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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Saunders: I Came Here To Win A Title

Wizards coach Flip Saunders called out his team following their loss to the Thunder on Tuesday night.

"This team needs a mind-set change," Saunders said. "This team, for the last five years has been known as one of the worst defensive teams in the league. We could take five guys in this room out here and we could have a chance. I think I can go out there on the floor and take anybody on the team, one-on-one at [54] years old, and drive right around them. They can't guard anybody."

Washington dropped to 10-20 with the loss, a record far below expectations considering their three All-Star players in Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison.

"I didn't come here to make the playoffs," Saunders said. "I came here to win a championship. We need a total mind-set change about how we're going to do that. Until we have that -- and that's from everybody, staff and players and everybody is committed to that -- we're going to have games like this where we're going to hang around, hang around and then when it comes times to make stops and if you don't have an ability to do it, you're going to lose games."

Saunders went as far as to threaten changes to the team's lineup.

"It's all up in the air now," he said. "If guys don't like it, I'm fine, because that's the way it's going to be. I'm not going to sit there and stand there and look at that anymore."

Via Washington Post

Blazers Set To Sign Shavlik Randolph

Portland could sign free-agent forward Shavlik Randolph as soon as Wednesday, a source told the Oregonian.

Randolph appeared in 10 games for the Trail Blazers last season.

He will be signed to a non-guaranteed contract and will take the place of Anthony Tolliver, who was waived Tuesday.

Randolph will be Portland's hardship exception player granted by the NBA, meaning he will have to be released when the team gets back one of its injured players.

Via Oregonian

Wolves, Suns Swap Hart, Tucker

The Timberwolves traded guard Jason Hart to the Suns on Tuesday in exchange for Alando Tucker, a second-round pick and cash.

Minnesota was in talks with New Orleans about acquiring Devin Brown, but talks fell through even though general manager David Kahn had gone as far as to prepare a statement regarding the trade.

"Jason has been the consummate professional during his time with us, but it was a rare opportunity to add a proven player with 3-point shooting capabilities that will help our offense," Kahn said in the prepared statement, which mistakenly found its way onto the internet. "Devin should be a nice addition to our team defensively, as well. He has a reputation as a tough kid and hard-nosed defender."

The Suns, who also are looking to save money, waived Hart.


Police Probe Guns At Verizon Center

Police in Washington D.C. said Tuesday that they are investigating a report that weapons were found inside a locker room at the Verizon Center.

Last week, the Wizards said that guard Gilbert Arenas stored unloaded firearms in a container in his locker at the arena and that the NBA was looking into the situation.

"They've been [investigating] for the last two weeks," Arenas said Tuesday night. "You guys just found out about it."

Arenas said he was cooperating with the investigation and that he hadn't brandished the weapons in the team's dressing room.

"They just want to know where I got them from," Arenas said. "They want to make sure they're not dirty guns."


GM Doesn't Give Del Negro Clear Endorsement

Bulls general manager Gar Forman commented Tuesday on rumors that the organization will soon fire coach Vinny Del Negro.

"Our organization's behind what we're doing," Forman said. "And we're still optimistic of where we're going. I don't think anybody's happy where we're at today. And our goal is to get better each and every day."

Forman was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying that the decision to fire Del Negro hasn't yet been made.

"Up to this point in our season, we've had a number of injuries to some key guys," the executive added. "We've played a very, very difficult schedule up to this point in the season. There's been some things that have gone against us. But to me, those are all excuses. And there's an old saying, I'm sure most of you have heard it: 'You are what your record is.' And at this point in the season, we're 11-17.

"With that said, at 11-17 nobody in this organization's happy with where we're at. I know the players are disappointed that we're 11-17, the coaches are disappointed that we're 11-17 and I know the management is disappointed. But most importantly I know the fans are disappointed at where we're at right now."


Artest Says He Suffered Memory Loss

Lakers forward Ron Artest can't remember exactly how he fell down the stairs at his home on Christmas night.

He missed Tuesday's game against the Warriors, but discussed the fall with the media for the first time.

"I'm grateful to be up and talking, and it could have been a whole lot worse," Artest said.

The Lakers are tentatively hoping that he'll be able to return on Friday against the Kings.

"He'll get a workout in [Wednesday]," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "The big danger is obviously elevating heart rate and blood pressure in this type of situation so that's going to be something that we monitor."


Blazers Waive Tolliver, Assign Mills To NBDL

In a pair of roster moves, the Portland Trail Blazers waived forward Anthony Tolliver and assigned guard Patty Mills to the NBA Development League's Idaho Stampede, it was announced Tuesday by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

Tolliver appeared in two games for the Trail Blazers, grabbing a rebound in four minutes. He was called up from the Stampede on Dec. 17 after the NBA awarded Portland a hardship exemption.

Mills, selected by the Trail Blazers with the 55th overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, will join the Stampede on Wednesday. The Australian national fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during an NBA Summer League practice session July 9. He underwent surgery on July 13 and recently completed a successful rehabilitation.

Via Press Release

Knicks Unlikely To Buyout Curry

It's looking more and more likely that the Knicks will simply bench center Eddy Curry for the remainder of the season.

Curry hopes that New York buys him out.

The Knicks could save another $2 million in cap room in 2010 if Curry agrees to take $9.3 million of the $11.3 million he has left in the final year of his contract.

"It's tough for Eddy not to have a big role," coach Mike D'Antoni said.

"When you just throw him in three minutes, the team doesn't adjust well and he doesn't adjust well. The circumstances are not real adjustable right now. He doesn't give us a chance to win as much as he should and it's not his fault. We do not want to change the way we are playing. Jonathan [Bender] allows us to be able to do that."

Via New York Post

Warriors Granted Another Injury Exception

The NBA has granted the Warriors another injury exception.

Golden State can add another player even though they already have 15 players under contract plus center Chris Hunter, who was called up from the NBDL as the team's first exception.

The Oakland Tribune writes that the Warriors aren't going to use the exception yet.

A team source said they may wait until after Jan. 5, which is the date teams can start signing players to 10-day contracts.

Via Oakland Tribune

Bender Might Stick With Knicks

The Knicks are referring to Jonathan Bender as part of "the future."

New York coach Mike D'Antoni said that Bender gives the team a chance to win without changing their up-tempo style, referring obviously to the situation surrounding center Eddy Curry.

Bender's one-year contract won't be guaranteed until Jan. 10, but D'Antoni said that the forward, who hadn't played in several seasons before signing with the Knicks, could return next season.

Via New York Post

Ankle Could Keep Big Baby Out Awhile

Glen Davis has played in just three games this season.

Hornets, Wolves Deal For Brown Hits Snag

Devin Brown appears to be staying in New Orleans for now.

Lopez Ducks Out On Media After Loss

The Thunder fronted Brook Lopez with great success on Monday night.

Deng Returns To Practice, Should Play

Luol Deng has been playing with a fractured thumb since Dec. 14.

Artest Could Rejoin Lakers Against Warriors

Ron Artest could play on Tuesday night.

Petrie's Extension Is For Three Years

Geoff Petrie will be in Sacramento through the 2012-13 season.

RealGM Recaps For Monday, 12/28

The Warriors dropped the Celtics on Monday night to hand Boston their second-straight close road loss.

McDyess Is Comfortable Coming Off Bench

Antonio McDyess has thrived since being moved to the bench.

Pacers Still Focused On Future

Larry Bird is still focused on the summer of 2011.

Jefferson Warms To Minnesota's Triangle O

Al Jefferson is becoming a believer in the triangle offense.

Joe Smith Ready For Return

Joe Smith has missed eight games with a thumb injury.

Bosh Close To Carter's Franchise Mark

Chris Bosh needs 73 points to become Toronto's all-time leading scorer.

Skiles Benches Bogut, Redd In Second Half

Scott Skiles didn't play Michael Redd or Andrew Bogut in the second half on Monday night.

Gay Sits With Sprained Ankle

Rudy Gay missed Monday night's game against the Wizards.

Del Negro: Report Of Fate Is Untrue

Vinny Del Negro says he's safe.

Kings, Petrie Agree On Contract Extension

Geoff Petrie is staying in Sacramento.

T-Mac Granted Leave, Rockets Working On Trade

Tracy McGrady will work out on his own while the Rockets pour over trade scenarios.

Nate Robinson Fined For Trade Request

Nate Robinson has been fined for his agent's public trade request.

Reggie Williams D-League Performer Of The Week

Reggie Williams of the Sioux Falls Skyforce was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played during the week of Dec. 21.

Thunder Recall Mullens From D-League

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has recalled center Byron Mullens from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League.
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