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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Bulls Tried To Bring Kurt Thomas Out Of Retirement

The Chicago Bulls attempted to sign Kurt Thomas earlier this month before signing Lou Amundson and Greg Smith.

Thomas is now 41 and has not played since last season, considering himself retired.

Thomas played for nine teams in his 18 seasons as a pro after leading the nation in scoring and rebounding at TCU in 1994-95.

Via Marc Stein/ESPN

Clarence Gaines Jr. Expected To Join Knicks' Front Office

Clarence Gaines Jr. is expected to join the front office of the New York Knicks.

Gaines was a longtime scout with the Chicago Bulls.

Gaines was in attendance at Saturday's game between the Knicks and Bulls..

Via Frank Isola/New York Daily News

Lamar Odom, Knicks Close To Deal With Team Option For Next Season

Lamar Odom and the New York Knicks are nearing a deal that includes a team option for next season, according to sources.

Odom is expected to sign this week, barring any unforeseen snags.

By signing Odom to a non-guaranteed contract for next season, the Knicks would want to use the extra time to see if they can get the veteran forward to the point where he could be worthy of a roster spot.

Odom has dealt with off-court issues since his departure from the Los Angeles Clippers last season.

Via Marc Stein/ESPN

Kupchak: Lakers' Front Office All On The Same Page

Mitch Kupchak recently signed an extension to remain general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, suggesting the working relationship with Jim Buss is strong.

Buss offers his analytical input while Kupchak runs the front office.

"It's unfortunate the way the organization, since Dr. (Jerry) Buss has passed, at times has been portrayed, because that's not the case at all," Kupchak said. "Everybody in there is working hard, responsible, showing up on time, staying late. We're all on the same page. Really, nothing's changed except the perception—which I understand.

"We lost an icon of an owner, and it's going to take some time for everybody to have that trust now that he's gone. But we'll earn it. I'm not worried about it."

The Lakers are in the lottery this season.

"You're basically judged on production, which is fair," Kupchak said. "Wins and losses. It's fair. Nobody really cares how well you work together, how organized the office is. When you're not winning, and an icon like Dr. Buss passes away, then they're going to say things must be amiss—which couldn't be further from the truth."

Via Kevin Ding/Bleacher Report

Bulls Sign Greg Smith Through Next Season, Waive Tornike Shengelia

The Chicago Bulls signed free agent Greg Smith to a contract for the remainder of the season and fully guaranteed for next season, a league source told RealGM.

For the Bulls, the signing represents a wise and proactive investment in Smith, a 6-foot-10 center capable of serving as a contributing reserve on a championship caliber team. Despite his season-ending knee injury, Smith was expected to be a valued player in free agency, and only became available when the Houston Rockets released him and he cleared waivers.

Smith, 23, has averaged 5.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 89 career games over three NBA seasons.

To create room on the roster, the Bulls released Tornike Shengelia.

Shengelia (6-9, 220), was acquired from Brooklyn in exchange for guard Marquis Teague on January 21.  He appeared in nine games for the Bulls and averaged 0.4 ppg and 0.2 rpg in 1.9 mpg. In his NBA career, Shengelia has appeared in 45 games and averaged 1.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg and 0.4 apg in 5.5 mpg, while shooting .451 from the field.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Pelicans Sign Melvin Ely, Waive Greg Stiemsma

The New Orleans Pelicans have waived center Greg Stiemsma and signed center Melvin Ely for the remainder of the season.

Ely (6-10, 260) has appeared in 373 games over eight NBA seasons, averaging 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game. The 6-10 center joins the Pelicans after playing the last two seasons for the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League, where he appeared in 78 games (74 starts) and averaged 13.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game. In the 2013-14 season, Ely totaled 15.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 41 appearances and was selected to the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game.

Stiemsma appeared in 55 games (20 starts) this season for the Pelicans and averaged 2.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.0 block in 18.3 minutes per game. The three-year veteran holds career averages of 3.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 16.0 minutes per game.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Hawks To Hire Steve Koonin Of Turner As CEO

The Atlanta Hawks will soon name Steve Koonin, currently the president of Turner Entertainment Networks, as the franchise's chief executive officer.

An announcement could come this week.

Koonin oversees programming, marketing, scheduling, strategy and operations for TNT, TBS, Turner Classic Movies and truTV.

The Hawks have been trying to improve their image, as they currently rank 28th in the NBA in attendance.

Via Chris Vivlamore/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Joe Dumars To Remain With Pistons In Advisory Role

Joe Dumars will remain with the Detroit Pistons in a lower capacity after he steps down as general manager, according to sources.

Dumars will serve as an advisor while also being allowed to look for other opportunities.

Dumars became president of basketball operations before the 00-01 season.

Heat Turned Down Evan Turner For Haslem Offer From 76ers

The Miami Heat were offered Evan Turner in a trade by the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of the deadline with Udonis Haslem being the only significant piece they would have had to send in return.

The Heat didn't make the trade, at least in part because they didn't like how it would look to deal one of the club's longest tenured players.

The Indiana Pacers, however, traded Danny Granger to the 76ers for Turner.

Haslem has twice given up in excess of $10 million to remain with the Heat.

Via Dan Le Batard/Miami Herald

Anthony Praises Thibodeau's Coaching, Compares System To Popovich

Carmelo Anthony has reportedly inquired a Chicago Bulls' player about what it is like to play for Tom Thibodeau, and the New York Knicks' star praised Thibodeau ahead of Sunday's matchup.

Anthony was asked how the Bulls are consistently competitive despite losing key players in Derrick Rose and Luol Deng.

“I have no clue. Thibs is a great coach, his system kind of reminds me of Gregg Popovich’s system," Anthony said.

“You put anybody in that system and it’s going to work. That’s what they’ve been doing. They’ve had guys sitting out all season long, guys that’s been in and out of the lineups and they seem to get it done.”

The Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be potential suitors for Anthony, who has said he hopes to remain with the Knicks.

Via Frank Isola/New York Daily News

Greg Smith Clears Waivers

Greg Smith averaged 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 9.1 minutes in 11 appearances with the Rockets.

Timberwolves Plan To Be Active On Offseason Trade Market

Glen Taylor said the Timberwolves won't make a "big" trade.

Knicks Considering Signing Lamar Odom

The Knicks are weighing whether to sign Lamar Odom before the end of the regular season.

Jabari Parker Expects Draft Decision After Meeting Coach K

Jabari Parker said he expects to make a decision by next Tuesday or Wednesday on whether he will enter the June NBA Draft.

Rajon Rondo Hopes To Be Made Aware Of Celtics' Offseason Plans

Rajon Rondo hopes to be aware about the direction of the Celtics.

Rockets Sign Dexter Pittman, Release Greg Smith

Dexter Pittman has averaged 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds with the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League.

James Southerland To Sign With Pelicans

James Southerland’s deal for the remainder of the season won’t carry into 2014-15.

Bulls To Sign Lou Amundson For Remainder Of Season

The Bulls will sign Lou Amundson to a contract on Thursday for the remainder of the season, sources tell RealGM.

Carlos Boozer Tunes Out Possibility Of Being Amnestied By Bulls

Carlos Boozer reiterated that he has tuned out discussion of the Bulls likely using the amnesty clause on him in the offseason.

Mike James To Sign With Bulls For Remainder Of Season

Mike James' 10-day contract with the Bulls expired in January.

Celtics Have Held Preliminary Discussions On Potentially Re-Signing Kris Humphries

Kris Humphries believes in the Celtics' future, citing the roster and Brad Stevens.

Lakers Could Wait Until Free Agency For Decision On D'Antoni

The Lakers also will not solicit the opinion of Kobe Bryant when evaluating whether or not to retain Mike D'Antoni.

Mitch Kupchak Agrees To Multi-Year Extension To Remain Lakers' GM

Mitch Kupchak has been GM of the Lakers since he succeeded Jerry West in 2000.

Nuggets Discussed Faried In Trades For '14 First Or Quality Wing Player On Rookie Deal

The Nuggets reportedly fear that Kenneth Faried will demand an eight-figure salary in free agency.

Hawes Thinks He's 'Good Fit' For Cavaliers

Spencer Hawes is averaging a career-best 14.0 points, and shooting a career-high .440 from 3-point range.

D'Antoni Felt Sympathy For Calipari Dealing With Lakers' Rumors

Mike D'Antoni felt sympathy for John Calipari after rumors surfaced that he would replace him as head coach of the Lakers.

GMs Bullish On Kevin Ollie As NBA Head Coach

One NBA executive said that whichever teams pursue Kevin Durant when he becomes a free agent will want to hire Kevin Ollie.

Othyus Jeffers To Sign With Timberwolves For Remainder Of Season

Othyus Jeffers has spent most of the season with the Iowa Energy of the NBA D-League.

Sources: Joe Dumars Plans To Resign As Pistons' President As Soon As This Week

Joe Dumars plans to resign as president of the Pistons, possibly as soon as this week, according to sources.

Thunder Sign Grant Jerrett

Grant Jarrett joins the Thunder after spending the past season with the Tulsa 66ers where he appeared in 27 games (25 starts) and averaged 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game.
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