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NBA Rumors for Friday, Dec. 19
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 6:30 a.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has never been afraid to roll the dice, so a week or so ago, the Mavericks saw the chance to poach Rondo from Boston and they pounced. Could Boston have played hardball and gotten more from somebody else? Maybe. But the Mavericks gave up plenty to get the four-time all-star and there is no doubt they are a better team on paper now than they were 24 hours ago. Dallas Morning News Blog
Did I mention the negatives? They are there, and, yes, they are real. Rondo shoots from 10-to-15 feet about like Jason Kidd does. That’s to say you want to avoid it at all costs. Rondo’s even shooting an inexplicable 33 percent at the foul line this season. And I do wonder about how he fits in with Monta Ellis, a two guard who plays more like a shoot-first point guard at the offensive end. Would they conflict over possession of the basketball? There’s no doubt about it. Mavs fans have to hope it would be limited. Boston Herald
The fact the NBA trade deadline is February 19 and that acquired players must be held for 60 days before being traded from a team over the salary cap in an aggregation deal (package of players) is also said to be a factor in trying to get something completed. Boston Herald
Disaster, at this point, seems to be averted. Kevin Durant was walking without crutches, a walking boot or much of a limp postgame. X-rays on his right ankle were negative. He even said he hopes to play as soon as Friday. So in the grand scheme, Durant’s late first half ankle turn didn’t cost the Thunder much. They lost a game they may have lost anyway. And he may play in a game (Friday at the Lakers) that they could probably win without his services. Oklahoman Blog
So OKC wasn’t burned by it. But that doesn’t mean Durant, and basketball fans everywhere, weren’t robbed. This had the potential to be a special, special night. In his already unbelievably potent career — four scoring titles before the age of 26 — Durant had never scored 30 points in a first half. Until Thursday night. Oklahoman Blog
Plenty of time awaits before the 2016 offseason strikes. Plenty of circumstances could determine how the free agency sweepstakes play out. But with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant becoming a free agent in 2016, consider him as the Lakers’ top player they will pursue. “That’s safe to say,” said a league source familiar with the Lakers’ thought process. LA Daily News Blog
So with the Lakers having their sights on Durant in 2016, has Kobe Bryant made an early free agency pitch? “No, I think we know each other pretty well,” Bryant said on Thursday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I don’t think it’s a discussion that you have in terms of coming here. But I think it’s more of an understanding how to play with each other.” LA Daily News Blog
Bryant’s contract worth $48.5 million ends following the 2015-16 season, which would ensure a 20-year career that currently entails five NBA championships and a third-place standing on the league’s all-time scoring list. The Lakers would then have room to sign two players to max contracts, including Durant. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has said he believes Bryant will retire once his contract expires. But Lakers coach Byron Scott has held out hope Bryant would change his sentiments if the Lakers assemble a competitive roster. LA Daily News Blog
Jimmy Butler didn’t know what the big deal was. After all, he’s just good ‘ol Jimmy from Tomball, Texas. “I don’t want be a star,” Butler was saying in answer to a question after the Bulls struggling 103-97 victory Thursday over the New York Knicks. “I just want to be a decent role player on a really good team. Whatever my team needs: If that’s scoring, rebounding, passing the ball or just playing defense, that’s my job on this team. Those guys are always looking for me to be successful. Whenever you have teammates like that who have confidence in you, it’s very easy to have confidence in yourself." Bulls.com Blog
“I think I’m Ok at scoring right now,” said Butler. “They give me the ball in incredible position and make it really easy for me; they’re good at driving and kicking and finding me to where I really don’t have to do too much. That’s what great teammates are all about. They see I’m in a rhythm and continue to do that for me. I’ve never been the best player on my team, never probably will be. But I’ve always been a hard worker, a guy who doesn’t give up on himself, who has the most confidence in himself. Now I play for the Chicago Bulls.” Bulls.com Blog
Carmelo Anthony: "I've had multiple people say kind of just shut it down or just take time off. At the end of the day it's hard for me to just do that right now with what's happening with the team. So I'm just trying to be smart about it," Anthony said before testing his knee at the 5-22 Knicks' morning practice at United Center. "The more you play, the less recovery days you get. We played every other day over the last couple of days. I'll see how it feels today and later." NY Daily News
As a musician, James (Guitar Jimmy) Dolan must have a keen sense of timing. As a businessman, not so much. One day after his Knicks were embarrassed by Dallas, in a game Derek Fisher yanked his starters then ripped them for not being “mentally and physically” prepared, Cablevision’s approximately 3 million Optimum brand subscribers received notices in billing statements their sports TV surcharge will increase next month. NY Daily News
Of course this is a coincidence. Nonetheless one leaving a bad perception. Something Dolan does not need with his desperate, disorganized team looking up from inside the NBA’s toilet bowl. The “message” from Optimum said: “Due to increasing programming costs, you will see some changes beginning with your January 2015 billing statement. The monthly Sports and Broadcast TV Surcharge will increase from $4.98 to $5.98.” NY Daily News
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