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NBA Rumors for Thursday, February 14, 2019

Updated 9:00 p.m. ET

How will Stephen Curry enjoy himself during Charlotte’s second NBA All-Star weekend? On Friday afternoon, Curry and his brother will be among various All-Stars, NBA legends and WNBA players that will participate in a clinic for over 1,500 local youth. Then, Curry will visit Carole Hoefner Center, something that his foundation plans to help refurbish. Later that evening, Curry plans to attend Davidson’s game against Saint Joseph’s. Mercury News

In between interviews and the 3-point contest on Saturday, Curry might attend a Charlotte Christian game. Before Sunday’s All-Star game, the NBA will honor Dell, who leads the Hornets’ franchise for most games played (701 from 1988 to 1998) and trails second (9,839 points) behind Walker (9,907) as the Hornets’ all-time leading scorer. It seems likely Curry will eat at Bojangles, his favorite eatery known for its fried chicken. Mercury News

The Knicks are proud of being one of the pioneers — along with Dallas and San Antonio — in European scouting. They were one of the first organizations to employ a full-time European scout. Kevin Wilson was hired in 2000 and based in Barcelona. Before that, the Knicks had Tim Shea as their European scout, also based in Spain. Therefore, the Knicks were stunned to hear about a snippet from an upcoming Giannis Antetokounmpo documentary that alleged the franchise was the lone team in the NBA not to scout the “Greek Freak’’ in Europe before the 2013 draft. NY Post

The Knicks confirmed they had scouted Antetokounmpo multiple times — with Wilson and others. It is expected that part of the documentary — to be aired Saturday on TNT — won’t wind up in the final version. Giorgos Panou, Antetokounmpo’s agent, said all 29 clubs flew to Greece for practices and his games “except the Knicks.” NY Post

The big news surrounding the NBA’s All-Star weekend has been LeBron James publicly reiterating that, after retirement, he hopes to own an NBA team. The bigger and better news is that he does not yet own the Lakers. They still belong to the Buss family. This is still Jeanie Buss’ operation. Despite whatever subtle pressure is being applied by the world’s greatest player and his business partners, the Lakers are the Buss’ lifetime legacy and they’re not about to give up control to an employee who just showed up last summer. LA Times

Six players reached double figures as the Magic snapped a 13-game losing streak to the Charlotte Hornets with an emphatic 127-89 victory Thursday night at Amway Center. Terrence Ross scored 21 points and Nikola Vucevic recorded 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Magic, who extended their winning streak to five games as newly acquired guard Markelle Fultz watched from the bench. Orlando Sentinel

NBA Rumors for Wednesday

The Los Angeles Lakers limped into the All-Star break on Tuesday, falling below .500 for the first time since Nov. 7 after a 117-113 loss to Atlanta Hawks. At 28-29, the Lakers are 2.5 games back of the Sacramento Kings for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. For James, it is the latest into a season that his team has had a sub-.500 record since the Cleveland Cavaliers finished his rookie season 35-47 in 2003-04.

Lakers coach Luke Walton said he wants his team to use the break to reset themselves mentally and physically and make an earnest run at recapturing the season when they return. "Coming back re-energized with the idea of, let's try to do something special," Walton said. "Let's sacrifice, let's go out and give for the team. ... That's why I asked the guys to get quiet for a little bit of time over the weekend. I know everybody has got family and events, but spend some time by yourself, and like I said, I think we have a group that will be ready to go when we get back."

James will leave the country for a brief vacation, sources told ESPN, before heading to Charlotte to play in his 15th straight All-Star Game, captaining Team LeBron against Team Giannis.

Unless Dallas does something crazy, the Raptors will sign Jeremy Lin Wednesday following his buyout from Atlanta. Lin is 30 now, coming off two injury-plagued seasons; Toronto will be his eighth NBA team. The Raptors are loading up for a playoff chase. With everyone healthy, Lin will be Toronto’s fourth guard, and will get a chance to help. And he will be an icon. It’s not something he asked for, but it’s something he still carries. Toronto Star

After he spent a few tortured minutes at the podium inside the Wells Fargo Center interview room being asked questions about yet another loss to the Boston Celtics, as 76ers center Joel Embiid was finally granted a reprieve from talking about his team's 112-109 defeat, he decided he had one final thing to say. "The referees f---ing suck," he said. With that, he turned, walked off the stage, flung open the curtain next to it and walked out.

Horford finished the game with a similarly gaudy stat line -- 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals in 35 minutes -- but anyone watching the game would have little doubt deciding who had the edge in Horford's and Embiid's head-to-head battle. "He's not doing anything," Embiid said when asked about being guarded by Horford. "I was sleep-walking for three quarters, and that's on me. "Like I said, that's on me. It had nothing to do with anybody."

DeMarcus Cousins has earned his first paid day off as an active member of the Warriors. After 11 consecutive games, including Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz, the 6-foot-11 center will not be in the lineup Wednesday night in Portland against the Trail Blazers. Cousins will be joined on the sideline in Portland by veteran guard Shaun Livingston, who is getting his first pure rest night of the season. NBC Sports

Caris LeVert isn’t shocked at how spry he’s felt because of all the rehab work he did, but is surprised his touch isn’t closer to 100 percent. “Honestly I’m surprised I’m not [sharper],” LeVert told The Post. “If anything, I’m surprised I’m not further along because we put in a lot of work. I know it’ll come; I’m a competitor.” While the performance team worked LeVert during his rehab, the one thing they couldn’t simulate — despite full-contact practices against G-League players — was the NBA’s in-game physicality. NY Post

The Knicks originally announced Mudiay would be out two weeks, but when he misses Wednesday’s game versus the 76ers, it will have been nearly three weeks and 11 games since he has played. Coach David Fizdale has said Mudiay will be back after the All-Star break. But what is Mudiay getting back into? Mudiay, who turns 23 next month, has no clue. “That’s out of my control,’’ Mudiay told The Post on Monday in Cleveland. “That’s something you have to ask Fiz. I’m going to support my teammates.” NY Post

NBA Rumors for Monday

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Jeremy Lin is finalizing terms of a buyout of his contract with the Atlanta Hawks and will join the Raptors as soon as the transaction is official. The 30-year-old Lin is averaging more than 10 points a game with the Hawks and will fit seamlessly into the spot in the Raptors lineup filled until last week by Delon Wright. Toronto Star

Lin will be able to sign with the Raptors once his buyout from the Hawks goes through. He’s in the final year of a contract that pays him about $12.5 million this season. He could join Toronto right after this weekend’s NBA all-star break. Toronto Star

In the summer, Knox thought the Knicks could contend for the eighth seed and get into the 37-win range. Instead, they are 10-45 — losers of 29 of their past 31 games. Knox sees giddiness on social media, and it gnaws at him. “Yeah, a lot of fans, they always say some dumb stuff,’’ Knox said at the morning shootaround at Quicken Loans Arena. “You see it all the time with the tanking and want us to lose, stuff like that. It’s kind of stupid. They’re not really true New Yorkers. Real Knicks fans know that we’re trying to just take this year to just develop us young guys and then next year hopefully make a push.” NY Post

NBA Rumors for Saturday

Although he did not name anyone specifically in accordance with NBA tampering rules, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said that the team is not done acquiring players. With the trade deadline passed, he plans to aggressively pursue signing whoever winds up being the most talented guard or forward available on the buyout market. Houston Chronicle

The most alluring candidate, after he was waived by the New Orleans Pelicans, seems to be Markieff Morris. Signing Austin Rivers and Kenneth Faried — above-average talents for the kind of players that typically get bought out in January – evinced Morey's shrewd reliance on improving roster depth by signing players off the buyout market. Houston Chronicle

Trail Blazers: The harder questions come next as Terry Stotts tries to reconfigure his rotation to fit in Rodney Hood. Stotts used 11 players against the Spurs. Hood, Evan Turner, Jake Layman, Meyers Leonard and Seth Curry made up the bench unit in the first half. But Curry played just seven total minutes and didn’t get off the bench after halftime. Then in the third quarter, Zach Collins got seven spot minutes at backup center minutes, supplanting Leonard. NBC Sports

Other than making fun of his twin brother and terrorizing NBA mascots, Robin Lopez doesn’t like to create a fuss. “I never want to rock the boat too much,” Lopez said. “My main goal when I’m on a team is to make everybody else’s job easier, to help everybody else out. That’s my No. 1 priority.” And so, as of Friday, Lopez said he hadn’t talked to his agent regarding a potential buyout from the Bulls to join a contending team. Chicago Tribune

Paxson on Thursday also acknowledged the inconsistent play of Kris Dunn, who is eligible for an extension this summer but isn’t even guaranteed to be the starting point guard next season. “The point guard position is a critical position. It’s a tough one to play,” Paxson said. Chicago Tribune

Paxson on Thursday not only reiterated the franchise’s planned commitment to Boylen to coach next season but praised specific accomplishments. They centered on teaching in practice and holding players accountable. Chicago Tribune

On the Clippers: A key reason for trading Tobias Harris, the team’s leading scorer, was receiving draft picks that the team believes will help it build in the future. But it also didn’t hurt that the 76ers were willing to include Shamet, a player the Clippers had “admired ... since last year’s draft process,” president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said in a news release announcing the trade. “He has only justified expectations.” That familiarity with the Clippers helped Shamet navigate a whirlwind of mixed emotions in the 50-some hours between the trade and his first practice. LA Times

Whether Rubio was unhappy with the Jazz’s front office in particular, or speaking generally about NBA management overall was unclear, but Jazz pubic relations staff quickly interrupted and asked for questions on topics other than the deadline. Derrick Favors was more sanguine about the deadline coming and going. “I’m used to it. I’m happy to be here,” Favors said. “It wasn’t stressful for me; I was with my kids yesterday.” SL Tribune

It’s evident that the hyperactive work of some Eastern Conference contenders at the trade deadline is directly connected to two things, the absence of LeBron James and the chance to knock off the defending champion Warriors. Bring ‘em on, says Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “I see them all trying to steal the throne,” Kerr told reporters after shooting Friday in Phoenix. “That’s the whole idea. The whole thing in the NBA is if you’ve got a chance to win a title, if you’ve got a team that has an opportunity, you go for it.” “I like our chances, in terms of what we’re about and what we’re capable of,” he said in Phoenix. NBC Sports exclusively spoke with three-time NBA All-Defensive team member Serge Ibaka and one-time NBA All-Defensive team member Danny Green about adding Gasol after the Raptors defeated the Atlanta Hawks 119-101 at State Farm Arena last night. “It’s good for the team,” Ibaka said about the addition of Gasol. “Like you said, we have another guy who can play (elite) defense so it’s always good for the team.” Green discussed the potential for the Raptors to improve defensively: “I think we have the potential to be really good, we just have to put the pieces in the right positions, put it together and get the chemistry right,” Green said. That’s going to be the tough part.” Inside Hoops

NBA Rumors for Friday

It wasn't until there were about 15 minutes remaining until Thursday's trade deadline that Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley knew he wasn't getting moved, and after processing that information, he took a nap. "I never slept [last night]," he said. "Around seven or eight this morning after checking my phone a thousand times, I didn't know. I did not know. I was prepared for either. What happens, happens. But I'm here."

Conley received a call from Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace a few minutes before the deadline ended at 2 p.m. CT, informing him he wouldn't be traded. "At that point I tried to lock back in on Oklahoma City and tried to not let too much emotion carry me out through the day," Conley said. "It was still really hard to function, so I'm just happy I got through it."

Hours later, Philadelphia made that abundantly clear by trading a bundle of players and picks for Tobias Harris -- the team's second all-in move in less than three months. Adding Harris gave the Sixers one of the best starting lineups in the NBA. It also left them with a second big-money free agent to have to potentially re-sign this summer, and the same problem they had before trading for either Jimmy Butler or Harris: a weak bench. Fultz, in his current state, was a factor in both of those problems. The $10 million in salary he is owed for next season would have made it difficult to give both Butler and Harris big contracts as free agents while avoiding the luxury tax. Meanwhile, while working his way back from his thoracic outlet syndrome diagnosis, Fultz was taking up a roster spot, limiting the Sixers' ability to improve their bench either in a trade or on the buyout market.

The Pacers will reportedly snag Wes Matthews for nothing when Matthews agrees to a buyout with the Knicks after the trade deadline. A 6'5" shooter for nothing but a roster spot? That's a good deal. Am I a little disappointed the Pacers are waiving Wade Baldwin IV and Nik Stauskas? For sure. Sauce Castillo deserves to fire up threes somewhere. (Sup, OKC?) That's the extent of this criticism. Well that, and Ike Anigbogu is getting waived to push this deal through. (I still believe!) The Pacers have plenty of room under the luxury tax and are smart to snag a second-round pick to facilitate the Rockets' luxury-tax dump. Indy Star

NBA Rumors for Thursday

The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to trade center Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round pick, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday. The 34-year-old Gasol is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and a career-high 4.7 assists this season -- which ranks second among league centers, trailing only Nikola Jokic (7.7). He is the Grizzlies' franchise leader in points, rebounds, blocks and field goals made.

The New York Knicks are releasing center Enes Kanter, a league source told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday. The Knicks had talked to teams about potential trades for the past several weeks, but Kanter's $18.6 million expiring contract proved too difficult to move at Thursday's deadline.

The Philadelphia 76ers are trading 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz to the Orlando Magic, a league sources tell ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Magic are sending forward Jonathon Simmons, a first-round and a second-round pick to the Sixers, sources told ESPN.

The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired Nikola Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Jason Smith, Stanley Johnson and four second-round picks, sources told ESPN's Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday. The deal also includes the Detroit Pistons, who had traded Johnson to the Bucks on Wednesday. According to sources, the Pelicans will receive second-round picks from the Bucks in 2019 (via Denver), two in 2020 (via Washington and Milwaukee) and 2021 (via Washington).

The Memphis Grizzlies have traded Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green to the LA Clippers for Avery Bradley, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Thursday's trade, made ahead of the 3 p.m. ET deadline, was the Grizzlies' second of the day, along with the agreed-to deal sending Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors.

The Los Angeles Clippers have traded center Mike Muscala to the Los Angeles Lakers for forward Michael Beasley and center Ivica Zubac, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Philadelphia 76ers are adding James Ennis from the Houston Rockets in exchange for draft considerations, according to multiple media reports. The Associated Press, citing a source, said an NBA trade call was needed to complete the deal prior to the 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.

The Houston Rockets are trading Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin to the Indiana Pacers, a league source tells ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Houston Rockets are trading Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin to the Indiana Pacers, a league source tells ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Caris LeVert will be back in the Brooklyn Nets' lineup for Friday's game against the Chicago Bulls. "He's in tomorrow," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said Thursday.

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant went off on the media's coverage of his pending free-agency decision this summer following a 141-102 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. Durant hadn't spoken to beat writers since before the New York Knicks traded away Kristaps Porzingis last week, thus clearing out the cap space to chase him and another free agent this summer. Durant sounded angry and frustrated Wednesday about recent stories speculating that a decision about his future had already been made and that he would be headed to the Knicks after the season.

"I have nothing to do with the Knicks," Durant said. "I don't know who traded Porzingis. They got nothing to do with me. I'm trying to play basketball. Y'all come in here every day, ask me about free agency, ask my teammates, my coaches. You rile up the fans about it. Let us play basketball. That's all I'm saying. And now when I don't wanna talk to y'all, it's a problem with me."

Durant: "Come on, man. Grow up. Grow up. Yeah, you -- grow up. Come on, bro. I come here and go to work every day. I don't cause no problems. I play the right way, or I try to play the right way. I try to be the best player I can be every possession. What's the problem? What am I doing to y'all?"

"I just don't trust none of y'all," Durant said. "Every time I say something it's getting twisted up and thrown out and in so many different publications, trying to tear me down with my words that I say. So when I don't say nothing, it's a problem. I just wanna play ball. I wanna go to the gym and go home. That's all. Is that a problem? All right then."


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