Rumor Roundup: Cavs, Wade, Clippers

Kevin Love returned and the Cavaliuers were able to steal one from Rudy Gobert and the Jazz.

Another look at the latest news, views and moves from around pro hoops:

Per ESPN: “Kyrie Irving sat the entire fourth quarter with tightness in his left knee. Iman Shumpert left the game in the third quarter after spraining his left shoulder and did not return.”

Per ESPN: “The good news for the defending champs — who were also without Kyle Korver for a fifth straight game because of a sore foot and didn’t have Derrick Williams either because of a quad contusion — is that the injuries to Irving and Shumpert appear to be manageable.”

Per Amico Hoops: “But hey, things could be worse. After all, Kevin Love returned two weeks sooner than expected following knee surgery.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “And LeBron James again reminded everyone why it’s good to be king — or for the Cavaliers and their fans, to have a king.” (Full report.)

Irving on his knee, to reporters: “Playing the whole third and kind of sitting down, it started getting tight. So, I went to Bron and said ‘You got this?’ He said ‘Yeah’ and for precautionary reasons I just left the game.”

James on the injuries, to reporters: “Obviously we wish we can be whole, but it’s out of our hands right now. We have a great training staff who make sure guys are getting the proper treatment to get back on the floor. Until then, who is in the lineup is who is in the lineup. So, we’ll be all right.”

Per Cleveland.com: “After pouring in 12 points on Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons, J.R. Smith felt like he was close to his old self, at least shooting the ball.”

Per Cleveland.com: “Prior to the game, head coach Tyronn Lue said Smith’s return to the starting lineup is imminent. That switch will happen when the squad gets fully healthy. That means Kyle Korver has to return so Lue can stagger the minutes between his two sharpshooters until the end of games.”

Irving on Smith, to reporters: “”He’s J.R., man. He’s going to take some tough 3s. He’s going to make some as well, but he got a few open ones tonight, which was good. It easily allowed him to get into his rhythm. When he started hitting the bottom of the net, that’s when you know J.R. is really, really locked in.”

Per the Canton Repository: “The comeback of Larry Sanders, the Cavaliers’ new big man, continued in Stark County on Wednesday.”

Per the Canton Repository: “Sanders was assigned to the Charge — the Cavs’ D-League affiliate — and practiced with them at Edgewood Community Center.”

Per the Canton Repository: “Sanders did not accompany the Charge to Greensboro. He could make his Charge debut Saturday night in Canton’s final home game of the regular season against the Windy City Bulls.”

Per the Sporting News: “Successful never really took shape in Chicago, as the Bulls remained a volatile bunch loaded with behind-the-scenes intrigue, nonstop trade chatter and wild inconsistency, leading to their current stretch of six losses in seven games. That stretch — and this season — was punctuated on Wednesday with an elbow injury to Dwyane Wade that the team has announced will keep him out for the rest of the season.”

Per the Sporting News: “Now Wade will have to decide whether to opt in for the second year of his deal and go back to a Bulls team that could go in a number of different directions this summer. None of those directions would be particularly appealing for Wade.”

Per the Sporting News: “It’s hard to say what options would be available to Wade should he opt out. The Bucks and Nuggets were both interested in him last year, and would be willing to talk again this summer if he were a free agent.

Per the Sporting News: “He could chase another trophy, perhaps as a bargain signee for a team like San Antonio or the Clippers. Heck, it’s a long shot, but he could join the pile on a bare bones contract in Golden State or team again with LeBron James in Cleveland.”

Per the Orange County Register: “The Clippers’ issues can be quickly summed up: a lagging defense, a spike in turnovers and losses at a much higher rate than which they are accustomed.”

Per the Orange County Register: “Doc Rivers likes his 15-man roster. Down to Alan Anderson, who provides a strong locker room presence, to developing rookies Diamond Stone and Brice Johnson, everyone has a role.”

Per the Orange County Register: “The coach and president said there is a ’50-50′ chance the Clippers would either add someone from the buyout market or the Development League, a move that would require waiving someone else.”

Per the Orange County Register: “The question came up because of an ESPN report Tuesday that the Clippers could be interested in forward Omri Casspi, waived last month by the Pelicans. While that move doesn’t appear likely, Rivers is keeping open the option of doing something.”

Per the New York Post: “Despite the Knicks’ brutal record and growing input of Phil Jackson, who reversed the head coach’s offense, Jeff Hornacek’s job is safe, according to an NBA source.”

Per the New York Post: “In the week leading into the All-Star break, Jackson encouraged Hornacek to re-emphasize the triangle offense and step back from the coach’s hybrid attack because of the team’s sputtering. It was a clear indicator of Jackson’s dissatisfaction with Hornacek’s ‘early offense.’ Even Kristaps Porzingis classified the offense’s travails as causing confusion.”

The Pelicans have signed guard Jordan Crawford for the rest of the season, per the team. Yahoo Sports reported the deal is actually for two years.

Per the Houston Chronicle: “With James Harden’s long-time agent Rob Pelinka becoming the Lakers’ general manager, Harden said he would make Diana Day, who handled his marketing and public relations with Pelinka’s firm, his agent.”

Per ArizonaSports.com: “Eric Bledsoe suited up for the Suns but didn’t step on the court. It appears he won’t for the rest of the year after playing in 66 games and averaging 21.1 points, 6.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.”

Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica injured his left foot and will miss the remainder of the season, per the team.

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas has a bruised knee and will not travel with the team for games against the Nets and 76ers, per the team.

Celtics first-round pick Guerschon Yabusele has signed a contract with the D-League, per The Step Back. Yabusele just completed a season with the Shanghai Sharks of China and will join the Maine Red Claws.

The Hornets have signed big man Johnny O’Bryant to a multi-year contract, per the team.

The 76ers will sign guard Shawn Long to multi-year deal, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. Long’s contract is guaranteed for the rest of this season, with a partial after that, the newspaper reports.

The Raptors have recalled small forward Bruno Caboclo and power forward Pascal Siakam from Raptors 905, per the team.

The Knicks have recalled forward Maurice Ndour from the Westchester Knicks, per the team.

The Celtics have recalled rookie guard Demetrius Jackson from Maine Red Claws, and assigned forward Jordan Mickey to the D-League club, per the team.

Former NBA center Ryan Hollins has been released by Gran Canaria of Spain, per Amico Hoops.

Former NBA and D-League swingman D.J. Kennedy has agreed to a deal with German club Riesen Ludwigsburg, per Amico Hoops.

Former NBA power forward Mike Tobey has agreed to a contract with Valencia Basket of Spain, per Amico Hoops.

Former D-League guard Larry Anderson has signed with the Orangeville A’s of NBL Canada, per Amico Hoops.

Former D-League forward Aaron Bowen has signed with the Halifax Hurricanes of NBL Canada, per Amico Hoops.

Love returns, LeBron soars; Cavs find a way