HoopsHype rumors


April 25, 2015 | 05:08 PM ET Update

Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic, who sat out Game 3 with a left knee injury, will play Saturday afternoon in Game 4 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. "He should be good," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said, adding that he should be able to play 100% and won't be on a minutes restriction. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Dwight Howard just raised LeBron James one impressive full-court shot … plus a jaunty yellow backpack. (Howard’s form had a bit more side-arm to it, though, compared to King James’ football-esque throw.) For The Win

The Cavaliers' Timofey Mozgov is looking for a new ride to drive around Cleveland during the playoffs, and I took him out to test-drive cars at Cleveland Motorsports. From Rolls-Royce to Porsche to Maserati to Chevy Camaro, Mozgov knows his cars and loves to drive them like a bat out of hell. Bleacher Report

April 25, 2015 | 03:06 PM ET Update

If Kevin Love becomes available in free agency -- and it sounds like there a chance he does -- then our Town Fair Tire Sports Tonight crew thinks that the Celtics should pursue him. CSN NBA Analyst Tim Welsh said that he would "absolutely" take Kevin Love. "He fits in as a guy that can score, an up-front scorer. They (the Celtics) don't have that. They're built on guys, a lot of wing players ... they've got the two tough guards out front with (Avery) Bradley and (Marcus) Smart that can really defend," Welsh said. "And I think the thing with Kevin Love, too -- and other free agent will obviously look at -- is what Brad Stevens has done. He's kind of resurrected a lot of different guys here in a short period of time." CSNNE.com

In a perfect scenario, the Spurs have a full understanding of the futures of Duncan, Ginobili and Danny Green when they walk into a 12:01 a.m. ET meeting on July 1 with Leonard and his agent, Brian Elfus, in Los Angeles. The Spurs will offer Leonard a full maximum contract extension, get a commitment and turn themselves toward prying Aldridge back to his Texas roots. Yahoo! Sports

As the series renders Valanciunas’s skill set less than integral, though, it is difficult not to project forward a bit. The Raptors can offer Valanciunas a contract extension any time before Oct. 31. The obvious reference point would be the four-year, US$53-million contract the Magic gave Nikola Vucevic in the off-season. Vucevic is a worse rim protector than Valanciunas is, but they are similarly limited defensively. National Post

But deficiencies like defense aside, Ainge does believe Datome’s best skill has a place in the NBA. He’s that good a shooter. But Ainge thought of a former Celtic when addressing the league’s numbers problem. “This is a really hard business,” Ainge said. “There’s 400 players in this league, and 60 more who get drafted each year. You’ve got a former NBA player of the week in Jordan Crawford who can’t get back in the league the next year. Now he’s leading (the Fort Wayne Mad Ants) to the D-League finals. “So you don’t know. But in my eyes Gigi has proven that he’s an NBA player.” Boston Herald

“We got to go out there and approach every game as an individual game and try to win,” Mavs center Tyson Chandler said after Friday night’s 130-128 loss to the Houston Rockets at the AAC. “We definitely got to try to win on our home floor. You never want to get swept. We got to come out and play hard.” Dallas Morning News

NBA Official: Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating following 130-128 loss last night to Houston. Twitter

Tim Bontemps: Mikhail Prokhorov is in attendance for today's game, I'm told, as he said he would be when he was here a few weeks ago. Twitter @TimBontemps

Washington Wizards forward Kris Humphries, who was briefly married to Jenner’s step-daughter Kim Kardashian in 2011, also tweeted what appeared to be a reaction to Jenner’s announcement. Kris Humphries: "Man, I'm glad I got out when I did." Humphries was slammed on Twitter for the insensitive remark, but clarified on Saturday that he fully supports Jenner. For The Win



The Euro NBA pioneers were pretty good, but the new generations have significantly outperformed them.

April 25, 2015 | 11:13 AM ET Update

The Nets forward, bottled up by the Hawks in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series Wednesday night, was frustrated that he couldn't get things going. His jumper was ineffective. So was his play inside, as he had his shots blocked or left them short. So he called himself out. "First thing I said when I came into the locker room the other night was, 'Fellas, I'm sorry. I didn't give you guys anything tonight. I've got to be better,' " Young said Friday. "I take pride in everything I do out there on the court and I take losses hard." Newsday

Can the home court advantage help? “Definitely," Young said. “Me being in the playoffs several times, it definitely helps. You have the hometown crowd on your side and you’re with your teammates. And just the energy and the atmosphere is flowing your way when you’re in your home building. You want that on your side. You want that energy. And you want that excitement." NBA.com

Mike Richman: Afflalo says he's playing in Game 3. No minutes restriction and says his shoulder won't limit his shooting range. Twitter @mikegrich


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

April 25, 2015 | 08:16 AM ET Update

For now, there's no scenario where Leonard plans to pursue offer sheets on the market, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Leonard wants to be a Spur, and the Spurs are expected to come calling on July 1 with the max offer that they resisted delivering Leonard in the preseason, a move born out of preserving cap space to bring on a star free agent this summer. Yahoo! Sports

It was obvious on Thursday, though, that the 27-year-old Booker would like to stay in Utah next season. "Of course I want to be back. I got the sense that they want me back, so I feel it's mutual," he said. "But, you know, at the end of the day, it's still always a business, so we'll see. "… We had great (team) chemistry. Definitely, the chemistry was great, just to play with the guys, the way we competed. You know, I'm a big competitor, so I want to be out there with guys who compete. And those guys definitely competed and gave it their all every game, and I would love to play with them again. Deseret News

"The Jazz organization, they do a good job. It's very family oriented, they do a lot of stuff for the fans. I mean, it's just great," Booker said. "Washington was a great experience, but I definitely enjoyed my time here in Utah a little more (than his previous four years in Washington with the Wizards)." Deseret News

Ingles is eligible to sign a $1.5 million qualifying offer for next season. "Obviously both sides are pretty mutually interested in coming back," he said Thursday in his adorable Aussie accent. "I had a great conversation with (head coach) Quin (Snyder) and the staff, so we'll obviously see what happens. I think everyone knows I'm free, so we'll see what happens. But there's definitely mutual interest." Deseret News

Paul Garcia: Doc said Kawhi was the clear difference in the second half. Said Kawhi looked like he wanted to show voters he can score too. Twitter @PaulGarciaPS

The Spurs had Tim Duncan present Leonard with his Defensive Player of the Year trophy in a pregame ceremony. Afterward, Duncan was asked his impressions of how deeply the award touched his young teammate. "Can anybody tell? I don't know." Duncan handed him the trophy, and the idea would've been for Leonard to stand there, that trophy high in the air and let the love wash over him. Only he bailed. "I gave him the trophy, walked off and he was [following] behind me," Duncan said. Yahoo! Sports

"I just know we got our butts kicked," Rivers said. "They played terrific basketball, and we didn't. I thought we had great shots to start the game. We have had this a couple of times this year, but not very often where we lose our spirit because we can't make shots. That is what I thought happened as the game went on every time we missed a shot we played less defense. We will look at the film and see if we can fix it. I know we can." ESPN.com

When Dallas coach Rick Carlisle was asked about the 3-0 series deficit, he instead talked about officiating. “My hope is that in Game 4 – the one play that’s kind of an image stuck in my mind, and I just looked at it six times on the film, is the first play of the fourth quarter,” Carlisle said. “We’re scrambling like hell defensively, and Devin Harris is going to get the ball, and Dwight Howard throws him into our bench. He takes the ball, skips it over the top and Ariza gets a wide-open three. “So, instead of us getting the ball, and a foul on Howard, it turns into essentially a 5-6 point swing. That stuff’s got to stop. The officials [have] got to get that stuff under control, because there’s too much physical stuff going on. Howard is throwing people all over the place. And that can’t happen in Game 4.” Houston Chronicle

Almost an hour after the Washington Wizards defeated the Toronto Raptors on Friday, Wizards forward Paul Pierce still hadn't taken that big postgame exhale. He was still pumped in the aftermath of a 106-99 victory, giving the Wizards a 3-0 series lead. "My adrenaline is through the roof right now," Pierce said. "I'm trying to come down." USA Today Sports

His personality and game has dominated the series, starting with his comments at the beginning of the series, saying Toronto didn't have that "it" factor. He scored 20 points in Game 1 and 10 in Game 2, and would not elaborate on what "it" is, though you know it when you see it. And Pierce has it. "I'm going to leave it for you guys to try and explain it and think about it and go over this small two-letter word for the rest of the series," he said. "I'm going to leave it at that." USA Today Sports

They are little things, but they are big things because they speak to maturity, commitment and responsibility. That’s what’s enabled Rose to return as a game changing player while the Bulls hope to change what’s been their destiny without Rose. “Derrick, it’s not that he’s old; his best years are coming,” maintains Thibodeau. “He’s had to navigate through adversity; it’s made him a lot stronger mentally. Now we have a chance. The challenge is not only bringing the best out of himself, but to bring the best out of all his teammates. He’s probably doing that as well as he ever has. He had several plays he had dribble penetration into the lane, the kick out to Mike or Tony (Snell) or Jimmy that led to high percentage shots, great chemistry with Pau (Gasol) on the pick and roll. He’s a little more patient, but he’s also bringing the best out of his teammates.” NBA.com

Bulls rookie forward Doug McDermott was in the locker room before a game last month when he was told about a rumor that his father, Greg, had called the front office to complain about his son’s lack of playing time and about the role coach Tom Thibodeau played in that. ‘‘Trust me, I heard it,’’ McDermott said, acknowledging it was bothersome. ‘‘I actually talked to my dad right after someone brought that to my attention in the locker room. I called him up and was just kind of laughing, almost. He was like, ‘What are you laughing about?’ I said, ‘You hear this rumor going out that you called the front office and stuff?’ He started laughing.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

‘‘My dad would never do that,’’ McDermott said. ‘‘He’s a coach, and he has to deal with parents all the time, calling him up all the time. Boosters [and] parents calling all the time about playing time, everything. He would never do that. He has too much respect for the coaches here, [general manager] Gar [Forman] and Pax [vice president of basketball operations John Paxson], all those guys. He would never do that.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

Draymond Green: Yes...But wasn't sure what immediate plan b was RT @Masriballa: @Draymond Green Did you ever doubt you'd make the NBA?Was there ever a plan B? Twitter @Money23Green

Florida forward/center Chris Walker has declared for the NBA draft, becoming the second player to leave coach Billy Donovan's program in the last month. Walker joins shooting guard Michael Frazier II in leaving school early for the draft. Sacramento Bee

Besides, Carroll knows a thing or two about adversity beyond the court. His brother died young. He’s been shot. He has a rare liver disease. Not to mention, all those doubts about his future in the NBA as he bounced from one team to another. “It made me stronger, man,” Carroll said of the winding journey that brought him to where he is now. “I’ve been through so much, but I look at it as a positive. I look at me being a testimony for all the other individuals or kids or whoever in the world is going through something. You can go through obstacles but still succeed in life.” Online Athens

He was just 5 when his older brother DeLonte died of a brain tumor. During the summer of 2007, while attending Missouri, Carroll was randomly shot in the ankle during a disturbance outside a nightclub, another reminder of the frailty of life. If that wasn’t enough, he also learned in college of his liver disease, which could eventually require a transplant but likely long after he’s finished his basketball career. “My whole motto, my whole mindset throughout my life is someone can have it worse than you,” said Carroll, who has a tattoo of his brother’s face on his left arm. Online Athens

Draymond Green: I'm reading tech crunch. But it excites me more. RT @JohnnyCables: @Draymond Green read random things on Wikipedia. Puts me to sleep every time Twitter @Money23Green



The big stars from the Gregg Popovich years crowd the top of the list.


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