The Toronto Raptors recognized Vince Carter during a first quarter timeout of Wednesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Carter requested a trade from the Raptors in 2004 and has largely been booed in his return visits ever since.
“Amazing,” Carter said. “It’s just an amazing feeling to see it, to relive it, to see all the people react as each play was happening. It was an honest reaction. It was in the moment, the feel of the moment.”
“I think when we were all growing up we all got to witness what he was doing here in Toronto,” Quincy Pondexter said. “He was Air Canada. He was the man. A big piece of him is still in the city and he loves it. I knew there was something (special) about it from the time we got on the plane. I usually sit next to him and he was really focused on this day. It means a lot to him.”
Jahlil Okafor is No. 1 on the big boards of Chad Ford and Jonathan Givony and figures to remain there throughout the season.
Okafor is one of the best low post scorer prospects in many years.
"I was sitting with a number of GMs and scouts last night during the Duke-Michigan State game," wrote Ford. "They love him. He's big and physical, however he was quick feet and a soft touch around the basket. He's a legit, old school big man who is just so poised right now. Emmanuel Mudiay and possibly Karl Towns and Kristaps Porzingis will make a run, but it's Okafor's to lose. Of the 30 guys I spoke with last night and polled, all of them had Okafor atop their board."
Goran Dragic plans to opt out this offseason to test free agency, according to sources.
Dragic previously stated that he planned on opting out in order to re-sign a long-term deal with the Phoenix Suns.
Sources say the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers will be options for Dragic.
At issue with the Suns and Dragic is the guard logjam on the team, which Dragic addressed on Tuesday. He told AZCentral.com’s Paul Coro that the reason for some of Phoenix’s early struggles this year is, “Because there’s only one ball and we’re all point guards. That’s an easy answer.”
Dragic’s numbers have dipped this year (15.6 points, 47.5 percent shooting), and the Suns generally have had a harder time offensively.
Carmelo Anthony has been playing with a sore left knee since the second game of the season and has undergone tests to determine the severity.
Anthony wouldn't say what's wrong with it or what those tests revealed, but he aggravated it on Tuesday.
"It's been sore since maybe the Cleveland game," Anthony said after leading the Knicks with 26 points. "I've just been trying to go through it and play through it and not kind of think about it. Some days are better than others.
"I don't think it's serious. I'm out there playing. I don't think it's that serious."
Jason Collins has announced his retirement from the NBA in a piece in Sports Illustrated.
"It has been 18 exhilarating months since I came out in Sports Illustrated as the first openly gay man in one of the four major professional team sports," wrote Collins. "And it has been nine months since I signed with the Nets and became the first openly gay male athlete to appear in a game in one of those leagues. It feels wonderful to have been part of these milestones for sports and for gay rights, and to have been embraced by the public, the coaches, the players, the league and history.
"On Wednesday at the Barclays Center, I plan to announce my retirement as an NBA player. The day will be especially meaningful for me because the Nets will be playing the Bucks, who are coached by Jason Kidd, my former teammate and my coach in Brooklyn. It was Jason who cheered my decision to come out by posting on Twitter: “Jason’s sexuality doesn’t change the fact that he is a great friend and was a great teammate.”
"Considering all the speculation about problems I might face within the locker room, Jason’s support was significant. It had been argued that no team would want to take on a player who was likely to attract a media circus from the outset and whose sexuality would be a distraction. I’m happy to have helped put those canards to rest. The much-ballyhooed media blitz to cover me unscrambled so quickly that a flack jokingly nicknamed me Mr. Irrelevant."
Rival executives have told Bleacher Report that Danny Ainge has been firm that the Boston Celtics will not trade Rajon Rondo ahead of the trade deadline.
"They're definitely bravely saying they won't trade him at this point," said one general manager, who nevertheless added, "I definitely think it's the right thing to trade him. I think Danny knows it."
Rondo's representatives are said to be pursuing a max contract, which would be for five years and an estimated $106 million if he stays with Boston, while his deal elsewhere would be four years and about $79 million.
"My body feels a lot better, my legs are a lot stronger," Rondo said, comparing his play now to last season, when he was just making his way back. "I can get into the paint a lot easier now, this year. Last year, I was pretty slow. So this year I'm a step faster."
"This is going to be his best year of his career, I think," Ainge said, though not because Rondo is on any sort of salary drive. "Knowing Rondo, he just wants to show that he's one of the elite point guards in the NBA again. But yeah, he is a foundational piece that we already have that's right there. But there is uncertainty for this upcoming offseason."