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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

LeBron, Gilbert Agree Relationship Is 'Really Good'

LeBron James and Dan Gilbert are ready to begin their first season back together again and are on good terms as the Cleveland Cavaliers look to win their first NBA championship.

"I think it's really good," James said when asked about his rapport with the Cavs' owner. "We had one bad moment, and it just overshadowed all the great times we had together, and now we're back together.

"We both have something in common: That's to bring a championship back to this city, and that's what it comes down to. That's what our thrive is, that's what our drive is, and we have an opportunity and we have an obligation to represent this team and this franchise the right way."

Gilbert described their relationship as "very good, very solid." 

Gilbert and James are even joking with each other.

"I just saw LeBron," Gilbert said during a news conference Wednesday, addressing the media for the first time since February. "He looked at me and said, 'Looks like you grew an inch.' I said I could use it."

 

Via Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Thunder Unlikely To Sign Reggie Jackson To Extension

The Oklahoma City Thunder are unlikely to agree upon an extension with Reggie Jackson, which will allow him to become a restricted free agent in 2015.

The Thunder will have the right to match any offer Jackson receives from another club.

Oklahoma City agreed upon extensions with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha, but were unable to with Jeff Green and James Harden. Green was traded at that season's deadline, while Harden was dealt before the extension deadline.

Via Darnell Mayberry/Oklahoman

Malcolm Turner Hired As D-League President

Malcolm Turner has been hired as president of the NBA Development League, according to sources.

Turner was previously with the Wasserman Media Group.

Previous president Dan Reed left his position in July for a job with Facebook.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Knicks, Nets, Mavs, Hornets Could Conceivably Be Interested In Kobe

The New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks and possibly Charlotte Hornets are all teams that could be interested in Kobe Bryant, according to ESPN's Chad Ford.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost Julius Randle for the entire season on opening night and are expected to struggle to make the playoffs. The Lakers also get to keep their 2015 first round pick if it is in the top-5.

The Knicks are an especially interesting possibility due to his connection to Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher and Carmelo Anthony.

The Knicks could include young players like Iman Shumpert and/or Tim Hardaway Jr., along with a 2015 first rounder and they also have the expiring contracts of Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani.

"I don't think Mitch has much choice but to find ways to lose," one GM told ESPN. "They're going to be bad anyway. You don't want to be just good enough that you lose the pick and still miss the playoffs. I don't think they have the assets to get good enough to make the playoffs and I don't think they have the [expletive] to trade Kobe. It's paradoxical, but right now losing seems like the only way to really get better."

Bryant's contract expires after the 15-16 NBA season.

Via Chad Ford/ESPN

Horents Exercise Rookie Options On Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller

The Charlotte Hornets have exercised their fourth-year option on forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and its third-year option on forward Cody Zeller.

“We are excited to keep both of these young talents as part of our core for another season,” Rich Cho said in a statement.  “We have been very pleased with their improvement and look forward to seeing them continue to grow alongside the great group of guys we have in our locker room.” 

The second overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Kidd-Gilchrist has played in 140 career games over two seasons in Charlotte, averaging 8.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in 25.2 minutes.

The fourth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Zeller played in all 82 games of his rookie season, averaging 6.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 17.3 minutes, earning Second Team All-Rookie honors.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Mavs Release Gal Mekel To Create Roster Spot For Barea

The Dallas Mavericks have released Gal Mekel.

The move will create a roster spot for the Mavericks to sign J.J. Barea.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Silver Prefers Relocation Over Expansion, '30 Teams Feels Right'

The NBA was close to returning to Seattle in 2013, but the Sacramento Kings ultimately did not relocate.

With franchise valuations at an all-time, expansion would give other NBA owners an instant influx of cash.

"I think it is possible some teams can be in different markets, but expansion is not on our agenda right now," said Silver when asked if there will be more than 30 NBA teams in United States by 2024. 

"Thirty teams feels right, part of it is not just a financial issue, but a competitive issue."

Via Howard Beck/Bleacher Report

Jimmy Butler, Bulls Unlikely To Agree Upon Extension

Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls are unlikely to agree to a contract extension before Friday's deadline, according to sources.

Butler is currently out two to four weeks with a thumb sprain.

Butler would become a restricted free agent in 2015.

Via Chris Broussard/ESPN

Enes Kanter, Jazz Break Off Extension Talks

Enes Kanter and the Utah Jazz have broken off talks on a contract extension.

Kanter will become a restricted free agent in the 2015 offseason.

“We have mutually agreed with Utah to concentrate on the season and look at our options again in the summer,” agent Max Ergul said in a telephone interview. “Enes likes Utah and the organization very much, and now he can concentrate on continuing to grow as a player and helping them win.”

The Jazz are still engaged in discussions with shooting guard Alec Burks, who is also eligible for a rookie extension before Friday night’s deadline.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Jimmy Butler Out 2-4 Weeks With Thumb Sprain

Jimmy Butler will miss two to four weeks with a thumb sprain.

It was unclear on Wednesday morning if Butler would play in the Chicago Bulls' opener against the New York Knicks until Tom Thibodeau made the announcement.

Via K.C. Johnson/Chicago Tribune

Jordan Admired How Stephenson 'Takes On Challenges'

Michael Jordan believes Lance Stephenson could be the missing piece for the Hornets to take the next step as a championship contender.

Kobe Calls Dwight 'Soft' During Scuffle, 'Teddy Bear' After

A Lakers source said Kobe Bryant repeatedly called Dwight Howard "soft" during their altercation.

Julius Randle Suffers Broken Right Tibia

Julius Randle is out for the season after breaking his right tibia in his first NBA game.

Kemba Walker Agrees To Four-Year, $48M Extension With Hornets

Kemba Walker has agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract extension with the Hornets, according to sources.

Dwight Left Lakers 'For Myself', Not For Fear Of Kobe

Ahead ofthe Rockets' opening night game at the Lakers, Dwight Howard said his free agency decision in 2013 had nothing to do with Kobe Bryant.

Bucks Guarantee Contract Of Kendall Marshall For 14-15 Season

The Bucks could have waited until January to make a decision on Kendall Marshall.

Knicks Exercise Third-Year Option On Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim Hardaway Jr. averaged 10.2 points over 23.2 minutes in 81 games (one start) last season for the Knicks and was named to the 2013-14 NBA All-Rookie first team.

Bucks Waive Micheal Eric

Michael Eric appeared in four games this preseason for the Bucks and averaged 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per game.

Kings Receive Trade Interest In Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson is signed through the 16-17 season.

Ranadivé Pitched 4-On-5 Defense To Have 5th Player Cherry-Pick

The Kings won't try that idea, but their D-League affiliate might experiment with the concept.

At Least Two Western Conference Teams Pushed For Top-16 Playoff System

The idea does not appear to have much traction at this point.

Blazers Exercise 15-16 Options On Leonard, McCollum

The Blazers have exercised team options on the contracts of center Meyers Leonard and guard CJ McCollum.

Warriors' Co-Owner Apologizes For Using 'Hoodish' Instead Of 'Yiddish' In Email

Peter Guber's email came after the NBA announced in a news release earlier Monday that the league's 30 teams will have a record 101 international players.

Terrence Williams Works Out For Kings Again For Potential Signing

Terrence Williams worked out for the Kings on Monday for the second time since July, with an opportunity to sign, league sources told RealGM.

Bulls Exercise Third-Year Option On Tony Snell

The Bulls have exercised the third-year option for the 2015-16 season for Tony Snell.

Suns Exercise Third-Year Options On Alex Len, Archie Goodwin

The Suns have exercised their third-year options on Alex Len and Archie Goodwin, according to league sources.

Knicks Trade Outlaw, 2nd Rounder To 76ers To Clear Roster Space

The Knicks will also send a future second round pick to the 76ers.

Tristan Thompson, Cavs Stall On Extension Discussions

Tristan Thompson is represented by Klutch Sports and LeBron James' agent and business partner Rich Paul.

Knicks Expected To Pursue Marc Gasol In Free Agency

Phil Jackson believes Marc Gasol is the "quintessential center to play in the triangle offense."

Ainge: Everybody Wants To Build Around Three Max Players

Danny Ainge and the Celtics were interested in Kevin Love this offseason and hope to eventually attract a franchise-caliber player.
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