NBA WiretapDecember 2018 NBA Wiretap

Harrison Barnes Criticizes Refs, Frustrated By Inability To Draw Fouls

Dec 13, 2018 5:28 PM

Harrison Barnes said "it'd be great to go to the free throw line" following the Dallas Mavericks 114-107 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Rick Carlisle was ejected in the third quarter after complaining about a lack of foul calls as Barnes draws contact on drives. 

After the game, Barnes said "I ask the refs on almost every play what I could be doing or what I'm not doing. Still haven't got any answers from that. Maybe [NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe] can give me some answers. I'm just trying to be aggressive and trying to find spots where I can."

Barnes is averaging 4.1 foul shots per game this season, the same number as last year. 

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Harrison Barnes, Dallas Mavericks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Jonas Valanciunas Out Four Weeks With Surgery On Dislocated Thumb

Dec 13, 2018 4:16 PM

Jonas Valanciunas underwent surgery on a dislocated left thumb and will be out at least four weeks.

Valanciunas suffered the injury in the first half of Toronto's win at the Warriors.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Injury

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Knicks To Sign Allonzo Trier To Two-Year Deal, Waive Ron Baker

Dec 13, 2018 10:06 AM

The New York Knicks have agreed to sign Allonzo Trier to a two-year deal.

Trier was on a two-way contract with the Knicks.

The Knicks are expected to waive Ron Baker to create a roster spot for Trier.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Ron Baker, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, D-League

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Kyrie Irving Challenges Jaylen Brown To Overcome Early Struggles

Dec 13, 2018 2:43 AM

After struggling for the early part of the season, Jaylen Brown acknowledged the challenge of living up to last season's expectations on a deep roster with limited opportunities. 

Brown said "it's probably been the hardest thing I've had to deal with so far in my career. Just coming from a position where you had so much responsibility, and now that responsibility is lessened. Expectations have been raised, but your responsibility goes down, so it's hard to reach those expectations when you aren't being asked to do as much.

Brown was ranked 417th out of 430 players in Real-Plus-Minus when the ratings were first released. 

Kyrie Irving says it's time for Brown to accept the challenge and grow as a player.

Irving said "it's not about how many shots he's making or percentages or stats or anything like that. Now it's about, 'How do you get out of your own way to become the best version of yourself in an environment with other great players?' You're not in an environment where we can wait around for you. You're not surrounded by decent players who you will automatically play over, no matter how you perform".

Brown is averaging 12.5 points while shooting 42.4% from the field in 27.8 minutes this season, down from his 14.5 points with a 46.5% field goal percentage in 30.7 minutes last year. 

Jackie MacMullan/ESPN

Tags: Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kawhi Leonard Focused On Basketball, Not Media

Dec 13, 2018 10:56 AM

Kawhi Leonard has remained focused on the Toronto Raptors and has continue to filter out external conversations about his 2019 free agency.

“I focus on what we’re doing,” Leonard said of his reaction to all the speculation. “I don’t buy into reading media, don’t have no social media, so just focus on what’s in front of me. At that time it’s either my family or playing basketball.”

Leonard is not bothered by what is said about him.

“Not at all. I don’t watch TV too much,” Leonard said.

Leonard was also asked what he thinks of the Raptors' organization.

“It’s been good so far,” Leonard said. “Like I said, we’ve been winning, everyone’s playing well. Can’t complain.”

Leonard was asked how the Raptors and Spurs differ as franchises.

“It’s still two goals and a basketball, just different teammates,” Leonard said.

Kurt Helin/NBC Sports

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Steph Curry Says Raptors Have 'A Little Bit Of Everything' After Loss

Dec 13, 2018 2:17 AM

Steph Curry praised the Toronto Raptors for being a well-balanced team following Golden State's 113-93 loss.

Curry said that the Raptors "have a little bit of everything - athletic wings and bigs that can shoot threes and put the ball on the floor...they're pretty well-rounded and they've shown different styles to win games".

The Raptors won without Kawhi Leonard, who missed his second straight game with a hip injury. Jonas Valanciunas was ruled out after the second quarter with a dislocated thumb.

Kyle Lowry lead the way for the Raptors with 23 points and 12 assists. 

The Raptors are now 7-1 without Leonard. 

Mark Medina/The Mercury News

Tags: Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Dirk Nowitzki To Make Season Debut Against Suns

Dec 13, 2018 2:00 AM

Dirk Nowitzki is set to make his season debut against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

Nowitzki's recovery from ankle surgery last spring has been taking longer than expected.

The 40-year-old German, entering his 21st season, is set to make NBA history for the longest career with one team. He averaged 12 points and 5.7 rebounds coming off the bench in a high-scoring unit last season, and will reprise the same role again this year.

Nowitzki said "the boys are playing well. Maxi [Kleber]'s been playing, and Dwight [Powell]'s playing well off the bench. ... I have no idea [about the fit in the rotation], but it's not a bad thing to be deep at a position...our bench has been great all year and has won a bunch of games for us."

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks, NBA, NBA Injury

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Phil Jackson Spotted At Lakers' Practice Facility

Dec 13, 2018 9:20 AM

Phil Jackson visited the practice facility of the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

This marked the first time Jackson has been seen by the media at the facility over the past two seasons. The Lakers said Jackson just stopped by.

Jackson is a regular guest at the Lakers offices and has "an open door" to stop by whenever he's in Los Angeles.

Jackson still has ties to Jeanie Buss, Kurt Rambis, Luke Walton and Coby Karl.

"I have not talked to Phil today, no, but if that's him, I'll head upstairs," Walton said. "... Even the one year I semi-retired, Phil's someone I like to stay in constant communication with."

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

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Rockets Emerge With Interest In Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Dec 12, 2018 2:34 PM

The Houston Rockets have emerged as a suitor for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in multi-team trade scenarios.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been pursuing Trevor Ariza to improve on the wing.

Caldwell-Pope signed a one-year, $12 million deal to re-sign with the Lakers.

Houston could use Brandon Knight and his $14.6 million for this season and $15.6 million in 19-20 in a trade.

No deal is imminent at this time.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kevin Durant Impressed By Zion Williamson, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Dec 12, 2018 7:34 PM

Kevin Durant said Zion Williamson is a "once in a generation athlete" and that he's "never seen anyone like that before" on The Bill Simmons Podcast.

Durant described Williamson's impressive leaping ability, saying he's never seen a left-handed player "who can dunk like that with his right hand, and cock the ball back so far, and jump so high off two feet".

"I've seen people jump high, but not that way", Durant added about the Duke forward.

Durant went on, saying that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the rookie that's impressed him the most this season.

Of Gilgeous-Alexander, Durant said "he's got the mid-range down. His mid-range is so good. He shoots it with a high release so it's hard to block at 6'6" with a point guard on him, so you gotta put a two-guard on him. And he's still shooting over two-guards...Once you learn how to shoot the mid-range, I feel like the three-ball is going to be easier for you to shoot". 

Durant also shouted out Ja Morant of Murray State and Bol Bol of Oregon.

 

The Bill Simmons Podcast/The Ringer Podcast Network

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Robert Sarver Threatening To Move Suns To Las Vegas Or Seattle
Talking Stick Resort Arena was built in 1992.

Laurie Roberts/Arizona Republic

Spencer Dinwiddie Agrees To Three-Year, $34M Extension With Nets
Spencer Dinwiddie recently became eligible for an extension.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Derek Fisher's Hire At Lending Firm Receives Criticism From Current And Former Players
Derek Fisher has joined a company specializing in alternative lending.

Chris Thompson/Deadspin

Dunc'd On: Most Promising Rookies; the Most Talented NBA Ever, and the GSW Gap with Ben Taylor.
Nate Duncan and Ben Taylor discuss this year's rookies and other current NBA topics.

NBA, Nike Release Earned Edition Uniforms (Pictures)
The designs are variations of each team's Statement or City Edition.

RealGM Staff Report

Al Horford Out Multiple Games with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome In Left Knee
Al Horford has struggled this season and has been dealing with inflammation in his left knee for nearly a month.

ESPN

Pacers Interested In Trading Darren Collison Or Cory Joseph
Darren Collison and Cory Joseph roughly split minutes at point guard.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Pelicans, Pistons, Kings Identified As Active Buyers On Trade Market
The typical start of trade season is Dec. 15 when most players who signed deals in the offseason are eligible to be dealt.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Dunc'd On: Tuesday Gamer: POR/HOU; League-Wide News Catch-Up; TOR/LAC
Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux recap HOU/POR, TOR/LAC, and other NBA news.

Clippers Have Master Plan To Add Both Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant
The Clippers have the cap space to offer two max contracts this offseason.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Kevin Durant Says Warriors Will Be 'Bay Area Legends' If They Three-Peat
Durant said he and his Warriors teammates will get their jerseys retired if they win another championship.

Posted Up with Chris Haynes/Chris Haynes

Lou Williams Out For Estimated Two Weeks With Hamstring Injury
Williams is averaging 17.2 points and 4.5 assists on the season.

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Gregg Popovich Moves To Fourth In All-Time Coaching Wins
Popovich won his 1,211 game as a head coach to surpass Pat Riley.

NBA.com

Jimmy Butler Says He Only Took One Shot During Infamous Timberwolves Practice
Butler said he dominated the scrimmage with assists, steals, and blocks.

The J.J. Redick Podcast/The Ringer

Jimmy Butler Suffers No Structural Damage To Groin
Jimmy Butler is doubtful for Wednesday's game against the Nets.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Kevin Durant: You Lean On Your Love For The Game In Times Of Adversity
Kevin Durant's old coaches and friends told him to focus on his work following his altercation with Draymond Green.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

NBA Announces Partnership With Online Sportsbook
The Stars Group will have the right to use official NBA betting data and league marks.

RealGM Staff Report

Anthony Davis Remains Focused On Winning With Pelicans
Anthony Davis remains convinced that the Pelicans can become playoff contenders.

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Bulls Considering Leadership Committee To Work With Jim Boylen
Zach LaVine spoke with Jim Boylen one-on-one to try to clear the air.

Malika Andrews, Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tristan Thompson Out 2-4 Weeks With Sprained Left Foot
Tristan Thompson landed awkwardly on Malcolm Brogdon.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN