — because he held out hope of representing the United States again. Washington Post

REAL ESTATE: WHERE DO PLAYERS OWN HOMES?

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

   
August 21, 2014 | 03:39 PM ET Update

Joe Freeman: The #Blazers have signed 6-4 PG Darius Morris to a nonguaranteed training camp roster spot, a league source tells The Oregonian. Morris has played on 4 NBA teams since being picked in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft, including the Clips, 76ers & Grizzlies last year. Twitter @BlazerFreeman

SOCIAL MEDIA VIDEOS: THE BEST OF VINE AND INSTAGRAM

Adding to our social media tools, you can now watch here all the videos NBA players are posting online – including those by Nate Robinson, Iman Shumpert and JR Smith, of course.

   
August 21, 2014 | 01:24 PM ET Update

For his part, it never really ended. Bradley said he took a week off after the season, but was right back in the gym. He left the country for a vacation last week, but worked out each day. Bradley joked with team trainers that he's in the best shape of any player on the Celtics and is 100 percent healthy despite injuries that have nagged him during his career. "I still work out three times per day. I’m in amazing shape right now," said Bradley. "I joke around with the trainers -- me and the trainers, we worked out in Vegas together at the player meeting to pick our new leader -- I told them I’m in the greatest shape on the team right now. So we were joking about that. I feel good right now, my body feels good and I feel stronger." ESPN.com

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN CELTICS HISTORY

How bright is Boston's history? Well, the first 19 players in the list won NBA titles with the team.

   
August 21, 2014 | 10:06 AM ET Update

David 'Dubi' Pick: Former NBAer Acie Law, I'm hearing, is nearing deal with Foshan in China. He's also a two-time Euro-champion. Twitter @IAmDPick

Team USA officials have insisted all week that they are merely treating Rose with the utmost caution after surgeries on both knees limited him to just 10 games over the past two seasons. But a source familiar with Rose's condition told ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell on Tuesday that the 25-year-old has been bothered by knee soreness since his return to the floor against Brazil and requested extra time to recover. Rose denied after the game that his knees, specifically, were sore, instead characterizing it as "body fatigue." ESPN.com

As for the other cuts that will get the roster down from 16 to 12, Gordon Hayward now seems the most likely to receive the “Thanks for coming” speech before the rest of Team USA boards a plane Saturday to head to Grand Canaria. SheridanHoops

But Silver reiterated that it's still up to NBA stars to make the personal decision to play for one's country. "It is a big risk without enormous financial reward," Silver said when asked about a sentiment shared by outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban during a "Commitment to Service" news conference to discuss a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense at Madison Square Garden. "But I am sitting next to our highest ranking military official," Silver said of General Martin Dempsey." I'm almost embarrassed to be talking about the risk that our players face compared to what our men and women in uniform face." ESPN.com

Silver said he isn't concerned about whether some of the NBA's best need more incentive to play in non-Olympic years. "No concern," Silver said. "It is an individual player decision and for these young men we recognize that playing in the NBA is a job and they have responsibilities to their team and their teammates as well. Ultimately they have to make that very personal decision as to whether they want to play in the summer, whether it makes sense for their bodies, whether it makes sense for their families." ESPN.com

Michael vs. Larry, Grant Hill drinks Sprite, Michael Phelps and his five-dollar foot-long. Kevin Durant won’t have any of these iconic commercials/brand associations any time soon. In March, Durant signed an endorsement deal with KIND Healthy Snacks, and according to Chris Sheridan, the endorsement deal has strict restrictions. Durant may not sign an endorsement deal with any company that uses sugar or preservatives in its products. That means no McDonalds (or really any fast food or quick service restaurant), no Coca-Cola or Pepsi, no Subway, no candy company, no . . . well a lot of companies that regularly sign athletes to endorsement deals. As Sheridan reported, the deal is unusually restrictive. The Fields of Green

Say, hypothetically, everyone in the NBA was capable of making an album. Whose album would you want to hear? Iman Shumpert: Cole Aldrich. I want Cole Aldrich to make an album. I would pay money to hear what he’s got to say. I think if Cole … because I know the type of thought process that Cole has on the NBA game, and how he goes through life. He likes to live life simple and he likes to shut things up, to work. I think that if he worked on music, he has a good and calm mind that he could really put some music together that he wants to hear. Grantland

Vin Baker's gold medal from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney sold for $67,642 on Thursday morning. The medal, sold by Grey Flannel Auctions, is believed to be the first Olympic gold medal publicly sold of a pro U.S. men's basketball player since NBA players started playing in the Olympics beginning with the "Dream Team" in 1992. Carmelo Anthony's bronze medal from the 2004 games sold in June for $14,080. ESPN.com

Ten-time NBA All-Star Ray Allen and his wife are satisfied that charges have been brought against seven teens whom they allege trespassed in their Coral Gables, Fla., home last week, their attorney said Wednesday. "Ray and Shannon have been advised that the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office has filed trespass charges against the seven intruders to their home," attorney Gregory Victor said in a statement. "The determination as to what specific charges to file was entirely within the discretion of the State Attorney's Office and the Allens are satisfied with both the decision to prosecute and the charges being pursued. "The Allens are thankful that no one was hurt and they are appreciative for all the support they have received from their community." USA Today Sports

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN NETS HISTORY

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson move up a few spots in a list topped by their former head coach.

   

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