Rumor Roundup: Cavs, Pacers, Carmelo
A look at the latest news, views and moves from around around the world of pro hoops.
Per ESPN: "If Pacers superstar Paul George was upset with CJ Miles for taking the potential game winner from him Saturday, you have to wonder how he felt about Lance Stephenson falling into the foil role Cleveland needed to wake up and play inspired ball, leading to a 19-point Cavaliers lead."
Per ESPN: "The Cavs' masterful third quarter, in which they outscored the Pacers 33-20, really got going when Stephenson was matched with Kevin Love. Cleveland's All-Star forward took it to Indiana's wild card."
Per ESPN: "When Kyrie Irving wasn't scoring on Stephenson, he was unleashing on Jeff Teague much the same way he did each of the past two postseasons when Teague played for the Atlanta Hawks." (Full report.)
George on Stephenson to reporters: "He's got to learn to control himself and be in the moment. Lance, in our locker room, is looked upon as a leader. His body language has to improve -- just for the team. We all know that Lance is an emotional guy. A lot of it is his heart and his competitiveness. That emotion comes out of him. He's got to channel that toward making effort plays on the court and doing whatever he needs for us to succeed." (Full report.)
">Amico Hoops: "Love can sometimes get annoyed with LeBron James and Irving when they direct the offense away from him late in games. He scored 27 points — on just SEVEN shots! No one else on the team could do that. Love also finished 12-of-12 on free throws." (Dribbles: Cavs need to keep finding Love
">Amico Hoops: "This isn’t to suggest there’s some sort of team discord, because there isn’t. This is pro sports and people get irritated with their teammates from time to time. It doesn’t mean you don’t love them. I don’t know if Love was agitated that he barely touched the ball in the fourth, but I’d sure understand if he was. And he has been before." (Dribbles: Cavs need to keep finding Love
">Amico Hoops: "Meanwhile, Shumpert filled in for J.R. Smith, who left the game with a left hamstring injury at halftime. Smith was agitated and wanted to keep playing. Perhaps he will return for Game 3 on Thursday. But if not, the benching seemed to be the elixir Shumpert needed. He played perhaps his most efficient half of the season." (Dribbles: Cavs need to keep finding Love
Per the Associated Press: "Smith has been struggling since returning from a thumb injurty, averaging 8.6 points on a career-low 34.6 percent shooting in 41 appearances during the regular season." (Full report.)
Per CBS Sports: "The Pacers knew they would have to take advantage of their chances, and yet they have messed up in every way imaginable. Their switches have been a disaster."
Per CBS Sports: "There's an end game here that seems to have been written slowly over months, where George eventually asks out and is traded to some coastal team or another; his frustration is palpable. But let's not go down the road of acting like this is where George has always been. Those Pacers teams that challenged LeBron's Heat were legit. They were serious threats, and not just because of talent." (Full report.)
Per the Associated Press: "Teague injured his right wrist in the second half and coach Nate McMillan said the starting guard will undergo X-rays."
Per the Associated Press: "Indiana is 0-9 when dropping the first two games in a series." (Full report.)
Per Sporting News: "Ask around among NBA executives, and the consensus is that Knicks team president Phil Jackson didn’t say anything particularly surprising on Friday when he told the media that Carmelo Anthony, 'would be better off somewhere else.' But ask them if they’re prepared to take Anthony on their own rosters, and the answers almost universally come back, 'Well, no ...'"
Per Sporting News: "If he were willing to keep altering his style of play, you might say yes," one general manager said. "At his best, when he was four or five years younger, you could win if you built the team to fit what he does. They had some good teams, people forget. But at this point, at his age, it is not possible unless he becomes more of a role player — a stretch-4, a second or third option. But then you’re paying $25 million per year for a role player, and how does that help you?"
Per Sporting News: "The Clippers remain the logical destination, according to other executives, though, it should be stressed, they’re merely speculating. We’re a long way from Anthony winding up in LA. But should the team fizzle out in the postseason for the fourth straight year of Doc Rivers’ tenure, changes are sure to be made. Four Clippers starters are heading into free agency, and three of them are looking at major payouts: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "The Phoenix Suns are planning to keep general manager Ryan McDonough in place entering the final year of his contract, according to league sources."
Per ESPN: "Sources told ESPN.com that the Suns intend to keep McDonough in charge of basketball operations for at least one more season, despite the ongoing wait for the first playoff berth of his tenure."
Per Hoops Rumors: "Andre Iguodala will be a free agent this offseason, but he’s unlikely to leave Golden State, according to Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. A source tells the scribe that the real question is how many years will Iguodala’s next deal with the Warriors run." (Full report.)
Per the Kansas City Star: "Kansas freshman guard Josh Jackson officially declared for the 2017 NBA Draft on Monday in a move that was long expected for a player currently projected to be a top three pick."
Per the Kansas City Star: "The 6-foot-8 Detroit native, who averaged 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds a game during the 2016-17 season for the 31-5 Jayhawks, has signed with former NBA player B.J. Armstrong of Wasserman Media Group." (Full report.)
Per Yahoo Sports: "After leading South Carolina to an improbable run to the Final Four, sophomore guard P.J. Dozier is signing with an agent and staying in the 2017 NBA draft, sources told The Vertical." (Full report.)
Per FanRag Sports: "Illinois State Redbirds talent MiKyle McIntosh will enter the 2017 NBA Draft but not sign with an agent, Dan Muller told FanRag Sports on Monday. If he decides to withdraw his name from the draft before the May deadline, he will then become a graduate transfer and leave the program." (Full report.)
Per Yahoo Sports: "Sources: Charlotte has declined the team option on forward Christian Wood for the 2017-'18 season, making Wood an unrestricted free agent."
Per Hoops Rumors: "Heat players recently cleaned out their lockers, having failed to make the playoffs, and many of them will have an opportunity to go elsewhere this summer. James Johnson, Udonis Haslem, and Luke Babbitt will be free agents. Willie Reed, Josh McRoberts, and Dion Waiters all hold player options and Wayne Ellington could join the free agent market if the franchise declines his $6.27MM team option." (Full post.)
Former NBA and D-League forward James Southerland has agreed to a contract with Indios de Mayaguez of Puerto Rico, per
Kevin Love says something obnoxious to irritate Lance Stephenson every time Stephenson fails to defend Love in post. It's working. #Cavs
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) April 18, 2017