December 2016 Basketball Wiretap

Suns Recall Derrick Jones Jr. From D-League

Dec 31, 2016 1:57 PM

The Phoenix Suns have recalled forward Derrick Jones Jr. from the Northern Arizona Suns, their NBA Development League affiliate.

Jones was assigned to the NAZ Suns on Dec. 23, his third assignment of the season.

In 14 games overall with the NAZ Suns this season, he has averaged 14.0 points on 48.0 percent shooting and 6.1 rebounds in 32.1 minutes. He scored a season-high 23 points against Iowa on Dec. 10.

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Tags: Phoenix Suns, Northern Arizona Suns, NBA, D-League, D-League Teams

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Magic Assign Stephen Zimmerman To D-League

Dec 31, 2016 1:55 PM

The Orlando Magic have assigned Stephen Zimmerman to the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League.

Zimmerman (7’0”, 240, 9/9/96) has appeared in eight games this season with the Magic, averaging 1.3 ppg. and 1.8 rpg. in 4.0 minpg. He was previously assigned to Erie on November 28 and December 15. Zimmerman has played and started in six games with the BayHawks, averaging 17.3 ppg., 13.5 rpg., 1.0 apg., 1.50 blkpg. and 1.33 stlpg. in 34.2 minpg., while shooting .494 (42-85) from the field. He was originally selected in the second round (41st overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft by Orlando.

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Tags: Orlando Magic, Erie BayHawks (2008), NBA, D-League, D-League Teams

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Heat Confirm Extension For Erik Spoelstra

Dec 31, 2016 1:12 PM

The Miami Heat have confirmed Erik Spoelstra signed a contract extension in the offseason.

Spoelstra became head coach of the Heat in 08-09.

"I would like to thank the Arisons and Pat for their continued confidence in me and my staff and [I am] humbled in their trust in me as head coach," Spoelstra said Friday in a statement released by the Heat.

"It has been an incredible 22 years being part of the Miami Heat family and we will look to continue our goal of winning NBA championships."

ESPN

Tags: Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Fred Hoiberg Downplays 'Hot Seat' Talk

Dec 31, 2016 1:11 PM

Fred Hoiberg has downplayed a report that he's on the hot seat as the Chicago Bulls struggle.

“Someone just mentioned something to me about that. You know, I don’t know anything about it, so I’m not going to comment on it," Hoiberg said.

"I’ve got a job to do, which is to try and put this team in a position to go out and win basketball games. Like probably 24 other coaches, I’m trying to find a way for us to go out and play consistent basketball on a nightly basis. We’ve taken some steps at times the last few games, as far as getting back to how we were playing earlier in the year to where I thought we were as good as anyone in the league as far as getting up and down the floor. We gotta find that, we gotta get back to it. So again, my job right now is to do the best job I can as far as putting the game plan together to give us a chance to win the game, and throw it all out there."

Hoiberg replaced Tom Thibodeau in 2015.

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Nikola Pekovic Prepared To Retire

Dec 30, 2016 2:00 PM

Nikola Pekovic acknowledged this week that he's "more prepared for ending my career than returning" to the NBA.

Minnesota is expected to pursue a medical retirement for Pekovic after Jan 31st. Pekovic has had persistent ankle issues.

Pekovic has one year left on the five-year, $60 million deal he signed during the 2013 offseason.

Pekovic has been running Partizan Belgrade while away from the Wolves.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Tags: Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Injury

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Isaiah Thomas: We're Not On Cleveland's Level

Dec 30, 2016 12:45 PM

The Boston Celtics are 0-3 now this season against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors.

The Celtics lost 124-118 to the Cavaliers on Thursday.

"We're not on that level yet," Isaiah Thomas said. "We're not on Cleveland's level, so we got work to do. And we gotta figure it out.

"The real good teams, you make a mistake and they capitalize on it, whether it be the Cavs, the Warriors, the Spurs -- those type of teams don't let you live when you make a mistake. We're not on that level yet."

Thomas had 31 points in the game.

"[The Cavaliers] know what we can do, we know what we can do, we just gotta play better," said Thomas.

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Tags: Boston Celtics, NBA

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Paul George: This Season Hasn't Been Fun

Dec 30, 2016 12:38 PM

Paul George said he's done criticizing referees and will focus on turning around the Indiana Pacers' season.

"I've been getting caught up with officials, getting caught up with on-court stuff," George said after practice Wednesday. "(I've lost) sight of how fun this game is to me. … Now whatever happens on the court, I couldn't care less, as long as I'm having fun and enjoying what I'm doing.

The Pacers have a 15-18 record and he's received $25,000 worth of fines.

"This season hasn't been (fun)," he said. "It's been one of the most frustrating seasons I've been a part of. But I just have to approach it as being myself, to enjoy the process, enjoy the grind. That's only going to show on the court. But more so, it's going to show in the locker room."

Jim Ayello/Indianapolis Star

Tags: Paul George, Indiana Pacers, NBA

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Suns Could Move Brandon Knight Before Deadline

Dec 30, 2016 12:28 PM

The Phoenix Suns could move Brandon Knight between now and the Feb. 23rd trade deadline.

Knight has been the odd man out in the Suns' backcourt 

Knight agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal with the Suns in the 2015 offseason after he was acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks.

Knight is averaging 13.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 23.5 minutes per game this season. Knight averaged 19.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 36.0 minutes per game last season.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Tags: Brandon Knight, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Fred Hoiberg Under Scrutiny As Bulls Struggle

Dec 30, 2016 12:11 PM

Fred Hoiberg is under earlier-than-expected pressure with the Chicago Bulls' disappointing December play.

While John Paxson and Gar Forman haven't escaped questioning as well, the Bulls are increasingly assessing the coaching fit.

Hoiberg so far has been best protected by the fact he's owed a significant amount of money on his five-year, $25 million contract.

The Bulls are concerned with how the players have responded to Hoiberg.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Russell Westbrook Believes He's Treated Differently By Officials

Dec 30, 2016 12:06 PM

Russell Westbrook was ejected in Thursday's loss by the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Memphis Grizzlies as he picked up back-to-back technical fouls. Westbrook believes he's being officiated differently from other players.

"Honestly, I don't know, man. Honestly, it's crazy to be ejected like that, especially when I didn't do nothing," Westbrook said. "It's just crazy, man. Especially for me, because I feel like I don't get the benefit of the doubt most of the time, especially throughout the game with refs.

"I get so many techs just for talking. I can't even say nothing when I'm getting hammered every time I go to the damn basket throughout the games and previous games. Not tonight, but every night. I just don't get ref'd the same way as other people, and I don't appreciate it."

Westbrook's ejection Thursday came after he argued what he thought was an air ball by the Grizzlies and an incorrect resetting of the shot clock.

Royce Young/ESPN

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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Rockets Interested In Trading For Kosta Koufos

Marc Stein/ESPN

Dunc'd On Pod: BOS/CLE, DAL/LAL, Mailbag, Jim Buss, News Catch-Up

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RealGM Radio: Sam Vecenie On The NBA Draft

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Stephen Curry Suggests Warriors Play To Strengths On Offense

Ethan Sherwood Strauss/ESPN

Celtics Lobby For Jaylen Brown In Dunk Contest

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Carmelo Anthony Ejected For Hit On Thabo Sefolosha

Ian Begley/ESPN

Hawks Assign Taurean Prince To D-League

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R.J. Hunter Waived By Bulls

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Paul George Fined $15k For 'Little Brother' Remark

ESPN

Lakers Bring In Donatas Motiejunas For Workout

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Kevin Love Believes He's Still An All-Star

Chris Fedor/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Nerlens Noel Makes Peace With Lack Of Playing Time

Keith Pompey/Philadelphia Inquirer

Draymond Green Won't Change Approach As Techs Accumulate

ESPN

Trevor Ariza Waits To Confront Salah Mejri Outside Mavs' Locker Room

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Phil Jackson, Jeanie Buss End Four-Year Engagement

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Bryn Forbes Assigned By Spurs To D-League

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76ers Believe Joel Embiid Deserves All-Star Consideration

Keith Pompey/Philadelphia Inquirer

Spurs Waive Nico Laprovittola

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Josh McRoberts Out Indefinitely With Stress Fracture In Left Foot

Ira Winderman/South Florida Sun Sentinel

Goran Dragic Sits With Back Spasms

Ira Winderman/South Florida Sun Sentinel