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NBA Rumors for Monday, October 24
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The Lakers plan to waive Chinese center Yi Jianlian on Monday, according to a league source familiar with the situation. The Lakers had signed Yi to a non-guaranteed contract at the veteran’s minimum, including incentives that could have made the deal worth as much as $8 million. But after hoping Yi could provide some outside shooting at the backup center spot, Yi averaged only 3.6 points on a 36.8 percent clip in 12.2 minutes through five exhibition games. Yi also shot only 16.7 percent from 3-point range. LA Daily News
Yi’s departure likely narrows the remaining candidates between forwards Metta World Peace and Thomas Robinson. LA Daily News
After his strong play with China in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Yi was signed by the Lakers in August to a one-year, $8 million deal that was uniquely structured, featuring $6.8 million in what the league deemed "likely" bonuses. But the defined role Yi expected when he agreed to leave the Guangdong Southern Tigers in his native China -- with minutes at both power forward and center -- didn't pan out as he had hoped this month, prompting the 28-year-old to seek his release. ESPN.com
It was just preseason, but it was ugly. In their final three games, the Knicks allowed an average of 109 points with opponents shooting 50%. Those defensive stumbles coincided with the return of Joakim Noah, the former Defensive Player of the Year who Sunday acknowledged that he hasn’t recovered his quickness. “We have to get better. Numbers don’t lie and right now I feel a step slow defensively. And I have to do better. I have to do better for this ballclub. We all do,” Noah said. NY Daily News
On Joakim Noah: The 31-year-old, who signed a four-year, $72 million deal largely to serve as the Knicks’ defensive anchor, said the speed dropoff is related to his injury absences. He missed the final three months of last season after dislocating his shoulder, then sat out a good chunk of preseason with hamstring and ankle ailments. NY Daily News
The Timberwolves move toward Wednesday’s season opener at Memphis with a 15-man roster that includes four point guards as of Sunday. It’s an abundance few NBA teams carry and a number that probably makes it about even odds the Wolves trade homegrown Tyus Jones to Cleveland, Philadelphia, New Orleans or another team seeking a backup point guard for another big forward or wing defender by Monday’s deadline to set final rosters. Minneapolis Star Tribune
On Sunday, Wolves president of basketball operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau said there’s room for Jones, Ricky Rubio, rookie Kris Dunn and veteran John Lucas III because he thinks Dunn, Rubio and Lucas all can play alongside another point guard in the backcourt. Lucas primarily has played shooting guard in the preseason. Minneapolis Star Tribune
Cleveland reportedly has contemplated trading defensive-minded Iman Shumpert and his nearly $10 million salary to lessen its massive luxury-tax penalties. Philadelphia’s current roster is lopsided with frontcourt players and has forwards such as Richaun Holmes, Robert Covington or Jerami Grant it could spare. Minneapolis Star Tribune
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