Rumor Roundup: Cavs, Smith, CBA, Rockets

The extent of the injury to Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith's thumb was not determined as of Tuesday night.
Sam Amico
Sam Amico

Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)

Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith broke his right thumb in Tuesday’s win over Milwaukee and will need surgery, per the team.

Reports suggest Smith will miss 4-6 weeks.

Cavaliers forward LeBron James on 5-of-9 3-point shooting to FOX Sports Ohio: “I gotta trust my workouts. I put a lot of hard work into my shot. When it’s not going down for me, I can always go to other parts of my game. But I gotta be able to knock those down and I did tonight.” (Full interview.)

Per the Associated Press: “Cleveland’s 17 3-pointers matched the most given up by the Bucks this season. The Cavaliers were 17 of 40 beyond the arc, while the Bucks were 7 of 27. It’s the sixth time this season the Cavaliers have made 15 or more 3-pointers in a game, second-highest in the NBA this season. James’ five 3-pointers tied his season high.” (Full report.)

Per Cleveland.com: “Lue and James both said the Bucks were going under screens all night — which means shooters have more room. Lue said he told the Cavs to hoist those shots when defenders went under screens.” (Full report.)

Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “Had they not escaped with the victory, the Cavs would have been kicking themselves on the flight home after blowing a 100-93 lead with 2:32 remaining in regulation. Greg Monroe’s layup and Tony Snell’s 3-pointer drew the Bucks within two, then Jabari Parker tied the game on a driving layup off a Matthew Dellavedova assist.” (Full report.)

Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Parker had a chance to put the Bucks up by three points late in overtime but his shot spun out and Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out trying to grab the rebound. James wrested it away from the Bucks player with 28.1 seconds left.” (Full report.)

Bucks coach Jason Kidd, via the Journal Sentinel: “It’s basketball. The ball just didn’t go down for us. If the ball goes down, Giannis doesn’t get the sixth foul. Giannis had the ball, I thought, for a minute. Then LeBron made a heck of a play to come up with the steal.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “In case you didn’t know it, LeBron James is an NBA legend. In case you need hard proof, James just keeps overtaking other legends statistically. The latest example took place in the Cavaliers’ 114-108 victory Tuesday at Milwaukee. That is where James made a basket with 9:11 remaining in the first quarter to tally 27,140 career points and pass Moses Malone for eighth place on the all-time scoring list.” (Full report.)

Per Cleveland.com: “Awaiting James in seventh place is former teammate Shaquille O’Neal with 28,596 points. James is 31 and in his 14th season. Malone played 20 years.” (Full report.)

Per Yahoo Sports: “The National Basketball Association’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement includes a special provision that grandfathers Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook into the windfall of super-max contract extensions available to several star players this summer, league sources told The Vertical.” (Full report.)

Per Yahoo Sports: “In the aftermath of Kevin Durant’s free-agent departure to Golden State, the NBA is trying to financially motivate players to remain with existing teams. With the new Designed Player Veteran Exception, stars meeting a set of predetermined standards can be paid as much as 35 percent of a team’s salary cap. Those standards include inclusion on one of the three All-NBA teams, or winning the MVP or Defensive Player of the Year awards.” (Full report.)

Per Yahoo Sports: “The National Basketball Players Association informed player agents that the salary cap is projected to rise to $120 million in 2020, which would be a jump from $94.1 million in 2016 and its projection of $103 million in 2017, sources told The Vertical.” (Full report.)

The Wizards and Pelicans have contacted the Nuggets about the availability of shooting guard Will Barton, per ESPN.

The Rockets are exploring the trade market for big men following the injury to center Clint Capela, per Yahoo Sports.

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has been fined $50,000 for confronting a reporter, per the team. Cousins has issued an apology.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent successful knee surgery Tuesday, per the Los Angeles Times. Griffin is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

Here are the latest D-League assignments and recalls, per Hoops Rumors.

Ex-NBA forward James Singleton has agreed to a contract with the SK Knights of South Korea, per Amico Hoops.

Former Michigan State power forward Erazem Lorbek is nearing a deal with French club Limoges, per Amico Hoops.

Former Miami (Fla.) big man Anthony King has agreed to a contract with the Rhein Stars of Germany, per Amico Hoops.

More News

Per Basketball Insiders: “Kings forward Rudy Gay continues to be the name most NBA insiders feel will be moved. Gay is battling some injuries, but it’s believed he’ll be moved before the trade deadline.” (Full report.)

Per Basketball Insiders: “Speaking of the Kings, there is a growing rift brewing between Arron Afflalo and the coaching staff. He is also growing unhappy with his role in Sacramento, and there is a belief he has joined a few other Kings players in asking for a trade. Afflalo became trade eligible on December 15, so it’s a situation to watch.” (Full report.)

Per Basketball Insiders: “There are a couple of teams to watch on the Nerlens Noel front, the biggest being the Toronto Raptors. It is unlikely that the Raptors mess with their team chemistry in moving a core player, but if the 76ers want some of the Raptors’ young players or non-core parts, Toronto would have interest in Noel, according to sources close to the situation.” (Full report.)

Per Philadelphia Magazine: “The Sixers find themselves in a very difficult situation, with no clear-cut way to resolve the festering problem in a way that’s positive for the team. How did they get here, and who’s at fault? There’s plenty of that to go around.” (Full column.)

Per Basketball Insiders: “The prevailing belief outside of Miami is at the deadline, the HEAT will explore Goran Dragic’s trade value in an effort to remove his salary from their books for a run through free agency this summer when Chris Bosh’s deal is expected to be off the books as well.” (Full report.)

Rockets center Clint Capela has been diagnosed with a fractured left fibula and could be out as long as six weeks, per FOX 26-TV.

Per the New York Post: “The Knicks hope a cure-all for much of what ails them lately returns to the lineup Tuesday in Derrick Rose. ‘That’s the plan,’ Rose, who has missed two-plus games with back spasms, said Monday after going through a full practice at the Knicks’ Tarrytown facility.” (Full report.)

Also per the New York Post: “Ron Baker has a good idea why he’s a Knick and Chasson Randle is in the D-League, lighting it up with Westchester. Coach Jeff Hornacek sees himself in Baker, the undrafted 23-year-old rookie from tiny Scott City, Kansas.” (Full report.)

Per the Orange County Register: “Clippers forward Blake Griffin will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Tuesday to remove ‘loose bodies,’ which could be bone or cartilage fragments causing the discomfort. The procedure is expected to sideline him 3-6 weeks.” (Full report.)

Also per the Orange County Register: “The Clippers have more options than they did a year ago. When the team has needed a fill-in starter, it has used Austin Rivers, and that’s been a success, albeit in a small sample. Luc Mbah a Moute has proved he can guard bigger players, and on some nights, the Clippers figure to lean on him.” (Full report.)

Per the Memphis Commercial Appeal: “Grizzlies coach David Fizdale says Chandler Parsons practiced Monday and will return in ‘a matter of days.'”

Per Yahoo Sports: “Sources: MRI on Golden State’s David West revealed a hip pointer, no set timetable yet for return.”

Per CSN MidAtlantic: “In NBA free agency, as such was the case with Bradley Beal last summer, it’s a futures market more than about the present. A 23-year-old shooting guard with his size, shooting/scoring potential and defensive ability may have yet to come to full bloom, but if he does the dividends can be endless.” (Full column.)

Per Hoops Rumors: “Tuesday’s memorial service for longtime NBA reporter Craig Sager will be televised on NBA TV and streamed on NBA.com, according to a statement from the league. Sager, who died Tuesday, was part of NBA coverage on TNT for 26 years.”

Here are the latest D-League assignments and recalls, per Hoops Rumors.

Per D-League Digest: The Santa Cruz Warriors have traded for Cleanthony Early as part of three-team deal involving the Westchester Knicks and Texas Legends.

Former Rider guard Anthony Myles has agreed to a contract with Sopron KC of Germany, per Amico Hoops.

RUMORS ARCHIVE

Video: One-on-one with Cavs’ LeBron James