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NBA Rumors for Fri, Jan. 30, 2015
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 7:30 a.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
The Orlando Magic are close to firing coach Jacque Vaughn and a change could come soon, league sources told Yahoo Sports. As embarrassing losses accumulate, Vaughn is rapidly running out of time to show the progress needed to make it through the next several days – never mind the fourth and final year of his contract in 2015-’16, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo Sports
“It isn’t a matter of ‘if,’ anymore, but ‘when,'” a source close to the decision-making process told Yahoo Sports about Vaughn’s fading job security. After a 115-100 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at Amway Arena on Thursday night – the 13th loss in the past 15 games – the Orlando Sentinel reported that the Magic “haven’t ruled out making an in-season coaching change.” Yahoo Sports
This is Vaughn’s third year as the Magic’s coach. Orlando exercised the fourth-year option on Vaughn’s contract over the summer, guaranteeing his salary for the 2015-’16 season. Yahoo Sports
Kobe Bryant addressed his expectations a day after shoulder surgery Thursday night in a brief interview with ESPN, saying he planned on being ready to play come September for the Los Angeles Lakers' training camp. "Yeah, that's the plan," Bryant said. Bryant said his rehab over the next couple of months will involve "a lot of patience." "Sore, but it's OK," Bryant said of his shoulder. ESPN LA
Bryant said media opinion on whether he should return for a 20th season or retire wouldn't affect his decision. "I don't really listen much to what people have to say to be honest with you," Bryant said. ESPN LA
Bryant is expected to need nine months to recover from his third straight season-ending injury, a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder suffered last week that he had surgically repaired Wednesday. ESPN LA
The New York Knicks will sign forwards Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas to contracts for the remainder of the season, according to league sources. Both Thomas and Amundson are currently on their second 10-day contracts. Once those contracts expire (Thursday is the last day of Amundson's current deal; Friday is the final day on Thomas' contract), each player will be eligible to sign with any team. ESPN LA
The Knicks will not let that happen, though, league sources said. The move to retain both veteran forwards was endorsed on Wednesday night by Derek Fisher, who said it would be "very important" to keep both players on the roster. ESPN LA
The Nets have lost 11 of their past 13 games, and naturally, Coach Lionel Hollins was asked if he's had to change his approach in the midst of this miserable, futile stretch. Defiant as always, old-school Hollins said he hasn't changed a thing, and he bizarrely made a reference to suicide and panhandling as ways that people give up on themselves. Meanwhile, he continues to fight on. He then launched into a righteous-styled discourse on how he's remained focused on the task at hand and won't change, despite the grim circumstances. NY Daily News
"Do you change your approach when life doesn't go the way you want it?" Hollins said following practice on Thursday. "There's some people that change their approach - they go kill themselves. But we're trying to compete, and play - I'm not trying to equate basketball with life and death, but still, there's adversity, and you have to fight through it.” NY Daily News
Wizards: Marcin Gortat hinted to me that he's not fully healthy, after that 22-point loss at home to the Nets, and is playing through some things. It doesn't appear to be anything major as he hasn't missed time. The offense runs more through Nene when he's on the floor and Gortat can become disengaged and rely on more put-backs for his points. Teams also are creating speed mismatches by putting a smaller, quicker center on the floor to pull him away from the basket. When LaMarcus Aldridge got that fourth-quarter put-back for Portland, he was matched up with Gortat, dived from the elbow of the key into the lane on the miss by Damian Lillard, and by sheer foot-speed beat Gortat to the ball to keep it a two-possession game with less than two minutes left. That's why in a lot of end-of-game scenarios, Gortat ends up on the bench. CSN Washington
Steve Nash decided not to retire this offseason and instead returned to the Lakers, who will pay him about $9.7 million in the final year of a three-year, $28 million deal. Nash said this past summer that he believes this season -- his 19th -- will be his last. "We’re forgetting the career that Steve Nash had and the decision he had to make back in October," Kupchak said. "Very emotional and difficult decision. We supported it 100 percent." ESPN LA
The Milwaukee Bucks have signed forward/center Kenyon Martin for the remainder of the 2014-15 season, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Martin has appeared in eight games for the Bucks this season and averaged 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 5.9 minutes per game. Inside Hoops
The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guard Tyler Johnson to a second 10-day contract. Johnson, who was originally signed to a 10-day contract by the HEAT on January 12, appeared in one game with Miami totaling two points on a perfect 2-of-2 from the foul line in 1:44 minutes of action. Inside Hoops
Archie Goodwin continues to bounce back and forth from the Phoenix Suns to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League. The second-year guard, who is still trying to crack the Suns' crowded backcourt rotation, was assigned to Bakersfield on Thursday, his third such assignment this season. Arizona Sports
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