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NBA Rumors for Wednesday, October 22
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 1:00 p.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
The Orlando Magic and the representatives for center Nik Vucevic are finalizing a contract extension that will add four years to his current deal and will run through the 2018-19 NBA season, industry sources told the Orlando Sentinel. The deal will pay Vucevic a total of $53 million over four seasons, and the extension will not include an opt-out clause that would enable Vucevic to become a free agent before the summer of 2019. Orlando Sentinel
By reaching the extension now, the Magic will prevent Vucevic from becoming a restricted free agent in July. Although the Magic would have had the option to match any offer sheet Vucevic received from another team, the Magic might have been forced to pay Vucevic more than the average salary of $13.25 million per season during the four years covered by the extension. Orlando Sentinel
League rules would have permitted the Magic to designate Vucevic as their “designated player” and give him an extension that would have added five new years to his contract instead of four new years. But all designated players must receive a maximum-level salary amounting to at least 25 percent of the salary-cap figure in the first year of the deal. Orlando Sentinel
Vucevic, who will turn 24 years old Friday, will earn $2.75 million this season, which will be the final season of his rookie-scale contract. But he’ll earn an average salary of $13.25 million during the seasons covered by the extension, and that figure will become more salary cap friendly to the Magic once the revenue from the NBA’s new national TV deal kicks in and inflates the cap. Orlando Sentinel
Chris Kaman endured a bizarre injury Tuesday night that would be fitting for his reality web series. The Trail Blazers' backup big man suffered a head laceration when Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov inadvertently gnawed on it during the Blazers' 93-75 victory at Coors Events Center. Oregonian
While playing defense, Kaman backed into Mozgov in an effort to box him out as a Denver player attempted a shot from the perimeter. But as Kaman pushed Mozgov, the 7-foot-1 center toppled on Kaman's back and chomped down on his head with his teeth. "I went back pretty hard and I must've hit him in the chest," Kaman said, retelling the story. "He kind of folded over and his teeth went down on my head." Oregonian
Alonzo Gee has made the Nuggets roster, a move that will be set in stone when the Nuggets officially announce the expected of release forward Quincy Miller. Miller occupied the only roster spot available for real competition on the team, and had hoped to hold onto it. But the play of Gee, a free agent training camp signee who had been involved in a number of salary-cap influenced trades during the summer, was too much for the young player to overcome. Denver Post Blog
Marcus Williams and Jerrelle Benimon also will be waived from the Nuggets’ roster, bringing it down to the mandated maximum of 15 players ahead of the Oct. 27 deadline. Miller took to Twitter to thank fans who wished him well late Tuesday night. He’d become something of a fan favorite, an enormously athletic and skilled package in a 6-foot-11 body. Miller spent the first couple of seasons with the Nuggets just trying to get fully healthy from an ACL tear his senior year of high school. Denver Post Blog
Danny Ainge and Mark Bartelstein, the agent for Will Bynum, continued to work yesterday to find a destination for the veteran point guard that might also bring the Celtics something of value in return. “We’re trying to see if there is something we can do,” said Bartelstein, who added Bynum is working out in Chicago, where years ago he was the high school teammate of Tony Allen. Boston Herald
Bartelstein stressed that Bynum has neither been asked to stay away from Celtics training camp nor refused to attend. According to the agent, Bynum has recovered from a strained hamstring that kept him out of preseason games for the Pistons prior to last week’s Joel Anthony trade, and is ready to resume workouts for either the Celtics or another team. Boston Herald
The Celtics will not run afoul of the luxury tax if they waive Bynum and his $2.9 million salary. Even with his money on the books, they are roughly $6 million under the $76.8 million tax threshold. Boston Herald
The NBA’s Board of Governors, expected to approve an overhaul of the league’s draft lottery Wednesday at their fall meetings in midtown Manhattan, might want to be careful what they vote for. In thwarting the Philadelphia 76ers in what many consider their shameless plunge into, and loitering about, the lottery for consecutive seasons, they might in fact wind up aiding GM Sam Hinkie‘s team on the way up. NBA.com Blog
Lottery reform, as reported by multiple media outlets, is likely to pass with at least the 23 (of 30) votes needed. The changes essentially will broaden the lottery’s sweet spot, giving more teams a better shot at landing the No. 1 pick and therefore, presumably, discouraging teams that might be inclined to “tank” their way to a rebuilding strategy. NBA.com Blog
That’s what Philadelphia has done, trading last year for injured big man Nerlens Noel, sputtering through a 19-63 season, then using its two lottery picks in June for two more players – Kansas center Joel Embiid and Euro-obligated Dario Saric – who won’t help at all in 2014-15. NBA.com Blog
Bryant had been ripped yet again, this time in a scathing article on ESPN.com in which he was blamed for the demise of the Lakers and for supposedly being the primary reason why free agents have refused to sign with the team. The Lakers didn’t land high-profile free agents LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony during last summer’s free-agency period and lost their own free agent, Pau Gasol, to the Chicago Bulls. LA Times
“It’s not the first one, it’s not going to be the last one,” Bryant said. “The one thing I’ve come to understand over the years is that you’ll have a bad story that comes out on a Monday and it seems like it’s the end of the world. It seems like everybody is taking shots at you."
Blake Griffin has been accused of bitch-slapping a 39-year-old man inside a nightclub in Vegas this weekend ... TMZ Sports has learned. Here's what we know ... a man named Daniel says he was partying at Tao nightclub in the Venetian in the early hours of October 19th when he tried to take a cell phone pic of the crowd. TMZ
Ice, ice, baby. The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that multi-platinum recording artist Vanilla Ice will perform at halftime of the team’s regular season home opener against the Detroit Pistons on Thursday, Oct. 30. Back long, long ago, Vanilla Ice topped the charts for 16 weeks with his multi-platinum breakthrough album To The Extreme, which became the fastest selling hip-hop album of all time. InsideHoops
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