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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Bo McCalebb Close To Deal With European Team

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

In an accomplished professional career overseas, McCalebb transformed himself into a star and an NBA-caliber player.

Several NBA teams maintained conversations with McCalebb throughout the offseason, and the 29-year-old had been more inclined than ever to enter the league, but none progressed to deliver a contract.

McCalebb averaged 11 points, three assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 56.9 percent from the field for Fenerbahçe Ülker last season – his second year with the Turkish club. He became a free agent shortly before the start of the NBA's July free agency.

Partizan in Serbia has been widely speculated internationally as a possibility for McCalebb, but the club is out of the mix as the 6-foot product finalizes his decision, sources said.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

LeBron's Major Rise In Leadership Evident To Teammates

Before the Cleveland Cavaliers' first practice of the preseason, LeBron James held a players only meeting for 30 minutes in which he discussed every player from fellow All-Stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving to training camp invitations who may not make the team.

David Blatt was anxious to start practice, but he gave James his blessing to hold the meeting beforehand.

"I was looking like, 'Wow.' That's crazy that he broke down every individual thing he wants guys to do," Dion Waiters said. "He wrote down every player from the guy in training camp who may be here or may not be here. …It was unbelievable. It was great."

Said Anderson Varejao: "He used to talk individually to the players before, but not like that."

The Cavaliers have noticed a major rise in leadership from James.

"I recruited [before] I left here," James said. "I just didn't win nothing so nobody wanted to come with me. I recruited. I recruited Michael Redd. I recruited Joe Johnson. I recruited Chris Bosh. I recruited a lot of guys. I just didn't win. They didn't want to come to Cleveland."

Via Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports

Kidd Denies Seeking More Power From Nets

Jason Kidd was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Milwaukee Bucks in the offseason after a reported failed power move.

Kidd returns to New York to face the Knicks on Monday, and he denied seeking additional power. Kidd was traded for two second-round picks.

"No, I don't need any power," Kidd said. "My [job] is to learn how to be a coach and be the best coach that I can be."

"Did I want to be traded? I think once [the Nets] OK'd the talk to Milwaukee, that just showed, whatever you want to call it, rumors or no rumors that they wanted to fire me in December had to have some legs."

Meanwhile, Paul Pierce told NBA.com that the Nets did not offer him a contract in free agency because the team "wanted to cut costs, they felt like they weren't going to be a contender."

"I believe it," Kidd said when asked about Pierce's comments about not being offered a contract. "I mean, if they don't offer [Pierce] a contract worth what a first-round pick is, then why did we do the deal [last year for Pierce and Garnett]?"

Via Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Jeremy Tyler To Sign In China After Being Waived By Lakers

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

Tyler spent last season with the New York Knicks and in the D-League.

Tyler was traded to the Sacramento Kings in the offseason and subsequently waived.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

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

The continued absence of Andrea Bargnani with a strained hamstring will allow the New York Knicks further opportunities to evaluate other options at power forward.

“He hasn’t been able to practice the last few days so it wouldn’t be smart to jeopardize him by putting him into game action tomorrow,” Derek Fisher said of Bargnani after the Knicks practiced for the fourth straight day Sunday in Greenburgh. “We’ve mixed the groups up a lot and we have some different guys in the frontcourt at times, different guys in the backcourt, so we’ll kind of reassess who has been effective this week and try to put a good lineup together.”

Quincy Acy has started the past three contests, but Fisher indicated Saturday that Jason Smith also is pushing for a starting spot.

“Anytime you have a big guy who can shoot mid-range, or really help and space the defense out, it’s gonna be great, especially with this offense. It’s just gonna help our team that much more,” said Smith, a free-agent signee who played the past four seasons for New Orleans. “It doesn’t matter who's starting out there, if it’s Q or if it’s Andrea or if it’s Amar’e (Stoudemire) or if it’s me, all of us are capable of going out there and playing good minutes.

“And then on the back end of that, coming off the bench, we’re still capable of putting in good minutes. We just want to make sure we go out there and play hard and play within the offense and play smart.”

Via Peter Botte/New York Daily News

Thunder Seeing Improved Offense In Steven Adams

Steven Adams returned to the Oklahoma City Thunder this season as a much improved offensive player.

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

“I think he’s just settling down,” Kevin Durant said. “Getting more comfortable.”

“I thought he made a leap last year in the playoffs,” Russell Westbrook said. “I think that’s when the leap started. If you kind of watch the games and see the different things he was doing in the playoffs, you could tell it was going to lead into the summertime and now into the preseason and now to the regular season.”

Via Anthony Slater/The Oklahoman

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

Carmelo Anthony finished second among the NBA's scoring leaders last season to Kevin Durant, but he does not foresee another title under Phil Jackson's and Derek Fisher's triangle system.

“I don’t think, especially in this system now, I don’t think I’ll be scoring champion,” Anthony said. “Especially with this system and the way we’re playing. The way that it’s going to be, well balanced, the style of play we’re going to have, I don’t think I’ll have to lead the league in scoring this year.

“I think shots will be fewer. I think it will be more effective shots. If that means taking fewer shots then that’s what will happen. But I don’t really know. We’ve been playing the preseason. It’s still early. It’s not until you really get into the flow of the game (that) you start knowing the minutes you’re going to play. (You don’t know) until you know who you’re going to be out there with most of the time, until you find that rhythm.”

Michael Jordan won seven scoring titles under Jackson, while Kobe Bryant led the league in scoring twice and Shaquille O’Neal once.

Anthony has averaged 25.3 points over his career, including a career-best 28.9 points per game with Denver in 2006-07.

Via Frank Isola/New York Daily News

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

The Minnesota Timberwolves exercised the third-year options on forward Anthony Bennett, center Gorgui Dieng and forward Shabazz Muhammad on Sunday.

Bennett, obtained in a trade from Cleveland on Aug. 23, saw action in 52 games for the Cavaliers in 2013-14, averaging 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game.

Dieng saw action in 60 games last season, including 33 of the final 35; he averaged 4.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game
 
Muhammad finished his rookie NBA season by appearing in 37 games for the Wolves, all off the bench, and averaged 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 7.8 minutes per game
Via RealGM Staff Report

Ben McLemore's 15-16 Option Exercised By Kings

The Sacramento Kings have picked up the 2015-16 option on guard Ben McLemore’s contract.

Entering his second NBA campaign, the 6-5 guard averaged 8.8 points (.376 FG%, .320 3pt%, .804 FT%), 2.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 26.7 minutes per contest as a rookie last season.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Kings Release Sim Bhullar, Deonte Burton, David Wear

The Sacramento Kings waived center Sim Bhullar, guard Deonte Burton and forward David Wear on Sunday.

The Kings preseason roster now stands at 15.

Via RealGM Staff Report

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.

Cavs Monitoring Dion Waiters' Shot Selection, Adjustment To Balanced Roster

Dion Waiters has shot a total of 54 times in this preseason, the most of any Cavalier player in five games.

Bulls Waive Kim English, Ben Hansbrough, Solomon Jones

Chicago’s roster now stands at 14.

Byron Scott Doesn't Believe High Rate Of Three-Point Shots Lead To Championship

Seven of the last eight NBA champions led all playoff teams in 3-point attempts and makes.

Suns Consider Keeping Earl Barron For Season

Earl Barron is still a candidate to stay with the Suns into the regular season.

Larry Sanders Expected To Return For Start Of Season After Minor Surgery

Larry Sanders will miss the remaining three preseason games.

Pelicans Waive Dionte Christmas

Dionte Christmas appeared in 31 games last season with the Suns.

RealGM Radio: Arturo Galletti On NBA Season Over-Unders

In this two-part episode, host Daniel Leroux and Arturo Galletti of BoxScoreGeeks go through the over-unders for all 30 NBA teams for the 14-15 season.

Celtics Trade Joel Anthony To Pistons For Will Bynum

The Celtics appear to be making the move with roster flexibility in mind.

Mavericks Trying To Trade Gal Mekel, Bernard James

The Mavericks would prefer to keep one or two of their 15 roster spots open entering this upcoming season.

Bulls Undecided Between Dunleavy, McDermott For Starting SF

Mike Dunleavy Jr. has filled a reserve and starting role in his two seasons with the Bulls.

Amar'e Helping Body Rejuvenate With Red Wine Baths

Amar'e Stoudemire has been taking baths in red wine at a spa to help his body rejuvenate.

Dario Saric Unlikely To Sign With 76ers Before 2016 Despite Unhappiness With Turkish Club

There is not a buyout in Dario Saric's two-year contract with Efes.

Brook Lopez Out 10-14 Days With Foot Sprain

Brook Lopez sustained a mild right midfoot sprain, but x-rays are negative.

Bucks Exercise 15-16 Options On Antetokounmpo, Henson

Giannis Antetokounmpo appeared in 77 games last year during his rookie season and averaged 6.8 points with 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 24.6 minutes per contest.
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