All the latest news, moves and views from around the world of pro hoops.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "Derrick Williams spent the hour or so before the Cavaliers’ game Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder learning another playbook, getting another crash course in a new team’s system." (Full report.)
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "It’s fair to wonder if Pat Riley would’ve been so accommodating had he known Williams would wind up here. After all, this is the same Riley who a couple years ago nixed two separate, three-team trades at the deadline that ultimately would’ve brought Norris Cole to Cleveland, according to sources. Riley killed both deals when he learned they would help LeBron James and the Cavs." (Full report.)
Cavs star LeBron James looks tired, according to NBA insider Brian Windhorst in an ESPN podcast.
Per Cavs.com: "As good as the Cavs have been overall at The Q, they have shown a specific dominance over the Western Conference. The Cavs have won 30 of their last 36 home games against the West (10-3 in 2016-17)." (Full report.)
Per The Denver Post: "With the All-Star break looming, and Nuggets Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari nursing severe injuries, there is a chance the duo might not play until after the All-Star break." (Full report.)
Per the New York Post: "No matter what happens to Carmelo Anthony at the trading deadline, Knicks owner James Dolan said he thinks the star he pined for in 2011 will leave New York with a positive legacy." (Full report.)
Per the New York Post: "Dolan won’t say if he agrees with president Phil Jackson’s assessment the Knicks should trade Anthony by Feb. 23, but he still thinks he has done some good here." (Full report.)
Per Newsday: "Charles Oakley has been banned from Madison Square Garden in the aftermath of his physical altercation with security officers during the first quarter of Wednesday night’s Knicks game, Dolan said Friday on 'The Michael Kay Show' on ESPN Radio." (Full report.)
Per Newsday: "Dolan said Oakley’s ban is 'not necessarily a lifetime ban.' But he added that it was a necessary response to Wednesday’s incident because 'we need to keep the Garden a place that’s comfortable and safe for everyone who goes there.'" (Full report.)
Per Newsday: "The Knicks also released internal video of the incident that shows Oakley arguing with security guards from his seat. In that video, one of the security guards says Oakley asked where Dolan was sitting and called the guard 'a snitch' for then speaking with Dolan." (Full report.)
Per the New York Daily News: "Fans were mostly subdued during the early stages of Friday night’s game. A couple of 15-second-long 'WE WANT OAKLEY!' chants broke out in the first quarter. But each time the chants grew, the Knicks played music over the loud speaker to dull the voices. Nonetheless, the feeling among fans was palpable." (Full report.)
Per Sporting News: "The streak has helped to stave off what sources around the league believed would be a Heat bloodletting at the trade deadline — just two weeks away now — with Goran Dragic at the head of the line. Even with four years and more than $70 million left on his contract, Dragic has been playing well enough this season (20.0 points, 6.5 assists, 48.3 percent shooting) to warrant interest from several teams seeking help at point guard." (Full report.)
Per Sporting News: "In fact, Milwaukee was a potential destination for Dragic, a league source told Sporting News, as the Bucks had interest in point guard depth. Sacramento was another leading possibility, and the Magic inquired about adding Dragic." (Full report.)
Per Sporting News: "The Heat have limited assets to offer for a power forward. Miami owes next year’s first-rounder to Phoenix (top-seven protected), as well as a first-rounder in 2021, making the Heat technically unable to trade their first-rounder in 2017, 2019 or 2020 (teams can’t trade first-round picks in consecutive years)." (Full report.)
Per Amico Hoops: "NBA legend Magic Johnson was recently brought on to right the young, sometimes struggling Lakers. And he doesn’t plan to be involved in title only." (Full report.)
Per Amico Hoops: "Can he work (ahem) magic with a Lakers team that has been trying to stay afloat in the post-Kobe Bryant era?" (Full report.)
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Dionte Christmas' season with the Delaware 87ers is over after he ruptured his right Achilles tendon during Tuesday's game against the Northern Arizona Suns." (Full report.)
The Vertical posted it's latest NBA mock draft, with Washington guard Markelle Fultz going No. 1 overall to the Celtics. Full mock draft.
Hoops Rumors penned a piece on who the Raptors should target at the trade deadline. Full report.
The Suns have signed guard Ronnie Price to a second 10-day contract, per the team.
The Canton Charge of the D-League have waived guard Justin Johnson, per GM Mike Gansey.
The 76ers have assigned guard Chasson Randle to the Delaware 87ers of the D-League, per the team.
The Spurs have recalled guard Bryn Forbes from the Austin Spurs of the D-League, per the team.
The Jazz have recalled forward Joel Bolomboy from the Salt Lake City Stars of the D-League, per the team.
Former NBA and D-League forward Omari Johnson has been waived by Lithuanian club Neptunas, per Amico Hoops. The team also parted ways with former D-League guard Larry Drew II, the son of Cavaliers assistant coach Larry Drew.
Former Rhode Island guard Jimmy Baron has agreed to a contract with Lietuvos Rytas of Lithuania, per Amico Hoops.
Per Cleveland.com: "A team source said Williams has a strong chance to make the team for the rest of the season. His salary-plus-tax number for this 10-day contract is $200,000. He can get a second 10-day contract for the same number, and then the Cavs would have to sign him at a pro-rated salary for the rest of the season." (Full report.)
Per Cleveland.com: "Before the game, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said WIlliams was signed in part because of injuries to J.R. Smith (fractured right thumb) and Iman Shumpert (sprained left ankle), leaving the Cavs limited athletically on the wing." (Full report.)
">Amico Hoops: "Williams finished with 12 points in 22 minutes on 3-of-3 shooting. Everyone says the Cavs needed a playmaker or another inside presence. Williams is neither of those things — as he also finished with 1 assist and 0 rebounds." (Dribbles: Even in defeat, Cavs looking a-OK
">Amico Hoops: "So why bother with Williams, a 6-foot-8 combo forward? Well, because the Cavs think he’s a fine athlete and a good basketball player who could flourish in the right situation. The game has become so position-less, with 7-footers shooting 3-pointers and guards crashing the glass for rebounds. Auditioning a hungry and athletic player like Williams is without question a low-risk, high-reward type of deal." (Dribbles: Even in defeat, Cavs looking a-OK
">Amico Hoops: "Yeah, I know. I hear it all the time: LeBron is playing too many minutes! Let me just say this — it must be what he wants. And if LeBron is OK with it, everyone else should be, too." (Dribbles: Even in defeat, Cavs looking a-OK
">Amico Hoops: Other than that, I think reporters and fans tend to overreact when it comes to players’ minutes. James is 32, not 102. He knows his body. He makes millions upon millions of dollars to go out and play basketball for 82 regular season games a year. So let’s keep quiet and let him play." (Dribbles: Even in defeat, Cavs looking a-OK
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has reached an agreement with the Cavaliers to place a patch on their jerseys beginning next season, according to a Bloomberg report." (Full report.)
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "The Cavs are believed to be the fifth NBA team to reach agreement on a sponsorship patch, joining the Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets." (Full report.)
Per HoopsHype: "If a trade partner is interested in acquiring more experienced players, Denver also has veterans such as Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Will Barton, Darrell Arthur, Jameer Nelson and Mike Miller. These vets could also help when it comes to making salaries match in a potential deal." (Full report.)
Per HoopsHype: "Rival executives believe Denver’s front office wants to be active at the deadline and they certainly have the pieces to make a move, so they’re a team to keep an eye on." (Full report.)
Per HoopsHype: "Trading off veterans like Nick Young, Lou Williams, Luol Deng or Jose Calderon would give the young core more playing time, allow the Lakers to acquire more picks and young prospects, and increase the likelihood that they’ll keep two very important first-rounders going forward." (Full report.)
Per HoopsHype: "Despite head coach Luke Walton’s negative comments about tanking, executives believe the Lakers will strongly consider this route. If they do, other teams will certainly be calling about L.A.’s veterans." (Full report.)
Per HoopsHype: "One name that has surfaced quite a bit in recent trade rumors is Jahlil Okafor. ... I’ve talked to a number of executives who are still intrigued by Okafor and believe he can thrive in the right situation. Buying low on him now is seemingly a low-risk, high-reward move." (Full report.)
Per HoopsHype: "For months, Vlade Divac has been telling executives, agents and anyone willing to listen that the Kings aren’t going to trade DeMarcus Cousins. He’s adamant about this and hasn’t budged from that position." (Full report.)
Per Sports Illustrated: "The great fear Wednesday night was Jabari Parker, a former No. 2 overall pick, had torn the ACL in his left knee for the second time in three seasons. When Bucks coach Jason Kidd confirmed that diagnosis Thursday, pegging Parker for a full year of rehabilitation, an even greater fear crystallized: Will Milwaukee’s flirtation with life as the NBA’s Next Big Thing end before it ever truly started?" (Full report.)
Per Sports Illustrated: "While Khris Middleton’s return still looms large for Milwaukee’s playoff hopes, the balance of the season now becomes a salvage job rather than the possible coronation of a new NBA darling." (Full report.)
Per Sports Illustrated: "Even if the Bucks do push back into the East’s top eight, Parker will be missing out on his first taste of the postseason, the Bucks won’t get a chance to see how their young core holds up together under the lights, and casual fans will miss out on the full force and fury of one of the league’s most potent up-and-coming duos." (Full report.)
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: "It's no secret that the Sixers have been shopping Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor since last summer. And there's a great chance that one of them will be on another team by 3:01 p.m. on deadline day." (Full report.)
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: "I don't even approach it," Noel said inside the visitors' locker room at Amway Center. "I just play my game. If that's what they decide, that's what they decide." (Full report.)
The Clippers should consider trading Blake Griffin to land Knicks star Carmelo Anthony in a three-way deal, per a column from The Ringer.
Per The Ringer: "Swapping Griffin for Melo would be an upgrade for Los Angeles. When healthy, Griffin is a Hall of Fame talent, but the Clippers historically aren’t much better with him and Chris Paul than they are with just Paul." (Full report.)
Per Basketball Insiders: "As of today, none of the teams linked to the Knicks feel like they have any traction on a deal, according to sources near each team, mainly because any deal would have to be approved by Anthony himself and the Knicks have yet to bring a deal to him to approve." (Full report.)
Per Basketball Insiders: "One veteran NBA executive said recently that moving off Anthony’s teammates might be more effective in getting Anthony to agree to a deal than anything they are trying to accomplish publicly, as Anthony has routinely said he’s committed to his teammates more so than the front office." (Full report.)
Five teams would make sense as potential landing spots for Anthony: the Celtics, Hawks, Wizards, Clippers and Raptors, per a column from The Undefeated.
The Grizzlies have signed point guard Toney Douglas to a second 10-day contract, per the team.
Rookie big man Diamond Stone has been recalled from the D-League by the Clippers, per the team.
Per USA Today: "The NBA’s footprint was already expanding at an unreal rate, what with its massive television rights deal, games being played on international soil, Development League expansion, virtual reality offerings and the like." (Full report.)
Per USA Today: "And now, by way of the expected announcement on Thursday about their new 'NBA 2K eLeague' partnership with Take-Two Interactive Software, that profile will include a wing for the video game community." (Full report.)