NBA Rumors and News for October 25, 2013

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Friday, October 25

Daily Trivia: Which team did LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers face in his rookie debut? Answer below.

Suns and Wizards pull of multi-player trade
Posted at 08:49 PM ET
Emeka Okafor and a top-12 protected 2014 first-round pick from the Washington Wizards are being dealt to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for center Marcin Gortat and guards Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall and Malcolm Lee, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. If the Wizards miss the playoffs and finish worse than 12th in the league, the pick will revert to the Suns in a future season. If the Wizards finish above 12th, Phoenix could potentially end up with four first-rounders in the deep draft next season. Gortat is in the final year of his contract, earning $7.7 million. After suffering a neck injury in the preseason, it is unclear if Okafor will play a game for Phoenix this season.

Avery Bradley in extension talks with Celtics
Posted at 01:34 PM
Bradley Avery Bradley’s representatives and Boston Celtics’ president Danny Ainge have been in talks about an extension, reports Sherrod Blakely of Comcast Sportsnet. Ainge declined to address where those talks stand now, but all indications are that both sides will wait until Bradley becomes a restricted free agent this summer to work out a new deal. Bradley, who is due to earn $2.51 million this season, has also remained silent on the topic. “I really don’t focus on that,” Bradley said earlier when asked about his impending free agency if a contract extension isn’t reached. “I just focus on winning games, doing what I can do for my team. I can’t wait for the season start.”

Trivia Answer: The Cavs lost on the road to the Sacramento Kings, 106-92, but LeBron had 25 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals in the debut.

NBA Rumors and News for October 24, 2013

Kobe admits public doubt gets to him at times, Wojnarowski says LeBron likely chooses between Heat and Cavs

Rondo in no hurry to return; Rose gives injury advice to Westbrook; Spurs unveil new military-inspired uniform

Brett Poirier manages the Rumors and News page for Sheridan Hoops.

SH Blog: Deron Williams still plans to play in opener

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Andrew WigginsThe season is a little over a week from starting, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the draft, at least if you’re a Sixers fan. Or a Canadian who can’t wait for the dominance that Andrew Wiggins will surely bring on the international scene.

Wiggins, of course, is #1 on our first (very early) mock draft. The real fun comes with #2, or maybe #3. Suns, Kings, Celtics fans: get to know these names. It’s never too early.

Now let’s get to the latest from the NBA:

  • Deron Williams practicing free throws. Photo courtesy of Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto)Deron Williams injury update from Tim Bontemps of the New York Post: “One month after the Nets first announced Deron Williams had suffered a sprained right ankle, it still remains unclear when the star point guard will return to the floor. Williams has increased his workload during practice each of the past two days, according to coach Jason Kidd, and Paul Pierce went as far as to say the team “had a chance to see [Williams] get his feet wet a little” during the two practices, which could be taken as a positive sign in his recovery. But when Kidd was asked Saturday if Williams could play in either of the team’s final two preseason games — Wednesday in Boston or Friday in Miami — Kidd declined to say.”
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  • aingeGary Washburn of the Boston Globe seems pretty positive on the Celtics: “The Celtics do not have a legitimate point guard with NBA experience, meaning they will have to rely on rookie Phil Pressey and third-year player Avery Bradley early in the season. There is no legitimate center, and a logjam at power forward. Strangely enough, however, the Celtics could compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference given teams such as Washington, Detroit, Cleveland, and Toronto are improved but not proven. “I honestly don’t know what my expectations are until I see this team play together,” said Ainge. “We have a brand new coaching staff that’s never worked together. I’m excited about it. I expect those guys to play hard every game and we’ll figure it out as the year goes on. Our minute distribution is going to be a challenge for Coach Stevens. We have logjams at certain positions. But this is a time of year where there’s not a lot of deals made to fix that. We tried to make the roster more balanced, but we like each of the players. There’s not enough minutes to go around to keep everybody fed.” “
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  • With Derrick Favors getting his extension, talk naturally turned to whether Gordon Hayward would get one from the Jazz. Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake City Tribune has the latest on that: “The Jazz front office continues to have talks with fourth-year forward Gordon Hayward about a possible contract extension. But even after the team announced Saturday it had agreed to a multi-year deal with forward Derrick Favors, worth a reported $49 million over four seasons, Hayward said he is not concerned about getting a deal done. “Not at all,” he said. “Extremely happy for him. It’s great for the organization, for [Favors]. Couldn’t be happier for him. I’m just playing basketball. I don’t worry about that.” “

Sprung: What does Brad Stevens bring to rebuilding Celtics?

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200px-Brad_Stevens_on_Butler_sidelineBROOKLYN– Brad Stevens is new to the NBA, and the Boston Celtics have had to grow familiar with his brand of coaching over the course of training camp and the preseason.

With just about two weeks before the start of the season – and a new era for the franchise – the Celtics seem pleased with the progress the team is making under Stevens’ early stewardship.

If general manager Danny Ainge’s plan for the franchise is for the rookie coach to grow along with his young team, it seems to be working at this juncture despite Tuesday night’s 82-80 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

It’s going to take a lot of patience this season with the Celtics, with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett now members of the Nets and Rajon Rondo (who was unavailable to the media Tuesday) still injured.

SH Blog: Pippen avoids charges from DA, Barkley puts Sixers organization on blast

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170px-Pippin_headshotRemember when Scottie Pippen was investigated by police for allegedly assaulting a man back in June? That man’s name is Camran Shafighi, and we should all learn to be better than this money-seeking 49-year-old.

Shafighi’s is suing the Chicago Bulls legend for $4 million – which is utterly ridiculous no matter how you put it – for allegedly beating him to unconsciousness for no good reason. According to him, he simply went up to Pippen, who was having dinner with his family, and asked for a picture and an autograph before an irate Pippen mercilessly punched and kicked him to the ground.

How is that for an idea to get rich? Find out where a famous NBA player is having dinner, go give him a reason to kick your ass, then sue him for millions of dollars for putting his hands on you. In no way am I saying those were his intentions, but the evidence sure does point in that direction, from The AP

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Five Things to Watch: Boston Celtics

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brandon-bassSix years ago, the Boston Celtics opened what was supposed to be a three-year championship window after the acquisitions of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Along with Paul Pierce, the new “Big Three” won one title and could have won two more if they had remained healthy.

Like NASA getting extended use out of an aging Mars Rover, the Celtics trudged along as contenders for a few more years. The three-year window was open for a fourth year. Then a fifth. But the inevitable finally struck last season. The most difficult season since the Garnett trade ended with injuries and great disappointment.

When that last Jenga block holding up the tenuous Celtics infrastructure – Doc Rivers – was pulled from the stack and sent to the Los Angeles Clippers, the entire thing came crashing down.

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