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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Jeff Bower Has Freedom To Pursue Trades As Pistons' GM

Jeff Bower can openly discuss trades with other teams as part of his job duties as general manager of the Detroit Pistons.

Bower consults daily with Stan Van Gundy about ways in which the Pistons can improve their roster.

"That question is asked a lot," Bower said, referring to his trade empowerment. "But no matter what the structure is, the G.M. isn't going to make a trade without his head coach, his understanding of it, his involvement, his buy-in with it, because it won't work without that. In this case, we all have ideas about things. I'll have ideas that I'll take to Stan; Stan will give ideas to me, and scenarios that he'd like to look into. It's a constant exchange, back and forth."

Van Gundy and Bower oversaw the biggest front-office expansion in Pistons history this offseason, with 43 employees in basketball operations, up from 33 last season.

Bower said he and Van Gundy started by identifying the jobs they felt were necessary, then catered the structure to it, "as opposed to working with the flow chart first."

Bower embraced analytics with New Orleans, particularly during his second stint as the team's general manager from 2005-10.

"We really put a lot of weight into measuring things, and into tracking things, and into gauging what we were getting back in return for what we were spending," Bower said. "It's a spotlight is how I look at it. You bring things to the table that have some patterns and traits, that maybe would take longer to identify without the use of numbers. But it has to always be partnered with evaluation and observation."

Via David Mayo/MLive

NBA To Experiment With 44-Minute Game

The NBA will experiment with a 44-minute game when the Brooklyn Nets host the Boston Celtics on Oct. 19 in the preseason.

The league wants to examine the flow of a shorter game as compared to the standard 48-minute game.

"At our recent coaches' meeting, we had a discussion about the length of our games, and it was suggested that we consider experimenting with a shorter format," said NBA President, Basketball Operations Rod Thorn. "After consulting with our Competition Committee, we agreed to allow the Nets and Celtics to play a 44-minute preseason game in order to give us some preliminary data that will help us to further analyze game-time lengths."

Application of the experimental 44-minute game will involve quarters being reduced from their typical 12 minutes each to 11 and a reduction in mandatory timeouts in the second and fourth quarters. 

"When this idea came up at the coaches' meeting, I thought it was a unique experiment that was worth participating in," said Lionel Hollins. "I'm looking forward to gauging its impact on the flow of the game. Since there is a shorter clock, it affects playing time, so it'll be interesting to see how it plays into substitution patterns."

Via RealGM Staff Report

Luke Hancock Waived By Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies waived Luke Hancock on Monday.

Hancock (6-6, 200) recorded two points in nine minutes in his lone preseason appearance on Oct. 9 at Houston. Undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Louisville product signed with the Grizzlies as a free agent on Sept. 25.

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 18 players.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Johnny O'Bryant Rehabilitating Grade III MCL Strain

Johnny O’Bryant has sustained a grade III sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL).

O’Bryant initially suffered the injury in the third quarter of Milwaukee’s game at Detroit on Oct. 9.

No surgery is required, and O’Bryant has already begun the rehabilitation process. No timetable has been set for his return.

O’Bryant had appeared in two preseason games for the Bucks and posted two points and three rebounds in 14 total minutes of action.

Via RealGM Staff Report

James Southerland To Be Waived By Blazers, Sign Overseas

The Portland Trail Blazers will waive James Southerland.

Southerland will sign a deal overseas, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski.

Southerland spent parts of last season with the then-Charlotte Bobcats and New Orleans Pelicans.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

NBA Moving Its Own Logo To Back Of Jerseys Next Season

The NBA is moving its logo patch to the back of team jerseys next season, citing stylistic reasons.

The switch comes as league owners consider whether to put advertisements on uniforms for the first time. Adam Silver has previously said that advertisements on jerseys will likely happen within five years.

The NBA’s teams collectively may reap about $100 million annually in revenue from jersey ads, the league has said.

Via Scott Soshnick/Bloomberg

Bucks To Start Giannis Antetokounmpo At Point Guard In Next Game

The Milwaukee Bucks continue to experiment with Giannis Antetokounmpo at point guard and will start him in Tuesday's preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Antetokounmpo will start with Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker on the wings, Ersan Ilyasova at power forward and Zaza Pachulia at center.

Antetokounmpo has grown to nearly seven feet with a 7'3 wingspan, but has flashed the playmaking skills of much smaller players in his brief NBA career.

"We've seen it in practice, and so when you see a player's comfort level with the ball no matter what size, we want to see it in game action," Jason Kidd said back in July. "We slowly have started letting him have the ball and running the offense."

Via Mike Prada/SB Nation

Heat Waive Reggie Williams, Chris Johnson

The Miami Heat have waived center Chris Johnson and guard Reggie Williams.

Johnson appeared in one game in preseason totaling one rebound, one assist and a block in six minutes of action.

Williams did not appear in a game with Miami.

The Heat's roster now stands at 18.

Via RealGM Staff Report

NBA Held TV Talks With Fox, NBC, Google, Apple

While the NBA's preference was to remain with ESPN and Turner for their new television deals, Adam Silver had several conversations with executives from Fox and NBC, as well as Google and Apple, in the weeks after the All-Star Game in February.

Silver sent word to Skipper that ESPN’s bid would have to be in the neighborhood of $1.4 billion per year over nine years to renew. The number was nearly three times more than the $485 million average that it’s paying in the current deal, but ESPN quickly agreed.

Via John Lombardo, John Ourand/Sports Business Journal

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Out One Week With Knee Strain

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s MRI results on his left knee showed no structural damage, the Detroit Pistons announced Monday.

The injury has been re-classified as a left knee strain. Caldwell-Pope will miss this week’s preseason games at Charlotte, Orlando and Atlanta and will be re-evaluated upon the club’s return to Detroit next week.

Caldwell-Pope suffered the injury during the third quarter of Sunday's 91-89 preseason loss at Washington.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Andrew Wiggins Being Pushed To 'Come Back At You' From Start

The Timberwolves' coaching staff has been encouraging Andrew Wiggins to push himself and stop trying to blend in.

Rubio, Wolves At Standstill On Extension Negotiations

Ricky Rubio is at a standstill in negotiations with the Timberwolves regarding a contract extension.

Phil Jackson: Dolan Had To Meddle With Knicks

Phil Jackson said James Dolan was forced to become involved in day-to-day operations of the Knicks prior to his hiring as president.

John Holland Close To Signing With Besiktas

Last season with Gravelines in France, John Holland averaged 10.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.

Knicks Hire 'Mindfulness' Trainer

Under the direction of Phil Jackson, the Knicks have hired an expert to teach "mindfulness training" to the team.

Celtics Could Waive Vitor Faverani As Part Of Roster Crunch

Vitor Faverani is owed $2.09 million this season, but he has yet to recover seven months later from a car accident that led to his arrest.

Brett Brown Approaches 76ers' Job With 'Very Long Lens'

The 76ers finished 13-14 with the second worse record in the NBA and are expected to struggle again to produce wins this season.

Felton Out At Least 10 Days With High Ankle Sprain

Raymond Felton was expected to compete with Jameer Nelson as the Mavs’ starting point guard.

Pau Gasol, Bulls Believe He Can Thrive Defensively In Thibodeau's System

The Bulls won't have Pau Gasol guarding "stretch four" forwards on the perimeter and will allow him to use his length to defend the rim

Carlisle Apologizes For Criticising Parsons' Weight, Conditioning

Rick Carlisle apologized to Chandler Parsons via a press release from the Mavericks for criticizing his weight and conditioning.

Kevin Durant Expected To Miss 6-8 Weeks With Jones Fracture In Foot

Kevin Durant has suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

Cavs Declined Lakers' Interest On Varejao In Gasol Talks Last Season

The Lakers reportedly showed repeated interest in Anderson Varejao while pursuing a trade with the Cavaliers involving Pau Gasol.

Klay Thompson Prefers Security Of Extension Over Waiting For Cap Rise In 2016

Klay Thompson could sign a one-year deal next offseason and become an available free agent in 2016.

Bradley Beal To Undergo Surgery For Hand Fracture

Bradley Beal underwent an MRI exam on Saturday that revealed a non-displaced fracture of the scaphoid bone in his left wrist.

Rick Carlisle Asking Chandler Parsons To Lose Extra Weight

Chandler Parsons said he played between 220 and 225 pounds most of last season.

RealGM Radio: Erick Boenisch Of 2K Sports

Daniel Leroux and Erick Boenisch discuss additions and tweaks in the new game including massive improvements to MyGM including a new injury system and scouting process.

Jazz Waive Dee Bost, Kevin Murphy

Quin Snyder and the Jazz have waived guards Dee Bost and Kevin Murphy.

Boris Diaw Has $500,000 In Bonuses For Keeping Weight Off

Boris Diaw has a weight clause in his contract with the Spurs in which he will earn bonuses of as much as $500,000.

Rockets Parting With Robert Covington

The Rockets have decided to release forward Robert Covington while continuing to listen on trade interest, league sources told RealGM.

Kris Humphries Sidelined 3-4 Weeks After Surgery On Finger

Kris Humphries is expected to miss three to four weeks before resuming basketball activity.
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