Basketball Wiretap

Dwyane Wade: Leaving Heat For Bulls Was Decision 'Solely For Me'

Jul 29, 2016 3:25 PM

Dwyane Wade had his introductory press conference with the Chicago Bulls in which he explained his decision to leave the Miami Heat.

“I have no rift with Pat Riley," said Wade. "This year, the direction of that organization was a little different than it was in years past."

Wade was offered a two-year, $40 million deal by the Heat.

"I had a contract offer from Miami. It was my decision to be selfish and live out a dream of mine," said Wade. "This was a decision solely for me. It has nothing to do with Pat Riley or Micky Arison."

"I wanted to be a part of building this organization back up," said Wade about the Bulls. 

K.C. Johnson/Chicago Tribune

Tags: Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kevin Durant Dismisses Speculation He Changed Course Once Free Agency Started

Jul 29, 2016 2:18 PM

Kevin Durant refuted a report that was later clarified about telling Russell Westbrook or giving him the impression he planned to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Durant had dinner with Westbrook and Nick Collison before the start of free agency.

“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.

“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”

The Warriors’ projected starting five includes Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia – a seamless transition in Durant’s mind.

“I’m not coming into a team where a guy is playing my position and we have try to fit in two guys playing the same position,” Durant told The Vertical. “I’m not coming in trying to play the point guard, trying to play the shooting guard. I’m a small forward. The team didn’t have a small forward when I signed. Steph, Klay, Draymond, the bigs, we all play different positions.

“Whether it’s minutes, shots, opportunities, any good team will have players sacrificing. That’s the nature of the game. I’m not coming into a game saying that I need my 18 shots and I need to get to the line 12 times. I let the game flow naturally.”

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Video: Russell Westbrook Sarcastically Laughs When Asked About Durant

Jul 29, 2016 1:56 PM

Russell Westbrook has been silent so far this offseason following the departure of Kevin Durant.

Westbrook appeared in a video by a fan this week in which he was asked: "How do you feel about Durant, man?"

Westbrook didn't say anything except gave a sarcastic laugh.

 

Up The Thunder

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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Paul George Glad Pacers Not Wasting His Prime Years

Jul 29, 2016 1:49 PM

Paul George acknowledged he needs to be the Indiana Pacers' leader as they continue to evolve their roster and playing style.

“I think I’m still young,” George said before his practice with the U.S. men’s Olympic team. “I can carry a team, I feel.”

The Pacers have been aggressive this offseason, acquiring Jeff Teague, Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson.

“I’m glad he’s not letting me waste years,” he said of Bird. “I think Larry (Bird) and (the rest of the front office) have expressed how bad they want to get back to (the Eastern Conference finals) by these moves this offseason. I’m looking forward to getting us back there. He’s putting talent around me to help me get to what we all want to get accomplish, and that’s a championship.”

George is ready for the next challenge in his career.

“I’ve been molded all the way up to this point with having great veterans and great guys around me,” he said. “Now, it’s my solo opportunity of really being the leader and really being the locker room voice. I’m really looking forward to it; this is my chance and I’m going to make the heck out of it.

“Like I always say, it’s on me now.”

Nate Taylor/Indianapolis Star

Tags: Paul George, Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Court Denies Derrick Rose's Motion To Dismiss Civil Sexual Assault Case

Jul 29, 2016 1:44 PM

Derrick Rose is scheduled to begin trial for a civil sexual assault case on Oct. 4th in Los Angeles.

The U.S. District Court judge denied Rose's motion for summary judgment in the case because it remained unclear if the accuser, referred to as Jane Doe, consented to sex on Aug. 27, 2013.

"There can be no doubt that genuine disputes exist as to almost every material fact in this action," Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald wrote in documents obtained by ESPN and earlier reported by the sports law website The White Bronco.

Rose has denied the allegations and has said that he is "very confident" that he will be proved innocent.

Rose may miss part of training camp with the Knicks to attend the trial.

Ian Begley/ESPN

Tags: Derrick Rose, New York Knicks, NBA

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Jimmy Butler Unbothered By Trade Rumors Or Perceptions

Jul 29, 2016 10:53 AM

The Chicago Bulls have overhauled their roster over the offseason with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol leaving. But Jimmy Butler insists it wasn't a decision he had an influence over.

“That has nothing to do with me,’’ Butler said on Thursday. “I don’t move guys. Just like I always say – people are going to think what they want to think.’’

The Bulls also reportedly considered trading away Butler in a package that would have brought back Kris Dunn.

“It’s not their job to report anything to me,’’ Butler said of general manager Gar Forman and VP of basketball operations John Paxson. “I’m a big boy. I don’t need you to tell me, ‘No, you’re not going to be traded.’ I know it’s a business and if it happens it happens, but I’m here.

“I don’t pay attention to it. I was in the gym working out during the draft. My phone was blowing up, but what can I do? I can go in the office and be like, ‘Hey please don’t trade me?’ If they were going to do that, that’s on them not me.’’

Joe Cowley/Chicago Sun-Times

Tags: Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls, NBA

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Amar'e Stoudemire Wanted To Finish Career With Suns

Jul 28, 2016 6:47 PM

Amar'e Stoudemire had hoped to return to the Phoenix Suns to finish his career.

Stoudemire retired from the NBA by signing a one-day ceremonial contract with the the New York Knicks. Stoudemire signed with the Knicks in free agency in 2010 and then played for the Mavericks in 2015 and Heat in 15-16 after being bought out.

“The last two years, we made phone calls to Phoenix but I wasn’t getting any positive response,” Stoudemire said on Thursday. “That would’ve been the perfect way to go out. I didn’t want to beg Phoenix. My heart was in two places – Phoenix and New York. I just went where I was wanted.”

The Suns added Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss at power forward in the draft and then signed Jared Dudley.

“They brought back Jared and Leandro, my boys,” Stoudemire said. “That would’ve been a heck of a way to finish. I wasn’t just going to keep knocking on someone’s door that wasn’t going to answer.

“I love my fans in Phoenix. Most of my high times and highlights were in Phoenix. I put forth the effort to finish my career in Phoenix but it wasn’t well-received.”

Stoudemire hasn't ruled out playing overseas.

Paul Coro/Arizona Republic

Tags: Amar'e Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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David Lee Agrees To Two-Year Deal With Spurs

Jul 28, 2016 5:54 PM

David Lee has agreed to sign a two-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs.

The second year of the deal is a player option for Lee.

Lee played for the Celtics and Mavericks this past season following his trade from the Warriors.

Lee averaged 8.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game with the Mavs.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Tags: David Lee, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Karl-Anthony Towns Already Calling Minnesota Home

Jul 28, 2016 1:31 PM

Karl-Anthony Towns grew up in New Jersey but he's quickly acclimated to living in Minnesota with the Timberwolves.

“A lot of times, I talk to my friends and family and I’m always trying to rush back to Minnesota,” Towns said Wednesday. “This is where I call home.”

Towns was at a basketball camp at Hopkins High School in Minnesota.

“I have a lot of my blood and sweat and tears here,” Towns said. “I have a certain thing with Minnesota. I always want to come back here.”

Towns tries to get back to Minnesota as often as possible during the summer.

“I love being here,” Towns said. “Hopefully, I can spend the rest of my career here.”

Towns has been talking to his Wolves' teammates regularly.

“We’re concocting a plan to be the best Timberwolves team that’s come around in a long time,” he said. “A lot of people tend to think that we’re the Timberwolves, and we’re at the bottom of the barrel,” he said. “I just want everyone to know that we’re coming. Just remember us, remember who we were for the last 13 years, because things are about to change.”

 

 

Jace Frederick/Pioneer Press

Tags: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Clippers Were Told They Were In Top-3 On Kevin Durant

Jul 28, 2016 1:25 PM

The Los Angeles Clippers were one of the teams to pursue Kevin Durant despite limited means of signing him.

"We were willing to take the gamble if we felt we were in it. And we were in it. We were in the top-3 at the very end," said Rivers. "But we had to make a couple calls to (Durant's camp). We got two players to delay an hour (before making their decisions). We had two players on our team who could sign for more money but they were going to wait another hour to stay with us.

"The second thing is we had to get this right. If we're going to go after Durant, if we can get him, let's stay in it. It's worth it, even if we don't get him. If we're not going to get him, we have to make that decision. We have to do our job business wise."

Durant was reportedly "blown away" by his meeting with the Clippers.

"We asked a simple question. We sat around trying to figure out what's the right question. And the first question we asked is 'are we in the top-3?' and they said 'yes'," said Rivers. "That made us feel good. We talked about it. My next question is 'are we in the top-2?' We made the decision, if they say 'no' then we go. If they say 'yes' we stay. They said 'no'."

Durant chose the Warriors and his seamless fit with the team and their cap room.

"I thought he liked us a lot," said Rivers. "He told us since and so have his representatives. The presentation I did and Lawrence (Frank) and Steve (Ballmer) is good or maybe the best presentation. But when they kept looking at how we were going to do it. We had to actually ask each guy to take a hit financially. We needed Kevin to take a hit this year to fit and next year we would have needed Blake (Griffin) and Chris (Paul) to take a hit financially. He didn't have to do that if he stayed in Oklahoma. He didn't have to do that if he went to Golden State. Plus they had room to build around that. I think at the end of the day, they looked at is as far as roster wise, well, 'the Clippers look great, we love who they are but financially they are going to be so strapped, it's going to be so hard to work, I think we're going to go the safer place,' and that was Golden State."

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Doc Rivers: It's Been Miraculous How We've Built With Minimum Contract Players
The general manager tenure of Doc Rivers with the Clippers has been uneven as he tries to build a supporting cast around Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Doc Rivers Hopes Blake Griffin Ends Career With Clippers
Doc Rivers says the Clippers aren't receiving calls on Blake Griffin because teams know he's unavailable.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Egidijus Mockevicius Signs Camp Deal With Nets
Egidijus Mockevicius averaged 5.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per game for the Nets in Summer League.

RealGM Staff Report

ESPN Clarifies Report Of Durant Telling Westbrook He'd Re-Sign With Thunder
Royce Young has clarified a remark made in a podcast on Tuesday about what Kevin Durant supposedly said to Russell Westbrook during their dinner before the start of free agency.

Royce Young/ESPN

NBPA To Fund Health Insurance For All Retired Players With 3+ Years Of Service
The program is the first of its kind among North American professional sports.

RealGM Staff Report

Suns Finalize Earl Watson's Coaching Staff Headlined By Jay Triano, Tyrone Corbin
Jay Triano has joined the Suns as associate head coach.

RealGM Staff Report

RealGM Radio: Royce Young On The Thunder
Host Danny Leroux and ESPN's Royce Young discuss Oklahoma City's present, past and future, including Russell Westbrook's future with the team, the impact of the Serge Ibaka trade and the legacy of the Durant/Westbrook era.

RealGM Staff Report

Andrea Bargnani Signs With Saski Baskonia In Spain
Andrea Bargnani has been an NBA free agent since he was bought out in February by the Nets.

Mike Mazzeo/ESPN

Draymond Green Didn't Recruit Kevin Durant During Playoffs
Draymond Green admitted there would have been no chance of Kevin Durant signing with the Warriors had the Thunder won the Western Conference Finals.

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Clippers Exploring Sites For New Arena In Los Angeles
One area of interest for the Clippers is on the Westside of Los Angeles.

Kevin Arnovitz, Marc Stein/ESPN

Paul Pierce Planning On Playing In 16-17
A second source says Paul Pierce has yet to make a final decision and will wait a few more weeks.

Broderick Turner/Los Angeles Times

Rudy Gay Denies Asking For Trade, Has No Idea On Direction Of Kings' Franchise
Rudy Gay was asked about how he's handling reports the Kings are looking to trade him this offseason.

Blake Ellington/Sactown Royalty

Report: Kevin Durant Told Russell Westbrook He'd Re-Sign With Thunder
Russell Westbrook reportedly feels betrayed by the departure of Kevin Durant.

Royce Young/ESPN

Dunc'd On: Summer League Prospect Review, Part 2
News on CJ McCollum's max extension, Dion Waiters to Miami, and Boston's signings. Then we continue a massive prospect review of Summer League, starting in alphabetical order with Detroit through Washington

RealGM Staff Report

Maurice Harkless Agrees To Four-Year, $40M Deal With Blazers
Maurice Harkless' deal will be fully guaranteed with no options, but it could reach $42 million with incentives.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Amar'e Stoudemire Announces NBA Retirement
Amar'e Stoudemire has announced his retirement from the NBA.

RealGM Staff Report

Victor Oladipo Looking For Max Extension From Thunder
Victor Oladipo was traded by the Magic to the Thunder this offseason just as he became eligible for an extension from his rookie deal.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Magic In No Rush To Pursue Trade Of Nikola Vucevic
With Nikola Vucevic, Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo combining for approximately 80 minutes per game, they would have 16 minutes for small ball with Aaron Gordon at power forward.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Hawks Sign Matt Costello To Camp Deal
Matt Costello was a member of the Hawks' entry in the 2016 Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 5.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists while playing in all six games.

RealGM Staff Reprt

Durant's Agent Focused On Whether Klay Thompson Would Be Willing To Sacrifice Shots
Klay Thompson hadn't seriously considered the possibility of Kevin Durant joining the Warriors until just days before the start of free agency.

Sam Amick/USA Today