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These are yesterday's basketball rumors. For the most recent stories click here.

After reading today's Basketball Rumors talk on the InsideHoops basketball forum where hardcore fans hang 24/7 talking hoops.

NBA Rumors for Thu, Jan. 29, 2015

InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 1:30 p.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.

nba rumors The countdown to Kevin Durant’s free agency has already begun in places like New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington and especially Oklahoma City, where the next 18 months will fly by faster than Russell Westbrook on the break. Phil Jackson and the Knicks have until July 1, 2016 to get their house in order and here’s something Jackson and the legions of long-suffering Knicks fans — are there any other kind? — can latch onto: The Knicks are in play. NY Daily News

“No question about it,” says a person close to Durant. “Kevin loves Carmelo (Anthony). It could work in New York. But never rule out the Thunder.” OKC is under the gun to return to the NBA Finals for the first time in three years and give Durant every reason to re-sign with the club long-term. GM Sam Presti is a pro-active executive, which is his greatest strength and weakness. Remember James Harden? NY Daily News

Presti already made one significant trade this month by acquiring Dion Waiters from the Cavs. And according to a source, Presti nearly traded Reggie Jackson to Denver this week, but the deal fell apart. NY Daily News

And depending on whom you talk to, there are also whispers that Durant is growing increasingly frustrated with Westbrook, one of the league’s most dynamic players and whose style is shoot first, ask questions later. NY Daily News

nba rumors LeBron James was out, which meant that, even after winning seven games in a row, the Cavs were in trouble. Entering Wednesday’s home game against the Blazers, Cleveland was just 1-8 without its superstar, who injured his right wrist in Tuesday’s win over the Pistons. Make that 2-8, thanks to Kyrie Irving, who went simply bananas in James’s absence, dropping 55 points on Portland to lead his team to a 99-94 win. That scoring total was the highest in the NBA this season, topping the 52 notched by Minnesota’s Mo Williams and Golden State’s Klay Thompson, and it was the most ever scored on the Cavs’ home court. Washington Post Blog

"I'm going to kindly decline to talk to you guys," James said shortly before slipping out of the locker room and into the cold Cleveland evening. "This is his night." It was a subtle nudge by one established star toward the budding one. Not long before, while the locker room was still closed to the media, James literally showered Irving with praise, organizing his teammates to douse Irving with water bottles in celebration, as captured on Tristan Thompson's Instagram account. ESPN.com

Just like James shifted the focus from him to Irving, Irving took that attention and directed it toward the Cavs' eight-game winning streak. He set franchise records for 3-pointers made (11) and attempted (19), set a Quicken Loans Arena record for points scored (besting Allen Iverson's 54 in 2001) and set an NBA season high for points in a game (edging Mo Williams' and Klay Thompson's 52), but it was like trying to squeeze blood from a stone to get him to revel in what he accomplished. ESPN.com

All-Star is already a bit of a sore subject for Irving anyway as he missed out on anywhere between $7 million-$10 million in contract incentives by not being named an All-Star starter this season, failing to qualify for the "Derrick Rose provision" which balloons a young player's pay for reaching superstar status -- either through two straight All-Star starts or winning the regular-season MVP -- early in his career. ESPN.com

nba rumors Tony Wroten decided that having surgery is his best option. The 76ers reserve point guard just doesn't know when and where he'll have the procedure to repair a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Philadelphia Inquirer

"I can't play with a partial tear to the ACL with the way I play, so it's best to get the surgery," Wroten said Wednesday before the Sixers played Detroit at the Wells Fargo Center. The third-year veteran said he didn't know how long he would be sidelined. He leads the Sixers in scoring at 16.9 points per game. Philadelphia Inquirer

Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel were selected to the play in the Rising Stars Challenge at the NBA all-star weekend. The game, which will be played Feb. 13 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, has been modified. The league's top American rookies and second-year players will face the league's top first- and second-year players from around the world. The two Sixers will play for the American team. Philadelphia Inquirer

nba rumors "The more you practice, the better you practice, the better you're going to play," Thibodeau said after the stirring victory. "That's time-tested, age-old, however else you want to describe it. That's what you gotta do if you want to win." That Thibodeau said this the night before he merely had a film session and players worked out individually — no official practice serving as his nod to the Bulls' three-games-in-four-nights schedule — should remind all that a coach can't spend two-plus decades in the NBA without knowing how to pace a team. Chicago Tribune

And while there are no plans to replace Thibodeau during the season, a mutual parting of the ways after this season wouldn't surprise many league personnel familiar with the deteriorating dynamic. "The only way you can improve execution and timing is really through repetition," Thibodeau said. "The only way you get repetition is you have to practice. … There's the school of thought that less minutes are better. There's also the school of thought that when you do less, you also become deconditioned." Chicago Tribune

nba rumors Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker underwent successful surgery today to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. The procedure was completed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Walker’s recovery time is expected to be a minimum of six weeks. Walker is the Hornets’ leader in points (18.8), assists (5.2) and steals (1.4). Walker averaged 23.0 points on .429 shooting from the field (171-399), including .355 from beyond the three-point line (43-121) over his last 21 games played. Inside Hoops

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed forward Reggie Williams of the Oklahoma City Blue to a 10-day contract. Williams, 6-6/210, has appeared in 13 games this season for the Blue of the NBA D-League, averaging 16.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.08 steals in 31.9 minutes. He has also spent time in the D-League with the Blue in 2013-14 and the Sioux Falls Skyforce in 2009-10. In 69 career D-League games, he has averaged 22.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists in 37.7 minutes. Inside Hoops

nba rumors The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed forward Chris Johnson of the NBA Development League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers to a 10-day contract. Johnson becomes the NBA’s 24th overall NBA D-League Call-Up of the 2014-15 season and the 22nd different player to be called up. Following the move, the Jazz roster now stands at 15 players. Inside Hoops

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a 10-day contract. Originally drafted by Minnesota with the 52nd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Brown appeared in three preseason contests with the Wolves before being waived on October 25, 2013. He signed with Philadelphia a month later, averaging 2.5 points and 1.6 assists in 8.6 minutes over 26 games. Inside Hoops

nba rumors The Milwaukee Bucks have signed guard Jorge Gutierrez to a 10-day contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Gutierrez is the 23rd Gatorade Call-Up of the 2014-15 NBA Development League season. Gutierrez, 26, most recently played for the Canton Charge of the NBA D-League and in six games averaged 15.2 points, 6.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 35.7 minutes per game. Inside Hoops

CBS 5 News has learned Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris are part of a possible assault investigation being handled by Phoenix police. Police confirm they are investigating an alleged assault that occurred around 7:30 p.m. Saturday outside a gym near 15th Avenue and Colter in central Phoenix. They would not release the name of those involved but sources tell CBS 5 News the Morris brothers are being looked at as suspects in the crime. CBS 5AZ

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