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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Julius Randle Gives Lakers An Ability To Handle Ball At Forward

Julius Randle projects in the NBA as a power forward, but the Los Angeles Lakers have been impressed with his ability to defend threes and handle the ball.

"He's got super quick feet and I think if there's one thing you didn't see much at Kentucky, as you do watching him every day, is that he's got really gifted quickness, first step, [and] he loves contact," Mitch Kupchak said.

"He can defend small forwards. Do I see him right now as the prototypical small forward?  Probably not," Kupchak said.  "But I could see him bringing the ball up the court.  I could see him seeing a gap, getting a step on a guy and making a play -- whether it's finishing or finding somebody that's open.  Those are ball-handling skills that you wouldn't see power forwards have very often."

Still, Kupchak tried to temper expectations for the rookie.

"Julius is still 19 years old," Kupchak said. "You wouldn’t know that by looking at him, because he’s really a well-developed, big, strong, athletic kid. Over the years, I've never looked at a rookie and said, 'Hey, this guy's gonna bring us to the top.'  It doesn't do any good to have high expectations."

Via Eric Pincus/Los Angeles Times

Luol Deng Forgives Danny Ferry For Racial Comments

Luol Deng met the media on Friday and said he wants to move on from the unfortunate situation of Danny Ferry's racial remarks directed toward him during free agency.

"I think one of the hardest things to do as a human being and something that we should do more often is forgive," Deng said. "I do forgive Danny. It's not something I want to hold onto for the rest of my career or for the rest of my life.

"When it first happened, I didn't think I was involved in it at all when the first letter came out. The next day, I had phone calls and emails and text messages. I kind of tried to sit back and see what was really going on. I didn't want to jump into anything. I believe that he's really sorry for what he said. Whether it came from him or whatever it came from, I think the main focus really should be how we move forward, what are we going to do about it instead of just pointing fingers and trying to go after each other and be mad at each other."

Ferry said Deng, who is from Sudan, had "some African in him" while reading a scouting report with team personnel during a teleconference in the summer. Deng and Ferry have since spoken to each other about the comments.

"Everything happens for a reason and we can turn a situation of something so negative and something bad … and really turn it into something positive," Deng said. "… We could turn this positive where people could benefit from it."

Via Shandel Richardson/Sun Sentinel

Hornets Remove Jeffery Taylor Indefinitely From Team Activities

Jeffery Taylor will not be participating in any team-related activities with the Charlotte Hornets while the NBA is investigating his conduct, effective immediately.

The Hornets released the following statement.

"As an organization, we understand and appreciate the seriousness of this matter, and will assist the NBA and law enforcement in any way we can until this comes to an acceptable resolution. We have spoken with Jeffery and his representatives and they fully understand our position."

Via RealGM Staff Report

Rajon Rondo Out 6-8 Weeks After Surgery On Broken Hand

Rajon Rondo suffered a broken left metacarpal fracture and underwent surgery on Friday.

Rondo's return timetable is six to eight weeks.

Rondo missed most of last season with a torn ACL.

Via Baxter Holmes/Boston Globe

Jason Kapono Agrees To Camp Deal With Warriors

Jason Kapono has agreed to a training camp deal with the Golden State Warriors, according to sources.

Kapono last played in the 2011-12 season for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Christian Watford To Re-Sign With Celtics After Release

After being released Friday, Christian Watford has agreed on a new training camp contract to re-sign with the Boston Celtics on Monday, league sources told RealGM.

Watford had signed a one-year contract for training camp with the Celtics, and he'll re-sign for the same terms once he clears waivers.

Watford, a sharpshooting forward, went undrafted in 2013 after playing at Indiana.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Thunder To Sign Michael Jenkins To Training Camp Deal

The Oklahoma City Thunder have reached agreement with free agent guard Michael Jenkins on a training camp deal, league sources told RealGM.

Jenkins, who has played professionally overseas since going undrafted in 2008, was with the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA Summer League in July.

Jenkins, 28, played his college basketball at Winthrop where he averaged 13.9 points and 4.1 rebounds as a senior in the 2007-08 season. He played in Italy a year ago.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Aron Baynes Re-Signs With Spurs On Guaranteed One-Year Deal

Free agent center Aron Baynes has re-signed with the San Antonio Spurs on a fully guaranteed, one-year contract, a league source told RealGM.

Baynes held an extensive negotiation with the Spurs throughout the NBA offseason while also fielding interest in China and Europe. There had been question within the Spurs about their ability to re-sign Baynes, and the team pursued Gustavo Ayon earlier in the month offering a partially guaranteed deal, sources said.

The Spurs signed Baynes to a deal for more than his league minimum, a source said.

In playing 53 games in his second season for San Antonio, Baynes averaged three points and 2.7 rebounds in 9.3 minutes a game. When given extended minutes, the 27-year-old intrigued the front office with his post talent.

The 6-foot-10 Baynes also played for the Australian national team this summer, averaging nearly 17 points and seven rebounds in the World Cup of basketball.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Bulls Sign Solomon Jones To One-Year, Vet Minimum Deal

The Chicago Bulls have signed free agent center Solomon Jones to a one-year, veteran-minimum contract, a league source told RealGM.

Jones, an eight-year NBA pro, went to training camp with the Orlando Magic a season ago and made the regular season roster.

At 6-foot-10, Jones has averaged three points and 2.7 rebounds in his career with Atlanta, Indiana, the Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans, New York and Orlando.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Rockets Sign Akil Mitchell For Camp

The Houston Rockets have signed Akil Mitchell, a participant on the team’s Orlando and Las Vegas Summer League squads.

Mitchell (6-9, 230, Virginia), appeared in 133 contests and held career averages of 6.9 points on 51.9% FG shooting, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists as a Virginia Cavalier.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Gortat Believes Ariza Left Wizards To Return West, Not For More Money

Trevor Ariza signed a four-year, $32 million deal with the Rockets.

Jason Maxiell To Sign Non-Guaranteed Deal With Hornets

Jason Maxiell averaged 3.2 points and 2.5 rebounds in 34 games last season.

Hornets Start Extension Talks With Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker will enter his fourth NBA season having averaged 17.7 points and 6.1 assists last season.

Celtics Release Chris Babb, Chris Johnson

The Celtics have released Chris Babb and Chris Johnson, the team announced.

David Stockton Signing Camp Contract With Wizards

David Stockton will sign a training camp contract with the Wizards on Friday, a league source told RealGM.

Victor Liz Working To Re-Sign Overseas; No NBA Camp Deal

Victor Liz is working to re-sign overseas, meaning no NBA deal with the Mavericks or another organization, sources told RealGM.

Cavaliers Acquire Bogans From Celtics For Lucas, Murphy, Thomas, Powell, Draft Picks

The Cavaliers have aquired Keith Bogans from the Celtics in exchange for John Lucas III, Erik Murphy, Malcolm Thomas, Dwight Powell and two future second round picks.

Jeffery Taylor Arrested On Domestic Assault Charge

Jeffery Taylor is charged with one count of domestic assault, assault and malicious destruction of property.

Nets Sign Willie Reed

Willie Reed averaged 14.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in the NBA Development League last season in 49 games with the Springfield Armor and Reno Bighorns.

LeBron Admits 'Greater Chance' He Stayed With Heat If They Won 13-14 Championship

LeBron James admitted in an interview with Rachel Nichols on CNN's "Unguarded" that he was more likely to stay with the Heat if they had won the 2014 title against the Spurs.

Pistons Sign Brian Cook, Josh Bostic To Camp Contracts

Brian Cook played for the Pistons' summer league team in July.

Lawrence Frank To Join Clippers' Coaching Staff

Lawrence Frank was previously a member of Doc Rivers' coaching staff with the Celtics.

Zoran Dragic, Suns Agree Upon Two-Year, $4.01M Deal

Zoran Dragic has reached agreement with the Suns on contract terms for a two-year, $4,012,500 million deal, league sources told RealGM.

Jamil Wilson To Sign With Suns

Jamil Wilson has agreed to a deal with the Suns, a league source told RealGM.

Dexter Pittman Reaches Deal With Hawks

Dexter Pittman has reached an agreement on a contract with the Hawks, league sources told RealGM.

Warriors Flush Plans For Arena Resembling Toilet Bowl

The Warriors have abandoned plans for an arena that resembled a giant toilet bowl.

Eric Bledsoe Agrees To Five-Year, $70M Deal With Suns

Eric Bledsoe has agreed to a five-year, $70 million contract with the Suns, according to sources.

Charlie Westbrook Signs Deal With Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket

Charlie Westbrook has signed a contract with Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket in France, a source told RealGM.

Malcolm Lee To Sign With 76ers

Malcolm Lee played two seasons with the Timberwolves through 2011-13.

Hasheem Thabeet Signs Non-Guaranteed Deal With Pistons

The Pistons will give Hasheem Thabeet an opportunity to make the team out of training camp.
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