Basketball Wiretap

Exec: Number Of Big Men In NBA Could Be Cut In Half By 2020

Jan 17, 2018 11:58 AM

In an analytical piece about how the Golden State Warriors are using Jordan Bell as a small ball center, Jonathan Tjarks relays an anecdote about how the number of traditional bigs in the NBA will continue to decline.

"There’s a positive feedback loop happening with small ball: The more teams play it, the less valuable every traditional 5 in the league becomes," writes Tjarks. "I talked to one executive who thinks the number of big men in the NBA will be cut in half by 2020. Every team will soon be looking for its own version of Jordan Bell, if they aren’t already."

The Warriors acquired the draft rights to Bell from the Bulls, who fell to the second round. 

"The irony is that Bell is exactly the type of big man those teams need against Golden State," writes Tjarks. "He wouldn’t be as successful with less offensive talent around him, but a player with his skill set is inherently valuable."

The Warriors have a net rating of +14.9 when Bell has played this season, which is the fourth best mark on the team.

Jonathan Tjarks/The Ringer

Tags: Jordan Bell, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Robin Lopez, Justin Holiday Could Be Dealt By Bulls

Jan 17, 2018 11:21 AM

Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday could be moved by the Chicago Bulls by the trade deadline.

Lopez is signed through the 18-19 season. Lopez signed a four-year, $54 million deal with the Knicks in 2015.

Holiday signed with the Bulls on a two-year, $9 million deal in 2017.

Joe Cowley/Chicago Sun-Times

Tags: Robin Lopez, Justin Holiday, Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Bulls Remaining Patient On Nikola Mirotic Trade Talks

Jan 17, 2018 11:18 AM

While Nikola Mirotic is widely expected to be traded before the deadline, the Chicago Bulls are remaining patient with the process.

Chicago has been seeking a first round pick in exchange for Mirotic.

Mirotic must waive his no-trade clause in order to be dealt, but he still prefers a trade following his preseason fight with Bobby Portis.

Mirotic signed a two-year, $27 million deal with the Bulls in restricted free agency.

Fred Hoiberg praised Mirotic for his attitude as trade talk swirls around him.

“Niko has been awesome throughout this process,” Hoiberg said. “And it’s not easy when your name is getting thrown out there as much as his is. A couple of our other guys, as well.”

Joe Cowley/Chicago Sun-Times

Tags: Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Rajon Rondo: What Has Isaiah Thomas Done?

Jan 17, 2018 10:56 AM

Rajon Rondo was asked to give his opinion on Boston rescheduling the video tribute to Isaiah Thomas that was initially planned for the same night as Paul Pierce's jersey retirement.

"What has he done?” Rondo asked reporters about Thomas.

Reporters than told Rondo about Thomas leading the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals.

“Oh, that’s what we celebrate around here?”

Rondo then continued.

"This is the Boston Celtics. This isn’t the Phoenix Suns, no disrespect to any other organization, but you don’t hang conference titles. Do we hang going to the conference finals? What do we hang here?” Rondo continued.

A reporter then replied with the obvious answer to his question, Rondo decided to shut down any further analysis with a simple, "OK, cool."



Tags: Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA

Trevor Ariza Emerges As Instigator Into Clippers' Locker Room

Jan 17, 2018 10:02 AM

Trevor Ariza has emerged as the focus of the NBA's probe into Monday's incident between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers.

League sources have described Chris Paul and James Harden as working to slow down Ariza's anger at Austin Rivers and Blake Griffin.

Some on the Clippers, however, insist Paul eagerly entered their locker room through a backdoor entrance with Ariza, Harden and Gerald Green.

The NBA interviewed multiple executives, coaches, players and security personnel Tuesday and plan further conversations Wednesday.

The Rockets felt Austin Rivers had been especially belligerent from the bench.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Trevor Ariza, Chris Paul, James Harden, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA Suspension, NBA Fines

Dunc'd On: News Catchup, Pacific Division Trade Deadline Preview

Jan 17, 2018 1:40 AM

Click to subscribe via RSS feed or iTunes.

We hit on news, including JJ Redick's injury and as much of the Clippers/Houston fracas as Nate can stand (not much). Then a trade deadline analysis of the Pacific division, including the Clippers' trade options with LouWilliams and DeAndre Jordan, the Lakers' quest to clear space for the summer, and the Warriors' bid to get better this year without paying more tax.

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

Cavs' Front Office Not Communicating With Players As Much As Under David Griffin

Jan 16, 2018 5:15 PM

The Cleveland Cavaliers' front office hasn't been in communication with players and coaches with as much frequency as it was under David Griffin, according to multiple sources.

The Cavaliers allowed the contract of David Griffin to expire in June.

After nearly signing Chauncey Billups, the Cavaliers promoted Koby Altman to general manager.

Joe Vardon/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

Chris Paul Praises Lou Williams With Perceived Shade Towards Blake Griffin

Jan 16, 2018 3:00 PM

Chris Paul appeared to dismiss Blake Griffin following their heated game on Monday by praising the play of Lou Williams.

“They’ve got Lou Will. Lou Will is the guy,” Paul said.

“That’s the go-to guy, the guy they should play through and stuff like that.

“He’s having a great year, and he’s tough, man. He’s tough.”

Williams was named Western Conference Player of the Week last week.

Tim Bontemps/Washington Post

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers, NBA

Mike D'Antoni Claims Blake Griffin Made Intentional Contact With Him

Jan 16, 2018 2:48 PM

Mike D'Antoni accused Blake Griffin of intentionally making contract with him in the fourth quarter of Monday's game.

D'Antoni was arguing with a referee about a goaltending no-call on the previous possession when Griffin veered toward him and made contact. After getting fouled seconds later, Griffin made a beeline for D'Antoni and exchanged expletives with the Rockets coach.

"Well, after he said what he said, I said the same thing back," Griffin said.

D'Antoni declined to elaborate on the contact made by Griffin.

"I'm not going to get into it," D'Antoni said after twice mentioning that Griffin hit him. "It's no big deal. Really, it's no big deal. We just didn't play well tonight."

Chris Paul confronted Griffin immediately after his shouting match with D'Antoni.

"Coach told me he elbowed him," Paul said. "Then I seen him talking crazy to Coach, so I'm always going to have Coach's back."

Asked what he told Griffin, Paul said, "Whatever it was, I'm sure my mama is going to tell me to watch my mouth."

Doc Rivers said he had seen a similar coach-player incident.

"Yeah, I have," Rivers said. "I've been part of that. It happens, you know. Mike's probably fighting for his guys, and you know. ... I don't think a coach should ever get engaged with a player, personally. But I've been guilty of it before. You know, it's an emotional game."

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA

Pelicans Main Competition For DeMarcus Cousins Expected To Be Mavs, Lakers

Jan 16, 2018 2:26 PM

The free agency of DeMarcus Cousins is one of the NBA's most intriguing storylines of 2018 as the New Orleans Pelicans are expected to do whatever they can to re-sign him.

"I think most teams around the league believe that the Pelicans will re-sign Cousins unless he doesn't want to stay there," said Marc Stein on the Dunc'd On Podcast. "I think the Pelicans are the clear favorites. Now, I would say there's an expectation and maybe even speculation on the part of rival teams, but I've heard Dallas and the Lakers mentioned most frequently that those are teams that expected, whatever expected means, to make a run at him.

"Now for the Lakers, they have other targets. I would think Cousins is lower on their list than certainly LeBron or Paul George, but Dallas going after Cousins would be a very Mark Cuban move. I obviously live in Dallas. There's been talk about Cousins here for awhile, certainly around town people expect the Mavs to go after him. Can they convince him to leave New Orleans if the Pels put that max deal on the table?"

Cousins is likely to have a limited market of teams that can offer a max contract.

Marc Stein/New York Times

Tags: DeMarcus Cousins, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Kings To Sit At Least Two Veterans Per Game To Develop Younger Players
George Hill, Kosta Koufos, Garrett Temple, Vince Carter and Zach Randolph will have their minutes reduced.

Jason Jones/Sacramento Bee

Cavaliers Prefer To Hold Onto Brooklyn Pick Heading To Deadline
The Cavaliers view the draft asset as a chance to reset the franchise if LeBron James decides to leave as a free agent in July.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Several Cavs Unhappy, Concerned About State Of Team
The Cavaliers are still in evaluation mode following the return of Isaiah Thomas from injury.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

CP3, Ariza, Harden Enter Clippers' Locker Room Seeking Confrontation
The Rockets attempted to confront Austin Rivers and Blake Griffin.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Dunc'd On: Marc Stein Previews The Trade Deadline; #TwitterNBAShow GSW/CLE
Nate Duncan and Marc Stein discuss the upcoming NBA trade deadline.

RealGM Staff Report

Rockets Release Briante Weber, Sign Markel Brown To Two-Way
Markel Brown had been playing for the Oklahoma City Blue of the G League.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Wolves Sign Amile Jefferson To Two-Way Contract
Amile Jefferson is averaging 18.0 points and a league-best 13.1 rebounds per game in the G League.

RealGM Staff Report

76ers Sign Demetrius Jackson To Two-Way Contract, Waive McAdoo
Demetrius Jackson averaged 15.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 30.9 minutes per game in the G League.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Pistons Sign Reggie Hearn To Two-Way Contract
Reggie Hearn has averaged 14.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 30.7 minutes per game.

RealGM Staff Report

Goran Dragic, Lou Williams Named Players Of The Week
Goran Dragic averaged 23.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game to lead Miami to an undefeated week.

RealGM Staff Report

NBA Net Rating: Wolves Enter Top-5
The Wolves have a Net Rating of +4.3 points per 100 possessions

RealGM Staff Report

Nets Sign James Webb III To Two-Way Contract
James Webb III is averaging 11.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 27.4 minutes per game in the G League for Delaware.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Knicks Attempted To Schedule Last Minute Workout With Dennis Smith Jr.
The Knicks attempted to schedule a last minute workout with Dennis Smith Jr.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Rockets Sign R.J. Hunter To Two-Way Contract
R.J. Hunter has averaged 19.2 points in 29.8 minutes on 43.2 percent shooting.

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Teams Reluctant To Take On Salary In Trade Market
Many NBA executives are anticipating a dearth of activity around this year's trade deadline.

Tim Bontemps/Washington Post

Magic Expected To Shop Evan Fournier, Elfrid Payton, Mario Hezonja
The Magic have gone 4-27 after beginning the season with an 8-4 record.

Marc Stein/New York Times

NBA PER: James Harden Remains Only Player Above 30.0
James Harden is out with injury and his PER remains above 30.0.

RealGM Staff Report

Kevin Durant Has Increased Interest In Owning NBA Team
Kevin Durant and his business partner Rich Kleiman have taken numerous meetings with existing owners and tech CEOs to gather information about the endeavor.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Dunc'd On: 15 in 60 (Western Conference 1.15.18)
Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux give updates on all the Western Conference teams.

Lakers To Sign Gary Payton II To Two-Way Contract
Gary Payton II was waived by the Bucks on Dec. 18th when they signed Sean Kilpatrick.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports