Dec 18, 2014 11:13 PM EST
Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 35 points in the Chicago Bulls' 103-97 win on Thursday over the New York Knicks.
"Thank god for Jimmy Butler," said Tom Thibodeau. "Big shots, plays defense, gets to line, makes plays, plays unselfishly and hard. Doesn’t take plays off."
Butler is averaging 20.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in what has become a breakout season.
"He’s playing as well as anyone in the league," said Kirk Hinrich. "He’s been huge for us all year. Don’t know what we’d do without Jimmy."
Dec 18, 2014 9:46 PM EST
Kobe Bryant has been widely expected to retire when his current contract expires in 2016, but he was asked if the Los Angeles Lakers adding Kevin Durant or any other superstar player may cause him to reconsider.
"I don't know. Maybe," Bryant said. "But it's really my call, man. If I want to play, I'll play. If I don't, I don't. If I don't want to play anymore and go through the process of getting my body ready day in and day out, I'm not going to play."
This week Durant said accusations of players not wanting to play with Bryant is ridiculous.
Said Bryant: "I greatly appreciate" Durant's comments.
Dec 18, 2014 9:36 PM EST
The Dallas Mavericks' pick in the Rajon Rondo trade is likely to be conveyed to the Boston Celtics in 2016.
The Mavericks' pick goes to the Celtics this season if it falls between No. 4 and No. 14. If the pick falls between eight and 30 in 2016, it will go to the Celtics.
Dec 18, 2014 5:54 PM EST
The Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics have agreed upon a trade involving Rajon Rondo.
The Mavericks would send Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, one future first round pick and a future second round pick to the Celtics for Rondo and Dwight Powell.
"The deal is on course to happen tonight," said one source.
Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Houston Rockets have effectively dropped out of talks, with the Celtics focused on wrapping a deal with the Mavericks.
Dec 18, 2014 5:43 PM EST
Carmelo Anthony has been advised to stop playing for a few weeks due to soreness in his left knee.
"I have multiple people say kind of just shut it down," Anthony said. "Or just take time off. But at the end of the day, it's hard for me to just do that right now in the midst of what's happening with the team and this season. So just trying to be smart about that."
Anthony was hopeful that his knee would feel better with a few more days of treatment and admitted that 'some days are better than others,' as far as the pain in the knee goes. He isn't sure what it would take to finally make the decision to rest it for a while.
"Some days it feels like I can go, some days it feels like I have everything," Anthony said. "The other day it was a little sore in the first half and I didn't have no lift in my shot and in the second half the lift came back a little bit. It's going to be off and on like that."
Dec 18, 2014 4:11 PM EST
Larry Sanders has been suspended one game for pushing Nicolas Batum in the back as he elevated toward basket on Dec. 17, the NBA announced on Thursday.
The incident took place in the Portland Trail Blazers' win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Dec 18, 2014 3:20 PM EST
Phil Jackson and Chris Sheridan engaged in a spirited discussion on Twitter about the early results of the New York Knicks' trade of Tyson Chandler to the Dallas Mavericks for Jose Calderon, Sam Dalembert and Shane Larkin.
"Here's how new majordomo got hornswaggled in his first big move," wrote Sheridan.
"negative, I'm okay with the Dallas deal. Tyson fits there and our 3 players, Jose, Sam, and Shane are on the court," replied Jackson. "our season got off to a rocky start-injuries-Tyson could not have changed the outcome. Trades are judged in 4-5 year terms."
Sheridan ended the conversation by saying the Knicks' "product is shameful."
Dec 18, 2014 1:50 PM EST
The Los Angeles Lakers offered the Boston Celtics multiple draft picks and Steve Nash for Rajon Rondo, according to sources.
The Celtics are in discussions with the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets.
Dec 18, 2014 1:10 PM EST
Elfrid Payton has frequently drawn comparisons to Rajon Rondo as they are both pass-first point guards who struggle with their perimeter shot and can play lockdown defense.
"It is what it is," Payton answered about the comparisons. "People are just doing their job: comparing people and things like that. I don't really try to be him. I could take pieces from his game from him. He's a good player. He's been successful. He's got a ring. But just like other players, you try to take a piece of their game from them."
As a rookie during the 2006-07 season, per 48 minutes, Rondo averaged 13.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 3.6 turnovers.
Per 48 minutes, Payton entered Wednesday's game averaging 12.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, 9.6 assists and 4.4 turnovers.
Dec 18, 2014 12:24 PM EST
Carmelo Anthony isn't regretting his decision to re-sign with the New York Knicks instead of leaving for the Chicago Bulls.
Anthon chose to remain with the Knicks for five years and $124 million. Chicago only could offer four years at about $74 million, though had Anthony been able to get Knicks president Phil Jackson to do a sign-and-trade, he could have gotten significantly more.
“No, if I start doing that and saying, ‘What if?’ to myself, second-guessing and questioning myself, it won’t be right. For me, mentally, it won’t be right so I will not allow myself to sway towards asking myself ‘What if?’ with this situation or that situation,” Anthony said Wednesday.
“What’s done is done. I kind of don’t look at it, I kind of don’t think about it anymore,” Anthony said. “That’s in the past for me. … As far as now and thinking about that situation, it doesn’t even come close to me thinking about that.”
Anthony hopes the Knicks will be able to eventually get him more help.
“You think about that,” Anthony said of the not-yet-arrived help. “It’s only right that you think about that. I don’t try to put too much thought into what’s going to happen when we still have  games left this season. For me to start thinking ahead of what the possibility is this offseason or next season, I just can’t find myself thinking like that [now].
“You just got to believe. I have never been a quitter in my life or in my career. It is something that you got to believe in, that it will happen and have faith that it will happen and stay the course and just know that this is not the situation that I expected, that we expected. There’s nothing that we can do about it as far as what has happened already. We got to focus on tomorrow.”
Given Rajon Rondo's looming unrestricted free agency, any deal would have to come with assurances that he'd be willing to re-sign with his new team.
Daniel Leroux and Arturo Galetti break down the bottom fifteen of his most recent Power Rankings, going through each team's season so far and what to expect.
Rajon Rondo is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason.
The Cavaliers, Rockets and Clippers are the teams most interested in trading for Corey Brewer.
Andrew Bogut will likely have another procedure done in a week.
The Celtics have left strong impressions with rival organizations that they’re prepared to make a deal that includes Rajon Rondo, sources said.
Robin Lopez sustained the hand injury in the Trail Blazers' win over the Spurs on Monday.
Mitch McGary's court activity will be lowered as a treatment.
Brook Lopez has reportedly been shopped in trades by the Nets.
The Warriors assigned Ognjen Kuzmic to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League.
Kevin Pelton found that 25 of the previous 26 ROY awards had gone to the rookie with the highest combined averages of points, rebounds and assists per game.
Isaiah Thomas recently fired agent Andy Miller and said the move was unrelated to his future with the Suns.
Alexey Shved will strongly consider returning to Europe where he has received outlines for multi-million dollar offers, league sources told RealGM.
Dec 17, 2014 | James Ham/ESPN
Vivek Ranadive wants a coach who will help showcase the players' offensive talents.
Tyson Chandler feels sorry for his former teammate Carmelo Anthony.
Clint Capela has appeared in four games for the Rockets.
The Blazers have dismissed all overtures for Wesley Matthews and hope to re-sign him as a free agent in the offseason.
Kevin Durant refuted the notion that players around the NBA don't want to play with Kobe Bryant.
Dec 16, 2014 | Marc Stein/ESPN
Jabari Parker has a torn ACL and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
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Josh McRoberts is expected to be out for the remainder of season with a torn meniscus in his right knee.
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