Rumor Roundup: LeBron, Cousins, Mavs

LeBron James and the Cavaliers tip off the second round of the playoffs Monday.

Per ESPN Stats: “LeBron James is the only player in NBA history to rank in the top 10 for career points and top 20 for career assists, per ESPN Stats & Info. He needs just five assists to pass Hall-of-Famer Bob Cousy for the 16th-most all-time.”

Per ESPN Power Rankings: “After becoming the first team ever to sink at least 20 3-pointers in consecutive games in wins over Portland and Dallas, Cleveland predictably did only as much as it had to in Philly to pad what already must feel like an insurmountable lead to the rest of the East. Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and LeBron James combined for a mere 90 points against the Sixers — with memories of Love’s 34-point quarter against the Blazers still fresh. The Cavs are just toying with teams.” (Full rankings.)

Per Cleveland.com: “Kyrie Irving is different this season — on and off the court. ‘I just think he’s comfortable,’ Tyronn Lue said recently. ‘I think last year taking over midway through the season, he didn’t know exactly what I wanted. Just talking to him over the summer, talking to him before this season exactly what I wanted from him and what I needed from him and he understands.'” (Full report.)

Per ESPN: “One month after Nike raffled off 89 select pairs of the famous self-lacing Mag shoes from ‘Back to the Future Part II,’ the company released a sport version called the HyperAdapt 1.0 this week. Cavaliers point guard and Nike partner Kyrie Irving was one of the first professional athletes to try on the footwear, sharing the experience with the world in a video published to his Twitter account.” (Full report.)

Per Amico Hoops: “But the Cavs are the defending champs, the  beasts of the East, and Love’s outstanding week offers more evidence he is an excellent fit.” (Full report.)

Per Cavs.com: “The Cavs have hit at least 10 three-pointers in all 15 games, extending their NBA record for consecutive games with 10 or more made threes to start a season. They also rank 2nd in threes made per game (13.8) and 2nd in three-point field goal percentage (.392).” (Full report.)

From Rolling Stone: Why the Cavs aren’t worried about J.R. Smith’s historically bad game. (Full post.)

Bucks guard Matthew Dellavedova is looking forward to facing his former Cavaliers teammates for the first time and watched Kevin Love’s 40-point game on his phone. Full report from Amico Hoops.

Per Brew Hoop: “On the injury front: Channing Frye (personal reasons) and Iman Shumpert (hamstring) are both listed as ‘TBD’ in the Cavs’ media notes, so it’s anyone’s guess if they’ll return to action tomorrow night.” (Full report.)

Per The Washington Post: “A smiling DeMarcus Cousins said: ‘You never know what will happen. It’s the NBA so hopefully one day (John Wall) will be in a Sacramento uniform.” (Full report.)

Per TrueHoop: “Garrett Temple said Wall and Bradley Beal have a good relationship but they aren’t best friends, which seems par for the course in the NBA.”

Mavericks center Andrew Bogut understands he could be traded to a contender before the end of the season, per the Dallas News.

Per Amico Hoops: “Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has been looking for a major trade to put his team in real contention, and it appears that mission is not yet accomplished.” (Full report.)

Kings guard Arron Afflalo knew it was time to bolt the Knicks after learning they were pursuing guard Courtney Lee, per Basketball Insiders.

Owner Mark Cuban says the struggling Mavericks have no interest in tanking, per ESPN.

The Nets brought in track Hall-of-Famer Michael Johnson to talk to the team, per the New York Post.

Nets forward Anthony Bennett was among those sent to the D-League on Monday. Here are all the latest assignments and call-ups from Hoops Rumors.

Free agent guard Archie Goodwin (Suns, Pelicans) has signed to play in the D-League, per The Step Back.

Former NBA guard Kendall Marshall has been claimed by the Reno Bighorns of the D-League, per D-League Digest.

The Oklahoma City Blue of the D-League have claimed former NBA guard Jordan Adams off waivers, per D-League Digest.

Former NBA guard Tony Wroten has signed with the D-League and will play for the Texas Legends, per The Step Back.

The Heat are likely headed to the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery, per NBA.com.

Former North Carolina guard Baden Jaxen has signed with Etha of Cyprus, per Amico Hoops.

Former Rider point guard Jerry Johnson has agreed to a deal with Turkish club Demir IBB, per Amico Hoops.

Former Johnson C. Smith guard Diondre Pratt has agreed to a contract with Al Safa of Saudi Arabia, per Amico Hoops.

More News

Per ESPN: “He could score 60 — in the 55s and 60s, all the time.” That was Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue talking about Cavs guard Kyrie Irving after Irving dropped a season-high 39 points in a 112-108 win over the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday. (Full report.)

Also per ESPN: “Meanwhile, Irving has worked his skills into the team scheme and started to carve out a niche on the Cavs as their closer. We know Kevin Love is the opener — as that record-setting 34-point first quarter showed last week. And we know James does everything and then some.” (Full report.)

Per FOX Sports: “JR Smith played 38 minutes, 31 seconds and was 0-for-11 shooting to finish with zero points. According to Basketball Reference, the 38-minute threshold while going scoreless has been met 88 times — but Smith has a higher number of field goal attempts than any player on the list.” (Full report.)

Smith told reporters, per Cleveland.com: “I can’t say I’m not going to change anything. I changed something last year. One of my good friends, him and my dad are really tight. He’s an old, old, old Italian guy. He told me to walk out of my front door backwards. When I get home, hopefully I’m not still shooting like this in Milwaukee, but when I go home, I’ll probably do it again.” (Full report.)

Per Cleveland.com: “LeBron James drained a corner 3-pointer with 5:01 left in the second period against Philadelphia for his 1,000th triple in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform.” (Full report.)

Per RotoWire: “In four of the seven games he has seen 30 minutes or more this season, Tristan Thompson has produced a double-double.”

Per the Akron Beacon Journal: “James Jones earned the game ball Sunday after he started the second half while Kevin Love was getting stitched up in the locker room. Love took a shot to the head early in the game, but wasn’t sure who hit him. James Jones said it was Robert Covington’s elbow when Covington put his arms up while trying to take a charge on Love.” (Full column.)

Also per the Beacon Journal: “The Cavs will be reunited with Matthew Dellavedova Tuesday night at Milwaukee.” (Full column.)

Per Cavs.com: “There’s no underestimating the power of closing quarters on the road to turn momentum. That was the case in Sunday afternoon’s victory in Philly.” (Full report.)

Per the Associated Press: “James and Joel Embiid got into a verbal altercation late in the first quarter. Richard Jefferson was whistled for a foul on Embiid’s drive, and James questioned the call. Embiid went toward James’ direction, but officials stepped between the players.” (Full report.)

Also per the Associated Press: “Embiid was limited to 25 minutes, eight of which came in the fourth quarter, as part of his minutes restriction that is part of his rehab plan after missing the last two seasons with a foot injury.” (Full report.)

Kevin Love went 28 minutes after receiving five stitches for a cut over his right eye. He is expected to be at full strength for Tuesday’s game vs. the Bucks, per Amico Hoops.

Per the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Brett Brown said Embiid has the fierce facial expressions of retired all-stars Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant. ‘Like that serious, they are just assassins,’ he said. ‘You know Joel’s got that anger. He can jump out of it and the charisma to get people going.'” (Full report.)

Per CSN Philly: “The last time the Cavaliers were in town to play the Sixers on Nov. 5, one of their team buses got stuck in traffic en route to the arena. The delay was so backed up that a group of players, including Kyrie Irving, ordered an Uber to get them to the Wells Fargo Center.” (Full report.)

Per a separate story from the Inquirer: Embiid is hoping to bring back glamour to the center position. (Full report.)

The Cavaliers have three active trade exceptions, per Basketball Insiders: $845,059 through Jan. 12; $9.6MM through Feb. 18 and $1.3MM through Aug. 15. (Full report.)

Per the San Francisco Chronicle: “It’s an approach that has Kevin Durant on pace to finish with one of the best individual seasons in NBA history. He ranks seventh in the league with 27.2 points per game, on an average of 17 shots.” (Full report.)

Added the SF Chronicle: “Only six times has a player averaged at least 27 points while averaging fewer than 18 field-goal attempts.” (Full report.)

Per the San Jose Mercury News: “In Boston, it was James Michael McAdoo. In Milwaukee, it was Kevon Looney. The next three games, it was JaVale McGee. Against the Timberwolves on Saturday, it was Anderson Varejao, entering to groans from the Oracle crowd.” (Full report.)

Also per the Mercury News: “The Warriors deploy their centers differently. Steve Kerr likes flexibility, adjusting, he says, by matchup. Five backup options. Five differing players.” (Full report.)

Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic is hoping to stay in the NBA, as opposed to return to Europe, when his contract expires at the end of the season, per the Chicago Tribune.

The NBA is hoping to make it harder for players to form superteams via the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, per ESPN Insider.

Per the Orange County Register: “Phil Jackson is in New York, but it remains to be seen for how long, where he goes and if its colors are purple and gold.” (Full column.)

Also per the OC Register: “Jackson and his fiance, Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss, both deny it’s happening. That’s absolutely true … as far as it goes … until Phil’s opt-out on July 1, 2017, with insiders close to both saying he could still wind up with the Lakers.” (Full column.)

Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell said he is feeling better after testing his sore left knee, per the Orange County Register.

Magic coach Frank Vogel shook up the starting lineup, as promised, per the Orlando Sentinel.

The Clippers’ depth is no longer a liability, per the Sacramento Bee.

Scoring is no longer a priority for Spurs forward/center Pau Gasol (and that may be a good thing), per the San Antonio Express-News.

For the first time in his career, Knicks guard Brandon Jennings is being asked to focus primarily on passing, per the New York Post.

Former NBA forward Quincy Acy has entered the D-League player pool, per ESPN.

Per Hoops Rumors: The latest D-League assignments and call-ups.

Former Southeast Missouri State guard Isiah Jones has agreed to a contract with Apollon of Cyprus, per Amico Hoops.

Former Morgan State guard Reginald Holmes has signed with Italian club Mamak DSI, per Amico Hoops.

Undrafted Texas A&M forward Mickey Johnson has agreed to a contract with Al Shrooq of Saudi Arabia, per Amico Hoops.

MORE RUMORS

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