Rumor Roundup: Bogut, Pelicans, Kings

LeBron James and the Cavaliers suffered two losses Monday -- the game, and their new center.

Here’s a look at the latest news, moves and views from around pro hoops:

NBA insider Brian Windhorst explains why Andrew Bogut isn’t a big loss for the Cavaliers in this podcast from ESPN Cleveland.

Per ESPN: “Bogut’s body wasn’t ready to celebrate, however. Just 58 seconds of playing time into only his second appearance since Jan. 29, the 32-year-old sprung out from the paint to the perimeter to try to close out on Heat forward Okaro White and his left shin crashed into White’s left knee.”

Per ESPN: The result? A fractured tibia. The recovery period? Even conservative estimates based on other NBA players who have suffered that injury are counted in months, rather than weeks.”

Per ESPN: “Bogut was an insurance policy. And now, likely, the Cavs will have to purchase an insurance policy for the insurance policy by waiving Bogut, eating the near $1 million cost his luxury tax-laden salary creates and finding another big man to invest $1 million into, just in case.”

Per USA Today: “Bogut was the No. 1 pick of an NBA Draft that featured Chris Paul, but don’t call him a bust. The 7-foot Australian had the talent to live up to that billing and has carved out a solid career — despite all the injuries.”

Per Waiting For Next Year: “The Cavaliers are quietly 2-4 over the last six games. Coincidentally, they’ve also been held under 100 points in four of those six games (0-4). This is fairly concerning. The Cavs look like great front-runners right now, but don’t know how to react when their shots aren’t falling.”

Per Amico Hoops: “There are still some playoff-eligible free agents who can help teams either make a push for the postseason, or assist contenders who are already guaranteed a spot.” (Complete list.)

The Cavaliers have assigned rookie point guard Kay Felder to the Canton Charge, per the team.

Per ESPN: “The Pelicans are lining up guard Wayne Selden for a 10-day callup from the D-League.”

The Pelicans signed shooting guard Jordan Crawford to a 10-day contract Monday and he scored 19 points in his first game with the team.

Per Hoops Rumors: “After sending Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, and Langston Galloway to the Kings in their deal for DeMarcus Cousins, the Pelicans have experimented with a number of new guards on 10-day contracts. Hollis Thompson, Jarrett Jack, and Reggie Williams were the team’s original signees, and of the three, only Thompson earned a second 10-day deal. Jack suffered a meniscus tear, while Williams, whose 10-day contract expired overnight, apparently won’t be re-signed.”

Per the Sacramento Bee: “The word ‘tanking’ might as well be a profanity in the Kings’ locker room.”

Per the Sacramento Bee: “While losing helps the Kings keep their pick, the players don’t want to fail. So the players say, keep that tanking talk to yourself.”

Per the Sacramento Bee: “I think you’ve got to get in your mind, whatever you hear out there about the T-word, players don’t like that, you know what I mean?” coach Dave Joerger said. “Veteran guys that are here, they want to win every night.”

Per the New York Post: “Phil Jackson normally avoids the media like they are infected by a virus. Instead of inviting Steve Kerr to his office alongside the Knicks locker room, Jackson didn’t mind a public viewing.”

Per the New York Post: “This was one meeting, however, he should have kept private. With the three-year anniversary of Jackson’s return to the Knicks approaching in less than two weeks, it evoked another reminder of what could have been.”

Per the New York Post: “From the start of his presidency, Jackson couldn’t get it done. When Chasson Randle played last week in Orlando, it marked the 46th player to take the court for the Knicks during Jackson’s tenure. That doesn’t include Lamar Odom, Jackson’s very first signing on the last day of the 2013-14 season.”

Per ESPN: “Youngstown State coach Jerry Slocum is stepping down, source told ESPN.”

Morning Update

Andrew Bogut was injured one minute into his Cavaliers debut and the life was immediately sucked from Quicken Loans Arena.

I will have a Dribbles column and other posts later Tuesday.

In the meantime, here’s a look at all the latest news and views from around pro hoops, with updates coming regularly, perhaps even hourly:

Per ESPN: “Less than a minute into his Cavaliers career, Bogut went down with a fractured left tibia Monday night.”

Cavs star LeBron James to reporters:”It’s very deflating … a tough moment. We all were excited about the acquisition and bringing him in here. We can hope for the best … but it’s a tough one not only for him, first of all, but for our ball club.”

More LeBron to reporters: “As soon as the collision happened, I heard it break,” he said. “And when I went over to him and he said [it was broken], I already knew it. I heard it crack. It took the air out of the whole building.”

Per ESPN: “Kyrie Irving said the Cavs still have enough to compete for a championship even without Bogut.”

Per Amico Hoops: “A number of playoff-eligible big men are available: “Mike Scott, Luis Scola, Jared Sullinger (who’s met with Heat), Anderson Varejao, and of course, Larry Sanders.”

Per “Coach Tyronn Lue didn’t even make into the building. He’s been sick for at least a week with flu-like symptoms. Associate head coach Larry Drew took Lue’s place. Would anyone be surprised if Drew was throwing up in the bathroom afterward?”

Per “Bogut hobbled and then fell to the court. He needed help from his new teammates just to get to the locker room. Before the game, he talked about going house and apartment shopping all weekend in Cleveland.”

Per “Not two hours later, he was undergoing X-rays in the bowels of The Q, then shipped to the Cleveland Clinic when the break was first diagnosed.”

Per The Athletic: “Bogut is out now, and although there is no timeline established yet for his return, it’s fair to wonder if his career in Cleveland is over before it ever really began. The rim protector they were seeking couldn’t protect his shin from Okaro White’s knee during the first minute of the second quarter.”

Per “The Cavs needed Bogut’s size, his rebounding and rim protection, and his mere presence. Kevin Love is still working through his recovery from minor knee surgery, and Cleveland was already down a big man on the roster.”

Per “Cleveland’s championship hopes didn’t ride on Bogut’s back or break along with his leg — he was going to be a fringe rotation player when the playoffs arrived. But the two sides were counting on each other to help them get back to the Finals, even if it was Bogut who needed the Cavs more for that than the other way around.”

Per ESPN: “Before the Warriors and Hawks tipped off Monday night, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said during his pregame address that he does have to game plan for Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but not Draymond Green.”

Per ESPN: “And that’s exactly why they can’t beat us,” Green said to ESPN. “That’s exactly why they won’t. Don’t game plan for me.”

Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “On-court words between Dennis Schroder and Dwight Howard led to a defensive breakdown in the Hawks’ loss to the Warriors Monday night.”

Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “In addition to the heated exchange between players, Schroder also had words with Budenholzer following the play. Budenholzer the benched Schroder, who played just 3:19 of the second half, in the 119-111 loss.”

Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Schroder said he didn’t understand the discipline and wants a meeting to discuss. Howard said such a conversation would not a bad thing. Several other Hawks players wanted to put the incident behind them and move forward.”

Per Hoops Rumors: “Chris Reichert of The Step Back listed the top prospects still available in the D-League. Reichert excluded prospects still under team control, such as Dakari Johnson and Abdel Nader. Reichert names Pierre Jackson the most “electric” player of the season, and compared Jalen Jones to JaMychal Green of the Grizzlies. Reichert’s #9 pick, Jordan Crawford, was signed to a 10-day contract by the Pelicans Monday.”

Monday’s Highlights

Andrew Bogut suffered a fractured left tibia one minute into his Cavaliers debut, per the team. He was taken to Cleveland Clinic during the game for further evaluation.

Per Amico Hoops: “Bogut says his decision on where to play came down to the Cavaliers or Celtics. ‘It was a tough decision.’ Says he talked to Matthew Dellavedova, who helped sell Cleveland.”

Bogut, via Amico Hoops: “I think our bench could start some places.”

Per The Athletic: “Bogut took less money for better odds at a championship. The fact he may have to get through his former team to get there? He insists that wasn’t a factor in the decision.”

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue is still sick and will miss Monday’s game vs. the Heat. Assistant Larry Drew will serve as head coach.

Per “Lue missed shootaround for the second time in the last several days, and has been sick for more than one week.”

Free agent forward Jared Sullinger has been in talks with the Heat, per the Miami Herald. Sullinger was traded from the Raptors to the Suns, then immediately waived, at the trading deadline.

Per Amico Hoops: “Cavaliers rookie point guard Kay Felder has been named the D-League’s Performer of the Week for his play with the Canton Charge.”

Per the Los Angeles Times: “Larry Bird planned to call Magic Johnson after the NBA trade deadline, just to congratulate his old friend on becoming the Lakers’ president of basketball operations. It’s the same title Bird has held for most of 14 years with the Indiana Pacers.”

Per the Los Angeles Times: “Johnson beat Bird to it. The phone call lasted less than five minutes, consisted mostly of small talk and might have touched only briefly on the fate of Indiana star Paul George.”

Per the Los Angeles Times: “I wasn’t motivated to move Paul George at the deadline,” Bird said. “I can’t remember if it was even brought up or not. I don’t think it was. It’s all fake news anyway. You know that. Somebody’s gonna start it and [it] just was a snowball effect. [The phone call] was not about Paul George.”

The Pelicans have signed free agent shooting guard Jordan Crawford of the D-League to a 10-day contract, per the team.

The Spurs have  recalled Davis Bertans and Dejounte Murray from the Austin Spurs, per the team.

Monday Mid-Day

Per The Undefeated: “Kyrie Irving’s bag of tricks includes quick crossovers, hesitation moves and hard dribbles that can lead to step-back or step-side jumpers. There is also his trademark baseline dribble to an athletic reverse lay-in over an always late big man or a quick pass to a wide-open teammate. Always pretty. Always unstoppable. Always creative.”

Per The Undefeated: “It’s definitely a weapon,” Irving said about his dribbling. “But the fact that it’s a weapon with other weapons makes it a little more dangerous by being able to understand where my dribble can get me, what it can get me out of and how much more effective it can be if I utilize it more efficiently.”

Per The Undefeated: ““Hands down, Kyrie has the best ball-handling skills that we have in our league,” Atlanta Hawks All-Star forward Paul Millsap said. “The way he reads defenses, the way he reads your feet, it’s unbelievable … His biggest asset is his creativity. He is one of the most creative point guards we have.” (Full report.)

The Cavaliers have recalled rookie point guard Kay Felder from the Canton Charge, per the team. Full report.

Heat president Pat Riley, via Yahoo Sports: “Since I came here, we’ve had the same owner, same president, two coaches, same support staff. We’ve got a bunch of guys working for us who played for us. Players come and go, great players. When LeBron James left, that was the most shocking thing to me – not to say he was right or wrong – and the most shocking thing to the franchise. But our culture is the same. You have your up years and your down years, but what can’t change is the way you do things.”

Per Amico Hoops: “UCLA has the weapons to make a run deep into the Tournament. And that means that we’ll get to see plenty of freshman point guard Lonzo Ball. Everyone agrees that he’s a lottery pick, which also means that is more than a little likely that his time as a college basketball player is in its final month.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “He’s a terrific passer, a smart and crafty player who extends defenses with his deep shot from outside, and at 6-foot-6 he is the perfect size to make the transition at the next level. A great NCAA Tournament and he could just play himself into the No. 1 pick.” (Full report.)

The Nuggets have recalled rookie guard Malik Beasley from the Sioux Falls Skyforce, per the team.

The Hornets have signed forward Johnny O’Bryant to a second 10-day contract, per the team.

The 76ers will sign center Shawn Long of the Delaware 87ers to a 10-day contract, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Per “Quinn Cook has played pretty well during his 10-day contract. Not sure what will happen when J.J. Barea returns, but he belongs in the NBA.”

Monday Morning

Per the New York Times: “The path to the N.B.A. playoffs is never a straight line. The regular season is too long, too taxing. Teams go through slumps. Players sustain injuries. Superstars get bored.”

Per the New York Times: “Consider the plights, if that is the right word, of the Warriors and the Cavaliers, who would love to reunite in June for a third consecutive matchup in the N.B.A. finals. Both teams are dealing with first-world basketball problems about six weeks from the start of the postseason.”

Per the New York Times: “The Warriors were not expecting anyone to feel sorry for them. Over the weekend, the Cavaliers’ LeBron James was asked about Durant’s injury. James expressed some sympathy — ‘You hate to see it from anybody,’ he said — before discussing his own team’s woes.”

Per USA Today: “For the first half of Sunday’s game against the Warriors, Madison Square Garden was without music, video or in-game entertainment. It was just basketball. And the sounds that come with basketball. Really, this was a great idea.”

Per USA Today: “There were no T-shirt tosses or sponsored in-game promotions during timeouts, it was just an empty basketball court.”

Warriors forward Draymond Green, via ESPN: “That was pathetic. It was ridiculous. It changed the flow of the game. It changed everything. You get used to playing a certain way. It completely changed it. To me, I think it was completely disrespectful to everyone from [NBA senior VP of entertainment and player marketing] Michael Levine to [Warriors president and COO] Rick Welts and all these people who’ve done these things to change the game from an entertainment perspective.”

Per ESPN: “Stephen Curry said the scene was so bizarre that players began making beat sounds during layup lines to keep a musical presence.”

Per Hoops Rumors: “What do you suppose you would prefer at the next professional game you attend? And would this differ if you were a player who had grown accustomed to playing under certain conditions?”

Per The Associated Press: “Change is coming to the defense-optional All-Star Game, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wants to hear ideas.”

Per The Associated Press: “Silver and players’ union President Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers have spoken about how to make the game more competitive. No decisions have been made, but the Western Conference’s 192-182 win over the Eastern Conference last month in New Orleans underlined such a need.”

Per The Associated Press: “Some All-Stars said that night they would like to see a more authentic game, and the league apparently agrees.”

Chris Paul to reporters, via The Associated Press: “We collectively want to try to make All-Star weekend better for the fans,” Paul told reporters in Milwaukee on Friday. “All the way around. Even in CBA talks and stuff like that, that was one of the things that the players, the owners and everybody was talking about. Trying to fix that, spice it up a little bit to keep it interesting.”

Per ESPN: “Steve Kerr is adamant that the onus for change is on the players.”

Kerr on the All-Star Game, via ESPN: ““Players have to make that decision, and I think they need to understand that it would be good for the league if they did compete,” Kerr said. “Again, you’re not undercutting people in transition, you’re not taking charges, you’re not diving on the floor for loose balls. But if you’re staying in front of guys, and if somebody throws a pass in your direction, you’re going to steal it. I mean, I saw guys in that game purposely not stealing the ball even though it was thrown right to them.”

Per the Chicago Tribune: “Jamal Crawford will turn 37 in two weeks. But get this: The ageless wonder said he wants to play three or four more seasons. ‘When you love the game, playing is easy,’ Crawford said.”

Former NBA guard Lorenzo Brown has agreed to a contract with the Grand Rapids Drive, per Amico Hoops.

The Los Angeles D-Fenders acquired a 2017 first-round draft pick and the returning player rights to former NBA shooting guard Elliot Williams from the Santa Cruz Warriors, per the team.

Former Eastern Michigan standout center Dashonte Riley has agreed to sign with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League, per Amico Hoops.

Former NBA guard Carlos Delfino has agreed to a deal with Boca Juniors of Argentina, per Amico Hoops.