Rumor Roundup: Love, Cavs, Carmelo

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is expected to return after missing two straight games.

Lots of news and views to cover. Here is the latest on the Cavaliers and NBA:

Per Cleveland.com: “Kevin Love is staying behind while the Cavs head to Dallas Monday to get tests done on his aching back.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “A team source told me Love is likely to miss at least the rest of the week, if for no other reason than to heal. But more will be known Monday after a visit to the Cleveland Clinic.” (Full report.)

Cavs forward LeBron James to reporters, via ESPN: “I don’t know exactly what he’s going through. I don’t know if it’s a spasm, I don’t know if it’s vertebra, I don’t know if it’s a disk. It’s all different types of ways a back can be hurt. I know what mine was. If he comes to me or if he needs anything as far as what did I do and things of that nature, I can try to lend my helping hand. But if it’s different, then I don’t know. Everybody’s body is different.” (Full report.)

Cavs center Tristan Thompson to the media: “We need Kev for the long haul. Everyone wants to push it through, but if you’re hurt or you’re not feeling right, get right because we need the big fella.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “According to the Inquirer’s sources, the Cavs called the Sixers about T.J. McConnell a few weeks ago, proposing a deal that involved current Cavs shooting guard Jordan McRae.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “Along with McConnell, other names linked to the Cavs include Denver’s Jameer Nelson and Utah’s Shelvin Mack, as well as free agents Mario Chalmers, Jarrett Jack and Norris Cole.” (Full report.)

Per NESN: “Cleveland reportedly would like to absorb a smaller contract into its $4.4 million trade exception that it received in the Anderson Varejao trade before the 2016 NBA trade deadline. Mack’s contract would fit perfectly into that exception, as the veteran point guard is owed $2.4 million.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “LeBron James became the first player in Cavaliers history to score 20,000 points for the franchise in Sunday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “Cavaliers have won the last 16 regular-season games in which Kyrie Irving had at least 10 assists (as he did today against the Thunder).”

Per Cleveland.com: “On Saturday night, J.R. Smith, still sidelined with a fractured right thumb suffered on Dec. 20, wanted to shed some light on Cleveland’s most turbulent week of the season.” (Full report.)

Per Cleveland.com: “We’ve been here before,” Smith said in a two-minute video for Uninterrupted.“We was in the same situation last year. We were losing games. I believe it was Brooklyn, we were in New York, and had a huge team meeting — a lot of team meetings last year about us losing and quote unquote stuff within the team and whatever. But it’s all good. It’s all love and we love each other. Just have to get back to what we’re used to — having fun, playing the game and playing each game like it’s your last.” (Full report.)

The Grizzlies are finalizing deal to bring back veteran point guard Toney Douglas on 10-day contract, per Grizzlies.com. Rookie forward Troy Williams will be released to make roster spot available, the website reports.

Per the Orange County Register: “While only one Clipper will play in this year’s All-Star Game, a lineup of Camrelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick would, on paper, come close to matching the Warriors’ talent.” (Full report.)

Per the Orange County Register: “If the Clippers and Knicks strike a deal for Anthony, Austin Rivers’ time in a Clippers uniform will almost certainly come to an end. Still, he’s not sweating it quite yet.” (Full report.)

Per the Boston Globe: “The Knicks haven’t given up hope on including the Celtics as a partner in a potential deal for Carmelo Anthony, sending a scout to Saturday’s Celtics-Bucks game.” (Full report)

Per the Boston Globe: “While Celtics management told the Knicks they aren’t interested in the nine-time All-Star, the Knicks are pushing to move Anthony, according to an NBA source, and they’re intrigued by some of the Celtics’ players.” (Full report.)

Per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “This can’t be the way Dwyane Wade goes out, in a battle of wills with Rajon Rondo, on a team where he has been unable to stake a definitive claim as a leader, on a roster whose upside is a first-round sweep at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.” (Full report.)

Per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “For Wade to work his way back to South Florida, it would require walking back that pledge of returning to his hometown of Chicago as an act of civic renewal. And for Pat Riley to make it work once and again, it would mean having to conjure a contract at an even more tenuous salary-cap juncture for the Heat.” (Full report.)

Per the Boston Globe: “Mike D’Antoni looked to be a coach whose time had passed, despite the fact that most NBA teams are now playing an offensive style that he devised 15 years ago.” (Full report.)

Per the Boston Globe: “James Harden is now the leading candidate for league MVP. His image as a player has been transformed in half a season. Houston was considered a place where players couldn’t win, mainly because of Harden’s me-first style. That is no longer the case.” (Full report.)

The Hawks have signed forward Lamar Patterson to a 10-day contract, per the team.

Per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “As the business of the NBA sometimes go, the Dallas Mavericks were almost apologetic Saturday after they reluctantly waived point guard Pierre Jackson.” (Full report.)

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

Per the Boston Globe: “The BIG3, the three-on-three, halfcourt league funded by Ice Cube, added former NBA players Clyde Drexler, Rick Barry, and Rick Mahorn as coaches. The league is scheduled to begin play this summer, with the marquee player being Hall of Famer Allen Iverson. Former Celtic Ricky Davis also has committed to play.” (Full report.)

Free agent NBA forward Hollis Thompson has landed with the Austin Spurs of the D-League, per D-League Digest.

Former Stanford guard Anthony Goods has agreed to a contract with Energa Czarni of Poland, perAmico Hoops.

Former Oregon forward Dwayne Benjamin has agreed to a deal with the Geraldton Buccaneers of Australia, per Amico Hoops.

Dribbles: Cavs should get a pass on month

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