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Cavs, Anderson Varejao Close To Three-Year, $30M Extension

The Cleveland Cavaliers are nearing agreement with Anderson Varejao on a three-year, $30 million extension.

Varejao is the longest tenured member of the Cavaliers, joining the club in 2004.

Varejao turned 32 last month and has been a productive player when healthy.

Via Marc Stein/ESPN

Russell Westbrook Suffers Fracture In Hand

Russell Westbrook suffered a fracture in his right hand in the Oklahoma City Thunder's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

Scott Brook said Westbrook had a "small" fracture.

There was no timetable for Westbrook's return.

Via Darnell Mayberry/The Oklahoman

Josh Smith: Kenneth Faried Is 'A Clown'

Josh Smith had strong words for Kenneth Faried to Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News on Thursday.

Smith was responding to a quote from Faried in which he said that Smith "shot them out of the game."

The Denver Nuggets defeated the Detroit Pistons by a final score of 89-79. Smith scored 25 points on 9-for-22 shooting.

"He's a clown, quote me on that," said Smith.

"He fears me. He's scared of me. He knows it's coming."

Via Vincent Goodwill/Detroit News

Roberts: Players Won't Buy Owners' Cries Of Poverty

Adam Silver's recently declared that "roughly a third" of NBA teams are still losing money, but Michele Roberts isn't buying the commissioner's claims.

"The NBA's cries of poverty will not work this time," said Roberts, who was recently named executive director of the NBPA.

Both sides are preparing for a battle in 2017 over the collective bargaining agreement.

"I can say that I was more than surprised," Roberts told Yahoo Sports in an interview. "I am not suggesting that Adam is telling a lie. I am sure that the owners told him that. But it's difficult for me to believe that, especially after looking at the 2011 CBA negotiations and seeing all the money the players don't have now. There's $1.1 billion that the players would've been otherwise entitled.

 

"I find it very difficult to appreciate how any owners could suggest they're still losing money. It defies common sense. We know what the franchise values are. I don't have to say '$2 billion' again and again, do I? 

"The gate receipts, the media deals. What else do you need to make money? We are not going to reengage in a process where this happens again. The NBA's cries of poverty will not fly this time."

Roberts is also skeptical of the NBA's idea of "smoothing" the salary cap.

Silver's idea, he said, is to "make a shortfall-payment directly to the union, and then they would then distribute that money, presumably proportionately to the players."

 

Roberts flatly said: "I am suspicious of any proposal where the model is based upon artificial decreases of the compensation that an individual player can negotiate.

"Historically, when salary has gone up for some, it has gone up for all. If you're not a free agent now, you may be one next year when the salary cap remains high. I have significant concerns over this."

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Mavericks Open To Late Season Signing Of Ray Allen Or Rashard Lewis

The Dallas Mavericks would be open to signing Ray Allen or Rashard Lewis later in the regular season should either player be interested in a deal.

Both Allen and Lewis have been working out, and Lewis has worked out in Dallas sometimes.

"We haven’t talked to him, but I think he’s doing it the right way,” Mark Cuban said of Allen. “He’s waiting to see who’s doing well. If it comes down to it, we’d always consider it. We’re always open to improving the team. But you don’t want to mess up a good thing, either. That’s when Caron got hurt and Roddy got hurt. But Peja is a good example.

“Rashard Lewis is working out here. We’ve stayed in touch with him and worked with him.”

Via Eddie Sefko/Dallas Morning News

Hawks Decline John Jenkins' Fourth-Year Rookie Option

The Atlanta Hawks have decided to allow John Jenkins to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, declining his fourth-year rookie option, league sources told RealGM.

Jenkins, Atlanta’s 23rd overall draft pick in 2012, has averaged 5.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in two seasons with the franchise. After contributing as a  reserve in his rookie year, Jenkins missed most of last season with a severe back injury that required surgery.

Jenkins played three seasons at Vanderbilt before entering the NBA in 2012.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

DeAndre Jordan Not Focused On Contract, Considered 'Key To Championship'

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are universally known as the Los Angeles Clippers' top two players, but players and coaches believe the X-factor toward an NBA championship is DeAndre Jordan.

“He’s the key to our championship,” Matt Barnes said. “Teams have offensive threats, but when you have a 7-footer that can run the floor, rebound, block shots and change shots, he’s going to be the key.”

Jordan is entering the final year of his four-year, $43 million deal.

“It’s just another season. I don’t want to think about it like that,” Jordan insists. “I don’t think about it like that.”

Everyone knows the issue is there.

“It’s a free agent year. It’s a big year for our team,” Barnes said. “There’s a lot on his plate.”

Via Dan Woike/Orange County Register

Robert Covington, 76ers Nearly Finalize Agreement; Forward Likely Signing In D-League

Free agent forward Robert Covington and the Philadelphia 76ers progressed toward finalizing a multi-year contract this week, but a deal has deteriorated as the two sides failed to agree upon contract length, league sources told RealGM.

Without an NBA deal, Covington is expected to sign a contract in the NBA Development League on Thursday, where several organizations plan to monitor the 6-foot-9 forward. The 76ers had offered Covington their standard, four-year proposal, with high contract guarantees, and both sides couldn’t agree to a shorter-term deal.

Covington was formally waived by the Houston Rockets over the weekend, despite being informed of a parting with the franchise early in October.

An undrafted prospect out of Tennessee State, Covington had a breakout season in the D-League a year ago, averaging 23.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals for Rio Grande Valley and winning several awards (All-Star Game MVP, All D-League First Team).

He averaged 2.3 points and 4.8 minutes in seven regular-season appearances for the Rockets.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Gasol: Picking Bulls Over Spurs, Thunder Was Most Difficult Decision Of My Life

The New York Knicks pursued Pau Gasol in the offseason, but they didn't have the cap space or title contender status that he was looking for.

Choosing between the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder was "probably the most difficult decision that I made in my career and in my life," Gasol said.

"I considered it," Gasol said of the Knicks. "But I thought the team was not at the level of others, other contenders and options that I had. I'm coming down to my last few years of my career, and I want to maximize them. And it was difficult to leave L.A. in the first place. But now I feel like I'm in a great position, and we have a great opportunity, and now let's see if we're lucky and we deserve to do something special."

Gasol had 21 points and 11 rebounds in the Bulls' opener against the Knicks.

"Plays where you need a great shot and you know that anything isn't rolling for you, you can easily dump it down and space out," Rose said. "If you double-team, it's going to be a wide-open shot, a wide-open three. … It makes the game easy for everyone."

Via Howard Beck/Bleacher Report

Jermaine O'Neal Hasn't Ruled Out Continuing Career

Jermaine O'Neal is not ruling out returning to the NBA for his 19th season after just turning 36.

“I can say If I don’t do well with this “being a fan” thing then I will think about playing again this year!” O’Neal tweeted Wednesday. “To be continued on this!

“But as of right now I’m enjoying working out, being a business man, watching my daughter volleyball games, and training my son! Perfect.”

Bob Myers, O’Neal’s former agent, said last month that the big man “probably” would not be with the Golden State Warriors this season as it already has three centers in Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Ognjen Kuzmic.

Via Diamond Leung/Mercury News

Jeff Taylor Sentenced To 18 Months Probation, Treatment For Alcohol

An NBA spokesman told the Observer on Wednesday that the league’s investigation into Jeff Taylor is continuing.

Warriors Pick Up Options On Barnes, Ezeli; Decline On Nedovic

RealGM reported on Wednesday that the Warriors were strongly leaning toward declining the option on Nemanja Nedovic.

Gilbert: Signing Kyrie Irving To Extension Was Pivotal To Getting LeBron

Dan Gilbert believes getting Kyrie Irving signed to a max contract extension with the Cavaliers was critical in landing LeBron James in free agency and then trading for Kevin Love.

LeBron Brings Back Chalk Toss After Public Vote

LeBron James held a public vote with 95 percent voting for the chalk toss.

Celtics Exercise 15-16 Options On Olynyk, Sullinger, Zeller

The Celtics have exercised its third-year option on Kelly Olynyk, and its fourth-year options on Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller.

Rose: I Don't Like To Say Too Much About My Haters

Derrick Rose had 13 points and five assists in 21 minutes during the Bulls' convincing 104-80 win over the Knicks.

LeBron, Gilbert Agree Relationship Is 'Really Good'

LeBron James and Dan Gilbert are ready to begin their first season back together again and are on good terms as the Cavaliers look to win their first NBA championship.

Thunder Unlikely To Sign Reggie Jackson To Extension

The Thunder have typically not kept players on rookie contracts that didn't sign extensions.

Malcolm Turner Hired As D-League President

Malcolm Turner was previously with the Wasserman Media Group.

Knicks, Nets, Mavs, Hornets Could Conceivably Be Interested In Kobe

Kobe Bryant's contract expires after the 15-16 NBA season.

Horents Exercise Rookie Options On Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller

The Hornets have exercised their fourth-year option on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and its third-year option on Cody Zeller.

Mavs Release Gal Mekel To Create Roster Spot For Barea

The Mavericks have released Gal Mekel.

Silver Prefers Relocation Over Expansion, '30 Teams Feels Right'

With franchise valuations at an all-time, expansion would give other NBA owners an instant influx of cash.

Jimmy Butler, Bulls Unlikely To Agree Upon Extension

Jimmy Butler would become a restricted free agent in 2015.

Enes Kanter, Jazz Break Off Extension Talks

Enes Kanter will become a restricted free agent in the 2015 offseason.

Jimmy Butler Out 2-4 Weeks With Thumb Sprain

Jimmy Butler will miss two to four weeks with a thumb sprain.

Jordan Admired How Stephenson 'Takes On Challenges'

Michael Jordan believes Lance Stephenson could be the missing piece for the Hornets to take the next step as a championship contender.

Kobe Calls Dwight 'Soft' During Scuffle, 'Teddy Bear' After

A Lakers source said Kobe Bryant repeatedly called Dwight Howard "soft" during their altercation.

Julius Randle Suffers Broken Right Tibia

Julius Randle is out for the season after breaking his right tibia in his first NBA game.

Kemba Walker Agrees To Four-Year, $48M Extension With Hornets

Kemba Walker has agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract extension with the Hornets, according to sources.
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