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THE LATEST NBA RUMORS

Updated Saturday, July 4, 2020 at 11:44 p.m. ET

As NBA teams prepare to leave for Orlando, Florida, in the coming days, organizations have received directives on the process for transporting players unable to travel on the team charters, according to a league memo acquired by ESPN. If a player misses a scheduled coronavirus test in the two days prior to the team's departure date -- or has "extenuating circumstances" that have been disclosed to the league -- he must arrange his own travel to join his team as the league restarts its season. The player has the option of flying on a charter flight at the player's expense, traveling by car, or flying commercial, the memo said. If a player flies privately or drives, he will have to have two negative test results before resuming basketball activities. If he flies commercially, the player must have three consecutive negative test results, according to the memo. ESPN.com

With the first teams scheduled to arrive in Orlando on Tuesday, it is unlikely that players who have tested positive in the past week will be able to fly with their teams. According to the league's health and safety guidelines, any player who has contracted COVID-19 must quarantine and test negative twice before being medically cleared to make the trip. Or, if he misses a test in the two days prior to the team's flight, he will have to return three consecutive negative tests before traveling. ESPN.com

MAIN MORNING STORIES

Lakers assistant coach Lionel Hollins will not join the team when it flies to Orlando, Florida, next week for the restart to the NBA season, a league source confirmed to ESPN on Friday. Hollins was deemed a higher-risk individual due to underlying medical conditions, the source told ESPN. He will not be present in Orlando but will continue to be an essential member of the team and participate on coach Frank Vogel's staff remotely. ESPN.com

New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik will not accompany the team to Orlando for the restart of the NBA season, Bzdelik's agent, Warren LeGarie, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday afternoon. According to team sources, the decision, which takes into account CDC guidelines, was made after Bzdelik, 67, consulted with team physicians. The team is fully supportive of his decision to stay back, team sources said. Bzdelik is in his first year as an assistant coach with the Pelicans. ESPN.com

As far as [Rudy Gobert's] relationship with [Donovan] Mitchell, the two stars say they're "good" and can co-exist moving forward in Utah. Mitchell said it was no secret that he was upset with Gobert's initial careless behavior, such as touching the microphones of reporters following a press conference, before becoming aware of his infection, but they'll be ready to play when it's time to clock in. "You look at all duos and for us it's like, there's going to be tension. There's going to be back and forth," Mitchell said. "Obviously, I feel like I should be right here. He feels like he should be right there, but it's always going to happen. It happens on every team, doesn't matter if they win championships or they're a last-place team, it's always gonna happen. So, I feel like even in a work environment, you're not gonna always get along or go out to eat or hang out with your teammates." ESPN.com



NBA RUMORS FROM FRIDAY

Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo will not join his team for the NBA restart in Orlando, Florida, he told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday. Oladipo had been hesitant to commit to join the Pacers at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex due to the risk of reinjuring his quadriceps tendon. ESPN.com

The NBA is in deep discussions on a second "bubble" in Chicago for the eight teams that were not invited to play in Florida, enabling them to participate in a mini-training camp and subsequent games against other clubs with a target date of September, sources told ESPN on Thursday. The details are still being hammered out, and teams continue to push for an alternative plan that would enable them to hold mini-camps within their local markets and to explore the idea of establishing regional sites where teams could scrimmage against each other. ESPN.com

Multiple team sources said union leader Michele Roberts has been steadfast in her insistence that the non-playoff teams follow the same protocol as the 22 teams that will be quarantined in Orlando and competing for the NBA championship. Commissioner Adam Silver supports Roberts on this issue, it was confirmed by those who were on the call. ESPN.com

Seven of the eight non-playoff teams participated in a call Thursday with league officials, with the New York Knicks as the lone team without a representative on the call because they were interviewing head-coaching candidates, including Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd and San Antonio Spurs assistant Will Hardy, sources told ESPN. On that call, the league sought assurances from teams they will send their players if they move forward with the bubble format, sources told ESPN. ESPN.com

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward says he will leave the NBA's bubble at Walt Disney World Resort for the birth of his fourth child if Boston is still playing. "There'll be a time if and when we're down there and she's going to have the baby, I'm for sure going to be with her," Hayward said of his wife, Robyn. "We'll have to cross that bridge when we get there." ESPN.com



NBA RUMORS FROM THURSDAY

Lakers coach Frank Vogel says the team will not seek a replacement player for Dwight Howard for the Orlando restart. And, according to Vogel, the team will not ask the replacement player that it did add, JR Smith, to play like the player he replaced, Avery Bradley. Speaking on a video conference call with reporters Wednesday at the start of the Lakers' "pre" training camp comprised of individual workouts before the team flies to Florida next week, Vogel restated L.A.'s commitment to the backup center. ESPN.com

Nine more NBA players tested positive for the coronavirus last week, the league announced Thursday. The nine positive tests found between June 24-29 bring the overall total to 25 players out of a pool of 351 who have been tested since June 23. Sixteen players tested positive last week. The NBA also said 10 of 884 team staff members who were tested were positive for the coronavirus. ESPN.com

Houston Rockets forward Thabo Sefolosha has opted out of the season's restart in Orlando, Florida, sources told ESPN. Sefolosha, 36, had played in 41 games this season, averaging 10 minutes and 2.2 points ESPN.com

Denver Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic is feeling "great" and is expected to return to the United States in time to join the team flight to Orlando, Florida, according to coach Michael Malone. Jokic had his return to Denver delayed after testing positive for the coronavirus in Serbia, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst reported on June 23. ESPN.com

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, the Rookie of the Year front-runner, feels like he's ready to take off after making physical improvements during the NBA's hiatus. Morant, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, said he added 12 pounds during the three-plus-month break. He also believes his right knee, which was repaired in a minor arthroscopic surgery last June, is stronger now than it has been throughout a rookie campaign highlighted by spectacular dunks. ESPN.com

Sacramento Kings assistant coach Igor Kokoskov has agreed in principle to become the next head coach of Fenerbahce in Istanbul, sources told ESPN. Kokoskov served as the Phoenix Suns' head coach in 2018-19 and is currently the Serbian national coach. ESPN.com



NBA RUMORS FROM WEDNESDAY

Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo still remains undecided on whether or not he will report to Orlando with the organization for the NBA's restart. Although he's undecided, a league source tells ESPN that Victor Oladipo will be included on the Indiana Pacers' travel party list, but they're still working with him on his plan and will support whatever decision is made. ESPN.com

"Nah, I haven't made a decision just yet. Just taking it one day at a time," Oladipo said. "I feel like when the day comes, I'll know. I appreciate my teammates and this organization for backing me and supporting me with whatever decision I make but at the same time, I'm focused on me getting as strong as possible and getting where I'm at. Like I said, I'm taking it one day at a time and hopefully I can make a decision soon. We'll see." ESPN.com

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks says the organization is committed to sending a group to Orlando, Florida, for the NBA restart in late July, despite several players saying they will not make the trip. "We have a job to do," Marks said during a virtual news conference Wednesday morning. "We have to bring a team to Orlando. We will bring a team to Orlando. We will go down there, and we will compete. That's our jobs here." The Nets are expected to be without DeAndre Jordan, who tweeted that he would not travel after testing positive for the coronavirus last week. They will also be missing Wilson Chandler, who opted out to spend more time with family, and Nic Claxton, who had season-ending shoulder surgery on June 24. ESPN.com

NBA players have decided not to use the names of those who have died in police custody or in alleged racially motivated incidents on the backs of their jerseys due to concerns about those not being named being offended, a source told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears. In addition, it would be difficult to get permission from surviving family members. ESPN.com

With coronavirus cases on the rise in the United States and some teams recently closing their facilities due to positive cases, NBA commissioner Adam Silver remains "pretty confident" about the league's plan to safely resume play but admits that a spread in the NBA community could bring the league to a halt again. During an appearance on TIME 100 Talks, Silver was asked if there is any chance the NBA doesn't go to Orlando, Florida, as planned due to the surge in coronavirus cases or if it is full steam ahead to resume play at the end of July. ESPN.com

On Tuesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Denver Nuggets closed their practice facility starting Saturday after two members of the team's 35-member traveling party to Orlando tested positive for the coronavirus. Denver's franchise star, Nikola Jokic, also previously tested positive for the coronavirus in Serbia, where he was asymptomatic. Nuggets coach Michael Malone told CBS Denver 4 earlier in the month that he had the coronavirus in March, during the league's hiatus. ESPN.com

As teams prepare to head to Orlando in the coming week, with most tentatively scheduled to arrive July 7-9, other key questions still loom for several GMs and team officials in the wake of the surging cases in Florida and continued reports of players testing positive for the virus. "How many positive cases can one team tolerate before being uncompetitive?" Souryal asked. "How many infections can the league tolerate before they are forced to stop play again?" ESPN.com

A lingering question among athletic training officials who will be tending to players in the bubble focuses on what happens if a player tests positive for the virus and doesn't necessarily recover fully after a two-week quarantine period. Given the range of effects from coronavirus on individuals, the primary concern, several of these officials say, is whether such players will be physically able to resume and be able to compete in an NBA game. ESPN.com

One athletic training official pointed out that if a player shows symptoms during that period, they almost certainly wouldn't be able to do any training or rehab work that would enable them to play immediately after two weeks, presuming there are no lingering effects -- a concept that itself produces other concerns. ESPN.com

Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon announced last week that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. And All-Star guard Victor Oladipo recently told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that he wouldn't commit to the restart until after ramping up his activity to evaluate his repaired torn quad tendon. ESPN.com

NBA All-Star Chris Paul is teaming up with Roadside Entertainment to produce a docuseries rooted in basketball programs at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The show will unfold over the course of the 2020-21 season, with exact participants and schools still to be determined. The goal is to provide an intimate look at the challenges HBCU schools face in competing with bigger programs to attract top basketball recruits. Waves of nationwide protests against racism in recent weeks have resurfaced the issue. Deadline reported Tuesday about an HBCU feature film project set up at Universal from producer Will Packer. Deadline.com



NBA RUMORS FROM TUESDAY

The Cleveland Cavaliers made a pair of moves before Tuesday night’s deadline, bringing their NBA roster to a maximum of 15 players. League sources tell cleveland.com the Cavaliers agreed to a two-year contract with free agent forward Jordan Bell and converted the two-way pact of forward Dean Wade into a multi-year deal. Cleveland.com

Sources say Wade, who was garnering interest from the Washington Wizards over the last few weeks, will receive a team-friendly four-year contract that pays him $375,000 for the rest of the 2019-20 season. The final three years, starting in 2020-21, are non-guaranteed. The fourth year is a team option. According to sources, Bell will get $250,000 for the rest of 2019-20. His second year is non-guaranteed. Cleveland.com

The Cavs entered the NBA’s transaction period, which officially reopened on Tuesday, about $980,000 below the luxury tax. They did not cross that threshold with the two signings, sources say. Cleveland.com



NBA RUMORS FROM MONDAY

The LA Clippers signed center Joakim Noah for the remainder of the season, the team announced Sunday. The 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year's deal with the Clippers also includes next season (non-guaranteed) according to a source. ESPN.com

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association, told ESPN's The Undefeated on Saturday that the players' union and the league are collaborating to allow players to wear jerseys with personalized social justice, social cause or charity messages on the backs instead of their last names during the upcoming restart of the NBA season. The personalized statements on jerseys are part of a long list of social justice messages the players plan to make through the remainder of the season, which restarts July 30 in Orlando, Florida. The NBA and the NBPA announced an agreement on Wednesday to continue to discuss fighting systemic racism and to make it one of the main focuses of the restart. Personalized jerseys could say such things as "Black Lives Matter" or "I Can't Breathe," bring light to a social or charitable cause or even display the names of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor, who were killed by police in recent months. ESPN.com

Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler has informed the team that he is opting out of playing in Orlando, Florida. Chandler cited spending more time with his family -- particularly his grandmother, who raised him, and three children -- as the primary reason for sitting out. The Nets plan to sign forward Justin Anderson, his agent Mark Bartelstein told ESPN. Anderson had a 10-day contract with the team in January and appeared in three games. ESPN.com

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert still has trouble smelling after testing positive for the coronavirus in March, he told French newspaper L'Equipe. "The taste has returned, but the smell is still not 100%," Gobert said in quotes published Wednesday. "I can smell smells, but not from afar. I spoke to specialists, who told me that it could take up to a year [to return to normal]." ESPN.com

Chesapeake Energy Corporation, which holds the naming rights to the Oklahoma City Thunder's arena, announced Sunday it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, pointing at a steep drop in oil prices and gas demand during the coronavirus pandemic. The company said in a release it planned to continue to operate during its restructuring process. ESPN.com

Chesapeake Energy holds the naming rights to the downtown arena the Thunder play in, signing a 12-year deal with the franchise in 2011 that was scheduled to expire after the 2022-23 season. The agreement cost Chesapeake $3 million the first season and was set to increase by 3% each year following. ESPN.com



NBA RUMORS FROM SATURDAY

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic set to be part of American life indefinitely, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league's plan to return to play next month in a closed campus environment in Florida was the best option available to the league. "We know that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future," Silver said on a conference call Friday afternoon with several league officials. "And we are left with no choice but to learn to live with this virus. "No options are risk-free right now." ESPN.com

"My ultimate conclusion is that we can't outrun the virus, and that this is what we're gonna be living with for the foreseeable future -- which is why we designed the campus the way we did," Silver said. "And so it's a closed network; and while it's not impermeable, we are in essence protected from cases around us. At least, that's the model. "So for those reasons, we're still very comfortable being in Orlando." ESPN.com

Adam Silver, who confirmed there would at least initially be daily testing inside the bubble, admitted the daily case count in Florida -- which neared 9,000 in the totals announced Friday -- was something he is worried about. But, he added, the precautions the league is putting into place are meant to prevent that from impacting what the league is trying to do. ESPN.com

With 16 players testing positive out of a pool of 302 in the league's first wave of mandatory testing, Silver was asked specifically what the NBA would do if a superstar tests positive -- which would, at a minimum, require that player to refrain from exercising for two weeks, automatically ruling him out for at least an entire round of the playoffs. ESPN.com

The NBA season will resume with LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Zion Williamson featured in a doubleheader to open the restart in Orlando, Florida. The NBA released its schedule for games in Orlando on Friday with the season resuming on July 30. Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans will tip off the NBA restart against the Utah Jazz and Rudy Gobert, whose positive test for the coronavirus helped lead to the suspension of the season on March 11. ESPN.com

After that, James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers will resume their title chase by facing Leonard, Paul George and the LA Clippers in a clash between the top two teams in the Western Conference. The Lakers (49-14) lead the Clippers (44-20) in the West by 5½ games. It remains to be seen how long both teams will play their stars given the long layoff and how cautious they will be as players ramp back up for postseason play. ESPN.com

On July 31, there will be six games, something that will take place seven times in the seeding-game schedule. The Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers will square off in a key game in the chase for the eighth spot in the West on that second night. The Grizzlies (32-33) lead Portland, New Orleans and Sacramento by 3½ games and San Antonio by four games. ESPN.com

The Jazz have the utmost confidence that Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell can successfully coexist as franchise cornerstones, but will there be any residual tension from Gobert's lack of concern for the novel coronavirus that preceded the news that he and Mitchell had both tested positive? And speaking of Gobert, Zion Williamson trying to finish over and around him is a pretty exciting way to welcome back the NBA. ESPN.com

Free-agent forward Ryan Broekhoff is signing with the Philadelphia 76ers for the rest of the season, agent Andy Shiffman of Priority Sports told ESPN. Broekhoff, 29, shot 40% on 3-pointers in 59 games over the past two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. ESPN.com

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association said 16 players tested positive for the coronavirus in the first wave of mandatory tests done in preparation for the restart of the season. Those 16 players were part of a pool of 302 tested on Tuesday -- a 5.3% rate of positive tests leaguewide. Any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician. ESPN.com



NBA RUMORS FROM FRIDAY

Vince Carter confirmed that he has retired from the NBA, ending his 22-year career. Carter, 43, announced his retirement on The Ringer's "Winging It With Vince Carter" podcast, saying he is "officially done playing basketball professionally." ESPN.com

Dallas Mavericks center Willie Cauley-Stein informed the team that he will opt out of the restart of the NBA season, opening up a roster spot the Mavs intend to fill by signing point guard Trey Burke, sources said. Cauley-Stein, who expects to become a father in July, averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13 games for the Mavs after being acquired in a January trade with the Golden State Warriors. ESPN.com

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young, one of the bright young faces of the NBA, has severed ties with sports agency Octagon and appears on a pathway to join Klutch Sports, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Young recently notified Octagon of his decision, sources said. Yahoo Sports

The NBA has shared with its players a security plan to help enforce the health and safety protocols it announced last week and secure its campus at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the resumption of the 2019-20 season, league sources told ESPN. The league will use local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as experienced venue and contracted security professionals and team security staffs. ESPN.com

A source familiar with the league's plans said there will be no law enforcement within the campus. Law enforcement will only be used outside of it to keep the campus secure. NBA locations in Orlando, Florida, also will have secured perimeters, technological security deployments and a "fusion center" approach to threat intelligence. In addition, league security will ensure all venues and team hotel campuses are closed to non-credentialed individuals. There will be secure checkpoints, credential control and roving security inside and outside the perimeter of every location in use. ESPN.com

LeBron James and longtime business partner Maverick Carter have raised $100 million from backers including Guggenheim Partners and Elisabeth Murdoch. With the funding, James and Maverick are consolidating their trio of media companies into a single entity, SpringHill, which is aiming to serve as a multifaceted platform to empower Black creators and audiences. Variety.com

EuroLeague: CSKA Moscow continued preparing its roster for the coming season by signing swingman Darrun Hilliard to a new deal. Hilliard (1.98 meters, 27 years old) came to CSKA last summer and posted 10.6 points on 41.2% three-point shooting along with 2.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 27 EuroLeague appearances. Hilliard's 56 three-pointers made were tied for seventh-most in the league last season, which was the second EuroLeague campaign for Hilliard. Euroleague.net



NBA RUMORS FROM WEDNESDAY

Free-agent guard Tyler Johnson has agreed to a deal with the Brooklyn Nets, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday. Johnson, 28, was waived by the Phoenix Suns in February. He is in the final year of a four-year deal. ESPN.com

Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley has opted out out of playing in the NBA's Orlando restart of the season, he told ESPN on Tuesday night. Bradley, who started 44 games for the Lakers this season, informed Lakers management of his decision to stay back. At the forefront of Bradley's decision to remain with his family is the well-being of the oldest of he and his wife Ashley's three children -- his 6-year-old son, Liam. ESPN.com

Denver Nuggets All-NBA center Nikola Jokic tested positive for the coronavirus in Serbia and his return to the United States to rejoin his team is temporarily delayed, sources told ESPN on Tuesday. Jokic, who tested positive last week and has been asymptomatic, is expected to be cleared to travel to Denver within a week, sources said. ESPN.com

Per league protocols, Jokic will need two negative tests within 24 hours in Serbia before he can receive clearance to travel. Once he arrives in Denver, he'll need to undergo a cardiac screening and test negative once for the virus. ESPN.com


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