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November 26, 2014 | 09:55 PM ET Update

With high profile names such as the recently mentioned Jordan Hamilton, Dahntay Jones and Nolan Smith (all with NBA experience), entering the NBA D-League on a more frequent basis, what does that mean for guys waiting it out in the player pool with less of a name? Or, a player who is already on a roster but towards the bottom of their team’s rotation? The NBA D-League’s player pool currently consists of over 130 players, but how many of those guys are really going to get a crack at a roster spot? With talented players being added daily to the player pool, some with NBA experience, why would a team look to a player who was cut by another NBADL team at the conclusion of training camp, or during the season? D-League Digest

A NBA D-League team source told DLD recently, “if you’re in there right now (player pool) – and were either undrafted or cut in camp and not picked up yet, there’s no reason to stay.” DLD’s source continued, “and with an abundance of guys either coming back early from Europe or deciding that the D-League is the best option – and wanting to get acclimated with a team prior to the Showcase – there are just too many new faces coming in to really consider the guys that other teams have already decided don’t have what it takes to play in this league.” D-League Digest

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has a come up with a proposal to level the playing field between the NBA's two conferences. Cuban suggests a conference realignment that would result in a total of eight teams, including the Mavs, switching conferences. In Cuban's plan, the Mavs, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans would move to the Eastern Conference. The Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks would move to the West. "It's not like it'd be the first time we've ever realigned," Cuban said. "It's happened many times before, so there's precedent and I just think it shakes things up and makes things interesting." ESPN.com

"It's not like you're reducing competition," said Cuban, who noted that the teams he suggested moving to the West are approximately the same distance from Portland as Dallas and closer than New Orleans, San Antonio and Houston. "You keep Cleveland, Washington and other good teams in the East. It kind of shakes things up in terms of not just interest but also in terms of how people rebuild. "It just changes things up and it changes the thought process of a lot of teams. It makes both conferences very competitive, at least for the short-term and I think, based on the history of the teams, for the long-term as well." ESPN.com

On Wednesday, the JBA, one of FIBA’s 214 national federations, was suspended from all FIBA and FIBA Asia-related activities. The length of the ban has not been announced. As a result, all Japan national teams are barred from playing in FIBA-sanctioned competitions, including the women’s national team, which captured its first FIBA Asia title in 43 years in 2013. This could have a profound negative impact on Olympic qualifying and preparation for it. Japan Times

November 26, 2014 | 08:17 PM ET Update

Mike Monroe: Gregg Popovich ('minor medical procedure') out for tonight's #spurs game; Ettore Messina to become 1st European-born to coach NBA game Twitter @Monroe_SA

Marc Berman: Carmelo as gingerly walks in: "I don’t think it will be too long. I think the spasms will go away. But I’m not going to play with spasms. I could barely walk or do anything yesterday so I’m doing a little better. I’m walking.’’ Twitter @NYPost_Berman

Jason Lloyd: #Cavs starting lineup remains unchanged. Wizards' Nene (plantar fascitis) still out tonight. Beal starting for first time since wrist injury Twitter @JasonLloydABJ

THE TOP 25 AMERICAN PLAYERS EVER IN EUROPE

Many of the best American players in European basketball history were FIBA journeymen, but we have a former NBA star at No. 1.

   
November 26, 2014 | 06:05 PM ET Update

If Lopez had his way, he'd enjoy this view for the foreseeable future. He will be a free agent after this season, but he has no desire to leave Portland. "I really love it here," Lopez said. "I fee like I've really found a niche. Nothing is set in stone, but I'm comfortable here, I'm happy here." Oregonian

When the sunny summer skies transition into the gloomy gray months of winter, Lopez, a native of Fresno, Calif., doesn't sit around and daydream about warmer, brighter days. "I know a lot of people hate it, but I've always loved the rain," he says, smiling and shaking his head. "I just, I don't know, I love the rain. I love gray days where the rain's just pouring down." As the mist drops across Portland, Lopez, who lives on the 27th floor of a high-rise, lounges among the clouds, drawing or reading, and finds comfort. It's not for everybody. But for Lopez, it feels like home. "I love it right now," he said. "Sitting around, watching it rain -- especially on the 27th floor -- it's like watching it from above, almost." Oregonian

“It's a tough situation,” Thomas said. “But you've just got to be ready for whatever circumstances coach puts you in. You gotta be ready when your name is called, but I'm not going to sugarcoat it. It's tough. It's not what I expected,” Thomas continued. “But coach has a tough job. Putting all of us on the floor and trying to mix up the minutes, it's tough for him. So it's not just tough for us as players, we just gotta be ready when our name's called and just know, I mean, coach is trying to do what he thinks is best for the team to put us in a position to win. But the key word is it's a tough situation. For all of us.” CBSSports.com

Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek has used the three of them together when he's wanted to push the pace. Offensively, that's a lot to handle. The strategy has obvious defensive drawbacks, though, especially when the opponent has a post-up threat on the wing. Finding the proper balance has been tricky. “They're all used to having the ball in their hands quite a bit, and they're still trying to figure it out,” Hornacek said. “And so are we [the coaching staff]. It's not just those three guys — we have Gerald Green at the guard position also. And everyone goes, ‘Ehh, we can just slide him over to the 3 spot,' but then we have P.J. Tucker and Marcus Morris.” CBSSports.com

NBA DANCERS ON INSTAGRAM

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

   
November 26, 2014 | 03:31 PM ET Update

Mike Bresnahan: Henry would still get the full $1.1 million due this season. He averaged 2.2 points this season after a more-impactful 10 ppg last season. Twitter @Mike_Bresnahan

Chris Reichert: The Iowa Energy have acquired Jordan Hamilton. Hamilton most recent played with the Utah Jazz. #NBADL Twitter

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, presented by Lutheran Health Network, announced today that they have acquired Dahntay Jones. Jones (6’6”, 225lbs) played for the Mad Ants during the 2007-08 season. Jones, an NBA veteran out of Duke, has played for several NBA teams in his professional career including four seasons with the Denver Nuggets and three seasons with the Indiana Pacers. During the 2007-08 season he played in 10 games for the Mad Ants averaging 24.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. NBA.com

Despite missing the past two practices because of respective left shoulder and right ankle injuries, both forward Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis are expected to play tonight when the Lakers (3-11) host the Memphis Grizzlies (12-2) at Staples Center. They went through shootaround and they both moved pretty well, so I take it that they will both be available tonight,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “Unless something drastically changes in the next seven to eight hours. I think they’ll be ready to play.” Boozer will start, while Davis will return back to his reserve role. Los Angeles Daily News

WHAT PLAYERS ARE WEARING

Many NBA players are trying to make fashion statements these days, but not all of them are having success at it.

   
November 26, 2014 | 02:38 PM ET Update

Anthony will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, potentially a consecutive year out of the NBA playoffs for a veteran who had three straight runs to the Finals with the Heat. Even so, Anthony, 32, has made clear to Van Gundy his desire to remain part of the new regime, aiming to re-sign with the Pistons and be a member of a roster that thrives again in Detroit. “I love the idea of being here, staying here moving forward and having a chance to help them turn this franchise around,” Anthony told RealGM. “Stan has been very adamant about wanting to change the culture, so to be part of that … I don’t want to say it’s more special than playing on a contending team that could win it all, but it would be very satisfying and gratifying to be part of a situation where you’re able to turn things around." RealGM

The Heat traded Anthony before the trade deadline a season ago, a transaction that neither LeBron James nor Dwyane Wade endorsed publicly and privately. “I had caught wind that a trade was a possibility,” Anthony said. “So when it happened, even though you knew it was a possibility, it still caught me by surprise just because you’re so close to the team, the organization and the city. It’s tough having played somewhere your entire career, the amount of time I had over there and all the memories. Obviously, Miami has always been home for me. I still have my place there in the offseason.” RealGM

Bill Oram: Haven’t confirmed Lakers talks with Earl Clark, but it’s unclear when or how Lakers would sign him. They would have two choices... Lakers have 15 guys, so could waive someone to make room. Or wait 3 games until hardship exemption kicks in and sign him to 16th roster spot Twitter @billoram

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has assigned forward Tony Mitchell to the team’s NBA Development League (D-League) affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. Mitchell, drafted 37th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, appeared in 21 games for the Pistons last season averaging 1.0 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. He also had two D-League assignments last season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and averaged 7.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 10 games. NBA.com

 

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.

   
November 26, 2014 | 12:44 PM ET Update

Houston was prepared to offer Anthony a four-year deal worth $96 million – nearly $28 million less than what he settled for with the Knicks on a five-year deal – and Dallas could’ve come close but elected to sign Chandler Parsons instead. The Los Angeles Lakers are the only team Anthony considered that currently has a worse record than the Knicks (4-11) but Anthony refused to get wrapped up in any “what-if” scenarios in advance of his Texas two-step. “I don’t even think about it like that,” Anthony said recently. “Those are just games. Of course, I’ve been there, I’ve visited, I’ve talked to the people in each organization. But I don’t see it as, ‘Oh, they’re winning, I could’ve been there.’ If I’m thinking about other [stuff] right now, it’s irrelevant. I’ve got to be focused on this, what we’re trying to do here, keeping them motivated, keeping them inspired to come in here and work hard every day and practice every day.” Washington Post

“I just felt like this is where I need to be. I feel like I’m built for this. New York, this is who I am,” Anthony said. “I came here because I wanted to be here, I wanted to feel what it’s like to be in New York. Me, as a competitor, I hate to lose and I’ll do whatever I’ ve got to do to win. I know some people expected this, but I’m not like, ‘Oh yeah, we lose tonight, it’s cool.’ No, I want to win. That’s the hurtful thing for me. I don’t care who said this was expected, I want to win.” Washington Post

Drummond has spent an inordinate amount of the Pistons' first 14 games in foul trouble. He had not scored more than 14 points in a game this season before Tuesday. "I've been playing real sluggish, real slow, and not really getting into the game," Drummond. "I take the fall for that. I'm not only hurting myself but I'm hurting my teammates, too." Booth Newspapers

Carmelo Anthony wasn't at the Knicks morning shootaround and isn't expected to play in Wednesday night's game against the Mavericks due to back spasms. "He's making some progress but not enough for him to be in the game," Derek Fisher said. "It'll be day-to-day I'm sure, but probably not tonight. "He's not in a lot of comfort so really just trying to rest up and get himself better." Newsday

Emmanuel Mudiay would've topped this list a week ago. Through his first nine games in China, he's averaging 18.9 PPG, 6.6 RPG and 6.3 APG and shooting 49 percent from field. However, an ankle injury suffered late last week has him out a minimum of two weeks. The long-term prognosis is good, a source close to Mudiay told me. It isn't a serious injury. But his people are going to play it safe. ESPN.com

His stock is too high right now. Most scouts I've spoken with have him either No. 2 or No. 3 on their boards. Mudiay does have things to work on. After a hot shooting start, he's down to shooting 32 percent from 3 and he's averaging 3.1 turnovers per game. But overall, he's impressed everyone. A number of scouts are heading over to China in a couple of weeks to get an up-close look. We should know even more then. ESPN.com

BUZZ METER: WHO'S TRENDING IN THE NBA TWITTERSPHERE?

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

   
November 26, 2014 | 11:25 AM ET Update

As injuries decimate their roster, the Los Angeles Lakers are working on a one-year deal to sign forward Earl Clark, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Clark has averaged 29 points per game for the Rio Grand Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League, and the eventual finalization of a deal could bring Clark back to the Lakers in the next few days, sources said. Yahoo! Sports

Sure, the Indiana forward acknowledges, it would have been nice to join the Spurs back in 2007-08 and play with Manu Ginobili, his best friend and fellow Argentine. But there is another lost opportunity he regrets even more. “To have a chance to play with Manu would have been big, but I played with Manu every summer,” Scola said Tuesday. “The chance to play with Tim Duncan, that will always be hard to miss, because he’s my biggest hero.” San Antonio Express-News

Rob Peterson: CP3 to @Tom Haberstroh "I'm on Synergy all day, everyday. You know what I'm talking about, Synergy?" Does Warren Buffett know his portfolio? Twitter @ShotDrJr

"He's been incredible," said Thibodeau, whose Bulls lost 114-109 to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. "He's a star, and he does it on both ends of the floor. He's just an amazing player. We've had him play the point, we've had him play the 2, the 3, and tonight he played the 4. And he hasn't had any opportunity to practice the 4. So he just got out there, he's smart, he's tough, he does whatever the team needs, and he found a way to help lead us into coming back and having a shot at the end." ESPN.com

Although the 25-year-old continues to put up All-Star-type numbers, he doesn't want any part of the star label. "I'm not a star," Butler said. "I'm a good role player on a really, really good team. A really, really deep team. I like role players. 'Star' has never been next to Jimmy Butler's name, it never will be. I'll always be just an under-the-radar dog." ESPN.com

With the ascension of Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans are suddenly at the forefront of the NBA discussion. By box score statistics, Davis has been playing about as well as any player possibly can over the 12 games to start the season. He has a 35.9 PER, 62 true shooting percentage, and is blocking 7.4 percent of opponents’ two-pointers. The Pels outscore opponents by 8.6 points per 100 possessions with Davis on the floor, and get murdered to the tune of -14.0 points/100 when he sits, per NBA.com. Basketball Insiders

Wizards guard Bradley Beal grew up in St. Louis — he still loves the Cardinals and Imo’s pizza — “about 10 minutes” from Ferguson, where protests broke out Monday night in reaction to the grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown. “It’s definitely heartbreaking because I knew [Brown], and then on top of that, I know a lot of people in that area,” Beal told ABC 7 before Tuesday’s loss to the Hawks. Washington Post

Beal later clarified that he’d seen Brown around, but didn’t have a personal relationship with him. “He was a big part of the area, a lot of people knew who he was and he was a big impact to our community,” Beal said. Washington Post

 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN ROCKETS HISTORY

Average height of the main three players is 6-foot-10. It's truly a big man franchise.

   
November 26, 2014 | 08:54 AM ET Update

Van Gundy, after a chunk of games that has his team at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, paying an early deposit with the 76ers for a good seat at next May's draft lottery, has begun to realize that balance is probably more delicate than his dual titles as coach and president of basketball operations. "I don't think it's gonna be overnight," Van Gundy said. "I'd like it to be. Tom would like it to be, but I don't think it's gonna be an overnight thing." "Last night it was an hour and a half, just talking about our roster and where we're headed and the whole thing. What I feel good about, what I don't like. It was two days of texts." Detroit News

Chandler was blamed for too eagerly criticizing former coach Mike Woodson’s defensive schemes. Whispers Chandler was one of the dreaded locker-room “finger pointers’’ have also surfaced. They are odd accusations for one of the NBA’s noted leaders. Of course, it could be a smoke screen for the real intentions of Jackson, the Knicks’ team president, shipping out a player who didn’t fit into his triangle offense because he’s not a good jump shooter or post-up guy. Chandler is, however, a ferocious defender and the current Knicks don’t defend a lick. New York Post

“Who better than him…at the point guard spot,” Green said. “I don’t know someone that’s better than him, so I definitely think he’s taken over that top spot at the point guard spot. Obviously, with winning comes accolades, so we keep continuing to win, all that stuff will take care of itself.” “He’ll be an All-Star. He’ll be all that stuff. You continue to win games, and those wins add up, it’ll be hard to deny him the MVP.” Contra Costa Times

Most of us read the Chandler trade as the Mavs plugging the dam on a bottom-10 defense, and to a large degree, that was accurate. But Dallas also viewed Chandler as a keystone in what could be a historically great offense — a scoring machine so ruthless, the Mavs could chase a title in Dirk Nowitzki’s twilight without an elite defense. “When we can spread the floor with Tyson or [Brandan Wright] rolling,” Nowitzki says, “it’s a bitch to guard.” Grantland

Brown's team had just hung with Portland, one of the league's best teams. The Sixers stayed competitive even though they didn't hit a single three-pointer and grabbed just seven offensive rebounds. It was their 14th straight defeat. One more and the Sixers will tie the franchise's all-time mark for the longest losing streak to start a season. But Brown said he saw some light. "We're not that far away. I genuinely believe that," Brown said Monday. "I think that this team is starting to see bits and hints of a team. Nobody is rolling over or pointing fingers. These guys are great." Philadelphia Inquirer

Returning from two years of knee injuries, such ancillary injuries are expected to be part of the process. Perhaps frustrating, they need to be dealt with in a rational and not emotional manner. It seemed at halftime Thibodeau understood that. “It was really nothing that happened,” Thibodeau said after the game. “Other than I didn’t want to take any chances with him. The way the game was going, the way we were going, I just felt at that point I wanted to go a different way. He’s didn’t reinjure himself or anything like that. I just didn’t want to take a chance. We’ve got a couple of days now, regroup and the way they were playing, the way we were playing I wanted to see if we could change it with a different type of ball pressure. I knew the start of the third quarter (with the Bulls trailing 56-49 at halftime), the defensive transition and the speed of the game (needed to increase). That was my big concern and I didn’t want to take a chance there. That’s basically it.” Bulls.com

Earlier this week, Suns guard Eric Bledsoe said that this year's No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats team would "definitely" win a seven-game series against the Philadelphia 76ers tank squad. On Thursday, Bledsoe's teammate at UK, Demarcus Cousins, backed up his former Wildcat teammate. "I'mma roll with Kentucky as well," the Kings big man said. "Honestly I don't know much about the 76ers. I'll probably go with Kentucky." CBSSports.com

Demar Derozan is one of the most talented and important pieces of the 2014-2015 Toronto Raptors, who currently have the league’s best record at 12-2. Drake, the team’s global ambassador, also has a tight relationship with many of the players, even the newly arrived Lou Williams, who was just named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player Of The Week. While on the NBA TV Fan Night Pre-Game show discussing Drake’s relationship with the Raptors with Chris Webber, Derozan mentioned that Drake said he’d give Derozan a copy of his mixtape, Derozan says is “coming out in January.” TheSource

Don't expect J.R. Smith to master something as complicated as the triangle offense when he can't even grasp basic American history. The Knicks shooting guard made a fool of himself on Instagram Tuesday night by linking the term "Black Friday" with slavery. "DID YOU KNOW: Black Friday stemmed from slavery? It was the day after Thanksgiving when slave traders would sell slaves for a discount to assist plantation owners with more helpers for the upcoming winter (for cutting and stacking fire wood, winterproofing etc.), hence the name," read the graphic, complete with an illustration of a slave auction. New York Daily News

NBA All-Star Paul George has amicably settled his once-searing paternity battle with New York beauty Daniela Rajic over their 7-month-old daughter, Olivia. The injured 24-year-old Indiana Pacers star — who earns about $18 million a year — and ex-stripper Rajic on Tuesday reached a “joint parenting agreement” and child-support settlement over Olivia, Page Six has exclusively learned. New York Post

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN RAPTORS HISTORY

Nasty break-up and all, Air Canada is the best thing that ever happened to the Toronto Raptors.

   

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