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Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Ujiri: Luckily For Raptors Kyle Lowry To Knicks Trade Didn't Happen

The Toronto Raptors somewhat famously nearly traded Kyle Lowry to the New York Knicks last December.

The Knicks were prepared to trade Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. in a package for Lowry, but James Dolan vetoed the deal when Masai Ujiri demanded a first round pick.

"Dolan hired those business consultants [McKinsey & Company] last summer," said the source with knowledge of the Raptors' plans. "They had sold him on this whole thing about, 'You've been exploited by giving away first-round picks.' Could the deal have gotten done? Absolutely."

The Raptors were at a crossroads in early December after trading Rudy Gay and keeping Lowry long-term seemed unlikely.

"They were not going to re-sign Kyle," the source said.

The Raptors were 7-11 through Dec. 8 and then went on to post a 9-3 record from Dec. 10 to Jan. 3.

"We were looking at where our team was, and he's a player that affects a team in many ways," Ujiri said. "With a little bit of luck, we started winning, and that kind of helped our decision-making at the time. Luckily for us, [the trade] did not happen and we moved on."

Lowry received strong interest in free agency from the Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, but ultimately decided to remain with Toronto.

"[Lowry] analyzed [free agency] very analytically and introspectively, rather than, 'Oh, I can get the money,'" the source said.

On the evening of July 2, Lowry agreed to a new four-year, $48 million contract extension. 

"[The Raptors] weren't always the favorite, but Masai wanted to get the deal done, and it made it a lot easier," Lowry said in Las Vegas recently after a workout. "[Miller and I] approached it as a business and so did [the Raptors]. At the end of the day, I didn't wait for [the other teams]. I wanted to make my decision for myself."

 

Via Jared Zwerling/Bleacher Report

Derrick Rose Acknowledges Rift Between His Camp, Bulls; Jerry Reinsdorf Refutes Report

Jerry Reinsdorf issued a statement on Thursday to address a Sun-Times story about issues in the Chicago Bulls' relationship with Derrick Rose's camp.

“I am confounded by the irresponsible report in the Chicago Sun-Times suggesting there is anything approaching discord or confusion between the Bulls executive office, coaching staff, and Derrick Rose or any other Bulls player,” Reinsdorf said. “To the contrary, I can remember no time when the organization has been any more focused, optimistic, and cohesive. I’ve got to assume suggestions otherwise are intended to undermine the goals and objectives, spirit, and reputation of the Chicago Bulls. I am deeply disappointed that unnamed sources and totally inaccurate statements and assumptions can be used to foment nonexistent friction. The report is totally without basis or fact. It is pure malicious fiction.”

In the Sun-Times story, Rose acknowledged a growing rift between his camp and the Bulls' organization. The report also cited sources about the Bulls' displeasure with Rose's lack of participation in the recruitment of Carmelo Anthony, as well as Rose's camp possibly leaking an ESPN story on his involvement.

“I know it’s been there,’’ Rose said of tension between the Bulls and his camp, according to the report. “I heard there were some upset people.

“I’m happy I didn’t personally see it. I don’t want to see that. I kind of wonder where it was coming from because it seemed like whenever I was around, everything was all right. It bothered me because when I wasn’t around, I would hear from certain people that everything wasn’t all right.’’

Multiple sources told the Sun-Times that tension was mounting because Rose allowed his camp to take shots at the franchise

Rose also praised the Bulls' addition of Pau Gasol.

“[Gasol is] someone that I knew I could play with,’’ Rose said. “You think about Pau, him now being in the East, what he’ll be able to achieve with the way we play, the way we dump the ball in the post a lot. It could be great.’’

Rose's agent, B.J. Armstrong, also commented about the apparent tension.

“No one does interviews," Armstrong said. "No one talks. Derrick speaks to you [media] guys, and that’s it. There’s nothing to discuss. If there is something going on, there’s two people: You can get it from [chairman] Jerry Reinsdorf or you can get it from Derrick Rose. There’s nothing else to talk about.’

“You’re talking about rumors. I see Jerry 50 times a year. If I ask Jerry Reinsdorf right now how the relationship is, that’s all I care about.’’

Via Joe Cowley/Chicago Sun-Times

Bosh: Leaving Heat For Rockets Was Close

Chris Bosh was close to leaving the Miami Heat for the Houston Rockets before ultimately deciding to re-sign on a five-year, $118 million contract.

"It was close. I'm not going to lie," Bosh said on "The Zaslow and Joy Show" on FM 104.3 The Ticket in Miami. "It was close. It was a weird situation because we were waiting so long and I didn't know what was going on.

"I think you're always in a situation where it is close even if you don't leave because teams got very aggressive on me," Bosh said. "And I guess as soon as LeBron (James) made up his mind, that's when everything could fall in line. But I was just waiting, so I didn't know what was going on."
Via ESPN

RealGM Radio: Ian Levy On Offseason Moves, Looking Toward Regular Season

In this episode, host Daniel Leroux (@DannyLeroux) talks to Ian Levy (@HickoryHigh) about his new site Nylon Calculus (nyloncalculus.com), the offseason so far and what he is looking forward to for the 2014-15 season.

Leroux and Levy hit on various topics related to analytics as well as what the Cavs could look like with LeBron James and the balance of power in both conferences.

Click here to listen or download.

You can also click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Metta World Peace To Sign One-Year, $1.43M Deal With Sichuan In China

Metta World Peace will sign a $1.43 million contract on Thursday night with Sichuan of the Chinese Basketball Association, making him the league’s highest paid import player this season, sources told RealGM.

World Peace’s deal will be for one season, and he’ll search for a contract in the NBA once the Chinese season ends, sources said.

World Peace, 34, will be the most decorated NBA talent in China next season – a one-time champion, All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year in 15 mostly productive seasons. He had received a level of NBA interest before the overseas deal.

World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, had immense individual and team success in stops with the Indiana Pacers (2002-06) and Los Angeles Lakers (2009-13). He played in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004, and the 6-foot-7 forward won an NBA title with the Lakers in 2010 when he filled the void of Trevor Ariza and made impact shots and defensive stands alongside Kobe Bryant.

After being released by the Lakers under the amnesty provision last summer, World Peace signed with the New York Knicks and averaged 4.8 points in 29 games in one year with his home team. World Peace went to high school in New York and played two collegiate seasons at St. John’s University.

World Peace averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists over his NBA career with six different teams. He was the 19th overall draft selection of the Chicago Bulls in 1999.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Official Game Balls Will Have Twitter Handle '@NBA'

The NBA has added its Twitter handle, @NBA, to the official game balls.

The NBA will implement the change next season.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Wizards Waive Melvin Ely

The Washington Wizards have waived Melvin Ely.

Ely was acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason to help facilitate the Trevor Ariza to the Houston Rockets deal.

Ely spent most of the 13-14 season in the D-League before signing with the Pelicans in April to finish the campaign on a non-guaranteed contract.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Warriors Waive Hilton Armstrong

The Golden State Warriors have waived Hilton Armstrong.

Armstrong was previously waived by the Warriors in December and later re-signed following a stint in the D-League.

Armstrong signed two 10-day contracts with the Warriors and then was signed for the remainder of the season.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Chris Bosh Officially Signs Five-Year, $118.7M Contract

Chris Bosh officially signed his new five-year contract with the Miami Heat several weeks after it was formally agreed upon.

Bosh's contract is worth $118.7 million over five seasons.

Bosh decided to remain with the Heat amid a four-year max contract offer from the Houston Rockets.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Will Barton's 14-15 Contract With Blazers Becomes Guaranteed

Will Barton's contract for 14-15 became fully guaranteed on Thursday, which puts the Portland Trail Blazers' roster at 15.

Barton, whom Neil Olshey selected with a second-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, will make roughy $915,000 next season.

"Will has improved as much as anyone on our roster as a player and a professional," Olshey told The Oregonian in an email. "Having the third year of his contract guaranteed is a validation of his efforts and his value to our organization."

Via Joe Freeman/Oregonian

Under Armour Preparing Offer To Durant With His Nike Deal Expiring

Under Armour is based in Kevin Durant's home state of Maryland.

Wolves Narrow Kevin Love Trade Talks Down To Cavaliers

The Wolves are currently engaged in serious Kevin Love talks with only the Cavaliers.

Jamal Jones To Sign In D-League After Junior Season At Texas A&M

Jamal Jones will sign in the NBA Development League in hopes of boosting his stock for the 2015 NBA Draft, a source told RealGM.

Riley: LeBron Gave No Response To Texts, Emails In Free Agency

Pat Riley said he did not hear from LeBron James during the free agent process.

Will Cherry To Sign Two-Year Deal With Raptors

Will Cherry is expected to sign the partially guaranteed deal with the Raptors in the coming days.

Byron Mullens Signs With Shanxi Zhongyu

Byron Mullens has signed a contract with Shanxi Zhongyu in China.

Todd Mayo Leaving Marquette To Pursue Pro Career

Todd Mayo told RealGM that he plans to sign in the D-League and place his name in next Juneís NBA Draft.

World Peace Close To Deal In China

Metta World Peace is nearing agreement to sign with the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Michael Beasley Works Out For Lakers

Michael Beasley worked out for the Lakers in El Segundo on Wednesday.

Shawn Marion Taking Patient Approach In Free Agency

Shawn Marion and the Mavericks have admitted his return is unlikely.

Nets Hire Paul Westphal, John Welch, Tony Brown, Joe Wolf, Jay Humphries On Coaching Staff

The Nets have named Paul Westphal, John Welch, Tony Brown, Joe Wolf and Jay Humphries as assistant coaches.

Bulls Not Aggressively Pursuing Kevin Love Deal, Have Made No Formal Offers

Sources continue to indicate that the Bulls are not aggressively pursuing a trade for Kevin Love and have made no formal offers.

Report: Anthony Bennett Pulled By Agent From Pro-Am Game

Anthony Bennett was recently pulled by his agent from a pro-am pickup game, according to a report.

Stephen Holt Signs With German Team

Stephen Holt has signed a professional contract with a team in Germany.

76ers To Fight Proposed Changes To Draft Lottery System

The NBA is attempting to balance out the odds of the draft lottery to discourage tanking.

Durant Will Do What's Best For Him As 2016 Free Agent

Kevin Durant spoke extensively on Tuesday about his 2016 free agency for the first time.

LeBron, Cavs To Play At Miami On Christmas Day

An unofficial internal schedule of select games has Cleveland playing the Heat in Miami on Christmas on ABC.

Kings Sign Eric Moreland To Three-Year Deal

Eric Moreland went undrafted out of Oregon State in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Ivan Johnson Signs Two-Year Deal With Mavericks

Ivan Johnsonís contract with the Mavericks will be for two seasons, with partial guarantees, league sources told RealGM.

Terrence Williams To Work Out For Kings

Terrence Williams last played in the NBA in 2013 with the Celtics.
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