Basketball Wiretap

Tyronn Lue Takes Medical Leave Of Absence

Mar 19, 2018 11:08 AM

Tyronn Lue is taking a leave of absence as head coach of the Cavaliers to address his ongoing health issues. Larry Drew will serve as interim head coach in Lue's absence.

"After many conversations with our doctors and Koby and much thought given to what is best for the team and my health, I need to step back from coaching for the time being and focus on trying to establish a stronger and healthier foundation from which to coach for the rest of the season," said Lue in a statement.

"I have had chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep, throughout the year. Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is. 

"While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team. I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season. My goal is to come out of it a stronger and healthier version of myself so I can continue to lead this team to the Championship we are all working towards.

"I greatly appreciate Dan Gilbert, Koby Altman, our medical team and the organization's support throughout."

Sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that Lue hopes to return well before the start of the playoffs.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Nicolas Batum Out Several Games With Achilles Tendinitis

Mar 19, 2018 10:06 AM

Nicolas Batum has been diagnosed with chronic tendinitis in his left Achilles and could miss multiple games.

Batum underwent an MRI on Sunday.

The Hornets are seven games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with only 12 games remaining in the regular season.

Batum's 17-18 season has been slowed by injuries beginning with an elbow injury suffered in training camp.

Batum is in the second season of a five-year, $120 million deal with the Hornets.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Nicolas Batum, Charlotte Hornets, NBA, NBA Injury

LeBron James, Russell Westbrook Named Players Of The Week

Mar 19, 2018 3:35 PM

LeBron James has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for Week 22 (games played Monday, March 12, through Sunday, March 18), while Russell Westbrook won Western Conference honors.

This marks the third time James has won the award in 2017-18, increasing his total to an NBA-record 60 Player of the Week awards.

In three games this past week, James led the Cavaliers to a 2-1 record after averaging a NBA-best 32.0 points on .569 shooting from the field, 13.3 rebounds, 9.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.3 blocks in 38.0 minutes. He recorded three double-doubles, which includes two triple-double performances during the week. Among Eastern Conference leaders, the 6-8 forward led the conference in points per game (32.0) and field goals made (37), while tying for first in double-doubles (3) and triple-doubles (2). In addition, he ranked second in assists per game (9.7), tied for second in blocks per game (2.33), third in rebounds per game (13.3), tied for fifth in steals per game (2.0) and 15th in field goal percentage (.569). James, who tallied at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in all three contests, was the only player in the NBA to average at least 30.0 points and 10.0 rebounds.

Westbrook averaged 25.5 points, 12.0 assists and 11.3 rebounds as the Thunder went 4-0.

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Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Award

Gregg Popovich: It's Been A Frustrating Season

Mar 19, 2018 6:28 PM

The San Antonio Spurs have used 24 starting lineups this season as they have accrued 185 total games missed due to injury. Kawhi Leonard alone has missed 61 games.

"It's been a frustrating season," Gregg Popovich said. "But the challenges have pulled a lot of people closer. You have to do different things to try to stay afloat. It's been rewarding, as counterintuitive as that sounds."

"You've got to think: You can find the silver lining in anything," Danny Green said. "These young guys have gotten a great opportunity to show what they can do, and I think this will be great for them moving forward for their careers and for us as a team also to build some character, some depth, some trust and experience with these younger guys.

"We're hoping when it all comes together that this will be good for us."

Michael C. Wright/ESPN

Tags: San Antonio Spurs, NBA

LeBron James Spends Over $1M Per Year Caring For Body

Mar 19, 2018 4:43 PM

LeBron James is believed to spend over $1 million per year caring for his body.

James privately employs Donnie Raimon as his personal biomechanist. Raimon helped James overcome back issues he began to experience in 2015. 

James also has worked with Mike Mancias since 2004. Mancias is employed by the Cavaliers.

"Between Donnie and Mike, it's a great one-two punch," James said.

"LeBron is probably one of the best I've seen as far as just, every day you see him just doing stuff with Donnie every day," Tyronn Lue said. "He does a really good job of taking care of his body, and that's why he's able to play the way that he does."

James also employs personal chefs and masseuses while he also gets private treatments with liquid nitrogen to help reduce inflammation. The home facilities James has rival those of professional teams. In his Akron home, James has a complete workout gym, hot and cold tubs and a hyperbaric chamber.

"I just think over time you kind of learn how to grow with it and how to deal with it when certain situations happen," James said. "It's very challenging, and you just have to go through it, and there was never someone I could talk to when I was coming up that was a part of this league that I could kind of lean on. I've learned everything on the fly. And I'm not talking about the game. Obviously, I've had coaches, I've had teammates and things of that nature. But as far as being an NBA player, how to approach it, how your body and how you continue to stay consistent, I've learned all of that on my own."

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

Jalen McDaniels Declares For NBA Draft

Mar 19, 2018 6:21 PM

Jalen McDaniels will declare for the 2018 NBA Draft. McDaniels won't hire an agent at this time.

McDaniels is a 6-10 redshirt freshman out of San Diego State.

McDaniels averaged 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Jalen McDaniels, San Diego State Aztecs, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Kevin Love Returns From Broken Hand

Mar 19, 2018 5:45 PM

Kevin Love will return from his broken hand in Monday's game.

Love missed the past 21 games.

Love was named to the All-Star Game this season.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tags: Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Injury

Frank Jackson Out For Season After Foot Procedure

Mar 19, 2018 6:24 PM

Frank Jackson underwent successful scar tissue removal, debridement and injection to his right foot.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley in New York following consultation with Pelicans Director of Medical Services/Head Team Physician Dr. Misty Suri.

Jackson will miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season and a timetable for his return will be determined at a later date.

Jackson was the 31st overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Frank Jackson, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Injury

New Tax Law Could Disrupt Trades In Sports

Mar 19, 2018 4:54 PM

The NBA sent teams an email this month detailing the disruption of their trading system under the United States' new tax law. The NBA is still figuring out how to respond.

The new law forces manufacturers, farmers and others to pay more in capital gains taxes, if they trade an asset for something more valuable, and it also applies to sports teams trading player. 

“There is no fair-market value of a baseball player. There isn’t,” said Daniel R. Halem, the chief legal officer of Major League Baseball. “I don’t really know what our clubs are going to do to address the issue. We haven’t fully figured it out yet. This is a change we hope was inadvertent, and we’re going to lobby hard to get it corrected.”

Officials from the NBA and MLB expressed hope that Congress would revisit the provision.

For decades, teams have not paid taxes on trades, and thus have not had to account for the value of the assets they are exchanging, for tax purposes. 

The Internal Revenue Service allowed baseball owners to depreciate the cost of player contracts over several years to reduce the team's taxable income. It declared that “trades of player contracts owned by major league baseball clubs will be considered exchanges of like-kind property” under a section of the tax code.

Jim Tankersley/New York Times


Joe Lacob: We'll Build Around Core Until We Decide Maybe We Shouldn't

Mar 19, 2018 4:13 PM

Joe Lacob said he discusses contingency plans for endless best- and worst-case scenarios “every day” for the Warriors.

The Warriors have looked to the Spurs for how to build a sustainable title contender.

“They’re a great role model for how to sustain it, but I have no idea where we’ll be in five or 10 years,” Bob Myers told The Bay Area News Group. “I’m not sure they knew where they would be. But all you can do is work.”

“If we want to do what the Spurs have done, we’re going to have to find a way to bridge to the next era,” Steve Kerr told The Bay Area News Group. “I don’t know when that is, but this isn’t going to last forever.”

As good as Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are now, he realizes that the prime of players is always a fleeting thing.

“Steph is not going to play like this forever. KD is not going to be KD forever,” Kerr said. “How do we build that bridge through personnel and through continuity? I also have to do a great job with my coaching, so hopefully I’ll be a part of that bridge. If I don’t do a good job of coaching, I won’t be. But I know I have the faith of Joe, Peter (Guber) and Bob, and I have the faith in them. I think we have the structure in place to really remain competitive and stable.”

“He’s proven that it’s not about the money or the luxury tax. One thing I know about Joe is he wants to win,” Green said. “He wants to win every game. Up to this point, he’s proven that. Obviously there’s decisions coming up in the next couple of years that have to be made. So we’ll see what happens.”

Green and Thompson will be free agents in upcoming seasons.

“We’ll build around that core until we decide maybe we shouldn’t. But right now it feels pretty good,” Lacob said. “These guys are all performing at a great level. We love them as part of our organization. I don’t really see doing anything major. But you never really know. We have to evaluate when the season is over. It’s very hard when you’re in the middle of it all to see it objectively.”

Lacob floated the possibility of the Warriors make a major move that shakes up their roster.

“Maybe we will emphasize continuity. Or maybe we will make a big move,” Lacob said. “We’re looking at different options, given different things playing out in different ways. I think you should always be doing that.”

There have been reports in the media that the Warriors have internally discussed the possibility of trading for Anthony Davis.

Mark Media/San Jose Mercury News

Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Penny Hardaway Hired As Head Coach At University Of Memphis
Penny Hardaway retired from his playing career in 2008.

Jeff Goodman/ESPN

NBA PER: Russell Westbrook Moves Up To No. 8
Russell Westbrook has moved to No. 8 in the NBA in PER after a slow start to the season.

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Dunc'd On: 15 in 60 (Western Conference 3.19.18)
Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux give updates on each team in the Western Conference.

Jimmy Butler Hopeful Of Returning From Knee Injury During Regular Season
Jimmy Butler spoke to reporters for the first time since suffering a meniscus injury on Feb. 23.


Stan Van Gundy Fined $15,000 For Criticism Of Refs
Stan van Gundy's comments came following a loss to the Blazers.

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Alvin Gentry Fined $15,000 By NBA For Comments Of Officiating
Alvin Gentry's comments came after Saturday's loss to the Rockets.

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Magic Sign Rodney Purvis To 2nd 10-Day Contract
Rodney Purvis has played in five games with Orlando, averaging 3.8 ppg. in 11.5 minpg.

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Blazers Sign Georgios Papagiannis For Remainder Of Season
The Blazers initially signed Georgios Papagiannis to a 10-day contract.

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Rudy Gobert Glad Jazz Didn't Try To Tank
Rudy Gobert doesn't believe tanking is a sound strategy.

Sam Amick/USA Today

Stan Van Gundy: Referees Embarrassing For NBA
Stan van Gundy believes the officiating was the difference in Detroit's loss to the Blazers.


Cavaliers Sign Okaro White To 10-Day Contract
Okaro White appeared in six games this season with the Heat and 35 during the 16-17 season.

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Michele Roberts To Seek Extension As NBPA Executive Director
Michele Roberts' original four-year deal expires in September.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Nigel Hayes Agrees To 2nd 10-Day Contract With Raptors
Nigel Hayes has appeared in two games for Toronto.

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Kevin Durant Out Two Weeks With Rib Injury
Kevin Durant suffered the injury in last Sunday's loss to the Wolves.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

David Stockton Signs 10-Day Contract With Jazz
David Stockton was averaging 16.3 points and 5.2 assists per game in the G League.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Marcus Smart To Undergo Surgery On Right Thumb
Marcus Smart will be a restricted free agent this offseason.

Chris Forsberg, Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Deandre Ayton Declares For 2018 NBA Draft
Deandre Ayton is projected to be the first or second pick in the draft.

Edward Aschoff/ESPN

Dunc'd On: Marc Stein On GM Openings, Hinkie, Next Star To Move, Tanking Eight
Nate Duncan and Marc Stein discuss the buyout market, GM openings, the tank race, and potential star trade candidates.

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Gordon Hayward Suffered Setback In Recovery
Danny Ainge said Gordon Hayward is now back on track in his rehab.

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Tom Benson Passes Away At Age 90
Tom Benson was one of only three owners of both an NFL and NBA franchise at the time of his death.

Mike Triplett/ESPN