The Timberwolves and Pistons appear to be talkin' trade, the Cavs meet the Spurs, and all the latest news from around pro hoops.
Per ESPN: "Sources told ESPN that no deal appeared imminent Friday but said the teams have engaged in dialogue this week on a potential multiplayer exchange that would be headlined by Rubio and Jackson." (Full report.)
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "While LeBron James has often called Spurs coach Gregg Popovich the greatest of all time and did so again this week in advance of Saturday’s game between the Cavaliers and Spurs, what James really admires is Popovich’s ability to adapt to the changes within the game." (Full report.)
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: "As David Robinson neared retirement, Tim Duncan emerged. As Duncan played out the last few years of his hall of fame career, Kawhi Leonard was drafted and groomed to replace him. LaMarcus Aldridge was added as a free agent in the prime of his career and the Spurs’ machine continues to roll." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "Duncan is gone now, his focus on paintball and classic cars and his number already in the rafters in San Antonio. James is still grinding way, sometimes finding himself working out on the arena floors with no other player in sight. For the first time in his career, James will play a Spurs team without Duncan on Saturday. But he still chases Duncan's spirit." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "The road trip also left LeBron James feeling bogged down as he looked at the Warriors' roster full of playmakers -- he rattled off seven names of players he felt can dribble, pass and shoot well enough to create scoring opportunities when the defense clamps down on them -- and wondered aloud if Cleveland had the personnel to compete." (Full report.)
Per ESPN: "He was hinting at the burden of the Cavs' construct that makes it hard for the team to win unless he and Kyrie Irving are carrying the load. That works just fine in the postseason, where there is more rest and more prep time and the cream rises to the top, but during an 82-game grind? It’ll mess with your mind, your body and your spirit." (Full report.)
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.
Per Amico Hoops: “After a disappointing season last year, Iman Shumpert has really given the Cavs a lift in J.R. Smith’s absence. Smith, of course, is still a ways away from returning following thumb surgery.” (Full report.)
LeBron James will be starting in his 13th straight All-Star game, tying Bob Cousy for the most consecutive All-Star game starts in NBA history, per Elias Sports Bureau.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “Kyrie Irving was vocal in his protest a few weeks ago that the media now has a vote for NBA starters. Beginning this season, the fan vote makes up 50 percent, while the players and media split the other 50 percent. Irving was acutely aware Thursday night that he finished first in fan and player balloting, but third in media voting.” (Full report.)
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “What seems clear under the new format is if the fans wants to see a player badly enough, the player/media vote cannot change that. Steph Curry, for instance, received 1.85 million of the fan votes – nearly 300,000 more than third-place Russell Westbrook. The fact Westbrook won the media and player vote ultimately mattered little.” (Full report.)
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “Pau Gasol fractured his left hand during warmups Thursday night and Tony Parker did not play because of a foot injury. It remains to be seen if either will be able to play against the Cavs.” (Full report.)
Per Amico Hoops: “P.J. Tucker, 31, is a small forward for the Suns, a player known for his staunch defense on the perimeter. The Cavs could always use staunch defense on the perimeter. Who couldn’t?” (Full report.)
Per ESPN: “LeBron James says his son, 12-year-old LeBron Jr., who was seen in a recent AAU highlight video completing a through-the-legs layup, has been studying his dad’s old high school footage for inspiration. Would LeBron Sr. have been able to do that move at 12? ‘No, I wouldn’t even have had the nerve to try it,’ James told ESPN.”
Per the San Antonio Express-News: “Pau Gasol signed a two-year deal worth roughly $30 million with the Spurs. The second year of the deal is a player option worth $16 million. Asked if he intended to opt-in Year 2 of his contract, Gasol agreed it’s a safe bet.” (Full report.)
Per USA Today: “The site on which Kevin Durant stood, where the $1 billion privately-financed venue will open in the 2019-20 season, will host their foundation in name alone. It’s Durant, withSteph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, and whoever else they can afford along the way, that are forging this talent-rich future together.” (Full report.)
Durant told USA Today: “I’m liking it here. I’m liking everything that’s going on. I know what my contract says, but I didn’t plan on coming here for just a year. I’m in it right now, and I’m also just focusing on day by day.” (Full report.)
Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki aims to play one more season before retiring, per the Dallas News.
Per the Dallas News: “Andrew Bogut will be back in a week or so, if not sooner, and he’ll still have value. But this thing is going to go down to the buzzer on Feb. 23, which is the trade deadline, unless somebody knocks the Mavericks’ socks off with an offer.” (Full report.)
Magic guard Jodie Meeks will be out an estimated 4-6 weeks with ligament damage to his thumb, per the Orlando Sentinel.
An MRI confirmed Kings small forward Rudy Gay has a torn Achilles and will be out at least the rest of the season, per the team.
The 76ers are expected to sign guard Chasson Randle to a second 10-day contract, per thePhiladelphia Inquirer.
Former D-League guard Nick Wiggins (Wichita State) has agreed to a contract with the Orangeville A’s of NBL Canada, per Amico Hoops. Wiggins is the older brother of Timberwolves swingmanAndrew Wiggins.
Former NBA and D-League power forward Joey Dorsey has been cut by FC Barcelona of Spain, perAmico Hoops.
Former NBA center Nenad Krstic is nearing a deal with Serbian club Partizan, per Amico Hoops.
Former Boise State power forward Ike Okoye has agreed to a deal with Salta Basket of Argentina, perAmico Hoops.