A look at the latest news, moves, rumors and views from around the world of pro hoops:
Per Cleveland.com: “The Cavs lead Boston 2-1 in the season series, making Wednesday’s matchup even more important. Cleveland would not only go up a full game with five to play, but would own the head-to-head tiebreaker — the first determining factor when teams are tied for a playoff seed.”
Per Cleveland.com: “Coach Tyronn Lue canceled practice Monday and shootaround on Tuesday for the Magic game. The players won’t be on the court again until they show up at 4:30 p.m. for a walk through to get ready for Orlando.”
Per Cleveland.com: “But what about Wednesday? Given the way the Cavs have conducted business this year — targeting back-to-back games to rest players (on occasion), and considering the workload undertaken Sunday, there is virtually no way Cleveland’s stars would play against both the Magic and the Celtics (they also play Friday at home against Atlanta).” (Full report.)
#Cavs have assigned Larry Sanders back to Canton Charge. (DLeague playoff guide coming later today.)
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) April 4, 2017
Per ESPN: “Cavs general manager David Griffin has been operating this season on the final year of his contract after failing to come to an agreement on an extension with ownership this past offseason, multiple sources told ESPN.”
Per ESPN: “Some key voices inside the Cavaliers’ locker room have spoken out in support of the GM, who has spent more than half his life working in the NBA after starting with the Phoenix Suns as an intern in 1993.”
Per ESPN: “It makes no sense why he shouldn’t get an extension,” LeBron James recently told ESPN. “He’s pulled every move — he’s tried to make every move happen — to better this team to be able to compete for a championship. So we wouldn’t be in this position, obviously, without him and without the guys that are here — from the coaching staff to the players to Griff. He’s been a big piece of it.” (Full report.)
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “With just six games remaining in the regular season starting with Tuesday’s home game against the Magic, defense has become more of a focal point for the Cavaliers.”
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “James is being called on to guard the opponents’ best player, challenged by the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler on Thursday and the Pacers’ Paul George on Sunday in an epic double-overtime scoring duel.”
Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “The Cavs have worked on traps that they will need in the postseason and unveiled them in games. Their rare practices have concentrated on sets for the playoffs.” (Full report.)
The Cavaliers have assigned rookie guard Kay Felder to the Canton Charge, per the team.
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Getting to 30 wins could hurt the Sixers’ chances of getting a top-three pick at the NBA draft lottery on May 16.”
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: “At 28-49, the Sixers have the league’s fifth-worst record with five games remaining. They would have an 8.8 percent chance at the top pick and a 29.1 percent chance at a top-three slot if their position remained the same. The Sixers also would finish no lower than eighth in the lottery.”
Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: “The Lakers will keep their pick if falls within the top three selections at the lottery. In that scenario, the Sixers would get Los Angeles’ pick next season. For now, the Lakers (22-55) have a 46.9 percent chance of keeping their pick because they have third-worst record.” (Full report.)
Per the New York Post: “Carmelo Anthony sounded Monday like a player who is readying for divorce proceedings at his end-of-the-season meeting with Knicks brass.”
Per the New York Post: “After a season in which Anthony’s status with the team emerged as a constant narrative, with the star player feuding with team president Phil Jackson and the Knicks shopping Anthony before February’s trade deadline, Anthony delivered his strongest indication yet that he would seek an amicable split this summer.”
Per the New Orleans Times-Picayune: “The New Orleans Pelicans believe that things have begun to fall in place with its reassembled roster featuring All-Star big men DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, but a different player may be in the position to make a franchise-changing decision for the team during this upcoming offseason.”
Per the New Orleans Times-Picayune: “Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday will become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career at the end of this season and is poised to earn a lucrative contract wherever he decides to sign.” (Full report.)
Per the Washington Post: “Now grown and confident, 54 years old and with three adult children, Patrick Ewing intends to elevate Georgetown once more, this time as its head coach. The pennant seems small again, and Ewing is as imposing a figure as ever, only there is no longer a guarantee he can make the program special.”
Per the Washington Post: “In fact, for those who wanted a clean break from the Thompson family legacy, Ewing stands as a polarizing relic. He always will be revered for what he accomplished as an athlete, but as a first-time head coach, he could fail and mar his sterling legacy in Washington.”
Per the Washington Post: “The past 15 years are also an indicator of how Ewing will approach this new challenge at Georgetown. He’ll be humble. He’ll be honest with himself, honest about his strengths and weaknesses, and build a staff accordingly.” (Full column.)
Per ESPN: “Golden State is targeting Saturday’s home date with New Orleans for Kevin Durant’s return, league sources say.”
Per TSN Sports: “Raptors guard Kyle Lowry hasn’t gone through a full workout, only doing some light shooting with the right hand. Says he’ll make the call when he’s ready to play.”
The Nets have signed shooting guard Archie Goodwin to a multi-year contract, per the team.
Per ESPN: “Kentucky announces Malik Monk is joining freshman backcourt mate De’Aaron Fox, heading to NBA.”
Per the Dayton Daily News: “Wright State junior guard Mark Alstork has declared for the NBA Draft, but the Thurgood Marshall graduate is not hiring an agent in order to retain his NCAA eligibility for the 2017-18 season.” (Full report.)
Per Sportando: “USC guard Shaqquan Aaron has declared for the NBA Draft, a school spokesman confirmed Friday night.”
Former NBA and D-League guard Nate Robinson has agreed to a contract with Guaros de Lara of Venezuela, per Amico Hoops.
The Erie BayHawks have waived swingman Robert Vaden, per the team.
Former D-League swingman Courtney Fells has agreed to a deal with San German of Puerto Rico, per Amico Hoops.