Rumor Roundup: Cavaliers, Okafor, Ibaka
Plenty going on in pro hoops as we near the NBA trading deadline. Let's take a look:
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "Coach Tyronn Lue freely admits he’s just experimenting right now. He used Derrick Williams to guard the point guard position in Thursday’s loss at the Oklahoma City Thunder, then went even further and used Williams in sort of a point guard role against the Nuggets." (Full report.)
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "While the rest of the league is infatuated with smaller lineups, Lue tried a jumbo package to start the second quarter when he sent out Williams and James with Richard Jefferson, Kyle Korver and Channing Frye. Everyone on the floor was at least 6-foot-7. The only problem was they didn’t have a point guard." (Full report.)
Per Cleveland.com: "Probably the most swelling I've ever had on anything besides ACL and getting my knee drained," Shumpert told cleveland.com, before the Cavs beat Denver 125-109 on Saturday at The Q. It was Shumpert's third consecutive missed game. "When I saw it swell up like that, it wasn't a pretty situation. But the swelling went down pretty fast. So I've been gettin ready all day and all night, make sure that swelling gets out." (Full report.)
">Amico Hoops: "Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love will miss Tuesday’s game at Minnesota with left knee soreness, the team announced Sunday." (Knee soreness to shelve Cavs’ Love yet again
">Amico Hoops: "The latest setback means Love will have missed both games against his former team this season." (Knee soreness to shelve Cavs’ Love yet again
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "Love has battled food poisoning, back problems and now a knee injury in the past six weeks. Yet he’s still the only player in the East averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds." (Full report.)
Knicks star Carmelo Anthony indicated to ESPN he'd prefer to a break over potentially filling in as a replacement for Love on the East All-Star squad. "I got plans," he told the website. "If they'd call me I'd consider it. But I would love to utilize this break."
Per Variety: "Cavaliers superstar Kyrie Irving is hoping for a big screen slam dunk. Sources tell Varietythat Temple Hill Entertainment has acquired the feature film rights to Irving’s 'Uncle Drew' Pepsi commercials. 'Skiptrace' scribe Jay Longino is set to write the script and Irving is attached to reprise the role of Drew." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "There's a growing sense around the league that Serge Ibaka could be on the move again as the league's Feb. 23 trade deadline draws near." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "Sources say Toronto and Miami are among the Eastern Conference teams that have expressed interest in Ibaka this month. More than one rival club has expressed the belief that Orlando will use the next 10 days before the deadline to keep fielding offers and then, ultimately, choose the best available package for Ibaka on Feb. 23 and make the move." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "Skepticism about Atlanta's recent insistence that Paul Millsap is completely off the market has been fairly rampant. The Hawks, however, are adamant that Millsap is staying put in the wake of the Kyle Korver-to-Cleveland deal in early January ... whether rival teams believe them or not." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "Now that the Nurkic trade we've been anticipating for weeks has materialized at last, league sources say Danilo Gallinari is a prime Nugget to watch between now and the deadline." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "The Nets, as ESPN.com reported in late December, continue to demand two first-round draft picks if they are to part with center Brook Lopez before the deadline." (Full report.)
Per Amico Hoops: "Another Plumlee is reportedly on the move. This time it’s Mason Plumlee, who has been traded from Portland to Denver, Yahoo Sports reported Sunday." (Full report.)
Per Amico Hoops: "As Yahoo noted, the trade of Plumlee gives the Blazers three first-round picks in the June draft." (Full report.)
Per The Denver Post: "A big draw in the deal for the Nuggets was being able to retain Plumlee's restricted free-agent rights."
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: "It appears that the Nuggets talks with 76ers in regards to possible acquiring Jahlil Okafor have stalled." (Full report.)
Per Sports Illustrated: "A willing and able passer who plays with energy and represents a vertical threat with his finishing ability, Plumlee hasn’t paired his intriguing offense with capable defense." (Full report.)
Per Sports Illustrated: "Jusuf Nurkic isn’t the answer. The 22-year-old Bosnian seven-footer might be an Internet cult hero due to his fearsome physical presence, but he hasn’t been a positive difference-maker in his two-plus seasons in Denver." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "That miniature exchange exemplified Durant’s frustration in playing alongside Westbrook for those eight years with the Thunder. It was always, 'I’m coming. I’m coming.' Meanwhile, the team wasn’t going anywhere." (Full report.)
Per the Oklahoman: "ABC’s broadcast of the Warriors’ 130-114 win against the Thunder on Saturday did a 4.1 metered-market rating, the highest-rated regular-season non-Christmas NBA game on any network since 2013, according to ESPN." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "Rick Carlisle considered it an easy decision to plug Deron Williams back in the starting lineup despite sudden rookie sensation Yogi Ferrell's success. 'Because D-Will is a better player,' Carlisle said after Williams returned from an eight-game absence due to a toe injury." (Full report.)
Per the Orlando Sentinel: "Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins said he will follow standard team procedure when he and the DeVos family assess the job performance of embattled general manager Rob Hennigan." (Full report.)
Per the Orlando Sentinel: "In April 2012, when he was asked about the status of coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith, Martins said everyone within the team hierarchy — including himself, front-office personnel and coaches — is evaluated after each season. The following month, the Magic fired Van Gundy and Smith." (Full report.)
Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine will undergo season-ending surgery on his torn ACL on Tuesday, per the team.
The Spurs have signed center Joel Anthony for the remainder of the season following the expiration of a second 10-day contract, per Yahoo Sports.
The LA D-Fenders of the D-League have have obtained former NBA big man DeJuan Blair from the Texas Legends for a future draft pick, per D-League Digest.
The Raptors have recalled have recalled forward Bruno Caboclo, forward Jared Sullinger and guard Fred VanVleet from Raptors 905 of the D-League, per the team.
The Pacers have assigned forward Rakeem Christmas to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, per the team.
Former D-League guard Dion Dixon (Cincinnati) has agreed to a contract with GS Kymis of Greece, per Amico Hoops.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "Teams with cap space such as the Philadelphia 76ers and Saturday’s opponent, the Denver Nuggets, could’ve claimed him. But Derrick Williams struggled with the Heat and fell out of the rotation, not to mention the $4.6 million cap hit he would’ve cost a team that claimed him. So he passed through unclaimed by 29 other teams." (Full report.) Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "I took that as a little disrespectful," the former No. 2 overall pick told the Beacon Journal. "I’ve got a little chip on my shoulder now." (Full report.) Per Cavs continue to rise, knock off Nuggets
">Amico Hoops: "Energy, effort, efficiency,” Williams told the in-arena announcer after the win. “That’s what I try to do every night.” (Cavs continue to rise, knock off Nuggets
">Full report.) Per Cavs continue to rise, knock off Nuggets
">Amico Hoops: "Even though he’s on a 10-day contract, we believe it’s going to be long-term,” LeBron James said. “We hope this is a place that can help him grow and make the next step. He’s 25 years old — it doesn’t seem like it because I’ve been hearing his name for so long. He hasn’t even gotten to his prime yet." (Cavs continue to rise, knock off Nuggets
Per ESPN: "Although Williams is still waiting on a long-term commitment from the team, he did make himself more at home by changing to a preferred uniform number. He wore No. 32 against Oklahoma City but had No. 3 on against Denver." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "I've worn pretty much a different number on every team I've been on, so I'm trying to switch it up a little bit and see which one's a little more lucky," Williams told ESPN. "My mom was like, 'You played so well in No. 32. I don't know if you should switch it.' I was like, 'eh, I'll be all right.' I'm not superstitious or nothing." (Full report.)
Per Cleveland.com: "I'm gonna leave that in house," Chris Andersen told cleveland.com Saturday, when asked what the Cavs have told him about his contract. "It is a championship-caliber team and the need certain players to be out there on the floor. It's unfortunate that I'm not able to come back this season (air quotes), We'll see. They gotta do what they gotta do to make sure they push the team into that position where they can repeat, then that's what they've gotta do." (Full report.)
Per Cleveland.com: "Andersen's chances of remaining a part of the Cavs' title defense would seem to be remote. The team chose not to waive him so as to avoid paying his salary, the tax penalty tied to him, and the same for whoever replaced him. But at this juncture, the Cavs have paid most of his salary already, and would waive him if they needed his roster spot to sign a free agent." (Full report.)
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "Keep an eye on DeAndre Liggins’ right knee. It’s probably nothing, but he aggravated it during the game and it bothered him afterwards enough that he had to ice it. I haven’t seen Liggins ice all season after a game until Saturday. Turns out, there’s a reason why. He likes ice about as much as Oklahoma City likes Kevin Durant these days, which tells you how badly he knee must have felt." (Full report.)
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: "A league source said that nothing was imminent, but that talks were progressing. There's a chance that Okafor will sit out the remaining two games - at Charlotte on Monday and at Boston on Wednesday - prior to the all-star break if need be." (Full report.)
Per HoopsHype:"Source: Okafor was informed that the 76ers have had trade talks with the Bulls, Pelicans, Blazers and Nuggets. Discussions ongoing."
Per DerekBodner.com: "The tear was discovered after Embiid underwent an MRI following a 93-92 victory on January 20th over the Portland Trailblazers. Embiid left the game in the third quarter with a left knee contusion after landing awkwardly following a drive to the basket." (Full report.)
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: "A report by DerekBodner.com forced the 76ers to reveal 15 minutes before Saturday night's game against the Miami Heat that their center had a slight meniscus tear in his left knee. An MRI following the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Jan. 20, revealed the issue. At that time, the team had said only that Embiid left the game because of a bone bruise in the knee." (Full report.)
Per Woelfel's Press Box: "If everything goes accordingly, Larry Sanders will return to the NBA in about two weeks. What’s more, he could be returning to a team that is bound for the playoffs." (Full report.)
Per Woelfel's Press Box: "The 6-foot-11 Sanders went through a series of drills and then conducted interviews for the NBA officials in attendance. Sanders openly discussed his past on-court and off-court issues as well as his desire to resume his pro career." (Full report.)
Per Woelfel's Press Box: “It went very well,’’ said veteran agent Joel Bell, who represents Sanders. “They (NBA officials) had as much time as they wanted to work on certain drills with Larry or to talk to him.’’ (Full report.)
Per Amico Hoops: "Serge Ibaka has been drawing interest around the league, as the Orlando Magic are said to be exploring what they can get in return for their fairly new power forward." (Full report.)
Rockets GM Daryl Morey on the NBA trade deadline, per ESPN: "I think if we do anything, it will be for depth. I don’t see any big things happening. We got a good thing, a good rotation, good chemistry. I’m pretty reluctant to make any changes there." (Full report.)
Per the Dallas News: "The Mavericks are bound to come up in speculation because they have assets that other teams could covet -- Andrew Bogut's expiring $11 million deal, Deron Williams' one-year, $9 million contract and young players like Dwight Powell and Justin Anderson who are locked up at relative-bargain salaries. And they have what will be at worst a mid-teen pick in the fertile, deep June draft to dangle." (Full report.)
Per CSSNE: "But as much as Ainge feels a sense of urgency to strike a deal, he knows all too well there’s a tremendous amount of value in waiting for the right deal to manifest itself." (Full report.)
Per the Oklahoman: "Oklahoma booed Kevin Durant when he went nose-to-nose with Andre Roberson during a third-quarter altercation that threatened to ignite a Bricktown bar fight and when Durant stooped to do a post-game interview with ABC's Lisa Salters." (Full report.)
Per the Oklahoman: "Durant and Russell Westbrook yelled at each other after a Westbrook flurry prompted a Golden State timeout in the third quarter, which is more than the old pals had talked at all since July." (Full report.)
Per Amico Hoops: "Sure, Durant scored 34. That’s par for the course. The Warriors beat the Thunder by 16. Not much to see there. But the postgame media sessions seemingly turned out to have as much to do with cupcakes as the game itself." (Full report.)
Per Amico Hoops: "There’s plenty of basketball to be played, but unless the Thunder or Warriors go through a major slump after the All-Star Break, it’s unlikely the two teams meet in the playoffs." (Full report.)
Per The Denver Post: "Nikola Jokic put his name right next to Nuggets legend David Thompson’s on Friday night. Until Jokic’s 40 points in a Nuggets’ win over the Knicks, Thompson had been the only player in team history to put at least 40 on the board in the NBA’s most iconic arena – Madison Square Garden. He had 41 points in a game against the Knicks at MSG in 1978." (Full report.)
The Pistons have recalled forward Henry Ellenson and forward Michael Gbinije fronm the Grand Rapis Drive of the D-League, per the team.
The Sixers have recalled guard Chasson Randle from the Delaware 87ers of the D-League, per the team.
The Knicks have assigned forward Maurice Ndour and center Marshall Plumlee to the Westchester Knicks of the D-League affiliate, per the team.
The Texas Legends of the NBA D-League have signed 35-year old center Stephane Lasme, per per Amico Hoops.
Per ESPN: "Melo was found dead at his home in Juiz de Fora, in the state of Minas Gerais, Military Police in Brazil confirmed. Melo went to bed on Friday night and was found dead Saturday morning by his mother, authorities there said." (Full report.)
Former NBA and D-League swingman Scotty Hopson has agreed to a contract with Israeli club Ironi Nahariya, per Amico Hoops.
Former NBA and D-League swingman Lazar Hayward has agreed to a deal with Venezuelan club Guaros, per Amico Hoops.
Australian swingman and former Rockets draft pick Brad Newley is nearing a deal with AEK Athens of Greece, per Amico Hoops.
Former D-League guard Jeremy Hazell has agreed to a contract with VL Pesaro of Italy, per Amico Hoops.