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The 2014 NBA trade deadline date was Thursday, February 20 at 3pm ET.
NBA Rumors for Saturday, April 19
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Two costly turnovers down the stretch cost the Clippers a chance to take control of their first round series with Golden State, losing Game 1 109-105. Chris Paul and Darren Collison couldn’t connect in transition with a chance to take the lead, and in the final 30 seconds, Paul lost the ball with a chance to tie. Orange County Register
Paul missed two free throws late, sealing the win for Golden State. Collison had a chance to give the Clippers one final shot at a tie, but he couldn’t corral a rebound before stopping out of bounds. The Clippers jumped out to a 12-1 lead, but once Golden State coach Mark Jackson elected to play his small-ball lineup, momentum swung. Orange County Register
The Brooklyn Nets made a case for the important of playoff experience in their opening victory over the Toronto Raptors. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each had 24 points, Paul Pierce scored nine of his 15 points in the final quarter and the Nets beat the Raptors 94-87 Saturday in Game 1 of their first round series. Playing in his 137th career postseason game, Pierce connected on four of his five shot attempts in the fourth as the Nets kept the Raptors at bay. AP
The Air Canada Centre was bananas from the start Saturday, getting on the visiting Brooklyn Nets, the referees and even Nets coach Jason Kidd. And if that wasn’t enough, scores of people gathered outside at Maple Leaf Square were even more amped up after team president/general manager Masai Ujiri, throwing political correctness out the window, ended an address to the gathered fans in emphatic fashion. Toronto Sun
“F--- Brookyn,” yelled Ujiri, handing off the mic as he left the stage with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke, who dropped his head, perhaps thinking, ‘It’s on now.’ Since taking over last summer, Ujiri has repeatedly said he wanted the Air Canada Centre to be “a living hell.” He wants Toronto’s fans to be loud, proud and a distraction for opponents. Toronto Sun
The Nigerian-born Ujiri basically doubled down on his comment when he met the media at halftime, apologizing for his language before declaring, "You know how I feel. I don't like (the Nets), but I apologize." The incident, as with anything these days, was caught on video and quickly went viral, providing the series with a new slogan. Perhaps it also set the tone for a crowd that chanted “(Kevin Garnett) sucks” whenever the Nets center was involved in a play. NY Daily News
In the uncomfortable silence of the losing locker room, DeMar DeRozan sat slumped in his chair, still dressed in his uniform, not moving, staring at a post-game statistics sheet. He didn’t like what he was reading. He couldn’t really explain the thin numbers that defined his day. The all-star he was most of the season — the all-star he wants so badly to be — was nowhere to be found in the first NBA playoff appearance of his life, the first appearance for the Toronto Raptors since 2008. He didn’t make a difference. Toronto Sun
If counting properly, DeRozan didn’t take a single uncontested jump shot in the game. His teammates didn’t get him the ball. Most times he wasn’t open. He forced some shots. It was clear from the beginning, the Nets planned on taking him out of the game, maybe the series. It was accomplished far too easily in a Game 1 where the atmosphere should have tilted the playoff game in the Raptors favour. Toronto Sun
As crucial as the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery will be to the Orlando Magic's rebuilding efforts — and, make no mistake, the lottery will be vital to the Magic — the team can't do anything more to enhance its chances for the annual pingpong-ball drawing. But there are several things the Magic can do to accelerate their rebuilding efforts. One pertains to Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris, Andrew Nicholson, Victor Oladipo, Kyle O'Quinn and Nik Vucevic. Simply put, those youngsters need to improve this offseason, and then those improvements need to translate onto the court in tangible ways during the 2014-15 season. "I'm going to be working on a little bit of everything," said Oladipo, a 6-foot-4 guard who just completed his rookie season. Orlando Sentinel
The Houston Rockets held their second postseason practice Saturday, continuing their preparation for Sunday's Game 1 with the Portland Trail Blazers. "Today was good, we were much more locked in," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said following Saturday's practice. "I think after everybody had a few days off, yesterday was a little ratty. A lot of bad passes, everybody was running around. We had a good practice today." Oregonian
MAIN MORNING NBA RUMORS STORIES
Knicks president Phil Jackson and owner James Dolan addressed the Knicks after their final game on Wednesday, a Knicks player confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com. While Jackson commended the team for its effort and complimented coach Mike Woodson, he made it clear that there would be personnel changes this summer, the player said. “He credited Woody," said the player. "But he also said that there’s going to be changes, some of us won’t be in this room next year.” ESPN NY
The player said Jackson told the Knicks that they owed a lot of gratitude to head coach Mike Woodson. The player also said Jackson indicated that the team needed to start “thinking differently” and thinking about “what we can do to contend” for a title. Jackson and Dolan’s postgame speeches were first reported by the New York Daily News. ESPN NY
Regarding the offseason changes Jackson mentioned, the Knicks aren't expected to have much of an opportunity to re-shape the roster this summer. Even if free-agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony signs with another team, the Knicks still will be over the salary cap thanks to the contracts for Andrea Bargnani ($11.5 million in 2014-15), Amar'e Stoudemire ($23.4 million) and Tyson Chandler ($14.6 million). ESPN NY
Kobe Bryant looks to be having an excellent anniversary trip in Paris, judging by the photos posted on his wife's Instagram account, but on the off chance he happened to be watching Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak's 45-minute news conference Friday to close the worst season since the franchise moved to Los Angeles, there was something Kupchak really wanted him to understand. "I've already used the word patience I think once or twice, so if [Bryant] is in Europe watching this, I'm sure he's saying, 'Why is Mitch using the word patience?'" Kupchak said. "He's not the most patient person in the world. And that's never going to change." ESPN.com
Kupchak: "Because of that, we've been to the Finals a bunch of times and we've won five championships. So, it's hard to criticize him. "We want the same thing. We both want to win as much and as soon as possible. But it takes an organization a long time to get in the position that we're in where we have options financially going forward for the next year or two or three and we just have to make wise decisions using that space. If you don't make a wise decision, then you can set yourself back 6-7 years, and we don't want to do that." ESPN.com
A month ago, when his former coach Phil Jackson signed on to become the president of the New York Knicks , Bryant said he has "not one lick" of patience for a rebuild and called upon Kupchak and Lakers management to turn the team back into a championship contender as quickly as possible. He softened some of his criticism soon after, explaining that his comments may have sounded too harsh because of the frustration he felt at sitting through a 55-loss season. ESPN.com
"This organization is just not going to go [down]," Bryant said in an interview with ESPN's Darren Rovell. "It's not going to take a nosedive. But I think we need to accelerate it a little bit for selfish reasons, because I want to win and I want to win next season. So, it's kind of getting them going now as opposed to two years from now." ESPN.com
The Lakers have only three players under contract for next season -- Bryant at $23.5 milion, Steve Nash at $9.7 million and Robert Sacre at $915,243 -- and the team has an option on young point guard Kendall Marshall for $915,243. Nick Young has a player option for $1.2 million, but he's said he's likely to opt out and test free agency. ESPN.com
Mike D'Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers' coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family. How long D'Antoni retains his job won't be decided at least until next week. General manager Mitch Kupchak praised his embattled coach Friday while the Lakers finished their final exit interviews and headed to an unusually early summer following a franchise-worst 55-loss season. D'Antoni will meet with Kupchak and Lakers owner Jim Buss in the near future to determine whether the veteran coach returns. AP
"He's under contract for two more years," Kupchak said. "If anything changes, we'll let you know." D'Antoni will make $4 million next year, and the Lakers hold an option for 2015-16. If he is asked to leave, the Lakers will have their fourth head coach in just over three years since Phil Jackson walked away from the team in 2011. AP
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is plotting the team's future after an unexpectedly successfully season, and he's confident that future includes Eric Bledsoe. McDonough says the backcourt of Bledsoe and Goran Dragic is as good as any in the league. AP
Bledsoe is a restricted free agent and McDonough has repeatedly said the Suns will match any offer another team may make. He says the Suns would prefer to work out a deal before free agency begins. AP
Memphis Grizzlies reserve rookie guard Nick Calathes has been suspended 20 games for violating the league's anti-drug policy, the league announced Friday night. The suspension will take effect immediately, meaning the team will be without Calathes when it opens its first-round Western Conference playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night. ESPN.com
Harris is one of three founders of Apollo Global Management, a publicly listed alternative investment manager. The 76ers were valued this year by Forbes at $469 million, 23rd in the NBA, and have both a television deal with cable station Comcast SportsNet and a lease with the Wells Fargo Center through 2029. Harris bought the group for about $280 million in October 2011. Apollo invests heavily in distressed properties -- which one could argue would include the Sixers. The Milwaukee Bucks were sold this week for a reported record $550 million, a sum that could make even billionaires consider selling for a tidy profit. Harris said, no way. AP
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