Several items making the rounds in pro hoops this weekend, beginning with the defending champion Cavaliers.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "LeBron James stood annoyed at his teammates on at least two separate occasions Saturday night: When Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson botched a play late in overtime and when Kevin Love fired a pass to Kawhi Leonard when he tried saving the ball from going out of bounds." (Full report.)
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "Would Irving have made the shot? We’ll never know. The Spurs would’ve had a full shot clock and could’ve held for the final play. So butchering that play didn’t outright lose them the game, but it was certainly a contributing factor. And the mental lapse is what annoyed James most. He glared at both Thompson and Irving after the turnover." (Full report.)
">Amico Hoops: "James’ blunder (and make no mistake, it was indeed his) came with 24 seconds left and the Cavs down three. He threw a bounce pass to the corner. No one was in the corner. The ball went out of bounds." (Turnovers, free throws doom Cavs in OT classic
Per ESPN: "Now, as the Cavs experienced in their 118-115 overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, they're dealing with fine-tuning a title team. That process is proving to be far more excruciating than Tyronn Lue's first days on the job, when incremental improvement felt far more significant because of the newness of it." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "As he sat at his locker after the game, icing his back, knees and feet, James tallied the toll on his body. 'Halfway through season No. 14,' James said. 'When do the playoffs start again?'" (Full report.)
">Amico Hoops: "It may be time to start Kyle Korver if I’m coach Tyronn Lue. (And coach Tyronn Lue is grateful I’m not.) But Korver may be more effective alongside the Big Three of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, all of whom could create some open looks for the veteran shooting guard." (Dribbles: Cavs sort of still acting too chill
Per the Detroit News: "While Stan Van Gundy admitted that general manager Jeff Bower is working to gauge other teams in the league to find deals that might interest the Pistons, Van Gundy said there’s no real consideration and nothing more than normal chatter in the Reggie Jackson-for-Ricky Rubio talk." (Full report.)
Per the Detroit News: "With the trade deadline approaching on Feb. 23, Van Gundy admitted that Bower is taking calls and listening to offers, but is weeding through them to find the ones that are serious and viable and could potentially benefit the Pistons." (Full report.)
The Spurs have signed veteran free agent center Joel Anthony to a 10-day contract, per Yahoo Sports.
Pacers president Larry Bird to USA Today: "I don’t want to get into Paul George's free agency. Before the year started, I told Paul and I said, ‘Look, if you want to sign a long-term deal, we’re willing to do that max (contract) and if you want to wait, I understand.’ But this year, we’re not going to worry about it, we’re not going to talk about it and he’s going to make the decision that’s best for Paul when it comes down to it." (Full report.)
Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell will miss 1-2 weeks with an MCL sprain and calf strain, per ESPN.
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Joel Embiid had an X-ray on Friday. At first glance, it looked as if he might have hyperextended his knee on the play. Embiid could be out for about a week assuming that's what happened." (Full report.)
Per Basketball Insiders: "With Gay off the market, things could get interesting, as teams struggling to cement the postseason may have to get more creative. This could work to the advantage of teams like the Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns -- all of whom have players to move." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "Despite expressing frustration over his role to French newspaper L'Equipe, the Pelicans' Alexis Ajinca tells ESPN that he hasn't asked to be traded."
Former NBA and D-League guard Mustafa Shakur has signed with German club Wurzburg, per Amico Hoops.
Former D-League guard Michael Stockton has agreed to a contract with Apollon Patras of Greece, per Amico Hoops.
Former D-League guard Dee Davis (Xavier) has signed with Sigal Prishtina of Kosovo, per Amico Hoops.
Per Cleveland.com: "So how do the Cavs acquire that missing piece? With limited assets, unless they are willing to send away the draft rights to Turkish youngster Cedi Osman, the Cavs might have to get creative." (Full report.)
Per Cleveland.com: "Perhaps the Celtics would be willing to meet the asking price to pry Carmelo Anthony away from New York. Of course, he has a no-trade clause, making things incredibly complicated." (Full report.)
Anthony would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to play for the Cavaliers or Clippers, sources told Amico Hoops -- but neither team would part with what the Knicks would want in return.
Spurs center Pau Gasol underwent surgery on his left hand Friday, per Yahoo Sports. No timetable on a return has been determined.
Per ESPN: "The Philadelphia 76ers claimed and then immediately waived veteran guard Mo Williams on Friday in a move designed to bring them closer to the NBA's salary floor, according to league sources. (Full report.)
Per the Dallas Morning News: "It's a strong likelihood that the Mavericks will make a trade before the Feb. 23 deadline. Andrew Bogut could be one of the pieces dealt, although he needs to get healthy before anything can happen. And you never know with the LA Clippers perhaps in need of a point guard now. The Mavericks have several." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "IfChris Bosh, who turns 33 in March, makes it back onto the floor next season, word is that the Chicago Bulls are already plotting a run and will be at the front of the line to try to sign him." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "The most substantive trade proposal generating buzz among the various team officials, scouts and agents assembled this week at the Hershey Centre: Orlando, according to league sources, recently tried to engage Miami on a Goran Dragic deal in which the Magic were said to be offering center Nikola Vucevic and a future first-round pick." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "Sources say that the Nuggets, having acknowledged that Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic didn't click as a pairing, are actively working to find Nurkic a new home that would give him the chance he deserves to be a front-line center." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "Given Rudy Gay's long-term unavailability and Sacramento's well-known hopes of convincing DeMarcus Cousins to sign for the long term, two wings have emerged as the most likely Kings to be dealt: Ben McLemore first and foremost, followed by Arron Afflalo." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "The Clippers have offered a future second-round pick for Suns forward P.J. Tucker -- who is said to have a not-so-secret admirer in Doc Rivers -- but sources say Phoenix is holding out for a first-rounder in exchange for the rugged defensive specialist." (Full report.)
The Magic are "lining up" a 10-day contract for D-League guard Anthony Brown of the Erie BayHawks, per ESPN.
Indiana University forward and NBA draft lottery prospect OG Anunoby will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury that requires surgery, per Hoosiers coach Tom Crean.
Former NBA guard Ben Gordon has signed with the Texas Legends of the D-League, per the team.
Former NBA guard Russ Smith (Louisville) has returned to the D-League with the Delaware 87ers, per Amico Hoops. Smith had been playing in Turkey.
Former NBA small forward Tony Mitchell (Alabama) has agreed to a contract with Cairns Taipans of Australia, per Amico Hoops.
Former Cincinnati power forward Justin Jackson has signed with Aris Thessaloniki of Greece, per Amico Hoops.
Former LaSalle shooting guard Roman Galloway has agreed to a contract with TED Kolejliler of Turkey, per Amico Hoops.