HoopsHype DeMar DeRozan rumors
Kevin Pelton: Past dunk contest runner-up DeMar DeRozan admits teammate/defending champ Terrence Ross is the better dunker "by far." Twitter @kpelton
Reigning champion Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors, both All-Stars for the first time this year, headline the list of participants for the 2014 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge (#TacoBellSkills), taking place during State Farm® All-Star Saturday Night (#StateFarmSaturday), at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday, Feb. 15. Lillard, the 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, also is participating in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Sprite Slam Dunk, becoming the first player to appear in three events during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night. He also is participating in the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 14, and the 2014 NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 16. NBA.com
Toronto is in a quandary. While "tank'' is a strong word, the Raptors' new front office of Masai Ujiri and Jeff Weltman wasn't exactly thinking "playoffs or bust.'' This season was supposed to be about evaluating young talent, evaluating coach Dwane Casey, and positioning the club for the future by clearing cap space and gaining a high lottery pick. Then a strange thing happened: The Raptors started winning. Now the fans, who have been greatly supportive through some tough years, are excited about making the playoffs. The Raptors had talked with clubs about trading both Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, but their sudden surge after the Rudy Gay trade has the front office stuck. ESPN.com
As for DeRozan, I'm told the Raptors would trade him if presented with a terrific offer, but they're no longer looking to move him. ESPN.com
Jorge Sierra: Asked a bunch of NBA players about their picks for reserves at the All-Star Game. This is how they voted... East reserves: John Wall, Lance Stephenson, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, Joakim Noah and Roy Hibbert. Twitter @hoopshype
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