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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Pelinka The Middle Man In Kobe To Chicago Talks?

Kobe Bryant's agent Rob Pelinka reportedly was so involved as a middle man between the Lakers and Bulls that without him there might not have been any trade talks.

Bryant and Pelinka think General Manager Mitch Kupchak's cautious style cost the Lakers Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O'Neal and Jason Kidd.

Actually, Kupchak pulled out the stops on Garnett, offering Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom, but Minnesota boss Kevin McHale preferred Boston's package.

Kupchak offered Odom but not Bynum for O'Neal -- according to the consensus among Lakers officials, including Jackson, who said Bynum and Odom would have been "too much."

Kupchak wouldn't give up Bynum for Kidd last season, but that was also the consensus among Lakers officials with Jackson in agreement.

Via Los Angeles Times

Portland Exercises Options On Six Players

The Portland Trail Blazers have exercised third-year options on the contracts of LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy and Sergio Rodriguez.

In addition, the team has exercised the fourth-year options on Martell Webster, Channing Frye and Jarrett Jack.

The announcement was made Monday by Trail Blazers' General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

Via KPTV

Mavs Will Sign Juwan Howard

The Mavericks picked up some much-needed frontline help by agreeing to terms with free agent Juwan Howard today. The contract can?t be completed until Howard clears waivers tomorrow

Howard (6-9, 253) hit the open market after Minnesota bought out his contract and should join the Mavs on the season-opening two-game road trip, perhaps as early as Wednesday night at Cleveland. The power forward has averaged 16.1 points and 7.1 rebounds over his 12-year career, including a stint in Dallas over parts of two seasons (2000-01 and ?01-02).

?Juwan was too big of an opportunity to pass up,? president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told mavs.com. ?Juwan is a winner, he?s a leader and he knows the Maverick way.

?He can swing from the ?4? to ?5,? so it gives us tremendous flexibility on the frontline.?

Via NBA.com

Foye Out Several Weeks

The Minnesota Timberwolves received bad news on Tuesday with their regular-season opener fast approaching: guard Randy Foye's lingering left knee injury will sideline him for several weeks.

An MRI test and CT scan performed on Foye's knee revealed a stress reaction in his kneecap, and the team announced that the second-year player will be out indefinitely.

After being hindered by soreness throughout most of the preseason, Foye played 16 minutes in last Friday's exhibition game and took the court with the Timberwolves on Saturday -- but he's been unable to practice this week. An NBA all-rookie team selection last season, Foye was certain to be in the starting lineup for this revamped, inexperienced team that has only five returning players on the 15-man roster.

Via ESPN

Cleveland Trying To Sign Howard

Forward Juwan Howard, whose contract was bought out Monday by the Timberwolves, might wind up with the Cavaliers.

With restricted free agent Anderson Varejao still unsigned in a messy contract holdout, the Cavs have been exploring the possibility of signing Howard before Wednesday's opener.

"I hope we get him," Cavs' forward LeBron James said. "He can help us. We need a guy to play down low."

Via Hartford Courant

Sixers Pick Up Option On Carney

Philadelphia 76ers' President Billy King announced Tuesday that the team has exercised the third-year option on the contract of forward Rodney Carney.

Over his rookie campaign in 2006-07, Carney averaged 6.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 17.4 minutes.  In seven pre-season games this season, the Memphis product averaged 9.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in 24.0 minutes.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Raptors' Fan Sues For Front-Row Seats

A disgruntled Toronto Raptors' fan who last year paid $120,000 for front-row seats "right next to the coach" has filed a million-dollar lawsuit against the basketball team's parent company after it said it would add a new row of courtside seats in front of his.

Mark Michalkoff, president of the Toronto logistics company DLF Solutions Inc., paid $30,000 for a personal-seat licence for two "unobstructed VIP seats" to Raptors' games in August 2006, according to a statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court. The licence is a one-time fee.

The tickets themselves, which were for seats sandwiched between the press row and the Raptors' team bench, cost another $90,000.

According to the statement of claim, if DLF wanted similar unobstructed seats this year, it would now have to pay $1,650 per seat per game, compared with $915 last year, an 80 per cent increase.

Via Toronto Star

J.O. And Murphy Doubtful For Pacers' Opener

The Indiana Pacers could be without two starters when they open the season Wednesday against the Washington Wizards.

Jermaine O'Neal and Troy Murphy are listed as doubtful. Jeff Foster and Ike Diogu likely will start if O'Neal and Murphy don't play.

"I'm still holding out hope that I'll be able to play Wednesday," O'Neal said Monday. "If not, we're pretty sure that I'll be able to play Friday (against the Miami Heat)."

Via Indianapolis Star

Grunfield Dismisses Big Trade Rumors

Rumors that the Washington Wizards were interested in trading Gilbert Arenas for disgruntled Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant made the rounds on the Internet, radio and television on Monday, but team president Ernie Grunfeld shot down the possible deal.

"I don't normally comment on rumors but there is no truth to this rumor," Grunfeld said when reached by phone Monday evening. "We've never had any conversations with the Lakers or with anyone else about Gilbert."

The rumors surfaced when a column in yesterday's Chicago Tribune, citing an unnamed general manager, labeled the Wizards as the "dark horse" among teams that might put together a trade for Bryant.

According to the column and chatter it created, the Wizards would have to part with a package that would include Arenas, who plans to opt out of contract next summer, to get Bryant.

Via Washington Post

Crawford Shoots Down Offensive Worries

Jamal Crawford has been around long enough that it takes a lot worse than shooting a dreadful 28 percent in the preseason to concern the eighth-year guard or the Knicks.

"I'm not worried about it because I shot a lot better in practice than I did in those [preseason] games," Crawford said yesterday as the Knicks prepared for their season opener Friday at Cleveland.

Crawford also appears to have the backing of Knicks' coach Isiah Thomas.

"The last thing I'm worried about is [Crawford] being able to score," Thomas said.

Via New York Post

Jackson Confirms Kobe To Bulls Discussions

Grunfeld Dismisses Big Trade Rumors

Bulls' Gordon To Try To Become An Unrestricted Free Agent?

Ben Gordon's camp had discussed signing the Bulls' one-year tender offer next summer and then playing out the 2008-09 season to become an unrestricted free agent if no extension is reached by Oct. 31, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Rockets Cut Down To 15; Reed, Butler Gone

Judge: Arbitration Not Option For Sonics On Lease

Mavs' Howard Cleared To Practice After Wrist Injury

Durant Tests Ankle, May Play In Sonics' Opener

Could Juwan Howard End Up In Cleveland?

Yi To Start In Bucks' Opener

Duncan Reaches Agreement On Two-Year, $40 Million Extension

Tim Duncan has reached agreement with the Spurs on a two-year, $40 million extension, which is expected to be finalized within the next few days.

Lakers Exercise Options On Bynum, Farmar

Raptors Waive Luke Jackson

Simien Released By Minnesota

Wolves Reach Buyout With Howard

Barkley Criticizes Kobe

When Charles Barkley goes on the air Tuesday night for TNT's season-opening broadcast, he will probably have some more strong words about Kobe Bryant.

Detroit Waives Sammy Mejia

Spurs Trade Udrih To Wolves For 2nd Round 2008 Pick

Utah Waives Kevin Lyde

Cleveland Signs Nichols

Cleveland Signs Demetris Nichols

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard/forward Demetris Nichols to a contract, Cavaliers' General Manager Danny Ferry announced Monday.
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