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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Russell Westbrook To Return Immediately

Russell Westbrook will return to the Oklahoma City Thunder lineup on Friday for their game against the New York Knicks.

Westbrook broke a bone in his right hand in the second game of the Thunder season.

Westbrook has been practicing and taking contact on the court in recent days.

The Thunder have won just four of their first 16 games without Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

Via AP

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

Larry Sanders Embracing New Bucks' Culture Under Kidd

Larry Sanders has found his game again to start this season with Jason Kidd as head coach.

"It was being patient with myself," Sanders said. "I think some guys get down. You can't get too high or get too low.

"It's just finding your pace again. But Coach (Kidd) has been great, my teammates have been great with me and I'm just trying to play off of them."

Kidd and his staff made Sanders a centerpiece of their efforts from the beginning, working with him in Las Vegas during the summer and continuing during training camp.

"They came in and changed the culture; the (new) owners came in and changed the culture," Sanders said. "It's a whole different mind-set than I've ever had.

"We're really trying to build something new here and you could feel it. I'm just happy to be a part of it."

Via Charles F. Gardner/Journal Sentinel

Rockets Won't Sign Al Harrington

The Houston Rockets reportedly will not sign Al Harrington despite rumors.

Harrington once wanted to play with the Rockets but will not this season.

Harrington was released by his Chinese team recently.

Via Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Kevin Durant Taking It Day By Day With Thunder

Kevin Durant said nine weeks ago that he does not pretend to have a crystal ball about his future -- in regard to his 2016 free agency or otherwise.

"I'm taking it day by day with the Oklahoma City Thunder," Durant said then. "That's my main concern."

Durant's return from a foot injury is expected to be soon.

Via Sam Amick/USA Today

NBA Denies Kings' Protest From Game Against Grizzlies

The NBA has denied the Sacramento Kings' protest of their 111-110 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 13.

The basis for the Kings' protest was that Courtney Lee's game-winning shot should have been disqualified as having been made after time expired. Under league procedures, each team has an opportunity to make submissions in support of its position, and the protesting team is required to establish a misapplication of the official playing rules that had a clear impact on the game's outcome.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Tony Wroten Out At Least One Week With Sprained Knee

Tony Wroten sustained a sprained right knee during Wednesday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets and will miss at least one week as a result of the injury, the Philadelphia 76ers announced on Friday.

Wroten will be re-evaluated on December 5, at which time the team is expected to provide another update.

Via RealGM Staff Report

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

A.J. Price Waived By Pacers

The Indiana Pacers announced they have waived A.J. Price.

The Pacers roster now stands at 15.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Kings Reassign Eric Moreland To Reno

The Sacramento Kings have reassigned rookie forward Eric Moreland to the Reno BigHorns of the D-League.

The 6-10, 218-pound forward from Oregon State is averaging 13.3 points (.581 FG%), 10.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game in three games (all starts) for the Reno Bighorns.

Moreland saw action for the first time in the regular season in the Kings’ 102-89 loss to the Houston Rockets on Nov. 26.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Pistons Recall Tony Mitchell From D-League

Tony Mitchell recorded 12 points (5-9 FG), 12 rebounds and one steal in 30 minutes vs. the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

Thunder To Release Sebastian Telfair, Keep Ish Smith

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

Mark Cuban Proposes Conference Realignment

The Mavericks, Spurs, Rockets and Pelicans would move to the East, while the Bulls, Pacers, Pistons and Bucks would move to the West.

Jordan Hamilton Signs With Iowa In D-League

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

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

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

Pistons Assign Tony Mitchell To D-League

Tony Mitchell appeared in 21 games for the Pistons last season.

David West Hopes To Make Season Debut Friday

Frank Vogel said he is hopeful David West can return Friday.

Derrick Rose Removed From Game With Hamstring Tightness

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

Earl Clark, Lakers Discuss Possible Reunion

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

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.
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