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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Wizards Prefer To Trade Lewis, Blatche

The Wizards have the option of buying out Rashard Lewis for $13.7 million, which would represent an approximate reduction of payroll of $10 million.

Lewis is scheduled to be the second highest paid player in the NBA.

Washington has until June 30th to complete the buyout.

The Wizards can also create more cap space by using their amnesty clause on Andray Blatche.

But multiple sources contend the Wizards will look to trade both Lewis and Blatche rather than pay them not to play for the club.

Via Michael Lee/Washington Post

Beal Works To Improve Handle In Preparation For Draft

Bradley Beal is working to polish his ball-handling skills in preparation for the NBA draft.

“I believe that I’m going to surprise teams because the main focus of my whole pre-draft workout has been my ball handling,” Beal said. “They say that I’m a little undersized for 2-guard, so I may have to play some point guard eventually. I think that a lot of teams are going to be shocked by my ball handling.”

Beal, who averaged 14.8 points on 44.5 percent shooting, also said he has focused on scoring off the dribble -- as well as the repertoire of his shooting.

“I’m looking to really focus on creating my own shot offensively,” Beal said. “Just beating guys off of the dribble, then finishing with a floater or pull-up in the lane. Just have to continue having high IQ for the game, focus in on ball handling, and work on creating more space off the dribble.”

Via SLAMOnline.com

Blazers Near Decision On GM Position

Trail Blazers president Larry Miller said Tuesday that the team is close to hiring a general manager.

“We have to make a decision now,” Miller said. “We've had three candidates, total, meet with Paul (Allen) and hopefully we'll have a GM in place pretty soon.”

Blazers candidates include former general manger of the New Orleans Hornets, Jeff Bower, current general manager for the Indiana Pacers, David Morway, and general manager for the Los Angeles Clippers, Neil Olshey.

“There was a lot of interest for this position and the process was so long because we had to wait for certain teams to finish out their season,” Miller said. “We're confident that we'll bring in the right guy and we're happy with who we've interviewed.”

Via CSNNW.com

Source: Lakers In Discussions To Promote Glenn Carraro To Assistant GM

The Lakers are engaged in talks to promote Glenn Carraro to assistant general manager, according to multiple sources.

Carraro spent last season as general manager of the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

Carraro helped guide the D-Fenders to a league-record 38 wins.

Via ESPNLosAngeles.com

Valanciunas, Lietuvos Rytas Open Release Agreement Talks

Jonas Valanciunas opened preliminary discussions about a release from his team in Lithuania, sources said.

Valanciunas is expected to pay the $2.4-million clause that will free him from the remaining year of his contract.

The Raptors likely will agree to pay $550,000 of that -- the most allowed by international rules.

Via NBA.com

Del Negro To Return As Head Coach Of Clippers

Vinny Del Negro will return as head coach of the Clippers for the 12-13 season.

The Clippers held an option on Del Negro's contract.

Del Negro guided the Clippers to the second round of the playoffs, but had been subject of rumors of his impending dismissal throughout the season.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Blazers Enter Single Affiliation Agreement With D-League's Idaho Stampede

The Portland Trail Blazers, the Idaho Stampede, and the NBA Development League announced today that the Trail Blazers and Stampede have entered into a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2012-13 season. Portland will be Idaho’s sole NBA affiliate and will have full control over the team’s basketball operations.   

This partnership, also referred to as the “hybrid affiliation,” allows for NBA teams to secure control of, and cover the expenses related to, the basketball operations of an NBA D-League team while partnering with existing local ownership, which maintains responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations.   

Via RealGM Staff Report

Warriors, Jazz Break Off Lottery Pick Trade Talks

The Warriors and Jazz were working on a trade involving the conveyance of a first round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Golden State gets to keep their pick if it is in the top-seven, but it will be dealt to the Jazz if it is No. 8 or lower.

Sources say trade talks between the two sides are all but dead.

The Warriors have a 72.66% chance of keeping the pick based on odds released by the NBA.

Via Marcus Thompson II/San Jose Mercury News

Mad Ants Name Duane Ticknor Head Coach

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants have named Duane Ticknor as their head coach for the 2012-13 season. Ticknor has signed a two-year contract with the team.

“We are very excited to have Coach Ticknor join the Mad Ants,” said team President Jeff Potter. “Duane is well-respected by his peers in the basketball community, and his knowledge and skill in coaching is exceptional. Most notably, he has a history of winning everywhere he’s been. We are looking forward to having him get started this summer in building the winning team that our loyal fans and this great city deserve.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining the best organization in the D-League,” Coach Ticknor said. “Fort Wayne is one of the best markets in our league, and I am excited to get to work and turn the Mad Ants into the winning team that I know they can be.”

Ticknor has 17 years of head coaching experience at the collegiate and professional levels, including the NBA D-League. He served as head coach for the Dakota Wizards and led them to the playoffs in each of his two seasons there, with his 2007-08 team finishing 29-21 and winning the Central Division title. He then moved on to the Sioux Falls Skyforce from 2009-11, where he spent two seasons as assistant coach.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Magic Waive Von Wafer

The Orlando Magic have announced that the team has waived guard Von Wafer.

Wafer (6’5”, 209, 7/21/85) appeared in 33 games (one start) with Orlando this season, averaging 5.9 ppg. and 1.4 rpg. in 14.2 minpg. He also played in one playoff game, tallying six points and one rebound.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Tyler Ennis Hopes To Win Gold Medal For Canada

Tyler Ennis likes Canada’s chances of capturing gold at the FIBA America’s U18 Championship.

Scout: Anthony Davis Once In A Generation Talent

Anthony Davis has been heralded as the best big man to come along in years.

Blazers Set To Workout Tyler Zeller, Meyers Leonard

Tyler Zeller and Meyers Leonard are among six players set to workout for the Blazers on Tuesday.

Drummond Has Lost 22 Pounds Since End Of Season

Andre Drummond now weighs 268 pounds, allowing him to have excellent lateral quickness for a player his size.

Allen Struggles With Shot, Trying To Find Balance

Ray Allen went 3-for-7 at the foul line and 1-for-7 from the floor.

Ibaka Expected To Return To Normal Minutes In Game 2

Serge Ibaka sat on the bench for the final 16:01 of Oklahoma City's 101-98 Game 1 loss to the Spurs.

Warriors Host Draft Workout For Wroten, Taylor, Green, Nine Others

In attendance were Tony Wroten, Jeffrey Taylor, Draymond Green, Kevin Jones, Kris Joseph, Tu Holloway and Josh Owens, amongst others.

Josh Owens' Draft Stock Rising With Surprising Athleticism

Stanford power forward Josh Owens is hoping to be ascend draft boards as a sleeper similar to former teammate Landry Fields.

Rivers Calls Game 1 Technical Worst Of Career

Referee Ed Malloy called Doc Rivers' technical foul.

BC Khimki Signs James Augustine, Paul Davis

James Augustine averaged 12.7 points and 8.3 rebounds for UCAM Murcia in Spain.

Heat Vary Defensive Looks Against Rondo

Rajon Rondo was held to 16 points and seven assists as the Heat made sure to have help defenders in the paint waiting for him.

Bosh Feeling Disconnected From Heat During Rehab

Chris Bosh remained in Miami when the Heat eliminated the Pacers from the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Game 6.

Rondo: Heat Have To Hit The Deck Too

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade attacked the basket at will in the second half of Miami's 93-79 Game 1 victory over the Celtics.

NBA Exec Questions Whether Drummond Can Mesh With Teammates

Andre Drummond has yet to demonstrate that he can excel within a team system.

Rivers Believes Heat May Be More Dangerous Minus Bosh

Doc Rivers believes the Heat may be more dangerous without Chris Bosh.

Tyler Zeller Draws Comparison To Spencer Hawes

Tyler Zeller’s shooting and passing abilities remind one Western Conference scouting director of Spencer Hawes.

Bargnani Fully Recovered From Calf Injury

Andrea Bargnani missed 35 games this season due to recurring issues with his left leg.

Sixers Plan To Extend Collins' Contract

Doug Collins' contract is guaranteed for one more season.

Bobcats To Meet With Quin Snyder

The Bobcats plan to meet with Quin Snyder as they continue their coaching search.

LeBron Leads Heat In 'Activity' Points

Erik Spoelstra tracks Heat players with an "activity chart," which awards points for statistical categories such as fouls drawn and block outs on rebounding.
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