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Five best lefty NBA players of all time

April 16, 2014 | 02:34 PM ET Update

The Lakers and Gasol are both lukewarm about reuniting. The Lakers will not pay Gasol near the $19.3 million he made this season. Despite Gasol’s versatility, the Lakers also believe his best years are behind him. Gasol will not return if he fields offers from championship-caliber teams and/or D’Antoni is retained. Still, Bryant’s support and Gasol’s affection for this franchise could ensure he has not expended his nine lives with the Lakers. Los Angeles Daily News

The Lakers want to re-sign Farmar, mindful he would be necessary insurance for Nash, who is expected to stay so his $9.8 million salary gets off the Lakers’ books for the 2015 offseason. Farmar would love to have a long-term future here. Los Angeles Daily News

The Lakers will likely exercise their team option on Marshall despite his weaknesses. It helps that Marshall’s non-guaranteed contract will cost a $915,242, far from the NBA’s average salary of $5.5 million. Los Angeles Daily News

The Lakers are expected to re-sign Kelly because of his shooting and basketball IQ. It helps that he made $490,180 this season and would likely only need a slight raise to keep him as a restricted free agent. Los Angeles Daily News

That was never more evident than during the NBA trade deadline in February, when the team's charter plane was delayed on the tarmac as Rivers worked the phones on possible deals. "It's one thing when your general manager is trying to trade you," said Matt Barnes, who was nearly dealt to the New York Knicks. "It's another when your coach is the general manager and trying to trade you. ESPN.com

UCLA men’s basketball sophomore Kyle Anderson has elected to forego his remaining collegiate eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA Draft. Anderson secured first-team All-Pac-12 honors and was named a third-team Associated Press All-America selection as a sophomore in 2013-14. He averaged closer to a triple-double than any player in the nation, registering 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. Anderson helped lead UCLA to a 28-9 overall record and the program’s first Pac-12 Tournament title and NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance since 2008. uclabruins.com

UCLA men’s basketball freshman Zach LaVine has elected to forego his remaining collegiate eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA Draft. LaVine captured Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honors in 2013-14, helping lead UCLA to a 28-9 overall record and the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance and Pac-12 Tournament title since 2008. The 6-foot-5 guard from Seattle averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game for the Bruins. uclabruins.com

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April 16, 2014 | 01:00 PM ET Update

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed center Josh Powell. Powell joins the Rockets from the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel club in the Philippines. Powell (6-9, 225, NC State), who is currently in his first season in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association), was originally undrafted in the 2003 NBA Draft. He started his career in Russia with Lokomotiv–Rostov (2003) and has had stints internationally with Scafati Basket (Italy, 2003-04), Southern Crescent Lightning (2004, 2005), JuveCaserta Basket (2004-05), Liaoning Dinosaurs (China, 2011-12), Brujos de Guayama (Puerto Rico, 2012), Olympiacos (Greece, 2012) and Guangdong Southern Tigers (China, 2013-14). He won the Euroleague championship with Olympiacos where he averaged 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 25 games played. NBA.com

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed forward Chris Wright (6-8, 225) to a multi-year contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Wright had played with the Bucks on two separate 10-day contracts, the last signed on April 5. He appeared in seven games with the Bucks, averaging 6.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 15.4 minutes per game. NBA.com

With nothing at stake as far as the playoffs are concerned, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will rest LeBron James and Chris Bosh in tonight’s game against Philadelphia (8:00 p.m., Sun Sports). He hopes to play Dwyane Wade if he is available. Palm Beach Post

In this Clippers game against the Nuggets, Chris Paul pulled a herky-jerky baseline move that just left Evan Fournier pondering exactly where his man was. He was possibly also pondering existential questions like “What is basketball?” and “What does it really mean to ‘guard’ someone?” but that’s just conjecture on my part. For The Win

James Worthy calls it like he sees it -- which is why he didn't pull punches when describing the Lakers disaster of a season -- "It was quite the debacle this year." But there could be more bad news for the Lake Show, 'cause when Big Game James was leaving LAX last night he explained why he thinks the chances of Swaggy P returning to the squad are slim to none. TMZ.com

Jerome Williams on his fondest NBA memory

April 16, 2014 | 11:09 AM ET Update

"I'm very cognizant it could be my last home game," Nelson said. "It's not up to me. It's up to the team. It's the team's option. I would like to still be here and finish my career here. I have a lot more years left in me. Good years. I'm not sure what they have in store for me, but I'm just going to play it out and see what happens. Like I said, it's just one of those things. I don't have control over it. I don't know what their thoughts are right now. Orlando Sentinel

James, who didn’t utter a peep about his intentions before becoming a free agent in 2010, uttered one at mid-season when asked if he could see himself leaving Miami. “At this point I can’t,” said Bron. “Now,” says an NBA GM, “you’ve got Luol Deng, Kyle Lowry and Marcin Gortat. “And then we’re done.” Forbes.com

For a whole bunch of reasons – not least of which is the mental health of anyone who watches the Raptors play – Lowry has to re-sign. Are you ready to do a deal? “I honestly haven’t even give a thought about what I want to do after the playoffs,” Lowry says, in a fair attempt at feigning innocence. Let’s try to play that one out at home. Mrs. Lowry: ‘What are we going to do with the dump-truck load of money you’re getting in July?’ Lowry: ‘What money?’ Toronto Globe & Mail

Growing up in Egypt was not easy. At first, the brothers and sisters split up and stayed with different relatives. Eventually, the older siblings got jobs and made enough money so the nine children could live together in a two-bedroom apartment in Alexandria, four boys in one room, five girls in the other. "School was tough,'' said Deng, recalling almost daily beatings by teachers. He and his brother were the only black kids in the school, he said, and there were issues because of their skin color and religion. Raised in a Catholic home where Dinka was the spoken language, they studied the Koran and spoke Arabic. He appreciates learning all that now, but back then it was difficult. Cleveland Plain Dealer

But now, just three years later, a political struggle threatens to break apart all that was gained. That's why Deng felt so compelled to record the public service announcement for The Enough Project. "What I really want is for South Sudan to have peace and move forward,'' he said. "There's been fighting for so many years. We're so rich as a country in terms of resources and so talented in terms of who we are as people, but we've never given ourselves a fair chance to show the world what we're capable of. All we've been doing for so many years is fighting wars. The only way we're getting opportunities to show what we can do is by escaping as refugees and becoming something in a different land, which is very tough to do.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

What will need to happen for Saric to join a NBA team immediately next season? Misko Raznatovic: It's very difficult to predict now. Dario's ultimate dream is to be a NBA All-Star and he absolutely does not accept anything less than that. At this moment he believes that is better to stay in Europe for a season or two, to get a taste of the Euroleague, and then to enter the NBA when he has more experience. He believes that it will be a shortcut for making his dream. But he did not make a final decision about that, and I will not absolutely exclude that option as well. He just wants to make a proper step and be in a place where he will be able to develop and play. DraftExpress.com

Why is Dario's father so anti-NBA? Misko Raznatovic: He is absolutely not anti-NBA. He is just against him coming to the league this summer, because he believes it's too early for him. He was teammates with Drazen Petrovic, along with other Croatian former NBA players from that period, and he strongly believes that they (Kukoc, Radja, Petrovic) had success in the NBA due to coming later in their career (after a couple of serious seasons in the Euroleague). DraftExpress: Will Dario's father continue to give interviews about his future constantly while he is in the draft and ultimately joins the NBA? Misko Raznatovic: When you talk with him, it's always interesting and fun. He is open to talking, and journalists used it to get some sensational interviews. There's nothing especially wrong there, and every day it will be better and better. He worries about the future of his son, and nothing more than that. DraftExpress.com

ESPN reported that he already‎ signed a three year contract with Efes. How true is that? Misko Raznatovic: That's absolutely false information. As I clearly stated Dario did not decide anything about his summer direction (NBA or Europe). People believe this due to my link with Mr. Dusan Ivkovic (a client of mine, rumored to be their next coach). If you follow European basketball sites, Micic, Krstic and Doelmann (all clients of mine) are also linked with Efes. DraftExpress.com

In three and a half seasons since taking over for Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan, Corbin has amassed a record of 111-146, taking the Jazz to the playoffs once and narrowly missing out on a second trip last year. And with a game left this year, he’s not ready to entertain thoughts that Monday’s home finale was his last home game as the Jazz’s head coach. "I’m not thinking about it right now," he said, brushing off a question about the possibility. "No." As they have publicly throughout the season, players went to bat for Corbin and his staff this week. "Ty’s a good guy," said forward Derrick Favors. "Ever since I’ve been here he’s helped me out with a lot of stuff, a lot of stuff y’all don’t see out there on the court. He helped me out with growing as a player and growing as a man." Salt Lake Tribune

Ekpe Udoh will leave one positive lasting impression from this dreary season for the Milwaukee Bucks, and it has nothing to do with basketball. Few, if any, NBA players can say they've started a book club over Twitter. Fewer still probably cite entertainment magnate Oprah Winfrey as a role model. Udoh, a four-year NBA veteran, is thinking big. "I want to be like Oprah. I want to be like Oprah's book club," the Bucks forward said Tuesday. "I'll get there. It might take me a couple years, but I'll get some buzz going." ESPN.com

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN BULLS HISTORY
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Very few doubts with the Top 2, but who comes after Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen?

April 16, 2014 | 07:11 AM ET Update

Frye would like to negotiate a contract extension after averaging 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds this season on 43.3 percent shooting, including 37.1 percent on 3s. "I want to talk to the Suns and make sure we're both on the same page about what I want," Frye said. "I'd love to stay here. It's up to them and their future and what they want to do. I love wearing this uniform. I think I take a little more pride in it than everyone else because I'm from here. "It's looking for the future and if I could get something longer. I got kids and I want to be somewhere. I've been here for five years already so it wouldn't be bad to kind of not be worried about being traded or buying a house." Arizona Republic

ESPN reported the Knicks still were considering using their available roster spot to sign the troubled former Laker and reality-TV star, who won two titles under Jackson in L.A., for Wednesday’s season finale. His contract would include a non-guaranteed second year. Such a deal would make Odom useful in potential trades for salary-cap purposes this summer. “I like him. I like Lamar,” Mike Woodson said. “I don’t know much about it . . . but I think he’s a talent. He could’ve been good for us earlier in the season. He does a lot of things on the floor to help you win games, that’s for sure.” New York Daily News

Center Josh Powell was in Houston on Tuesday for his physical, which he passed, and signed his contract with the Rockets. Powell's deal is for rest of this season and next, but year two of his contract is not guaranteed. Sources told FOX 26 Sports Powell received his clearance from FIBA, world governing body for basketball, late Monday night to return to the NBA and sign with the Rockets. FOX 26 Sports

That would be the Charlotte Bobcats, led by 6'10", 289-pound Al Jefferson, who was recently named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for March after averaging 24.7 points, 10.6 rebounds and shooting 55.5 percent from the field. So far this month, he's even better at 26.6 points and 13.7 rebounds for the 42-39 Bobcats, who are back in the playoffs for the first time in four years. "My main goal right now is to turn the Bobcats into one of the elite teams in the East," Jefferson said. "I think that from the beginning, the respect that we now have is great, but I think it's just the beginning of something special." Bleacher Report

Jefferson, who also finishes strong with a 5.2 fourth-quarter points average, said he has to be craftier now that he's older. He said he even "shocks" himself with some of the moves he pulls off. "This is the best I've felt in my career just because of the experience I've got now," said Jefferson, who has a league-high 832 post-up plays (nearly one point per play, according to Synergy Sports). "The game is a lot slower to me than it was when I was younger. I understand and see things a lot clearer now than I did before—and guys are learning how to play with me, and I'm learning how to play with him. We've just got to continue to get stops. We're a good running team when we get stops." Bleacher Report

"I'll tell you, (Houston Rockets coach) Kevin McHale let me know that it was OK to still play old-school," he said. "I'm one of the few guys—me, DeMarcus Cousins, Tim Duncan—that play with their back to the basket. And to be honest with you, because the league has changed so much, I think that's why sometimes it's so hard to guard me. People don't know how to defend that no more. People don't play like that no more, so I'm glad that I'm one of the three guys that's very unique in this league and have the old-school game. We'll be around a little longer." So do Ewing and Jefferson ever go head-to-head for fun or a practice challenge? For Ewing, that's definitely out of the question. "Those days are long gone for me," he said. "I don't even try to get out there and bang with these guys. I learned my lesson being in Orlando (as an assistant coach)." Bleacher Report

Frye, 30, will be the first Suns player to start 82 games in a season since Amar'e Stoudemire in 2009-10. Frye has never played an entire season in his eight-year career but did play 81 in 2009-10, when he was suspended for a game for fighting Danny Granger. After the ultimate health scare, he proved to be the sturdiest starter. "Coming off the year I had of doing absolutely nothing, it just means even more," Frye said. "I have to say thank you to the trainers for always making sure I wasn't too paranoid about everything and keeping me healthy and I also have to thank my wife for cooking me a bunch of meals and making sure I'm getting rest and not overthinking things. "Embracing every day has helped me to set myself up for the future without even knowing it. If you try to do your best every day, in a week, you wind up being better than you were the week before. This year has been amazing. This has been a year of appreciation. Every day has been awesome, good or bad." Arizona Republic

Point guard Elfrid Payton will forgo his senior season at Louisiana Lafayette and enter the 2014 NBA Draft, a league source informed CSNNW.com. According to another source educated on the situation says the 6-4 guard has agreed to make Ty Sullivan of Creative Artist Agency his agent. CSNNW.com

Adam Zagoria: Rodney Hood is gone to the NBA, source told @SNYtv. Jabari decides tomorrow. Twitter

Adelman's contract has a mutual option included for the final season, meaning either side can opt out of the deal. Adelman will turn 68 in June and the contract calls for a decision to be made no later than two weeks after the season ends. Adelman and Wolves president Flip Saunders have said they will sit down to discuss things after the season is over. Adelman did help bring a team that had won just 17 games the season before he took over back to respectability. A win in the finale on Wednesday night against Utah would mean the Wolves (40-41) would finish with a non-losing record for the first time since 2004-05. Columbian

Intensely private and introverted, Adelman has shown a softer, warmer side over the past two months. Is that a sign that his mind is made up? If it is, this is not the way his players wanted to see him go. "I'm sure it's been tough on him, dealing with us knuckleheads and then he has to deal with his family problems," said Kevin Martin, who has played for Adelman both in Minnesota and Houston. "... You just wish him the best, whatever he feels like he needs to do. We'll be right beside him." Columbian

Yet with the Eastern Conference’s longest active string of missing the playoffs, it was time for a change. “You’re talking about an icon,” said Chauncey Billups, whom Dumars brought back to Detroit this past off-season. “An icon in this city and being with this organization for 30 years, being really the center of all that was good here and all the championships that were here — he was kind of the center of all of that and as much to do with that as far as anybody. Obviously he’s an icon here and done a great job. He built this franchise up and kept it going. “That’s the NBA, sometimes it’s just time for a change, and obviously that time’s now, but what he did here was remarkable.” Detroit Free Press

After signing Stephen Colbert to succeed David Letterman on “Late Night“ — trumping the CNN upfront presentation with the announcement — Moonves is moving to “Billionaires Beach.” Page Six has exclusively learned Moonves has bought Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s home on Malibu’s prestigious Carbon Beach for $28 million. Allen bought the gorgeous, white-walled and glass modern oceanfront house for $25 million in 2010. New York Post

There is a lot of talk about signature shoe deals and it does seem that Lillard and adidas will roll out a Lillard shoe line as part of this new deal. These tend to be very risky for shoe companies, mainly because of the costs involved in crafting all of the products for a dedicated line. The hope is always to hit a home run, but shoe brands are increasingly more interested in outfitting players in existing products or slightly customized versions of products than spinning up player specific products, the miss rate is pretty high. Basketball Insiders

Adidas went all in on Derrick Rose, giving him one of the more lucrative deals in the shoe business, but due to two seasons of injuries, they have failed to really capitalize on their investment. The D. Rose line has done OK in terms of sales, but given that Rose hasn’t played, adidas hasn’t exactly dominated the market as they hoped they would with Rose. Fortunately for adidas the Rose line has sold well both domestically and internationally, but it hasn’t been the runaway hits that the LeBron or Kevin Durant shoes have been. Basketball Insiders

Deng, 28, said he hopes winning the award brings more attention and awareness to the violence still going on in South Sudan. “Honestly, it’s one of those things that will never stop,” he said. “If I make one person happy or make their life better, I think that’s enough. “I can’t say I’m going to make 1,000 people’s lives better and then you stop right there because there’s always the next person. It’s just one of those things I enjoy doing. I wish I could wake up tomorrow and nobody needs help. But we all know that’s not going to happen.” Morning Journal

Jerome Williams on his fondest NBA memory

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