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TODAY'S NBA RUMORS

Updated Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. ET

Masai Ujiri told us it was coming. On Saturday, it finally got done. A four-year extension worth $130-million for Pascal Siakam, the new focal point of Nick Nurse’s offence now that Kawhi Leonard has left. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe. Toronto Sun

The top earners start with Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka and then, way down the list in 9th, yes 9th, was Siakam making $2.351 million. He’ll still make that number this season but at least there’s a huge bump now guaranteed in the next four years. Toronto Sun

Head coach Quin Snyder has agreed to a contract extension with the Utah Jazz, the team announced Saturday. Snyder had two years remaining on his deal, and was granted a multiyear extension beyond that, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who was the first to report the story. The agreement means Snyder should be leading the Jazz for at least the next four seasons. Salt Lake Tribune

With the preseason now over and the start of the regular season approaching, the Heat’s roster looks to be set for opening night. Between Friday and Saturday, the Heat waived four players and awarded two two-way contracts. Miami waived forward Kyle Alexander, and guards Davon Reed, Skyler Flatten and Bubu Palo, and converted the contracts of forward Chris Silva and guard Daryl Macon to two-way deals. Miami Herald

As expected, the Hawks announced Saturday afternoon that they waived Mark Ogden and Kenny Gabriel. The Hawks will retain their G League rights, however. AJC.com

The Thunder, however, is in the transition phase between the Russell Westbrook era and a rebuild. Being in that stage encouraged OKC to all but ignore position designations while making offseason moves. The Thunder begins the season three point guards — Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder — who have all been starting point guards at other stops in their NBA careers. Thunder coach Billy Donovan has embraced the opportunity to put multiple playmakers on the floor at once — last season he also used lineups that played Westbrook and Schroder together. In two- to three-point guard lineups, Gilgeous-Alexander and Schroder take turns playing on the wings. Oklahoman

EARLY MORNING STORIES

The Thunder has signed guard Sedrick Barefield and forwards Vincent Edwards and Kadeem Jack, the team announced Saturday. OKC waived four training camp invitees Thursday, making room for the three new additions during preseason. They bring the Thunder roster up to 17 players (not including players on two-way contracts. Oklahoman

Just because American Airlines is taking its name off the downtown arena where the Miami Heat play doesn’t mean the airline’s relationship with the team is over. Despite choosing not to renew its naming rights to the Heat’s arena, the airline company announced Saturday an international partnership with the basketball franchise. “Our expanded partnership with the Heat is the perfect opportunity to recognize Miami and the major role it plays in connecting our customers to the rest of the world,” said Janelle Anderson, American’s vice president for global marketing. Miami Herald

EuroLeague: Nando De Colo had the best individual performances in recent Turkish Airlines EuroLeague seasons while leading Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul to its first win of this one as he earned the MVP honor for Round 3. In his first EuroLeague home game in Fenerbahce uniform, De Colo was truly unstoppable in an 87-80 win over KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. He posted two career highs with 39 points and performance index rating of 44. His scoring was the second-highest total this and just 2 points below the EuroLeague's all-time single-game record. Euroleaguebasketball.net



NBA RUMORS FROM FRIDAY, OCT. 18, 2019

By signing Bradley Beal to a two-year contract extension worth $72 million on Thursday, the Wizards made their future more secure. It was undoubtedly a win for the franchise and their newly constructed front office. It is also a victory for Beal, of course, as he will go from rich to even richer. And even though he is technically passing on the chance to earn a supermax in the short-term, he is now in position to earn a lot of money down the road. NBC Sports Washington

The New Orleans Pelicans announced that rookie Zion Williamson will miss the team's final preseason game because of right knee soreness. The Pelicans traveled to New York to take on the Knicks on Friday, but Williamson did not make the trip. The team said Williamson will stay in New Orleans to undergo further testing. ESPN.com

Nuggets coach Michael Malone has a complex decision to make regarding his starting small forward, and neither Will Barton nor Torrey Craig, Denver’s two best options, have distinguished themselves thus far. “You guys watch us, you see the stats,” Malone said prior to Thursday’s win over Portland. “You can’t look at anything and say one guy has run away with it. Guys have made some cases, but we’re going to use tonight and the upcoming practices to make that final decision.” Denver Post

The rift between the NBA and China appeared to widen again Friday, as the fallout continued over Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's tweet in support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. A day after NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Chinese officials wanted Morey fired, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry told reporters that no such demand was made by the government there. That becomes the latest chapter in the two-week-old saga over Morey's tweet, which was quickly deleted but has led to considerable damage to the long relationship between the NBA and China. ESPN.com/AP

Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal has donated a home to an Atlanta woman whose 12-year-old son was shot at a football game and paralyzed from the chest down. O'Neal told WXIA-TV that Isaiah Payton's family was living in a one-bedroom apartment that wasn't accessible for people with disabilities, but they now have a home in a good neighborhood. He said he is helping to furnish the home and will pay its rent for the next year. ESPN.com

Sacramento Kings star Harrison Barnes has stepped up and will pay for the funeral of Atatiana Jefferson, the woman who was shot and killed by a police officer while she was in her own home. Jefferson's story has made national news -- a neighbor had called police early Saturday morning to check on Jefferson after he saw a door was open at her home in Fort Worth, Texas. TMZ.com



NBA RUMORS FROM THURSDAY, OCT. 17, 2019

Kings guard Buddy Hield said he feels undervalued by the organization and hinted he might demand a trade if the team doesn’t bring a better offer to the table before Monday’s deadline for rookie-scale extensions. Hield’s voice quivered at times during an emotional postgame interview following a 124-110 victory over Melbourne United on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center. After addressing a larger group of reporters, Hield told The Sacramento Bee he was insulted by the team’s four-year, $90-million offer, the terms of which were first reported Wednesday by Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports. Sacramento Bee

Hield, 26, isn’t demanding a max contract extension, but he told The Bee $100 million over four years would not be enough. League sources told Yahoo! Sports Hield and his agent, Brandon Rosenthal, are seeking a deal closer to $110 million. Hield said he was not confident the two sides could come to terms before the deadline and indicated for the first time he might seek a way out of Sacramento if that doesn’t happen. Sacramento Bee

Hield is eligible for a four-year deal worth about $130.7 million or a five-year, designated-player extension worth up to about $170 million. He will become a restricted free agent this summer if Monday’s deadline passes without an agreement. The Kings will have the right to match any offer he receives from another team, but the relationship could be damaged if the two sides don’t come to terms on an extension now. Sacramento Bee

Anthony Davis scanned the halftime stats Wednesday night in his debut playing at Staples Center in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform and noticed an uneven equation: He had only six points on 2-for-4 shooting, yet the Lakers were up 26 points on the Golden State Warriors. He told LeBron James it was the first time in a while that has happened for him. "It takes a load off me," Davis said after the Lakers' 126-93 win -- their third in three tries against the Warriors this preseason. "It feels good knowing that you don't have to do much, everybody has a role, and when you have guys all over the board who can score the basketball, you don't need to do everything every possession." ESPN.com

When the question was posed Wednesday after it was announced that LeBron James, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee, Avery Bradley and Danny Green were starting against the Golden State Warriors, Lakers coach Frank Vogel was coy. Since that same group had started in the Lakers’ first exhibition against the Warriors this month and won, it was a natural question to ask Vogel if he had settled on them as his starters. “Still tinkering,” Vogel said before the Lakers’ 126-93 victory at Staples Center. “I haven’t made any decisions about what the starting lineup will looklike on opening night. Thisis definitely one way we could go.” LA Times

Draymond Green delivered an impassioned defense of teammate Marquese Chriss, while also taking a shot at the team that drafted him. Chriss, who signed a training camp contract with the Warriors this summer and seems poised to make the regular season roster, was selected No. 8 overall by the Suns in the 2016 NBA Draft. After two years, Phoenix traded him to the Rockets, who then traded him to the Cavaliers. Chriss’ basketball IQ and maturity became a frequent question over the years, and Green turned the mirror back to the organization that, he believed, failed him. Mercury News

Chriss has been among the Warriors’ best players in the preseason, with Kerr going as far as saying he’s been “the surprise of camp.” As the Warriors deal with injuries at the center position, Chriss is expected to make the team and play a role this season. Mercury News

As far as preseason games go, Wednesday night’s contest against the Utah Jazz was just about all the Trail Blazers could have asked for -- and more. So many things went well, it’s hard to know where to start in what turned out to be a not-as-close-as-it-sounds 126-118 win over the Jazz. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum were terrific – in mid-season form -- against the Jazz backcourt of Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell. Lillard had 25 points with five rebounds and four assists and McCollum scored 28 while shooting 11-15 from the floor, including 5-7 from three. “I felt good,” Lillard said. NBC Sports Northwest



NBA RUMORS FROM WEDNESDAY, OCT. 16, 2019

Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic is weighing a maximum contract extension from Sacramento or entering free agency after the season. Bogdanovic told The Sacramento Bee on Tuesday that he has received a four-year, $51.4 million extension offer but has not decided whether he will sign it. ESPN.com

John Wall has already made enough money during his basketball career to last a lifetime and his new supermax contract worth $170 million is just kicking in. When he is done playing in the NBA, he doesn't have to do anything at all if he doesn't want to. But there is at least a small part of Wall that believes coaching could be in his future. He loves the game enough to not rule out the possibility. This year will give him a taste of what being a coach is all about. While he rehabs his ruptured left Achilles, he will serve as an unofficial assistant to head coach Scott Brooks. Wall will be asked to break down film with players, advise on plays to run and help the team's young point guards in practice. NBC Sports Washington

After five-straight trips to the NBA Finals, the Warriors aren’t accustomed to ranking at the bottom of the league in many categories. This preseason, however, has revealed a couple of potential vulnerabilities. “Between the rebounding and the fouling, those are the areas we’ve talked about the most,” Kerr said following Monday night’s preseason loss to the Lakers. Mercury News

Headed into their third preseason game Wednesday night at Staples Center, the Warriors rank near the bottom of the league in both offensive rebounds allowed and personal fouls committed. Both provide additional opportunities for opponents to score, something the Warriors can’t afford this season. The Warriors are giving up more offensive rebounds than any other NBA team this preseason. In fact, they are allowing opponents to grab more offensive rebounds than several international teams that have participated in preseason exhibitions. “I’m confident, if we box out, we can pass Haifa and maybe even the Shanghai Sharks,” Kerr joked. Mercury News

The Sixers have one more preseason contest before the games count, and Joel Embiid certainly looks ready for that moment. Embiid was dominant Tuesday night, with 24 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes as the Sixers beat the Detroit Pistons, 106-86. Six players missed Tuesday's game. Ben Simmons (back tightness), James Ennis (right calf strain) and Al Horford (rest) were out for the Sixers, and Andre Drummond (rest), Blake Griffin (left hamstring soreness) and Markieff Morris (illness) sat for Detroit. NBC Sports Philly

When the Clippers’ starters lined up for the opening tip Tuesday, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams were among them. It was only an intrasquad scrimmage at an open practice held at USC’s Galen Center, but coach Doc Rivers is considering moving the pair from the bench, where they were two of the NBA’s best reserves last season, into the starting lineup at times during the season. “This summer one of our sales pitches was, we already have our bench, we need a starting lineup,” Rivers said. “Now if you add Paul [George] and Kawhi [Leonard], now we have a starting lineup so maybe we can keep our bench intact. “Having said that, I will not be surprised if I did use Lou as a starter for some games. Him and Trez, even, because you do still want to keep them together.” LA Times

From Larry Bird to Ray Allen, the Boston Celtics have suited up some of the best perimeter shooters in NBA history. None of them ever had a hotter hand from behind the arc in a quarter than rookie Carsen Edwards on Tuesday night. Edwards made eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points in the third quarter, leading the Celtics to a 118-95 victory over the host Cleveland Cavaliers to complete an unbeaten preseason (4-0). ESPN.com



NBA RUMORS FROM MONDAY, OCT. 14, 2019

At 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds, but with feline-like reflexes and a guard’s handle on the ball, the Spurs had not quite seen anything like Zion Williamson before he made his San Antonio debut. They left understanding fully why Williamson was the NBA’s No. 1 draft pick after one tantalizing college season at Duke, and how he enters the league as the most widely anticipated rookie since perhaps Anthony Davis in 2012. Express News

After a slow start, Williamson rumbled for 22 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes, keying a comeback from 17 points down in the first half that kept New Orleans undefeated in the preseason and the Spurs winless. Express News

On Zion: “He’s exactly what you would think,” Popovich said. “He’s a competitor, with a great combination of speed and strength. He uses it well. He’s a tough one.” Express News

Rudy Gobert’s played only one game with the Jazz in this preseason, and so it makes sense that defenders like Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Jeff Green don’t yet know how to play with the big man. In general, Gobert’s presence back there means perimeter defenders can stand to be more aggressive on the ball than they’re used to in their past stops, because a blow-by isn’t the end of the world. For what it’s worth, the French big man thinks the team is making improvements. “I like what we saw [Friday night against New Orleans], we just have to do a little more and we’ll be there,” Gobert said. “I think more communication and maybe a little more physicality on the ball, a little bit more on the boards [also].” Salt Lake Tribune

The Warriors cannot upgrade Chriss’ contract and add him to the roster unless someone else is waived or traded. The simplest sacrifice is McKinnie, whose contract is not fully guaranteed until January. None of the free-agent acquisitions are eligible for trade, and the Warriors won’t be moving second-year guard Jacob Evans III or any of their three rookies. NBC Sports Bay Area

McKinnie is a 27-year-old reserve, making him a trade candidate. “I hear it, but I try not to pay attention to it,” McKinnie told NBC Sports Bay Area. “All I can do is just come out, put my work in and perform. Whatever happens from there, that’s out of my control. I can only control what I do and how hard I go. Everything outside of that, it’s front-office business. I can’t control what goes on up there.” NBC Sports Bay Area

Bulls: We had a clue that Boylen was going to go with Tomas Satoransky as his starter after he chose to sit him with the starters in the Bulls third preseason game against the Indiana Pacers, and tonight helped further confirm this idea. Boylen stated before the game that he would be starting to roll out his regular season rotations, and we saw "Sato" start next to the regular Bulls starting group of Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., Lauri Markkanen and the returning Wendell Carter Jr. On top of seeing the starting group, we got to see Thaddeus Young in his probable role as the sixth man, coming in for Carter to provide the Bulls with more of a small look where Markkanen acts as the center. NBC Sports Chicago

Playing faster, the Timberwolves are more willing to live and die with shots from outside the arc. What a difference a few months makes. Last season’s team averaged 28.7 shots per game from 3-point range, fifth fewest in the NBA – an increase from finishing last in three of the previous four seasons – and nearly 17 tries fewer than freewheeling Houston. In three exhibition games this year, the Wolves are almost Rockets-like. Pioneer Press



NBA RUMORS FROM SUNDAY, OCT. 13, 2019

Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox threw his support behind teammate Buddy Hield on Saturday after Hield expressed a desire to stay in Sacramento and some frustration over contract talks with the team. Fox and Hield have emerged as one of the most dynamic young backcourts in the league. Fox envisions a promising future with Hield in Sacramento, but the Kings are facing an Oct. 21 deadline to re-sign Hield, who is eligible for a massive contract extension that could impact the organization’s ability to keep other core pieces. A league source told The Sacramento Bee there was no new movement in negotiations between Hield and the team Saturday. Hield has told The Bee he wants to remain in Sacramento and is eager to finalize a long-term agreement. Sacramento Bee

Bogdan Bogdanovic, a potential Sixth Man of the Year candidate, is eligible for a four-year extension worth up to $51.4 million. He will become a restricted free agent if the Kings don’t re-sign him by June 30. Fox and Bagley will be eligible for extensions in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Sacramento Bee

Anthony Davis sprained his right thumb in the first half of the Los Angeles Lakers' preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday and did not return to the game. Davis will receive diagnostic tests when the team returns to Los Angeles on Sunday. ESPN.com

According to the NBA "If neither team has taken a timeout prior to 6:59 of the first or third period, it shall be mandatory for the Official Scorer to take it at the first dead ball and charge it to the home team." The challenged played happened at the 5:58 mark of the third quarter, meaning regardless of the challenge there was to be a dead ball and the Blazers were to be charged a timeout. If Portland had lost the challenge they would have lost the timeout, if they had won, they would have lost timeout. Basically, Stotts called a challenge one minute and two seconds too late to save a timeout but still would have lost one at the next stoppage due to the NBA's mandatory timeout rules. NBC Sports Northwest

The thing is, the Wizards didn't do a ton to address their defense this offseason, at least in the short-term. Though they likely set themselves up to be better down the road, most of the players they brought in who can help now aren't defensive guys. C.J. Miles, Moe Wagner, and Davis Bertans are shooters. Rui Hachimura is known far more for his scoring than his defense. And Ish Smith and Isaiah Thomas at the point guard spot aren't exactly defensive stoppers. If the Wizards are to improve defensively this season, even marginally, it will have to be due to players becoming better on that end than they have been in the past. And there is one player in particular who can make the biggest difference. NBC Sports Washington

Two days after being called out by President Trump for his response to the NBA’s ongoing controversy with China, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was again the target of a deriding comment Friday night. “So funny to watch Steve Kerr grovel and pander when asked a simple question about China. He chocked, and looks weak and pathetic. Don’t want him at the White House!” Trump tweeted. Mercury News



NBA RUMORS FROM SATURDAY, OCT. 12, 2019

The Warriors don't have enough room under the salary cap to sign Chriss to a guaranteed contract -- which, at this point, he's certain to command from another team if not Golden State -- so in order to get him on the roster, someone else would have to depart. The simplest solution would be to release Alfonzo McKinnie, as the small forward's salary doesn't become fully guaranteed until Jan. 10. However, that's not the only possible solution. McKinnie has an elite skill -- rebounding -- which is more than one can say for second-year guard Jacob Evans. The No. 28 overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft underwhelmed in his first professional season, averaging 1.3 points per game over 30 appearances while struggling with his shot. Drafted with the intention of being Klay Thompson's future backup at shooting guard, Evans has already undergone somewhat of a position switch, as he's now the default third point guard behind Steph Curry and Russell. NBC Sports Bay Area

The Bulls’ coach liked to use the word “redundancy” when discussing his input towards management’s reshaping of the roster. Too often last season, Boylen felt, the Bulls had to change their game plan or style of play depending on what personnel was available. This season, with the additions of versatile players like Tomas Satoransky, Thaddeus Young and Coby White, Boylen’s goal was to play the same way no matter which lineup he used. Boylen’s decision to rest Satoransky, Young, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Otto Porter Jr. offered the Bulls their first true test. Results proved a mixed bag. NBC Sports Chicago

No Joel Embiid, no problem. Without their All-Star center, the Sixers took it to Charlotte Friday night, beating the Hornets, 100-87, at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The score wasn't even that close as the Sixers' held a 20-plus-point lead through most of the game with their regular rotation in. With Embiid getting a planned load management day off, the rest of the starters carried the load while Matisse Thybulle continued to shine on the defensive end. NBC Sports Philly

Sure, there was a main storyline: The Jazz lost in their third preseason game of five by a score of 128-127 against the Pelicans. Utah took an 11-point lead into the fourth quarter, but a 29-9 run by the Pelicans against Jazz deep bench units turned the tide. A goaltending call on Jarrell Brantley led to the game-winning points for New Orleans with 1.4 seconds left. But while a game occurred, everything mattered more than the score. For Jazz fans, seeing Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert squaring up for the game’s tip-off — Gobert won that initial tip — and battling it out for the game’s first five minutes was a little bizarre. Favors didn’t play in the second half, but during the first half, saw time matched up against Gobert and all of his old friends. Salt Lake Tribune



NBA RUMORS FROM FRIDAY, OCT. 11, 2019

James Johnson is ready to start “earning my respect back.” Johnson finally made it on to the practice court for the Miami Heat on Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena after missing the first 10 days of training camp and the preseason. The forward was sent away from camp for failing to meet the Heat’s conditioning requirements ahead of the beginning of training camp Oct. 1. “Day 1 of earning my respect back,” Johnson said after practice. “That’s the only emotion I had is earn my respect back.” Miami Herald

Kyle Kuzma was one of the draft’s older prospects coming out of college, and although his stock rose quickly after the NBA Draft Combine, his draft position (No. 28) landed him a smaller rookie contract than Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, his lottery-selected peers. Kuzma will make just under $2 million this season, while Ball ($8.7 million) and Ingram ($7.2 million) are due considerably more. OC Register

So it was more of a jolt when Kuzma began selling “Kuzmania” T-shirts online after taking Summer League by storm in 2017. “Going through that right away kind of puts you into a different perspective or mindset, like, ‘Oh damn, I’m making this amount of money for T-shirts,’ he said. “‘What can I do with some real product or something real for a consumer?’ So ever since then, that kind of really sparked my brain to think outside of the box for everything.” OC Register

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward said Chinese shoe manufacturer Anta reached out to him this week to stress that the escalating turmoil between the NBA and China will not affect Hayward’s endorsement deal with the company. “They were like, ‘Hey, our relationship stays the same,’’’ Hayward told the Globe on Friday. “So that’s kind of what I know about it, and they’ve been nothing but good to me.’’ Boston Globe

TNT dumped the “players only” Tuesday night cablecasts and replaced them with more traditional cablecasts featuring a trained play-by-play announcer (Ian Eagle, Brian Anderson) with a trained analyst (Stan Van Gundy, Jim Jackson). Those “players only broadcasts” — featuring three former players without a professional play-by-play voice — ended up ranking among the most regrettable sports broadcasting lab experiments of the 21st century. Miami Herald

Clippers fans might be sore Friday after spending much of Thursday evening pinching themselves. It was real: Kawhi Leonard in a Clippers uniform in a game. The Moreno Valley native was fully focused by the time the game – a 111-91 Nuggets victory – began. But he said he, too, has had his moments marveling at his new situation: “I feel emotions either getting ready for the game or when I did sign here, thinking about what can happen or what’s going to happen, and being able to play in Staples Center 45 minutes away from my home where I grew up. It’s exciting. “Once I step on the floor, it’s lock-in time.” OC Register

In his first 10 minutes, 45 seconds of action as a Clipper, Leonard was comfortable patrolling the new-look court at Staples Center, making three of his six shots for seven points, grabbing a rebound and tallying six assists and no turnovers. “That’s just him making plays. Good players, smart players, high-IQ players know how to play basketball,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “If they want to take him away, then he gives the ball to the open guy. The great players make the game really simple. “I thought he was absolutely wonderful.” OC Register

Kings guard Buddy Hield is ready to make a long-term commitment to Sacramento. Now he wants the organization to make the same commitment to him. Hield expressed some frustration while opening up about his contract talks with the team in an interview with The Sacramento Bee late Thursday night following a 105-88 preseason victory over the Phoenix Suns. The Kings have until Oct. 21 to sign Hield to a rookie-scale extension or he will become a restricted free agent next summer. Sacramento Bee

“We need to get that done,” Hield told The Bee. “I want to get that done, for sure. If it doesn’t get done, things could go the other way. This is where I want to be, so it would be good for me to be here in Sacramento. If I’m their guy, I think they should make it happen already. I want to build a future here. I want to be here, but we have to see something. Something’s gotta come to the table. We have a week and a half to see what that brings, but I want to be here.” Sacramento Bee

Saturday's game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets is still scheduled to be played to conclude the 2019 China Games. However, the teams involved won't be talking about it. The Nets' 114-111 victory over the Lakers in Shanghai on Thursday was able to happen only with a stipulation by the Chinese government mandating that no media availability of any kind be held at the game and that NBA commissioner Adam Silver cancel his pregame news conference. The league is adopting the same temporary policy for Saturday's game in Shenzhen. ESPN.com

"We have decided not to hold media availability for our teams for the remainder of our trip in China," the NBA announced in a statement Friday. "They have been placed into a complicated and unprecedented situation while abroad and we believe it would be unfair to ask them to address these matters in real time." ESPN.com

Warriors guard Steph Curry has long been the centerpiece of Golden State's offense. His habit of making shots from far beyond the 3-point line has revolutionized basketball over the last decade. On Thursday night, he continued the trend, scoring 40 points in 26 minutes to lead the Warriors in beating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 143-123. Curry exploits come at a unique time for Golden State. With Kevin Durant gone to Brooklyn, Klay Thompson shelved until the All-Star break and eight new additions to the roster, similar performances will be imperative. NBC Sports Bay Area



NBA RUMORS FROM THURSDAY, OCT. 10, 2019

Thursday’s exhibition game between the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets did not get canceled, but one element of it did. The Chinese government mandated that neither members of the teams nor NBA Commissioner Adam Silver conduct news conferences in conjunction with the game. The game will not be broadcast anywhere in China, but there is a world feed through which they can be seen elsewhere. Spectrum SportsNet in Los Angeles and YES Network in New York will air the game live. LA Times

In response to the NBA defending Daryl Morey's freedom of speech, Chinese officials took it away from the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. All of the usual media sessions surrounding the Lakers-Nets preseason game in Shanghai on Thursday — including a scheduled news conference from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and postgame news conferences with the teams — have been canceled. It's the latest salvo in the rift between the league and China stemming from a since-deleted tweet posted last week by Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets. "There will be no media availabilities for tonight's game between the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers," the NBA said in a statement Thursday, released a few hours before the game. Houston Chronicle/AP

After having already suffered a facial fracture in an offseason pickup game that cost him the start of training camp and the preseason opening win, Kyrie Irving’s Nets debut didn’t last long. Just 1 minute and 6 seconds to be exact, aggravating the injury after getting hit in the face by Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo. Irving tossed his facemask down, walked to the bench and cut loose with an expletive, in clear discomfort, replaced by Spencer Dinwiddie. Irving – who signed a four-year, $141 million contract this offseason – did not return for the rest of the game, with no further update on how severe this injury is. NY Post

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse pointed out that OG Anunoby looks to be all the way back from his lost 2018-19 campaign, newcomer Terence Davis showed some intriguing flashes and Chris Boucher also is playing at a high level. “I think there’s some explosiveness there, some high upside there to some guys, Nurse said. “One of the rookies that we picked up undrafted, Terence Davis. You remember he had that really high-flying dunk out of the timeout, can’t forget that if you were watching the game, so he’s got a lot of explosiveness, can do a lot of things we want him to do. It’s just a matter of getting him some time,” Nurse said. Toronto Sun

Karl-Anthony Towns was 100% sure that he wasn’t 100% from three-point range in the Timberwolves’ 111-106 loss to Phoenix in Tuesday’s preseason opener. He just wasn’t totally sure how many were off. “I missed, what, five of them?” Towns said. Then after he was told he was 3-for-8 — not a bad percentage at .375 — he shook his head and said: “I expected better.” The Wolves are making a concerted effort to shoot more three-pointers this season, and they are on track to do that after taking 39 of their 93 shots from beyond the arc Tuesday in the first look at their revamped offense. Star Tribune

The Rockets on Wednesday waived forward Anthony Bennett, with the knee injury he brought to camp preventing the former No. 1 pick from competing for a roster spot. Bennett was able to participate in the Rockets' practices in Houston and did not join the team for the trip to Honolulu and Tokyo. Houston Chronicle

The Clippers might give fans a glimpse of one of their new superstars this preseason after all. Coach Doc Rivers hinted at the start of training camp that the team might treat Kawhi Leonard like an NFL quarterback and, out of an abundance of caution, hold him out of preseason games altogether. But with guards Patrick Beverley (“nothing serious,” Rivers said) and Rodney McGruder (sprained ankle) getting banged up a bit in practice Wednesday, Rivers opened the door for the possibility that Leonard will get in a game for the first time as a Clipper before the regular season begins. OC Register

Five takeaways from the Heat’s 108-94 preseason road victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, a game in which Miami rested Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow while remaining without James Johnson and injured Kelly Olynyk: This was vintage Dion Waiters, in all his glory. Operating off the bench for the second night in a row, Waiters played in a pseudo point-guard role at times and erupted for 19 points and four assists, all in 16 first-half minutes. Miami Herald

“This is not a quick fix. We’re in this for the long haul.” That’s how Charlotte Hornets’ coach James Borrego summed up the situation after the sort of preseason performance that would imply calamity: The rebuilding Hornets were dreadful, particularly on defense, in falling behind the Miami Heat by as much as 33 points in a 108-94 loss. It’s the preseason. just the second of five practice games. Looking dreadful now has no tangible consequence. It’s an opportunity to review and correct. But lord, there is a lot to review and correct. Charlotte Observer



NBA RUMORS FROM WEDNESDAY, OCT. 9, 2019

In the W.N.B.A. finals, where almost nothing has been constant, the Connecticut Sun’s 90-86 win on Tuesday over the Washington Mystics provided a window into what each team will need to do to earn that final victory in Game 5. The two rosters, each with innumerable options to take over a game, will have 40 minutes to figure out the path to a title on Thursday night in Washington. “When the ball tips up on Thursday, it’s going to be who stays true to themselves,” Sun Coach Curt Miller said, “who imposes their will on their style and their system, and who plays with more energy.” NY Times

Delle Donne, who overcame pain from a herniated disc to play a vital role in Washington’s win in Game 3, was moving far more freely in Game 4, driving to the basket more frequently, if still with less fluidity and force than she displayed in her M.V.P. regular season. “I was a little looser today, so I felt better,” said Delle Donne, who finished with 11 points. “Hopefully I’ll continue to feel even better Thursday. They were playing a little more aggressively defensively, weren’t letting us just sit outside and shoot 3s comfortably, so I tried to draw attention by driving and getting other people open.” NY Times

Q: Who are your favorite players to watch today? Larry Bird: "A lot of them. Obviously, LeBron [James]. I can’t compare him to anybody because he’s so great, just like Michael [Jordan] was. They’re very special, and I don’t know how in hell he stays healthy. But that’s probably one of the great qualities of his game, being able to stay healthy playing that many minutes. Kevin Durant is special. Kawhi Leonard‘s run last year in the playoffs, unbelievable. All the Golden State guys, the way they play the game, the way they respect the game. I am still amazed that Klay Thompson could score 60 points on 11 dribbles [against Indiana]. There’s just so many of them, you hate to just pick one." TheUndefeated

Dejounte Murray is one of four players whose minutes coach Gregg Popovich is carefully monitoring during the preseason. The others are veterans Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli and DeMarre Carroll. Those three made their preseason debuts Tuesday in Miami, while newcomer Trey Lyles continued to be sidelined while recovering from a respiratory illness. Express News

Steven Adams' 3-pointer against the Mavericks was a big deal for a preseason opener. Within 22 minutes of a ESPN sending out a text alert Tuesday night of Philadelphia All-Star guard Ben Simmons hitting his first career 3-pointer, Adams received the text alert treatment, too. Upon hearing Simmons – also not a traditional shooter – made his first 3-pointer, Adams was happy for his NBA compatriot. Oklahoman

The Suns, who finished last in the NBA last season in 3-point shooting, feel as if they've improved in that area with the addition of rookies Cameron Johnson and Ty Jerome and bigs Frank Kaminsky III and Baynes to go along with Booker and Bridges, but that group went just 7-of-23 from distance on Tuesday. Now, 13 Phoenix players saw action in the preseason opener. That's a rare occurrence in the regular season, but four starters — Cameron Johnson, Booker, Rubio and Saric — shot a combined 4-of-11 from 3. Arizona Republic

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted something the Chinese government didn’t like, and the NBA has spent much of the past week bending over backwards to express profound regret to all of its great friends in China who might have been offended. Why? Simple. NBA China alone is worth more than $4 billion. It is estimated more than 500 million Chinese regularly consume NBA content. This is American basketball’s richest global partnership, one developed over three decades. But it is an uneasy alliance, one with a dark side — one this controversy has laid bare. And that’s good. Miami Herald

The NBA has postponed Wednesday's scheduled media sessions in Shanghai for the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, and it remains unclear if the teams will play in China this week as scheduled. The teams were practicing in Shanghai on Wednesday, where at least two other NBA events in advance of the start of the China games were called off as part of the ongoing rift that started after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey posted a tweet last week that showed support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. Star Tribune/AP

The Celtics entered the season as a favorite to reach the NBA Finals, in part because Tatum, who had been brilliant in the postseason as a rookie, was expected to take a major leap. Instead, the Celtics fell flat, as did Tatum's progress. When Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga sat down with Tatum before the start of this season, he told Tatum that was all behind them. "I made a deal with him the day before training camp that we would not discuss last year at all," Larranaga told ESPN last week. "This is my first year working with him, and so I just said, 'We're just starting from right here, doing what we know is right, playing the right way and working the right way.'" ESPN.com

Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. always wondered what his first NBA basket would look like. As it turned out, after a first-half Tuesday night where Porter waited nervously for his name to get called, the gifted scorer wasn’t entirely comfortable when the moment was on his fingertips. “I kept playing with the ball because I couldn’t get a feel for it,” Porter said after making his professional debut in Denver’s preseason opener in Portland. “I was gonna make a move before I did, but the ball was feeling weird, so then I just dribbled again and then did a sidestep.” Denver Post

Porter had his moments where he looked like a dangerous small forward weapon the Nuggets can slot in alongside All-NBA center Nikola Jokic and rising star Jamal Murray, but he also looked like someone searching for a defined role. Used to having the ball in his hands all throughout high school, Porter’s adjustment to playing off the ball and cutting hard through the lane represent his biggest offensive challenges. In addition, he’ll also be battling Torrey Craig, Will Barton, and Juancho Hernangomez for minutes. Denver Post

Kyle Anderson said "as of now" he plans to play Monday when the Grizzlies host the Charlotte Hornets. "But we'll have to just see how it goes these next two weeks, see how I feel, if it still bothers me, still limits me," Anderson said. "I want to help my team. So if I'm able to, I'll obviously be out there. But if I don't feel I can, or if I feel limited, then we'll go from there." Anderson's preseason debut offered a few hints about where he'll fit once he does return for good. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Stotts managed to get all 17 of his players who were wearing a uniform into the game, which was an achievement. Portland trailed by only 52-50 at the half but the game got away in the second half as the bench cleared. Damian Lillard and McCollum played 15 minutes apiece in the first half and watched the rest of the game from the bench. They were only 5-15 from the field and 1-8 from three. Some of the new Blazers made a good first impression, particularly if you ignore the shooting problems. NBC Sports Northwest



NBA RUMORS FROM TUESDAY, OCT. 8, 2019

Kevin Durant said Tuesday that the New York Knicks can't rely on their "brand" to land the best players, many of whom don't even remember the franchise being good. "I think a lot of fans look at the Knicks as a brand and expect these younger players in their lifetime don't remember the Knicks being good," Durant said Tuesday in an in-studio interview with Hot 97 in New York. "I've seen the Knicks in the Finals, but kids coming up after me didn't see that. So that whole brand of the Knicks is not as cool as let's say the Golden State Warriors, or even the Lakers or the Nets now. "You know what I'm saying; the cool thing now is not the Knicks." ESPN.com

Everybody wants to see the new superstar duos on Los Angeles’ NBA teams in action. And if they can see them both at the same time, even better. Thanks in no small part to the Lakers’ LeBron James and Anthony Davis and the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, matchups between the two teams rank as the top two most in-demand games for the upcoming NBA season, based on StubHub ticket sales through Tuesday. LA Times

The Hawks announced Tuesday they have waived Ray Spalding, who signed with the team in July. AJC.com

The Phoenix Suns will be without their two best wings Mikal Bridges (knee) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (wrist) in Tuesday’s preseason opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team announced Monday after practice. Bridges and Oubre both did not fully practice at training camp in Flagstaff last week and both were limited on Monday back in Phoenix. Arizona Republic

The Golden State Warriors are eternally linked to the legendary Bulls dynasty of the '90s due to the fact that the Dubs broke the Bulls' long-standing wins record in the 2015-16 season, amassing 73 wins. But now they have a new connection to the '90s Bulls in the form of their recent signing, Kavion Pippen. NBC Sports Chicago

Miami loves Dwyane Wade and the feeling is mutual. One of the reasons we heart the the basketball legend, who retired from the Miami Heat in April, is that he’s a fun loving guy who can take a joke. Let’s just see how thick skinned Wade is on Saturday night at a celebrity roast in his honor at 1 Hotel South Beach. Among the roasters on the dais: former teammates Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem (his partner at their 800 Degrees restaurant), as well as professional comedians Chris Spencer and “Rayzor” Raymond Davis. Miami Herald

Joe Tsai expected this week to be about basketball, and watching his Nets play the Lakers before packed houses and huge TV audiences. Instead, he finds himself playing peacemaker. Houston GM Daryl Morey’s tweet backing the Hong Kong protests started a firestorm in China, with sponsors pulling partnerships and the communist government shutting down a Nets appearance Tuesday. NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s ensuing statement fanned the flames even further, with China Central Television and Tencent suspending broadcasts of Thursday’s Nets-Lakers game in Shanghai. NY Post



NBA RUMORS FROM MONDAY, OCT. 7, 2019

Kyle Lowry, a five-time all-star who helped deliver the first NBA championship in franchise history last June, agreed to a one-year contract extension that will keep him in Toronto through the 2020-21 season, ESPN reported early Monday morning. Only hours earlier, a chipper Lowry had held court in Tokyo. No wonder he was happy. Per the report, Lowry will collect an additional $31 million U.S. and will not have to move his family. Toronto Sun

LeBron James had 15 points, eight assists and three rebounds in the Lakers’ 123-101 win over the Warriors. He and Rajon Rondo shared point guard duties, with James starting in that position. “We got a little bit of a taste of it tonight and just seeing what our length looks like on the defensive end and on the glass, what two elite quarterbacks in Rajon Rondo and LeBron James look like with shooters around them, and just a beast of a scorer in AD,” coach Frank Vogel said of his veterans, including All-Star power forward Anthony Davis. “Those guys setting him up and him being able to deliver and also impact the game on the other end.” LA Times

In a game that didn’t count, on a court in Hawaii, against an overmatched team from China, Patrick Beverley was in midseason form. Or perhaps postseason form. In Beverley’s case, preseason form. It took the Clippers a quarter to get cooking, but once they did, neither Beverley nor the probable rotation players who participated Sunday took it easy in their 127-87 exhibition victory over the Shanghai Sharks at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. OC Register

Celtics rookie Tacko Fall and the Celtics did plenty of that in the fourth quarter. The UCF product finished with five points, three rebounds and two blocked shots in eight minutes of action as Boston emerged with a 107-106 victory over Charlotte. "I feel like I did my job," Fall said. "I went in there, did what I need to do defensively and whenever [Celtics coach Brad Stevens] called my name offensively. Just stay patient, just kind of do whatever I was supposed to do. ESPN.com

Entering his first season in Golden State, D'Angelo Russell -- one of the team's eight roster additions -- simultaneously is adjusting to his third home in four years, while adopting a motion offense predicated on constant movement and little playcalling. Now, following a subpar debut in Saturday's 123-101 preseason loss to the Lakers, Russell still is finding his role on the team. "It's all brand new to us," Russell said Saturday evening. "We got a lot of new guys. I'm trying to figure it out, including myself. It's not really second nature for a lot of us yet. It's just the more we play, the more we practice, watch film on it, the easier it'll get I think." NBC Sports Bay Area

For the record, if anyone is keeping such a thing, the Gray team – featuring Lillard and CJ McCollum – won 48-44 over the Black team. McCollum and Lillard played every minute of the first half but no longer. McCollum scored 10 points and Lillard had four. Both looked ready for the regular season. Jaylen Hoard, a two-way player this season with the Blazers, meaning he will spend time in the G-League, scored 12 in a nice off-the-bench performance for the Grays. NBC Sports Northwest

Suns: Kelly Oubre Jr. wasn't wearing the black wrap he had on the lower part of his right hand and wrist Sunday. Despite experiencing tendinitis in his right wrist, Oubre was high-flying, slam-dunking and shooting (with his natural left shooting hand) and even addressed the crowd on the microphone, saying the Suns are going to have a big year coming off their second-worst in franchise history at 19-63. Arizona Republic

In compliance with an NBA mandate to become more accurate with listed heights in an attempt at full disclosure, the Knicks released their new measurements. Recent draft picks Kevin Knox II, Frank Ntilikina and Mitchell Robinson each lost an inch. Knox was reduced to 6-foot-8 from 6-9. Ntilikina stepped down to 6-5. And Mitchell Robinson was scaled back to 7-foot. The Knicks had bumped Ntilkina from 6-5 to 6-6 before last season when he came back from France an inch taller. Also, point guard Kadeem Allen, a two-way contract player, dropped from 6-3 to 6-2. NY Post

Thunder rookie Darius Bazley wrapped his arms around Nerlens Noel at the end of the handshake line, after OKC’s Blue and White Scrimmage on Sunday. No matter that they were on opposing teams. Bazley leaned his weight against Noel, as the 25-year old center smiled and tried to shrug the teenager off. The most promising aspect of Bazley’s eight-point, seven-rebound performance in Sunday’s three-period scrimmage was how comfortable he seemed with his new teammates and how confidently he played. With Bazley playing alongside mostly veterans on the White team, they beat the Blue team 76-60. Oklahoman

NBA executive Daryl Morey sparked an international incident this weekend, when a Twitter post supporting human rights protesters in Hong Kong was met with swift backlash in China. Morey, the Houston Rockets general manager who is in Japan with the Rockets for a pair of preseason games against the Toronto Raptors, posted an image to his Twitter account on Friday that bore a simple message: “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” His account was quickly bombarded by angry replies before he deleted the message. Some social media users replied with “NMSL” – Chinese Internet slang that means “your mother is dead” – and called for Morey, who has been with the Rockets since 2006, to be fired. Others replied by hailing his support for the Hong Kong protesters, who began demonstrating in June in opposition to a proposal to a bill that would allow individuals to be extradited from Hong Kong to China. Washington Post via DenverPost.com


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