December 2017 Basketball Wiretap

Lakers Willing To Save Cap Space For 2019

Dec 11, 2017 9:48 AM

While the Los Angeles Lakers would like to sign two max contract free agents in 2018, they are willing to preserve some of their cap space for 2019 if they're unable to sign their targets.

LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Chris Paul and DeMarcus Cousins headline the 2018 class, while Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard are in the 2019 class.

“I feel really good about it. Now, we have cap space for probably two max guys, but that’s not to say we’ll use both of them," said Magic Johnson. "We want to if we can, but we have a Plan A and we have Plan B. Say we only get one of those guys, then we’ll make a decision on not to use the cap space. We can do that and save it for the class that’s coming the next year. We’re not going to give money away just because we have the cap space. I’m not about that.

"If the guy can’t really take our team to another level, and we see what Kyrie Irving has done for the Boston Celtics. Put him with that young talent the Celtics have, and they’ve taken off. We feel the same thing can happen for the Lakers. If we get the right free agent, that guy can take our young talent to a whole another level.”

Harrison Faigen/Lakers Nation

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Joel Embiid Sits With Back Tightness

Dec 10, 2017 8:26 PM

Joel Embiid sat out Sunday's game against the Pelicans due to back soreness.

Embiid also missed Saturday's game against the Cavaliers because he's yet to been cleared to play on consecutive nights.

Embiid has now missed five games this season.

Keith Pompey/Philadelphia Daily News

Tags: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA Injury

Rival Execs Give Rockets Legitimate Chance Of Signing LeBron James

Dec 10, 2017 10:44 AM

Rival executives believe the Houston Rockets have a legitimate chance of signing LeBron James in free agency.

The presence of Chris Paul and James Harden makes the Rockets an attractive spot for James. Paul and James are close friends, while Harden played with James during the 2012 Olympics.

Houston is projected of being over the cap in the offseason, which would force Daryl Morey to get extraordinarily creative to fit James' salary. Paul forced his way to the Rockets with an opt-in-and-trade that James could also conceivably utilize.

Sam Amick/USA Today

Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

NBA PER: LeBron James, James Harden Tied For 1st

Dec 11, 2017 9:18 AM

LeBron James and James Harden are tied for the lead in PER at 31.3 with Giannis Antetokounmpo just behind them at 31.1. Kyrie Irving entered the top-10 this week at 25.0.

NBA PER Rankings (Week 8)
1. LeBron James: 31.3
2. James Harden: 31.3
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo: 31.1
4. Anthony Davis: 28.2
5. Stephen Curry: 27.4
6. Clint Capela: 25.8
7. Hassan Whiteside: 25.7
8. LaMarcus Aldridge: 25.3
9. Kyrie Irving: 25.0
10. Nikola Jokic: 24.9
11. Kevin Durant: 24.6
12. David West: 24.5
13. Joel Embiid: 24.4
14. Chris Paul: 24.4
15. Kevin Love: 24.3
16. Montrezl Harrell: 24.2
17. Damian Lillard: 24.1
18. Enes Kanter: 23.7
19. Kristaps Porzingis: 23.7
20. Victor Oladipo: 23.5
21. DeMarcus Cousins: 23.4
22. Andre Drummond: 22.5
23. Tyreke Evans: 22.3
24. DeMar DeRozan: 22.3
25. Karl-Anthony Towns: 22.2

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, NBA Rankings

Dunc'd On: 15 in 60 (Western Conference 12.11.17)

Dec 11, 2017 3:49 AM

Click to subscribe via RSS feed or iTunes.

A look at the 15 teams in the Western Conference, starting with Golden State, then reverse alphabetical order from Utah to Dallas.

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA).  And if you like this pod, please donate to support Nate and Danny at  Merchandise available at

Tags: NBA, Dunc'd On

Markelle Fultz No Longer Feeling Shoulder Soreness

Dec 9, 2017 7:20 PM

Markelle Fultz is no longer experiencing soreness in his right shoulder and will be evaluated again in three weeks.

The Sixers said Fultz will ramp up his basketball activities in the interim.

Fultz has played in just four games this season and was shut down on Oct. 29th after he played in several games with obvious discomfort in his shoulder.

Fultz's shooting woes have been underscored by an altered shooting motion that has made some wonder whether the shooting tweak led to the shoulder injury or the shoulder injury forced him to change his shot.


Tags: Markelle Fultz, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA Injury

Bulls Assign Zach LaVine To G-League For Rehab

Dec 9, 2017 7:15 PM

The Chicago Bulls have assigned guard Zach LaVine to the Windy City Bulls.

LaVine is currently rehabbing a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that took place on Feb. 3, 2017, vs. the Detroit Pistons.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls, Windy City Bulls, NBA, D-League, D-League Teams

2023 FIBA World Cup Awarded To Philippines, Japan, Indonesia

Dec 9, 2017 10:19 AM

FIBA on Saturday awarded the hosting rights for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 to Philippines/Japan/Indonesia.

This marks the first time in the competition's history that it is to be staged in more than one country.

The 2019 World Cup will be held in China.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will see the Group Phase take place in Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, with the Final Phase to follow in the Philippine capital city of Manila.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, National, National World Championships

Grizzlies Hire Greg Buckner As Assistant Coach

Dec 8, 2017 6:46 PM

The Memphis Grizzlies have hired Greg Buckner as an assistant coach on Grizzlies interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff’s staff. 

Buckner joins the Grizzlies with five years of coaching experience (2011-16) with the Houston Rockets, where he served alongside Bickerstaff for two seasons as an assistant coach (2014-16) following three seasons as a player development coach (2011-14).

Selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round (53rd overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft, Buckner appeared in 570 career games (117 starts) and averaged 5.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists with the Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies. Regarded as an outstanding defensive player, Buckner helped his teams reach the postseason in six of his 10 NBA seasons. His playing career also included a stint with the Grand Rapids Hoops (1998-99) of the Continental Basketball Association.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Memphis Grizzlies, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Kawhi Leonard Targeting Tuesday For Season Debut

Dec 8, 2017 3:17 PM

Kawhi Leonard is targeting Tuesday's game against the Mavericks as his return date.

There was previously optimism that Leonard would make his season debut on Saturday at Phoenix.

Leonard has yet to play this season due to a quad injury.

Adrian Wojnarowski, Michael C. Wright/ESPN

Tags: San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Injury

Cody Zeller Out Indefinitely With Torn Left Meniscus
The Hornets are still debating Cody Zeller's treatment options.


Sean Marks Continuing To 'Bet On Staff' With Nets' Trades
The Nets have made a pair of "second draft" moves in trading for Jahlil Okafor and D'Angelo Russell.

Tim Bontemps/Washington Post

Derrick Rose Denies Adidas Contract Was Factor In Decision To Keep Playing
Derrick Rose reportedly would lose $80 million on his Adidas contract if he were to walk away.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

DeAndre Jordan Chose Jeff Schwartz Over Rich Paul As Agent
The Bucks have several ties to Jeff Schwartz, which could make dealing for DeAndre Jordan an easier proposition.

Ken Berger/Bleacher Report

Derrick Rose Has Bone Spur In Left Ankle
Derrick Rose has a bone spur in his left ankle that may need surgery.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Hawks Waive Nicolas Brussino
Nicolas Brussino was claimed off waivers by the Hawks this offseason after his release by the Mavericks.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Dunc'd On: Dylan Murphy: Pacers, Raptors, NBA Strategy
Nate Duncan and Dylan Murphy the Pacers Offense, Blazers Defense, and more NBA strategy.

RealGM Staff Report

Alexis Ajinca Undergoes Surgery On Right Patellar Tendon
Alexis Ajinca is likely out 4-6 months.

RealGM Staff Report

Kawhi Leonard Expected To Make Season Debut On Saturday
Kawhi Leonard participated in a final workout session on Thursday.

Jabari Young/San Antonio Express-News

LeBron James Pays $23M For 2nd Home In Los Angeles
The house has city-to-ocean views, the 15,846-square-foot home is furnished with an elevator, a home theater and a custom kitchen.

Neal J. Leitereg/Los Angeles Times

Suns To Sign Danuel House To Two-Way Contract
Danuel House is averaging 17.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game this season in the G-League.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

76ers Trade Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas To Nets For Trevor Booker
The 76ers are nearing an agreement to trade Jahlil Okafor to the Nets for a second round pick and Trevor Booker.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Luke Walton Enjoying 'Clearer Vision' Of Lakers' Direction Under New Regime
A source close to Luke Walton says one of the best things to happen to him was the hiring of Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson.

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Mexico City Could Have G-League Franchise Next Season
The NBA has played games in Mexico City for 25 years.

Marc Stein/New York Times

Mike D'Antoni: Incorporating Chris Paul Has Worked Better Than Our Wildest Dreams
The Rockets have worked Chris Paul into their backcourt with James Harden and Eric Gordon exceptionally well.

Sam Amick/USA Today

Gordon Hayward Soon Progressing Out Of Walking Boot Stage
Gordon Hayward will soon begin the early stages of his rehab from a fractured left ankle.

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Spurs Wish They Could Have Kept Udonis Haslem In 2003
Udonis Haslem was on the Spurs' Summer League team in 2003 but they didn't have a roster spot for him.

Jeff McDonald/San Antonio Express-News

Suns Waive Derrick Jones Jr.
Derrick Jones Jr. is expected to receive interest on waivers as he's in the second season of a four-year deal.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Markelle Fultz Returns To 76ers From Rehab In Kentucky
Brett Brown described Markelle Fultz's basketball activity on Wednesday as "minimal."

Jessica Camerato/NBC Sports Philadelphia

Nikola Mirotic Moves On Emotionally From Bobby Portis Incident
Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis exchanged fist bumps during Wednesday's game.

K.C. Johnson/Chicago Tribune