Basketball Wiretap

Rockets Dispute Notion Chemistry Isn't Properly Considered

Apr 30, 2016 12:33 PM

Daryl Morey took responsibility for the Houston Rockets' disappointing season that ended in a five-game series loss to the Golden State Warriors as the eighth seed.

"This is on me," he said. "A lot of the guys we brought in didn't work out. That's on me. We're going to do better. We're going to get back to Rockets basketball. We're going to get back to winning."

Morey disputed the notion that he does not value chemistry.

"I think it's hugely important," Morey said. "I don't remember articles about how our chemistry was great last year. I don't remember articles last year that said how great our guys were together. That's a label people throw on a team when it's not going well. The reality is we didn't have enough guys playing together and playing well. Last year, we had a lot of guys playing well and playing together. It's the same group of guys. They had good chemistry. They just didn't play well.

"It's the convenient thing to say the chemistry is bad. We lost games. Everybody is trying to figure out why we lost games. The reality is our defense was a lot worse. That was guys not playing as well as we needed them to play."

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Daryl Morey Accuses Rival Teams Of Shaping Negative Stories About Rockets

Apr 30, 2016 12:20 PM

Daryl Morey defended the Houston Rockets' season from criticism and also accused other teams of planting or influencing stories about the team.

Morey believes the stories are a free agent ploy.

"It's been disappointing - and obviously we're all disappointed - that people are painting the season we just had and trying to make it into a larger thing than it is, which is one season that was disappointing in a sea of a lots of seasons that were successful," Morey said. "Not as successful as we want, but for sure not the entire negative environment that people are trying to paint.

"It's smart for other teams to try to paint us in a negative way. It's a very competitive free-agent situation. All the articles you see out there are other teams I think very smartly trying to paint our situation as negative. Being kicked while you're down is a smart situation by teams leaking things, trying to put stuff out there to make us look bad."

There were stories about players not wanting to play with James Harden.

"I think that's very smart, strategic positioning," Morey said. "I had to address that last year when a certain owner was painting our team in a bad light. This year is no different. I think it's very smart that other teams are trying to paint our players in a bad light. … James Harden, I don't know who wouldn't want to play with him. A top-five player in the league, unbelievable passer, unbelievable scorer. … Everything we hear is that people only want to play with him."

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Lakers Canceled Interview With Ettore Messina After Meeting With Walton

Apr 30, 2016 11:15 AM

The Los Angeles Lakers moved quickly on hiring Luke Walton as head coach after their interview with him on Thursday in Oakland.

The Lakers had plans to interview Ettore Messina at some point next week between Games 2 and 3 of the San Antonio Spurs' series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but they canceled following Walton's interview.

Walton and Messina quickly emerged as the top candidates for the Lakers' job after they fired Byron Scott.

Mark Medina/Los Angeles Daily News

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Paul Pierce '50-50' On Retiring

Apr 30, 2016 10:48 AM

Paul Pierce says he's "50-50" on whether he'll retire this offseason.

Pierce signed a three-year, $10 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers last offseason.

Pierce struggled in his first season with the Clippers after a successful run in 14-15 with the Washington Wizards. Pierce's PER dropped from 15.1 with the Wizards to 8.2 with the Clippers and his minutes fell to under 20 per game.

Arash Markazi/ESPN

Tags: Paul Pierce, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Tyronn Lue Hasn't Signed New Contract As Cavs' Coach

Apr 30, 2016 10:02 AM

Tyronn Lue continues to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers without having signed a new contract since he took over for David Blatt.

Lue was already the league's top-paid assistant coach when he was added to Blatt's staff in the summer of 2014 with a four-year deal worth a total of $6.5 million.

The Cavs and Lue's representatives came to a verbal agreement on a renegotiated deal that would pay him $3 million prorated for 2015-16 and $3 million next season, with a team option for a third year at $3.5 million with a buyout.

There were no standards or stipulations for the verbal agreement.

Lue fully expects to remain head coach of the Cavaliers next season no matter the result of these playoffs. Lue also has no interest in vacancies with the Houston Rockets, New York Knicks or Sacramento Kings. The Cavaliers would have to grant permission to another team for Lue to interview.

Lue's reasoning for delaying an official agreement was respect and deference to Blatt.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Dunc'd On: Friday's Games, Spurs/Thunder Preview, Walton To The Lakers

Apr 30, 2016 3:53 AM

Friday's games (MIA/CHA, LAC/POR, TOR/IND) plus previews of Spurs/Thunder and Blazers/Warriors and analysis of Luke Walton getting hired by the Lakers.

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) and Danny Leroux of RealGM and the Sporting News (@DannyLeroux). 

Click to subscribe using any podcast player to the RSS Feed or via iTunes.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, Dunc'd On

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Stephen Curry Will Try to Return Ahead of Two-Week Timeline

Apr 29, 2016 11:45 PM

Stephen Curry will attempt to return faster than the two-week absence projected when his sprained MCL was diagnosed on Monday.

Curry did not play in Wednesday's Game 5 win over Houston and previously missed Games 2 and 3 with an ankle sprain.

The Warriors advanced to the second round where they will play the Blazers.

Monte Poole/CSN Bay Area

Tags: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Injury

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Luke Walton Agrees To Become Head Coach Of Lakers

Apr 29, 2016 11:39 PM

Luke Walton has agreed to become the team's next Head Coach.

Walton currently serves as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors and will take over the Lakers once Golden State's season is over.

Walton played for the Lakers from 2003-2012.

Howard Beck / Bleacher Report

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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Deron Williams Intends to Decline 2016-17 Player Option, Become Free Agent

Apr 29, 2016 1:30 PM

Deron Williams intends to decline the second-year player option on his contract with the Dallas Mavericks and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The option was worth approximately $5.6 million.

Williams agreed to a buyout of the final two seasons of his contract with the Brooklyn Nets last July and signed with the Mavericks, averaging 14.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 rebounds per game this season. He turns 32 this offseason.

Tim McMahon / ESPN

Tags: Deron Williams, Dallas Mavericks, NBA

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Tyler Johnson Will Play in Game 6

Apr 29, 2016 12:26 PM

Tyler Johnson was active for Game 5 but served as an emergency option and did not play. He will be active and part of the rotation for the Miami Heat.

Johnson had surgery to repair the rotator cuff in his left shoulder on February 3 and has not played in a game since January 26.

He averaged 8.7 points, 2.2 assists and 3 rebounds in 36 games for Miami this season.

Manny Navarro/Miami Herald

Tags: Tyler Johnson, Miami Heat, NBA

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Spencer Hawes Has Sprained MCL in Right Knee, Re-Evaluated in a Week
Spencer Hawes played fifteen minutes in Wednesday's Game 5 and will be re-evaluated in a week.

Marc Spears/The Undefeated

Stephen Curry To Begin Testing Knee Next Week
Stephen Curry is starting to feel better a few days after injuring his MCL.

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Warriors Give Permission For Lakers To Interview Luke Walton
Luke Walton spent the vast part of his playing career with the Lakers.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Dunc'd On: Wednesday's Games + Worst Defenders
Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux break down Hornets/Heat and Rockets/Warriors plus pick their Worst Team All-Defense rosters from the 2015-16 season.

RealGM Staff Report

Kings Choose Ken Catanella To Be New Assistant General Manager
Ken Cantanella has been the Assistant General Manager for the Pistons since August 2014.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Nicolas Batum 'Will Likely Play Tonight' In Game 5
Nicolas Batum has missed the last two games with a sprained left ankle.

Ethan Skolnick / Miami Herald

David Blatt Meets With Phil Jackson About Knicks' Job
David Blatt and Kurt Rambis are the two primary candidates for the Knicks' opening.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Dunc'd On: The Clippers + Tuesday's Games
Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux discuss the Clippers' present and future in light of the injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, and break down Pacers/Raptors, Celtics/Hawks and Monday's Heat/Hornets.

RealGM Staff Report

Isaiah Thomas Leaves Game 5 With Sprained Left Ankle
Isaiah Thomas had seven points and three assists before leaving the game in the fourth quarter.

Gary Washburn / Boston Globe

David Morway, Kings No Longer Discussing Front Office Job
David Morway was previously the general manager of the Pacers and assistant general manager of the Bucks.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Blake Griffin Out For Rest Of Playoffs After Aggravating Left Quad Tendon
Blake Griffin aggravated the injury during Monday's Game Four in Portland.

RealGM Staff Report

Dirk Nowitzki 'Definitely Won't Retire' This Season
Dirk Nowitzki is currently sixth all-time in points scored and 15th in made three pointers.

Tim McMahon/ESPN

Jeanie Buss Did Not Know Byron Scott Would Be Let Go
Byron Scott's team option for the 2016-17 was not picked up and the Lakers have already begun the search for their next head coach.

Kristine Leahy/FS1

Steve Kerr Wins NBA Coach of the Year
The Golden State Warriors went 73-9 in the regular season, breaking the NBA record.

Marc Stein/ESPN

French Prospect Jonathan Jeanne Will Not Enter 2016 NBA Draft
The 7'2" French big man was a likely first round pick had he chosen to enter the 2016 Draft.

Jonathan Givony / DraftExpress

Cal's Ivan Rabb Will Return to School, Not Enter 2016 NBA Draft
Rabb was a likely lottery pick in 2016 and will return to Cal for his sophomore season.

RealGM Staff Report

Chris Paul Undergoes Surgery on Right Hand, Re-Evaluated in 4-6 Weeks
Chris Paul's fracture was in the third metacarpal, in the center of his right hand.

Official Release From LA Clippers

Thunder Defeat Mavericks 4-1, Will Face Spurs in Round Two
Thunder advance to face the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs.

RealGM Staff Report

Lakers Receive Permission to Interview Ettore Messina
Messina is currently the lead assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs.

Sam Amick / USA Today

Dunc'd On Pod: Kara Lawson On NBA Playoffs, Danny Leroux On Steph's MCL
ESPN analyst Kara Lawson joins Dunc'd On for a deep dive on the NBA playoffs, plus a few minutes with Danny Leroux on the Steph Curry injury news.

RealGM Staff Report