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Thunder Unlikely To Sign Reggie Jackson To Extension

The Oklahoma City Thunder are unlikely to agree upon an extension with Reggie Jackson, which will allow him to become a restricted free agent in 2015.

The Thunder will have the right to match any offer Jackson receives from another club.

Oklahoma City agreed upon extensions with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha, but were unable to with Jeff Green and James Harden. Green was traded at that season's deadline, while Harden was dealt before the extension deadline.

Via Darnell Mayberry/Oklahoman

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 Chicago Bulls' convincing 104-80 win over the New York Knicks, which was his first regular season game since last November.

"I wouldn't say my rust is knocked off, but it's getting there," Rose said. "I can't be content with how I'm performing. I have to put it behind me whether it's good or bad and make sure I stay consistent with my workouts. Physically, I feel good.

"I can't get caught up in (proving doubters wrong). I let my game speak for itself. I don't like to say too much about my haters. But you should be able to tell by the way that I work that I've been in the gym every day really working hard on my craft."

Via K.C. Johnson/Chicago Tribune

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

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

The NBA was close to returning to Seattle in 2013, but the Sacramento Kings ultimately did not relocate.

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

"I think it is possible some teams can be in different markets, but expansion is not on our agenda right now," said Silver when asked if there will be more than 30 NBA teams in United States by 2024. 

"Thirty teams feels right, part of it is not just a financial issue, but a competitive issue."

Via Howard Beck/Bleacher Report

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 Cleveland Cavaliers look to win their first NBA championship.

"I think it's really good," James said when asked about his rapport with the Cavs' owner. "We had one bad moment, and it just overshadowed all the great times we had together, and now we're back together.

"We both have something in common: That's to bring a championship back to this city, and that's what it comes down to. That's what our thrive is, that's what our drive is, and we have an opportunity and we have an obligation to represent this team and this franchise the right way."

Gilbert described their relationship as "very good, very solid." 

Gilbert and James are even joking with each other.

"I just saw LeBron," Gilbert said during a news conference Wednesday, addressing the media for the first time since February. "He looked at me and said, 'Looks like you grew an inch.' I said I could use it."

 

Via Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Mavs Release Gal Mekel To Create Roster Spot For Barea

The Dallas Mavericks have released Gal Mekel.

The move will create a roster spot for the Mavericks to sign J.J. Barea.

Via RealGM Staff Report

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

An elbow from Dwight Howard to Kobe Bryant's chin initiated a scuffle during the fourth quarter of Tuesday's 108-90 win by the Houston Rockets over the Los Angeles Lakers.

The two immediately began trash-talking each other and had to be separated.

"He elbowed me in the face, and I'm gonna let him know, I don't like that," Bryant said after the game. "It's that simple."

A Lakers source said Bryant repeatedly called Howard "soft."

"It's fantastic," Bryant said. "That's the game. That's all part of the game. Elbows are a part of the game. Trash-talking is part of the game. I don't know where the NBA became so sensitive. It's all part of it."

Howard refused to go into specifics when asked about the incident by reporters.

"What do y'all want me to say, because I'm not [going] to give y'all nothing," Howard said. "It's stupid. We won the game. It's over with. I mean, there's no need to go into it. We won the game. It's about basketball. I mean it's over with. It's nothing. I'm not even focused on it."

Byron Scott believes Bryant and Howard simply do not like each other, but Bryant disagreed.

"You can't help but like him," Bryant said, smiling. "He's a teddy bear. You can't help but like him. I really meant that. He's a really nice kid. But you know, when you're competing, you have a goal in mind. I know one way to get there. There's certain times when we didn't see eye to eye, but that wasn't one of those situations."

Via Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Enes Kanter, Jazz Break Off Extension Talks

Enes Kanter and the Utah Jazz have broken off talks on a contract extension.

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

“We have mutually agreed with Utah to concentrate on the season and look at our options again in the summer,” agent Max Ergul said in a telephone interview. “Enes likes Utah and the organization very much, and now he can concentrate on continuing to grow as a player and helping them win.”

The Jazz are still engaged in discussions with shooting guard Alec Burks, who is also eligible for a rookie extension before Friday night’s deadline.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Jimmy Butler Out 2-4 Weeks With Thumb Sprain

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

It was unclear on Wednesday morning if Butler would play in the Chicago Bulls' opener against the New York Knicks until Tom Thibodeau made the announcement.

Via K.C. Johnson/Chicago Tribune

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.

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.

Jimmy Butler, Bulls Unlikely To Agree Upon Extension

Jimmy Butler would become a restricted free agent in 2015.

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.

Dwight Left Lakers 'For Myself', Not For Fear Of Kobe

Ahead ofthe Rockets' opening night game at the Lakers, Dwight Howard said his free agency decision in 2013 had nothing to do with Kobe Bryant.

Bucks Guarantee Contract Of Kendall Marshall For 14-15 Season

The Bucks could have waited until January to make a decision on Kendall Marshall.

Knicks Exercise Third-Year Option On Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim Hardaway Jr. averaged 10.2 points over 23.2 minutes in 81 games (one start) last season for the Knicks and was named to the 2013-14 NBA All-Rookie first team.

Bucks Waive Micheal Eric

Michael Eric appeared in four games this preseason for the Bucks and averaged 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per game.

Kings Receive Trade Interest In Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson is signed through the 16-17 season.

Ranadivé Pitched 4-On-5 Defense To Have 5th Player Cherry-Pick

The Kings won't try that idea, but their D-League affiliate might experiment with the concept.

At Least Two Western Conference Teams Pushed For Top-16 Playoff System

The idea does not appear to have much traction at this point.

Blazers Exercise 15-16 Options On Leonard, McCollum

The Blazers have exercised team options on the contracts of center Meyers Leonard and guard CJ McCollum.

Warriors' Co-Owner Apologizes For Using 'Hoodish' Instead Of 'Yiddish' In Email

Peter Guber's email came after the NBA announced in a news release earlier Monday that the league's 30 teams will have a record 101 international players.

Terrence Williams Works Out For Kings Again For Potential Signing

Terrence Williams worked out for the Kings on Monday for the second time since July, with an opportunity to sign, league sources told RealGM.

Bulls Exercise Third-Year Option On Tony Snell

The Bulls have exercised the third-year option for the 2015-16 season for Tony Snell.

Suns Exercise Third-Year Options On Alex Len, Archie Goodwin

The Suns have exercised their third-year options on Alex Len and Archie Goodwin, according to league sources.

Knicks Trade Outlaw, 2nd Rounder To 76ers To Clear Roster Space

The Knicks will also send a future second round pick to the 76ers.
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