Rajon Rondo reportedly traded to Mavericks

Rajon Rondo is headed to Dallas. After a 24-hour span of heavy negotiations and rumors, the Boston Celtics have finally agreed to a trade involving their franchise point guard. ESPN SportsCenter says the Mavs are sending Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright, Jameer Nelson and two draft picks to Boston in return for Rondo and Dwight Powell….Read More

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Jabari Parker Reportedly Will Miss Remainder of 2014-15 Season with Torn ACL

Jabari Parker, one of the brightest young stars in the NBA, has reportedly torn his ACL. 

ESPN’s Marc Stein first revealed the news, while Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the report:

Early in the third quarter of Monday’s 96-94 win over the Phoenix Suns, Parker—as he so often does—led the fast break, but his knee buckled as he entered the lane, and he had to be carried off the court. 

The rookie out of Duke, drafted second overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in last June’s draft, was averaging 12.3 points on 49.0 percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. One of the most hyped prospects in several years, he had already begun to show glimpses of a bright future and was the front-runner for Rookie of the Year.

His talent was matched by a professionalism and maturity not typically seen in 19-year-olds, and this is a devastating development. 

As CBS Sports’ Sam Vecenie noted, the 2014 draft class has been incredibly snakebitten:

Fortunately, if it’s possible to use that word, Parker is still young, and ACL rehab has come a long way even in the last couple of years. We saw with the Bulls’ Derrick Rose that returning to full strength can be a lengthy process, but everyone responds to injuries differently. 

Either way, Parker’s potential remains sky-high, but his ascent will have to be put on hold. 

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Knicks reportedly preparing for a fire sale

It has taken the 2014-2015 New York Knicks less than two months to prove to everyone that they are not going to amount to anything this season. Losers of 11 of their last 12 games, the Knicks could be the second-worst team in the NBA behind only the Philadelphia 76ers. As a result, Phil Jackson…Read More

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Lakers Reportedly Awarded $4.85 Million Disabled Player Exception for Steve Nash

The Los Angeles Lakers lost veteran Steve Nash for the season due to a back injury, but they are reportedly set to receive some compensation due to the disabled player exception.    

Brian Windhorst of ESPN initially passed along the news:

Nash has played in just 65 games over the last two seasons with the Lakers. The former Phoenix Suns star holds averages of 11.4 points and 6.4 assists per game during that span.

Back in October, the Lakers made the news of his injury official along with quotes from Nash and general manager Mitch Kupchak:

The Lakers have been ravaged by injuries this season, including the recent loss of Xavier Henry for the season due to a ruptured Achilles, per ESPN.com’s Baxter Holmes, as well as the loss of promising rookie Julius Randle to a broken leg. Receiving the return on Nash should help lessen some of the blow from another down season.

Jeremy Lin (12.1 PPG, 4.9 APG) has stepped up in place of Nash, but the team is still 3-11 entering Tuesday night and well outside of the playoff chase. Getting value back for Nash’s injury allows the team a chance to help bolster the roster in the future.

 

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Doctor reportedly determined Dwight Howard abused son with belt

Dwight Howard was recently investigated for child abuse after Royce Reed, the mother of one of Howard’s children, accused him of whipping their 6-year-old son Braylon with a belt. TMZ reported on Sunday that Howard has been cleared by the Florida Dept. of Children and Families, but it sounds like whether he did something wrong…Read More

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PJ Hairston Assault Charges Reportedly Dropped at Alleged Victim’s Request

The assault charges brought against Charlotte Hornets guard P.J. Hairston have reportedly been dropped at the request of the alleged victim.   

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer revealed the news Thursday:

Hairston’s charges were from an alleged altercation at the Durham YMCA back in July. District Attorney Roger Echols noted that Kentrell Barkley requested the charges to be dropped, per The Durham Herald-Sun‘s news report.

The rookie shooting guard has played well this season, averaging 5.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in just 13.2 minutes per game. Those numbers are good enough for per-36 averages of 13.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game (h/t Basketball-Reference.com).

Hornets coach Steve Clifford recently spoke about his importance to the offense, per Bonnell.

“All I know is when he’s out there, it opens up for everyone else,” Clifford said. “It opens up because they’re so scared of him taking a shot.”

Meanwhile, Barkley has moved on from the skirmish. The Northern Durham player recently signed with ECU, per Bret Strelow of The Fayetteville Observer:

Hairston can now focus solely on basketball moving forward. The first-round pick for Charlotte in the 2014 NBA draft will need to play well to get the team back on track in the Eastern Conference.

Traveling to take on the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the Hornets will need Hairston to be at the top of his game to win both contests.

 

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Markus Kennedy Reportedly Ineligible for SMU’s 1st Semester

Once viewed as a potential Top 10 team, SMU continues to plummet down the 2014-15 college basketball ranks.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Larry Brown will be without star forward Markus Kennedy for the first chunk of the season due to eligibility problems:

This is the second game-changing hit to the Mustangs roster this offseason. In July, top recruit Emmanuel Mudiay elected to forgo college and head to China to play professionally.

Before that, SMU, which lost in the NIT final last season and returned a large portion of its roster, looked like a team capable of making a deep run in March. Now, the Mustangs are reeling.

Fortunately, Kennedy should be back in time for conference play. Per SMU’s website, the fall term officially ends Dec. 20, which means he would be back in time for one game before the AAC opener against South Florida.

Unfortunately, the nonconference schedule includes trips to Gonzaga (Nov. 17), Indiana (Nov. 20) and Michigan (Dec. 20), as well as a home test against Arkansas (Nov. 25).

Without Kennedy, those games become much more difficult. The Villanova transfer averaged 12.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks in just 25.0 minutes per game last year. An active 6’9″ force on both ends of the court, he was expected to be one of the best big men in America this year.

As College Basketball Talk’s Rob Dauster noted, it’s tough to overstate this loss:

For as long as Kennedy is sidelined, Nic Moore will continue to shoulder the scoring load, while Cannen Cunningham and Ben Moore will pick up many of his minutes in the frontcourt.

The silver lining here is that Brown often went 10-deep last year, and this once-young roster features a lot of experience. If the Mustangs can just tread water, they may get Kennedy back in time to hit their full potential for the important stretch run.

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LeBron, Kyrie Irving reportedly had ‘healthy’ exchange after loss

Strap in, folks because this ride is seemingly about to get bumpy. Although you can always say that when a team isn’t winning. The Cleveland Cavaliers had an impressive win over the Chicago Bulls, but they’re definitely not winning—and last night’s gut-punch loss on the last shot of the game to the Utah Jazz won’t help matters. Now, ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst is reporting through sources that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had a “healthy exchange” in the locker room after the loss to the Portland Trailblazers.

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving exchanged words in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ locker room following the team’s 19-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, and it led to Irving leaving quickly without speaking to the media, multiple sources told ESPN.com.
The Cavs had assists on only six of their 30 field goals Wednesday, the lowest assist percentage (20 percent) by a LeBron James team in his career. The discussion was seen as healthy, sources said, with the veteran

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LeBron James, Kyrie Irving reportedly exchange words, deemed ‘healthy’ by sources

Multiple sources have told ESPN that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, two-thirds of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ new triumvirate of top dogs, exchanged words in the locker room following the team’s 101-82 blowout loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. The discussion was described as “healthy” by the sources, although it possibly prompted Irving…Read More
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LeBron James, Kyrie Irving Reportedly Exchanged Words Following Loss to Blazers

LeBron James‘ Cleveland homecoming has gotten off to a surprisingly rocky start, and failure to mesh with incumbent star Kyrie Irving may be a big reason.    

The Portland Trail Blazers crushed the Cavaliers 101-82 on Tuesday night. Following that disappointing loss, James and Irving reportedly exchanged words in the locker room about the direction and flow of the offense, according to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst.

While Windhorst categorized the discussion as “healthy,” James was clearly unhappy after the game based on his comments to the media.

“There’s a lot of bad habits, a lot of bad habits been built up the past couple years,” LeBron said. “When you play that style of basketball, it takes a lot to get it up out of you.”

It is entirely possible that James was alluding to Irving’s dominance of the ball. As the go-to player for the first three seasons of his NBA career, the Duke product grew accustomed to the offense going through him.

Per ESPN’s Skip Bayless, shooting a high volume of shots is basically in Irving’s DNA:

Also, despite LeBron’s presence, Windhorst believes Irving is reluctant to adapt, according to ESPN’s First Take:

The Cavs are currently 1-3, which is shocking for a team that boasts elite talent such as James, Irving and Kevin Love. Cleveland was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the Eastern Conference, but that may have been presumptuous.

A 102-100 loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday couldn’t have done much to improve the locker room mood, but there are still many games left to be played. James took to Twitter to calm down a panicky fanbase: 

The expectation that James, Irving and Love would be able to mesh immediately was probably unrealistic. All three of them will have to sacrifice something in order to have team success moving forward, and LeBron is clearly hopeful that his point guard will embrace that.

 

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