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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Nikola Vucevic, Magic Agree Upon Four-Year, $54M Extension

The Orlando Magic and Nikola Vucevic have agreed upon a four-year, $54 million contract extension.

RealGM's Shams Charania reports that Vucevic's deal is fully guaranteed with no option seasons.

Vucevic was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers and came to the Orlando Magic in the Dwight Howard trade.

Via Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports

Wizards May Sign John Lucas III

The Washington Wizards are on the verge of signing John Lucas III, according to sources.

Lucas would give the Wizards veteran depth in the backcourt after losing Bradley Beal to a wrist injury that will keep him out at least six weeks.

Lucas was traded twice this offseason, first going from the Utah Jazz to the Cleveland Cavaliers and then to the Boston Celtics. Lucas was waived by the Celtics shortly after the trade.

Via Marc Stein/ESPN

Wolves Waive Kyrylo Fesenko

The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived Kyrylo Fesenko.

The Wolves roster now stands at 17 players.

Fesenko, 27, appeared in one preseason game for the Wolves, tallying one rebound and one steal in three minutes of play. The 7-1 center saw action in five games (three starts) for the Wolves entry in 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game. Fesenko, originally drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round (38th overall pick) of the 2007 NBA Draft, has averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game over his five-year NBA career.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Chris Bosh Admits Money Was Factor In Choosing Heat Over Rockets

Chris Bosh was close to signing a four-year, $88 million deal with the Houston Rockets, but ultimately decided to remain with the Miami Heat on a five-year, $118 million contract.

Bosh would have returned to his home state of Texas to form a Big 3 with Dwight Howard and James Harden.

"I still had to finish conversations with the Heat," Bosh said of those hectic hours on July 11, when he handled his negotiations by phone from Africa, where he was on a vacation and promotional tour. "Everybody was aware, all parties were aware. It was always continuing conversations. I never made any commitments. I never wanted to put anybody in the position to make them feel like I said something and I reneged on the whole thing. So I just kept it open.

"LeBron (James) made his choice and then that kind of cleared things up, as far as negotiations are concerned."

Bosh had spoken with management and players on the Rockets.

"I talked to everybody," he said. "I like to get a feel for everybody, feel them out, see what they're thinking and just hear it from them."

Bosh admits that money was a factor in his decision to stay with the Heat.

"It's always business," he said. "Nothing is ever personal. I think 100 percent of those dudes would have taken the deal I took.

"It's not always about money," Bosh said. "But you do want your full market value. If you work your butt off to get to a certain point, you want to be rewarded for that."

Via Ira Winderman/Sun Sentinel

Heat Sign Larry Drew II

The Miami Heat have signed guard Larry Drew II.

Drew appeared in 11 games (two starts) with the Heat during the 2014 Orlando and Vegas Summer Leagues and averaged 4.4 points, 3.6 assists, 1.55 steals and 1.5 rebounds while shooting 43.9 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and 77.8 percent from the foul line. 

He spent the 2013-14 season with Miami’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, helping them to a postseason berth after appearing in 41 regular season games (36 starts) and averaging 11.4 points, 7.0 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.66 steals and 35.5 minutes while shooting 47.4 percent from the field, 41.1 percent from three-point range and 70.9 percent from the foul line.

Via RealGM Staff Report

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

Rockets To Rely On D-League Growth For Clint Capela, Nick Johnson

The Houston Rockets plan to utilize the NBA Development League heavily this season for their two draft picks, Clint Capela and Nick Johnson.

“The Vipers have been great for us,” Kevin McHale said. “We sent guys down here. It helped them. D-Mo was down here. Terrence came down for a while. It really helps their game a lot. I like it. Like this year, will be a huge year for Clint Capela down here. That will be fantastic. Nick Johnson will be able to uses this to improve. It’s been fantastic for us."

Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas developed in the D-League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2012-13, while Isaiah Canaan and Troy Daniels played with the Vipers most of last season.

Via Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Celtics Likely To Waive Will Bynum

The Boston Celtics will likely waive Will Bynum.

Danny Ainge was set to meet wth Bynum on Saturday.

The Celtics acquired Bynum on Friday from the Detroit Pistons for Joel Anthony.

Bynum averaged 8.7 points and 3.9 assists per game last season.

Via Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Suns Consider Keeping Earl Barron For Season

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

Pelicans Waive Dionte Christmas

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

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.

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.

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.

Daniel Orton Agrees To Sign With Shanxi

Daniel Orton was released on Thursday by the Wizards.

Chase Budinger Made Available By Wolves In Trade Talks

The Rockets and Pistons are interested in Chase Budinger, but are reluctant to take him on due to his $5 million player option for next season.

Knicks To Exercise Third-Year Option On Shane Larkin

There was some initial uncertainty from Phil Jackson and the Knicks on the decision regarding Shane Larkin's $1.67 million contract for 15-16.

Michael Jordan Disagrees With Players' Preference For Shorter Regular Season

Michael Jordan also disagreed with the experiment of shortening individual games by four minutes.

LeBron: Winning Two Titles Has Made Recruiting To Cleveland Easier

LeBron James talked about how he's had a more successful time recruiting players to join him with the Cavaliers than he did in the past.

Hawks Quietly Explored Al Horford Trade Last Season

The Hawks quietly reached out to a select group of teams last season making Al Horford available.

76ers Could Revisit Michael Carter-Williams Trade Talks

The 76ers do like Michael Carter-Williams, but point guard is the most replaceable position in today's NBA

Mavericks To Sign Yuki Togashi To Non-Guaranteed Deal

Yuki Togashi is most likely to end up with the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League.

Bucks Expressed Interest In Ray Allen But Were Declined

Ray Allen played his first 6 1/2 seasons with the Bucks.

Ridnour Beginning To Consider End Of Career

Luke Ridnour signed a one-year, $2.75 million deal with the Magic and the team has an option for 15-16 when he will be 34.

Jeff Bower Has Freedom To Pursue Trades As Pistons' GM

Jeff Bower consults daily with Stan Van Gundy about ways in which the Pistons can improve their roster.

James Southerland To Be Waived By Blazers, Sign Overseas

The Blazers will waive James Southerland.

Rubio, Wolves At Standstill On Extension Negotiations

Ricky Rubio is at a standstill in negotiations with the Timberwolves regarding a contract extension.

John Holland Close To Signing With Besiktas

Last season with Gravelines in France, John Holland averaged 10.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
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