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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Otis Smith To Meet With Howard In Los Angeles

Otis Smith will travel to Los Angeles on Tuesday to meet with Dwight Howard.

Howard has been in Los Angeles while recovering from his surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.

"The intent is to check in, see how he's doing, both from his rehab as well as his spirits, to see him in-person," Magic CEO Alex Martins.

Smith will spend approximately 24 hours in Los Angeles before returning to Orlando for Game 3.

"They're all my kids," Smith said of his players. "I've got one of them that's not with the team, that you want to have with the team that's injured, that's down. So you've got to go see him. You've got to pep him up a little bit and tell him he's doing the right thing by his body.

"He can't travel and he can't do much," Smith added. "His doctor's orders and pretty much our orders are to get his back right. He can't do anything for anybody at this point in time, so he has to get right."

Via Josh Robbins/Orlando Sentinel

Stoudemire Receives Stitches For Cut Hand After Punching Glass

Amar'e Stoudemire cut his hand after punching the glass enclosing a fire extinguisher following the Knicks' Game 2 loss to the Heat.

Stoudemire needed stitches on the hand to close the cut and there was a great deal of blood on the scene.

New York trails Miami 0-2 in the first round series.

"I am so mad at myself right now," wrote Stoudemire on Tuesday evening on his Twitter feed. "I want to apologize to the fans and my team. Not proud of my actions, headed home for a new start."

Via Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter)

Bobcats Fire Paul Silas

Paul Silas has been fired as head coach of the Bobcats.

Charlotte will immediately begin their search for a new head coach.

Silas posted a 32-88 record with the Bobcats during his two seasons.

"I would like to personally thank Paul for everything he has done for this team under some pretty unique circumstances," Rod Higgins said. "His basketball experience as a coach and a player speak for themselves. We have been fortunate to have someone of his character associated with this franchise and we hope he will continue to be a valuable resource to us in the future."

Via Press Release

Olshey Never Considered Firing Del Negro

Several sources say Clippers' GM Neil Olshey never considered firing Vinny Del Negro, who was the subject of multiple rumors about his imminent departure.

“I’ve watched too many times where a front office brings in its own players, and the coaches aren’t on board and you end up with a separation of church and state,” Olshey said. “This was always our team.”

Olshey also went out of his way to consult with Del Negro in choosing the roster as he constructed this team around Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Timberwolves Desire To Add Veteran Presence To Young Core

Rick Adelman stressed the importance of adding veteran talent to the Timberwolves’ young core.

Adelman believes the lure of playing with Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love could be enough to attract top-level free agents to Minnesota.

"There's not a player I've talked to or any person around the league who was not impressed with Ricky," Adelman said. "It's the vibe he puts out. Players love to get the ball when they're supposed to, and he does that. And who would believe Kevin scores and rebounds the way he does? Because of those two guys, it makes us attractive. I don't see any reason anybody would not want to play with them."

The Wolves will be at least $11 million under the salary cap this summer.

"There are a couple of (player) contracts that have some flexibility built into them," general manager David Kahn said. "We have options. If we want to have cap room, we can have room. No question about it."

Darko Milicic, due $10.8 million over the final two years of his contract, is a likely amnesty candidate.

Via Pioneer Press

Demps Touts Hornets' Draft Picks, Cap Flexibility

Hornets general manager Dell Demps is optimistic about his team’s future, citing salary cap flexibility and draft picks as cornerstones of the team’s future success.

“I think we have a lot of flexibility,” Demps said. “That’s the great thing about us right now. And it’ll be interesting to see how we use that flexibility. We don’t have all the answers right now. We have a plan, but that plan has a number of options. We’re going to just keep moving forward.

“You look at our roster. We have a lot of young guys. We have draft picks. We have cap room. We have a lot of things we can do. We’re not stuck. We have ways to improve our roster, and I think we’re going to look at every one of those opportunities moving forward.”

The Hornets, who have just $36.8 million committed for next season, will have two lottery picks in the upcoming draft.

Via Times-Picayune

Prince Wants Pistons To Add Veteran Guard

Tayshaun Prince believes the Pistons would benefit from a adding veteran guard who can tutor the team’s younger players.

"Brandon Knight is our starting point guard and will continue to be, but hopefully we can get a veteran point guard to kind of mentor him a little bit," Prince said. "There can be times that me and Ben Wallace can mentor and help him out and whatnot, but I think if you have a point guard that's been through the wars, he can help him out a little bit better than we can."

The Pistons are expected to be over the salary cap and will have only the mid-level exception at their disposal this summer to sign free agents.

Via Detroit Free Press

Bucks Hope To Add Size During Offseason

Bucks general manager John Hammond said adding size will be a priority during the offseason.

"You talk about the Brandon-Monta combination; it's an extremely young backcourt," Hammond said. "I think they're both willing passers, and they both also have the ability to score.

"Is the size a factor for us? Of course it is. It makes it difficult for Monta. If you're going to go with the old theory, one of the best ways to keep a great scorer occupied is to keep him occupied on the defensive end of the floor, wear him down defensively.

"He (Ellis) is a 20-point scorer at the 2 guard spot, but a lot of times he's guarding similar-type players and they're bigger than him. So if you look at the needs of our team, if there's an opportunity to get more size in the backcourt, that possibly could help us."

Scott Skiles also pointed to the Bucks’ small lineup.

"We need size everywhere," Skiles said. "Most games, right at the jump ball, when you look at the two teams, the other team is noticeably bigger than us at almost every position on the floor.

"It's just something that has to be addressed. The guys know it, too. They know we need to get bigger."

Via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jamal Crawford To Opt-Out Of 12-13 Contract

Jamal Crawford will be an unrestricted free agent for the second consecutive offseason.

A source confirms that Crawford will opt-out of his contract for 12-13 that would pay him $5.25 million.

Crawford signed with the Blazers last December after receiving offers from the Knicks, Wolves and Magic, among others.

Via Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter)

Skiles To Meet With Kohl; Receives Endorsement From Jennings, Dunleavy

Scott Skiles has a meeting scheduled with owner Herb Kohl to discuss his future as head coach of the Bucks.

Brandon Jennings and Mike Dunleavy Jr. both spoke highly of Skiles on Friday.

Skiles signed a four-year, $16 million deal in 2008 and had the deal extended through the 12-13 season in October of 2010.

"Obviously he's a great coach," said Dunleavy. "I loved playing for him. He's a major reason I came here. I'd certainly be disappointed if he wasn't back, for whatever reason.

"You've got to move forward and expect us to have a great season next year."

Jennings said he was concerned about the possibility Skiles would not be back next season.

"Personally, for me, yes," Jennings said. "Just the fact that he's been my coach for the first three years and I'm used to a system. That's a guy who I've played for.

"Just his mentality, his will and approach to the game. The fact he expects you to play hard every night. He expects you to do the little things to be a better player. That's kind of grown on me since I've been here, so that's basically all I know."

The Bucks have posted a 146-166 record in four seasons under Skiles.

Via Charles F. Gardner/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Golden State To Retain Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson was described as a players' coach in his first season on the bench.

Jazz See Correlation Between Bigs, Titles

The Jazz have great depth in the frontcourt with Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.

Terrence Williams Hopes To Re-Sign With Kings

Terrence Williams is hoping for a quick resolution to his impending free agency.

Kings Likely To Re-Sign Jason Thompson

The Kings will extend the qualifying offer to Jason Thompson to make him a restricted free agent.

Williams' Top Priority Will Be To Put Himself In Winning Situation

Deron Williams expressed his confidence in the Nets during his exit interview.

Lopez Prefers To Remain With Nets

Brook Lopez's preference is to remain with the Nets as he enters restricted free agency.

Gerald Wallace Likely To Opt Out

Gerald Wallace will likely be seeking a long-term contract this offseason.

Williams To Make Decisions Before Olympics

Deron Williams plans to make his free agent decision before the end of July.

Wolves Plan To Be Aggressive In Offseason

Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio are the two franchise 'cornerstones', but the remainder of the roster doesn't appear to be untouchable.

Villanueva, Gordon Enter Offseason As Amnesty Candidates

Both Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva were signed in the 2009 offseason.

Bayless Prefers To Remain With Raptors

Jerryd Bayless will be a restricted free agent this summer.

Bird Denies Rumor Of Impending Departure

Larry Bird again denied reports that he will leave the Pacers at the end of the season.

Camby Would Prefer Return To Rockets

Marcus Camby will have no shortage of suitors as an unrestricted free agent.

Source: Raptors Won't Pursue Vujacic

The Raptors are not interested in pursuing Sasha Vujacic in free agency this offseason.

Jamison Won't Re-Sign With Cleveland

Antawn Jamison will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Suns' Fans Close Out Season With 'We Want Steve' Chant

Steve Nash will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and intends to play three more seasons.

Spurs Sign Derrick Byars

The San Antonio Spurs have signed Bakersfield Jam guard/forward Derrick Byars.

Larry Riley Unhappy With Timing Of Front Office Shake Up

At the time of the hiring 12 months earlier, Joe Lacob said Bob Myers was in line for the job after Larry Riley retired “in a few years.”

Sixers Sign Xavier Silas For Remainder Of Season

Xavier Silas averaged 9.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 23.6 minutes per game while shooting 40.1% from the floor for the Red Claws.

Knicks Name Grunwald General Manager

Glen Grunwald has served as New York’s interim general manager since Jul. 1, 2011.
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