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| Daily NBA Rumors

NBA Rumors for Saturday, Feb. 13

InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 9:30 p.m. ET. More stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog, including most of our live updates during the day. Note that NBA trade rumors pick up steam leading to the 2016 NBA trade deadline (February 18 at 3pm ET). Other key NBA rumors-related dates are the 2016 Playoff Eligibility Waiver deadline (March 1) and playoff roster deadline (April 15 at 3pm ET).

nba rumors Q. They said a big man couldn't do it. How do you feel? KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS: "I like proving people wrong, so I'm glad I was able to make a lot of people wrong. I was able to make critics wrong, Vegas wrong, Ricky Rubio wrong. So I'm just so ecstatic right now. I'm just praying that I can see Zach [LaVine] finish out the weekend for the Timberwolves." InsideHoops

Q. They brought you big guys into it because of where the game is going and how much more versatile you guys are. But do you really think you guys all showed that a little bit tonight? KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS: "I think we did. I think we did. The bigs were amazing today, and we were able to just come out with a W, and I'm glad I was able to help the bigs come out with this trophy. This is bigger than me. This is for all the bigs out there, with the game changing the way it is, to show that bigs can stand up with guards and skillwise." InsideHoops

Q. Is there an aspect about the Challenge that you were nervous about going into? KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS: "Oh, absolutely. My heart was coming out my chest. I'm usually never nervous of anything. But you know, I just went out there. It's funny, the one thing I remember right before I got nervous was [Kevin Garnett] teaching just to breathe. He taught me how to breathe a certain way. While I was nervous, I was a lot less nervous because of that breathing technique he taught me. I just went out there and tried to do my best." InsideHoops

Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum is one of the leading candidates for the Most Improved Player award. But during the NBA's All-Star festivities on Saturday night in Toronto the Blazers' shooting guard looked more like a rookie getting his first taste of the league's midseason showcase. McCollum lost his dribble during the skills challenge and then threw up an air ball early in the three-point contest, coming up short in both of his events. Oregonian

For Kobe Bryant, there was no gray area regarding Phil Jackson's decision to fire Derek Fisher. "They felt they needed a change so they made a change. It's pretty black and white to me," Bryant said. "Derek's like a brother, always has been. But still it's hard to be a coach somewhere and last your entire career there. He's had a good run there and now it's time for a change." It was a strange answer from Bryant considering Fisher was fired less than two years into his contract with a 40-96 record - hardly a "good run." Bryant is stuck in an awkward position of playing under Jackson and Knicks interim coach Kurt Rambis, while winning championships in the same backcourt as Fisher. NY Daily News

Westchester’s Jimmer Fredette scored a record 35 points to lead the Eastern Conference past the Western Conference 128-124 in the 2016 NBA D-League All-Star Game on Saturday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum. Fredette was named Most Valuable Player after setting a record for points in an NBA D-League All-Star Game and shooting 13-of-19 from the field, including 6-of-12 from three-point range. He added eight assists and six rebounds in 25 minutes. The West was paced by Los Angeles’ Vander Blue, who finished with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and grabbed four rebounds in 16 minutes. InsideHoops

Craig Sager is back for All-Star weekend in Toronto this year. He spent the week leading up to it in Houston receiving his monthly treatment, which included a blood transfusion, to make sure he was healthy enough for the trip. Once he arrived in Canada, he was easy to spot. "I just saw him," Spurs coach and longtime foil Gregg Popovich said after the Western Conference team practiced on Saturday. "His suit spoke to me. It blinded me for a second."


nba rumors The words struck an emotional chord for Kobe Bryant as he heard his idol and mentor gush about his talent. Michael Jordan, the Hornets owner, spoke eloquently about Bryant’s talent and competitiveness in a tribute video broadcast last month in Charlotte as part of Bryant’s farewell stop. But the gestures did not stop there. Jordan also presented Bryant with his entire Nike catalog, which includes 30 of Jordan’s various shoes in brilliant white. The gift brought Bryant full circle considering he wore Jordan’s shoes both as a child and at varying points of his career, including the Jordan III and Air Jordan VIII during the 2002-03 season. LA Daily News Blog

Carmelo Anthony says he has no plans to leave New York and is angry about a report linking him to trade talks. The Daily News of New York reported Friday that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics had discussed a deal involving Kevin Love and there were "very preliminary discussions" with the Knicks about expanding it to include Anthony, who would end up with LeBron James in Cleveland. AP

nba rumors A league official confirmed Saturday that the Indianapolis delegation is in Toronto to observe how Toronto is operating the many events with the NBA. The official also said the 2019 All-Star Game is the earliest year the Pacers could make a bid. Fuson said it's unclear if the Pacers will bid for 2019 or for a subsequent year. What is clear is that several people with knowledge of the Pacers’ trip this weekend believe the team will submit its bid in the next few months. “We’ve talked about it for a number of years,” Fuson said in a telephone interview Friday. “It’s just the right time now.” Indianapolis Star

Several people with knowledge of the Pacers’ plan said the team became serious about pursuing the All-Star Game in December. Commissioner Adam Silver visited the Pacers for the team’s groundbreaking ceremony for its new $50 million practice facility that will be adjacent to Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Silver spent Dec. 14 with team officials and stayed to watch the Pacers defeat the Toronto Raptors. Indianapolis Star


nba rumors Carmelo Anthony remains committed to the Knicks for now, even if it means passing on the opportunity to join his long-time friend LeBron James in Cleveland. The Daily News has learned that the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers have discussed a blockbuster trade centered around Kevin Love. There were very preliminary discussions with the Knicks about expanding the deal to include Anthony, who would have to waive his no trade clause in order to facilitate a deal to the Cavs. NY Daily News

The Knicks would receive draft picks and players in return. One of those players is believed to be Timofey Mozgov, who five years ago was traded by the Knicks to Denver in the Anthony deal. NY Daily News

Those talks have not progressed. Plus Anthony reiterated on Friday that he has no plans to seek a trade. However, when asked if he’s thought about his future with a losing organization, Anthony gave a cryptic answer. NY Daily News

The NBA trading deadline is Thursday and Knicks president Phil Jackson is exploring ways to upgrade the 23-32 Knicks and get them back in the playoff race. Trading Anthony would signal a complete rebuild centered around 20-year-old Kristaps Porzingis. NY Daily News

For Melo: Two other possibilities are the Clippers and Celtics. Anthony owns a home in Los Angles and is close friends with All-Star point guard Chris Paul. NY Daily News

nba rumors All-Star forward Chris Bosh will have more exams on his strained right calf when he gets back to Miami, possibly as early as Monday to determine the status and severity of the problem. He has conferred regularly with Heat medical officials about the issue, which he has been dealing with and getting treatment for over the past several days. Bosh came to Toronto with hopes of participating in Saturday's 3-point contest and Sunday's All-Star Game, but dropped out Friday out of concern of making the calf worse. AP

"It just lingered and I didn't feel it was wise to continue to push it, especially with this elongated week that we have off," Bosh said. "I just wanted to make sure that I was taking the necessary precautions and being a good professional." AP


nba rumors Atlanta Hawks forward/center Al Horford has been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and will join teammate Paul Millsap in competing in the 2016 All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 14 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Horford will replace Miami’s Chris Bosh, who is unable to play due to injury. Horford, making his second consecutive appearance and fourth overall in the midseason classic, is averaging 15.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 blocks and 0.8 steals in 31.6 minutes per game. InsideHoops

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has been added to the 2016 Three-Point Competition, the NBA announced today. McCollum, 24, is already competing in the Skills Challenge, and will replace Miami’s Chris Bosh in the Three-Point Competition. Both events are part of All-Star Saturday Night at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. InsideHoops

The Miami HEAT announced today that Chris Bosh has sustained a strained right calf and will not participate in Saturday’s Three-Point Shootout competition or play in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game. “I am honored to be selected to participate in the All-Star Weekend festivities, and will still be here to support my fellow East All-Stars,” said Bosh. InsideHoops

nba rumors The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, at NBA All-Star Weekend, three elite players, nine outstanding coaches, one exceptional referee and one record-setting team as finalists from the North American and Women’s committees to be considered for election in 2016. This year’s list includes seven first-time finalists: 27-year NBA referee Darell Garretson, nine-time NBA All-Star Allen Iverson, two-time NABC Coach of the Year Tom Izzo, the first African-American coach in a professional league John McLendon, three-time NBA Finals MVP Shaquille O’Neal, four-time WNBA Champion Sheryl Swoopes and 10-time AAU National Champions Wayland Baptist University. InsideHoops

Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are the only coach in NCAA history to win 100 games at four different schools Charles “Lefty” Driesell, the all-time winningest high school coach Leta Andrews, the all-time winningest boys high school coach Robert Hughes, three-time NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson, three-time Consensus National College Coach of the Year Muffet McGraw, four-time Division III national champion coach Bo Ryan and four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton. InsideHoops

nba rumors Markieff Morris is ready to move on, but the rest of the basketball world is not. Morris' verbal and physical altercation with teammate Archie Goodwin, less than three minutes into Wednesday’s Suns game, was brief but it will linger as another stain on Morris’ season. In addition, Morris’ gesture to a heckling fan as he left the court Wednesday night likely will result in a league fine. Arizona Republic

Thompson made a wide-open 3-pointer for a 13-7 lead. Watson called time out. Suns players barked at Goodwin for not getting back in transition, which was laid out in pregame as an absolute must. Morris pushed Goodwin’s chest as he talked to him heading to the bench. Goodwin sat on the bench and Morris leaned over as the exchange became more heated. Just as players and staff began to step in to calm them, it turned into shoves with Goodwin knocking away Morris’ hands and Morris shoving Goodwin as he popped off a chair. Arizona Republic

There was a comfort factor that allowed tempers to flare. Watson had hailed Morris’ recent leadership in huddles, just as Suns management had considered the Morris twins to be potential leaders when they aligned them. With 51 points per game out of the mix (due to injuries to Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and T.J. Warren) and the trade deadline approaching, Morris’ role needed to grow for the team's ability to compete and/or trade him. He had a clean slate with Watson, who called Morris one of his “easiest challenges” before Wednesday’s game. Arizona Republic

Former Bucks center Larry Sanders, who left the team during the 2014-'15 season and eventually accepted a partial buyout of his contract, told Yahoo Sports he would consider returning to the NBA. "I feel highly valuable on any team," Sanders said in the report. "There aren't a lot of people who can bring my game to a team. I still play basketball all the time, staying in shape. I will need to make sure the situation is right for me." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Heat has been seeking a second-round pick for Jarnell Stokes in a move that would open a roster spot and slightly lessen its luxury tax bill. Miami Herald

nba rumors With the NBA Trade Deadline rapidly approaching, the names that have come up most in Boston Celtics rumors are Atlanta’s Al Horford and Jeff Teague. Chris Mannix believes Horford would be a perfect fit with the Celtics, but the price tag might be standing in the way. “From everything I’ve been told in the last two or three days, Atlanta’s requests for both Al Horford and Jeff Teague have been borderline ridiculous,” explained Mannix. CSNNE

When Phil Jackson arranged for his former pupil and Kobe Bryant's idol, Michael Jordan, to meet the brash, young Los Angeles Lakers phenom for the first time, there was one nugget of knowledge Jordan imparted to Bryant. Of course, Jordan had to listen to the kid brag about how he could beat him one-on-one before he passed on the message to Bryant, but here’s what one scorer at heart told to another as the secret to unlocking all the NBA buckets you could ever ask for: Develop a one-dribble pull-up jump shot.

Everyone from Nike to the league office tried to peg Bryant and James against one another as rivals, but the reality is that Bryant was already a seven-year veteran when James entered the league. “To me LeBron is still young,” Bryant said Wednesday, openly guessing that James was in his 10th season and then reacting as if he was blown away when informed that it’s indeed season No. 13 for James.

As a five-year vet, there is so much more that Irving sees as his rightful bounty from basketball. James already suggested this season that Irving will win an MVP someday. Scott called him the most talented point guard he has ever coached -- and his former players include the likes of Jason Kidd and Chris Paul. And Bryant sounded like he was describing himself when detailing Irving’s game.

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