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RealGM Basketball Wiretap

Basketball News, Rumors, Scores, Stats, Analysis, Depth Charts, Forums

Published: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:17:01 EDT

Last Build Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:17:01 EDT


Joel Embiid At Risk Of Permanent Eye Damage If Hit Again In Orbital Bone

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:20:59 EDT

The Philadelphia 76ers are being extra cautious with Joel Embiid as he looks to return from a fractured orbital bone.

Embiid was a limited participant at Wednesday's practice. Embiid scrimmaged a little bit with the team's low-minute guys at the end of the practice.

A source said a forceful blow to the orbital bone of Embiid could permanently damage the sight in his left eye.

Embiid took to Instagram to voice his desire to return to the court following Philadelphia's Game 2 loss.

Embiid's previous eye injury happened during his lone season at Kansas.

On Jan. 8, 2014, Embiid, a freshman at the time, was forced to wear goggles in a game against Oklahoma after he had injured the eye after he was inadvertently hit by teammate Hunter Mickelson during practice earlier that week

Multiple Execs Expect Lakers To Pursue Trade For Kawhi Leonard

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:06:46 EDT

At least one NBA executive believes the Los Angeles Lakers will pursue a trade for Kawhi Leonard this offseason and that he would like to play in the area he grew up.

Leonard would give up an opportunity to sign a supermax contract extension if he decides he wants to leave the Spurs.

"I think they go in hard for Leonard once the season is over and once the dust settles in San Antonio," one executive told Sporting News. "(Leonard) wants to go to LA. There probably won't be public demands on that, but he has leverage. He is going to be a free agent (in 2019). He's an LA guy and he can just let teams know he won't re-sign next year with anyone but the Lakers."

The Celtics and 76ers could also put a compelling package together for Leonard.

"I would say that's the most likely thing," another general manager told Sporting News. "He's going to be their target any way you look at it, this summer or next summer. There's not many other ways to explain what's been going on with that situation other than him trying to get out of San Antonio."

James Dolan: I Just Think Phil Jackson Underestimated The Job

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:11:23 EDT

James Dolan lamented the tenure of Phil Jackson as president of the New York Knicks.

"Everybody who wants to talk about the Knicks wants to ask me about Phil Jackson," Dolan said, smiling and shaking his head. "The entire market wanted to me to hire him and when I did, the entire market said it was a great move. The only thing was, everyone said that I shouldn't interfere with him.

"Three years later, everyone wanted to know when I was going to do something about Phil. The same people who told me not to interfere wanted me to interfere. But that's OK. I just think that Phil underestimated the job."

Jackson was fired by the Knicks shortly after last June's draft.

Ettore Messina To Coach Spurs In Game 3

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:41:09 EDT

Ettore Messina will serve as head coach for the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 against the Warriors.

Gregg Popovich's wife, Erin Popovich, passed away on Wednesday.

The Spurs trail 2-0 to the Warriors in their first round series.

Kevin Love Expected To Play In Game 3, X-Rays Negative On Left Thumb

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:54:41 EDT

Kevin Love left the Cavaliers' Game 2 win over the Pacers with a left thumb injury.

Tyronn Lue said Love merely "jammed" the thumb and could have returned. Love is expected to play in Game 3.

Love said he had an X-ray after the game and it came back clean.

NBA Playoffs Snapshots (Apr. 18): Cavs/Pacers, Jazz/Thunder, Rockets/Wolves

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:44:25 EDT

What happened in three snapshots in the NBA Playoffs on Wednesday, April 18.




James Dolan: A Great Player In Basketball Is The Team

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:03:11 EDT

James Dolan talked about the New York Knicks as they missed the playoffs again.

Dolan acknowledged the significance of having Kristaps Porzingis to build around.

"Basketball is different than hockey," Dolan said. "A great player in hockey is the difference, but a great player in basketball is the team.

"And I think we have a great player in Porzingis. We just have to build around him."

The Knicks will be without Porzingis while he rehabs his torn ACL.

"I've been told everything from December to him being out for the season, so I don't know what to expect on that," Dolan said. "But we can't just sit on our ass while he's away. We need to develop a team and then integrate him into it when he comes back."

Knicks To Interview Kenny Smith For Head Coaching Job

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 21:37:27 EDT

Kenny Smith will interview with the New York Knicks for their head coaching vacancy.

Smith has never coached in the NBA and has worked in broadcasting with TNT since 1998.

Smith has previously expressed interest in working in a front office capacity.

The Knicks are also considering David Fizdale, Mark Jackson, David Blatt, Jerry Stackhouse and Mike Woodson.

Dunc'd On: IND/CLE; UTA/OKC; MIN/HOU Game 2s, News

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 04:02:01 EDT

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A full breakdown of the three Game 2s of the evening, in order IND/CLE; UTA/OKC; MIN/HOU. Then we hit a few new items, including the lottery tiebreakers and a few coaching rumors.

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA). And if you like this pod, please donate to support Nate and Danny at Merchandise available at

Gregg Popovich's Wife Passes Away

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 20:27:15 EDT

Gregg Popovich's wife, Erin Popovich, passed away on Wednesday.

The Popovichs were married for four decades.

"We mourn the loss of Erin," said RC Buford. "She was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us."

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Erin Popovich had been battling a lengthy illness.

Mike Brown Wants To Be Head Coach Again But Will Be Selective

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:31:32 EDT

Mike Brown remains interested in becoming a head coach again but he's enjoying his current role as Steve Kerr's lead assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.

"I want to be a head coach again," said Brown. "But if I hadn't experienced that already and if I wasn't in a situation that I'm already in right now, maybe the itch might be there more," Brown said. "Maybe I might be focused more on that than the task at hand. But I'm really excited about trying to do what I can and do my part in helping us win again."

Brown served as interim head coach for 12 games during last year's playoffs when Steve Kerr had to take a medical leave.

The New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Hornets have vacancies but Brown is only interested in teams with proven rosters and front office synergy.

"I enjoy working for this organization. We have a chance to win, not just this year, but we have a chance to win for many years with the makeup of this team," Brown said. "I enjoy winning. So because of that, it's easy for me to want to stay."

"He's a really creative coach. He likes to think the game," Gregg Popovich said of Brown. "He likes to think out of the box. He likes wine. That was enough for me. He's a really enjoyable guy."

LeBron James: We Could Never Build For The Playoffs With Changes During Season

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:37:35 EDT

LeBron James reflected back on the Cavaliers' season before Wednesday's Game 2 against the Pacers and lamented the changes they team went through.

"I think we spent so much time trying to figure out who we were in the regular season and getting the right lineups and guys in and out and things of that nature, we could never build for the playoffs. It was kind of like, build for the next game. So the postseason finally hit us and it hit us very well. And I think that can be the best teacher for us to know exactly what we should be ready for tonight."

The Cavaliers acquired Rodney Hood, George Hill, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson at the deadline while sending out Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose.

Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson also missed significant time.

Magic Johnson Believes Lakers Proved They Have 'Really Good Young Players'

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:24:49 EDT

When the Los Angeles Lakers make their free agent pitches this offseason, it will be Magic Johnson leading the way.

The Lakers are expected to pursue LeBron James and Paul George.

"You tailor your message to the individual," Johnson said. "You have to know what's important to them and how we can help them achieve their goals, on and off the court, but especially on. You also have to tell them how special this is and what it means. Face of the Lakers, nothing competes with that. You're great here, you win here, it's forever. It's magical. It brings you so many things you can't even see or imagine. Here I am, almost 60, and I'm still the prince of the city."

Johnson believes this season was a success.

"We had to show that we have really good young players, and we did that," Johnson said. "That's what guys and their agents want to see: 'If I put my talent with your talent, can we win?' I think we proved you can."

While the Lakers have been compared to the early Oklahoma City teams and also the 2010 Heat with their cap space, Johnson also likes the Boston blueprint.

"Kyrie Irving got with young, talented players," Johnson said. "It's not that you have to have a Big Three anymore. You have to have young horses to go with a superstar or two."

Kyle Kuzma: I Feel Like Whole League Is Watching Us

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:19:17 EDT

Kyle Kuzma is encouraged by the strides the Lakers made this season.

"Our record doesn't show it," Kuzma said, "but I feel like the whole league is watching us."

Kuzma believes in the ability of Lonzo Ball to become a transcendent talent.

"When you're out there with Zo, you get the reason for the hype," Kuzma said. "He's not going to wow you with scoring. But if you're a true basketball fan, you appreciate the beauty of what he does. He gets a rebound, you run ahead, and he throws it like 60 feet without dribbling."

Kuzma even isn't shy to compare the Lakers to the early Thunder teams featuring Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

"Remember when KD and Russ were young, and they were 3-29," Kuzma said of Durant and Westbrook. "This happens."

Rob Pelinka: I Think There Became A Comfort In The Banners

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:15:28 EDT

Rob Pelinka would often meet with Jerry Buss and Kobe Bryant at the owner's home in Playa del Rey.

Buss died in 2013 and Pelinka wondered what he would make of their rebuilding state.

"I think there became a comfort in the banners," Pelinka concluded. "No one saw the progress, the pioneering of new things, which is what we used to be known for. No one was saying, 'We want to do what the Lakers are doing.' It was the opposite. It was, 'No one wants to go there anymore.' "

The Lakers are effectively following the Thunder model and the Heat model at the same time by developing a young core and also maintaining significant cap space.

"That's the beauty of it," Pelinka says. "Whatever the road becomes-Is it two max guys this summer? Is it one this summer and one the next? Is it splitting up the space and just growing this young core?-it's a good road to be on."

Zhaire Smith Hires Agent, Will Remain In 2018 NBA Draft

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:14:17 EDT

Zhaire Smith has hired an agent and will remain in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Smith said he is signing with Roc Nation.

Smith averaged 11.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in his lone season at Texas Tech.

Smith is a projected lottery pick.

NBA Playoffs Snapshots (Apr. 17): Raptors/Wizards, Celtics/Bucks, Pelicans/Blazers

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:04:37 EDT

What happened in three snapshots in the NBA Playoffs on Tuesday, April 17.




Dunc'd On: NOP/POR; MIL/BOS; WAS/TOR Game 2s, Listener Questions About All 3 Games

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 03:29:23 EDT

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We break down NOP/POR; MIL/BOS; WAS/TOR Game 2s. We also take listener questions via Periscope on all three series, including a segment where we ask listeners for potential adjustments for the Bucks going forward.

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA). And if you like this pod, please donate to support Nate and Danny at Merchandise available at

Report: Kawhi Leonard Not Replying To Spurs For Weeks

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:58:17 EDT

Kawhi Leonard's ongoing rehab in New York has created tension with the Spurs where his future with the franchise remains uncertain.

Leonard has reportedly been infrequently communicating with the Spurs.

Leonard has been going "weeks without responding to any of the club's calls and texts", according to a report from Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee.

An updated version of Voisin's piece was changed to the following that eliminated that anecdote:

"He occasionally texts with some of his teammates, but according to Gasol leaves others in the dark."

David Fizdale To Interview For Suns' Job

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 23:40:21 EDT

The Phoenix Suns plan on interviewing David Fizdale for their head coaching vacancy on Wednesday.

The Suns have also held talks with Mike Budenholzer.

Fizdale is widely considered one of the most coveted head coaching candidates on the open market.

The Memphis Grizzlies fired Fizdale early in the 17-18 season.

Suns Interested In Steve Clifford, Frank Vogel, David Blatt

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 21:14:02 EDT

While the Phoenix Suns have become increasingly focused on Mike Budenholzer, they have conducted informal conversations with a number of other candidates.

Steve Clifford, Frank Vogel and David Blatt have had a dialogue with the Suns.

Clifford and Vogel were fired by the Hornets and Magic, respectively, this offseason. Blatt returned to coaching in Europe following his dismissal by the Cavaliers in January of 2016.

The Suns are also still considering Jay Triano, who finished the season as interim head coach.

Mike Budenholzer Meets With Suns

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 21:10:30 EDT

Mike Budenholzer met with the Phoenix Suns on Monday and Tuesday as they explore the possibility of him becoming their next head coach.

Budenholzer met with Suns general manager Ryan McDonough and owner Robert Sarver over the two days.

The Atlanta Hawks granted permission for the Suns to meet with Budenholzer.

The Hawks and Budenholzer are both open to ending their partnership. The Hawks may require compensation from the Suns.

Budenholzer has two years and more than $13 million left on his contract with the Hawks.

The Suns are still considering several other candidates but have been focused on Budenholzer.

Source: Spurs Continue To Give Signals They Won't Consider Trading Kawhi Leonard

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:52:26 EDT

While the San Antonio Spurs figure to receive interest from rival teams who would like to trade for Kawhi Leonard, it remains to be seen whether they will entertain a move.

The Spurs can offer Leonard a supermax contract extension of $219 million over five years.

Leonard has remained away from the Spurs during the past few weeks as he rehabs in New York.

"One well-placed insider who has closely monitored this situation told me recently that the Spurs continue to give off signals behind the scenes that they won't trade Leonard," wrote Marc Stein. "I'm sure they want Leonard to believe that, but this saga has reached the point that a trade has to be considered no less likely than the prospect of a Pop/Kawhi summit that leads to a detente."

Blazers Could Put G League Affiliate At Nike World Headquarters

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:13:52 EDT

The Portland Trail Blazers are considering having their G League affiliate play their home games at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

There had also been suggestions of putting the team in Seattle until that market gets an NBA team again.

The Blazers and Pelicans are the final two NBA teams without a dedicated G League affiliate.

New Book Details Involvement Of Isiah Thomas In 2011 Carmelo Anthony Trade

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:37:08 EDT

Isiah Thomas played a pivotal role in the New York Knicks' trade for Carmelo Anthony in 2011, according to a new book by Ian Thomsen.

The Knicks and Nets were bidding for Anthony but Donnie Walsh's reluctance to include Timofey Mozgov was holding back a deal from getting done.

"Thomas and I had been sharing information for years, he had provided me with insight on the new generation of AAU players who were seizing control of the NBA, and I believed he would be interested in hearing about Anthony," wrote Thomsen. "But Thomas was gunshy. It had been three years since his departure from the Knicks and he was still being criticized in New York as if he had never left. He said he didn't know (former Nuggets exec Masai) Ujiri, and the last thing he needed was to have it leaked that he was involved in the talks for Anthony. He made it clear that he no longer had authority within the Knicks organization, which meant he had everything to lose and nothing to gain. Thomas could see how this would play out: The trade with the Knicks would collapse, word would get out of his involvement and he would be the scapegoat. 'I don't want anything to do with it,' he said.

"I explained why I had assumed that he would be interested in hearing about the negotiations. Anthony had stuck out his neck to force a trade to New York, and if the trade was doomed to fall apart because the Knicks weren't willing to include a back-end player like Mozgov, then it wouldn't only be Anthony who would be furious. Anthony's fellow NBA stars - his close friends - would be angry with the Knicks too, and it would become more difficult than ever for the Knicks to recruit another star in years to come. The future of the Knicks mattered not at all to me, but I figured it would be important to Thomas. He said he agreed with my point of view, as I knew he would, since he had helped me to understand this dynamic over several years of conversations.

"Thomas thanked me for the call and then insisted that he was going to keep out of it. His goal was to get on with his own life. If the Knicks were going to make the trade, then let them figure it out."

Thomas, however, did not stay out of it despite coaching at Florida International at the time.

"My phone buzzed with the call from Isiah Thomas. 'Well, I passed on the information,' he said, without saying to whom it had been passed. 'Now we'll see what happens.' The next morning, the news broke that Timofey Mozgov had been included in the Knicks' offer to Denver. That night the trade was completed."

NBA To Increase Salaries For G League Players To $35,000

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:18:07 EDT

G League players will earn higher salaries for the 18-19 season.

Players signed to G League contracts will earn $35,000 - or $7,000 per month - in addition to housing and insurance benefits over the course of the league's five-month regular season.

Players under G League contracts previously earned either $26,000 or $19,000. The increase will represent a pay raise of 35 percent or 84 percent, depending on the player's classification.

There will also be affiliate player bonuses worth as much as $44,000.

Starting next season, two-way deals will pay $77,250 in the G League (prorated for days spent on a G League roster) and an N.B.A. rookie minimum salary prorated for days spent with their N.B.A. team.

The $77,250 is an increase from $75,000 this season, and it means the maximum potential earnings for two-way players in the 2018-19 season will be $385,000.

Mavericks Open To Using Cap Space Even Before Draft

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:29:26 EDT

The Dallas Mavericks could have as much as $30 million in cap space this offseason.

"We have the cap room," Mark Cuban said. "That's why we have it -- to use it. There's no reason to save it.

"We would even use it before the draft. If we got a great player before the draft and we still have cap room now, going into the draft there might be something that we like. If somebody wants to get off money or somebody cuts somebody and we like him, we could sign them now."

Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and Clint Capela are expected to receive attention from the Mavericks in restricted free agency.

Derrick Favors, Will Barton and Avery Bradley are three unrestricted free agents who could be targets.

Cuban doesn't expect much turnover of the roster this season.

"I expect us to keep a lot of our team together, at least 10 guys if not more," the owner said. "We need to clear a spot for the first-round pick, maybe the second-round pick and a free agent or two."

Stephen Curry Leads NBA In Jersey Sales For 3rd Consecutive Season

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:03:00 EDT

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors lead the NBA's list of most popular jerseys and team merchandise, marking the third consecutive regular season Curry and the defending NBA Champions have earned top honors. Rankings are based on sales since the beginning of the 2017-18 NBA season.

Rounding out the top five players are the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (No. 2), the Warriors' Kevin Durant (No. 3), the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (No. 4) and the Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving (No. 5). Irving climbed seven spots from his ranking on the most recent list (January 2018).

The Warriors are followed by the Cavaliers at No. 2, the Philadelphia 76ers at No. 3, the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 4 and the Celtics at No. 5.

Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys:
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
6. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
8. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
9. James Harden, Houston Rockets
10. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
11. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
12. Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers
13. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
14. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
15. Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves

Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise:
1. Golden State Warriors
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. Boston Celtics
6. Milwaukee Bucks
7. Oklahoma City Thunder
8. New York Knicks
9. Chicago Bulls
10. Houston Rockets

Gregg Popovich: LaMarcus Aldridge Plays Through Everything

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:28:43 EDT

Gregg Popovich lauded the play of LaMarcus Aldridge as the Spurs face the Warriors without Kawhi Leonard.

"He doesn't complain about a darn thing," said Popovich of Aldridge. "He plays through everything. I can't imagine being more proud of a player as far as playing through adversity and being there for his teammates night after night after night."

Aldridge had 34 points, 12 rebounds and three assists in San Antonio's Game 2 loss. The Spurs gave the Warriors a close battle until the heavy favorites pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Aldridge's future with the Spurs was uncertain last offseason as he sought a trade, but Popovich was able to adjust their relationship. Aldridge instead signed a three-year, $72 million contract extension.

Steve Kerr: Our Default When Not Running Offense Is KD

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:23:59 EDT

Kevin Durant carried the Warriors' offense in the first half of their Game 2 win over the Spurs as they were taken out of their normal flow.

"I thought in the first half they took us off everything, and so our default when we are not running our offense is go to KD, because he's our best player," Steve Kerr said.

"I give them credit for taking us out of our offense. You know, we got disjointed there. But I thought we did a much better job in the second half. We only had four turnovers and the ball started to move, and I thought we just stayed with it."

Durant was asked if he takes pride in scoring a quiet 32 points.

"Yeah, I mean I'm not a big screamer anymore," Durant said. "I don't beat my chest anymore. So after every shot, I just run down the court and get back on defense. I can make it a loud 32 if I really wanted to, I guess, but that would take a lot of energy out of me.

"I'm not really flashy with how I play anymore. I just try to look for the best shot and be simple and easy with my game - I guess fly under the radar a little bit. But I'm glad I can put points on the board for our team and try to help our team as much as I can."

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