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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Nash Assumes Dirk Will Re-Sign With Mavs

The Mavericks will ultimately re-sign All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki, according to former Dallas point guard Steve Nash, who also happens to be a good friend of Nowitzki.

"I always assume that he's going to re-sign in Dallas," Nash said when asked over the weekend whether he thought Nowitzki might consider opting out of his contract and signing with Phoenix.

"I haven't thought about it but obviously I had a great time playing with him."

Via Arizona Republic

LeBron Could Be $2.7B Boom For Chicago

If LeBron James signs with the Bulls and plays in Chicago for six years, an estimate indicates that the two-time MVP could bring $2.7 billion to the city.

University of Illinois at Chicago economist John Skorburg says that in order to have that profound of an effect, James would have to win a few titles with the Bulls.

"Chicago has to convince LeBron that he can win championships there," says Paul Swangard, managing director of the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. "To maximize his off-court earning potential, it's all about getting rings."

Hosting 10 playoff games a year would generate nearly $5 million at the United Center on tickets, concessions, parking and other spending, Mr. Skorburg estimates.

Via Chicago Business

Howard Undecided About Playing For Team USA

Magic center Dwight Howard hasn't decided whether he'll play for Team USA at this summer's World Championships in Turkey.

"I haven't decided what I'm going to do," Howard said Monday. "I'm just going to get some rest and think about that later on."

It's the first time that Howard has wavered in his committment to Team USA.

Howard said he would let USA Basketball know of his intentions "soon."


Carlesimo To Join Toronto's Coaching Staff

P.J. Carlesimo has an agreement in principle to become an assistant coach for the Raptors, sources told ESPN's Ric Bucher.

Carlesimo last coached in the NBA as the head man in Oklahoma City. He was replaced by Scott Brooks midway through the 2008-09 season.

An official announcement is expected later this week.


Magic Expect To Have Quiet Summer

Magic general manager Otis Smith doesn't plan on overhauling the team's roster this summer.

"We're not a team that's that far away, so I can't sit here and say, 'Yeah, we're going to make all these drastic changes because we're miles away,' " Smith said Monday. "We're not miles away. We're not at the bottom third of our league. We're at the top of our league.

"And with that said, we have to do things diligently and with the understanding of the aspect that we're putting the team-slash-puzzle together and that everything is going to have to fit."

Orlando made it to the NBA Finals last year, but still opted not to retain Hedo Turkoglu, while acquiring Vince Carter. They were eliminated by Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday.

"The season was great," center Dwight Howard said. "We just didn't finish what we started."

Smith made similar comments last spring, claiming he wouldn't shake up the team's roster before he pulled the strings that ultimately landed Turkoglu in Toronto and Carter in Orlando.


Amar'e Expects To Join Free-Agent Summit

Suns forward Amar'e Stoudemire expects to be a part of the upcoming NBA free-agent superstar summit.

Stoudemire, who will likely opt out of the final year of his contract, told FanHouse that he expects to join in talks with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson before free agency begins on July 1.

"I'm friends with LeBron, Dwyane, Chris [Bosh] -- all those guys are friends of mine," Stoudemire said. "So I'm pretty sure they'll call me and we'll talk about a few things."

Wade told the Chicago Tribune last week that he planned to talk with James and Johnson before making a decision on where he would sign this summer.

ESPN reported that Bosh will also be included in the meeting.


Rondo, Wallace Limited At Practice

Rajon Rondo and Rasheed Wallace were limited during Boston's practice on Monday.

Rondo dealt with muscle spasms during the Eastern Conference Finals against Orlando, while Wallace had back issues in the final two games of the series.

"Rondo felt pretty good, he went 75-80 percent of practice," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "Rasheed is not right yet, he did the skeleton offense stuff, but other than that, we didn't allow any contact. So if we have a concern right now with anybody, [Wallace] would be the only one."


Knicks Attempting To Determine Wesley's Actual Influence

The Knicks are attempting to determine how much actual influence William Wesley holds over LeBron James.

Depending on who is talking, Wesley is either on the periphery or hold great power.

?Wes is the best insider in knowing people. Wes has an affinity for people and they just like him,? longtime Adidas sneaker king Sonny Vaccaro said. ?He can do anything, but what he has to do with this decision is unclear because of LeBron?s Akron friends.?

Via New York Post

Barnes Will Opt Out Of Contract

Matt Barnes will not exercise his player option for the 2010-11 season, but he added that he hopes to return to the Orlando Magic.

?As for me and my contract situation, I?m going to opt out,? Barnes told reporters gathered at RDV Sportsplex this morning.

?Always worrying about the team and stuff like that is something you have to do during the season, and I?m 100 percent with that. But now it?s about me and my family and what?s best for us. I?ve expressed throughout the season that I?ve loved my time here and would love to return. But I think I know more than anybody that this is a business. The organization has to do what?s best for the team. Hopefully, I impressed them enough to bring me back and give me something decent, but we?ll have to wait and see about that.?

Barnes was slated to make $1.6 million for the 10-11 season.

Via Orlando Sentinel

Diot Withdraws From Draft

Antoine Diot won't be a member of the 2010 NBA Draft class. The French player is injured and has withdrawn his name from the lottery, according to his agent Bouna N?Diaye.

Diot spent the season with Le Mans, in Pro A and will be sidelined for the next two months for a herniated vertebral disk.

Via Sportando.net

Hornets Begin Contract Talks With Thibodeau

Tom Thibodeau is in serious talks with the Hornets, but remains in play for the Nets and Bulls.

Dumars To Warn Draftees About Playing Time

Joe Dumars is going to warn potential picks that they might sit for a while in Detroit.

Wesley May Be Pushing Bulls To Hire Brian Shaw

William Wesley is believed to be pushing the Bulls to hire Brian Shaw.

Odom Wary Of Kardashian Attending Boston Games

Lamar Odom isn't sure he wants his wife sitting among the fans in Boston.

Ainge Wants Rivers To Stay With Celtics

Doc Rivers hasn't committed to the Celtics over the long-term.

Stoudemire Encouraged By Suns' Success

Amar'e Stoudemire would like to be successful with the Suns in the future, but he also has a maximum contract on his mind.

Kobe Looking Forward To Challenge Of Facing Celtics

Kobe Bryant called the 2008 Finals a "learning experience."

Bulls May Have To Defend Themselves To Free Agents

Dwyane Wade's accusations of disloyalty might carry weight among players.

Agent 'Wouldn't Be Surprised' If Hayward Went In Top 10

Gordon Hayward has workouts scheduled with five teams picking in the top 10.

Pierce Thinks Boston's Bench Is Overlooked

The Celtics have gotten a lift from their bench this spring.

Cleveland Will Try To Move West

Acquiring Delonte West could save a team roughly $5 million depending on the trade.

Memphis Still Planning To Extend Randolph

The Grizzlies still plan to negotiate a contract extension with Zach Randolph.

Cavaliers May Buy A Draft Pick

The Cavaliers don't currently have a pick in this year's NBA Draft.

Telfair Picks Up $2.7M Option With Cavs

Sebastian Telfair appeared in just four games for Cleveland this season.

Ferry Remains In Charge Despite Contract Status

Danny Ferry's contract will expire at the end of June, but he's heading Cleveland's coaching search.

Raptors Silent On Turkoglu's Trade Request

The Raptors have decided to handle the Hedo Turkoglu situation internally.

Grizzlies Aren't Dealing For Ellis

Monta Ellis recently purchased a home in the Memphis area.

Amar'e Still '50-50' On Return To Phoenix

Amar'e Stoudemire still isn't sure what his future holds.

Nash Again Says He Hopes Suns Stick Together

Steve Nash hopes the Suns remain together.

Bryant Says Finals Opponent Doesn't Matter

Kobe Bryant claims the Celtics aren't a special opponent.
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