National Basketball Association
NBA News Wire
  • Celtics bring back Green, re-sign Zeller
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, July 23, 2016

    The Boston Celtics agreed to a one-year contract with free agent forward Gerald Green and a two-year deal with restricted free agent center Tyler Zeller, according to reports Saturday.

    • Green, 30, was originally selected by the Celtics with the No. 18 pick in the 2005 draft. He played for the Celtics from 2005-07, averaging 8.9 points and 2.2 rebounds. He spent last season with the Miami Heat, averaging 8.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 69 games (14 starts).

      The 26-year-old Zeller, the 17th overall pick in the 2012 draft, appeared in 60 games for Boston last season, averaging 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds. The 7-foot center started only three games after playing in 82 games with 59 starts the previous season when he averaged 10.2 points and 5.7 rebounds.

      Zeller's deal is expected to include a non-guaranteed second season.

      According to the Boston Globe, the Celtics also agreed to a guaranteed contract with their second-round draft pick, guard Demetrius Jackson, and a partially guaranteed deal with second-round forward Ben Bentil.

  • Team USA rolls past Argentina in exhibition opener
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, July 23, 2016

    The U.S men's basketball team began its pre-Olympic tuneups on Friday night with a 111-74 rout of Argentina an exhibiton game at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

    • Kevin Durant led the Americans with 23 points and Paul George scored 18. Carmelo Anthony added 17 points and DeMarcus Cousins finished with a double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds.

      Andres Nocioni scored 15 points and Manu Gilobili contributed 11 for Argentina.

      The U.S. team had its way with Argentina, considered a medal contender next month in the Rio Games. The Americans opened a big early lead and coach Mike Krzyzewski rotated players throughout the game to experiment with a revamped roster that includes only Durant and Anthony from the 2012 gold-medal squad.

      The exhibition game was the first of five for Team USA leading up to the Summer Games in August.

  • Hornets' co-owner Sabates blasts NBA, city over removal of All-Star Game
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 22, 2016

    Charlotte Hornets co-owner Felix Sabates is irate that the NBA All-Star Game was removed from the North Carolina city and sharply criticized the league and Charlotte city leaders for the loss of the marquee event.

    • The NBA announced it was removing the game from Charlotte on Thursday because of its objection to North Carolina House Bill 2, a law that mandates transgender people use public restrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

      On Friday, an email Sabates sent to the team's ownership group surfaced and was obtained by the Charlotte Observer.

      "Shame on those responsible for such a shortsighted decision to take the NBA All Star (Game) away from Charlotte," Sabates wrote. "I always thought this was a country that ALL peoples not just a few can determine our future."

      Sabates criticized NBA commissioner Adam Silver for not waiting until the courts issued a ruling on the legality of HB2. He blamed the Charlotte city council for the loss of the game.

      "Our Mayor opened a can of worms, who knows why?" Sabates wrote. "Our city council is the one to blame for our losing the NBA All Star game. None of this would have happened if not for a very few minority forcing our supposed city leaders into creating a problem that never really existed. There will always be another election, they better pray a very few can get them re-elected.

      "What is wrong with a person using a bathroom provided for the sex they were born with? If you want to change your gender so be it. We are a free county, but don't force 8-year-old children to be exposed to having to share bathroom facilities with people that don't share the organs they were born with.

      "This is plain wrong. This could cause irreparable damages to children that don't understand why they have to see what God did not mean for them to witness. We have some very confused business as well as political humans that frankly have made this a political issue rather than moral issues. SHAME ON THEM."

      Sabates' rant carried a much different sentiment than the one the Hornets issued after Thursday's announcement. The NBA's plan is to stage the game in Charlotte in 2019.

      "We understand the NBA's decision and the challenges around holding the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte this season," the Hornets said Thursday. "There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so."

  • NBA notebook: Green reaches plea agreement
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 22, 2016

    Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green reached a plea agreement to avoid jail time in the case in which he was charged for slapping a Michigan State football player.

    • Officials in East Lansing, Mich., announced the agreement on Friday. Green will be fined $500 and pay $60 in restitution to Jermaine Edmondson, who police said was slapped by Green on July 10.

      Green didn't have to amid guilt or enter a no-contest plea, according to assistant city prosecutor David Meyers.

      Green, a former Michigan State basketball star, originally was facing a misdemeanor assault charge. It was reduced to a noise violation, which is an infraction.

      Edmondson is no longer part of Michigan State's football program. School officials previously said his departure was not related to the incident with Green.

      --The son of basketball Hall of Famer Moses Malone accused Houston Rockets star James Harden of ordering him to be beaten and robbed last month.

      Moses Malone Jr., 36, told Houston's ABC-13 News that's Harden's "people" attacked him because he posted a Facebook comment critical of the price of Harden's basketball camp.

      Four men were charged Wednesday with the aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in connection with an attack on Malone on June 25, according to Houston's KPRC-2 TV. The incident occurred outside Houston strip club V Live Vintage Steakhouse at 2:30 a.m., and court documents show Malone was robbed of approximately $50,000 worth of jewelry.

      Malone told police that about 15 men surrounded him outside, and one, Darian Blount, mentioned the Facebook post regarding Harden, a noted customer of the club. According to Malone, Blount said that Malone disrespected Harden and would be punished for it, KPRC-2 TV reported.

      Harden has not been charged with any wrongdoing in connection with the case.

      --The Cleveland Cavaliers officially signed Chris "Birdman" Andersen, reuniting the center with LeBron James.

      The contract is a reported one-year deal for the veteran's minimum.

      The 6-foot-10, 245-pound Andersen, 38, split time between the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat last season, appearing in 27 games (15 starts) with averages of 3.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 14.9 minutes.

  • Warriors F Green reaches plea deal in slapping incident
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 22, 2016

    Golden State Warriors standout Draymond Green reached a plea agreement to avoid jail time in the case in which he was charged for slapping a Michigan State football player.

    • Officials in East Lansing, Mich., announced the agreement on Friday. Green will be fined $500 and pay $60 in restitution to Jermaine Edmondson, who police said was slapped by Green on July 10.

      Green didn't have to amid guilt or enter a no-contest plea, according to assistant city prosecutor David Meyers.

      Green, a former Michigan State basketball star, originally was facing a misdemeanor assault charge. It was reduced to a noise violation, which is an infraction.

      Edmondson is no longer part of Michigan State's football program. School officials previously said his departure was not related to the incident with Green.

      Green is prohibited from contact with Edmondson for one year as part of the plea deal. The original charge will be reinstated if he contacts Edmondson or is convicted of a new criminal charge.

  • C Andersen signs with Cavs, reunites with LeBron
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, July 22, 2016

    The Cleveland Cavaliers officially signed Chris "Birdman" Andersen on Friday, reuniting the center with LeBron James.

    • The contract is a reported one-year deal for the veteran's minimum.

      The 6-foot-10, 245-pound Andersen split time between the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat last season, appearing in 27 games (15 starts) with averages of 3.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 14.9 minutes.

      The 38-year-old Andersen has played 14 NBA seasons in a career stalled by a two-year ban for violations of the NBA's substance-abuse policy. He has had stops in Denver (twice), New Orleans, Miami and Memphis.

      In his career, Andersen holds averages of 5.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 17.8 minutes over 683 games (45 starts). He has a career field-goal percentage of .533, having hit at least .500 from the field in each of the last eight seasons.

      Andersen won an NBA championship with Miami in 2013 while a teammate with James, and set an NBA playoff record by shooting .807 (46-for-57) from the field over 20 games during the Heat's title run. Overall, he has appeared in 73 career postseason games (two starts), averaging 5.3 points on .631 shooting from the field, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 17.1 minutes.

  • Harden accused of ties to robbery outside strip club
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 21, 2016

    The son of basketball Hall of Famer Moses Malone accused Houston Rockets star James Harden of ordering him to be beaten and robbed last month.

    • Moses Malone Jr., 36, told Houston's ABC-13 News that's Harden's "people" attacked him because he posted a Facebook comment critical of the price of Harden's basketball camp.

      Four men were charged Wednesday with the aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in connection with an attack on Malone on June 25, according to Houston's KPRC-2 TV. The incident occurred outside Houston strip club V Live Vintage Steakhouse at 2:30 a.m., and court documents show Malone was robbed of approximately $50,000 worth of jewelry.

      Malone told police that about 15 men surrounded him outside, and one, Darian Blount, mentioned the Facebook post regarding Harden, a noted customer of the club. According to Malone, Blount said that Malone disrespected Harden and would be punished for it, KPRC-2 TV reported.

      Malone said he was beaten and robbed of his jewelry, cellphone, credit card and car key.

      Last month, V Live spokesman Carl A. Moore told ABC-13 News, "I don't believe Mr. Harden was at the club, and I definitely don't believe he had anything to do with an attack on Mr. Malone. And so the club's position is that Mr. Malone is a regular of the club. We would have done everything we could to make sure he was safe."

      The Facebook post that Malone alleges led to the incident read, "Don't he make WAY more $ then (sic) Donald Driver???? But, he charging 249$ & the inner city kids have NO CHANCE to go to his camp. Hollywood Harden #Fact."

      Harden has not been charged with any wrongdoing in connection with the case.

  • NBA notebook: League takes All-Star Game out of Charlotte
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 21, 2016

    The NBA announced it will pull the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, with the hope of returning the marquee midseason event to the city two years later.

    • The league's move is in response to its objection to North Carolina House Bill 2, a law that mandates people use public restrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

      Commissioner Adam Silver had threatened to move the All-Star Weekend out of Charlotte unless the law aimed at the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community was changed.

      While the league said that it would reveal the new host city for the 2017 All-Star Game in the coming weeks, The Vertical reported that the NBA has its eyes on the New Orleans' Smoothie King Center. New Orleans played host to the All-Star Game in both 2008 and 2014.

      Chicago, New York and Brooklyn are also in the running to host the event, ESPN reported on Thursday.

      --The Indiana Pacers on Thursday signed veteran free agent point guard Aaron Brooks to a contract. Per team policy, no terms are released.

      The 6-foot Brooks is an eight-year NBA veteran who has played with Houston, Phoenix, Sacramento, Denver and Chicago. He was a first-round pick (26th overall) of the Rockets in 2007. His best season was in 2009-10 when he averaged 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game for Houston. In 2010, he was the NBA's Most Improved Player.

      His NBA career averages are 10.7 points and 3.2 assists per game.

      --The Denver Nuggets re-signed forward Mike Miller to a multiyear contract.

      Miller, a 16-year NBA veteran, appeared in 47 games for Denver during the 2015-16 season and averaged 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game.

      Miller has played in 1,012 career games and posted averages of 10.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 27.3 minutes per game for Orlando, Memphis, Minnesota, Washington, Miami, Cleveland and Denver.

      --The Washington Wizards signed guard Tomas Satoransky to a contract.

      Terms of the deal were not announced by the team for Satoransky, who was originally selected by Washington with the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 draft. The 24-year-old Czech averaged 10.7 points and 4.3 assists while playing in 43 games for Barcelona in the ACB League.

  • Wizards sign G Satoransky
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 21, 2016

    The Washington Wizards signed guard Tomas Satoransky to a contract on Thursday.

    • Terms of the deal were not announced by the team for Satoransky, who was originally selected by Washington with the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 draft.

      The 24-year-old Czech averaged 10.7 points and 4.3 assists while playing in 43 games for Barcelona in the ACB League.

      "We are very pleased to be able to bring Tomas to the organization after monitoring his development overseas for the last several years," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said. "He will provide energy and athleticism at both guard positions, giving us more depth and versatility in the backcourt."

  • NBA strips Charlotte of 2017 All-Star Game
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 21, 2016

    The NBA announced it will pull the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, with the hope of returning the marquee midseason event to the city two years later.

    • The league's move is in response to its objection to North Carolina House Bill 2, a law that mandates transgender people use public restrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

      Commissioner Adam Silver had threatened to move the All-Star Weekend out of Charlotte unless the law aimed at the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community was changed.

      "Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change," the NBA said in a statement. "We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league. These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.

      "Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community - current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans. While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2."

      The Charlotte Hornets and chairman Michael Jordan released a statement based on the NBA's decision to move the game, which is scheduled for Feb. 19.

      "We understand the NBA's decision and the challenges around holding the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte this season. There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so," the statement read.

      "With that said, we are pleased that the NBA opened the door for Charlotte to host All-Star Weekend again as soon as an opportunity was available in 2019. We want to thank the City of Charlotte and the business community for their backing throughout this entire process, starting with the initial bid. We are confident that they will be just as supportive and enthusiastic for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game."

      While the league said that it would reveal the new host city for the 2017 All-Star Game in the coming weeks, The Vertical reported that the NBA has its eyes on the New Orleans' Smoothie King Center. New Orleans played host to the All-Star Game in both 2008 and 2014.

      Chicago, New York and Brooklyn are also in the running to host the event, ESPN reported on Thursday.

      "We are particularly mindful of the impact of this decision on our fans in North Carolina, who are among the most passionate in our league," the league's statement continued. "It is also important to stress that the City of Charlotte and the Hornets organization have sought to provide an inclusive environment and that the Hornets will continue to ensure that all patrons - including members of the LGBT community - feel welcome while attending games and events in their arena.

      "We look forward to re-starting plans for our All-Star festivities in Charlotte for 2019 provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter.

      "The NBA will make an announcement on the new location of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in the coming weeks."

      The Sacramento Kings were among the first teams to publicly comment on the decision to move the All-Star Game out of Charlotte.

      "The NBA has long stood for inclusion and respect, and the Sacramento Kings are proud to be a part of that legacy," Kings owner and chairman Vivek Ranadive said in a statement. "On and off the court we have a diverse team representing different countries, races, religions, ages and sexual orientations. In basketball and in Silicon Valley, we share a similar philosophy - it does not matter who you are, your religious beliefs, your sexual orientation, or the color of your skin – everyone is welcome in our family. All that matters is that you’ve got game.

      "We applaud and support the NBA's decision to ensure that all members of the NBA family, our fans and our partners are able to attend and enjoy the All-Star game in a state where they feel welcome and safe. We enthusiastically support Commissioner Silver and we are proud to play in a league that is a leader in promoting the importance of diversity and equality."

  • Nuggets re-sign Mike Miller
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 21, 2016

    The Denver Nuggets on Thursday re-signed forward Mike Miller to a multiyear contract.

    • Miller, a 16-year NBA veteran, appeared in 47 games for Denver during the 2015-16 season and averaged 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game.

      Miller has played in 1,012 career games and posted averages of 10.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 27.3 minutes per game for Orlando, Memphis, Minnesota, Washington, Miami, Cleveland and Denver.

      "We're thrilled that Mike will be back with us going forward. He exemplifies what it means to be an ultimate teammate and professional, and his resume certainly speaks for itself," said general manager Tim Connelly. "Last season Mike made a major impact on our young core and we look forward to continuing to have his veteran leadership both on the court and in our locker room."

  • Pacers sign PG Brooks
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, July 21, 2016

    The Indiana Pacers on Thursday signed veteran free agent point guard Aaron Brooks to a contract. Per team policy, no terms are released.

    • The 6-foot, 161-pound Brooks is an eight-year NBA veteran who has played with Houston, Phoenix, Sacramento, Denver and Chicago. He was a first-round pick (26th overall) of the Rockets in 2007 after playing collegiately at Oregon.

      His best season was in 2009-10 when he averaged 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game for Houston. In 2010, he was the NBA's Most Improved Player.

      Over his NBA career, he has averaged 10.7 points and 3.2 assists.

      "Aaron is a proven point guard in the NBA," said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. "He can create and shoot the 3. He's another scorer for our second unit who plays at a high level at both ends of the court."

  • NBA notebook: Suns, Mavericks, Spurs to play in Mexico
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    The Phoenix Suns will take on the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs in the first consecutive regular-season NBA games in Mexico on Jan. 12 and 14.

    • The NBA and Zignia Live made the announcement Wednesday for the games at Mexico City Arena. The games will mark the first time the league hosts two regular-season contests in Mexico in the same season.

      The NBA is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its first game in Mexico, and following NBA Global Games Mexico City 2017 the NBA will have staged 24 games in Mexico since 1992 -- the most league games held in any country outside the United States and Canada.

      --The Chicago Bulls added depth to their backcourt by signing guard Isaiah Canaan to a contract.

      Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team for Canaan, who averaged a career-high 11.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists with Philadelphia last season. The 25-year-old connected on 176-of-485 3-point attempts in 2015-16.

      --The Denver Nuggets secured two players for their roster, signing first-round pick Jamal Murray and reaching a contract agreement with veteran free agent Mike Miller.

      Murray, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, will make approximately $6.6 million the first two seasons and the Nuggets hold contract options for the third and fourth years.

      Miller's two-year contract was reported to be worth approximately $5 million. The 36-year-old veteran played in 47 games for the Nuggets last season and averaged 1.3 points.

      ---The Minnesota Timberwolves signed forward/center Jordan Hill, the team announced. Hill agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal, according to multiple media reports.

      Hill, 28, spent this past season with the Indiana Pacers and averaged 8.8 points and 6.2 rebounds.

  • Bulls sign G Canaan to contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    The Chicago Bulls added depth to their backcourt on Wednesday by signing guard Isaiah Canaan to a contract.

    • Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team for Canaan, who averaged a career-high 11.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists with Philadelphia last season. The 25-year-old connected on 176-of-485 3-point attempts in 2015-16.

      "We are excited to add Isaiah to our group," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in a statement. "We feel his ability to knock down perimeter shots will be an asset to our team."

      A second-round selection of Houston in the 2013 draft, Canaan has averaged 9.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 146 career contests with the 76ers and Rockets.

  • Suns, Mavs, Spurs to play games in Mexico
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    The Phoenix Suns will take on the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs in the first consecutive regular-season NBA games in Mexico on Jan. 12 and 14.

    • The NBA and Zignia Live made the announcement Wednesday for the games at Mexico City Arena. The games will mark the first time the league hosts two regular-season contests in Mexico in the same season.

      "We've been playing NBA games in Mexico for 25 years, and we're thrilled that for the first time we are bringing two regular-season games to Mexico City, featuring three teams with an exciting mix of veteran talent and emerging stars," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

      In addition to the games on the court, NBA Global Games Mexico City 2017 will feature a variety of interactive fan events and NBA Cares community celebrations.

      The NBA is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its first game in Mexico, and following NBA Global Games Mexico City 2017 the NBA will have staged 24 games in Mexico since 1992 -- the most league games held in any country outside the United States and Canada.

      "It's an honor to make history alongside the NBA and call Mexico City a second home of the Suns this season," Phoenix Suns president Jason Rowley said. "We have an incredibly strong and supportive Hispanic fan base in Arizona, and these two games present a unique opportunity to strengthen our relationship with NBA fans in both Arizona and Mexico. We're extremely proud to represent the NBA as it continues to grow the game internationally, and we are grateful for this opportunity to help further deepen the relationship between Mexico and Arizona."

      Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said, "We are thrilled to be playing in Mexico City. It's great for the Mavs, the NBA and a great way to tear down walls and barriers between our countries."

      San Antonio Spurs president R. C. Buford said, "The entire Spurs organization is looking forward to returning to Mexico City. San Antonio has long standing important ties with Mexico -- the people, the culture, the history -- and we have witnessed first-hand the passion the Mexican fans have for the Spurs and NBA basketball. We're honored to be part of this trip and look forward to seeing all of our great fans in Mexico City."

  • Nuggets sign first-round pick Murray
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    The Denver Nuggets secured two players for their roster on Tuesday, signing first-round pick Jamal Murray and reaching a contract agreement with veteran free agent Mike Miller.

    • Murray, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, will make approximately $6.6 million the first two seasons and the Nuggets hold contract options for the third and fourth years.

      In one season at Kentucky, he averaged 20 points per game, the highest scoring average for a Wildcats player under John Calipari. The shooting guard played in the NBA Summer League and topped 20 points in three games, including 29 points in a win over the Miami Heat.

      Miller's two-year contract was reported to be worth approximately $5 million. The 36-year-old veteran played in 47 games for the Nuggets last season and averaged 1.3 points.

      Miller also has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Memphis Grizzlies, Heat, Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 10.8 points and shooting 40.7 percent from 3-point range in 16 seasons.

      Last week, the Nuggets also signed first-round pick Malik Beasley (No. 19 overall) to a rookie contract worth $2.77 million in the first two seasons.

  • NBA notebook: Durant wasn't prepared for backlash
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Kevin Durant wants to care less about what other people think. It's just not the way he's wired.

    • The sinking feelings he had after the July 4 announcement Durant would join the Golden State Warriors and leave the only NBA team he'd known after nine seasons anchored him to the bed in a rented house in the Hamptons. Durant was not sick, but the ill will he sensed was coming as reaction to his departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder prompted him to retreat.

      Soon enough, Durant emerged and didn't see his own shadow, but new horizons and a bright future with the Warriors. Golden State sold Durant on joining the two-time defending Western Conference champions by displaying a tight, organic bond between key players.

      Durant said perceived friction with ball-dominant point guard Russell Westbrook was not a factor in his departure. Durant told the Boston Herald that he also seriously considered joining the Celtics, who used a cameo from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as part of their pitch.

      "I was ready to just say, 'All right. Let's go. I'm ready to go,' seeing Tom Brady there," Durant said. "Just seeing someone so successful at his craft and just a great ambassador for the game of football and the city of Boston, it was just great to be in the presence of greatness. But at the same time, I knew I couldn't let that distract me. But he was great. It was great to see him."

      --In the bid to get the band back together to defend their 2016 NBA championship, one contract situation appears to be greater than other negotiating challenges this summer, and it's not LeBron James' deal.

      J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers are far apart in contract talks, per multiple reports, and the 30-year-old might not see a better offer, at least from luxury-tax strapped Cleveland.

      Smith played a key role for the Cavaliers under coach Tyronn Lue, and even with the addition of shooting guard Mike Dunleavy -- acquired from the Chicago Bulls via trade -- the Cavs don't want to take another hit to their rotation.

      --Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol will not play for Spain in the Summer Olympics due to the broken right foot he suffered in February.

      Gasol, a two-time NBA All-Star, was hopeful he would be recovered in time to plan in Rio de Janeiro but is now focusing on making sure he's ready to go for the 2016-17 NBA season.

      Gasol has teamed with older brother Pau on past Spain national teams. Pau Gasol will play in the Rio Games.

      --Recently acquired Orlando Magic guard Jodie Meeks underwent surgery to stabilize the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, the team announced.

      Meeks, 28, will be sidelined indefinitely, according to the Magic.

      Meeks played in just three games with the Detroit Pistons last season after breaking the foot in an Oct. 28 game against the Utah Jazz. Orlando acquired him on June 29 in exchange for a future second-round draft pick.

      --The Phoenix Suns signed guard Leandro Barbosa to a multiyear contract worth a reported $8 million.

      He has spent the past two seasons as a vital cog coming off the bench for the Golden State Warriors.

      Barbosa returns to the Suns, where he played his first seven seasons from 2003-2010, in addition to one season in 2013-14. He had his best statistical season with the Suns in 2006-07 as he won both the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award and the Dan Majerle Hustle Award, averaging career-highs of 18.1 points and 4.0 assists.

      --The Detroit Pistons signed rookie forward Henry Ellenson to a multiyear contract, the team announced.

      Ellenson was the 18th pick in last month's NBA draft.

      The 6-foot-11 Ellenson averaged 17 points and 9.7 rebounds for Marquette last season. He averaged 12.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in five summer league games for Detroit.

      --The Brooklyn Nets signed free-agent guard Joe Harris to a multiyear deal, the club announced.

      Harris played in 56 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers over the past two seasons. He averaged 2.5 points in 9.1 minutes per game.

      Harris was a college standout at Virginia and ranks second in school history with 263 career 3-pointers.

  • Nets sign G Harris
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    The Brooklyn Nets signed free-agent guard Joe Harris to a multi-year deal, the club announced Tuesday.

    • Harris played in 56 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers over the past two seasons. He averaged 2.5 points in 9.1 minutes per game.

      Coach Kenny Atkinson and general manager Sean Marks are high on Harris' potential.

      "We are pleased to welcome Joe to the Nets family," Marks said in a statement. "We are confident that Kenny and his staff will continue to create an environment in which Joe and our other young players will develop and thrive."

      Harris was a college standout at Virginia and ranks second in school history with 263 career 3-pointers.

  • Spanish Grizzlies C Gasol to miss Olympics
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol will not play for Spain in the Summer Olympics due to the broken right foot he suffered in February.

    • Gasol was hopeful he would be recovered in time to plan in Rio de Janeiro but is now focusing on making sure he's ready to go for the 2016-17 NBA season.

      Gasol has teamed with older brother Pau on past Spain national teams. Pau Gasol will play in the Rio Games.

      Spain won the silver medal in each of the past two Olympics.

      Marc Gasol is a two-time NBA All-Star.

  • Suns sign G Barbosa
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    The Phoenix Suns on Tuesday signed guard Leandro Barbosa to a multiyear contract worth a reported $8 million.

    • He has spent the past two seasons as a vital cog coming off the bench for the Golden State Warriors.

      "Leandro has played a significant role on a number of very successful teams over the course of his career," said general manager Ryan McDonough. "We think he will contribute greatly to what we are building - on and off of the court - here in Phoenix."

      Barbosa returns to the Suns where he played his first seven seasons from 2003-2010, in addition to one season in 2013-14. He averaged 12.4 points per game.

      He had his best statistical season with the Suns in 2006-07 as he won both the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award and the Dan Majerle Hustle Award, averaging career-highs of 18.1 points and 4.0 assists.

  • Pistons sign rookie F Ellenson
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    The Detroit Pistons signed rookie forward Henry Ellenson to a multi-year contract, the team announced on Tuesday.

    • Ellenson was the 18th pick in last month's NBA draft.

      The 6-foot-11 Ellenson averaged 17 points and 9.7 rebounds for Marquette last season. He averaged 12.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in five summer league games for Detroit.

  • Magic G Meeks out indefinitely after foot surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Recently acquired Orlando Magic guard Jodie Meeks underwent surgery on Tuesday to stabilize the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, the team announced.

    • Meeks will be sidelined indefinitely, according to the Magic.

      Meeks played in just three games with the Detroit Pistons last season after breaking the foot in an Oct. 28 game against the Utah Jazz. Orlando acquired him on June 29 in exchange for a future second-round draft pick.

      The 28-year-old Meeks has played in 418 career NBA games (194 starts) with the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and the Pistons. He has a 9.9 career scoring average and has made 639 3-pointers.

  • Durant discusses awkward exit from OKC
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Kevin Durant wants to care less about what other people think.

    • It's just not the way he's wired.

      The sinking feelings he had after the July 4 announcement Durant would join the Golden State Warriors and leave the only NBA team he'd known after nine seasons anchored him to the bed in a rented house in the Hamptons. Durant was not sick, but the ill will he sensed was coming as reaction to his departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder prompted him to retreat.

      "I didn't leave my bed, because I was like, 'Man, if I walk outside somebody might just try to hit me with their car or say anything negative to me,'" Durant told USA Today. "I just stayed in. I was trying to process it all. I wanted to be around family, and positive support. It felt different. I mean I've been somewhere for so long and then to make a change like that (which) nobody knew was coming, that nobody didn't think I would do, of course I didn't know how it would be received afterwards. But at some point, I just said, 'Look man, life goes on. Life moves on, and I can't hide forever,' so I just had to face it."

      Soon enough, Durant emerged and didn't see his own shadow, but new horizons and a bright future with the Warriors. Golden State sold Durant on joining the two-time defending Western Conference champions by displaying a tight, organic bond between key players. Steph Curry, the MVP of the past two seasons since Durant won the award after the 2014 season, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were all part of the sitdown summit in New York three days before the public learned Golden State was the pick.

      "For the most part, I got the support around me. I've got the family that supports me no matter what, that love me no matter what I do," Durant said. "I could be playing tennis right now, and I could retire from the game of basketball and they're still going to love me. If I think about that, I'll be fine."

      Durant said perceived friction with ball-dominant point guard Russell Westbrook was not a factor in his departure. Still, the Warriors finished first in passes per game and the Warriors were last. Coach Steve Kerr said Durant is undersold as an all-around player and especially passer and defender.

      According to reports, Westbrook, who finished in the top five in the NBA Most Valuable Player voting this season along with Durant, is hot under the collar about Durant bolting. Durant said in the USA Today interview they haven't talked recently.

      "No, not really. Not really. Not in depth. But I'm sure that will happen at some point," he said.

  • J.R. Smith, Cavs far apart in contract talks
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    In the bid to get the band back together to defend their 2016 NBA championship, one contract situation appears to be greater than other negotiating challenges this summer, and it's not LeBron James' deal.

    • J.R. Smith and the Cavaliers are far apart in contract talks, per multiple reports, and the 30-year-old might not see a better offer, at least from luxury-tax strapped Cleveland. Smith played a key role for the Cavaliers under coach Tyronn Lue, and even with the addition of shooting guard Mike Duleavy -- acquired from the Chicago Bulls via trade -- the Cavs don't want to take another hit to their rotation.

      Center Timofey Mozgov signed a four-year deal with the Lakers and restricted free agent point guard Matthew Dellavedova jumped to the Milwaukee Bucks.

      General manager David Griffin said he was "very confident" Smith would be re-signed.

      Smith made 40 percent of his 3-point attempts and overtook Iman Shumpert, who was playing in the first of a four-year, $44 million deal, from the starting lineup. Smith is looking for a multi-year deal but the Cavaliers are limited in their flexibility.n

  • NBA notebook: James taking his time signing contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, July 18, 2016

    LeBron James, who has made it clear he does not intend to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers despite opting out of his contract, informed the NBA champions he will re-sign sometime this summer.

    • James still has no timetable for negotiating or signing a deal, sources told ESPN on Monday.

      James, fresh off guiding the Cavaliers to their first NBA title, turned down a $24 million salary for the 2016-17 season at the June 29 deadline for his decision.

      He is currently traveling and spending time with his family, will eventually meet with agent Rich Paul and go over his contract options, according to ESPN.

      James can sign for up to $27.5 million for next season on a one-year contract or sign a multiyear deal that could make him the league's highest-paid player at $30.8 million for 2016-17.

      James is one of several members of the Cavs from last season's championship team who remain unsigned, including J.R. Smith and head coach Tyronn Lue.

      --Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor, who was previously cleared to resume on-court basketball activity following his arthroscopic knee surgery in March, will be limited in his participation with the USA Men's Select Team to non-contact activity and drills.

      The 76ers made the announcement before the 20-year-old Okafor trains with the USA Basketball Men's National Team this week in Las Vegas.

      "While the Sixers' medical and sports science team feel Jahlil is fully healed, due to the workload associated with full-contact basketball, it was deemed appropriate to limit his participation to non-contact activities and drills for the upcoming USA Basketball minicamp," the Sixers said in a press release.

      The team said Okafor's recovery and return to play are on schedule. He has been continuing his rehabilitation and performing limited basketball activities while taking classes this offseason at Duke University. He then resumed this practice regiment since joining Sixers coaches and staff last week in Las Vegas.

      --Milwaukee and center Miles Plumlee have agreed to a four-year, $52 million deal that keeps the big man in a Bucks' uniform through the 2019-20 season.

      Plumlee was a restricted free agent but was vocal in his desire to return to the Bucks.

      The 6-foot-11 Plumlee appeared in 61 games, starting 14. He averaged 5.1 points and 3.8 rebounds but really showed his value in the second half.

      --Oklahoma City and budding Spanish star Alex Abrines have agreed on a three-year deal worth a reported $18 million.

      The 6-foot-6 small guard/shooting forward was the No. 32 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He was acquired by Thunder as part of the trade that sent James Harden to the Houston Rockets.

      Abrines averaged 9.6 points in 19.6 minutes per game in the Spanish ACB and in Euroleague this past year.

      --The Toronto Raptors signed guard Fred VanVleet to a multiyear contract. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

      VanVleet played four seasons at Wichita State (2012-16), averaging 10.2 points, 4.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 26.8 minutes in 141 career games (102 starts).