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 Ben Maller's NBA Rumors & Notes (Updated Daily)

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PostSubject: Ben Maller's NBA Rumors & Notes (Updated Daily)   Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:38 pm

NBA Rumors & Notes

Rockets Yao Ming “not sure” if he’ll become a free agent

Though it has long been assumed Rockets center Yao Ming’s foot injury and extensive surgery would prevent him from opting out of his contract after this season, Yao said Saturday he was “not sure” if the uncertainty with the NBA’s labor negotiations would lead him to become a free agent this summer. Yao, 29, said he has not considered his options, but was noncommittal about whether he might opt out of his contract. “I’m sure I’m not sure until after we discuss (it),” Yao said. “We have not started (to) discuss it yet, so I’m not sure, either way. I have to talk to my agent first before we start to decide where I need to go. If you ask my agent, he will say, ‘I have to ask Yao and we will start discussing it.’” Yao’s agent, John Huizinga, had no comment. If Yao does not jump into the deep pool of 2010 free-agent talent, he is due to earn $17.7 million next season in the final year of his contract. The next collective bargaining agreement is expected to reduce the number of years and value of a maximum contract, making a contract signed this offseason potentially worth more than one signed in 2011. But Yao is not expected to choose to become a free agent before making his comeback from his surgery or to seek to leave Houston.
— Houston Chronicle

Knicks star calls Suns Amare Stoudemre “childish”

Tracy McGrady still was bewildered by what he says were false allegations made by Amar’e Stoudemire that McGrady blew him off in high school when he asked him about making the jump from high school to the NBA. “It’s childish,” McGrady told The Post. “I spoke to him.” McGrady’s personal security chief, Haviere Berrien, recalled the conversation. “Amare’ got his number and they spoke and Tracy told him to understand if you go to the NBA, just know you can’t take any nights off,” Berrien said. — NY Post

Raptors Hedo Turkoglu untradeable?

Maybe it took Hedo Turkoglu’s actions from Friday for the Raptors to finally put their foot down on a guy who is very likeable, but who reported to camp out of shape and looking completely disinterested. Next to Gilbert Arenas, perhaps no other player has a contract that is virtually untradeable than Turkoglu, who was given a five-year deal worth $53 million US in the off-season. Whether he plays Monday night in Charlotte remains to be seen. — Toronto Sun

Carlos Boozer: Wizards won’t have trouble landing free agents

Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer, who will be a free agent next summer, said on Saturday that he didn’t think the Wizards would have much trouble luring players, despite concerns some may have about teaming with Arenas, who has had three knee surgeries and has played only 47 games the past three seasons. “D.C. is a great environment,” Boozer said. “I’m sure they’ll get somebody this summer.” — Washington Post

Thunder executive could join Blazers front office?

Thunder assistant general manager Rich Cho already has had his name tossed into the speculative short list of candidates to replace recently fired Blazers vice president of basketball operations Tom Penn. Penn was described as Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard’s right hand man, and Cho has a close relationship with Pritchard.
But jumping to Portland to assume the same position would be a lateral move for Cho. The more intriguing prospect could be Pritchard’s job, which is widely believed to be up in the air despite his dazzling makeover of the Blazers. — Oklahoman

Heat had interest in Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Somewhat surprisingly, Pat Riley called to express interest in Zydrunas Ilgauskas before Ilgauskas re-signed with Cleveland last week. — Miami Herald

Randy Foye might be dumped by Wizards

Ernie Grunfeld has the Wizards well-positioned to move forward after shedding the contracts of Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson and creating nearly $18.7 million in salary cap space (a number that could increase by nearly $4 million if the Wizards renounce the rights to Randy Foye, a restricted free agent). The New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets are the only teams with more cap room. — Washington Post

NBA star free agency says “It’s all about winning”

Although Chris Bosh has not ruled out staying with the Raptors, he made it clear Sunday that he will explore all of his options and that he wants to be in a position to win an NBA championship. First-round playoff exits no longer are enough. Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo said he would entertain sign-and-trade proposals if Bosh wants to leave. “The money is going to be the same, no matter where I go,” Bosh said. “It’s about winning. I’m finishing my seventh year. Contending for a championship is all I want. I never made it past the first round. I just want to be a contender.” — Miami Herald

Suns center Robin Lopez out at least 7 more games because of bulging disk

The timing is nearly as awful as the news regarding Robin Lopez, who learned Sunday that the bulging disk in his back will keep him out at least two weeks and seven more games. When Lopez is re-evaluated April 12 after a week of rest and a week of rehabilitation, the Suns will have two regular-season games remaining. But General Manager Steve Kerr said the Suns should not overreact to the loss of Lopez. “This is the way it goes,” Kerr said. “This is why you build depth. This is why it’s been so important for (coach) Alvin (Gentry) and the staff to develop the bench over the last year. I see no reason why we can’t continue to be successful and win games.” The Suns’ back specialist, Dr. Christopher Huston, examined Lopez in Phoenix, and the center will receive an injection today to reduce the swelling. — Arizona Republic

Ben Wallace could return to Pistons next season?

Another former Bull now with the Pistons, veteran Ben Wallace, has sat out the last four games with sore knees. A Pistons insider said Wallace could play, but the team is interested in bringing him back next season and doesn’t see the point of playing him in meaningless games with sore knees. — Chicago Sun-Times

NBA team benches $53 million player for partying while claiming he was injured

Hedo Turkoglu did not play as the Raptors stumbled to a dispiriting 97-94 loss to the Heat Sunday night, reduced to the role of spectator despite being on the active list, a strange and curious twist in an ongoing saga. The issue becomes more clouded with suggestions Turkoglu may have fallen out of favour by his actions during his illness. Team officials say they are aware of unconfirmed reports Turkoglu was seen out socially after missing Friday’s game with his illness and, pressed, general manager Bryan Colangelo said the matter is being handled internally. — Toronto Star

Orlando Magic star suffers toe injury

The Orlando Magic suddenly have a shortage of wing players. Vince Carter, the team’s starting shooting guard, sprained his right big toe less than a minute into Sunday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets and did not return. Magic spokesman Joel Glass said X-rays of Carter’s toe revealed no fractures. Carter injured the toe as he guarded Denver’s Arron Afflalo, stayed on the floor for a while and left the game with 10:25 remaining in the first quarter. He already was suffering from a sprained right ankle that he hurt on Friday. J.J. Redick played the remainder of the game. Mickael Pietrus, Orlando’s backup small forward, sat out Sunday’s game because of his sprained left ankle. He has missed the Magic’s last two games. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said he doesn’t think Carter and Pietrus will be out for “a long period of time.” — Orlando Sentinel

Raptors Chris Bosh: free agency will drag out

With the Heat expected to be among his most aggressive suitors this summer, Toronto forward Chris Bosh warned teams not to expect a quick decision regarding his future when the July 1 free agency negotiation period opens. “I think it’s going to drag out for a while,” Bosh said before Sunday’s game against the Heat. “There are so many possibilities and scenarios, with guys staying with their own teams and trying to get other guys [to sign]. “You have to look at combinations and possibilities of what could happen. So I don’t expect it to be over too quickly.” — Miami Herald

Clippers could trade Baron Davis?

Once the lottery is run in May, the Clippers will have a feel for their future. If they somehow land number one, the prospect of John Wall might lead the team to move Baron Davis, should they find a suitor. As an alternative to Wall, Evan Turner would be a very interesting option the wing alongside Eric Gordon and Davis. A little bit lower in could be Wesley Johnson who could plug in nicely at the three. — Hoops World

Knicks have more to gain by losing?

Donnie Walsh was in negotiations to become Knicks president two years ago when Garden chairman James Dolan let him in on a dirty little secret. The conversation probably went something like this: “Oh, you should know that we traded away our 2010 first-round pick.” That Walsh didn’t get on the next plane and return to Indiana was a good sign for both Dolan and the Knicks. But there was no hiding the truth. The job of restoring the franchise to prominence just got a little tougher. “He made a point to tell me that pretty quickly,” Walsh said. “I didn’t really dwell on it. Hey, these jobs don’t open up if things are going well.” The Knicks are in Utah Monday night to face the playoff-bound Jazz, which also will get a lottery pick. The case could be made that the Knicks have more to gain from losing and thus ensuring that Utah gets a higher pick. The alternative is having a conference rival - Chicago, Philadelphia, Indiana, Detroit, New Jersey - getting the top pick, which could be Kentucky freshman John Wall. — NY Daily News

Popovich: Michael Finley had no chance to play more for Spurs

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Sunday night that Michael Finley, 37, had no chance of regaining a lot of playing time in San Antonio’s lineup and they were happy to fulfill his request to be released from his contract. “I just made a decision to play other people, and we honored Michael’s request to seek another team,” Popovich said. “He asked and we decided to do it and to do it the right way, before the [playoff roster] cutoff date and so that he could go with a team that he could play with in the playoffs.” Popovich said he was initially surprised that Finley asked to be released but he understood why Finley wanted to play for another organization. “If you are toward the end of your career and somebody is not going to play you and you still want to play more basketball, what’s wrong with asking to play elsewhere and trying to play as long as you can if that’s what you want to do,” Popovich said. “That’s what he did, and I don’t blame him for that a lick. There’s no malice or anything. He’s one of the greatest guys I’ve ever coached.” — Providence Journal

Cavaliers changing uniforms AGAIN

It may seem like no team in the NBA wears as many different uniforms as the Cavaliers. Well, there’s more — with completely different styles — on the way. The Cavs are planning on slightly changing their team colors and also revamping their standard home and road uniforms for next season. The idea has been in the works for about two years, the amount of time the team must give the league before making a uniform adjustment, but the designs are not finalized. It will not be a major change, team sources said, like seven years ago when the team brought back its current “new expression of wine and gold” and a new logo featuring crossing swords. The team’s logos will stay basically the same, but there’s going to be a brighter yellow featured. Also, the front of the uniforms are expected to undergo a design change with a different presentation of the word “Cavaliers” on the home white and alternate blue uniforms and a different style of “Cleveland” on the wine road jerseys. — Cleveland Plain Dealer

Wolves campaign for Corey Brewer

The Wolves will unveil their publicity campaign in support of Corey Brewer’s Most Improved Player candidacy Tuesday, an effort that will largely emphasize the third-year guard’s success as a shooter. — Star Tribune

Heat’s Michael Beasley wants to play like Carmelo

Heat forward Michael Beasley, who calls his 15 point scoring average “disgusting,” said the player with a similar skill set whom he envisions becoming comparable to is Denver’s Carmelo Anthony. But Beasley has a ways to go, and it’s difficult to envision him ever scoring as much as Anthony if he’s playing alongside Dwyane Wade — Miami Herald

Chris Bosh waiting for D-Wade’s invite

Dywane Wade repeatedly has said he plans to have dinner this summer with Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Atlanta’s Joe Johnson to discuss where the power players will sign. Bosh joked that he has not received his invitation yet. “Nah, I haven’t been invited to it,” Bosh said. “This is my first time hearing about it. “It’s probably going to be a nice dinner, though.” — Miami Herald

Celts star battling tendinitis

Doc Rivers said center Kendrick Perkins , who missed his second straight game last night with knee tendinitis, should play Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. But the Celtics coach also pointed out that with tendinitis nothing is ever a sure bet. “I don’t think it’s anything that serious (to require a test),” said Rivers. “Tendinitis can be tough, because it can linger and when you come back it can start right back up. That’s why we’re trying to head it off. Hopefully we’ve done it in time. We don’t know if we have or not.” Rivers was unsure if Perkins, who has been spotty at best since January, can pin his overall performance on this knee trouble. — Boston Herald

Griz Ronnie Brewer says he’s not done for the year

Grizzlies swingman Ronnie Brewer sat out a second straight game because of a sore right hamstring. Brewer, though, said he hasn’t decided to shut down for the remainder of the regular season. The Griz have just nine games left so there still may be doubt as to whether Brewer plays again. “I’m still working my way onto the team in practice and trying to get stronger,” Brewer said. “I’ll come back when it feels closer to normal.” Brewer returned to action March 16, a little more than three weeks after he suffered a partially torn right hamstring. The 6-8 guard/forward insists he didn’t come back too soon. “No. I don’t think so,” Brewer said. “The first game, it felt really good. The second game, it was weaker. I really couldn’t do the things I’m capable of doing, so I decided to take a step back.” Brewer, a restricted free agent this summer, still sounds as if he’s eager to carve out his place on the Grizzlies. “My goal is to get back on the floor,” Brewer said, “because I feel like I can help this team.” — Memphis Commercial Appeal

Knicks David Lee misses out on $1 million playoff bonus

The Knicks will miss out on the playoffs for a sixth straight season and last night officially voided David Lee’s $1 million playoff bonus. Lee, a free agent, has been with the Knicks for five seasons — five non-playoff seasons. Despite Lee’s gargantuan numbers as a Knick, coming off his first All-Star appearance, president Donnie Walsh also has to factor in Lee never making the playoffs or even playing a meaningful game in late March or April. “Going into the season, I thought we had legitimate chances of doing it and it’s not about the bonus or the money,” said Lee, who earned $7 million in base pay. “It’s more about the fact I wanted to get in the playoffs and get that experience. The money had nothing to do with it.” — NY Post

Kings Tyreke Evans has no headaches

Kings guard Tyreke Evans (concussion) will be re-evaluated today. He said he’s been feeling better since a dizzy spell during practice Thursday in Boston led to the team sitting him for the last two games. “No, no headaches,” Evans said. — Sacramento Bee

Former Cav Darnell Jackson joins Bucks

Bucks power forward Darnell Jackson, claimed from Cleveland off waivers last week, arrived on a Sunday morning flight and took part in the team’s shootaround on Sunday morning. The 6-foot-9, 253-pound Jackson is not eligible for the playoffs but still might play a limited role in the final 10 regular-season games. “We’ll start taking him through things we do and our system and see how quickly he’s picking things up,” Skiles said. “If we took a look at him and thought he might be able to help us win a game, we’re going to be open-minded about it.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Sixers Jason Kapono shooting better

Since getting quality minutes in his last eight games, including three straight starts, Sixers swingman Jason Kapono has made 16 of 36 three-pointers (44 percent). That is just slightly below his career percentage from beyond the arc (45.4 percent), which is tied with Steve Kerr as the highest in NBA history. — Philadelphia Daily News

How About That?

The Nets have the NBA’s worst record at 9-64, but they actually have a better record than the Wizards since the all-star break. Over that stretch, the Wizards have gone 4-18, while the Nets have gone 5-16. Only the Minnesota Timberwolves have been worse than Washington at 1-19. — Washington Post

NBA player leaves warehouse store with 50 DVDs

Samuel Dalembert of the 76ers was spotted Thursday at the BJ’s warehouse store in Conshohocken. Tall man, tall order: his cart was brimming with snack foods and about 50 DVDs. — Philadelphia Inquirer

Did You Know?

Andrew Bogut blocked four shots to extend his blocks streak to 35 games. He has 164 blocks this season, the best total by a Bucks player since Alton Lister had 167 blocks during the 1984-‘85 season. The Bucks’ single-season blocks record is 238, set by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1973-‘74 and matched by Elmore Smith in 1975-‘76. — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Spurs player draws two busloads of fans from New Hampshire

As expected, two busloads of fans from Concord, N.H., made the trek 70 miles south to watch native son Matt Bonner of the Spurs play. As expected, almost all of those fans came decked in Celtics green. “It’s a win-win situation for them,” Bonner said. “It’s kind of like picking your alma mater to lose in the NCAA tournament. If they lose, you’re happy because you picked it right. If they win, you’re still happy.” — San Antonio Express-News

Listen to Ben Maller this weekend on the vast Fox Sports Radio Network. Ben’s shows broadcast live from 1am till 6am (est) Saturday and Sunday’s. Check your local radio listings for the FSR affiliate in your town, listen to XM Satellite Radio Channel No. 142 or online at Say hi to Ben at Get special rumor updates and follow the life and times of Ben Maller on Twitter at Interact with Big Ben’s fans and talk sports on Ben Maller’s forum Questions, comments and news tips can be sent to Ben via e mail at [url][/url]
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PostSubject: Re: Ben Maller's NBA Rumors & Notes (Updated Daily)   Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:16 pm

This looks pretty interesting, I'll check out the updates.

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