Basketball Wiretap

Kevin Love's Best Relationship With Star Player Is Westbrook

Mar 28, 2015 2:27 PM

Kevin Love could become a free agent this summer and his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers remains uncertain.

Love recently told the media that he'd rank Russell Westbrook ahead of teammate LeBron James in the MVP race.

Westbrook can become a free agent in 2017.

“Love enjoys Westbrook," said Brian Windhorst. "They have a relationship. there’s a conspiracy theory that exists out there that Kevin Love will go to the Lakers this summer, or next summer, and then Westbrook will join him when he’s a free agent, and they will reunite in LA, like they played for UCLA. The guy, the star player he has the best relationship in the league with is Westbrook.”

Brian Windhorst/ESPN (via Nick Dudukovich/Factory of Sadness)

Tags: Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Dwight: Harden And I Aren't Super Close But We Talk

Mar 28, 2015 2:32 PM

Dwight Howard disputes comments from Kobe Bryant that he was uncomfortable with Bryant's "combative" approach during their one season together.

“It wasn’t that I was uncomfortable with who [Bryant] was as a player or a person, that was never the issue to me,” Howard said. “I think that kind of gets twisted because of how things ended up. Everybody on that team got injured. I think we had five games together before somebody was injured. …  I didn’t have an issue back then how Kobe was. Kobe wanted to win as badly as I did. Our personalities are different. I’m not a guy who is going to go off on my teammates. I tried that approach and for me it didn’t work. For Kobe, it works. He’s won a couple championships. He’s also played with some great talent. For the most part, it just wasn’t the time for us to win.”

 

Howard was asked if his relationship with Bryant has informed how he and James Harden get along.

“We’re not super close but we do talk, we sit down, we have conversations,” Howard said of Harden. “I’ve never had any issue with James. The biggest reason for me to come to Houston was to play alongside James. I knew I made [the right decision] when I first made it, watching him play and now how he’s grown as a player and a person. It’s great to watch. I came to win. There’s no ego with me, it’s not about me. It’s about us, what we can do together. I’ve won all the individual awards, besides the MVP, and at this point all that stuff is irrelevant. What’s more important is us coming together to win a championship."

Ben Golliver/Sports Illustrated

Tags: Dwight Howard, James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Shaq Wishes He Had More Patience Instead Of Leaving Magic In 1996

Mar 27, 2015 8:17 PM

Shaquille O'Neal returned to the Orlando Magic on Friday to be inducted into the franchise's Hall of Fame.

O'Neal was drafted by the Magic in 1992 and helped lead the team to the 1995 NBA Finals. O'Neal left the Magic in 1996 to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.

"It's unexpected because I came here to win. We won games, and then I made a business decision," said O'Neal, who becomes the third member of the Magic's hall, joining co-founder Pat Williams and first-ever draft pick Nick Anderson. "It's never personal. The [team owner Rich] DeVos family knows that. And I accomplished [a championship] somewhere else. It's not like I didn't think they weren't going to be upset or anything. But it's business. It was all business.

"Do I regret it? I never fully answer it. I regret it sometimes. Is this where I started and should have stayed? I actually wish they made it a law that whoever drafts you, you gotta stay there your whole career."

O'Neal said the DeVos family deserves "a couple" of championships and that the Magic's 1995 Finals team, which also featured a core of Penny Hardaway and Anderson, had a chance to get back.

"That's why I kind of regret it, because we had a young, fabulous team," O'Neal said. "We really did. And it's a shame that we got torn apart. But I think about that all the time. I try not to live my life now on 'ifs' or 'would've, should've,' but do I regret leaving here in '96, yes I do."

The NBA changed their rules concerning players coming off a rookie contract after O'Neal left the Magic.

"I wish I would have had more patience," he said. "I wanted to be protected from the bashing. What I mean by that is I wanted to win then. Even when I got [to Los Angeles], I still got bashed. It took four years to win. But I was very impatient. I was very young, and I thought that if I go there, with those guys out there, I could win right away and that wasn't the case.

"Now that I'm older now, I wish as a youngster I would have had more patience."

AP

Tags: Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Donatas Motiejunas Out Minimum Of 1-2 Weeks With Back Injury

Mar 27, 2015 10:58 PM

Donatas Motiejunas will be removed from basketball activities for one to two weeks and be reevaluated, the Houston Rockets announced Friday.

Motiejunas has lower back pain.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Donatas Motiejunas, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Injury

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Earl Clark Signs 10-Day Contract With Nets

Mar 27, 2015 11:23 AM

The Brooklyn Nets have signed Earl Clark to a 10-day contract.

Clark played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association this season after leaving the D-League. Clark was Player of the Month for the D-League in November with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Earl Clark, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Wizards Sign Will Bynum To 10-Day Contract

Mar 27, 2015 12:08 PM

The Washington Wizards have signed Will Bynum to a 10-day contract. 

Bynum (6-0, 185) has played seven seasons with Golden State and Detroit appearing in 353 career regular season games while averaging 8.2 points, 3.3 assists and 1.6 assists in 18.5 minutes per game.  

Undrafted out of Georgia Tech in 2005, Bynum enjoyed his best season in 2009-10 for the Detroit Pistons when he averaged career highs with 10.0 points and 4.5 assists per game. Bynum appeared in 30 games this season for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association where he averaged 22.3 points, 7.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds while shooting .564 from the field.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Will Bynum, Washington Wizards, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Dan Gilbert One Step Below Cuban In Terms Of Involvement

Mar 27, 2015 1:24 PM

Dan Gilbert purchased the Cleveland Cavaliers for $375 million ten years ago this month.

Gilbert's net worth at the time was estimated to be worth $800 million and is now north of $4.7 billion. Gilbert's holdings has expanded from mortgages and venture capital to casinos, real estate, consumer products, tech, minor league sports franchises and a Cavaliers' team worth more than $900 million.

Gilbert has withdraw publicly, but sources inside and outside of the organization say his involvement in the Cavaliers' day-to-day operations has increased.

"If you had a 1-to-10 scale of an owner's involvement Mark Cuban would be a 10," said one prominent league agent. "Dan would be a 9."

Gilbert continues to live in suburban Detroit, but regularly flies to Cleveland to attend home games. Gilbert is known to monitor the design of the Cavaliers' jerseys, what's on the scoreboard during timeouts and many other details of the franchise.

Gilbert has become more active in Cavaliers' trade talks, contract negotiations and the draft process.

It is not unusual for Gilbert to speak directly to an agent or to up the ante in trade talks by calling an opposing owner, sources said.

 

Gilbert disagrees with the idea that he's heavily involved in basketball decisions.

"I don't think that's accurate," Gilbert said. "The way I look at it is it's the owner's job to say yes before you say no. I believe an owner is there to set the philosophy and to establish the culture but you let your guy pull the triggers."

The Cavs went from $23 million under the salary cap in July to $18 million over the cap and into the luxury tax in the same season, which is unprecedented in NBA history.

"Every owner is more involved than they show publicly," said one league official who knows Gilbert well. "But Dan has worked hard to get the organization to where he wants it."

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Toure' Murry Waived By Wizards

Mar 27, 2015 12:10 PM

The Washington Wizards have waived Toure' Murry to create a roster spot for Will Bynum.

Murry appeared in three games for the Wizards and averaged 1.5 points in 4.3 minutes per game.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Toure' Murry, Washington Wizards, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Waiver

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Rashad Vaughn Plans To Enter NBA Draft

Mar 27, 2015 6:27 PM

Rashad Vaughn has plans to enter the 2015 NBA draft, according to sources.

A formal announcement is expected in the near future.

Most teams see Vaughn currently as a second-round pick.

Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Rashad Vaughn, UNLV Runnin' Rebels, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, NBA Draft Declarations

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St. John's Parts Ways With Steve Lavin, Interested In Chris Mullin

Mar 27, 2015 3:52 PM

St. John's and Steve Lavin have mutually agreed to part ways after five seasons.

Lavin and the school were previously deep into extension talks. Lavin led St. John's to the second round of the tournament.

"Coach Lavin returned high expectations to our men's basketball program and represented St. John's in a positive way," St. John's athletic director Chris Monasch said in a statement Friday. "We appreciate his commitment to the program and to our student-athletes over the past five years."

 

St. John's is interested in former NBA player and St. John's star Chris Mullin as Lavin's replacement. Mullin, who led St. John's to the 1985 Final Four, works as an adviser for the Sacramento Kings.

ESPN

Tags: Sacramento Kings, St. John's Red Storm, NCAA, NBA, NCAA Misc Rumor

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Kevin Durant To Undergo Season-Ending Surgery
Kevin Durant is expected to have a recovery time of four to six months.

RealGM Staff Report

Mark Cuban Irked About Officiating Treatment Of Monta Ellis
Mona Ellis ranks 10th in the league with 609 drives this season and 35th in the league in free throws attempted with 277.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Ian Clark Waived By Jazz
Ian Clark appeared in 23 games as a reserve this season for the Jazz, averaging 1.9 points in 7.0 minutes per game.

RealGM Staff Report

Chris Johnson To Sign With Jazz For Remainder Of Season
Chris Johnson became a free agent after his second 10-day contract with the Bucks expired.

Shams Charania/RealGM

Jamal Crawford Confident Of Returning This Season
Jamal Crawford has been out for more than three weeks with what he describes as "the weirdest" injury of his NBA career.

Ben Bolch/Los Angeles Times

Jack Cooley Signs Multi-Year Contract With Jazz
Jack Cooley has appeared in six Jazz games.

RealGM Staff Report

Amar'e Stoudemire Expects To Play Several More Seasons
Amar'e Stoudemire has averaged 9.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game with the Mavericks.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Dean Smith Left $200 To Every Player He Coached For 'Dinner Out'
Dean Smith passed away on Feb. 7 at the age of 85.

Jim Dempsey

Heat, Hornets, Cavs Lead In 14-15 Trade Score; Bucks, Mavs Rank Last
J.R. Smith had a -4.3 BPM with the Knicks and +3.4 with the Cavaliers for a difference of +7.7.

Nathan Walker/Nylon Calculus

Dwight Howard Returns With 4 Points, 7 Rebounds In 16 Minutes
Dwight Howard played just over 16 minutes after two months of rehab on his knee.

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Westbrook Confused Why Media Asking About Defense After Giving Up 1.369 PPP
The Thunder have given up more than 115 points per 100 possessions in four of their past five games.

Royce Young/ESPN

LSU's Jarell Martin To Declare For NBA Draft
Jarell Martin led LSU in scoring with 16.9 points per game while shooting 50.9 percent from the field and ranked second to Jordan Mickey with 9.2 rebounds per game.

Sheldon Mickles/The Advocate

Michael Frazier Leaving Florida For NBA Draft
Michael Frazier is leaving Florida for the 2015 NBA Draft.

Darren Heitner/Forbes

RealGM Radio: Derek Bodner On The 76ers, NBA Draft
Daniel Leroux talks with Derek Bodner of DraftExpress and Liberty Ballers about the NBA Draft prospects in the NCAA Tournament and the process for the 76ers.

RealGM Staff Report

Report: LeBron 'Frustrated' By Kevin Love Not 'Getting With The Program'
LeBron James pushed for the Cavaliers to trade for Kevin Love last offseason.

Frank Isola/New York Daily News

Adidas Thought Big Men Would Be More Marketable Than Michael Jordan
Adidas took the same strategy as the Rockets and Blazers in preferring big men over Michael Jordan.

Ellen Emmerentze Jervell, Sara Germano/Wall Street Journal

Alexey Shved Sidelined 2-3 Weeks With Incomplete Fractured Rib
Alexey Shved will be reevaluated in approximately 2-3 weeks.

RealGM Staff Report

Patrick Beverley Has Torn Ligament In Wrist
Patrick Beverley will wait 7-10 days before deciding his next steps.

Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Current NBA, International Alumni From Sweet 16 Schools
Kentucky and Duke have 18 former players in the NBA apiece, while UCLA has the most total professionals with 34.

RealGM Staff Report

LeBron: I Admire How Calipari Takes High Egos, Turns Them Into Team
LeBron James and John Calipari have grown increasingly close over the years after they were introduced by a "family friend" believed to be William Wesley.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer