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NBA Rumors for Thu, March 26

InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 1:00 p.m. ET. More stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.

nba rumors Clippers center DeAndre Jordan will be a free agent this summer and he said after his team’s 111-80 rout of the Knicks on Wednesday night how much he “loves’’ the Big Apple. But the 6-foot-11 behemoth played as if he wanted to burn down the Garden with his fiery act. Jordan, whom Clippers coach Doc Rivers talked up before the game as Defensive Player of the Year, blocked shots, rattled rims, talked trash and nearly threw Knicks center Cole Aldrich through the hardcourt during an intimidating performance. NY Post

Asked if he’d consider joining a Knicks team despite its current 14-58 record, Jordan said: “I love New York City. I love the city. But right now I’m not thinking of free agency. I’m thinking about finishing our season off strong and focusing on the playoffs.’’ At one point in the second quarter, after new Knick Ricky Ledo drove to the basket, Jordan emphatically blocked his runner, then jawed at him for several seconds. NY Post

DeAndre Jordan is making $11.4 million this season. The Knicks have just over $30 million in cap space available this summer. The only drawback is he’s not a post-up center, which Jackson likes for his triangle offense. Jordan also wouldn’t be a top priority if the Knicks were able to land Duke center Jahlil Okafor in the draft. NY Post

nba rumors But Amar'e Stoudemire, the 13-year veteran whose best seasons came when he was running and gunning with Nash and Marion in Phoenix, isn’t remotely close to being ready to consider hanging up his Nikes." ESPN Dallas

“I’m the last man standing,” Stoudemire said with a smile while stretched out on the floor of the visitors locker room with a pair of compression boots during the Dallas Mavericks’ recent trip to Phoenix. “I plan on standing for a while, by the way. “No, no, there’s no way. There’s a lot of youth in these legs. I have a lot of competitive juices still flowing in me. There’s no way I’m ready to be the next man." ESPN Dallas

The Mavs will probably offer Stoudemire a significant piece of their midlevel exception. Stoudemire, who says he can “compete at a high level for years to come,” will likely request a multiyear deal. But there will be plenty of time this summer to have those kinds of conversations. And, as much urgency as he feels to contend for a title now, Stoudemire is certain he has plenty of time left in his career. ESPN Dallas

nba rumors Heading into the swansong of his career, former NBA All-Star Metta World Peace is a changed man. World Peace, who signed for Pallacanestro Cantu in a move the Italian team called "the coup of the century," is known as much for his controversies as for his on-court talent. "I had an up and down career," the 35-year-old World Peace said Thursday. "I grew up playing basketball on the streets of New York City and it was very, very rough and I started playing in the NBA in the same way. AP

"I always wanted to play in Europe for a long time," World Peace said. "They move the ball and they move bodies and that's what I like doing. I'm looking forward to playing team basketball and being smart as well as scoring. I can score but I'm excited about team basketball." AP

nba rumors SI.com: Now that we covered the on-court aesthetic, what's your take on today's NBA fashion? Baron Davis: "I think they're pushing the limits. Fashion and sports have always run hand and hand, and now I think it's becoming a little bit more mainstream to where the guys are setting the fashion trends and people in the fashion world are recognizing it. These kids have style; they came in the league with style." SI.com

SI.com: Players displayed their style at a fashion show during All-Star Weekend. Did you attend? Baron Davis: "No, no, no, I'm not a fashion show type of dude. I just like shopping, I like shopping. I'll wait for it to come out. I always like to shop and for me it was just about seeing things I like and making it part of my wardrobe and collecting things that I could always bring back when I'm like 50, 60 years old." SI.com

nba rumors The possibility still haunts and intrigues Minnesota coach Flip Saunders 19 years later. What would have happened had the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Kobe Bryant fifth overall in the 1996 NBA Draft? That would have paired Bryant along with Kevin Garnett, two high school phenoms who eventually morphed into future Hall of Famers. Instead, Minnesota selected Ray Allen and traded him to Milwaukee for Stephon Marbury. LA Daily News

“We teetered on the idea of getting another one because we had success with KG,” Saunders said before the Lakers’ 101-99 overtime win over the Timberwolves on Wednesday at Target Center. “But we kind of thought it would be too much having two of those guys who were young at that time and still in the process of developing KG as a young player.” LA Daily News

The Utah Jazz announced today that team has signed forward Jack Cooley to a multi-year contract. Cooley signed his most recent 10-day contract with the Jazz on March 16 and has appeared in six Jazz games, averaging 1.7 points in 4.3 minutes per contest. When the Jazz signed him from the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede, Cooley (6-9, 246, Notre Dame) was averaging 16.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.3 blocks in 30.8 minutes per contest in 20 games. Inside Hoops

nba rumors It was just before 9 o’clock Tuesday morning, and the entire Columbia University campus seemed to want just a few more hours of sleep. In Milbank Hall, a 119-year-old building on the northern edge of the Barnard College quad, students filtered wordlessly into a third-floor classroom where a course called Introduction to Logic was about to begin. Among the heavy-lidded pack was Troy Murphy, who curled into a desk in the first row so that he could stretch out his legs. Murphy, 34, played 12 seasons as a 6-foot-11 power forward in the N.B.A., grappling with the likes of Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki. On this morning, he was trying to keep up with Karen Lewis, a philosophy of language professor with a laser pointer, who tore through her lesson plan, gesticulating with both hands when an idea required special emphasis. NY Times

After years of working to keep up his scoring average, Murphy has become obsessed with his grade-point average. He took four classes last semester — Organizing Innovation, Societal Adaptations to Terrorism, Introduction to Islamic Civilization, and Spanish — and compiled a 3.80 G.P.A. He made the dean’s list. Professional athletes often struggle to find focus and purpose after their playing days, after the constant external validation has dissipated. Becoming a full-time undergraduate student at an Ivy League university, then, has given Murphy a means to concentrate his considerable competitive energy. NY Times

In August 2013, Murphy’s memory of that brief visit factored into his decision to apply to the university. But nothing was guaranteed; he needed to take an entrance exam. So he hired a tutor and worked with her three times a week. He went to Barnes & Noble and bought every SAT book at the store. He got flashcards to practice vocabulary. He estimated he studied 25 hours a week for two months and took more than 20 practice exams. He wrote his application essay about how he could apply the lessons learned in the N.B.A. to the challenges of college life. NY Times

The Golden State Warriors have clinched the 2014-15 Pacific Division title, improving to 58-13 on the season following Tuesday’s 122-108 road victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. This marks the organization’s first Pacific Division title since the San Francisco Warriors won back-to-back Pacific crowns in 1974-75 and 1975-76. This is the organization’s fifth division championship since the team moved to the West Coast in 1962, with the Warriors claiming Western Division titles in 1963-64 and 1966-67. Overall, the team has now won eight division championships in franchise history, including Eastern Division titles by the Philadelphia Warriors in 1947-48, 1950-51 and 1955-56. Inside Hoops

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