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Bulls Trade for McDermott

Bulls Trade for McDermott

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In the first of many anticipated moves, the Chicago Bulls traded to get former Creighton star Doug McDermott at the NBA Draft on Thursday night. The Bulls gave up both of their first-round picks to get the sharp-shooting forward.

McDermott was drafted by the Denver Nuggets, who also get Anthony Randolph and a future second-rounder with the 11th overall pick. Chicago originally held the 16th and 19th overall picks, selecting Jusuf Nurkic and Gary Harris before the deal.

McDermott was the consensus player of the year in college basketball this past season, averaging 26.7 points per game and shooting over fifty percent from the field. The 6’7″ forward also shot 45 percent from three-point range as a senior, finishing fifth all-time on the NCAA scoring chart with 3,150 points.

Chicago was the lowest scoring team in the NBA in 2013-14, scoring 93.7 points per game while shooting just 33.3 percent from downtown. The Bulls are expected to be a top destination for free agent forward Carmelo Anthony, and they’re hopeful the acquisition of McDermott boosts their odds.

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ESPN: Rockets Agree to Send Center Omer Asik to the Pelicans

ESPN: Rockets Agree to Send Center Omer Asik to the Pelicans

Jed Jacbson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In a move that very well could be a win for both teams, the Houston Rockets have agreed to send center Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for a 2015 first-round draft pick.

Asik is set to make $15 million next season, and now the Rockets have more salary cap space to work with in order to land a max-level free agent like Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James.

Askik is an elite rim protector who struggled to find playing time behind center Dwight Howard. This past season, Asik averaged just 20.2 minutes per game, but averaged 5.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

The Pelicans dealt with a slew of injuries this past season, but do have an emerging star in forward/center Anthony Davis. The team can now pair Davis with a proven center, and should have one of the better defensive front-courts in the NBA next season.

The draft pick included in the deal is protected. It will go to the Rockets if it falls between picks 4-19. Last season, the Pelicans traded their first round pick (the sixth overall pick) to the Philadelphia 76ers for point guard Jrue Holiday.

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Knicks Agree to Send Center Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks

Knicks Agree to Send Center Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks

NBA via New York Knicks(NEW YORK) — Tyson Chandler is heading back to the Mavericks as the New York Knicks and Dallas have agreed on a six-player trade with Chandler as the center piece.

The trade would sent Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton to the Mavericks in exchange for point guards Jose Calderon and Shane Larkin along with guard Wayne Ellington, center Samuel Dalembert, and two second-round picks in Thursday night’s draft.

Chandler played for the Mavericks during the 2010-2011 season — the season they won their one and only NBA Championship.

“The journey to build this team for the upcoming season and beyond continues,” Knicks executive Phil Jackson said in the announcement. “We have added players with this move that will fit right in to our system while maintaining future flexibility.”

This move will help Dallas pursue top free agents such as Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James.

For the Knicks, it provides future flexibility, young players, and draft picks, which is something the Knicks haven’t had much of in recent years.

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Bucks Owner Says Team Won’t Draft Center Joel Embiid

Bucks Owner Says Team Won’t Draft Center Joel Embiid

Cooper Neil/Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) — With the recent foot injury to center Joel Embiid, the top of the draft underwent a major shakeup. Once in the running for the number one pick, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry says the team, which owns the second overall pick, will not take a gamble on him.

“I think it’s hard to take Embiid,” Lasry said Monday at a joint breakfast meeting of the region’s Rotary Club and the Milwaukee Press Club. “I think he’s a phenomenal individual, but with the injury and not knowing how severe or long it will take to recover, I think for us today we’re going to want somebody who’s going to help us on day one.”

Last week it was revealed that Embiid needed foot surgery, a procedure that could keep him out of action his entire rookie year.

The Bucks are now expected to select either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker.

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Lebron James Opts out of Contract, Set for Free Agency

Lebron James Opts out of Contract, Set for Free Agency

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Here we go again. Lebron James’ agent, Rich Paul, has informed the Miami Heat that James will opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

While NBA fans may be salivating at the idea of landing arguably the best player in the NBA, opting out of his deal does not necessarily mean he will leave the Heat.

James had until June 30 to opt out of the final two years of his deal. He had $42.7 million remaining on his deal.

A four-time NBA MVP, James is one of the most transcendent players in the NBA and all of sports. In 11 NBA seasons, James has averaged 27.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game.

James spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He infamously chose to play for the Heat during the summer of 2010.

Now 29, James went to four-consecutive Finals with the Heat, and won two titles.

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Report: Rudy Gay Will Opt In with Kings

Report: Rudy Gay Will Opt In with Kings

NBA/Memphis Grizzlies(NEW YORK) — Instead of pursuing a long-term deal, Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay will opt into the final year of his contract with the team, according to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.
Gay will be paid $19.3 million next se…

Carmelo Anthony Opts Out

Carmelo Anthony Opts Out

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony has informed the team that he will opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent. Anthony, who had hinted towards the decision during the regular season, will be able to negotiate with any team on July 1.

Anthony has the ability to sign a maximum contract worth $96 million over five years with any team outside of the Knicks. Should he choose to resign with New York, the small forward could command a max deal worth $129 million.

Sources close to Anthony say the Chicago Bulls are one team that he would consider playing for. Among others that could garner his services are the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. ESPN.com reported earlier in June that the Miami Heat have also inquired about signing Anthony. Meanwhile, Knicks president Phil Jackson had expressed his hope that Anthony would “opt in” to the final year of his deal and test free agency in 2015.

New York went 37-45 this past season, led by Anthony’s 27.4 points per game. Should he leave, Anthony would become the fifth player in the last 30 years to change teams after averaging more than 27 points that year and the first to do so since LeBron James.

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ESPN: Warriors Weighing Trade for Kevin Love

ESPN: Warriors Weighing Trade for Kevin Love

Minnesota Timberwovles/NBA(NEW YORK) — If the Golden State Warriors truly want to get their hands on Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love, they’ll have to pay a heavy price. ESPN reports that the team is seriously weighing their options to find what it would take to acquire him via trade.

Reportedly the Timberwolves are asking for a future first-round pick, Klay Thompson, David Lee, and maybe Harrison Barnes in exchange for Love and Kevin Martin.

That is a steep price to pay, but Love is arguably one of the best players in the NBA. This past season, the 25-year-old averaged 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. He was the only player in the NBA this past season to be in the top-5 in points and rebounds.

Despite Love’s immense talent, he hasn’t made it to the playoffs during his six-year career. While he hasn’t officially asked for a trade, he is likely to opt out of his contract next season to test free agency.

Other than the Warriors, the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics have reportedly engaged in trade talks for Love.

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David Blatt Offered Cavaliers Head Coaching Job

David Blatt Offered Cavaliers Head Coaching Job

Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Sources close to the Cleveland Cavaliers indicate the team may have found their new head coach. According to multiple media reports, David Blatt was offered the head job on Thursday and the two sides are currently in contract talks.

A longtime European coach, Blatt led Russia to a bronze medal in the 2012 Summer Olympic games. He also was the head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, winning the Euroleague Championship this season. The 55-year-old has spent more than 20 seasons coaching in Europe for four different countries.

Blatt was the starting point guard at Princeton for legendary coach Pete Carril from 1977-1981 before having a 13-year playing career overseas. Blatt’s teams have been seen running a similar “Princeton-style” offense that he was taught in his collegiate career. If he accepts, Blatt would be the third Cavaliers head coach in as many seasons.

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Carmelo Anthony: Meeting Went Well with Phil Jackson

Carmelo Anthony: Meeting Went Well with Phil Jackson

New York Knicks/NBA(NEW YORK) — The days for Carmelo Anthony to decide if he is opting out of his current contract are quickly approaching.

Still, Anthony said a recent meeting with Knicks president Phil Jackson was positive.

“It was great meeting with Phil. It went well,” Anthony told two reporters in New York City on Wednesday as he promoted his partnership with 50 Cent and SMS Audio headphones.

The Knicks hired Derek Fisher as their new head coach and Anthony had no problems with that either. “I like what Phil is doing,” Anthony added.

Anthony has until June 23 to notify the New York Knicks on whether he’ll be coming back next year or become a free agent in July, reports ESPN.com.

Anthony is spending his offseason with his family in Los Angeles.

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Suns Will Try to Reach Deal with Eric Bledsoe Before Free Agency

Suns Will Try to Reach Deal with Eric Bledsoe Before Free Agency

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Phoenix Suns gave guard Eric Bledsoe expanded playing time for the first time in his career this past season, and he flourished. Now, the team will attempt to sign him to a long-term deal before free agency…

Heats’ Shane Battier to Retire, Ray Allen’s Playing Future Up in the Air

Heats’ Shane Battier to Retire, Ray Allen’s Playing Future Up in the Air

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO) — While the basketball world will wait and see what the future holds for Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat will lose forward Shane Battier to retirement while Ray Allen is still deciding his playi…

Nowitzki Makes Plea for ‘Melo in Dallas

Nowitzki Makes Plea for ‘Melo in Dallas

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Carmelo Anthony, projected to be one of the top free agents if he chooses to opt out of his contract, may have a new suitor. Over the weekend, Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki made his pitch for Anthony.

“If Carmelo would really love to come here, we’d love to have him,” Nowitzki said in a radio interview.

Despite being under contract for next season, Anthony is expected to opt out of the final season of his contract with the New York Knicks and test free agency.

Along with the Mavericks, the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, and Miami Heat have also been rumored to have interest in the small forward. Still, Knicks president Phil Jackson has publicly stated his desire for Anthony to remain in New York.

“Listen, I think I’ve showed over my 16 years that I can play with anybody,” Nowitzki said. “The only tough season I think we’ve had is when we had [Antawn] Jamison and Antoine Walker and myself who are all three kind of the same four-men, but other than that I think I’ve shown over my career that I can play with anybody. I’ll adjust, whether I have to get out of the way or go to the corner more, post up, pass. I’ll do whatever, really, that needs to be done out there to win or for this franchise to be a winner.”

Anthony, who has said he would like to remain in New York, has stated on multiple occasions during the season that he planned to become a free agent this summer. Should he choose to re-sign with the Knicks, ‘Melo could ink a maximum contract worth $129 million over five years. If Anthony signs with another team, his contract would only be able to be a maximum of $96 million over four seasons.

Dallas won 49 games last year and made the playoffs as the eight seed. The Mavericks were champions in 2011 and are projected to have more than $30 million in cap space.

The Knicks won just 37 games this year and are not expected to have enough cap space to create a contender for the 2014-15 season.

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San Antonio Spurs Win Fifth NBA Championship

San Antonio Spurs Win Fifth NBA Championship

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO) — Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard had 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as San Antonio captured their fifth Larry O’Brien trophy with a 104-87 win over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.

The Heat jumped out to a 16-point lead in the first half, but the Spurs came roaring back, taking the lead for good when Leonard drilled a three with 4:47 left in the second quarter.

The 22-year-old Leonard was named the series MVP. He averaged 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in the Finals.

The Spurs’ last NBA championship came back in 2007. It marked the team’s fourth title in nine years.

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Metta World Peach to Coach High School Girl’s Basketball Team

Metta World Peach to Coach High School Girl’s Basketball Team

Harry How/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Metta World Peace may no longer playing professional basketball, but he has decided to become a coach. World Peace will serve as an assistant coach for the Palisades High Girl’s basketball team.

Palisades coach Torino Johnson confirmed to the media that World Peace will join his staff. Johnson had previously met World Peace after coaching his daughter four years ago.

“He’ll be heavily involved in our program,” Johnson said, according to the Orange County Register. “We keep having, it’s an ongoing dialogue, but it’s all positive. There’s no out. The only purpose for this is to be positive and to be impactful — and this is of his choosing.”

Palisades went 21-12 in 2013-14. The team won the L.A. City Section Division 2 title in 2012.

World Peace spent 15 seasons in the NBA for the Bulls, Pacers, Kings, Rockets, Lakers, and Knicks. He averaged 13.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

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Sources: Cavaliers Reach Out to Marc Jackson

Sources: Cavaliers Reach Out to Marc Jackson

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Marc Jackson may not be in his new job for long. The current ESPN Analyst, who rejoined the network after being fired by Golden State last month, is reportedly being targeted by the Cleveland Cavaliers for their vacancy.

Sources say that Cavaliers general manager David Griffin called Jackson and spoke with him about becoming the team’s head coach. No formal interview was set-up and there have been no reports to gauge Jackson’s interest in the position.

The team has already interviewed such candidates as Alvin Gentry, Lionel Hollins, Vinny Del Negro, and former Cavalier Mark Price. David Blatt, the former coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, is reportedly a person of interest as well. 

Jackson coached the Golden State Warriors for three season, building up a 121-109 record and helping to lead the team into the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in 22 years. The Warriors won 51 games in 2013-14 under Jackson’s tutelage. 

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Spurs Stomp Heat, Take 3-1 Finals Lead

Spurs Stomp Heat, Take 3-1 Finals Lead

Andy Lyons/Getty Images(MIAMI, Fla.) — Kawhi Leonard had 20 points and 14 rebounds while playing tremendous defense against LeBron James to help San Antonio dominate the Heat in a 107-86 win in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

The Spurs now take a 3-1 lead in the series and are one win away from a world championship.

“I’m pleased that they performed as well as they did while we’ve been in Miami, and that’s about as far as it goes,” said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. “Now we’ve got to go back home and play as well or better.”

For the second straight game, San Antonio dominated, leading by as many as 24 points in the third quarter. The Spurs shot 57.1 percent from the floor as a team, including 9-for-21 from three-point distance. Miami, who had not lost at home this postseason prior to Game 3 on Tuesday, shot just 45 percent in the loss.

Despite 28 points from LeBron James, 19 of which came in the third quarter, the Heat were unable to find an answer defensively. Now they must do what no team has ever done, win an NBA Finals after trailing 3 games to 1. 

Tim Duncan surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most career playoff minutes (8,869) as well as Magic Johnson’s all-time record for double-doubles in the postseason (158). Duncan has helped bring San Antonio all four world titles in franchise history, the most recent of which in 2007. He can add a fifth to his resume on Sunday when the team returns to San Antonio.

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N.Y. Knicks Introduce Derek Fisher As New Head Coach

N.Y. Knicks Introduce Derek Fisher As New Head Coach

NBA Logo(NEW YORK) — The New York Knicks introduced Derek Fisher as their new head coach at a news conference on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old Fisher played for Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson for parts of nine seasons, winning five NBA championships.

“For Phil and the history we have together,” Fisher said, “to have this opportunity now to work together again is something that is extremely exciting and I look forward to it in a very special way.”

Yahoo! Sports reported on Monday that Fisher and Knicks were in the process of finalizing a five-year, $25 million contract.

The Knicks haven’t won the NBA championship since the 1972-73 season, when they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals.

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Michael Jordan Says Hornets Will be Busy This Offseason

Michael Jordan Says Hornets Will be Busy This Offseason

Ethan Miller/Getty Images for MJCI(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — With a successful 2013-2014 season under their belts, the newly-named Charlotte Hornets and their owner Michael Jordan have assured fans that the team will make a splash this offseason in an effort to build the team into a real contender one day.

This past season, the team formerly known as the Charlotte Bobcats, made the playoffs for the first time since 2010 in large part to an active free agency that included the signing of center Al Jefferson.

“I always thought Charlotte was a great destination,” Jordan said. “Big Al has proven that you can come here and make a big difference. Hopefully we can look at that and attract some other superstars.”

The team is armed with three picks and over $13 million to play with this offseason.

The Bobcats finished 43-39 this past season, which was quite an improvement considering the team had gone 28-120 the two seasons before that combined.

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Ricky Rubio Will Pitch Kevin Love on Staying in Minnesota

Ricky Rubio Will Pitch Kevin Love on Staying in Minnesota

Thomas Northcut/Digital Images(NEW YORK) — With rumors growing that Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love wants to be traded sooner than later, his teammate, Ricky Rubio, will do his best to convince Love to stay with the organization.

“I don’t want to convince him if he doesn’t want to stay. But I want him to stay and I’m going to tell him what I think, which is we’ve been improving each year and he’s a great player, he helps us a lot,” Rubio told NBA.com.

“I think we need to make the next step. …The media says it’s pretty settled, but I don’t know what he thinks. What I’ve been hearing is from the media, not from him, so I don’t trust that. It can be an opinion from you guys. I just really want to talk to him as a teammate,” he continued.

While the team has improved their win total each season since Love and Rubio’s first season together in 2011, the Timberwolves still haven’t made the playoffs since Love entered the NBA in 2008.

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