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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Thunder, Bucks Join 76ers In Opposing Lottery Reform

The Oklahoma City Thunder have joined the Philadelphia 76ers in opposing the NBA's proposed changes to the draft lottery system, according to a report from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports that the Milwaukee Bucks will also oppose the proposal.

Sam Presti has attempted to warn other small-market executives that changing the system is a risky proposition for their franchises.

Uner the proposed new system, the worst four teams have a 12 percent chance at the first pick, No. 5 has an 11.5 percent chance, No. 6, 10 percent, and on down.

The changes have been triggered by a response to the 76ers' pursuit of high draft picks in successive seasons.

Presti's belief is that the changes would give big market teams another advantage.

"Everyone is too focused on Philly, on one team in one situation," said one sympathetic GM. "The only chance for a lot of teams to ever get a transformational player is through the draft, and eventually we are all going to be in the lottery, in that spot. The teams that'll drop from two to eight, or three to nine – that's just going to take the air out of those fan bases and franchises. They'll get little, if any chance, to improve.

"We are going to see more big-market teams who just missed the playoffs jump up and get a great young player at the top of the draft. And people are going to go "What the [expletive] just happened?"

The 76ers and Thunder need six more teams to join them in opposing the rule change before Wednesday's vote.

As one Western Conference GM said, "Then there will be no going back. I hope we know what we're doing with this one."

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Mavs Release Eric Griffin, Yuki Togashi

The Dallas Mavericks have requested waivers on forward Eric Griffin and guard Yuki Togashi.

Griffin (6-8, 194) was originally signed on July 18 after representing the Mavericks at the Las Vegas Summer League where he averaged 9.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.3 steals and 19.3 minutes. He saw action in two preseason games for Dallas.

Togashi (5-7, 143) was signed by the Mavericks on Oct. 15 and did not play in a game for Dallas.

The Mavericks roster now stands at 18 players.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Kevin Durant Hopes For December Return, Won't Rush Recovery

Kevin Durant discussed the Jones fracture in his left foot, which required surgery, for the first time Tuesday.

Durant is expected to miss up to eight weeks and said he will not speed up his recovery timetable.

"Nah, I’m not going to rush it at all," Durant said. "That’s one thing I’m not going to do. I’m sure I’ll feeI better in two or three weeks, but I definitely don’t want to rush it. So I’m taking my time with it. Blessed that it happened early in the season so I can get passed it and hopefully by December I’ll be ready to play."

Durant added his body has normally bounced back quickly from previous injuries.

"Pretty quick. I’ve never had surgery before, first thing. I don’t really know what to expect, but I know I’ll make a full recovery."

Via Anthony Slater/The Oklahoman

Dexter Pittman, Jarell Eddie Waived By Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks waived Dexter Pittman and Jarell Eddie on Tuesday.

Both Pittman and Eddie were training camp invitations.

Via RealGM Staff Report

76ers, Knicks, Lakers, Celtics Each Have Only One Player In ESPN's Top-100

The Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics each have just one player ranked in ESPN's top-100 list of NBA players.

Michael Carter-Williams, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and Rajon Rondo represent their respective teams in the top-100.

The 76ers are the only team with only two players ranked in the top 250, while the Knicks, Lakers and Celtics each have at least three other players in the top 150.

Via John Smallwood/Philadelphia Daily News

LeBron: We're Not A Big Three, We're A Big Fifteen

LeBron James is stressing the importance of the entire Cleveland Cavaliers' roster rather than repeat the Big 3 reputation of the Miami Heat while substituting Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

"We're not a Big Three, we're a team," James said afterwards. "We're a Big Fifteen."

The Cavaliers will need significant contributions this season from the likes of Anderson Varejao, Shawn Marion, Dion Waiters, Mike Miller and Tristan Thompson.

"Are we ready for the (season opener), not right now," James said. "We will be. We will be as ready as any team is ready for the first game of the season. At the first game of the season, you're not ready to win the championship then."

Via Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Wizards May Sign John Lucas III

The Washington Wizards are on the verge of signing John Lucas III, according to sources.

Lucas would give the Wizards veteran depth in the backcourt after losing Bradley Beal to a wrist injury that will keep him out at least six weeks.

Lucas was traded twice this offseason, first going from the Utah Jazz to the Cleveland Cavaliers and then to the Boston Celtics. Lucas was waived by the Celtics shortly after the trade.

Via Marc Stein/ESPN

Paul George Shoots Jumpers At Pacers' Practice

Paul George was seen shooting jumpers with teammates following the Indiana Pacers' practice on Monday.

George, who was injured during a televised Team USA intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 1, said recently that he plans to play at some point during this NBA season.

He was cleared to put weight on the leg and engage in upper-body work in late September.

Via ESPN

Sean Kilpatrick Signs With Warriors

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent guard Sean Kilpatrick to a contract.

Kilpatrick, 24, earned First Team All-America honors as a senior at the University of Cincinnati in 2013-14, posting an American Athletic Conference-best 20.6 points per contest to go with 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.41 steals in 34 games.

The Warriors roster currently stands at 20 players.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Pistons Waive Hasheem Thabeet, Brian Cook, Lorenzo Brown, Josh Bostic

The Detroit Pistons released Hasheem Thabeet, Brian Cook, Lorenzo Brown and Josh Bostic on Monday, the team announced.

All four players were on non-guaranteed deals for training camp.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Wolves Waive Kyrylo Fesenko

Kyrylo Fesenko played in just one preseason game for the Wolves.

Lakers' Annual Income From Local TV Deal Hinges On Ratings

It is believed that the Lakers continue to remain competitive and not rebuild entirely due to their local television deal.

Chris Bosh Admits Money Was Factor In Choosing Heat Over Rockets

Chris Bosh was close to signing a four-year, $88 million deal with Rockets, but decided to remain with the Heat.

Heat Sign Larry Drew II

Larry Drew II averaged 11.4 points, 7.0 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.66 steals and 35.5 minutes while shooting 47.4 percent from the field last seaso nin the D-League.

Bo McCalebb Close To Deal With European Team

Bo McCalebb is nearing agreement on a contract with a team in Europe, meaning no move to the NBA for now, sources told RealGM.

LeBron's Major Rise In Leadership Evident To Teammates

Before the Cavaliers' first practice of the preseason, LeBron James held a players only meeting for 30 minutes.

Kidd Denies Seeking More Power From Nets

Jason Kidd returns to New York to face the Knicks on Monday.

Jeremy Tyler To Sign In China After Being Waived By Lakers

The Lakers will waive Jeremy Tyler to allow him to sign a deal in China.

Knicks Evaluating Other Options At PF In Bargnani's Continued Absence

Andrea Bargnani continues to deal with a hamstring injury.

Thunder Seeing Improved Offense In Steven Adams

Steven Adams' production on offense was inconsistent and limited last season.

Carmelo Doesn't Envision Another Scoring Title In New Triange Offense

Carmelo Anthony has averaged 25.3 points over his career.

Timberwolves Exercise Third-Year Options On Bennett, Dieng, Muhammad

Anthony Bennett was obtained by the Timberwolves in a trade from Cleveland on Aug. 23.

Ben McLemore's 15-16 Option Exercised By Kings

Ben McLemore averaged 8.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 26.7 minutes per contest as a rookie last season

Kings Release Sim Bhullar, Deonte Burton, David Wear

The Kings preseason roster now stands at 15.

Cavaliers Waive Chris Crawford, Stephen Holt

Chris Crawford appeared in five preseason games for the Cavs.

Rockets To Rely On D-League Growth For Clint Capela, Nick Johnson

The Rockets plan to utilize the NBA Development League heavily this season for their two draft picks, Clint Capela and Nick Johnson.

Xavier Henry To Be Re-Evalauted After Second Opinion, Regenokine On Knee

Xavier Henry plans to return to Los Angeles by Oct. 24 and an update on his condition will be given at that time.

Kawhi Leonard To Miss Rest Of Preseason With Eye Infection

The regular season opener against the Mavericks would appear to be up in the air for Kawhi Leonard.

Popovich Fires Back At Sarver Apologizing To Phoenix Crowd For Spurs' Absent Players

Robert Sarver grabbed a mic late in Thursday’s exhibition game to apologize to the Suns' home crowd after five Spurs players missed the game.

Celtics Likely To Waive Will Bynum

Will Bynum averaged 8.7 points and 3.9 assists per game last season.
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