NBA WiretapJuly 2019 NBA Wiretap

NBA Opens Investigation Into How Free Agency Operated This Offseason

Jul 23, 2019 1:29 PM

The NBA has opened an investigation into how free agency operated this offseason. The league office heard concerns from owners over the number of deals that were completed during the opening hours of free agency.

Sources tell Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst that the scope of the investigation is still being determined.

It is technically against league rules for players to tamper with each other and work together on transactions before the opening of free agency. The NBA has previously set a precedent that they wouldn't punish players as it is difficult to police play-to-player communication.

While the NBA may not eventually issue any formal punishment, it could lead to modifications of the free agency system.

Zach Lowe, Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA CBA

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Zion Williamson Signs Endorsement Deal With Jordan Brand

Jul 23, 2019 12:57 PM

Zion Williamson has signed an endorsement deal with Jordan Brand.

Williamson wore Nike shoes at Duke.

“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family," said Williamson. "Since I was a kid, I dreamed of making it to the league and having the type of impact on the game Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes I looked up to, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this journey.”

“Zion’s incredible determination, character and play are inspiring," said Jordan. "He’s an essential part of the new talent that will help lead the brand into the future. He told us he would ‘shock the world,’ and asked us to believe him. We do."

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA

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Clippers Reached Out To Rockets On James Harden Trade

Jul 23, 2019 10:57 AM

The Los Angeles Clippers inquired about the availability of James Harden as they pursued a second star to pair with Kawhi Leonard. The Houston Rockets told the Clippers that Harden wasn't available.

The Clippers also reached out to the Washington Wizards about Bradley Beal before eventually acquiring Paul George.

Leonard also reached out to Jimmy Butler and Kevin Durant about teaming up with the Clippers before they made their own free agency decisions.

Jovan Buha, Sam Amick/The Athletic

Tags: James Harden, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Rival Exec: Clippers Made Historically Lopsided Trade They Were Right To Do Anyway

Jul 23, 2019 11:29 AM

The Los Angeles Clippers made an unprecedented price to acquire Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder, which also assured they would sign Kawhi Leonard.

"One of the two or three most lopsided deals ever, and also one the Clippers were right to do anyway," said one rival executive. 

The Clippers sent five first round picks, two pick swaps, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari to the Thunder for George.

George and Leonard are only committed to the Clippers for two seasons.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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Ben McLemore Agrees To Two-Year Deal With Rockets

Jul 23, 2019 11:00 AM

The Houston Rockets have agreed to sign Ben McLemore to a partially guaranteed two-year deal.

McLemore appeared in 19 games with the Sacramento Kings last season.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Ben McLemore, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kawhi Leonard Didn't Recruit Paul George To Demand Trade To Clippers

Jul 23, 2019 12:56 PM

It is "not accurate" that Kawhi Leonard recruited Paul George to demand a trade to join the Los Angeles Clippers, a source tells Shams Charania of The Athletic.

George had interest in playing in Los Angeles in 2017, but was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder and then re-signed with the franchise in 2018.

George sensed joining Leonard with the Clippers was a special opportunity.

George was on board with the move after speaking with Leonard.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Russell Westbrook, Paul George Approached Thunder Around Draft About Discontent

Jul 23, 2019 11:58 AM

Russell Westbrook and Paul George both communicated their discontent to the Oklahoma City Thunder around the time of the draft, sources told Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Both Westbrook and George expressed interest in the Thunder making significant changes following another first round exit.

The Thunder worked on quelling the concerns of Westbrook and George by the start of free agency and planned on moving forward with their offseason acquisitions building around them.

The Los Angeles Clippers received word on July 3rd that George wanted out of Oklahoma City.

Jovan Buha, Sam Amick/The Athletic

Tags: Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Damian Lillard Withdraws From Team USA For World Cup

Jul 23, 2019 11:31 AM

Damian Lillard has withdrawn from Team USA's training camp and FIBA World Cup.

Lillard was one of the lone remaining All-Stars on the roster following a surge of withdraws. 

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, United States, NBA, National, National World Championships, National Teams

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Spurs Hire Tim Duncan, Will Hardy As Assistant Coaches

Jul 22, 2019 5:59 PM

The San Antonio Spurs have hired Tim Duncan and Will Hardy as assistant coaches.

Duncan will be on the front of the bench alongside Becky Hammon and Will Hardy.

San Antonio lost assistant coaches Ime Udoka and Ettore Messina this offseason.

“It is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor,” said Popovich.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Thunder Discussed Russell Westbrook Trade Leading To Draft

Jul 23, 2019 1:34 PM

The Oklahoma City Thunder were willing to discuss the possibility of trading Russell Westbrook prior to the draft, according to at least one rival team.

Westbrook and Paul George approached the Thunder about their discontent with the current situation before the draft.

The Thunder managed to trade George following an aggressive approach from the Los Angeles Clippers. Westbrook was traded to the Houston Rockets shortly thereafter.

Jovan Buha, Sam Amick/The Athletic

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Marcus Morris On Pulling Out Of Spurs' Deal: 'I Feel That I'm Clear With Them'
Rich Paul wanted Marcus Morris to sign a three-year deal with the Clippers in free agency.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

RC Buford Named CEO Of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, Brian Wright Named GM Of Spurs
Brian Wright will manage day-to-day basketball operations duties with RC Buford ascending to a new role.

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Kyle Lowry Hires Mark Bartelstein As New Agent Ahead Of Free Agency Next Summer
Kyle Lowry will be a free agent next summer.

Michael Scotto/The Athletic

Ted Leonsis Says Tommy Sheppard Is 'Very Fluent In The Global View Of Basketball'
Ted Leonsis said that the Wizards have the potential for a quick turnaround.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Zion Williamson Withdraws From Team USA For World Cup
Zion Williamson played in just one game in Summer League before he was shut down with a knee injury.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Wizards To Offer Bradley Beal Three-Year, $111M Extension
Bradley Beal has until Oct. 21st to sign the extension, which he will consider.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Wizards Hire John Thompson III To Run Athletic Development & Engagement Department
The department will focus on financial literacy, post-playing career opportunities and the overall empowerment and development of the athletes.

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Wolves Sign Jordan McLaughlin To Two-Way Contract
Jordan McLaughlin spent last season in the NBA G League with the Long Island Nets, playing in 39 games and averaging 15.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.6 steals per contest.

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Kyle Kuzma Parts Ways With Agents Mark Bartelstein, Zach Kurtin
Kyle Kuzma has yet to meet with new prospective agents.

Tania Ganguli/Los Angeles Times

Wizards Hire Sashi Brown As Chief Planning And Operations Officer
Sashi Brown previously ran the Cleveland Browns of NFL.

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Jimmy Butler Canceled Other Free Agency Visits Immediately After Meeting Heat
Jimmy Butler was convinced the Heat were the right fit due to their commitment to winning.

Anthony Chiang/Miami Herald

Bucks Waive Bonzie Colson
Bonzie Colson averaged 4.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in eight games last season with the Bucks.

Eric Nehm/The Athletic

Kostas Antetokounmpo Signs Two-Way Deal With Lakers
Kostas Antetokounmpo was recently waived by the Mavs.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

RealGM Radio: Matt Moore on NBA Tiers
Host Danny Leroux and Matt Moore of The Action Network lay out their tiers for the entire NBA.

RealGM Staff Report

Wizards 'Significantly More Collaborative' Under Tommy Sheppard
The Wizards are expected to make further additions to their basketball operations group.

Fred Katz/The Athletic

Wizards Reached Out To Maurice Cheeks For Assistant Role, Promote Jarell Christian
Maurice Cheeks turned down the Wizards role to remain with the Thunder.

Candace Buckner/The Washington Post

Kenneth Wooten Signs Exhibit 10 Contract With Knicks
Kenneth Wooten had 10 blocks in 52 minutes during summer league.

Marc Berman/New York Post

James Harden On Relationship With Chris Paul: We're Good
James Harden said that the tension between him and Chris Paul was driven by the media.

Brian T. Smith/Houston Chronicle

Lakers Hire Mike Penberthy As Shooting Coach
Mike Penberthy played briefly for the Lakers between 2000 and 2001.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Spurs Prepared To Promote Brian Wright To General Manager
Brian Wright was hired as assistant general manager of the Spurs in 2016.

Jabari Young/The Athletic