Basketball Wiretap

Erik Spoelstra Has Interest In Running Heat Front Office Someday

Apr 28, 2017 8:49 PM

Erik Spoelstra has interest in running the Miami Heat when Pat Riley retires.

Spoelstra was asked about it during an interview with Adrian Wojnarowski.

"Short answer would be, I'm a Pat Riley disciple, and, like I've said, he's always pushed me and nurtured me for the next steps," Spoelstra said during the interview recorded in Southern California. "So, yes, that I'd love to have that opportunity years down the line from the Arison family, because I believe in them so much as human beings. They're such good people and family oriented."

Spoelstra said he is comfortable in his current role Under Micky Arison and Nick Arison. Spoelstra already has a seat in all organizational meetings with Riley and Andy Elisburg.

"Pat, he's going to go on, hopefully for a while," Spoelstra said. "I think he's younger now than he was when he was coaching. And he's such a visionary. The way things are set up right now, look, I want this to be the set-up that it is right now.

"I feel involved. Every meeting that's important, that deals with the organization and personnel, it's usually just four of us that get in a room, Pat, Nick, Andy and myself. And if it really gets to a level, then Micky will. I couldn't ask for anything more. I don't feel like I need more right now."

Riley signed a five-year extension with the Heat a year ago.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical (via Ira Winderman/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Tags: Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Magic Considering Kevin McHale For President Job

Apr 28, 2017 6:38 PM

The Orlando Magic have serious interest in hiring Kevin McHale for their team president position.

The Magic fired Rob Hennigan on April 13th.

McHale is working for TNT as a color analyst after his departure from the Houston Rockets as head coach last season. McHale served as Minnesota Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations from 1995 to 2008.

Magic owner Rich DeVos and CEO Alex Martins are leading the process.

Adrian Wojnarowski also reported on Friday that Larry Bird could be a candidate for the job.

Sam Amick/USA Today

Tags: Orlando Magic, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

ESPN Lays Off Marc Stein, Henry Abbott, Chad Ford

Apr 28, 2017 5:56 PM

ESPN has laid off Marc Stein, Henry Abbott, Chad Ford and a number of other NBA writers.

Stein had been with ESPN since 2000 and was a central part of their NBA coverage as a reporter, writer and on television.

Abbott founded TrueHoop and was eventually acquired by ESPN. Abbott was responsible for fostering the career of countless NBA writers.

Ford will continue with ESPN through this year's NBA draft in June and then leave the company.

Ethan Sherwood Strauss, Calvin Watkins and Justin Verrier were also laid off as part of the company-wide downsizing. 

ESPN previously had parted ways with prominent NBA reporters such as Ric Bucher, Chris Broussard and Chris Sheridan. 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA

Larry Bird Stepping Down As President Of Pacers

Apr 28, 2017 12:37 PM

Larry Bird will step down as president of the Indiana Pacers with Kevin Pritchard taking over basketball operations.

Bird is expected to continue working for the Pacers as a consultant. Bird was head coach of the Pacers in the late 1990s and returned to the team in 2003 as President of Basketball Operations. Bird left the Pacers in 2012 due to health issues before returning a year later.

The Orlando Magic have also been asking around about Bird as a possible candidate for president.

Pritchard previously ran the Portland Trail Blazers and joined the Pacers in 2011. In 2012, Pritchard was promoted to general manager working under Bird.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Tags: Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Nike, Adidas, Under Armour Decline Deal With Lonzo Ball

Apr 28, 2017 10:55 AM

Nike, Under Armour and Adidas have each passed on an endorsement deal with Lonzo Ball.

The three shoe and apparel companies informed LaVar Ball they were not interested in a deal with his son.

LaVar was representing Lonzo during the process and he insisted that the company license his Big Baller Brand. LaVar also showed the companies a shoe prototype he hoped would become Lonzo's first shoe.

"We've said from the beginning, we aren't looking for an endorsement deal," LaVar told ESPN. "We're looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they're not ready for that because they're not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn't ready for Uber, either."

Ball would not disclose how big the Big Baller Brand has become.

When asked how long he has been working on the design of Lonzo's shoe, Ball said it was "a long time."

Added Ball: "I've been working on that shoe ever since my boys were born."

Darren Rovell/ESPN

Tags: Lonzo Ball, UCLA Bruins, NBA

Blake Griffin Considered More Likely To Leave Clippers Than Chris Paul

Apr 28, 2017 10:45 AM

The return of Blake Griffin to the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency is less certain than Chris Paul's, according to sources.

Griffin will be a free agent for the first time in his career this summer. Griffin signed a super-max extension in July of 2012 a year before he would have become a restricted free agent.

Griffin's personality could lend him to consider the decision privately instead of taking a series of public meetings.

The Clippers can offer Griffin one additional guaranteed season and 7.5 percent raises.

According to Steve Ballmer, the Clippers don't have any interest in blowing up their roster.

"I love those guys, and I want those guys back," Ballmer said.

Kevin Arnovitz/ESPN

Tags: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Chris Paul Could Take Multiple Meetings But Clippers Expect Him To Re-Sign

Apr 28, 2017 10:33 AM

The Los Angeles Clippers expect Chris Paul to re-sign with them on a five-year deal worth more than $200 million.

Paul, however, could still take a number of meetings in a public process before ultimately re-signing with the Clippers.

Paul is president of the union and recently completed work on a new collective bargaining agreement. Among the new provisions is a change to the over-36 rule that will favor him.

When Paul was a free agent in 2013, he re-signed with the Clippers on a five-year, $107 million contract in which he didn't take any meetings with rival teams.

Kevin Arnovitz/ESPN

Tags: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Veteran Teammate: Clippers 'Most Complicated Team' I've Ever Been On

Apr 28, 2017 10:30 AM

When Chris Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in December of 2011, Blake Griffin was only 21 years old and felt somewhat intimidated. Griffin said there was never a "Who's team is this going to be?" issue. Paul said the thought never occurred to him either. 

"They both made a concerted effort this past summer to figure each other out," says a source who requested anonymity to discuss the relationship. "They've matured that way. They know they want the same thing. They're also very different."

According to several teammates, Paul is a demanding teammate and insists they absorb criticism at any moment.

"He just can't be wrong," says a member of the Clippers. "But if I had to go to war, I'm going with Chris every day. I just wish he was wrong more. I wish he would say, 'My fault.'"

Teammates do say that Paul has mellowed as he's aged.

The Clippers, however, are "the most complicated team" one recent veteran said he's ever been on.

Kevin Arnovitz/ESPN

Tags: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Gregg Popovich: Kawhi Leonard Is Best Player In NBA Right Now

Apr 28, 2017 12:38 AM

Kawhi Leonard has led the NBA in PER during the playoffs after finishing second in MVP voting last season and likely to finish in the top-3 this year.

"Kawhi Leonard, in my opinion, is the best player in the league right now," said Gregg Popovich.

Leonard also won Defensive Player of the Year during the past two seasons, though he's unlikely to win this season.

Michael Lee/The Vertical

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, NBA

Jamal Murray Undergoes Core Muscle Surgery

Apr 27, 2017 7:30 PM

Jamal Murray has undergone successful surgery to repair core muscle-related injuries.

The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia.

Murray averaged 9.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists while being the only Nuggets player to appear in all 82 games (10 starts) this season. He was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October and November after kicking off his NBA career by averaging 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists through his first 18 games. Murray also took home the MVP award for the 2017 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge after posting a game-high 36 points (9-14 3FG) and a game-high 11 assists in a 150-141 Team World victory. 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets, NBA, NBA Injury

Clippers Remain Committed To Re-Signing Blake Griffin
Adrian Wojnarowski said "it's hard to imagine a split with (Blake) Griffin."

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

NBA Creates Six New Award Categories Determined By Fan Voting
Dunk of the Year, Best Style, Block of the Year, Assist of the Year, Game Winner of the Year and Top Performance of the Year will be awarded this year.

AJ Neuharth-Keusch/USA Today

Rajon Rondo Remains Doubtful For Game 6
Rajon Rondo suffered a broken thumb in Game 2 and has missed Games 3-5.

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Recruiting From Harden, Ariza Helped Rockets Sign Eric Gordon
James Harden and Trevor Ariza played significant roles in convincing Eric Gordon to sign with the Rockets.

Reid Laymance/Houston Chronicle

Warriors Expect Steve Kerr To Return To Bench
Steve Kerr continues to suffer complications from two back surgeries.

Stephen Curry's Current Under Armour Shoe Not Selling At Expectations
Several retailers have been discounting the Curry 3 shoe.

Darren Rovell/ESPN

Dunc'd On: BOS/CHI & WAS/ATL Game 5s, Plus The Free Agent Point Guards
Wrapping up Wednesday's Game 5s, plus a look at the free agent point guards.

RealGM Staff Report

Thunder Intend To Keep Andre Roberson
While Andre Roberson is a liability on offense, he has developed into a very good defensive player.

Royce Young/ESPN

Les Alexander Fined $100,000 By NBA For Confronting Referee
Les Alexander has fined $100,000 by the NBA for confronting a referee during live game action.

RealGM Staff Report

LeBron James Left McDonald's Endorsement Deal For Upside Of Blaze Ownership
LeBron James owns 17 Blaze franchises and more than 10 percent of the company.

Kurt Badenhausen/Forbes

LeBron James' Body Feels Worse When He Doesn't Play
LeBron James averaged 43.7 minutes per game in the Cavaliers' first round series against the Pacers.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Russell Westbrook Hasn't Thought About Extension But 'Loves' Being With Thunder
Russell Westbrook can sign a five-year extension this offseason with the Thunder worth more than $200 million.

Ryan Aber/Oklahoman

Lonzo Ball Prefers Lakers But Prepared To Play For Anyone
Lonzo Ball grew up studying Magic Johnson and would love to play for him with the Lakers.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

'Nobody Saw The Real John Wall' Due To Left Knee Issues
John Wall began suffering pain in his left knee in 2013 with it escalating in 2014 and becoming unbearable in 2015.

Lee Jenkins/Sports Illustrated

Shabazz Muhammad Hires Rich Paul As Agent
Shabazz Muhammad was previously represented by Rob Pelinka.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Russell Westbrook Has Never Complained About Teammates To Front Office
Russell Westbrook prefers to stay out of most front office affairs.

Royce Young/ESPN

Thunder Complete 2nd Straight 'Season Of Discovery'
Sam Presti called both 15-16 and 16-17 a "season of discovery" for the Thunder.

RealGM Staff Report

Rajon Rondo Ruled Out For Game 5
Rajon Rondo still hopes he could play in Game 6.

Jay King/Boston Herald

NBA Investigating Leslie Alexander For Yelling At Ref During Game 5
Leslie Alexander is typically mild mannered during games.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Doc Rivers Unlikely To Leave Clippers Regardless Of Playoff Result
Doc Rivers is owed more than $22 million over the next two seasons and still has the confidence of Steve Ballmer.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical