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  1. #1 Cnotes NBA Latest News ! 
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    Durant wants to wait before signing new deal with Warriors
    June 28, 2017



    Golden State Warriors star forward Kevin Durant plans to wait until later this summer before re-signing with the NBA champions.


    The NBA Finals MVP decided last week to decline his $27.7 million player option for 2017-18 to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 before re-upping with the Warriors. He reportedly notified Golden State of that decision this week.


    The 28-year-old Durant, a 10-year NBA veteran, wants the team to complete the bulk of its summer business before re-signing, ESPN's Marc Stein reported Wednesday.


    Free agency begins at 12:01 a.m. ET on Saturday and the first day teams can sign players to new deals is July 6.


    Sources told ESPN that Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman intend to work with the club in providing the necessary discounts on Durant's expected new two-year deal to help them retain free agents Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and other bench players.


    In addition, Warriors star guard Stephen Curry, who won back-to-back MVP awards in 2015 and 2016, also will become a free agent, but he is expected to sign a five-year "supermax" extension in July worth an estimated $205 million. He made just $12.1 million this past season.


    The 6-foot-11, 240-pound Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder last summer to sign with the Warriors. He played a big role this season in leading Golden State to its second NBA championship in three years over the Cleveland Cavaliers.


    In this year's Finals, Durant averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists as the Warriors wrapped up the series in five games.
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    Rockets acquire F Kelly from Hawks
    June 28, 2017

    The Atlanta Hawks traded forward Ryan Kelly to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday in exchange for cash considerations.


    Kelly, 26, appeared in 16 games for the Hawks last season, averaging 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in limited play.


    The 6-foot-11, 230-pound Kelly was originally signed by the Hawks in September 2016. He was waived and re-signed a few more times last season before re-signing a multi-year contract on Feb. 24.


    Kelly was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft. He owns career averages of 6.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in 163 games (59 starts).
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    Clippers agree to trade PG Paul to Rockets
    June 28, 2017



    The Los Angeles Clippers reached an agreement on a blockbuster trade to send All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets, according to multiple reports Wednesday.


    Paul, 32, agreed to opt in to the final year of his $24.2 million contract, clearing the way for the Clippers to execute a sign-and-trade deal with the Rockets and bring back assets for the star player, league sources told The Vertical.


    The Rockets will send forward Sam Dekker and guards Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, plus a top-three protected 2018 first-round pick to the Clippers in exchange for Paul, sources told ESPN.


    Paul had until Wednesday to opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. The Clippers risked losing Paul for nothing in free agency.


    Paul could have signed a new deal with the Clippers that started at $34 million a year had he opted out of his contract. He will now be eligible to sign a five-year, $205 million maximum extension with the Rockets since he is being acquired in a trade.


    Paul wanted to play alongside Rockets All-Star guard James Harden, according to The Vertical. Paul and Harden reportedly discussed the possibility of a partnership at length and believe they can find a way to thrive together.


    Paul, who was acquired by the Clippers in a 2011 trade with New Orleans, is a nine-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA player and a nine-time All-Defensive team member. He played six seasons with Los Angeles after six seasons in New Orleans.


    For his career, Paul owns averages of 18.7 points, 9.9 assists and 2.3 steals in 834 NBA games.
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    Rockets to acquire Paul from Clippers
    June 28, 2017



    HOUSTON (AP) Chris Paul is heading to Houston to join James Harden, and the Rockets will soon have two All-Stars in the backcourt to lead their chase for a championship.


    The Rockets have reached an agreement to acquire Paul from the Clippers in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and a protected first-round pick next year, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The pick is only protected if Houston's pick lands in the first three of the 2018 draft, according to the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the teams haven't finalized the trade with free agency coming up on Saturday.


    The 32-year-old Paul opted in for the last year of his contract so the Clippers could work on a deal.


    The nine-time All-Star has averaged 18.7 points, 9.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 steals over his 12-year career, though he has been dogged with criticism in recent years for failing to help the Clippers get out of the second round of the playoffs. Los Angeles reached the postseason in each of Paul's six seasons with the team, but the Clippers were eliminated in the first round three times and in the Western Conference semifinals three other times.


    Perhaps the most crushing playoff series loss of his tenure with the Clippers came to the Rockets in 2015. Los Angeles had a 3-1 lead in the conference semifinals before Houston won the last three games of the series to send Paul and the Clippers home early yet again.


    The Clippers were eliminated in the first round the past two seasons and are likely to look much different next season. The Paul trade comes after Blake Griffin informed the team last week that he is opting out of the last year of his contract to explore free agency. J.J. Redick is also a free agent.


    In Houston, Paul joins a team led by Harden that was eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals last season. With Harden's move to point guard last season, Paul's role will probably be a bit different than it has been in Los Angeles.


    But he will add another scoring dimension in replacing Beverley in the starting lineup. Beverley received NBA defensive first team honors last week, but averaged just 9.3 points in his five seasons with the Rockets. He's the only Houston starter involved in the deal, with Williams and Dekker playing reserve roles last season.


    Williams, the 2014-15 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, was traded to the Rockets from the Los Angeles Lakers in February. He averaged 14.9 points and three rebounds in 23 games for Houston after the trade.


    Dekker, the 18th pick in the 2015 draft, missed all but three games as a rookie because of back surgery. The small forward was healthy this season and appeared in 77 games and averaged 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds.


    The deal was first reported by The Vertical.
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    Knicks cut ties with Jackson after 3 years
    June 28, 2017



    The New York Knicks parted ways with team president Phil Jackson on Wednesday morning after three disappointing seasons.


    "After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction," Knicks owner James Dolan said in a statement. "Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive."


    Dolan had been weighing Jackson's future role running the franchise despite the two years and $24 million-plus left on his contract, league sources told The Vertical. Dolan and the 71-year-old Jackson talked about the possibility of a parting on Tuesday with free agency beginning on Saturday, according to the report.


    "The New York Knicks will always hold a special place in my heart," Jackson said in a statement released by the Knicks. "This team and this town launched my NBA career. I will forever be indebted to them. I am grateful to Mr. Dolan for giving me the opportunity to return here.


    "I had hoped, of course, to bring another NBA championship to the Garden. As someone who treasures winning, I am deeply disappointed that we weren't able to do that. New York fans deserve nothing less. I wish them and the Knicks organization all the best -- today and always."


    Dolan's decision was accelerated this week when the franchise decided it would not buy out star forward Carmelo Anthony, sources told ESPN. Jackson previously said multiple times he felt it was best for Anthony and the organization to part ways. Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract and is still owed $26.24 million and $27.9 million in each of the next two seasons as part of the five-year, $124 million contract he signed in 2014.


    In addition, Jackson was considering trading 7-foot-3 Latvian star center Kristaps Porzingis ahead of last Thursday's NBA Draft. Porzingis, 21, has not been in contact with anybody within the Knicks' front office since the end of the season. He skipped exit meetings with Jackson and the team reportedly due to his frustration with the Knicks' dysfunction.


    Jackson was hired three years ago after a historic coaching career that included 11 NBA titles, but he struggled to make progress with the Knicks with a three-year record of 80-166 since he took over the role as president of basketball operation, including a franchise-worst 17-65 in 2014-15.


    The Knicks, who lost at least 50 games each year under Jackson, completed a 31-51 season in 2016-17 and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year.


    Knicks general manager Steve Mills is expected to stay in his current role and lead the team during free agency, but his future is unclear.


    "While we are currently evaluating how best to move forward regarding the leadership of the organization, I will not be involved in the operation of the team," Dolan said. "Steve Mills, the team's general manager, will run the day-to-day business of the organization over the short term. Tim Leiweke, who brings tremendous expertise and experience in sports franchise management from both Toronto and Los Angeles and is our partner in the Oak View Group, will advise and work with Steve on an interim basis to help develop a go-forward plan."


    Jackson was a Hall of Fame coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, delivering titles with superstars Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. Jackson played for the Knicks when they won NBA titles in 1970 and 1973.


    Jackson remained confident in his abilities to turn the franchise's fortunes around as recently as last week in response to critics.


    "Well, I think, we know what we're doing," Jackson said to MSG Live. "That's what I can say to them. Although it's not been apparent in our record the last couple of years, we've grown from within."


    Jackson's departure was welcomed by Knicks fans such as film director Spike Lee, who posted a picture of himself on Instagram in a celebratory pose with a caption that read: " HALLELUJAH."
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    Miles Simon joins Luke Walton's coaching staff with Lakers
    June 27, 2017



    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) Miles Simon has joined the Los Angeles Lakers as an assistant coach.


    Lakers coach Luke Walton announced the hire of his fellow former University of Arizona star Tuesday.


    Simon recently worked for USA Basketball, serving as head coach for the junior select national team. He spent three seasons as Lute Olson's assistant at Arizona from 2005-08.


    Simon also has worked as a player development coach, the director of the Nike Basketball Academy and a college basketball analyst for ESPN.


    He was the NCAA tournament's most outstanding player in 1997 while leading the Wildcats to the national title.


    Simon joins associate head coach Brian Shaw and assistants Jesse Mermuys, Mark Madsen, Jud Buechler and Brian Keefe on Walton's staff. Walton, Simon, Buechler and Mermuys all attended Arizona.
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    For Bulls, blockbuster trade is all about direction
    June 27, 2017



    CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls set a clear direction by trading All-Star Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night last week.


    The Bulls had plenty of people talking after they traded one of the NBA's top two-way players for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and No. 7 overall pick Lauri Markkanen, three newcomers who were introduced at a news conference on Tuesday.


    Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said debating which team got the better end of the deal is ''the wrong way to look at it'' at the moment.


    ''We've defined our direction,'' he said. ''We made the playoffs (eight of nine) years. Wasn't good enough. We have to now reset what we're about.''


    The Bulls added three players to the mix who are 23 or younger. They believe they are starting to build a team that fits coach Fred Hoiberg's pace-and-space offensive system as he heads into his third season.


    They see a promising core that can help lay the foundation for bigger things. And they're not too concerned about what others think.


    ''I'm excited about what the environment in this building is going to be like going forward,'' Paxson said. ''I'm not worried about perception. We understand this could take time, it's a process. But as long as these kids can play hard and compete our fans will appreciate them, and we'll get better.''


    There was plenty of room for the Bulls to improve after last season.


    They made the playoffs on a tiebreaker after missing out the previous season, then put up a fight against Boston before bowing out in the first round.


    Only once since the Michael Jordan era has Chicago advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, losing to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in 2011. Derrick Rose tore the ACL in his left knee in the playoff opener against Philadelphia the following year, and the Bulls haven't been a serious championship threat since then.


    The Bulls sorely needed more shooting and athleticism if Hoiberg's offense was going to work the way they hoped, and they believe they are on their way.


    They are counting on LaVine to work his way back from a torn ACL in his left knee, for Dunn to improve on a disappointing rookie season after being drafted No. 5 overall and for the 7-foot Markkanen to make a smooth transition to the NBA with his sweet shot.


    ''I'm feeling really good,'' said LaVine, who was averaging 18.9 points when he was injured in February. ''I'm attacking this injury like I do everything in life, working my butt off for it every day, in the gym and doing as much as possible. There's always that base timeline of 9-12 months with it. I feel like with my ability I'm able to come back early. But I really haven't set a timetable for that. I'm very confident that I'll come back better.''


    Agent Bill Duffy said LaVine is ''definitely ahead of schedule'' and called him the ''consummate workaholic.''


    ''But on the other hand, you've got to kind of mitigate his progress because he's eager to be at the (practice) facility,'' he added. ''We're going to have to put the brakes on at some point.''


    Dunn, meanwhile, acknowledged a difficult rookie season under coach Tom Thibodeau. He didn't live up to the hype that accompanied him from Providence. He gets another chance with the Bulls, who tried getting him and LaVine a year ago for Butler.


    Dunn described last season as a ''roller coaster ride.'' But he also credited Thibodeau, the former Bulls coach.


    ''He helped me become a professional,'' Dunn said. ''He loves players that love to work. He made sure all his guys are always in the gym working hard, attacking every day, trying to improve each day. Just keep learning the game. Tom really helped me be a pro.''


    Markkanen, who shot 49.2 percent from the field and 42.3 from 3-point range in his lone season at Arizona, sees his offense translating to the NBA. His defense needs work.


    ''I'm going to work on that,'' he said. ''I know I'm going to get better when I put the work in.''
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    2017 Rookie of the Year Odds
    June 27, 2017



    The 2017 NBA Draft has concluded and bettors will have an opportunity to watch this year’s rookies compete in the regular season come October.


    Even though the season is months away, bettors can wager on which youngster will earn Rookie of the Year accolades in the NBA for the 2017-18 season at BetOnline.ag.


    The offshore betting shop has Ben Simmons and Lonzo Ball listed as 9/4 co-favorites (Bet $100 to win $225).


    Simmons sat out last season for the Philadelphia 76ers due to a leg injury but is expected to be at full strenght.


    Ball, the Los Angeles Lakers first choice in the 2017 NBA Draft, will get a chance to put the 'Purple and Gold' back on the map.


    The latest odds are listed below at BetOnline.ag.


    Odds to Win the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year
    Ben Simmons (PHI) 9/4
    Lonzo Ball (LAL) 9/4
    Markelle Fultz (PHI) 5/1
    Dennis Smith (DAL) 13/2
    De'Aaron Fox (SAC) 9/1
    Malik Monk (CHA) 9/1
    Josh Jackson (PHX) 12/1
    Jayson Tatum (BOS) 18/1
    Justin Jackson (SAC) 25/1
    Jonathan Isaac (ORL) 33/1
    Luke Kennard (DET) 33/1
    Donovan Mitchell (UTA) 33/1
    Lauri Markkanen (CHI) 33/1
    Frank Ntilikina (NY) 33/1
    Zack Collins (POR) 40/1
    Derrick White (SA) 40/1


    How to read the Odds:
    Ex. Bet $100 on Lonzo Ball (9/4) to win $225
    Ex. Bet $100 on Frank Ntilikina (33/1) to win $3,300


    Odds Subject to Change - Updated 6.27.17
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    NBA notebook: Nene, Rockets work out new deal after glitch
    July 2, 2017



    Free agent center Nene agreed to a new contract with the Houston Rockets on Sunday after the team was forced to pull back an accepted four-year, $15 million deal because of the NBA's age rule.


    Nene's new deal is for three years and $11 million, a league source told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.


    Nene turns 35 in September before next season starts. Houston was not permitted to offer a four-year contract because of the "over-38 rule" in the collective bargaining agreement that would have extended Nene's deal past his 38th birthday in the fourth season.


    The 6-foot-11, 250-pound Nene averaged 9.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in 67 games (eight starts) as a reserve in his first season with the Rockets last season.


    --Free agent forward P.J. Tucker agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with the Houston Rockets, according to multiple reports.


    Tucker met with the Toronto Raptors once free agency started at 12:01 a.m. ET Saturday, but he talked to members of the Rockets, including All-Star James Harden, The Vertical reported. The fourth year of the deal is a partial guarantee, sources told ESPN. The Raptors reportedly offered three years and $33 million.


    The Raptors acquired the 32-year-old Tucker from the Phoenix Suns at the February trade deadline. He is a top defender who averaged 6.7 points, 5.8 rebounds 1.4 steals in 81 games for the Suns and Raptors last season. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Tucker holds career averages of 7.7 points and 5.7 rebounds.


    --The Minnesota Timberwolves and free-agent forward Taj Gibson agreed to a two-year, $28 million deal, according to multiple reports.


    The agreement reunites the 32-year-old Gibson and head coach Tom Thibodeau after they were both together from 2010 to 2015 with the Chicago Bulls. Gibson also joins former Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler, who was traded to the Timberwolves last month to reunite with Thibodeau.


    In 23 games (16 starts) for the Oklahoma City Thunder, the 6-foot-9, 236-pound Gibson averaged 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds. Overall, he averaged 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in 78 games (71 starts) last season.


    --Free-agent forward Serge Ibaka agreed to a three-year, $65 million contract to stay with the Toronto Raptors, according to reports.


    ESPN first reported that Ibaka will return to the Raptors and the Toronto Star later confirmed the news. Ibaka, who was acquired from the Orlando Magic in a trade for Terrence Ross and a first-round draft pick, averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 23 games after the All-Star break deal.


    Ibaka, 27, helped the Raptors eliminate the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, averaging 12.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in the series, but his rebounding production dropped to just 3.8 per game during the Cleveland Cavaliers' sweep of Toronto in the second round.


    --Free-agent guard/forward Andre Iguodala agreed to a three-year, $48 million contract to remain with the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, according to published reports.


    Iguodala confirmed the reports on his Twitter account. Iguodala met with the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets since free agency began earlier Saturday.


    The Warriors are aiming to secure the core of a squad that has won two NBA championships in three years. The team agreed to a historic supermax deal of five years for $201 million with star Stephen Curry earlier on Saturday.


    Iguodala has made an impact since joining Golden State, as he was named the 2015 NBA Finals MVP as well as a finalist for the 2016-17 NBA Sixth Man of the Year.


    The 33-year-old averaged 7.6 points, 3.4 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 76 games this past season.


    --The Cleveland Cavaliers reached agreement with free agent shooting guard Kyle Korver on a multiyear deal, according to multiple reports.


    ESPN.com reported the Cavs came to terms with Korver on a three-year, $22 million contract. The 36-year-old Korver joined the Cavaliers after a trade with the Atlanta Hawks during the middle of last season but never gave the team the offensive boost off the bench it sought, particularly in the postseason.


    In 35 regular-season games, Korver averaged 10.7 points and shot 49 percent on 3-pointers. In the playoffs, those numbers fell off to 5.8 points per game and 39 percent from 3-point range.


    In 67 regular-season games split between Cleveland and Atlanta, Korver averaged 10.1 points and 45.1 percent on 3-pointers.


    After the loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, Korver expressed a desire to remain with Cleveland.
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    AP Source: Redick takes 1-year, $23 million deal from 76ers
    July 1, 2017



    J.J. Redick made his intentions for next season clear with three simple words.


    ''Trust the process,'' he tweeted.


    In the NBA these days, that only means one thing.


    Redick agreed on a $23 million, one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because nothing can become finalized until the NBA's summer moratorium is lifted on Thursday.


    Redick, who turned 33 last month, averaged 15.0 points and made 43 percent of his 3-pointers last season for the Los Angeles Clippers, who will now need two new starting guards next season. Chris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets.


    The 76ers will become Redick's fourth team. His career started in Orlando after being drafted No. 11 overall in 2006, he was briefly with Milwaukee in the 2012-13 season and he spent the last four seasons with the Clippers.


    Since Redick entered the league, only five players - Stephen Curry, J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, Klay Thompson and Jason Terry - have made more 3-pointers than the former Duke sharpshooter. Redick is also a career 89 percent shooter from the foul line.


    Redick had interest from other clubs, including Minnesota, but couldn't get the Wolves to totally engage in moves toward a deal. So he took a huge-money offer from Philadelphia, one that will essentially triple the amount of money he made in any other season during his career. Redick played last season for about $7.4 million.


    In Philadelphia, he'll join a core that includes 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons, and two of this season's Rookie of the Year finalists in Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.


    The 76ers desperately needed shooting - they were 25th in the 30-team NBA in 3-point percentage last season, making only 34 percent of their attempts. Over the last three seasons, Redick has been a 45 percent shooter from beyond the arc.
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    NBA notebook: Curry agrees to 5-year, $201M deal
    July 1, 2017

    Stephen Curry signed the richest contract in NBA history when he and the Golden State Warriors agreed to a five-year, $201 million super-max deal shortly after the NBA's free agency period began on Saturday morning.


    Multiple outlets reported the deal, which was done under the NBA's designated veteran player extension. The designated veteran player extension was added into the current CBA and Curry was eligible for it since he won at least one MVP award in the last three seasons.


    Curry was paid $12.1 million last season in the final season of a four-year deal worth approximately $44 million signed after the 2012-13 season. He won the MVP award in the second and third seasons of his last contract.


    Curry averaged 25.3 points and shot 41.1 percent from 3-point range in 79 games last season. During the postseason, he averaged 28.1 points and shot 41.9 percent from 3-point range as Golden State won its second title in three seasons.


    --Free agent point guard Jrue Holiday decided to stay with the New Orleans Pelicans, agreeing to a five-year, $126 million deal.


    Holiday's agent, Jason Glushon, confirmed the decision to ESPN.


    The deal includes incentive clauses that could push the contract's value to $150 million and contains a player option for the fifth year, Glushon told ESPN.


    --J.J. Redick is joining the Philadelphia 76ers on a one-year deal worth $23 million, according to a published report.


    Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported the deal and Redick, 33, confirmed the signing on his Twitter account, writing "Trust the process" -- a reference to the 76ers' rebuilding slogan.


    The veteran sharpshooter was enticed by the prospect of playing with Philadelphia's young talent and in coach Brett Brown's system, per Wojnarowski.


    --The Houston Rockets were forced to pull back an accepted four-year, $15- million deal to free agent center Nene due to the NBA's age rule.


    Nene, who turns 35 in September before next season starts, is "back at square one" in free agency, a source told ESPN's Marc J. Spears.


    The "over-38 rule" in the collective bargaining agreement would have extended Nene's deal past his 38th birthday in the fourth season.


    --The Cleveland Cavaliers are discussing a deal to send guard Iman Shumpert to the Houston Rockets.


    Shumpert would be moved to the Rockets for primarily a package of non-guaranteed contracts, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported. The trade would allow Cleveland to create financial flexibility to pursue other roster upgrades.


    Shumpert, 27, has two years and $21.3 million left on his contract, with his second year being a player option he has refused to waive in Cleveland's trade discussions with other teams.


    --The Boston Celtics signed three players, including their top pick in last month's NBA Draft.


    Jayson Tatum, the No. 3 overall selection out of Duke, and 2016 first-rounder Ante Zizic each signed contracts, the team announced.


    Boston also reached an agreement on a two-year deal with German forward Daniel Theis, according to a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.


    The 6-foot-8 Tatum averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as a freshman with Duke last season. He set a school single-season record with six games of at least 10 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.


    --The Memphis Grizzlies signed swingman Wayne Selden Jr. and guard Kobi Simmons, the team announced.


    Selden averaged 5.1 points in 14 games between New Orleans and Memphis last season -- his first in the NBA. He was signed by the Grizzlies in March after his 10-day contract with the Pelicans expired.


    A former standout at Kansas, the 6-foot-5 Selden started two of Memphis' six postseason games, averaging 3.8 points. He averaged 18.5 points in 35 games with Iowa of the NBA D-League. Simmons was not selected in last month's NBA draft. A former McDonald's All-American, the 6-4 Simmons averaged 8.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists last season as a freshman at Arizona.


    --The Indiana Pacers named Chad Buchanan as general manager, the team announced.


    Indiana also promoted Peter Dinwiddie to senior vice president of basketball operations from his previous capacity of vice president of basketball operations.


    Buchanan, 44, spent the last three seasons as assistant general manager of the Charlotte Hornets. He takes the place of Kevin Pritchard, who in May was named the Pacers' president of basketball operations.


    --The Orlando Magic signed rookie forward Jonathan Isaac, the team announced.


    Terms of the deal were not disclosed for Isaac, Orlando's first-round pick and the No. 6 overall selection in the NBA Draft.


    The 6-foot-10, 210-pound Isaac averaged 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds as a freshman last season at Florida State. He led the team in rebounding and blocked shots and was selected to the All-ACC Freshman Team.


    --The Detroit Pistons signed rookie guard Luke Kennard. Terms of the deal were not disclosed for Kennard, the No. 12 overall selection in last month's NBA Draft.


    The 6-foot-6 Kennard averaged a team-leading 19.5 points to go along with 5.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists as a sophomore last season at Duke.


    Kennard shot 43.8 percent from 3-point range and was selected to the Wooden Award All-American Team.


    --The Atlanta Hawks signed rookie forward John Collins, the team announced.


    Terms of the agreement were not disclosed for Collins, selected 19th overall in last month's NBA Draft.


    The 6-foot-10 Collins nearly tripled his scoring production from his freshman to sophomore seasons, averaging 19.2 points for Wake Forest during the 2016-17 campaign.
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    NBA notebook: All-Star Hayward apparently picks Celtics
    July 4, 2017

    All-Star swingman Gordon Hayward has elected to rejoin his collegiate coach by agreeing to sign with the Boston Celtics, ESPN reported on Tuesday.


    Hayward spurned his now former team in the Utah Jazz as well as the Miami Heat to commit to the Celtics and Brad Stevens, who coached him at Butler.


    However, Hayward's agent Mark Bartelstein offered this comment to ESPN around 2:30 p.m. ET: "Gordon hasn't made a decision yet. We are still working through it."


    Boston's big-name commitment on the free-agent market is the team's second in as many years. The Celtics signed Al Horford last year.


    --The Sacramento Kings agreed to free-agent deals with point guard George Hill and power forward Zach Randolph, according to published reports.


    Hill agreed to a three-year, $57 million deal, according to The Vertical. Randolph reached agreement on a two-year, $24 million pact, according to ESPN.


    Hill averaged a career-best 16.9 points to go along with 4.2 assists for the Utah Jazz last season. He played in just 49 games due to an assortment of injuries.


    Hill declined a wealthier offer from the Jazz during the season and seemed intent on departing. He is averaging 11.8 points and 3.3 assists in nine NBA seasons.


    --The Miami Heat waived forward Chris Bosh and announced the franchise will retire the 11-time All-Star's uniform number.


    The move was expected, coming six weeks after Miami, Bosh and the players' union had agreed to a resolution on Bosh's contract status.


    The 33-year-old Bosh missed the 2016-17 season after failing a preseason physical. Team doctors refused to clear him after Bosh was forced to miss the second half of the previous two seasons due to blood clots.


    Earlier this week, the NBA notified the Heat that the remainder of the salary owed to Bosh -- $52.1 million over two years -- would not count against the team's salary cap, although the standout forward will receive the money.


    --The Los Angeles Clippers are attempting to secure a sign-and-trade agreement with free-agent forward Danilo Gallinari on a three-year, $65 million deal, ESPN reported.


    With salary-cap space an issue, the Clippers are aiming to acquire Gallinari through a three-way trade involving the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks, according to the report. Los Angeles would send Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone and a future first-round pick to Atlanta while Denver is expected to receive draft compensation for Gallinari, who has played with the Nuggets for the past six seasons.


    Should Gallinari head to the Clippers, the team would feature a potent frontcourt that includes All-Stars Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Griffin agreed to a five-year deal on Friday.


    --Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas likely will not require surgery on the injured hip that ended his season, according to coach Brad Stevens.


    Thomas was shut down at halftime of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers after aggravating a hip injury that had lingered since late in the regular season. The 28-year-old Thomas initially injured his hip during the third quarter of a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 15.


    Stevens offered his assessment after spending part of Sunday with Thomas.


    Thomas finished fifth in MVP voting and secured a spot on the All-NBA second team after averaging 28.9 points during the regular season and 23.3 in the postseason.
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    AP source: Patrick Patterson agrees to deal with Thunder
    July 4, 2017



    A person with knowledge of the details says forward Patrick Patterson has agreed to a three-year, $16.4 million deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.


    Patterson is leaving Toronto to join All-Star Paul George in a new-look Thunder frontcourt, the person told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person was granted anonymity because contracts can't be signed until Thursday.


    The deal was first reported by ESPN.


    Patterson was a valuable reserve for the Raptors, averaging 7.6 points in nearly four seasons. But he struggled badly in last season's playoffs, shooting 28 percent from the field.


    The Raptors kept Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka but Patterson has a chance to fill a need in Oklahoma City, where Taj Gibson left for Minnesota and Domantas Sabonis was dealt to Indiana in the trade for George.


    ****************


    Timberwolves rookie Justin Patton breaks foot in workout
    July 4, 2017



    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota Timberwolves first-round draft pick Justin Patton will not play in summer league after breaking his left foot during a workout.


    The Timberwolves announced on Tuesday that Patton had surgery to repair the fifth metatarsal in his foot. He will be sidelined indefinitely with the injury.


    Patton was the 16th overall selection in the first round in last month's draft. The Wolves acquired the pick from Chicago in a draft-night trade that also landed them three-time All-Star Jimmy Butler. Minnesota has high hopes for Patton, who declared for the draft after his redshirt freshman season at Creighton.


    The 6-foot-11 Patton averaged 12.9 points on 67.6 percent shooting last season.


    Patton signed his contract on Tuesday as well


    ******************


    Reports: Wizards plan to match Porter's max offer from Nets
    July 5, 2017



    Restricted free agent forward Otto Porter Jr. and the Brooklyn Nets reached agreement on an offer sheet that would pay him the maximum of $106 million over four years, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.


    The Washington Wizards have the right to match the offer to keep the 24-year-old Porter, and they have made it known they planned to do exactly that. A source confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday that the Wizards will match the offer.


    The Utah Jazz also were interested in trying to sign Porter after Gordon Hayward decided to sign with the Boston Celtics earlier Tuesday.


    The Sacramento Kings had offered Porter a max contract when he visited with them, but he opted for the opportunity with the Nets.


    Porter had a breakout season in 2016-17, when he averaged a career-high 13.4 points to go along with 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He shot 51.6 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from 3-point range.


    He started 80 games for the Wizards and was their third scoring threat along with guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.


    Porter went scoreless in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Boston but bounced back with 20 points and 10 rebounds in Washington's Game 7 loss.


    Nets general manager Sean Marks is 0-3 when it comes to keeping restricted free agents. He signed Miami guard Tyler Johnson, Portland wing Allen Crabbe and Houston big man Donatas Motiejunas to offer sheets last year, and all three had their offers matched by their teams.


    Washington has $99 million committed to a dozen players before matching the offer to Porter. Re-signing him would increase the Wizards' committed money to $124 million. The salary cap for the 2017-18 season is just over $99 million.


    **********************


    Reports: Clippers acquire Gallinari in three-team deal
    July 5, 2017



    Former Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari is headed to the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-team sign-and-trade that also involves the Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.


    Gallinari, the main player in the swap, will sign a three-year, $65 million contract with the Nuggets, who will then send him and his new deal to the Clippers.


    Gallinari averaged 18.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 63 games, all starts, for the Nuggets last season.


    To balance the trade, the Nuggets and Clippers included the Hawks. Los Angeles will send shooting guard Jamal Crawford, reserve center Diamond Stone, the Houston Rockets' 2018 first-round pick (top-three protected) and cash to Atlanta.


    The Hawks will subsequently send Paul Millsap, who agreed to a three-year, $90 million contract with the Nuggets on Sunday, and the Washington Wizards' 2019 second-round pick to Denver.


    The Nuggets also pick up a second-round pick. The Hawks net a first-rounder that is likely to be in the No. 25-30 range, a sparsely used second-year post player in Stone, and Crawford.


    Crawford, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year, has two years remaining on a contract that will pay him $14.2 million in 2016-17 and $14.5 million the following season. Reports have indicated that Crawford does not want to play in Atlanta because the Hawks are launching a rebuild.


    A buyout with Atlanta could allow Crawford to move to a contender.


    Gallinari will form one of the top frontcourts in the league in Los Angeles with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
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    Celtics to trade Bradley to Pistons for Morris
    July 7, 2017



    The Boston Celtics agreed to trade guard Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons for forward Marcus Morris, according to multiple reports Friday.


    The deal creates the salary-cap space the Celtics needed to sign All-Star free agent forward Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $128 million maximum contract, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.


    The Celtics also will send a 2019 second-round pick to the Pistons, according to The Vertical.


    The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers also were pursing Bradley in the past 24 hours, league sources told ESPN.


    The 26-year-old Bradley, a two-time All-Defensive Team player, averaged 16.3 points and 6.1 rebounds and shot 39 percent from 3-point range last season. In seven seasons with the Celtics, he averaged 12.1 points and 3.1 rebounds.


    Morris, 27, played six NBA seasons with the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns and Pistons. He averaged 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 79 games with the Pistons last season.


    Hayward, 27, chose the Celtics earlier this week over the Miami Heat and Utah Jazz, the team with which he played his first seven seasons since he was drafted No. 9 overall in 2010.


    Hayward averaged a career-best 21.9 points and 5.4 rebounds to go along with 3.5 assists last season for the Jazz, who made their first playoff appearance since 2012.


    -----------------------------


    Knicks sign Hardaway Jr. to offer sheet
    July 7, 2017



    Tim Hardaway Jr. signed a four-year, $71 million offer sheet with the Knicks on Thursday, raising the possibility that the Atlanta Hawks' restricted free agent could return to New York.


    Hardaway, a 25-year-old shooting guard, played his first two seasons with the Knicks before being traded on draft day in 2015 to Atlanta for the rights to guard Jerian Grant.


    The Hawks have two days to match the deal or let Hardaway go. They have indicated in the past that they would try to keep him.


    Detroit Pistons assistant coach Tim Hardaway Sr. told the New York Post that his son had "no bad blood" with the Knicks and wouldn't mind a return to the organization with Phil Jackson no longer running the team. It was Jackson who traded Hardaway.


    It is believed that if Atlanta does not match, New York would not be able to bring back guard Derrick Rose for financial reasons. The addition of Hardaway would also eliminate almost all the Knicks' projected cap space, unless they can trade Carmelo Anthony or Courtney Lee.


    During his first season with the Hawks, Hardaway told the Post: "Everybody wants to stay with the team they got drafted with. A lot of times, it doesn't work that way. You got to move on and build a new legacy somewhere else.


    "The passion you bring, you have to take to that team you're with. They brought me here for a reason. They know what I can do. I'm here for a reason."


    Hardaway raised his career average to 11 points after scoring 14.5 per game last season, shooting a career-best 45.5 percent from the field in 79 games (30 starts).


    -----------------------------
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    Mavs rally to win Summer League title
    July 6, 2017

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) It wasn't quite the week Johnathan Motley hoped to have during the Orlando Pro Summer League.


    The Dallas Mavericks had more than enough capable player, making it hard for the undrafted rookie - limited by a healing knee injury - to get minutes. But with several key players already off to the Las Vegas Summer League on Thursday, Motely got his most expansive playing time and made quite an impression.


    Motley had 18 points and 10 rebounds and hit a touch jumper in the lane to give undefeated Dallas an 83-81 overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons in the championship game.


    ''It means the world to me because I've been limited on minutes because of my knee and it kind of held my minutes down,'' said Motley, who averaged seven points for the week. ''I got to play a lot today and did some really good things.''


    Motley was huge for a Mavs team that was missing four its top five scorers. The 6-foot-10 post player logged nearly 36 minutes and impressed with his jumping ability and versatility in the paint.


    ''I couldn't be happier for him,'' said coach Mike Weinar, whose team finished 5-0. ''He was in the right place at the right time.''


    The Mavericks, who made a habit this week of big comebacks, had perhaps their most impressive rallying effort after trailing a Pistons team with two first-round draft picks on the floor by 11 points in the second half. The Mavericks didn't have any of their top prospects in Orlando, and top scorers Brandon Paul, Jameel Warney and Christian Wood were already off to Las Vegas to fulfill other contractual obligations, leaving a collection of G-League hopefuls to contend with the likes of top prospects Luke Kennard and Henry Ellenson for the Pistons.


    Dwight Buycks, the only top scorer remaining, led Dallas with 28 points.


    ''We had three days of practice then hit Orlando and brought together a bunch of individuals and we ended the week as a team,'' Weinar said. ''This display of effort by our guys was incredible.''


    Kennard showed the shooting touch that convinced the Pistons to take the Duke star with the 12th overall pick.


    Kennard was 9 of 15 from the field, hitting all three 3-point attempts, to pace the Pistons with 24 points in the championship game. He hit a 3-pointer that tied it at 81 late in overtime.


    A look at the day in summer league:


    STEPPING UP

    Charlotte second-round pick Dwayne Bacon seemed to get better as the week went along.


    The former Florida State standout became the Hornets go-to scorer once Treveon Graham was held out for the final two games with a hamstring injury. The 6-foot-7 wing player scored in double figures in each of the Hornets' final three games, finishing with his personal-best 29 minutes in lifting the Hornets to an 86-78 victory over Orlando in the fifth-place game.

    HUSTLE MAN



    Mavericks forward Ding Yanyuhang may have been the most interesting player of the week.


    The Chines Basketball Association All-Star certainly has a lot to adjust to with the NBA game, but what he lacks in understanding he made up for in hustle and determination.


    He played his best game of the week Thursday, finishing with 13 points, two assists and two steals, while converting 5 of 6 free throws.


    BRYN BALLING


    Guard Bryn Forbes was the star for San Antonio in Utah after totaling 52 points in the previous two games. The second-year player had 21 points, three rebounds and three assists in a 94-86 loss to Philadelphia.


    ''He's confident,'' Spurs summer league coach Will Hardy said. ''He's just moves so well without the ball. He's not just a guy who's great in a catch-and-shoot situation. He's great coming off screens. Has a much better game off the bounce than he gets credit for.''


    Forbes said he's been even more diligent in improving his game this summer and has switched up his diet. Gone are fried foods and sweets, mostly.


    ''I feel like I'm better than last year,'' Forbes said. ''I'm trying to lead a little bit more. Talk to the younger guys. Me just being more vocal, that's a big step I've taken. I've always worked hard, but I got a look at the league and been there for a year and saw the things I need to do to change myself to be a good player here.''


    FINALLY IN PHILLY


    Philadelphia signed Furkan Korkmaz on Tuesday after the 2016 No. 26 pick decided to come over to the NBA from overseas. He scored three points in his debut Wednesday and 10 on Thursday. He was 2 of 4 from 3-point range against the Spurs.


    ''If you watch, his fluidity, his pace, his skill, his feel for the game - you can see the package,'' 76ers summer league coach Billy Lange said. ''As each minute adds up, as each touch adds up, as each shot adds up, as each possession adds up, he's just going to become more comfortable. And then you're going to just see the whole skill set he has.''


    Korkmaz added, ''Every day I try to think about it, how to get better and better. So I have to be better. I know that.''


    A LITTLE SALTY


    Jazz fans heartily booed the Celtics in the summer league, bitter from Gordon Hayward signing with Boston. There were several signs and jerseys in the stands making their feelings known. The variations included a sign that read ''Betrayward (hash)easywayout'' and a jersey changing Hayward to ''Coward'' with duct tape.


    The Jazz won 68-65.


    NICE FINISH


    Celtics forward Abdel Nader had his best game of the summer league against the Jazz. The 2016 NBA Development League rookie of the year found his groove with 17 points.


    ''We asked him to do a lot,'' Celtics summer league coach Jerome Allen said. ''We asked him to guard (Dante) Exum. We asked him to be the quarterback in terms of communication with our switches. We asked him to play a little bit at point guard. We asked him to set the kitchen table. We asked him to the rebound the ball.


    ''He fully left it on the floor. I'm quite sure after tonight's game he's probably a little fatigued. But I thought he did a good job. He competed and helped us make plays.''


    LOTTERY MATCHUP

    Jazz No. 13 overall pick Donovan Mitchell guarded Celtics No. 3 pick Jason Tatum much of the night and Mitchell made him work for every little thing. Mitchell, known for his defensive prowess, had the crowd screaming during a two-possession stretch where he stripped Tatum of the ball then caused the former Duke player to fall to the ground with a spin move, then assisting on Julian Wright's dunk.


    ''You just use days like this to get better,'' Tatum said. ''Every day isn't going to be great and you have days like this. Just keep having fun. It's basketball. So that's what I'm going to keep doing.''


    Mitchell specifically asked to guard Tatum in the second quarter.


    ''I didn't really have a great offensive game, but defense travels,'' Mitchell said. ''Just not letting (Tatum) get comfortable. He hit his first two shots and he was really comfortable. I was just noticing the whole first quarter.


    ''Like I told my mom, the success is great, but at the end of the day this is summer league.''


    Tatum finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds after being the best player on the floor through the first two days in Salt Lake City. Mitchell had eight points, four steals and a dazzling display of defense.


    ''I won't say an education, but I will say give Donovan Mitchell a lot of credit,'' Allen said. ''He played extremely hard and defended and tried to attack on both ends of the floor.


    ''But for Jayson, that's going to be the norm throughout the rest of his career. Guys are going to try to do whatever they can to impose their will on him to make it difficult for him to score the ball.''


    SLC NOTABLES

    - No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz did not play for the 76ers on Thursday night as a scheduled rest day.


    - Dejaunte Murray, the Spurs 2016 No. 29 overall pick, did not play.


    - Celtics forward Jaylen Brown did not play.


    - Former All-Star Baron Davis, who has been working with Jazz guard Dante Exum, was in attendance sitting with Jazz coach Quin Snyder and GM Dennis Lindsey. Exum scored 16 points and added four assists, but won't play in Las Vegas.
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    James Johnson staying with Heat
    July 6, 2017



    MIAMI (AP) James Johnson is back with the Miami Heat, and has cashed in after a breakout season.


    Johnson agreed to terms Thursday night on a four-year deal that could be worth more than $60 million, a person with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it hasn't been formally announced. And that move came hours after Miami struck another four-year deal with free-agent Kelly Olynyk.


    Johnson had said for months that he wanted to remain in Miami - and based on that salary, the Heat clearly had no desire to let him go elsewhere.


    Johnson revived his career in Miami last season, averaging 12.8 points - his best, by far, in his eight NBA years. He shed 40 pounds and finished sixth in the league's Most Improved Player voting. He made $4 million last season, which was the best salary of his career.


    That'll be dwarfed by the new deal.


    Keeping Johnson and Dion Waiters, who agreed to a four-year deal Wednesday, were big priorities for Miami this summer. And they became even bigger priorities after the Heat missed out on landing Gordon Hayward, the All-Star forward who will sign with Boston.


    ''The band is back,'' Heat point guard Goran Dragic said.


    Not yet, it isn't. At least, not completely.


    Miami is still exploring ways to clear some salary-cap space in an effort to retain guard Wayne Ellington. The Heat have to make a decision on his $6.3 million option for next season by the close of business Friday, or risk him being picked up by another club through waivers.


    But Ellington's status is the last big question for the Heat this summer. The most likely Heat player to get traded to create the needed space is Josh McRoberts, who has played in only 81 games during his three injury-plagued seasons in Miami.


    McRoberts is due to make just over $6 million next season.


    And the band Dragic referred to is getting a new player in Olynyk, who spent his first four NBA seasons with the Celtics.


    A 7-foot center with 3-point range, Olynyk was mostly a reserve in Boston. He averaged 9.5 points in 278 regular-season games and shot a career-best 51 percent last season.


    Olynyk had a run-in with Heat center Hassan Whiteside in 2015. Whiteside elbowed Olynyk in the head and was suspended for a game, though tracked down Olynyk's number and offered an apology.


    And now they'll be teammates.


    ''He's a good guy,'' Olynyk said after the apology.


    The Heat value the corner 3-pointer, as many teams have in this NBA, and Olynyk could be a huge addition on that front. According to the NBA's stat-tracking page, Olynyk was 18 for 32 this past season on corner 3-pointers - and was also a strong finisher at the rim, connecting on 73 percent of his tries in the restricted area.


    Olynyk had a pair of 26-point games for the Celtics last season, including one in Game 7 of Boston's second-round playoff win over Washington.
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    Holiday hoping his commitment to Pelicans sways Cousins
    July 6, 2017



    METAIRIE, La. (AP) Jrue Holiday says his new five-year contract with the Pelicans thrusts him into the role of helping persuade All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to make a similar long-term commitment to New Orleans.


    ''I've already started'' lobbying Cousins, Holiday said Thursday night after signing his new contract, which his agent, Jason Glushon, has said is worth $126 million, and could balloon to $150 million with incentives.


    Up until NBA free agency began July 1, Cousins was among a number of Pelicans players urging Holiday to stay in New Orleans, where he has played since 2013.


    ''They were definitely hounding me - in a good way,'' Holiday said, jokingly adding that there ''might have even been threats.''


    ''But whatever. It was pretty much, `We want you back.' They were saying they couldn't do this without me.''


    General manager Dell Demps reiterated that Holiday was New Orleans' ''No. 1 priority in free agency.''


    ''We believe his best days are in front of him,'' Demps added.


    Demps needs to be right about the 27-year-old Holiday if the Pelicans are to amount to much in the talent-rich Western Conference.


    Holiday averaged 15.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 67 games last season. During his eight-year NBA career, the former UCLA standout has averaged 14.3 points and 6.2 assists.


    Demps has said he sees the 6-foot-4 Holiday's value in his leadership and his versatility. Holiday is proficient at either guard spot and Demps gave a nod to Holiday's defensive acumen when he described him as a consummate ''two-way player.''


    Holiday, meanwhile, alluded to a lot of unfinished business in New Orleans and the importance of the relationships he's built there.


    A nagging lower-leg injury sidelined him for much of his first two seasons with the Pelicans. He was healthy for most of his third season, albeit while playing under minute restrictions, but a collision that fractured his eye wall caused him to miss the final weeks of that campaign.


    Last season, he missed training camp and the first 12 regular-season games while taking a leave of absence to tend to his wife, former U.S. national soccer team player Lauren Holiday, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor while pregnant. Their first child, a daughter, was born healthy, after which Lauren Holiday had surgery to remove the benign tumor. Jrue Holiday said the Pelicans' support during that time played a considerable part in his decision to stay.


    ''Obviously, my family has been through a little bit of hiccup,'' Holiday said. ''The organization and Dell, as well, has helped take care of us as a family. Coming back here was an easy choice.''


    Holiday added that he did feel he would be ''disappointing a lot of people'' he cared about if he left for another team. He added that he's seen ''a lot of good teams grow together - go through ups and downs.''


    There was a family theme to Holiday's contract signing at team headquarters. Holiday was joined not only by his wife and daughter, but also his parents, both brothers, his sister and Glushon, his agent.


    Now, Holiday said, he expects to be able to spend an entire summer training hard for the first time in several years and is looking forward to his first full training camp in more than three seasons, leading him to concur with Demps that his best basketball lies ahead.


    Holiday said he also senses that a promising stint late last season in which the Pelicans won eight of 11 games offered only a glimpse of what the Pelicans could accomplish with their All-Star front court of Anthony Davis and Cousins, the latter having been acquired in a trade after the 2017 All-Star game and still developing chemistry with his new teammates. Therefore, he didn't necessarily feel the need to leave in order to win, even though the Pelicans have made the playoffs only once - and haven't won a playoff game - in his first four seasons with the club.


    ''Once we started to jell, I was like, `Man, I could really see this going well,'' Holiday said. ''Obviously, previous years we had injuries and that hasn't helped us, but moving forward all I see is kind of how we meshed last year and how fun it was to win.''
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    Kings, Vince Carter ink 1-year deal
    July 6, 2017

    Free agent Vince Carter agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, according to multiple media reports.


    At 40 years old, Carter is the NBA's oldest active player.


    Last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, Carter averaged 8.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in 24.6 minutes per game.


    The eight-time All-Star ranks 22nd on the league's all-time scoring list with 24,555 career points.


    Carter, the fifth pick in the 1998 draft, was the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year with the Toronto Raptors. He subsequently played for the New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis.


    For his career, Carter is averaging 18.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists.


    ---------------------------


    Clippers acquire draft rights to Jawun Evans from 76ers
    July 6, 2017



    LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Clippers have acquired the draft rights to Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for cash considerations


    The 39th overall pick, Evans led the Big 12 in scoring with 19.2 points per game last season. He averaged 16.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds in two seasons for the Cowboys and was the Big 12 freshman of the year in 2015-16.


    The deal was announced Thursday.


    ---------------------------




    Gay, Spurs reportedly agree to two-year deal
    July 6, 2017



    Free agent forward Rudy Gay and the San Antonio Spurs agreed to a two-year, $17.2 million deal on Thursday, according to an ESPN report.


    The second year reportedly is a player option.


    Gay posted a picture of a Spurs jersey on his Instragram account.


    The 31-year-old Gay, an 11-year NBA veteran, averaged 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 30 games with the Sacramento Kings last season before sustaining a season-ending complete tear of his left Achilles tendon on Jan. 18 against the Indiana Pacers.


    Gay opted out of the final year of his contract with the Kings before the June 10 deadline, allowing him to become a free agent.


    Gay was the eighth overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Houston Rockets. He played for the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors before joining the Kings in 2014-15.


    In 753 career games (714 starts), Gay has averages of 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
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    B]NBA notebook: Nowitzki close to two-year deal with Mavericks
    July 6, 2017
    [/B]


    The Dallas Mavericks are in the process of finalizing a two-year, $10 million deal with Dirk Nowitzki, ESPN reported Thursday.


    The Mavericks declined Nowitzki's $25 million team option on his existing contract, but there was never a doubt that the Mavs would re-sign Nowitzki, considered the greatest player in the team's history.


    Dallas reportedly plans to re-sign restricted free-agent Nerlens Noel, and the team's moves suggest the Mavericks may not be pursuing any high-salary free agents.


    The 39-year-old Nowitzki, who was the NBA MVP in 2007, played in 54 games last season, all as a starter, and averaged 14.2 points, his lowest since his rookie season in 1998-99.


    --The Los Angeles Clippers have reached agreement with Serbian guard Milos Teodosic on to a two-year, $12.3 million deal, ESPN.com reported.


    The flamboyant 30-year-old Teodosic is considered a creative playmaker. He had to pay an expensive contract buyout with CSKA Russia to move to the NBA this season.


    Teodosic was named to the all-EuroLeague first-team three times and was the EuroLeague MVP in 2010. Teodosic averaged 16.3 points and 6.5 assists while shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 38.6 percent on 3-pointers while playing for Moscow last season.


    --The Memphis Grizzlies showed their appreciation to Zach Randolph by announcing that the veteran forward/center will be the first player in franchise history to have his No. 50 jersey retired.


    The Grizzlies announced the move in an open letter to Randolph, two days removed from the two-time All-Star ending his eight-year tenure with the club by agreeing to a two-year, $24 million deal with the Sacramento Kings.


    Randolph ranks first in franchise history in rebounds (5,612) and is second behind Mike Conley in points (9,261). The 35-year-old excelled in a reserve role last season, averaging 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds.


    --The Houston Rockets signed free agent forward P.J. Tucker and re-signed center Nene.


    In his first season as a Rocket, Nene appeared in 67 games with eight starts, while averaging 9.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game.


    Tucker averaged 6.7 points, 5.8 rebounds 1.4 steals in 81 games for the Suns and Raptors last season.


    --The Detroit Pistons signed free agent guard Langston Galloway.


    Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the club for Galloway, but ESPN reported the contract was for three years and $21 million.


    Galloway averaged 7.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 74 games last season with the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings.


    --The Chicago Bulls re-signed forward-center Cristiano Felicio.


    The move had been reported several days ago, but the team has now made it official. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but multiple media outlets reported the deal is for four years and worth $32 million.


    In his two seasons in Chicago, Felicio averaged 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.0 minutes per game while shooting 57.3 percent from the field. Last season, he averaged 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game with a field goal percentage of 57.9.


    --The Denver Nuggets signed rookie forward Tyler Lydon to a multi-year contract.


    Denver selected Lydon with the 24th overall pick after trading down in the first round of last month's draft. The 21-year-old Lydon joined third-year forward Trey Lyles in the draft-night trade with the Utah Jazz for the rights to the 13th overall pick, which was Donovan Mitchell.


    Lydon averaged 11.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.6 blocks in 71 career games with the Orange.
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    East conference odds update
    July 25, 2017



    Last Friday, shocking news came down that Kyrie Irving had asked the Cavaliers to trade him. The former No. 1 pick whose clutch 3-pointer in Game 7 of the '16 Finals helped LeBron James make good on the promise to end Cleveland's title drought has made it known he is done playing with the King. He wants to go his own way.


    Scorching the earth by putting it out there that he was interested in a new environment where he can be more of a "focal point" in issuing this trade demand seems like a calculated move in order to reach a point of no return, especially since there's noise out there that Irving believes James made the request public knowledge.


    Finger-pointing and gossip is popping up everywhere on social media, and even LeBron's estranged stepfather has decided to get mixed up in it.


    This drama packs the trifecta of leaks, ambition and back-stabbing, which combined with the lack of direction Dan Gilbert put on full display in mishandling his GM situation, has thrown everything into chaos. After being spurned by Chauncey Billups due to a low-ball offer, the Cavs boss finally promoted assistant GM Koby Altman to replace David Griffin, whose ill-timed departure was the domino that started this all.


    Altman has been in charge since but isn't at fault for this whose situation devolvng into a debacle. Although he's been a part of the team's front office since 2012, Altman in an incredibly tough spot given all that has transpired. An inability to land Paul George from Indiana in a deal that would have moved Kevin Love to Denver has damaged any sense of camaraderie among a "Big 3" that is 1-for-3 against the Warriors in the Finals, so the fact Cleveland remains favored to win the East is a slap in the face to everyone else in the conference.


    A fractured group remains the best bet to reign, if only because the King has proclaimed that he's not going anywhere until next summer.


    Both Irving and Love are aware that James, who definitely is consulted on personnel matters, has been willing to part with them if it improves the chances of adding to his ring collection. Everyone knows that the league is a business, but it's still impossible not to take things personally when you're a star of that magnitude but find yourself powerless in LeBron's orbit.


    Irving, despite having two years remaining on his contract, wants out now. James is staying put, controlling his future thanks to a no-trade clause on his deal that expires next summer, leaving open a possible departure via free agency. No one else outside of Gilbert himself can realistically feel secure of their position on the Cavs. Love is in limbo, powerless to stop his name from being linked to one trade rumor after another. The team even fired their cap expert. That's not a great work environment.


    After opening at 2-to-5 (-250) at Westgate Superbook, the walking soap opera that is Cleveland remains favored to win the Eastern Conference, but is now down to 4-to-7 (-175) after spending most of July at 1-to-2 (-200).


    Will these be the best odds available to bank on LeBron reaching his eighth consecutive NBA Finals? That's going to depend on one of two variables.


    Either James has to find away to smooth things over with his betrayed teammates or Altman has to hit the ground running in executing trades that will keep the Cavs atop the East throne despite losing arguably the conference's second-best player. That first possibility has a strong chance of coming to fruition despite the current friction because competing for another title is certain to be in the running for best situation for both Irving and Love, but damage has been done that will need to be overcome and may linger even if everyone remains in place.


    How can James help appease the bruised egos of his teammates if he's unsure of his own future going forward? Teams will line up to make offers both Irving and Love, but the Cavs will no longer be dealing from the position of strength they would've been working with had this news not gotten out there. That's one reason to discredit the allegation that LeBron's camp leaked the Irving information, because his group is nothing if not calculating, methodical and bright.


    James was said to be blindsided by Irving's desire to play elsewhere. LeBron giving his permission to include the team's All-Star point guard in trade discussions were likely viewed as a betrayal. Derrick Rose agreed to sign on Monday, giving the Cavs a potential replacement.


    If things can be worked out, the former MVP could prove to be a dynamic weapon off the bench.


    The Cavs have time on their side but have badly bumbled this offseason. They're currently a 4-to-1 (+400) bet to win the 2017-18 title, but moving in on that would be akin to setting money on fire given the volatility of their situation. The Warriors have Clevleand shook, thrown into a state of disarray. Even if they come out of the East, the Cavs would almost certainly be an NBA Finals underdog again.


    Boston, which was 4-to-1 to win the East when odds were released on June 24, is now sitting at 5-to-2 (+250) as the most likely successor should the Cavs crumble. The Celtics went from +400 to +300 after successfully courting Utah's Gordon Hayward, but their inability to land George kept them from making a more significant dent on Cleveland's perceived advantage.


    The odds on Washington (+1200), Milwaukee (+1500), Philadelphia (+1500), Toronto (+2000) and Miami (+2000) getting out of the East haven't been affected much over the past few weeks, but recent events definitely make it more appealing to pick a favorite and take a shot at a large payday.


    John Wall has been locked up long-term by the Wizards, who also paid handsomely to ensure improving wing Otto Porter stayed put. The Bucks have a talented young group returning, while the 76ers are getting a lot of love since they're adding a pair of No. 1 picks to the Joel Embiid-led mix in Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz. The Raptors will have continuity as an advantage after keeping Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka in the fold, while the Heat hope to build on last year's progress over the season's second half. None of those are championship-caliber teams, but the East could wind up wide open if things break badly for the Cavs.


    If Dwight Howard's back holds up and he's angry enough at being given away by his hometown Hawks, Charlotte (+10000) should emerge as the long shot worth dropping a few bucks on. The Hornets return Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Frank Kaminsky, Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller in addition to No. 11 draft pick Malik Monk and newly acquired former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams.


    That's a deep group. Michael Jordan's team would ordinarily be a first-round casualty against the Cavs we've come to know and respect, but if the three-time reigning East champs are disbanded, one could seemingly make a case for anyone.


    Well, almost anyone. Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago and Orlando are all 400-to-1 (+40000) to win the conference and an NBA-worst 1000-to-1 (+100000) to capture a championship.


    LeBron proved this past postseason that he remains at the top of his game, but not having a guy like Irving in place removes a sturdy safety net should adversity strike. Any way you slice it, Cleveland looks to be as vulnerable as it has been since James returned from his stint in Miami.
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    LeBron denies Irving trade claims
    July 25, 2017



    LeBron James denied a report that he is "eager" to see Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving traded after the point guard reportedly asked the team for a trade last week.


    James, on his Twitter account, re-tweeted two posts from SLAM Magazine's Twitter account with the headlines "LeBron James is reportedly 'eager' for Cleveland to trade Kyrie Irving" and "LBJ is extremely unhappy with Kyrie's trade request."


    On both tweets, James commented "#NoFacts people! Boooo!! Get another source" while adding "#EnjoyingMySummer #YouDoTheSame."


    Reports surfaced last week that Irving asked Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert for a trade after growing tired of playing alongside James and saying he wants to be more of a focal point on a team.


    Irving reportedly listed the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves as teams he would like to be traded to.


    James was reportedly blindsided by and furious at Irving's request.


    On Tuesday, the Cavaliers finalized the signing of former NBA MVP Derrick Rose to a one-year, $2.1 million deal. Rose, a three-time All-Star, could replace Irving as the Cavaliers' starting point guard if Irving is traded.
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    NBA notebook: Cavs officially ink G Rose
    July 25, 2017



    Free agent point guard Derrick Rose signed one-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.


    Rose met with newly named general manager Koby Altman and other Cavs officials on Monday, just three days after meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers. He passed medical exams with Cavs doctors, Cleveland.com reported.


    Rose, 28, averaged 18 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists on 47 percent shooting from the field in 64 games for the New York Knicks last season. He was acquired in a trade with the Chicago Bulls, but the 2016-17 season ended in another injury as Rose hit free agency for the first time.


    Rose had season-ending knee surgery in April but has recovered and settled for a short-term deal in free agency.


    --LeBron James denied a report that he is "eager" to see Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving traded after the point guard reportedly asked the team for a trade last week.


    James, on his Twitter account, re-tweeted two posts from SLAM Magazine's Twitter account with the headlines "LeBron James is reportedly 'eager' for Cleveland to trade Kyrie Irving" and "LBJ is extremely unhappy with Kyrie's trade request."


    On both tweets, James commented "#NoFacts people! Boooo!! Get another source" while adding "#EnjoyingMySummer #YouDoTheSame."


    --The Golden State Warriors re-signed free agents Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia and David West, making official what had been reported over the past several weeks.


    The Warriors did not disclose details of the agreements, but the terms were reported by various media outlets.


    Curry agreed to a five-year, $201 million super-max deal shortly after the NBA's free agency period began. Durant agreed to a two-year deal worth approximately $53 million. Iguodala reached agreement on a three-year, $48 million contract, Pachulia agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract, Livingston signed a three-year $24 million deal, and West signed a one-year contract.


    -- Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green faces a lawsuit that alleges "assault, battery and related claims based on his alleged acts of violence against a young man and woman."


    The plan to file a lawsuit was made public in a press release on Monday from Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. She also claims Green made "misleading statements" about the suit. She said she would be filing the lawsuit Tuesday.


    The lawyer did not indicate when the incident occurred or whether anyone was arrested.


    --Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight sustained a torn ACL in his left knee that will require surgery, and he is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season.


    The injury occurred last week while Knight was playing in South Florida. Following an examination by head team physician Dr. Tom Carter, it was determined that surgery was necessary,


    A timetable for his return will be determined at a later date.


    --The Brooklyn Nets acquired swingman Allen Crabbe from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for forward Andrew Nicholson.


    Crabbe averaged a career-best 10.7 points last season, his fourth with Portland since he was drafted in the second round by Cleveland in 2013.


    The 6-foot-9 Nicholson was acquired by the Nets from Washington during last season. He averaged 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 10 games with Brooklyn and 2.5 points in 28 games with the Wizards.


    --The Toronto Raptors signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a two-way contract.


    Brown, 26, averaged 3.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 63 career NBA games with the Philadelphia 76ers (2013-14), Minnesota Timberwolves (2014-15) and Phoenix Suns (2015-16).


    Brown was selected 52nd overall in the 2013 draft by Minnesota.


    --The Orlando Magic signed second-round draft pick Wesley Iwundu.


    The 6-foot-7 Iwundu, who was the 33rd overall selection in the 2017 draft, averaged 13.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists at Kansas State last season.


    He was selected to the All-Big 12 third team by the coaches in both his junior and senior seasons.
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    Top Available NBA Free Agents
    August 9, 2017



    Cleveland must tend to Kyrie Irving's trade demand one way or another, so anything that transpires on that front is going to impact the NBA most.


    Beyond his situation, there remain a number quality pieces still available who could aid playoff contenders and make a difference once the final set of dominoes start to fall when teams make their closing moves.


    1. Nerlens Noel, C
    The restricted free agent is stuck in a stalemate with the Mavs on a long-term deal, but hasn't gotten the leverage he hoped for since no other team has stepped up and dangled an offer sheet in front of him. He won't turn 24 until the end of the upcoming season, but is still more tantalizing prospect than sure thing, which is why he hasn't received the big payday he hoped for. He'll likely stay put in Dallas, which is banking on him not wanting to play on a qualifying offer next season. A compromise would allow them to sign him at a team-friendly rate that will ensure flexibility with the rest of their roster.


    2. Tony Allen, G/F
    At 35, the Grindfather is now old enough to be President, but he can still move. Although no longer the elite defender Kobe Bryant was referencing when he called him the best he ever faced, there's no question he can be a major asset coming off a season where he averaged 9.1 points and 5.5 rebounds while playing the second-most minutes of his career. He can still lock you up, which makes him impactful. Although he's become part of the fabric in Memphis, he'll take a crack at earning another ring elsewhere.


    3. Nikola Mirotic, F
    Blessed with fantastic range at 6-foot-10, he's got the potential to be one of the top stretch-4s in the game and is still just 26, but last year's inconsistent season was punctuated by a brutal playoff run that killed the restricted free agent's bargaining power. He's decided to skip Eurobasket due to his unsettled contract situation and will probably remain with Chicago on his qualifying offer, but it wouldn't be surprising to see someone swoop in to try and land a bargain while his value is down.


    4. Mason Plumlee, C
    His impressive defensive metrics have failed to land him the deal he wanted, so the Nuggets are likely to end up with his services for another season after dealing Jusuf Nurkic for him since they envisioned him being a better fit next to versatile big man Nikola Jokic. Between his athleticism, defense and playmaking skills, the 6-foot-11 Plumlee is an ideal rotation player who won't be a liability on pick-and-rolls since he can move his feet, making him a valuable asset for a contender.


    5. JaMychal Green, F
    Undrafted in 2012, he worked his way into the league and made steady progress with the Grizzlies, becoming an invaluable part of the rotation last season in averaging career-highs nearly across the board. His improving shooting range has made him valuable since his motor runs high, allowing him to defend and rebound well. He's in the same situation as Noel, Mirotic and Plumlee as a restricted free agent that has been lost in the shuffle this offseason and is now victimized by the lack of money teams have remaining. The Grizzlies want him back and will likely get their wish.


    6. Andrew Bogut, C
    He'll be healthy to start the season and is likely ticketed for a role with a team that won't require him to play significant minutes until games actually matter, but the 2005 Draft's No. 1 pick is still serviceable. The Cavs envisioned him playing a valuable part in last season's title defense but he failed to last even one full minute before fracturing his left tibia. Still a strong rim protector with a fantastic IQ that makes him an asset on the offensive end, he played in 70 games for the 73-win Warriors and should be able to contribute for whoever locks him up.


    7. Alex Len, C
    He appears to be a boom-or-bust type going forward, which is why teams have been hesitant to offer the 24-year-old former No. 5 pick a long-term deal. Back-to-the-basket centers are a dying breed, but he's rebounded well for Phoenix and is a legitimate 7-footer. Perhaps a change of scenery and a fresh start would accelerate his improvement, which is what he's apparently weighing as he ponders whether or not to sign his qualifying offer to remain with the Suns. His best years are likely just ahead if he stays healthy.


    8. Monta Ellis, G
    He hasn't lasted more than two years at any of his stops since leaving Golden State, and his production has dipped every season. An inability to develop a consistent jumper has hindered him, allowing defenses to play off of him and daring him to shoot. An ugly tenure with the Pacers ended with him failing to average double-figures in scoring for the first time since his rookie year. Now entering his 14th season, he turns just 32 in October and is one of the better backcourt options available as a scoring combo guard. Expect him to find a home on a playoff team on a one-year deal.


    9. Shabazz Muhammad, F/G
    One of Las Vegas' top prep talents is seeking the best fit after his rights were renounced by the Timberwolves. He's proven to be an unwilling defender and seems best suited to fill a scoring role off the bench, but concerns over clashing with teammates and low-assist numbers have damaged his market value. Considering he turns just 25 in November and should have his best years ahead of him, the Bishop Gorman product is worth gambling on and could wind up being a bargain in a new environment.


    10. Boris Diaw, F/C
    The Jazz let him go, but the 35-year-old has won a ring and brings invaluable experience to the table. He played 73 minutes last season and really struggled from 3-point range, but his ability to defend bigs and spread the floor as an elite facilitator with a basketball IQ that's all the charts makes him an attractive option for teams still loading up for a title run.


    11. Gerald Green, G/F
    He's a decade removed from winning a slam dunk contest and comes off a productive season with the Celtics, starting seven playoff games and scoring 18 points in a key Game 4 win in against the Bulls that prevented his team from falling in a 3-1 hole. He was lost in Boston's roster shuffle but shot 47 percent from 3-point range on their run to the Eastern Conference finals, so he's likely to have multiple suitors.


    12. Derrick Williams, F
    It's irrefutable that the No. 2 pick of the 2011 draft has been a bust to date, underperforming in Minnesota, Sacramento, New York and Miami before landing with the Cavs for the stretch run and putting together his most efficient numbers ever. A sub-30 percent 3-point shooter throughout his career, he shot 40 percent from beyond the arc over the final 25 games and shot 3-for-5 in the playoffs. Still just 26 years old, he's got a chance to start making some positive contributions.


    13. David Lee, PF
    The veteran opted out of his Spurs deal but could still return there after appearing in 94 games for them including playoffs. Lee has never been a good defender and his double-double days are over, but he fits San Antonio's system well and should be a reliable veteran presence wherever he ends up.


    14. Deron Williams, PG
    A 20-game stretch with the Cavs where he shot nearly 42 percent from 3-point range supplied a glimpse of the three-time All-Star's future since his days as a starter appear over. He'll be asked to take big shots and provide a stabilizing presence as a backup point guard but doesn't defend a lick and really struggled for Cleveland in the Finals, further damaging his stock.


    15. Anthony Morrow, SG
    The best long-range shooting threat remaining on the market will be a part of someone's plan to dethrone the Warriors, who have already filled their roster. If not for that, Golden State would be a perfect landing spot for a specialist who had a rough stint to close out an otherwise productive stint with Oklahoma City but should bounce back since he's a career 43 percent 3-point shooter.


    Others available: Lavoy Allen, Trey Burke, Brandon Rush, Tyler Zeller, Rodney Stuckey, Donatas Motiejunas, Randy Foye, Mike Dunleavy, Matt Barnes, Jason Terry, Thomas Robinson, Leandro Barbosa, Kris Humphries, Tiago Splitter, Dante Cunningham, Norris Cole, Alan Anderson, Jeff Withey, Adreian Payne.
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    NBA notebook: Paul to make Rockets debut against Warriors
    August 10, 2017



    The highly anticipated debuts of Chris Paul with the Houston Rockets and Gordon Hayward with the Boston Celtics will highlight the opening night of the NBA season, the league announced Thursday.


    Paul and the Rockets will visit the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday Oct. 17 as the second part of a doubleheader on TNT.


    In the opener, Hayward and the Celtics will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals.


    The NBA also announced its five Christmas Day matchups with an NBA Finals rematch between the Cavaliers and host Warriors on ABC (3 p.m. ET) representing the marquee contest.


    MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and MVP runner-up James Harden of the Rockets will square off on ABC (8 p.m. ET) on the Thunder's homecourt. The other contest on ABC will feature the Washington Wizards visiting the Celtics at 5:30 p.m. ET.


    --The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will pack their bags and head across the pond to play a regular-season game at the O2 Arena in London on Jan. 11, the NBA announced.


    The contest will be the league's eighth regular-season contest in London.


    --When NBA owners meet in September, they are expected to approve rules designed to discourage teams from benching healthy players for regular-season games, USA Today reported.


    The rules will be in effect at the start of the 2017-18 season, and teams will be penalized for not abiding by them.


    The specifics of the rules and the consequences remain unknown at this point, however. Enforcing any rules regarding the resting of a healthy player may be difficult to do, starting with the problem of determining whether the player is actually healthy.


    Earlier this week, the league office announced scheduling improvements designed to provide more rest for players.


    --Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph was arrested on a felony charge of marijuana possession with intent to sell by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday night.


    The arrest was part of a disturbance that resulted in damage to five Los Angeles Police Department vehicles and one sheriff's vehicle, according to ABC-7 in Los Angeles.


    Officers reportedly encountered a group drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and playing loud music while blocking the street in the Nickerson Gardens area in Los Angeles. The disturbance escalated with Randolph being arrested at 11 p.m. PT and booked 5 1/2 hours later with bail being set for $20,000, according to police reports.


    A two-time All-Star, Randolph signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Kings this summer after ending his eight-year tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies.


    --Oklahoma City Thunder forward Patrick Patterson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the team announced.


    Patterson, who will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks, is expected to start at power forward for Oklahoma City after agreeing to a three-year, $16.4 million contract in July.


    --The Milwaukee Bucks signed a jersey advertisement patch deal with Harley-Davidson, the team announced.


    The motorcycle manufacturer's iconic orange, white and black logo will appear on the Bucks' white, green and black jerseys. Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee.
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    NBA notebook: Knicks, Rockets revive trade talks
    August 11, 2017



    Carmelo Anthony could still join the Houston Rockets after all.


    After initial talks between the New York Knicks and Rockets about an Anthony trade stalled, the teams have re-engaged in discussions to send the 10-time All-Star to the Magnolia City, according to an ESPN report on Friday.


    Anthony will only waive his no-trade clause to be dealt to the Rockets, refusing to include more teams on his list of potential destinations, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.


    Houston is reportedly trying to find a third team to make the deal possible, and finding a way to include forward Ryan Anderson, who has three years left on his $60 million deal, is viewed as an obstacle.


    --LeBron James might be considering whether to bring his talents to Los Angeles next season, and there's a chance Kyrie Irving could be going with him. In a manner of speaking.


    Irving, who asked the Cleveland Cavaliers for a trade in July after he grew sour of playing alongside James, has his sights set on the Los Angeles Clippers as a team he would like to play for if traded.


    "(Irving) loves L.A. and he's been working out there a lot this summer," veteran NBA reporter Peter Vecsey of Patreon.com said.


    James, who owns a home in Los Angeles, is rumored to be considering teaming up with Los Angeles-area native Paul George on the Lakers next summer.


    --The Los Angeles Lakers signed forward V.J. Beachem.


    Terms of the deal were not released by the team, but ESPN reports Beachem's contract is partially guaranteed.


    Beachem, a former Notre Dame standout, was not selected in the 2017 NBA Draft. He averaged 14.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 36 games for the Fighting Irish last season.


    He played four games with the Minnesota Timberwolves during the NBA's summer league in Las Vegas.
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