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March 14, 2015 Updates

And what if the Sixers end up with Duke center Jahlil Okafor or Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns in the draft? They already have a core center in 7-footer Joel Embiid, who is sitting out his rookie season with a foot stress fracture. “I really hope nothing happens,” Noel said last week. “I like this team. I like what we're building. I hope we can stick together and continue to grow.” Noel is confident that he and Embiid — with Embiid likely playing power forward on offense and center at the defensive end — will turn out to be a terrific tandem. “Jo is going to get more and more healthy and more active,” Noel said. “I see things really taking shape (next season).” Still, Noel gets that “at the end of the day, it is a business. You always have to keep that in mind. You've just got to do what you've got to do, work on your thing.” The Intelligencer

March 13, 2015 Updates

Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King and Coach Lionel Hollins had a strong and sincere message for season ticket holders on Thursday: They are not giving up on this season, and there is a determined, unified commitment to make this team younger, more athletic and more consistent going forward. “I think it’s been a trying year for you guys and all of us," King said on a conference call with Brooklyn Chant members. “I thank you for your support, being there for us. It hasn’t been the year we wanted. We’re still in the playoff battle and trying to get there. “The overall way I look at this is, going forward, we’re going to continue to try and get more athletic." NBA.com

After Evan Roberts noted that the Nets could give up four straight lottery picks (a cheery thought), asked "when is Billy King getting fired," Woj offered up a defense of the Nets GM... Wojnarowski: "In defense of billy King, he did what ownership wanted, which was 'we dont want to build around Derrick Favors and bring in a young nucleus of guys. We want star players, we want veteran guys and we want them now. That's a hard way to win in the NBA. to say we're just going to bring in stars because that's why yuor cap number is so big, your payroll is so enormous. That's a hard way to do it. They wanted a winner instantly." NetsDaily

March 12, 2015 Updates

Nash would get paid in any case, no matter the combination of medical insurance or actual Lakers money. He would've even gotten a little more from the Lakers if traded via a 15 percent trade kicker in his contract. Bleacher Report

If a team offered an established All-Star and at least one other high-caliber starter, wouldn't the Knicks be obligated to consider it? Absolutely, said a rival general manager, who noted that a top-five pick offers no guarantee of stardom, or even competence. Indeed, many high picks go bust or turn out to be merely average. In the NBA, sometimes the sure thing is better than the prospect behind Door No. 2. "You could certainly make a case for trading (the pick)," said a veteran Eastern Conference scout. Bleacher Report

March 11, 2015 Updates

After the Grizzlies’ practice Tuesday at Emerson College in advance of Wednesday night’s game vs. the Celtics at TD Garden, Green said he had no hard feelings about being traded from Boston and has embraced his new role with a new and improved team. “It’s a business, it happens,” Green said of the Jan. 12 trade. “I had speculation. I just went upon each day like I’m still a Celtic, like I gotta play hard every game.” Boston Globe

March 10, 2015 Updates

ESPN.com: What were your initial thoughts on the trade? LW: Initially, I was torn because I was leaving my hometown. But I was also excited because I had just watched these guys battle Brooklyn like hell in seven games [during the playoffs]. So I felt like I could help this team. I felt like I could help, and I could bring something to the table. They had a young core of guys, and it reminded me a lot of my Philly crews where we were turning that corner and going from an OK team to an elite team. This team was turning the corner with Kyle [Lowry], DeMar [DeRozan], JV [Jonas Valanciunas] and a lot of the pieces that they had. ESPN.com

Finally healthy after recovering from a devastating ACL injury he suffered in January 2013, Williams, 28, is averaging a career-high 15.2 points per game and has quickly emerged as a fan favorite at Air Canada Centre. "When I got traded to the Raptors," Williams told ESPN.com, "Kyle Lowry told me, 'We expect you to average 15 points a game off the bench.' "And I said, 'Perfect, so you need me here.' And that made me feel wanted. So once he put that expectation on me, it just made everything fall into place." ESPN.com

But what you might not be aware of is that NBA analyst and former NBA executive Tom Penn thinks Westbrook's hot streak could have Oklahoma City Thunder management thinking about moving Durant next season: "I think this burst from Westbrook makes it much more likely that Durant ultimately gets traded next year. ... Sam Presti has proven that he does not ever want to lose anybody for nothing. So he traded James Harden a year early to avoid a potential luxury tax problem a year later. ESPN.com

"The Kevin Durant drumbeat next year is going to be so loud because he will not commit early to Oklahoma City contractually because the rules are against that. He can't get the same contract if he signs early as if he just goes to free agency and resigns. So if Sam Presti doesn't get that commitment, he'll look to to trade Kevin Durant. And looking at the performance of Westbrook and the team around Westbrook will make it easier for him to do that potentially." ESPN.com

March 9, 2015 Updates

One of the more interesting segments on the first-ever edition of the NBA Insiders show on ESPN Radio to exclude the committee (of one) featured Brian Windhorst noting that teams out there are already plotting their trade runs at DeMarcus Cousins in hopes that Boogie and his new coach don't mesh. ESPN.com

The Magic tried to trade for Quincy Acy at the deadline and the Knicks wouldn’t take back any salary to make a deal happen. As for Faried. I wouldn’t touch that contract yet. There are a lot of things that Faried does that I like, but there are as many as I don’t. I wouldn’t tie that much cap space up in Faried in Orlando, he’s very unpredictable and hard to coach. Basketball Insiders

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