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July 30, 2014 | 08:56 PM ET Update

Riley declined to say if he knew – when he met with LeBron in Las Vegas - that LeBron had met with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert four days earlier. "There wasn’t anything in that meeting that told me that wasn’t going to happen [that LeBron was going to leave]. I’ve moved on quickly from that. We are going to build another championship team and that’s it. This business, as we find it, is tough. Sometimes you have those tough calls and sometimes things happen to you that you don’t like but you’ve got to move on." Miami Herald

Sam Smith: Rose said he weighs 209 with 4-5% body fat; irony was four or five fat reporters were asking him questions at the time. Twitter @SamSmithHoops

“I was extremely excited,” Lin told Basketball Insiders in a phone interview. “I thought it was great for me to have a new opportunity and a new situation, and I thought that would be an awesome start. I thought it would be cool, obviously, going to L.A. since I’m from California and I have a lot of friends and family out there. I thought it would be a great opportunity playing-wise too, so I was really excited and ready to get out there. “I mean, it’s by far the most prestigious organization I’ve ever been a part of, obviously with all of the championships and just the level that it’s traditionally been known to be at. I think it’s a challenge for us to get the team back to where it was before and I think we have an opportunity to really surprise people this year. I think people aren’t expecting too much from us, and maybe they shouldn’t, but we’re hoping that we obviously do a lot better than anticipated.” Basketball Insiders

Now, Lin seems to block out critics and not worry about what they think. When asked if he feels he has proven that he’s a starting-caliber point guard in the NBA, Lin’s answer is somewhat surprising. “You know what, that’s a good question; I don’t know and I don’t think I actually care anymore, and I think that’s just where I’m at in my life,” Lin said. “I don’t care to figure out what the answer to that question is anymore. Before I [had] kind of like a chip on my shoulder, things to prove, people to prove wrong. Now, I’m just like when I get out there I’m going to play and everyone’s going to formulate their own opinion and it’s going to change every single day. I don’t think my own opinion of myself has ever changed. I still believe I am capable of that. But that’s just me, that’s if you ask me. I’m not really worried about what everyone else is thinking anymore.” Basketball Insiders

Binion said O’Neal and Burke later called him to apologize and the trio posted apologies on Twitter. Binion’s condition, called ectodermal dysplasia, can affect a person’s appearance and cause health problems. In Binion’s case, he does not sweat, and the condition has affected his hair and teeth. If he gets overheated and can’t cool himself down, he said, he could faint or suffer heat stroke. Detroit Free Press

July 30, 2014 | 08:08 PM ET Update

After five years of finding himself on a couple of different NBA benches of a couple of different NBA teams, Byron Mullens has decided to take his talents to China. According to Sina.com, Mullens has officially reached a deal with the Shanxi Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association. Basketball Buddha

That doesn't mean people treat Durant like a normal person. The Oklahoma City Thunder forward, who with 7.7 million followers is second to only LeBron James (13.8 million followers) in Twitter popularity, said all the noise led to him having second thoughts about the platform. Durant said he will delete Twitter applications from his phone to help keep his mind "pure" and "positive." "I might sign on here and there but for the most part I'll be off of it," Durant said. "When you go in there sometimes and you see that stuff and it kind of sits in your brain for a little bit -- not just my free agency or whatever but just anything -- most of the time you don't see a lot of good news on there." ESPN.com

"If we had the same mentality that we had to start the year off, we would have won the championship," George told Yahoo Sports. "We were playing the best ball of all of our careers and Pacers history in general. For us to not finish the year where we started is tough." Yahoo! Sports

But the Trail Blazers' All-Star power forward didn't completely ruin his chances of representing the United States in the future, including the 2016 Summer Olympics. Jerry Colangelo, the managing director for USA Basketball, said that while he was "disappointed" with Aldridge's last-second withdrawal from this week's USA Basketball training camp, he has learned never to eliminate talent until he absolutely has to. "I've just kind of put that on the shelf," Colangelo told The Oregonian on Wednesday, regarding Aldridge's USA status. "It was disappointing in the sense that it wasn't the first time, as you well know. But I never close the book or close the door on anyone. It's foolish to do that." Oregonian

Kevin Durant spent Wednesday morning in Las Vegas talking to 10 companies that sponsor him while addressing questions on how he handles being a public figure and being chosen as a popular figure on Madison Avenue. While Durant was one of the most liked players in the league, he became the most liked this season, according to the Q Scores, thanks in great part to his MVP speech in which he emotionally thanked his mother for her guidance and support. "I didn't do that to be marketable, to be looked at as one of the more marketable guys," Durant said in an interview with ESPN. "Was just being myself, and, if people like for me being myself, then I'm cool with it. I'm not trying to be nobody else or act a different way. I'm still a work in progress just like everybody else so I'm just going to continue to keep being who I am, and I enjoy all the partners that partner with me. I just try to do my best to represent them and do everything in authentic ways." ESPN.com

 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN HEAT HISTORY

Many players from the current squad in the list – including the two guys at the top.

   
July 30, 2014 | 07:04 PM ET Update

Todd Mayo, the brother of O.J. Mayo, plans to leave Marquette University before his upcoming senior season and pursue professional basketball in the NBA Development League or overseas, sources with direct knowledge of his decision told RealGM on Wednesday. Mayo confirmed his choice to leave Marquette, and he told RealGM that he expects to sign in the D-League and place his name in the 2015 NBA Draft. “I’m looking forward to the D-League and just learning and getting better,” Mayo said by phone on Wednesday afternoon. RealGM

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.

   
July 30, 2014 | 06:58 PM ET Update

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed second round draft pick Johnny O’Bryant, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Terms of the contract were not disclosed in accordance with team policy. NBA.com

Charles F. Gardner: O'Bryant deal is for 3 years with a team option in third season, according to a source. Similar to deal Nate Wolters signed last year. Twitter @cf_gardner

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN TRAIL BLAZERS HISTORY

Only four Hall of Famers, but plenty of fantastic names in the Top 50 of the storied franchise.

   
July 30, 2014 | 06:50 PM ET Update

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have re-signed forward Chris Bosh. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Chris Bosh is a two-time NBA champion and one of the most versatile big men in the league,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “His unique skillset makes him one of the best players in the game today. I’ve always felt he was committed to this organization, this staff and this city. I think he’s going to have the opportunity of a lifetime leading this team next season and having the nine-time NBA All-Star back in the fold was a big key for us. We are very blessed to have him.” NBA.com

Adrian Wojnarowski: Chris Bosh finally signed his new contract. Final numbers, source tells Yahoo: 5 years, $118.7M. Twitter @WojYahooNBA

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed guard Mo Williams. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. "We are excited to bring Mo into the fold this season," said Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders. "His veteran leadership and excellent three-point shooting ability will be a valuable addition to our team." 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.

   
July 30, 2014 | 04:39 PM ET Update

The Sacramento Kings have signed Eric Moreland to a contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. NBA.com

Meanwhile, Magic Johnson also said he tried to convince Carmelo Anthony to leave the New York Knicks in an hourlong phone conversation. Johnson noted that he spoke at length with Pau Gasol, who chose to leave for the Chicago Bulls instead of staying with the Lakers. "We had a great conversation but I think the way he was treated last season, kind of hurt him," said Johnson. "Here's a guy 18 [points] and 10 [rebounds], shooting over 50% and you want to bench him? You want to mess with this guy? He could never get over that." Los Angeles Times

Magic Johnson was on hand on Monday when the Lakers welcomed his former teammate, Byron Scott, as the Lakers' next head coach. Had Scott not taken the Cleveland Cavaliers job in 2010, he might have been hired by then-owner Jerry Buss after Phil Jackson retired after the 2010-11 season. "Dr. Buss was going to make Byron the coach when Phil didn't know what he was going to do" in 2010, said Johnson. "Byron took the Cleveland job, and he took it too early. I called and said: 'B., you took the job too early. Dr. Buss wanted you to be the coach." Los Angeles Times

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July 30, 2014 | 02:28 PM ET Update

Several teams, including the Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks, had interest in a free agent deal with Moreland. Still, Moreland and the Kings negotiated toward a contract over the weekend and into the week, and both sides agreed to terms on Tuesday. RealGM

Stephen Holt, who played for the Hawks in the Las Vegas Summer League, has signed to play professionally in Germany next season. The guard from St. Mary’s recently finalized the deal. Holt was invited to take part in Hawks training camp, which begins in October, but opted for a season overseas. “Stephen is very appreciative for the opportunity with the Hawks,” Holt’s agent Darrell Comer of ASM Sports said. “He is very, very excited to play in Germany. He is also very hopeful that he can play for the Hawks summer league team again next year.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN CLIPPERS HISTORY

Modern-day Clippers like Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are among the all-time best players in franchise history.

   
July 30, 2014 | 01:07 PM ET Update

Lottery-reform measures were introduced earlier this month at league meetings in Las Vegas, and the NBA Board of Governors could vote changes into place at its preseason meeting in October. Although there are several facets and the proposals haven't been finalized, the goal of commissioner Adam Silver is to balance out the lottery odds so the worst team or teams wouldn't have the highest chances of landing the top pick, sources said. ESPN.com

The meeting with Ballmer last Monday was the last, best chance for Donald Sterling to walk away with a shred of conciliation, or dignity. A settlement would have resurrected some shred of decorum. Even disgraced Dodgers owner Frank McCourt scored a photo op with Magic Johnson before exiting the stage. That was Sterling's option, but he had no use for it. Ballmer left the meeting after about an hour and a half and flew back to Seattle. Sterling instructed his lawyers to file a new lawsuit in the morning, this time alleging just about the only thing left to allege, that the shares of the corporation that owns the Clippers are in his name. It's a legal document that independent experts call laughable, and was a waste of time for everyone involved. ESPN.com

Alumnus Grant Hill and his wife, Tamia, are giving $1.25 million to Duke University to support athletics and the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Wednesday. Duke Athletics will receive $1 million for facility upgrades; the rest will go to the Duke Annual Fund in support of Trinity College. “As an outstanding example of a Duke student-athlete, Grant Hill became a beloved part of Duke’s history,” Brodhead said. “We’re grateful that Grant and Tamia have helped to ensure that Duke’s tradition of academic opportunities and remarkable student-athletes continues well into the future.” Duke University Blue Devils Official Athletics Site

 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN SUPERSONICS HISTORY

Kevin Durant may end up claiming the No. 1 spot, but for now it belongs to Gary Payton.

   
July 30, 2014 | 10:36 AM ET Update

The Wizards will undoubtedly be in competition from several other teams that will have money that summer, including the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Rockets. Durant expects to have a few suitors coming his way. “It’s great to feel wanted,” Durant said. “Got to see what’s out there, if you’re a free agent. We playing in a league where it’s so powerful, you can impact so many different people. You’ve got to look at all of your options.” Washington Post

New Detroit Pistons point guard D.J. Augustin held his annual youth basketball camp in Louisiana on Tuesday, and he spoke with the New Orleans Advocate about his NBA situation. Some highlights: “I really wanted to be back in Chicago, and they really wanted me back. But it didn’t work out, businesswise, and I had to move on.” “Detroit wanted me. I think it will be a good opportunity for me, and I think we’re going to do well.” Detroit Free Press

For the first time since 1996, the Lakers this summer went under the salary cap, using their spending power to acquire Jeremy Lin in trade from the Houston Rockets and sign Nick Young to a four-year, $21.3-million contract. Once the team climbed back over the cap ($63.1 million for the 2014-15 season), they gained a $2.732 million "room exception," of which $1.65 million went to re-sign power forward Ryan Kelly -- leaving a remainder of $1.082 million. On Friday, the Lakers re-signed Xavier Henry on what was originally believed to be a one-year deal at a minimum salary of $980,431. Instead, Henry received an additional $101,569 -- the $1.082-million sliver available from the Lakers' room exception. Los Angeles Times

Zalgiris Kaunas announced the signing of Maalik Wayns. The point guard moves to Europe after two seasons between NBA and D-League. Sportando

Earlier this month at league meetings in Las Vegas, lottery reform measures were introduced and changes could be voted into place by the NBA Board of Governors at their preseason meeting in October. Though there are several facets and the proposals haven't been finalized, essentially the goal of commissioner Adam Silver is to balance out the lottery odds so the worst team or teams wouldn't have the highest chances of landing the top pick, sources said. ESPN.com

The rough draft of this plan was met with opposition by 76ers management, who are in the midst of a multiseason rebuilding project that is depending on a high pick next year. The 76ers, sources said, are hoping to get the NBA to delay plans for at least a year because it acts as a de facto punishment while just playing by the rules that have been in place. ESPN.com

The 76ers, however, may have a struggle to gain support from Silver or fellow teams on holding off the changes. Philadelphia's planned sink to the bottom has caused a drag on revenues in one of the league's largest markets and it is has upset some fellow teams, sources said. 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.

   
July 30, 2014 | 08:39 AM ET Update

Durant, who has always professed his love for Oklahoma City but who admitted Tuesday at Team USA training camp that his future is uncertain, grew up 10 miles east of Washington D.C. in Seat Pleasant, Md. "It's not a bad (idea) at all," Wall told USA TODAY Sports about the idea of Durant eventually adopting James' homecoming strategy. "Two of the best guys in the East going head to head four times a year? It'd be pretty exciting. You just sit back and watch and see what happens, but (the Wizards' Durant-motivated moves) definitely lets him know that we want him around." USA Today Sports

The incumbent Thunder officials would no doubt be sleeping easier at night if they had a Larry O'Brien trophy to put inside the team's practice facility as a reminder to Durant that he shouldn't leave. Instead, he'll soon enter his eighth season without a championship to his name and with the residue of five consecutive playoff exits on his resume. Durant was asked Tuesday if winning it all would make a difference in his 2016 decision, to which he predictably offered an affirmative. "Two (championship) years straight? That would be cool," Durant said. "It would definitely be tough to (leave then). That's one of those things where you've got a dynasty now. But like I said, I don't want to think too far down the line. I'm trying to focus on today. I love my teammates, my coaches, the front office, the city, but we'll see." USA Today Sports

All indications to this point are that the Suns have no interest in trading Bledsoe to another team either. Certainly, the Suns are in win-now mode, so any trade would be for a better player not a worse one. The Suns are no longer in the business of sending out the best player in the deal. Bright Side of the Sun

Dwain Price: Nelson said the #Mavs may consider signing Rashard Lewis after his knee surgery. Mavs took 1-yr, $1.4 million deal for Lewis off the table. Twitter @DwainPrice

After signing Aaron Brooks, the Bulls no longer are in talks with Toney Douglas. They do plan on signing at least one and possibly two players to veteran minimum contracts. Their targets are one more big man for depth and a wing. Chicago Tribune

DeMarcus Cousins is a beast, but ultimately, the staff has to be able to trust him, both in regard to dealing with officials and in making decisions with the ball. During a scrimmage on Tuesday, Cousins punched a wall pad out of frustration as the ball went the other way in transition. It was something that would go mostly unnoticed in an NBA game, but that stuff registers with the staff. He has great skills, but USA bigs don’t need to play one-on-one. NBA.com

Maurice Harkless has chosen not to play for Puerto Rico’s national basketball team this summer. The 21-year-old Orlando Magic swingman originally was set to train with Puerto Rico’s team and represent the commonwealth during the upcoming FIBA World Cup in Spain. But Harkless has decided to concentrate instead on preparing for the 2014-15 season, his third year in the NBA. “He wants to focus on the Magic and getting ready for his most important season to date,” Happy Walters, Harkless’ agent, told the Orlando Sentinel. Orlando Sentinel

It was a reception and Italian dinner, and probably well worth every penny given that Popovich stood, acknowledging his discomfort from his postseason hip replacement surgery, and said a few words to the crowd about wines. Also, Popovich pledged that he'd match everyone's donations from the evening. Popovich told the group he likes a great pinot noir. He's also enthusiastic about some of the offerings from Spain. Also, a day earlier during that "sighting" at the winery he spent his Saturday privately tasting some of the components that could potentially go into the next offering of Rock & Hammer. Oregonian

The NBA Kings have "signed a 20-year media rights extension with NBC Sports Group worth" $690-700M, according to Lombardo & Ourand of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The new media rights deal "will keep the Kings on Comcast SportsNet California" through the '33-34 NBA season. Sports Business Daily

Barring an unexpected change of heart by the NBA, Christmas in Miami will feature LeBron James’ much-anticipated return to Miami in an opposing uniform. Though the NBA’s schedule will not be finalized and released until mid-August, an unofficial internal schedule of select games has Cleveland playing the Heat in Miami on Christmas on ABC, according to a person familiar with the situation. Miami Herald

Ailene Voisin: I am hearing that longtime NBA veteran referee Dick Bavetta is retiring. Not official yet though, according to NBA sources. Bavetta is 74. Twitter @ailene_voisin

LeBron James is coming back, not only to Cleveland but back into the public's favor. According to a poll taken this month by California-based E-Poll, Americans like James more than they ever have since he made the "Decision" to leave the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat four years ago. The company takes the opinions of 1,100 people, ages 13 and up that reflect a representative sampling of the U.S. population, in a poll and uses that data to give the more than 8,000 celebrities in its database an E-Score ranging from 0 to 100, with 100 being the most known, liked and appealing. ESPN.com

A mock-up of the advertisement posted on Twitter depicts two Miami Heat championship rings above the words "You're Welcome, LeBron." Below are the words "Sincerely, Miami Heat Fans." Representatives of The Dan LeBatard Show called the Cleveland media outlet on Tuesday to purchase a full-page advertisement in this Sunday's edition of the newspaper, Northeast Ohio Media Group Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mike Maleski confirmed. NEOMG sales staff are responsible for ads in The Plain Dealer. The show's request was "politely declined," Maleski said. Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

THE TOP JERSEY SELLERS IN THE NBA IN THE LAST DECADE

LeBron James has the best selling jersey these days, but that's been more the exception than the norm during his time in the league.

   

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