HoopsHype rumors


May 22, 2015 | 09:01 AM ET Update

Darren Wolfson: Royce White has more than a LAC offer for summer league. I have his comeback story at 10:22 on @KSTP. Talked w/ him & mentor Chris Carr. Twitter @DWolfsonKSTP

After requiring nearly two years to recover from a knee surgery that Danilo Gallinari believes was initially botched, the 26-year-old forward finally regained his form late last season and appears now to be a centerpiece in the Nuggets' rebuilding efforts, as is center Jusuf Nurkic, recently named one of the league's 10 best rookies. While Kroenke steadfastly refuses to offer specific names when talking about plans to aggressively retool the roster prior to opening night of the next NBA season, it's realistic to expect point guard Ty Lawson or forward Kenneth Faried or both to be part of trade discussions prior to the June 25 draft. Denver Post

The goal, Kroenke stressed, is not to win 50 regular-season games and lose in the playoffs, but to relentlessly build a core of players in Denver, led by a legitimate star, that can pry open a window of opportunity to win it all. "We're going to be aggressive this summer as an organization, and continue to be aggressive until we feel we have the roster that can truly compete for something special," he said Thursday. Denver Post

Gotham reiterated what other members of management have made clear — impending restricted free agent Jae Crowder is a priority. “He added a lot to our team. He added toughness, energy and confidence,” he said. “He gave our guys a little swagger. His attitude and the way he plays the game rubbed off on our team. We hit that cycle where our team is feeding off of it and our fans are feeding off of it. It’s a nice dynamic and he brought that to us.” Boston Herald

"Probably this has been my last Euroleague game with CSKA," Sasha Kaun told Championat.com. (...) Kaun a was chosen by the Sonics in the 2008 draft (56th pick) and the Cavaliers acquired his rights in 2010. Gigantes del Basket

Now the Golden State Warriors have the Western Conference finals in their grasp. Stephen Curry scored 33 points before Harden lost the ball in the closing seconds to end a spectacular duel between the NBA MVP and runner-up, and the Warriors held off the Houston Rockets 99-98 on Thursday night to take a 2-0 lead in the series. "Sometimes I want to crack open a beer and get a courtside seat. These two guys are the two best basketball players in the world," Warriors center Andrew Bogut said. USA Today Sports

Harden fell to the floor and put his hands over his head as the Warriors celebrated on the court, the sellout crowd of 19,596 roared, and golden-yellow confetti fell from the rafters. "Kicking chairs," Harden said. "It's frustrating. It's frustrating to give the game away like that." Harden had 38 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Dwight Howard overcame a sprained left knee that slowed him down to finish with 19 points and 17 rebounds for a Rockets team headed home in a major hole. USA Today Sports

As has been the case all season long, this cook-off – as the MVP-based battle between Harden and Curry has been deemed – simply isn't fair. These two top chefs are working with a different set of ingredients. "It's tough," Harden said. "You know, just how hard we fought both these games. Still, we're giving up small things, too many easy lay‑ups, too many easy threes that we're having to climb back. This is a really good team that we're playing, and so when you give them those buckets and you're trying to fight back and you put yourself in a situation to win, you look back at those plays early in the game, and you kind of want them back." USA Today Sports

"Sometimes I want to crack open a beer and get a courtside seat," Warriors center Andrew Bogut said of the Curry-Harden fireworks. "Because these two guys, they're the two best basketball players in the world. "Steph knocks down a big shot and then we've got to come down and try to stop James, and he knocks down a big shot. ... A lot of times I get caught watching, going crazy with the shots that he makes. "It's an honor to be his teammate." San Jose Mercury-News

Just like he wasn’t on the list for Team USA, for all of the NBA All-Star games he missed out on. How despite being the top pick in the draft, he’s never been the face of the league. And he wasn’t on the list to be the go-to guy for the press until he made himself that person. It’s the thing he’s made a theme of his professional career: He, according to Wall and Wizards faithful, was snubbed. For The Win

"The leader I learned from the most? Probably Jarrett Jack has a big influence when he was here." NBA TV's Game Time replayed the clip with Jack sitting on the dias. He seemed a bit surprised, then explained what he had done when he and Jack played at Golden State two years ago. "That's tough, man," Jack said. "Real humbling. "I would always just stay in his ear ... Steph's a quiet kid, not a boisterous kid by nature ... Just telling him 'it's paramount that your voice is heard, on a day-by-day basis. NetsDaily

J.R. Smith drew comparisons to Dennis Rodman this offseason — both from Knicks president Phil Jackson and Rodman himself. Now Smith may have met his version of Michael Jordan. “There are players like LeBron [James] who had great influence on players who have had, let’s say, murky pasts,” said TNT play-by-play man Marv Albert, who is calling the Eastern Conference finals. “Michael Jordan is the same way. When Rodman was brought to Chicago that worked out pretty well, despite some things going on off the court that were a little bit different. On the court he played as hard as anyone in the league. That’s the influence of Michael. New York Post

Of course, James found the ball in his hands more than usual down the stretch after Kyrie Irving tweaked his left knee in the third quarter and was limited to just 27 minutes on the night. “It’s tough sometimes with our main ball handler not being on the floor, and that’s Kyrie,” James said. “That’s something that I’m not happy with, something I’m not really comfortable with doing. I can do it, but I don’t like to play that much isolation basketball late in the game. I’d much rather get the ball moving from side to side and get a good look after that.” ESPN.com

For five days, Barnes joined the Hall of Famer whose Bel-Air home is just down the street from one of the more infamous basketball courts you'll find. By day, they worked on the regulation-sized court that's inside the home of shoe mogul Steven Jackson – a replica of the Staples Center, "Lakers mausoleum," as West describes it, that visiting NBA teams will sometimes use for shoot-arounds or practices. By night, they all sat in the West's family dining room, where his wife, Karen, would take food requests from Barnes and try to replenish all those calories he'd burned learning tricks of the trade from her legendary husband. USA Today Sports

The discussions, as Barnes saw it, were as meaningful as the drills. And yes, for those who naturally wondered, West was an active participant in these workouts that also included former Warriors assistant coach Joe Boylan. "It was crazy," Barnes said. "To be able to not only spend time with him on the court, but off the court as well, to see how he saw the game, how I need to see the game, the things that he saw in my game. He actually took the court and practiced on certain things. USA Today Sports

"I knew that Kobe learned a lot from Elgin Baylor and from Jerry West," Barnes said. "I would watch (video of) Jerry, because he used to always say that his pull-up was unbelievable. No matter where he was on the court, he could always square up and get you a shot no matter what, so I looked up his clips after I heard that. I saw that kind of stuff, and obviously when I got drafted here I saw some more of his stuff. And then getting on the court with him? That was nuts. "We'd work out in the morning. We'd get some work in, and then he'd show up and put me through a workout. He'd show me stuff he would do, and then we'd go out to eat and talk about what the league is like today, stuff he saw back in the day. USA Today Sports

Who is the toughest point guard you faced during your career? Steve Nash: Good question. John Stockton. reddit

Parsons will be on crutches for another two or three weeks, per Mavs.com's Bobby Karalla. If it is microfracture surgery, I'm not sure how much of an advantage the Mavericks gain from hiding it. Any free agent who meets with Dallas will ask about Parsons' health and they won't be able to hide it then, although maybe that will have bought Parsons enough time in his recovery to guarantee an early season return. That Parsons won't say what surgery it was either way makes me think the worst, but again, we just don't know at this point. mavsmoneyball.com

Frank Kaminsky says he prefers Jahlil Okafor to Karl-Anthony Towns, the former Wisconsin forward told SI Now. Asked whom he would pick first in the draft, Kaminsky said it would depend on team need. But as for which player is more talented between Okafor and Towns, Kaminsky said: "I think Jahlil is a good player. Just the way he plays and how big he is and how strong he is. He's very advanced for his age. If I was going to build a franchise, my personal favorite is Jahlil, just because I know him more personally." Sports Illustrated

FIBA: Gorgui Dieng: "I want to help bring Senegal back among the most competitive teams on the continent. My goal is to help the team win the next continental competition. We have a great group of players and we know that it won't be easy, but the goal this summer is to win the #AfroBasket2015 and qualify for #Rio2016." Instagram

While every young sports executive makes missteps, what concerns me about Kroenke isn't his intelligence or his diligence. It's the fact as a junior partner in his father's worldwide sports empire that young Kroenke's name has been plastered high in the organization chart of pro basketball, hockey and soccer franchises. That's a lot of balls, not to mention a bucket of pucks, to juggle. So I asked: As a sports executive, are you spread too thin? "Oh, man. That's a tough question," said Kroenke, pondering all that's expected from a curator of pro teams in a sports-crazy town. Then, he added: "I'm not spread too thin." Denver Post

James recently sat down with Rachel Nichols of CNN and Turner to discuss a variety of topics. The 30-year-old Cavaliers star spent a lot of time talking about the adjustments he's made since coming back to Cleveland and how parenting has made him a better leader. Toward the end of the interview, Nichols got James to talk about some random topics. Of course, James is currently focused on bringing a championship to Cleveland. However, he also revealed that at some point down the road, he would love to star in an action movie—as either a cop or Batman. Dream big, LeBron! Bleacher Report

Lil B is pissed because he thinks Harden keeps jacking his "cooking dance" when he celebrates draining a big shot. Harden has been doing it all season, but Lil B says he's watching the Western Conference Finals -- and if Harden does it again ... it's gonna be curses. Lil B tells TMZ Sports, "If Harden doesn't tell what he is doing, which is the Lil B cooking dance, he will be cursed. He needs to stop stealing Lil B swag without showing love." TMZ.com

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