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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Earl Clark, Lakers Discuss Possible Reunion

The Los Angeles Lakers have had a level of dialogue with forward Earl Clark on a potential reunion, league sources told RealGM.

Over the past several weeks, the Lakers have looked into available wing talent that features Quincy Miller. The Lakers came out of last week’s free agency workouts without delivering a deal, and while no deal has been reached yet with Clark, they are expected to have an elevated urgency due to the recent season-ending injury to Xavier Henry.

In four games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League, Clark has averages of 28.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and two assists.

Clark, 26, had his most productive NBA run with the Lakers in the 2012-13 season. He was an afterthought in the franchise’s trade for Dwight Howard, but averaged 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game and secured a multi-year contract in the 2013 offseason.

Clark lasted half of last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers before signing a pair of 10-day contracts with the New York Knicks. He averaged 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in 54 total games.

Clark was the 14th overall draft pick to the Phoenix Suns in 2009 out of Louisville. He has played five NBA seasons with Phoenix, Orlando, the Lakers, Cleveland and New York.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Thunder To Release Sebastian Telfair, Keep Ish Smith

The Oklahoma City Thunder will release Sebastian Telfair with their hardship exception expiring.

The Thunder need to get down to the 15-player maximum roster size.

Oklahoma City will instead keep Ish Smith.

Via Royce Young/ESPN

Anthony Davis 'Loves' Situation With Pelicans

Anthony Davis believes that the New Orleans Pelicans are on the "right path" and is confident they will make the postseason this year.

"We know what we got in this locker room," Davis said. "We know what direction we want to go in and our identity to be."

The Pelicans are 7-6 this season.

Davis is pleased with his current situation with the Pelicans. Davis will make $7 million in the final year of his rookie contract, but is eligible for a maximum contract extension next summer that could be worth about $90 million over five years. If he is not signed to an extension prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, he will be a restricted free agent in July 2016.

"I love it here in New Orleans," Davis said. "Great city. Great atmosphere. …We're getting the fans back and New Orleans back buzzing for the Pelicans, a great organization. I love my team here.

"We're definitely moving in the right direction. I don't know what the future holds, but right now I'm definitely loving the team and the organization."

Via Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports

Mark Cuban Proposes Conference Realignment

Mark Cuban has come up with a proposal for conference realignment in which eight teams would change conferences.

In Cuban's plan, the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans would move to the Eastern Conference. The Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks would move to the West.

"It's not like it'd be the first time we've ever realigned," Cuban said. "It's happened many times before, so there's precedent and I just think it shakes things up and makes things interesting."

Adam Silver has been receptive to ideas that would address the issue of the West being a significantly deeper, stronger conference than the East. One idea that has been floated is to have a 16-team playoff bracket that does not take conferences into consideration.

Via Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Clifford Believes Stephenson Isn't A Star Yet, Must Work To Become One

Steve Clifford believes Lance Stepenson's slow start and adjustment in his first season with the Charlotte Hornets are partly due to his struggles to live up to external expectations.

"To be fair, one of the things that's made it more difficult for him is that he came here and people proclaimed him as the next superstar," Clifford said Wednesday. "He's not a star. He's a guy that has talent to become a star. To be a star in this league, you have to do it over years."

"It's different. It's not easy. He started two years before he got here. He played on a really good team, so everybody saw him play when no one else was playing. When Al Jefferson came here, he'd [averaged] 19 [points] and eight [rebounds] for like 10 years. You knew what you were going to get. And that's what Lance needs to become. In many ways it's not fair."

"I've told [Stephenson] this. I've been fortunate. I've been around Kobe [Bryant] and [Tracy] McGrady. They were superstars. I was also around Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell. They were two-, three-year All-Stars. [Stephenson has] got a lot of work to get to that level. Everybody proclaimed him as this guy, and if you remember the first time we got him, I said he's got to develop into that."

Stephenson was benched again in the Hornets' loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. He is averaging 9.7 points and 8.1 rebounds this season.

Via Michael Wallace/ESPN

Knicks Concerned Carmelo Anthony's Back Issue Could Be Season-Long

Carmelo Anthony is expected to miss the rest of the New York Knicks' road trip with a back injury.

The Knicks are concerned that Anthony's injury could become a season-long issue related to the disk.

Anthony injured his back landing awkwardly after a jump shot in Monday's game.

“Most injuries aren’t necessarily acute or traumatic,’’ Derek Fisher said. “Maybe there were some things that led up to it. Back spasms isn’t something you can push it or rush. Until you can actually play without actually being in spasm, there isn’t anything you can really do. Hopefully that will be soon.’’

Via Marc Berman/New York Post

Derrick Rose Removed From Game With Hamstring Tightness

Derrick Rose was removed at halftime of the Chicago Bulls' game against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday because of left hamstring tightness.

"Just trying to be smart, back-to-back (games), fatigue, and didn't want to take any steps back," said Rose, who scored two points. "So, take these couple of days off, head to Boston."

Rose has missed four games with the hamstring injury this season.

Via Fred Mitchell/Chicago Tribune

David West Hopes To Make Season Debut Friday

David West hopes to return from a sprained ankle on Friday against the Orlando Magic.

"(Coach Frank Vogel) will make the call," West said after participating in practice Tuesday in San Antonio. "I'll see what he says. (But) I feel good. This last week has been good. No setbacks. The ankle is healthy which is important."

Vogel said he is hopeful West can return Friday.

West sprained his ankle Oct. 18 during a preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Via Candace Buckner/Indianapolis Star

Jordan Hamilton Signs With Iowa In D-League

The Iowa Energy acquired Jordan Hamilton on Wednesday, the team announced.

Hamilton was a first round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and has played for the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz.

 

Via RealGM Staff Report

Pistons Assign Tony Mitchell To D-League

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has assigned forward Tony Mitchell to the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive.

Mitchell, drafted 37th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, appeared in 21 games for the Pistons last season averaging 1.0 points and 1.2 rebounds per game.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Lakers Awarded $4.85M Disabled Player Exception

Steve Nash is out for the rest of the season due to back issues.

Grizzlies Re-Assign Jordan Adams To D-League

Jordan Adams had 20 points, seven rebounds and one assist in 31 minutes in an exhibition on Nov. 8 vs. Sioux Falls.

Damien Wilkins Named D-League Player Of The Week

Damien Wilkins averaged 28.3 points (fourth in the league) on .561 shooting (32-for-57), 10.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists to lead Iowa to a 3-0 start to the season.

Randy Foye Out Three Weeks With Torn Quad

Randy Foye will not undergo surgery and will rest and receive treatment.

Aaron Gray Remaining Active With Pistons Despite Being Waived

Aaron Gray stayed for his rehabilitation and remains active in the game by drilling big men for a Pistons' team that released him.

Thibodeau: Derrick Rose Still Not Real Comfortable With Ball Yet

Derrick Rose had 18 points, five assists and three rebounds in 25 minutes in the Bulls' 97-95 win at the Jazz.

Heat Sign Hassan Whiteside, Waive Shannon Brown

Hassan Whiteside has appeared in three games for the Iowa Energy in the NBA Development League this season.

Carmelo Anthony Leaves Game With Back Spasms

The Knicks described Carmelo Anthony's injury as back spasms.

JaKarr Sampson Recalled To 76ers

JaKarr Sampson appeared in two games for the Delaware 87ers, averaging 15 points and 5 rebounds.

DeMarcus Cousins, Lou Williams Named NBA Players Of Week

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings to a 2-1 week.

Xavier Henry Ruptured Left Achilles

Xavier Henry has appeared in nine games this season, averaging 2.2 points, 0.4 rebounds, 0.3 assists, and 0.33 steals in 9.5 minutes per game.

Pacers 'Cool' On Possibility Of Paul George Returning This Season

The Pacers have "cooled" on the possibility of Paul George returning this season from his offseason injury, according to sources.

76ers Won't Be Favored In Any Of Remaining 69 Games

The 76ers' best odds to win are at 44.6 percent on March 30th when they host the Lakers.

Carmelo Had 'Great Dialogue' With Dwight About Joining Rockets

Carmelo Anthony isn't playing the what-if game with the Rockets and Mavericks playing well.

Lakers Hope Loyalty Toward Nash Will Help Down The Line With Free Agents

Steve Nash plans on remaining in Manhattan Bech for the remainder of his life and is expected to be part of the Lakers' franchise even after his contract expires.

Cavs Recall Alex Kirk From D-League

Alex Kirk has played in three games (all starts) for the Charge this season with averages of 23.7 points on .483 shooting, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 39.3 minutes per game.

Eric Gordon Out Indefinitely With Torn Labrum

Eric Gordon has suffered from a host of injuries since signing a new free agent deal in 2012.

Lakers Didn't Pursue Non-Superstar Free Agents In 2014

The Lakers pursued Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, but they sat out the pursuit of players such as Lance Stephenson, Eric Bledsoe, Chandler Parsons, Gordon Hayward, Kyle Lowry, Isaiah Thomas and others.

Furkan Aldemir To Sign With 76ers

Furkan Aldemir is averaging 8.1 points and 9.1 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per game for Galatasary in 11 games.

Jimmy Butler Doesn't Hold Resentment Over Lack Of Contract Extension

Jimmy Butler said he does not hold resentment with the Bulls for the lack of a new deal.
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