June 2021 Basketball Wiretap

Chris Paul Officially Available To Play In Game 3

Jun 24, 2021 2:40 PM

Chris Paul has been officially made available to play for the Phoenix Suns in Game 3.

Paul missed Games 1 and 2 due to him being in the NBA's COVID-19 protocols. 

The Suns lead the best of seven series against the Los Angeles Clippers 2-0.

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Tags: Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Clippers Nicknamed Tyronn Lue 'Bill Belichick' Due To His Ability To Make Adjustments

Jun 24, 2021 1:59 PM

Tyronn Lue famously led the Cleveland Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 Finals and also has helped guide the Los Angeles Clippers back from 2-0 deficits in each of the first two rounds of this year's playoffs, demonstrating his ability to make adjustments as a series progresses. The Clippers are again down 2-0, this time against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals.

"We crack jokes," Patrick Beverley said after the Game 2 loss in Phoenix. "We called T-Lue 'Bill Belichick' with all the adjustments he makes.

"He's definitely going to find a way."

David Griffin believes Cleveland's regular-season record would have been better during their time together if Lue hadn't held back. Griffin recalls one instance when the Cavs were being carved up playing a certain defensive set.

"What are you doing?" Griffin asked Lue.

"I know how I'm going to adjust," Griffin recalls Lue responding. "Do you want me to do it now and let them have a head start for the playoffs, or do you want me to do it when the playoffs start?"

"He was playing chess the whole time," Griffin said.

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

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Jason Kidd Will Be 'Prime Candidate' For Mavericks

Jun 24, 2021 1:04 PM

Jason Kidd will be a "prime candidate" once the Dallas Mavericks begin their head coaching search. The Mavericks are focused on hiring a new president of basketball operations. 

Rick Carlisle also endorsed Kidd as the next head coach of the Mavericks.

"My hope is that Jason Kidd will be the next coach of the Mavericks because he and Luka have so many things in common as players," Carlisle told Tim MacMahon.

Kidd is coming off his second season as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Marc Stein/New York Times

Tags: Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Rich Paul Discusses Possibility Of Ben Simmons Trade With 76ers

Jun 24, 2021 11:58 AM

The Philadelphia 76ers have begun discussions on the future of Ben Simmons, which included his agent Rich Paul.

Paul met with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand at the pre-draft combine.

Simmons has four years and $147 million left on his contract.

While no trade request has been made, Paul engaged the 76ers on whether it would make sense to work together to find a trade before the start of next season.

Sources say the trade value of Simmons remains significant should a deal be pursued.

The 76ers remain committed to working through the shooting issues Simmons currently is dealing with, especially at the free show line. 

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Ben Simmons, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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76ers Drafted Mikal Bridges In 2018 Expecting To Keep Him

Jun 24, 2021 11:36 AM

The Philadelphia 76ers had no intention of trading Mikal Bridges when they drafted him at No. 10 overall at the 2018 NBA draft, multiple sources tell The Athletic.

The 76ers entered the draft, run by Brett Brown shortly after Bryan Colangelo resigned in the wake of a social media scandal, with Bridges and Zhaire Smith next to each other on their board. Bridges was the favorite of the coaching staff while the team's scouts preferred Smith. The organization settled on Bridges as the better option of the two.

When Bridges received a call from a member of the Philadelphia front office that he was their pick at No. 10, there was no indication he would play anywhere but the same city had played in high school and college.

The Phoenix Suns, however, hoped to make a deal for Bridges. The Suns tried to trade up with the Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 8 and the New York Knicks at No. 9, but both teams said no. The 76ers did as well but their denial was softer. Phoenix was trying to trade up for either Bridges or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. 

The 76ers were interested in acquiring an unprotected first round pick from the Miami Heat that the Suns owned, which Phoenix eventually included in their offer about a minute before the pick at No. 16 was due.

The trade was a rare one in which a draft night deal was made on the fly.

“It doesn’t,” one league source said. “Usually it’s pre-arranged; 95 percent of the time it’s pre-arranged.”

While Smith didn't work out for the 76ers, the Miami pick eventually allowed them to acquire Tobias Harris.

“When Mikal got that hat and walked across the stage I think he thought, and the 76ers thought, that he was going to be a Philadelphia 76er,” Ryan McDonough said. “That was the plan at the time. But the plan changed.”

Mike Vorkunov/The Athletic

Tags: Mikal Bridges, Philadelphia Sixers, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Rick Carlisle Agrees To Become Head Coach Of Pacers

Jun 24, 2021 11:13 AM

The Indiana Pacers have agreed to hire Rick Carlisle as head coach on a four-year, $29 million contract.

Carlisle stepped down last week as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. Carlisle had also been linked with the Milwaukee Bucks should they decide to make a change from Mike Budenholzer, which became less likely with the team advancing to the Western Conference Finals.  

Carlisle was previously head coach of the Pacers from 2003 until 2007.

The Pacers fired Nate Bjorkgren this offseason after one season as head coach.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kawhi Leonard Ruled Out For Game 3

Jun 24, 2021 1:43 AM

The Los Angeles Clippers ruled Kawhi Leonard out for Game 3 on Thursday.

Leonard hasn't played since spraining his knee on June 14.

Chris Paul is expected to be cleared for Thursday's game. 

The Los Angeles Clippers enter Game 3 trailing the Phoenix Suns 0-2 in the Western Conference Finals. 

ESPN

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Keon Johnson Breaks NBA Combine Record With 48-Inch Vertical Leap

Jun 23, 2021 9:59 PM

Keon Johnson of Tennessee broke Kenny Gregory's 20-year NBA Combine record with a 48-inch vertical leap. Johnson also had a 41.5 inch standing vertical leap.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony currently has Johnson slotted to the Orlando Magic with the eighth overall pick in his latest mock draft

Johnson averaged 11.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists on 44.9 percent shooting (27.1 percent three-point shooting) in his freshman season at Tennessee.

Jonathan Givony/ESPN

Tags: Keon Johnson, Tennessee Volunteers, NBA

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Hollinger & Duncan: Lottery Fallout; Rules Changes; Playoffs; Simmons Trades

Jun 23, 2021 5:50 PM

What are the implications of the lottery for teams like GSW, OKC, and Toronto?

How can the NBA fix its replay for out of bounds calls, and are the new rules on “abnormal” shooting motions going to work?

A look ahead to Bucks/Hawks, and then a look at what the Sixers can do with Ben Simmons trades.

Nate’s podcast Dunc’d On has become Dunc’d On Prime,  exclusively ad-free four days a week. Become a member!

With @JohnHollinger and @NateDuncanNBA.

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Tags: NBA

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Chris Paul Expected To Be Cleared To Play In Game 3

Jun 23, 2021 3:57 PM

Chris Paul is expected to be cleared for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

Paul underwent a cardio exam Wednesday morning and passed, which is the final step to clearing the league’s health and safety protocols. Paul has been in the NBA's protocols since June 16th.

Paul tested positive for COVID-19 last week despite having been vaccinated. Paul found out he tested positive upon arriving in Los Angeles after the Western Conference Semifinals. Paul is not sure how he contracted the virus.

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Zach LaVine, Jerami Grant Become Team USA's Final Commits For Olympics

Shams Charania/The Athletic

NBA Has Zero New Positive COVID-19 Cases Since June 16th

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Celtics To Hire Ime Udoka As Head Coach

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Viewership Share For 2021 Playoffs At All-Time High For NBA

Ben Rohrbach/Yahoo! Sports

Final 90 Seconds Of Suns-Clippers Game 2 Took 33 Real Time Minutes To Complete

StatMuse

NBA To Implement Rules Regarding Non-Basketball Moves Used To Draw Fouls

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Alex Caruso Arrested On Marijuana Possession Charge

KJ Hiramoto/Fox LA

Suns Optimistic Chris Paul Will Be Cleared For Game 3

Dave McMenamin, Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Cade Cunningham Will Only Visit Pistons Before Draft

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Mavericks Won't Seek Compensation From Any Team Interested In Hiring Rick Carlisle

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Pistons Win 2021 NBA Lottery; Rockets, Cavs, Raptors Round Out Top-4

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Cavaliers, Wolves, Rockets Interested In Trading 2021 Lottery Pick

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Clippers Not Confident Of Kawhi Leonard Returning During Western Conference Finals

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Ime Udoka Believed To Be At Top Of Celtics' List To Become Head Coach

Marc Stein/New York Times

Masai Ujiri, Danny Ainge Not Being Pursued By Mavericks

Marc Stein/New York Times

TV Ratings For 2021 NBA Playoffs Up 39 Percent Over 2020 Through Conference Semis

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Jrue Holiday Commits To Play In Olympics

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Daryl Morey: We've Got A Good Foundation, Everyone Has To Do Better

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Khris Middleton, Kevin Love Commit To Play In Olympics; Chris Paul Declines Invite

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Warriors Haven't Held Serious Internal Discussions Of James Wiseman Trade

Jake Fischer/Bleacher Report

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