Rumor Roundup: Cavs, Pistons, Carmelo

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue and point guard Kyrie Irving have had another strong February.

Lots of news, views and moves as All-Star weekend, and the trading deadline, move closer.

Let’s take a look:

Per ESPN: “Mix it all together and there was a pretty sunny outlook from the Cavs as they dispersed from the Q on Wednesday for a week off.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “For Cavs coach Tyronn Lue — as hoop-obsessed as they come — reaching that level of good basketball has involved letting go in ways that can be uncomfortable for a young coach.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “My biggest thing is if you’re going to play guys [extended] minutes,” Lue said, “then practice has to be cut down. So, we don’t do a lot of practicing. We try to save our legs. So, we do walk-throughs defensively, guys get their shots up, we’re out of there.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “I’m happy where we’re at, winning seven of eight in February,” Lue said. “We’re playing good basketball. Guys are stepping up and playing well after losing Kevin Love and J.R. Smith.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “Anytime you lose two starters and one All-Star, it’s going to be tough,” Lue added. “But we have a no-excuse mentality. We have to continue to keep doing it until J.R. and Kevin get back.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “Ah, yes. The All-Star Break. A time to catch your breath, maybe catch some fish, and just enjoy the weekend. Right, LeBron James? ‘It sucks because we’ve got a great rhythm right now,’ he said.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “Kyle Korver said he just talked with his Cavs teammates about dunking the other day. ‘I try to get one a year,’ he said. ‘I hadn’t had one this year. I thought I was going to get one early, but then Jeff Teague, my old teammate (with Atlanta), ran me down. I was like, ‘Come on, Jeff.’ I thought that was my chance.'” (Full report.)

Per Cleveland.com: “Lue told a small group of reporters he misinterpreted a question before last night’s 113-104 win over the Pacers, in which he was asked when he learned that something was wrong with Love’s left knee and he said: ‘those couple games before the last game he played, when he was hurt.'” (Full report.)

Per Cleveland.com: “But after stories reporting Lue’s comments were posted to cleveland.com and other media sites, Cavs sources reviewed the tape of what Lue said and told reporters the coach misspoke, that the team was unaware of an issue with Love’s knee until swelling occurred Saturday when he played against the Denver Nuggets.” (Full report.)

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will replace injured Kevin Love as a member of the Eastern Conference in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, per the league.

 

Per Amico Hoops: “The Detroit Pistons have ‘quietly explored’ the idea of trading center Andre Drummond and guard Reggie Jackson, according to a report from ESPN.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “Any Drummond deal at the deadline is an extreme long shot, but Jackson remains in play for Minnesota, Orlando, New Orleans, or some mystery destination. Even if Detroit keeps him, missing the playoffs would put dramatic changes on the table this summer.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “Jackson has met privately with Stan Van Gundy and wondered why he doesn’t have the ball more in the fourth quarter, and whether he still has the confidence of the coaching staff.” (Full report.)

Van Gundy, per ESPN: “Reggie and I talk every day. I understand this is uncomfortable for him. But when we get a Reggie who is attacking and finishing better, the ball will be in his hands more.” (Full report.)

Per CSN Bay Area: “Outside of dealing DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings don’t have a true blue chip asset to deal and he’s been assured repeatedly that he’s not going anywhere.” (Full report.)

Per CSN Bay Area: “The Kings might not be the most attractive trade partner in straight up swaps, but they have value as a third or fourth team in bigger transactions.” (Full report.)

Per the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Newly signed Wolves guard Lance Stephenson has a Grade 2 ankle sprain sustained Wednesday night against Cleveland, an injury that complicates the future here for a guy whose 10-day contract will expire after tonight’s game in Denver.” (Full report.)

Per The Ringer: “Both the Bulls and Pacers are on the clock before their star players hit the market, and neither team has much young talent or many assets to entice them to stay. Other than Myles Turner, there’s not a young player on either club viewed as a building block.” (Full report.)

Per The Ringer: “Paul George doesn’t hit free agency until 2018 and Jimmy Butler doesn’t until 2019, but Indy and Chicago aren’t close to being on a championship level. Their rosters need to be overhauled, not tweaked.” (Full report.)

Per The Ringer: “The shelving of Jahlil Okafor was likely meant to flush out the best offers around the league, sources speculate. It’s not uncommon for teams to use leaks to stir interest.” (Full report.)

Per The Ringer: “The Nuggets and Blazers weren’t pursuing Okafor. The Bulls likely aren’t either. No one is buying what Bryan Colangelo is selling: a one-dimensional center who can’t defend, rebound, or pass on a roster loaded with big men.” (Full report.)

Per CSN Philly: “The Sixers had been close to a deal for Okafor, which is why they decided to hold him out on Saturday against the Heat and Monday against the Hornets, according to a source.” (Full report.)

Per CSN Philly: “The Feb. 23 trade deadline is a just over week away, and the Sixers still could find a partner for Okafor if one makes sense for both player and team.” (Full report.)

Per CSN Philly: “On Monday, Brown said Okafor would be embraced by the Sixers if a trade does not transpire.” (Full report.)

Per the New York Post: “Carmelo Anthony said he doubts Wednesday’s game against the Thunder will be his last game as a Knick, but he wouldn’t guarantee it. Because he holds all the cards with a no-trade clause, he could have declared he’s not going anywhere.” (Full report.)

Per the New York Post: “Anthony repeatedly has said he would consider a move if Knicks management desperately wanted to rebuild.” (Full report.)

Per the New York Post: “Asked specifically if he has told the front office he won’t waive the no-trade clause, Anthony said: “No, like I told you all before, nothing came to me, nothing came to my table for me to look at. Until that time comes, then they don’t need for me to even talk about the trade clause.” (Full report.)

Per the New York Daily News: “To be clear, Anthony’s preference is to stay in New York and his main point Wednesday was that there’s nothing to discuss until management approaches him with a deal. At that moment, he will discuss it further with his family.” (Full report.)

Per the New York Daily News: “In his ideal world, Anthony would want stars to join him in New York, rather than him leaving to find that type of help elsewhere.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “Warriors forward Draymond Green said New York Knicks owner James Dolan operates with a ‘slave master mentality’ by taking issue with Charles Oakley’s criticisms after the organization benefited from his contributions as a player.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “You doing it for me, it’s all good,” Green said on his “Dray Day” podcast on Uninterrupted. “You doing it against me — you speaking out against my organization — it’s not good anymore? That’s a slave mentality. A slave master mentality. That’s ridiculous.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “Green added that the organization’s handling of Oakley and Phil Jackson’s indirect and direct criticisms of Carmelo Anthony will impact the club in free agency.” (Full report.)

Per Hoops Rumors: “Despite the problems in New York and Los Angeles, the Knicks and Lakers remain the NBA’s two most valuable franchises, according to a report from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes. The Knicks and Lakers are the only teams valued at more than $3 billion by Forbes.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “Klay Thompson rejected Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge‘s notion that the Golden State Warriors did not deserve four All-Stars in 2017.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “Aldridge told The Vertical Tuesday that ‘it was wrong’ for the Warriors to have four All-Stars, but the Spurs only have one.” (Full report.)

The Raptors have recalled big man Bruno Caboclo from Raptors 905 of the D-League, per the team.

The Grizzlies have recalled guard Wade Baldwin, center Deyonta Davis and forward Jarell Martin from the Iowa Energy of the D-League, per the team.

The Heat are assigning Okaro White to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the D-League, per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The Pelicans have recalled rookie forward Cheick Diallo from the Greensboro Swarm of the D-League, per the team.

The Rockets have recalled center Chinanu Onuaku and power forward Kyle Wiltjer from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League, per the team.

The Pacers have recalled forward Rakeem Christmas from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, per the team.

Dribbles: All fun, and now All-Star Game, for Cavs

Wednesday’s News

Per ESPN: “The thing about LeBron James’ minutes is it’s only an issue if it becomes an issue. And right now, the man who has figured a way to manage his body through six consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, with many a USA Basketball summer sprinkled in for good measure, doesn’t want to discuss it.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “I’ll rest when I retire,” James said with a heavy dose of defiance in his voice at Tuesday’s shootaround. “As long as I’m in the lineup, we’ve got a chance.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “And James is only getting better as the season goes on. In February, he is averaging 11.2 assists while shooting 61.2 percent from the field and 56 percent from 3. According to ESPN Stats & Information, there have been 92 months when James has played in at least two games. His field goal percentage this month ranks fourth out of 92. His 3-point percentage ranks second out of 92. And his assists? It’s the most he’s ever distributed the ball in any calendar month since he entered the league nearly a decade and a half ago.” (Full report.)

Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “Part of the concern the Cavs have moving forward is finding who will fill the void for Kevin Love on the defensive glass.” (Full report.)

Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “Love leads the team in defensive rebounds by a wide margin over James and Tristan Thompson. The fact eight of Channing Frye’s rebounds Tuesday were defensive is an important sign, although it’s questionable how sustainable that will be from him.” (Full report.)

Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “Frye, in fact, texted Love after Tuesday’s game. ‘Man, this is too much,’ Frye wrote to Love. ‘I don’t know how you do this. I need something to eat. Your boy is tired.’ I have a huge respect for Kevin. We miss him.'” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “Anyway, the Cavs are looking to find help as the Feb. 23 trade deadline approaches. As I tweeted Tuesday, a team source told me that owner Dan Gilbert has given Cavs general manager David Griffin the green light when it comes to increasing payroll and improving the roster.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “Griffin is on the lookout for deals and I’m told has come close to pulling the trigger on at least one. He still could. I asked it on the ‘Cavaliers Live’ pregame show and will do so again here: Who knows what rabbit Griffin will pull out of his hat next?” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “One opposing team executive told me the Cavs may be the perfect place for an energetic, athletic-type such as Derrick Williams. ‘He could turn out to be the most underrated signing of the NBA season,’ the executive told me.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “The injury means Love will miss his first All-Star game as a member of the Cavaliers.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “A replacement has not been named. Knicks star Carmelo Anthony has said he would prefer to take a break and not take part in All-Star weekend. ‘I have plans,’ he told reporters in New York.” (Full report.)

Per HoopsHype: “The Cavaliers are looking to be aggressive prior to the trade deadline. But before getting into what the Cavs are looking to do, let’s make one thing clear: There is very little chance Anthony will join Cleveland.” (Full report.)

Per HoopsHype: “While Cleveland held a free-agent workout for point guards recently, a trade for a reserve point guard is still a strong possibility. There are a number of players who fit that bill on the market right now (such as Lou Williams, Darren Collison and Shelvin Mack).” (Full report.)

Per Basketball Insiders: “League sources said yesterday they did not think Denver was done dealing and pegged both Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari as available. There continues to be a belief that Denver might also be open to trading guard Emmanuel Mudiay if the returning package were right.” (Full report.)

Per HoopsHype: “Today, I spoke to a general manager who was stunned that the Suns haven’t been talked about more leading up to the trade deadline because they are looking to make a big move.” (Full report.)

Per HoopsHype: “The GM told me that the Suns would love to package their assets to acquire a star.” (Full report.)

Per HoopsHype: “If the Suns aren’t able to add a star (since that’s always easier said than done), executives expect them to double down on their rebuild approach and try to accumulate more young pieces and draft picks.” (Full report.)

Per HoopsHype: “On Tuesday, a general manager confirmed that the Lakers have, in fact, shopped Lou Williams and seem likely to move him prior to the deadline.” (Full report.)

Per HoopsHype: “The general manager I spoke to made it clear that Portland would listen to offers for Allen Crabbe, Evan Turner, Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis among others if the potential trades allowed them to stockpile draft picks and save some money.” (Full report.)

Per HoopsHype: “Sources say that the Sacramento Kings have made a number of players available in trade talks, but Darren Collison in particular seems like he could be moved.” (Full report.)

Per HoopsHype: “The Pacers, Pelicans and Thunder are teams that have been active and are open to all kind of trade scenarios, according to executives.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “As the New Orleans Pelicans fight just to stay alive in the Western Conference playoff race, concerns continue to grow surrounding the long-term future of Anthony Davis.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “Brian Boyles of Bleacher Report wrote on a possible team-up involving Russell Westbrook, Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported Tuesday morning the Orlando Magic will send Serge Ibaka to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round draft pick.” (Full report.)

Per the Orange County Register: “First call I make if I’m in charge? Kobe Bryant,” Magic Johnson said Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take.” “Because Kobe understands winning. He understands, also, these players. So I would call, ‘What role you want? If you’ve got a day, just give me that day. I’ll take that. Whatever time he has, I want him to come and be a part of it.” (Full report.)

Per the Orange County Register: “Lakers coach Luke Walton rolled his eyes when he met inquiries regarding Bryant’s potential involvement both after morning shootaround and before Tuesday’s game against Sacramento at Staples Center.” (Full report.)

Per Basketball Insiders: “While the Lakers have been exploring trade options, according to sources close to the situation, the belief is the Lakers may not be very big traders at the deadline mainly because of Johnson’s influence on the process.” (Full report.)

Per Basketball Insiders: “Johnson has said he’s not interfering with the basketball operation side of the Lakers, but he keeps no secret of his desire to take over leadership of the team as soon as this summer.” (Full report.)

The Warriors have officially signed guard Briante Weber to a second 10-day contract, per the team.

Former NBA big man Joey Dorsey has signed with Best Balikesir of Turkey, per Sportando.

The Nuggets, Spurs and Jazz are among the teams said to be pursuing Serbian guard Milos Teodosic, per Sportando.

The NBA D-League will be called the NBA Gatorade League, or NBA G-League, beginning next season. Full report.

Former Youngstown State shooting guard Tre Brewer has agreed to a deal with Los Mochis of Mexico, per Amico Hoops.

Former D-League guard Brandon Fields (Nevada) has agreed to a contract with Budivelnyk of Ukraine, per Amico Hoops.

Cavs handle Pacers, roll into weekend of stars