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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Rockets Express Interest In 10-12 Players For Trade Exception

The Houston Rockets are actively seeking to deal the $8.34 million trade exception that they acquired in the Jeremy Lin trade to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Rockets have talked to teams about 10 to 12 players.

The Rockets had been expected to wait until more players were eligible to be traded, either after Dec. 15 when players signed in the off-season can be dealt or more likely at the February trade deadline.

Via Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Jason Richardson Hopes To Return From Stress Fracture As Soon As December

Jason Richardson believes he will return as soon as December from a stress fracture in his right foot, which followed left knee surgery.

Asked if he expects to play this season, Richardson said: “No doubt in my mind.”

Richardson added he will “definitely be back before the all-star break or January or maybe even before this year is over with. I’ll see how my body takes all this training and getting ready for it.”

Richardson, 33, is the highest-paid member of the Philadelphia 76ers this season, earning $6.6 million in the final year of his contract.

Via Tom Moore/Calkins Media

Kobe Walks Back Negative Things He's Called Dwight

Kobe Bryant was asked if he believes Dwight Howard is a p-word, as Kevin Durant called him during a recent game.

Bryant called Howard "soft" repeatedly in their game on opening night this season.

“No, I don’t feel that way I don’t think Kevin [Durant] does (either).

“When you get in argument with somebody, you'll say things out of frustration and out of anger that you really don't mean."

Via Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Raptors Honor Vince Carter With Tribute Video

The Toronto Raptors recognized Vince Carter during a first quarter timeout of Wednesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Carter requested a trade from the Raptors in 2004 and has largely been booed in his return visits ever since.

“Amazing,” Carter said. “It’s just an amazing feeling to see it, to relive it, to see all the people react as each play was happening. It was an honest reaction. It was in the moment, the feel of the moment.”

“I think when we were all growing up we all got to witness what he was doing here in Toronto,” Quincy Pondexter said. “He was Air Canada. He was the man. A big piece of him is still in the city and he loves it. I knew there was something (special) about it from the time we got on the plane. I usually sit next to him and he was really focused on this day. It means a lot to him.”

Via Richard Griffin/Toronto Star

Grizzlies Re-Sign Kalin Lucas, Hassan Whiteside

The Memphis Grizzlies have re-signed guard Kalin Lucas and center Hassan Whiteside.

Lucas (6-1, 186) originally was signed on Sept. 25 and averaged 3.1 points and 1.0 assists on .429 shooting in 7.9 minutes in eight preseason games for Memphis before he was waived on Oct. 25.

Whiteside (7-0, 275) originally was signed on Sept. 25 and recorded 3.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.00 blocks on .500 shooting in 8.2 minutes in five preseason contests before he was waived on Oct. 22.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Jeffery Taylor Suspended 24 Games By NBA For Pleading Guilty To Domestic Assault

Jeffery Taylor has been suspended 24 games by the NBA due to his guilty plea to domestic assault charges in September, the league announced on Wednesday.

Taylor had been removed from all Charlotte Hornets' basketball activities.

A 24-game suspension in the NBA is roughtly the equivalent of 4.7 NFL games.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Jahlil Okafor Considered By NBA Teams As Consensus Top Prospect In 2015

Jahlil Okafor is No. 1 on the big boards of Chad Ford and Jonathan Givony and figures to remain there throughout the season.

Okafor is one of the best low post scorer prospects in many years.

"I was sitting with a number of GMs and scouts last night during the Duke-Michigan State game," wrote Ford. "They love him. He's big and physical, however he was quick feet and a soft touch around the basket. He's a legit, old school big man who is just so poised right now. Emmanuel Mudiay and possibly Karl Towns and Kristaps Porzingis will make a run, but it's Okafor's to lose. Of the 30 guys I spoke with last night and polled, all of them had Okafor atop their board."

Via Chad Ford/ESPN

Goran Dragic Plans On Testing Open Market In Free Agency

Goran Dragic plans to opt out this offseason to test free agency, according to sources.

Dragic previously stated that he planned on opting out in order to re-sign a long-term deal with the Phoenix Suns.

Sources say the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers will be options for Dragic.

At issue with the Suns and Dragic is the guard logjam on the team, which Dragic addressed on Tuesday. He told AZCentral.com’s Paul Coro that the reason for some of Phoenix’s early struggles this year is, “Because there’s only one ball and we’re all point guards. That’s an easy answer.”

Dragic’s numbers have dipped this year (15.6 points, 47.5 percent shooting), and the Suns generally have had a harder time offensively.

Via Sean Deveney/Sporting News

Delonte West Released By Shanghai Sharks

Delonte West has been released by the Shanghai Sharks after just four games.

West signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Sharks worth nearly $500,000 that could have reached $1 million with incentives.

"Honestly, we did not expect such a drop in performance," coach Ma Yuenan told reporters.

West averaged 23.7 points and 5.6 rebounds for Fujian Xunxing last season and had marks of 12.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists this season.

Via ESPN

Carmelo Has Been Playing Through Knee Injury Since 2nd Game Of Season

Carmelo Anthony has been playing with a sore left knee since the second game of the season and has undergone tests to determine the severity.

Anthony wouldn't say what's wrong with it or what those tests revealed, but he aggravated it on Tuesday.

"It's been sore since maybe the Cleveland game," Anthony said after leading the Knicks with 26 points. "I've just been trying to go through it and play through it and not kind of think about it. Some days are better than others.

"I don't think it's serious. I'm out there playing. I don't think it's that serious."

Via Al Iannazzone/Newsday

Jason Collins Announces Retirement From NBA

Jason Collins has announced his retirement from the NBA in a piece in Sports Illustrated.

Self: Cliff Alexander Not Tall Enough To Score Over Kentucky's Length

Cliff Alexander's lack of length was problematic in Kansas' 72-40 loss to Kentucky on Tuesday.

Celtics Telling Teams Rajon Rondo Won't Be Traded

Rajon Rondo's representatives are said to be pursuing a max contract.

Dwight Howard Under Investigation For Hitting Six-Year-Old Son With Belt

Dwight Howard reportedly admitted to hitting his son with the buckle of his belt, leaving bruises and abrasions on his legs.

John Lucas To Sign In China

John Lucas has reportedly pulled out of a workout with the Lakers.

Lance Stephenson Expects To Get Booed From Pacers Crowd In Return

Lance Stephenson's father maintains that leaving the Pacers was not the plan heading into free agency in the offseason.

LeBron Believes Minutes For Cavs' Big 3 Have To Come Down

LeBron James is averaging the third-most minutes per game in the NBA at 39.1.

C.J. McCollum Sidelined Four Weeks With Finger Fracture

C.J. McCollum will be re-evaluated in four weeks.

Nick Johnson Assigned By Rockets To Rio Grande Valley

Nick Johnson has appeared in three games with the Rockets so far this season, totaling two points and a rebound in 11 minutes of playing time.

Andrei Kirilenko Out Of Nets' Rotation

Andrei Kirilenko has scored just three points in the 35 minutes heís played across seven games.

Draymond Green Expected To Get At Least $8M Per Season

Draymond Green is making just $915,000 this season as a former second round pick.

Duncan Respects LeBron's Return To Cleveland, Didn't Think It Was A Possibility

The Spurs will play the Cavaliers on Wednesday for the first time since LeBron James returned to the franchise.

LeBron's Relationship With Blatt Remains Work In Progress

LeBron James and David Blatt continue to be a work in progress understanding each other.

James Johnson Out Indefinitely With Severe Right Ankle Sprain

James Johnson has averaged 7.6 points, 3.8 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game this season.

Cleanthony Early To Undergo Knee Surgery

Cleanthony Early will be reevaluated in one month to determine the timetable for his return.

Bosh Didn't Want 'Pressure' Of Joining Another Big 3 With Rockets

Chris Bosh had just spent the past four seasons perceived as the third best player in a Big 3 behind LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Pacers Get Hardship Relief Extension On A.J. Price

A.J. Price will remain on the Pacers for another 10 days after the club was granted a second injury hardship relief exception.

Damian Lillard, LeBron Named NBA Players Of The Week

Damian Lillard and LeBron James have been named the NBA's Players of the Week for games played between Nov. 10 and Nov. 16.

Nuggets View Every Player On Roster As Trade Asset

The Nuggets are open to moving contracts and do not view anyone as an untouchable part.

Ryan Kelly Out At Least Six Weeks With Torn Hamstring

Ryan Kelly suffered the injury in Sunday's loss.
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