Basketball Wiretap

Mitch Kupchak Not Thinking About Jim Buss' Deadline

Sep 28, 2016 10:28 AM

Mitch Kupchak is unconcerned with the deadline Jim Buss declared for the Los Angeles Lakers to return to the Western Conference Finals.

In 2014, Buss said that if the Lakers weren’t there in “three to four years” he would step down. This season marks the third since that declaration.

“I’m not even sure what was said with certainty,” Kupchak said. “From my point of view, we’ve created a team that has a lot of young talent that can grow into, I believe, really good [players] and hopefully NBA players that can leave an imprint on this league. I think we’ve surrounded them with some older veterans that can help us win games.”

The Lakers won just 17 games last season and are expected to miss the playoffs again in 16-17.

Tania Ganguli/Los Angeles Times

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Stephen Curry Likely Set For 200 Percent Increase On Next Contract

Sep 28, 2016 12:41 PM

If Stephen Curry decides to re-sign with the Golden State Warriors, he could sign a five-year, $165 million max deal based off the current cap estimates.

Curry could only sign a four-year deal with smaller raises should he ultimately decide to leave the Warriors.

Curry said this week that he plans to re-sign with the Warriors.

Curry is currently one of the NBA's best values as he signed a four-year, $44 million extension in 2012. Curry will have an increase of approximately 200 percent on his annual average.

Marc Stein, Larry Coon/ESPN

Tags: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Milt Newton Still Seeking Return To An NBA Front Office

Sep 28, 2016 11:39 AM

Milt Newton's tenure as general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves was short due to the passing of Flip Saunders and the franchise's subsequent decision to give total control to Tom Thibodeau.

Newton said it’s “a little disheartening” to lose the job that he’s confident he would still have if Saunders were alive.

Since his dismissal from the Timberwolves, Newton hasn’t been approached by an NBA team for any executive positions. He said he is not opposed to being an assistant general manager and is open-minded in search for a comfort level and good fit with his next job.

The NBA has only one African-American general manager in Dell Demps of the Pelicans while Masai Ujiri was born in Nigeria.

“Joe Dumars won when he was in management,” Newton said. “Billy Knight won when he was in management. You want to believe that when you do a good job and you’re successful that it’s all that really matters. But it may not necessarily be like that 100 percent. I don’t know what they’re doing to try to get back in.

“It might sound funny when people hear this, but I believe my fate rests in God. And if it’s to be, then I’m going to be back in management. I am going to get back in management. Maybe my fate is to move into another avenue in sports to have an impact on people I’m supposed to have an impact on. Until that happens, I’m going to continue to work on people that I can continue to have an impact on, to keep my faith in the person who has the world in [his] hands.”

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Bulls Giving Dwyane Wade Green Light On Open Three-Pointers

Sep 28, 2016 7:39 PM

Dwyane Wade has never really developed his three-point shot but Fred Hoiberg is prepared to give him the green light on open attempts. Wade did shoot 52.2 percent on 3-pointers during last season's playoffs when defenses stacked to try to take away his driving and slashing game.

"That's a little new for me," Wade said.

"A lot of people have talked about me not shooting 3s, but no one has been able to take away what I wanted to do. So why would I do something else?" Wade said. "When you take it away, I have the ability to knock it down. I'm not Doug McDermott. I'm not Niko (Mirotic). But I'm comfortable with the shot and I'm going to shoot it. I know it's going to be there, so I have a better chance of knocking it down."

K.C. Johnson/Chicago Tribune

Tags: Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls, NBA

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Joel Embiid Rusty In 76ers' Scrimmage

Sep 28, 2016 9:12 PM

Joel Embiid participated in the Philadelphia 76ers' end-of-practice scrimmage on Wednesday. Embiid hasn't played in a game since March 1, 2014.

Embiid appeared to struggle with his footwork, finding his balance and figuring out things in real-time speed on defense.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball and shooting," said Embiid. "So I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid acknowledged he's out of sync because of his two-year absence.

"It's really frustrating," Embiid said, "But like I said, you've got the trust the process, which I've been doing. I have to keep working on my game and make sure I do the same thing over and over.

"I think I'm the type of guy that's going to learn fast. It's just going to come when it comes."

Keith Pompey/Philadelphia Daily News

Tags: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA

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Josh McRoberts Still Recovering From Broken Foot Suffered In Playoffs

Sep 28, 2016 9:18 PM

Josh McRoberts revealed he suffered a broken left foot with in last season's Eastern Conference Semifinals and played through it in Game 7.

McRoberts remains sidelined during training camp.

McRoberts has had a pair of injury-plagued seasons with the Heat.

"I completely get it, man. I completely get it," he said after completing light shooting on the makeshift courts at the Atlantis resort. "I'm the big white guy that gets hurt all the time. I wouldn't like me either, you know what I mean? So I completely understand where it comes from. So I get it. I want to be out there."

McRoberts had 10 points in the game on a broken foot in 15 minutes.

"It's not like I got hurt walking the dog," McRoberts said. "I got hurt trying to play for the Heat, trying to help the team win.

"And that's just part of it. I've had bad luck and I'm doing everything I can. I've done everything I can to be healthy. And trust me, if anybody's frustrated, it's me more so. So I definitely understand. I'm a fan of other sports, too. Your guy gets hurt, and you're like, 'Man, we need that guy. We need him to play.' So I understand it. I get it."

Ira Winderman/South Florida Sun Sentinel

Tags: Josh McRoberts, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Injury

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R.C. Buford Acknowledges Transition Period Approaching Spurs

Sep 28, 2016 9:07 PM

R.C. Buford and the San Antonio Spurs lost Tim Duncan to retirement to headline an offseason with a considerable amount of roster turnover.

“It was a lonely summer,” he said. “I thought I must have made somebody mad. But I’m excited about our new group. We’ve got some really terrific people who have joined our organization and there’s a great opportunity to grow together.”

Buford and the Spurs did re-sign Manu Ginobili to a one-year, $14 million deal.

“To have had to replace them both at the same time would have been even more impactful than when each one decides to leave as individuals,” Buford said. “I don’t know how you judge that or gauge that other than that we know there is a transition approaching for our organization and it will be better if it’s a more managed transition than if it all happens at the same time.”

Tom Orsborn/San Antonio Express-News

Tags: San Antonio Spurs, NBA

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Cavs Plan Committee Approach For Backup Point Guard Minutes

Sep 28, 2016 10:17 AM

The Cleveland Cavaliers will take a committee approach to filling the backup point guard minutes left by Mo Williams' retirement.

"We have to do it by committee," Tyronn Lue said Tuesday afternoon, following the team's first practice. "I thought (DeAndre) Liggins looked really good today. Did a great job. Kay (Felder). I think we can play Jordan (McRae) a little backup point, we've got Shump (Iman Shumpert) who can play a little backup point and having LeBron on the floor with him will help him out. We just have to do it by committee until we figure it out."

Kyrie Irving and Kay Felder are the only traditional point guards on the Cavs' roster.

"Oh, man. It's a great opportunity," Felder said following his first NBA practice Tuesday. "I get to learn from Kyrie. I'll maybe be a little bit more in touch with him, because you know it would have been me and Mo right there. But now it's just me. Just to learn from Kyrie, learn what he's been through in his career, it will be fun."

Chris Fedor/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

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Steve Kerr: Warriors 'Pretty' In First Practice Of Camp

Sep 28, 2016 10:35 AM

The Golden State Warriors worked through drills with relative speed and precision in practice on Tuesday.

“It was kind of pretty,” said Steve Kerr. “We had some good flow. Our guys were locked in.”

The Warriors are beginning to work Kevin Durant into their system.

“I was anxious,” Durant said. “The first day of camp is exciting. Everyone thinks they have a chance to do something special.”

“It was pretty relaxed and comfortable,” Stephen Curry said. “There were a lot of personalities, a lot of senses of humors, a lot of guys joking around. … But it obviously takes a minute to kind of look around and think of who’s not there, who is there.”

The Warriors open up preseason play in Vancouver on Saturday against the Raptors.

Connor Letourneau/San Francisco Chronicle

Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA

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Al Horford On Celtics: Weird Feeling, But It Feels Right To Be Here

Sep 28, 2016 10:40 AM

Al Horford had spent his entire nine-year NBA career with the Atlanta Hawks before signing a four-year, $113 million max contract with the Boston Celtics.

Horford participated in his first practice with the Celtics on Tuesday.

"It's definitely a weird feeling, but I feel good," Horford said. "It feels right to be here.

"I took a chance on coming here, because I believe in the type of guys we have here in the organization and the potential there is. So that's why I'm here, and I have a lot of respect for a lot of these players."

Horford is optimistic about the Celtics' younger core.

"It just really intrigued me, and when the free-agency process came around, at the beginning I would say I was very comfortable with Atlanta, but, as the time kept going on and I met with the Celtics, it just became real to me," Horford said.

"Looking at my career at this point, I'm going into my 10th year and want to be able to be a part of something special and win a championship. With the type of guys that we have here, we have that possibility, and that's something I wanted to be a part of."

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Tags: Al Horford, Boston Celtics, NBA

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Paul Allen Comfortable With Big Financial Commitment To Blazers' Payroll
The Blazers became a far more expensive team in the short and long-term this offseason.

Joe Freeman/Oregonian

ESPN's NBA Deal Reportedly Hurting Disney Stock
Disney's deal to televise NBA games, with its increase in costs over last year, could shave as much as 5 percent off pre-tax profits.

Richard Morgan/New York Post

Evan Fournier Never Considered Leaving Magic
EVan Fournier was asked if it was important to continue building with the Magic over seeking the most money possible.

Keith Smith/RealGM

Stephen Curry Wants To Re-Sign With Warriors
Stephen Curry will be a free agent in 2017 and he's not at all worried about it becoming a distraction.

Anthony Slater/San Jose Mercury News

Blazers To 'Modernize' Uniforms Next Season
Portland's uniforms have remained relatively unchanged since the early 1990s.

Andy Giegerich/Portland Business Journal

Serge Ibaka Wants To Stay With Magic 'Forever'
Serge Ibaka is due to earn $12.3 million during the upcoming season.

Josh Robbins/Orlando Sentinel

Kevin Durant: Nothing's Changed Except For My Jersey
Kevin Durant is anticipating a quick adjustment period with the Warriors.

Michael Lee/The Vertical

Cavs Interested In Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, Kirk Hinrich
Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers were teammates of LeBron James with the Heat.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Josh Smith Wants To Remain In NBA, Knows 'Changes Need to Be Made'
Josh Smith has received interest from teams in China but he wants to remain in the NBA.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Mo Williams Changes Mind, Decides To Retire
The Cavs owe Mo Williams $2.2 million this season.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Rockets To Make James Harden Their Full-Time Point Guard
Under the new up-tempo offense, Mike D'Antoni has decided to put the ball in James Harden's hands more than last season, like a traditional point guard.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Nikola Pekovic Ruled Out For Entire 16-17 Season With Ankle Injury
Nikola Pekovic has career averages of 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game.

RealGM Staff Report

Nerlens Noel Frustrated By 76ers' 'Silly' Center Logjam
Nerlens Noel expected the 76ers to balance their roster following the departure of Sam Hinkie.

Keith Pompey/Philadelphia Inquirer

LAPD Investigation Of Derrick Rose Sexual Assault Case Ongoing
The civil case will begin in Los Angeles on Oct. 4th and criminal charges against Derrick Rose can still be filed.

ESPN

Pat Riley: Chris Bosh's Career With Heat 'Probably Over'
Miami is not actively working toward Chris Bosh's return.

ESPN

Paul Pierce To Retire After 16-17 Season
Paul Pierce averaged only 6.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season.

ESPN

Dunc'd On: HOU Season Outlook w/Rahat Huq, CHA Season Outlook w/Spencer Percy
Rahat Huq joins Nate Duncan to discuss the Rockets while Spencer Percy is the guest for their breakdown of the Hornets.

RealGM Staff Report

Suns Sign Gracin Bakumanya, Derek Cooke Jr., Shaquille Harrison, Derrick Jones Jr.
The Suns have signed center Gracin Bakumanya, forward Derek Cooke Jr., guard Shaquille Harrison and forward Derrick Jones Jr., bringing the club's roster to 19 players.

RealGM Staff Report

Jason Thompson Agrees To One-Year, $1.5M Deal With Shandong
Jason Thompson turned 30 this offseason and will now played abroad after 588 games in the NBA.

David Pick

Chris Bosh Responds To Failed Physical, Vows To Keep Trying To Play
Chris Bosh has yet to be cleared to return to basketball activities.

Manny Navarro/Miami Herald