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Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Derrick Rose Acknowledges Rift Between His Camp, Bulls; Jerry Reinsdorf Refutes Report

Jerry Reinsdorf issued a statement on Thursday to address a Sun-Times story about issues in the Chicago Bulls' relationship with Derrick Rose's camp.

“I am confounded by the irresponsible report in the Chicago Sun-Times suggesting there is anything approaching discord or confusion between the Bulls executive office, coaching staff, and Derrick Rose or any other Bulls player,” Reinsdorf said. “To the contrary, I can remember no time when the organization has been any more focused, optimistic, and cohesive. I’ve got to assume suggestions otherwise are intended to undermine the goals and objectives, spirit, and reputation of the Chicago Bulls. I am deeply disappointed that unnamed sources and totally inaccurate statements and assumptions can be used to foment nonexistent friction. The report is totally without basis or fact. It is pure malicious fiction.”

In the Sun-Times story, Rose acknowledged a growing rift between his camp and the Bulls' organization. The report also cited sources about the Bulls' displeasure with Rose's lack of participation in the recruitment of Carmelo Anthony, as well as Rose's camp possibly leaking an ESPN story on his involvement.

“I know it’s been there,’’ Rose said of tension between the Bulls and his camp, according to the report. “I heard there were some upset people.

“I’m happy I didn’t personally see it. I don’t want to see that. I kind of wonder where it was coming from because it seemed like whenever I was around, everything was all right. It bothered me because when I wasn’t around, I would hear from certain people that everything wasn’t all right.’’

Multiple sources told the Sun-Times that tension was mounting because Rose allowed his camp to take shots at the franchise

Rose also praised the Bulls' addition of Pau Gasol.

“[Gasol is] someone that I knew I could play with,’’ Rose said. “You think about Pau, him now being in the East, what he’ll be able to achieve with the way we play, the way we dump the ball in the post a lot. It could be great.’’

Rose's agent, B.J. Armstrong, also commented about the apparent tension.

“No one does interviews," Armstrong said. "No one talks. Derrick speaks to you [media] guys, and that’s it. There’s nothing to discuss. If there is something going on, there’s two people: You can get it from [chairman] Jerry Reinsdorf or you can get it from Derrick Rose. There’s nothing else to talk about.’

“You’re talking about rumors. I see Jerry 50 times a year. If I ask Jerry Reinsdorf right now how the relationship is, that’s all I care about.’’

Via Joe Cowley/Chicago Sun-Times

Metta World Peace To Sign One-Year, $1.43M Deal With Sichuan In China

Metta World Peace will sign a $1.43 million contract on Thursday night with Sichuan of the Chinese Basketball Association, making him the league’s highest paid import player this season, sources told RealGM.

World Peace’s deal will be for one season, and he’ll search for a contract in the NBA once the Chinese season ends, sources said.

World Peace, 34, will be the most decorated NBA talent in China next season – a one-time champion, All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year in 15 mostly productive seasons. He had received a level of NBA interest before the overseas deal.

World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, had immense individual and team success in stops with the Indiana Pacers (2002-06) and Los Angeles Lakers (2009-13). He played in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004, and the 6-foot-7 forward won an NBA title with the Lakers in 2010 when he filled the void of Trevor Ariza and made impact shots and defensive stands alongside Kobe Bryant.

After being released by the Lakers under the amnesty provision last summer, World Peace signed with the New York Knicks and averaged 4.8 points in 29 games in one year with his home team. World Peace went to high school in New York and played two collegiate seasons at St. John’s University.

World Peace averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists over his NBA career with six different teams. He was the 19th overall draft selection of the Chicago Bulls in 1999.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Wolves Narrow Kevin Love Trade Talks Down To Cavaliers

The Minnesota Timberwolves are currently engaged in serious Kevin Love talks with only the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls have previously been in touch with the Wolves on a trade, but their respective offers aren't as competitive.

The Bulls are pessimistic about their chances and aren't inclined to significantly alter the construction of their team.

Andrew Wiggins is not eligible to be dealt until Aug. 23 after signing his rookie contract last week, but numerous league insiders expect a trade to be a matter of when instead of if.

Via Marc Stein, Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Will Cherry To Sign Two-Year Deal With Raptors

Will Cherry has agreed to a two-year contract with the Toronto Raptors worth the NBA's veteran minumum, according to a source.

Cherry averaged 11.6 points, 4.5 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game last season for the Canton Charge of the NBA D-League.

Cherry played for the Cleveland Cavaliers in summer league.

Cherry is expected to sign the partially guaranteed deal in the coming days.

Via Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports

Bosh: Leaving Heat For Rockets Was Close

Chris Bosh was close to leaving the Miami Heat for the Houston Rockets before ultimately deciding to re-sign on a five-year, $118 million contract.

"It was close. I'm not going to lie," Bosh said on "The Zaslow and Joy Show" on FM 104.3 The Ticket in Miami. "It was close. It was a weird situation because we were waiting so long and I didn't know what was going on.

"I think you're always in a situation where it is close even if you don't leave because teams got very aggressive on me," Bosh said. "And I guess as soon as LeBron (James) made up his mind, that's when everything could fall in line. But I was just waiting, so I didn't know what was going on."
Via ESPN

RealGM Radio: Ian Levy On Offseason Moves, Looking Toward Regular Season

In this episode, host Daniel Leroux (@DannyLeroux) talks to Ian Levy (@HickoryHigh) about his new site Nylon Calculus (nyloncalculus.com), the offseason so far and what he is looking forward to for the 2014-15 season.

Leroux and Levy hit on various topics related to analytics as well as what the Cavs could look like with LeBron James and the balance of power in both conferences.

Click here to listen or download.

You can also click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Under Armour Preparing Offer To Durant With His Nike Deal Expiring

Kevin Durant's endorsement contract with Nike expires this week.

Sources say Under Armour is preparing a robust offer to Durant. Under Armour is based in Durant's home state of Maryland.

"Nike has been a part of me ever since I was in high school and have been great since I've been in the league but I'm just going to let my team be the ones who handle that behind the scenes, I guess," Durant said. "When you look at stuff like that, it's great problems to have because people want you for what you know and do on the basketball court, the work you put in, so I'm going to continue to put my work in, let them focus on that on the other end, and we'll come together at some point."

Durant switched agents last June to become the first NBA client of Jay-Z's agency.

 

Via Darren Rovell/ESPN

Jamal Jones To Sign In D-League After Junior Season At Texas A&M

After leaving Texas A&M’s basketball program as a junior, Jamal Jones will sign in the NBA Development League in hopes of boosting his stock for the 2015 NBA Draft, a source told RealGM.

Jones is fresh off a breakout season for the Aggies, averaging a team-high 13.4 points to go along with 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.

Jones has hired agent Charles Briscoe for represenation.

The 6-foot-8 swingman also had considered transferring to another school before he decided to start his professional career in the D-League.

Jones, 21, transferred to Texas A&M after spending his first two collegiate seasons at Ole Miss (2011-12) and Lee College (2012-13).

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Riley: LeBron Gave No Response To Texts, Emails In Free Agency

Pat Riley never dissuaded from the belief that LeBron James would return to the Miami Heat in free agency, even when the two met in Las Vegas before James announced his decision to join the Cleveland Cavaliers.

''I went into it with the thought and the notion that he was coming back," Riley said, "and I was selling that to players, I believed that firmly, so I was selling that to players. And that's the only way I went into it. I let him know that. He never said to me, 'No, don't do that.' ''

"I don't think I was misled. But I don't think I was encouraged either. That's business."

Riley said he did not hear from James during the free agent process.

"I sent him a lot of emails and texts," Riley said. "I was communicating a lot with him. No response."

Riley then turned his focus to making the Heat a contending team.

"There wasn't anything in that meeting that told me that wasn't going to happen," Riley said of the anticipated return by James. "I've moved on quickly from that, 'We are going to build another championship team and that's it.'

"This business, as we find it, is tough. Sometimes you have those tough calls and sometimes things happen to you that you don't like but you’ve got to move on.

"The process didn't take anything out of me other than this one notion: You have a chance to build a generational team. . . . That chain has been broken prematurely. We are going to try to make it another generational team. That's what my objective is."

Via Ira Winderman/Sun Sentinel

Will Barton's 14-15 Contract With Blazers Becomes Guaranteed

Will Barton's contract for 14-15 became fully guaranteed on Thursday, which puts the Portland Trail Blazers' roster at 15.

Barton, whom Neil Olshey selected with a second-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, will make roughy $915,000 next season.

"Will has improved as much as anyone on our roster as a player and a professional," Olshey told The Oregonian in an email. "Having the third year of his contract guaranteed is a validation of his efforts and his value to our organization."

Via Joe Freeman/Oregonian

Byron Mullens Signs With Shanxi Zhongyu

Byron Mullens has signed a contract with Shanxi Zhongyu in China.

Official Game Balls Will Have Twitter Handle '@NBA'

The NBA has added its Twitter handle, @NBA, to the official game balls.

Wizards Waive Melvin Ely

Melvin Ely was included in the Trevor Ariza trade to help make the numbers work.

Warriors Waive Hilton Armstrong

Hilton Armstrong was previously waived by the Warriors in December and later re-signed following a stint in the D-League.

Chris Bosh Officially Signs Five-Year, $118.7M Contract

Chris Bosh decided to remain with the Heat amid a four-year max contract offer from the Rockets.

Todd Mayo Leaving Marquette To Pursue Pro Career

Todd Mayo told RealGM that he plans to sign in the D-League and place his name in next Juneís NBA Draft.

World Peace Close To Deal In China

Metta World Peace is nearing agreement to sign with the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Michael Beasley Works Out For Lakers

Michael Beasley worked out for the Lakers in El Segundo on Wednesday.

Shawn Marion Taking Patient Approach In Free Agency

Shawn Marion and the Mavericks have admitted his return is unlikely.

Nets Hire Paul Westphal, John Welch, Tony Brown, Joe Wolf, Jay Humphries On Coaching Staff

The Nets have named Paul Westphal, John Welch, Tony Brown, Joe Wolf and Jay Humphries as assistant coaches.

Bulls Not Aggressively Pursuing Kevin Love Deal, Have Made No Formal Offers

Sources continue to indicate that the Bulls are not aggressively pursuing a trade for Kevin Love and have made no formal offers.

Report: Anthony Bennett Pulled By Agent From Pro-Am Game

Anthony Bennett was recently pulled by his agent from a pro-am pickup game, according to a report.

Stephen Holt Signs With German Team

Stephen Holt has signed a professional contract with a team in Germany.

76ers To Fight Proposed Changes To Draft Lottery System

The NBA is attempting to balance out the odds of the draft lottery to discourage tanking.

Durant Will Do What's Best For Him As 2016 Free Agent

Kevin Durant spoke extensively on Tuesday about his 2016 free agency for the first time.

LeBron, Cavs To Play At Miami On Christmas Day

An unofficial internal schedule of select games has Cleveland playing the Heat in Miami on Christmas on ABC.

Kings Sign Eric Moreland To Three-Year Deal

Eric Moreland went undrafted out of Oregon State in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Ivan Johnson Signs Two-Year Deal With Mavericks

Ivan Johnsonís contract with the Mavericks will be for two seasons, with partial guarantees, league sources told RealGM.

Norvel Pelle Signs With Dacin Tigers Of Taiwan

Norvel Pelle was the No. 1 rated center in the incoming college class of 2011.

Terrence Williams To Work Out For Kings

Terrence Williams last played in the NBA in 2013 with the Celtics.
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