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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Bucks Expect To Keep Larry Sanders Part Of Future Plans

Larry Sanders missed most of the 2013-14 season due to injuries, but the Milwaukee Bucks still believe in the center as part of their future plans.

Sanders will start his four-year extension this season.

"Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. Larry is in our future plans," assistant GM David Morway said. "We are hopeful that this year Larry gets back to being the basketball player that he was two years ago. He is a defensive presence and a game changer on the court.

"So when you have his length along with Giannis, Jabari Parker, John Henson and then Zaza Pachulia, Damien Inglis, who is very long, and if you play Khris Middleton at the two... We are a fairly long team. We've got good experience with OJ Mayo, Jerryd Bayless... And we like Kendall Marshall. So we are excited for next year."

Via David Alarcon/HoopsHype

Tyler Zeller More Likely To Start For Celtics Than Be Traded

Tyler Zeller is now eligible to be traded by the Boston Celtics, but he is more likely to become their starting center.

Zeller's agent Sam Goldfeder said his client should also benefit from having a familiarity with Brad Stevens who recruited both of his brothers.

"Coach Stevens is someone the Zeller family thought a great deal about as a man," Goldfeder told CSNNE.com. "Forget about basketball. Everyone knows he's a great basketball coach. But they really liked him as a person. He's a good person and Tyler is also a good person. They share similar values off the court. I think that obviously, Brad expects excellence on the court, discipline, hard work and that's what Tyler is all about."

Via A. Sherrod Blakely/Comcast

Adam Silver Believes Danny Ferry Shouldn't Be Fired By Hawks For Racial Remarks

Adam Silver does not believe that the Atlanta Hawks should fire Danny Ferry as general manager due to his racially charged comments.

Silver cited Ferry's track record and the reality that he was speaking from a scouting report when making the comments toward Luol Deng.

T"he discipline of a team employee is typically determined by the team, and in this case the Hawks hired a prestigious Atlanta law firm to investigate the circumstances of Danny Ferry's clearly inappropriate and unacceptable remarks," Silver said. "In my view, those comments, taken alone, do not merit his losing his job.

"It's a question of context ... These words, in this context, understanding the full story here, the existence of the scouting report, the fact that he was looking at the scouting report as a reference when he was making these remarks, what I'm saying is – and frankly my opinion — is that this is a team decision in terms of what the appropriate discipline is for their employee. But if I'm being asked my view, I'm saying that, based on what I know about the circumstances, I don't think it's a terminable offense."

The Hawks disciplined Ferry, but it is unclear what form of punishment he received.

Via Sam Amick/USA Today

Elton Brand Re-Signs With Hawks For One-Year, $2M

Elton Brand has re-signed with the Atlanta Hawks on a one-year, $2 million deal, according to sources.

Brand averaged 5.7 points and 4.9 rebounds last season.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Dionte Christmas Reaches One-Year Deal With Pelicans

Free agent guard Dionte Christmas has reached an agreement with the New Orleans Pelicans on a one-year contract, a league source told RealGM.

Christmas has played five professional seasons since going unselected in the 2009 draft, and he hadn’t spent a regular season in the NBA until playing a full year with the Phoenix Suns.

Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 31 games for the Suns a season ago, using his participation on Phoenix’s summer league roster to gain a guaranteed deal.

Christmas played four years at Temple University.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Jerry West, Warriors Agree Upon Two-Year Extension

Jerry West and the Golden State Warriors have agreed upon a two-year extension through the 16-17 season.

West had one year remaining on his original deal with the team and this new deal will be tacked on, for a total of a three-year commitment from this point.

West recently told associates he was considering retring for good.

According to multiple sources, West, along with coach Steve Kerr, was a leading voice in the team's decision this summer not to put Klay Thompson into any trade offer for Kevin Love.

Via Tim Kawakami/San Jose Mercury News

Additional Details Emerge On Danny Ferry Conference Call

The position of power with the Atlanta Hawks' organization held by Michael Gearon had been neutralized by Bruce Levenson and Danny Ferry.

But Gearon was on a conference call with Ferry in June in which free agents were discussed.

The call proceeded with Ferry hustling through free agent names, a list that included Carmelo Anthony: "He can shoot the [expletive] out of it, but he screws you up in other ways," Ferry said, according to a transcript obtained by Yahoo Sports.

Ferry would go on to say of Anthony: "So is he really worth the 20 million dollars? … I would argue if he plays the right way, absolutely."

The Hawks never had an opportunity to pursue Anthony, but they did have a chance to sign Luol Deng.

Several sources told Yahoo that within the basketball operations, Ferry was Atlanta's biggest proponent to sign Deng.

Ferry started about how Deng "has got some African in him" and proceeded to make a comparison to Africans with phony facades selling counterfeit goods.

As soon as those words left Ferry's mouth on the call, Gearon responded in a dramatic way in the background of the tape recording, according to a partial transcript of the call obtained by Yahoo Sports.

"Oh my God, that comment sounds like Sterling on TMZ," Gearon said.

Gearon allowed Ferry to keep talking.

On Deng, Ferry said: "… For example, he can come out and be an unnamed source for a story and two days later come out and say, 'That absolutely was not me. I can't believe someone said that.'

"But talking to reporters, you know they can [believe it]."

Ferry kept going on Deng: "… Good guy in Chicago. They will tell you he was good for their culture, but not a culture setter. He played hard and all those things, but he was very worried about his bobble-head being the last one given away that year, or there was not enough stuff of him in the [team] store … kind of a complex guy."

According to the report, Ferry appears to be making his own interjections on the call and not reciting words belonging to someone else.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Chauncey Billups Retires After 17 NBA Seasons

Chauncey Billups has decided to retire after 17 seasons in the NBA.

Billups became an unrestricted free agent when the Pistons declined the second and final year of a contract option that would have paid him $2.5 million next season. 

Billups had interest in playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier in the offseason.

Billups missed 185 games over the past three seasons.

"It's just time. I'm happy, excited. The game was very, very good to me. I felt like I was equally as good to the game the way I played it and the way I respected it and the way I carried myself through the process."

Via Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports

Zoran Dragic In Talks With Heat, Spurs, Mavericks, Magic

Behind a resurgent desire to pursue the NBA culminating in a successful World Cup showing, Slovenian shooting guard Zoran Dragic has maintained discussions with the four teams interested in signing him for next season: the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic, league sources told RealGM.

Dragic, the younger brother of Goran Dragic, had 11 points and five rebounds in 28 minutes against the United States national team on Tuesday. He has informed teams of an Oct. 5 buyout deadline in the language of his contract with Unicaja Malaga of the European League, a source told RealGM.

Dragic, a 6-foot-5 product, has received NBA interest in past summers, and he played for the Houston Rockets’ summer league team in 2012. Several NBA organizations have scouted him throughout the World Cup, sources said, and several new inquiries are placed per day.

In his second year with BC Malaga last season, Dragic, 25, averaged 10.6 points and 2.8 rebounds over 50 games.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Grunwald: Raptors Never Had Serious Discussions With Mavs On Carter For Nash

Glen Grunwald denied comments from John Shannon, a former MLSE TV executive who claimed that the Dallas Mavericks offered Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash to the Toronto Raptors for Vince Carter and Antonio Davis over a decade ago.

"I don’t think that’s true, if my memory serves me correctly," said Grunwald. "One of my last obligations before I got the axe was to explore a Nash-for-Carter trade, but no, we were never, as far as I know, offered those guys. It was a difficult time for Vince Carter, obviously receiving criticism from the media in particular — because he did suffer from some real injuries, but he had some bad judgment in terms of attending concerts and such when he was on the injured list. It was time to look at exploring a trade, but the nearest I can recall, the Mavericks never offered Nowitzki and we never had any real conversations with them about Steve Nash. I don’t think (Shannon’s statement) is accurate, but maybe John has a better memory than I do."

Grunwald was soon fired by the Raptors and replaced by Rob Babcock, who traded Carter to the New Jersey Nets.

Via Raptors HQ

Jazz Sign Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy was selected by Utah out of Tennessee Tech in the second round of the 2012 NBA draft.

Dmitry Kulagin Signing One-Year Deal In Russia After Discussing NBA Move With Kings

Dmitry Kulagin will sign a one-year contract to continue his pro career in Russia, a source told RealGM.

Danny Ferry Disciplined By Hawks, Releases Statement

Danny Ferry said in a statement his comments about Luol Deng were from a scouting report.

Jay Hernandez Hired By Magic As Assistant Coach

Jay Hernandez established Pro Hoops, Inc. in 2004, a basketball training service based in New York for teams and individuals seeking to improve their performance.

Hawks' Co-Owner Called For Firing Of Danny Ferry In June

Michael Gearon sent a two-page letter to Bruce Levenson on June 12, which in part called for the firing of Danny Ferry, according to a report citing the document.

Elijah Millsap Signs Non-Guaranteed Deal With Bucks

Elijah Millsap has signed a non-guaranteed deal to attend training camp with the Bucks, his agent told RealGM.

Joe Jackson Finalizing Free Agent Deal With Suns

Joe Jackson is finalizing a free-agent contract with the Suns, a league source told RealGM.

Gustavo Ayon Agrees To Multi-Year Deal With Real Madrid

Gustavo Ayon has agreed upon a multi-year contract with Real Madrid.

Greg Monroe Officially Signs Qualifying Offer With Pistons

Greg Monroe has signed the Pistons' one-year qualifying offer for the 14-15 season

Ferry's Comments About Deng Initiated Inquiry Into Hawks' Owner

The racial reference to Luol Deng triggered at least one team owner on the call to pursue an independent investigation into how the organization operated in regard to race.

Pelicans To Sign Vernon Macklin, Kevin Jones To Camp Contracts

The Pelicans have reached agreements to sign Vernon Macklin and Kevin Jones to non-guaranteed deals for training camp, league sources told RealGM.

Charlie Villanueva To Sign With Mavericks After Deciding Between Dallas, Clippers

Charlie Villanueva is nearing a decision on a veteran's minimum deal with either the Mavericks or Clippers, a league source tells RealGM.

Ryan Hollins Receiving Interest From Heat, Spurs, Bulls, Kings

Ryan Hollins met with the Heat on Friday, according to sources.

Bulls Have Contacted Ray Allen

The Bulls are believed to be among almost a dozen NBA teams to have contacted Ray Allen and his representatives.

Gustavo Ayon Receiving Richer Offers In Europe

Gustavo Ayon prefers to remain in the NBA, but his offers from Europe have been more lucrative to date.

Greg Monroe Signs Qualifying Offer With Pistons

Greg Monroe and the Pistons were unable to agree upon a long-term contract.

Celtics Unaware Of Possible Trade Demands From Rajon Rondo

Rich Gotham said the Celtics are unaware of any reported trade demand made by Rajon Rondo.

Carmelo Never Wants To Deal With Free Agency Again

Carmelo Anthony never wants to deal with the free agency process again after signing a five-year, $124 million deal.

Pelicans Still View Austin Rivers As An Asset

At one point it looked like Austin Rivers would need to be included in the Pelicans' deal for Omer Asik due to salary cap restraints.

Julyan Stone Visiting Lakers For Second Time; Workouts Scheduled With Cavs, Clippers, Heat

Julyan Stone also has scheduled workouts with the Clippers, Cavaliers and Heat, sources said.
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