National Basketball Association
NBA News Wire
  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014
    NBA roundup: Veteran ref Bavetta retires
    By The Sports Xchange

    Longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta is hanging up his whistle after 39 years.

    • The league announced the 74-year-old Bavetta's retirement on Tuesday. He worked his first NBA game on Dec. 2, 1975, in Madison Square Garden in New York.

      The New York native will be best known for his streak of working 2,635 consecutive regular-season games. He never missed an assignment during his long career, which included 270 playoff games and 27 in the NBA Finals.

      ---DeMarcus Cousins puts the probability of playing in Team USA's exhibition game on Wednesday night at 50-50.

      Cousins, the Sacramento Kings center who banged knees with Kenneth Faried in a Team USA practice last week and sat out Saturday's exhibition against Brazil in Chicago, was back at full speed on Tuesday in New York. Doctors found no structural damage in the knee.

      Cousins is competing for a roster spot with Mason Plumlee of the Brooklyn Nets and Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons to back up New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis. Final cuts could come as early as Tuesday.

      Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose sat out Tuesday's practice as a precaution. He is coming back from a torn meniscus suffered last season.

      ---New Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt added NBA head coaching experience to his staff on Tuesday with the hiring of Larry Drew.

      Drew was let go after one season as coach in Milwaukee when Jason Kidd left the Brooklyn Nets for the Bucks, who were 15-67 under Drew in 2013-14.

      Drew also coached Atlanta Hawks for three seasons before going to Milwaukee. The Hawks reached the playoffs in each of Drew's three years on the bench.

  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014
    Cavs hire Drew as assistant
    By The Sports Xchange

    New Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt added NBA head coaching experience to his staff.

    • The Cavs announced Tuesday that former Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew will join Jim Boylan, Bret Brielmaier, James Posey and Tyronn Lue on the bench. Lue earlier was named the associate head coach.

      Drew was let go after one season in Milwaukee when Jason Kidd left the Brooklyn Nets for the Bucks. Milwaukee posted a 15-67 record under Drew in 2013-14.

      Drew also was head coach of the Atlanta Hawks for three seasons before going to Milwaukee. The Hawks reached the playoffs in each of Drew's three years on the bench.

      Phil Handy will serve as the Cavs' director of player development and assistant coach, and Vitaly Potapenko will be an assistant director of player development.

      Boylan was with the Cavs as an assistant coach last season.

  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014
    Cousins 50-50 to play Wednesday for Team USA
    By The Sports Xchange

    DeMarcus Cousins puts the probability of playing in Team USA's exhibition game on Wednesday night at 50-50.

    • Coach Mike Krzyzewski thinks it's a little higher.

      Cousins, the Sacramento Kings center who banged knees with Kenneth Faried in a Team USA practice last week and sat out Saturday's exhibition against Brazil in Chicago, was back at full speed on Tuesday in New York. Doctors found no structural damage in the knee.

      As the U.S. team prepares to make its final cuts for the FIBA World Cup in Spain, Cousins could use a good showing to improve his chances of staying on the roster, which could be cut from 16 to 12 as early as Thursday, according to reports.

      Among the big men competing with Cousins for a spot on the team are Mason Plumlee of the Brooklyn Nets and Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons. One of them will back up New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis.

      Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose sat out Tuesday's practice as a precaution. He is coming back from a torn meniscus suffered last season.

  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014
    Veteran ref Bavetta retires
    By The Sports Xchange

    Longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta is hanging up his whistle after 39 years.

    • The league announced the 74-year-old Bavetta's retirement on Tuesday. He worked his first NBA game on Dec. 2, 1975, in Madison Square Garden in New York.

      Bavetta, a New York native, will be best known for his streak of working 2,635 consecutive regular-season games. He never missed an assignment during his long career, which included 270 playoff games and 27 in the NBA Finals.

      "Dick's dedication and commitment to his craft has been an inspiration to all NBA officials," NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said. "We are grateful for his contributions to our league, and we wish him the best as he enjoys his well-earned retirement."

      In addition to his NBA work, Bavetta also was the first NBA referee selected for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Other international assignments included the 1997 McDonald’s Championship in Paris, the 1993 Mexico Challenge and the 1990 Japan Games in Tokyo.

      "On behalf of myself and the entire Bavetta family, I would like to thank the NBA family and the National Basketball Referee Association for allowing me the honor and the privilege of representing them for 39 wonderful years," Bavetta said.

      "I am most proud of never having missed an assigned game, be it exhibition, regular season or playoffs, throughout my entire career. It really has been a great run."

  • Monday, August 18, 2014
    NBA roundup: Cleamons expected to join Knicks' staff
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Knicks will add Jim Cleamons to new coach Derek Fisher's staff, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

    • Cleamons, a longtime NBA assistant, served on former Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew's staff last season.

      Knicks president Phil Jackson and Cleamons have a long history of working together -- first with the Chicago Bulls and then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Cleamons was on Jackson's coaching staff for numerous NBA titles.

      Cleamons and Fisher also previously worked together when Cleamons was an assistant coach and Fisher a point guard for the Lakers form 1999 to 2004.

      The Lakers' reunion in New York includes Kurt Rambis, a longtime Jackson assistant who is part of Fisher's staff.

      ---The Detroit Pistons signed free agent forward Cartier Martin and center Aaron Gray.

      The 6-foot-7 Martin brings career averages to the Pistons of 5.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 220 games with Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, Golden State and Charlotte.

      The 7-foot Gray has career averages of 3.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 318 career games for Chicago, New Orleans, Toronto and Sacramento.

      ---The Toronto Raptors signed forward-guard Jordan Hamilton. The 6-foot-7 Hamilton averaged 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 60 games, including 12 starts, last season with the Denver Nuggets and the Houston Rockets.

      ---The Memphis Grizzlies signed 2014 second-round draft pick Jarnell Stokes to a multi-year contract.

      The 6-foot-9 Stokes, a power forward who played his college ball at Tennessee, was selected by the Utah Jazz with the 35th overall selection and was traded to Memphis on draft day for a 2016 second-round draft pick.

  • Monday, August 18, 2014
    Grizzlies sign Stokes
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Memphis Grizzlies signed 2014 second-round draft pick Jarnell Stokes to a multi-year contract, the team announced Monday.

    • Terms of his contract were not released.

      The 6-foot-9 Stokes, a power forward who played his college ball at Tennessee, was selected by the Utah Jazz with the 35th overall selection and was traded to Memphis on draft day for a 2016 second-round draft pick.

  • Monday, August 18, 2014
    Pistons sign Martin, Gray
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Detroit Pistons signed free agent forward Cartier Martin and center Aaron Gray to contracts on Monday.

    • Financial terms of the deals were not made available by the team.

      The 6-foot-7 Martin brings career averages to the Pistons of 5.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 220 games with Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, Golden State and Charlotte.

      Last season, Martin played in a career-high 59 games for Atlanta and Chicago and averaged 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.6 assists. His season scoring high was 17 points at Dallas on Oct. 30.

      Martin also has spent time in Turkey, Italy, China and with Iowa in the NBA Development League.

      The 7-foot Gray has career averages of 3.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 318 career games for Chicago, New Orleans, Toronto and Sacramento.

      In 2013-14 with the Raptors and Kings, the 29-year-old Gray played in 37 games and averaged 1.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 0.6 assists.

  • Monday, August 18, 2014
    Raptors add F-G Hamilton
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Toronto Raptors signed forward-guard Jordan Hamilton on Monday to an undisclosed contract.

    • The 6-foot-7 Hamilton averaged 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 60 games, including 12 starts, last season with the Denver Nuggets and the Houston Rockets.

      Hamilton had 20 double-figures scoring games in 2013-14, with a season-high 19 points on Nov. 8 at Phoenix.

      He was traded to the Rockets from the Nuggets on Feb. 20 for Aaron Brooks.

      Hamilton played college basketball at Texas and was drafted 26th overall by the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 and then was part of a three-team deal on draft night involving the Portland Trail Blazers.

      In 126 career NBA games, Hamilton averages 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds.

  • Monday, August 18, 2014
    Report: Cleamons to join Knicks' staff
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Knicks will add Jim Cleamons to new coach Derek Fisher's staff, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

    • Cleamons, a longtime NBA assistant, served on former Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew's staff last season.

      Knicks president Phil Jackson and Cleamons have a long history of working together -- first with the Chicago Bulls and then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Cleamons was on Jackson's coaching staff for numerous NBA titles.

      Cleamons and Fisher also previously worked together when Cleamons was an assistant coach and Fisher a point guard for the Lakers form 1999 to 2004.

      The Lakers' reunion in New York includes Kurt Rambis, a longtime Jackson assistant who is part of Fisher's staff.

      Cleamons and Rambis are both expected to help Fisher install the triangle offense that Jackson ran with the Bulls and Lakers.

      Cleamons spent nine years as a player in the NBA with the Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks and Washington.

  • Sunday, August 17, 2014
    Report: Marion to sign with Cavs
    By The Sports Xchange

    Forward Shawn Marion informed the Cleveland Cavaliers that he intends to sign a free-agent deal with them this month, even though the team can only pay him the league's minimum salary, according to ESPN.com.

    • Marion, 36, reportedly wants to play alongside star forward LeBron James and have a chance to compete for an NBA title. The Indiana Pacers are also pursuing Marion after losing forward Paul George to a broken leg that will keep him out for about a year.

      The Cavaliers can only offer Marion $1.4 million this season.

      The Pacers could pay Marion up to $5.3 million after being granted a disabled player exception by the NBA stemming from George's injury. However, they would enter into luxury tax territory if they spent more than $1.7 million of the exception.

      Indiana could outbid Cleveland for Marion without going over the luxury tax. Pacers president Larry Bird has said the Pacers will not be a luxury tax team.

      Marion has reportedly said he wants to play for a championship contender if he leaves the Dallas Mavericks. He has met with the Pacers and Cavaliers.

      Last season, Marion averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Mavericks. In 15 NBA seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors and Mavericks, he has averaged 15.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest.

  • Friday, August 15, 2014
    NBA roundup: Pacers' George talks about leg injury
    By The Sports Xchange

    Indiana Pacers forward Paul George felt like his leg was on fire.

    • "I felt like gasoline was on my leg and somebody lit a match," the NBA All-Star said Friday during a press conference at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

      George was appearing publicly for the first time after his injury Aug. 1 at the USA Basketball Showcase while playing in a scrimmage for the U.S. men's national team.

      When George fell hard into a basket support at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, fracturing his right leg, the incident had far-reaching consequences. The severity of the injury and a long rehabilitation process will likely cost him the entire 2014-15 NBA season.

      The exhibition game was halted after George's injury and sparked a national debate whether NBA stars, making millions of dollars, should play for the national team and risk injury.

      "They don't deserve any criticism for this," George said of USA Basketball. "I would love to be a part of USA Basketball in 2016."

      George underwent surgery the day after the accident and returned to Indianapolis on Aug. 5. On Friday, a large crowd of Pacers fans holding "We love you" signs greeted George at the parking entrance to the arena.

      ---Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on the right big toe earlier this week and is expected to be out a minimum of six to eight weeks, the team announced.

      The procedure, a debridement (cleaning out of debris) in his toe, was performed on Wednesday by Dr. Richard Ferkel at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Van Nuys, Calif.

      As part of his rehabilitation from the surgery, Livingston will be in a splint for the first three weeks of his recovery.

      Livingston, 28, signed with the Warriors as a free agent on July 11, getting a three-year contract worth about $16 million.

      ---USA Basketball canceled a scheduled trip to Senegal due to concerns over the deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.

      The team planned to visit Senegal before the FIBA World Cup later this month.

      USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN.com that the World Health Organization's declaration of a "public health emergency of international concern" in the region caused the team to cancel its plans.

      The team, including Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, was scheduled to visit Africa on Aug. 27 for basketball clinics, tours and receptions in the Senegalese capital of Dakar.

      ---Police are investigating seven teens who broke into the home of Miami Heat free agent guard Ray Allen on Thursday morning, NBCMiami.com reported.

      According to the report, the teens entered Allen's Coral Gables, Fla., home around 2:30 a.m. after attending a party next door.

      The teens believed Allen and his family were not home and thought it would be "cool" to see the inside of the house. They entered through an unlocked back door, according to police. However, Allen's wife and children were sleeping upstairs and were awoken by the noise.

      ---The Sacramento Kings signed center Sim Bhullar to a contract.

      Born in Toronto, Ontario, Bhullar is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA team. The 7-foot-5, 360-pounder was a member of the Kings squad that won 2014 NBA Summer League championship in Las Vegas.

  • Friday, August 15, 2014
    Warriors' Livingston has toe surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on the right big toe earlier this week and is expected to be out a minimum of six to eight weeks, the team announced Friday.

    • The procedure, a debridement (cleaning out of debris) in his toe, was performed on Wednesday by Dr. Richard Ferkel at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Van Nuys, Calif.

      As part of his rehabilitation from the surgery, Livingston will be in a splint for the first three weeks of his recovery.

      Livingston, 28, signed with the Warriors as a free agent on July 11, getting a three-year contract worth about $16 million.

      At that time he was diagnosed with a sprained right big toe and his right foot was placed in a cast as part of treatment for the injury. During a re-evaluation last week, it was determined that the injury was still present.

      Livingston averaged 8.3 points, 3.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.22 steals in 26.0 minutes over a career-high 76 games with the Brooklyn Nets last season.

      The 6-foot-7 guard had single-season career highs with 54 games started, 1,974 minutes played, 629 points, 246 rebounds and 93 steals.

      In 12 playoff games, Livingston averaged 9.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists, while shooting 51.2 percent.

  • Friday, August 15, 2014
    George wants to play in '16 Olympics
    By The Sports Xchange

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers forward Paul George felt like his leg was on fire.

    • "I felt like gasoline was on my leg and somebody lit a match," the NBA All-Star said Friday during a press conference at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

      George was appearing publicly for the first time after his injury Aug. 1 at the USA Basketball Showcase while playing in a scrimmage for the U.S. men's national team.

      "It was just on fire," he said. "It just felt like a burning sensation."

      When George fell hard into a basket support at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, fracturing his right leg, the incident had far-reaching consequences. The severity of the injury and a long rehabilitation process will likely cost him the entire 2014-15 NBA season.

      The exhibition game was halted after George's injury and sparked a national debate whether NBA stars, making millions of dollars, should play for the national team and risk injury.

      "They don't deserve any criticism for this," George said of USA Basketball. "I would love to be a part of USA Basketball in 2016."

      Since George's injury, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder left the team but said it was because of fatique and not anything to do with George's accident.

      George underwent surgery the day after the accident and returned to Indianapolis on Aug. 5. On Friday, a large crowd of Pacers fans holding "We love you" signs greeted George at the parking entrance to the arena.

      The big question is: When will George be back? Will he miss the entire 2014-15 NBA season? There is no definitive timeline and George said he does not want to rush back, risking further injury. But he does hold hope of possibly returning late in the season.

      "I would love to come back and play this year. I'm a competitor," George said. "I understand there's a possibility I won't be back this year. I'm very aware of that. But if I have the opportunity to make a comeback, I'm looking forward to it."

      George has heard from and been visited by large numbers of players, including newly signed Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, and Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat.

      Pacers center Roy Hibbert and Pacers guard George Hill were among the first to visit George in Indianapolis. Pacers teammate C.J. Watson visited him in the hospital before his surgery.

      Members of the USA Basketball national team will wear patches honoring George on their practice shooting jerseys. FIBA, the international basketball federation, does not permit patches on game jerseys otherwise USA Basketball would have created a special uniform for the FIBA World Cup, which begins Aug. 30.

      George made one thing clear about the national team Friday. He fully intends to compete for a spot for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro.

      "Absolutely. It's in Brazil," George said. "I look forward to a comeback. I look forward to have an opportunity again to participate in Team USA in 2016. This injury has nothing to do with my take on playing for my country at all."

      The national team will play Brazil in an exhibition game Saturday night at United Center in Chicago, but George said he wil watch on TV instead of going to the game.

      Memories of the injury are still with the national team, as well as with George. He said the worst injury he had previously suffered was a swollen ankle. When he went down in Vegas, George said he knew immediately how bad it was.

      "I was in shock. I couldn't believe that it was me this was happening to," he said. "When I looked down and saw my bone sticking out, I knew it was bad. I've felt pain before. This was a pain I haven't felt before."

      In addition to questions about NBA stars playing for the national team, criticism about the basket support stanchions at the Thomas & Mack Center surfaced. George disagrees with such criticism.

      "It was a freak accident. It was just a freak accident," George said. "No one's really been injured the whole time ... since USA Basketball has been here. They've never seen someone take a huge injury. I think it just happened. Freak accidents happen."

      Larry Bird, Pacers president and a star for the original Olympic dream team while he played for the Boston Celtics, is still a believer in the national team program.

      "Personally, I think that it is good for these young men," Bird said in a press conference earlier this week at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. "They're a brand now. And they get an opportunity to showcase their talents all over the world."

      George, who had a rod and several pins surgically implanted in his leg, says he may start light rehabilitation next week. He is walking with the help of crutches.

      "This is something I think I can overcome," he said. "It's a bump in the road."

      The Pacers are negotiating with free agent Shawn Marion of the Dallas Mavericks to try to fill George's spot next season.

      "This team is still competitive," George said. "I don't want the fans to lose hope, lose sight of what coach (Frank) Vogel built, what Larry (Bird) put together. ... This team is going to be a team to go out there and compete."

      George's well-known humor also popped out Friday.

      "I just want to put my best foot forward," he said, laughing.

  • Friday, August 15, 2014
    Team USA cancels Africa trip
    By The Sports Xchange

    USA Basketball cancelled a scheduled trip to Senegal due to concerns over the deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.

    • The team planned to visit Senegal before the FIBA World Cup later this month.

      USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN.com on Friday that the World Health Organization's declaration of a "public health emergency of international concern" in the region caused the team to cancel its plans.

      "I speak for all at USA Basketball when I say we're extremely disappointed we will not be able to visit Senegal," Colangelo said. "Our entire traveling party was very much looking forward to the experience."

      The team, including Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, was scheduled to visit Africa on Aug. 27 for basketball clinics, tours and receptions in the Senegalese capital of Dakar.

      More than 1,000 deaths attributed to Ebola have been recorded since March in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. Two American aid workers infected with the virus while working in West Africa were sent to a containment unit in Atlanta's Center for Disease Control for treatment.

      "The circumstances just don't allow us to go," Colangelo said.

      The New York Times reported Friday that the State Department ordered family members of staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to leave the country.

      "Although the CDC does not yet suspect any (Ebola) cases in Senegal, the country's position as a neighboring country to Guinea and Dakar's role as a gateway to West Africa heightened our concern," Colangelo said.

      "We remain committed to fostering basketball worldwide and in Africa and Senegal in particular and we are committed to look at further opportunities in the future to work with and support the Senegalese national team."

      Team USA opens World Cup play against Finland in Bilbao, Spain, on Aug. 30.

  • Friday, August 15, 2014
    Teens break into Allen's home
    By The Sports Xchange

    Police are investigating seven teens who broke into the home of Miami Heat free agent guard Ray Allen on Thursday morning, NBCMiami.com reported.

    • According to the report, the teens entered Allen's Coral Gables, Fla., home around 2:30 a.m. after attending a party next door.

      The teens believed Allen and his family were not home and thought it would be "cool" to see the inside of the house. They entered through an unlocked back door, according to police. However, Allen's wife and children were sleeping upstairs and were awoken by the noise.

      "She heard people walking up the stairs and that's when she yelled out to them, 'what are you doing in my house?' " Coral Gables Police spokeswoman Kelly Denham said. "As soon as they heard that, they fled the house."

      Some of the teens told their parents what happened and the parents took them to the police department to report the incident.

      "They stated that they did enter the home," Denham said. "They were there to see where Ray Allen had lived. They honestly thought that he had moved from the house."

      The teens were released after being questioned for several hours. They could face misdemeanor trespassing charges.

      The teens thought Allen left Miami to play with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers after seeing boxes and furniture covered up in the home. Allen, a free agent, has not said if he is retiring or leaving the Heat for another team.

      Police said the teens were "crying" and "terrified." They have not been arrested for trespassing because an officer did not witness the incident or for burglary because there was no forced entry, no intent, and nothing was stolen.

  • Friday, August 15, 2014
    Kings sign C Bhullar
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Sacramento Kings signed center Sim Bhullar to a contract on Friday.

    • The team did not release terms of the deal.

      Born in Toronto, Ontario, Bhullar is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA team. The 7-foot-5, 360-pounder was a member of the Kings squad that won 2014 NBA Summer League championship in Las Vegas.

      "I've long believed that India is the next great frontier for the NBA, and adding a talented player like Sim only underscores the exponential growth basketball has experienced in that nation," team owner Vivek Ranadive said in a statement. "While Sim is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA franchise, he represents one of many that will emerge from that region as the game continues to garner more attention and generate ever-increasing passion among a new generation of Indian fans."

      In his two seasons at New Mexico State, Bhullar averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 2.9 blocks and 25.3 minutes over 65 games. He was a two-time Western Athletic Conference Tournament MVP, helping the school reach the NCAA Tournament in 2013 and '14. He set a single-season school record for most blocked shots with 85 and his 62.1 field goal percentage ranks fourth on the school's single-season list and was first in the WAC in the 2012-13 season.

  • Thursday, August 14, 2014
    Cousins injured at Team USA workout
    By The Sports Xchange

    Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins injured his right knee in a collision during Thursday's practice, the first since Team USA lost Indiana Pacers star forward Paul George to a leg injury.

    • Cousins underwent an MRI and Team USA physician Dr. Lisa Callahan said there was no structural damage to the knee. He is listed as day to day.

      Team USA general manager Jerry Colangelo said Cousins is out for Saturday's exhibition against Brazil at the United Center in Chicago. Team USA is practicing this week at Qwest MultiSport training facility, site of the NBA Draft Combine.

      The Team USA preliminary roster of 16 is reduced to 14 players for the exhibition this weekend.

      The FIBA World Cup of Basketball begins Aug. 30 in Spain. The championship game is Sept. 14.

      The list of All-Stars not on the team represents a virtual who's who in the NBA, including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Kevin Durant, who withdrew after Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin had done the same.

  • Thursday, August 14, 2014
    NBA roundup: Cousins injures knee at Team USA practice
    By The Sports Xchange

    Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins injured his right knee in Thursday's practice, the first since Team USA lost Indiana Pacers star forward Paul George to a leg injury.

    • Cousins will undergo what national team general manager Jerry Colangelo said is a precautionary MRI exam and is out for Saturday's exhibition against Brazil at the United Center. Team USA is practicing this week at Qwest MultiSport training facility in Chicago, site of the NBA Draft Combine.

      In addition to Kevin Durant, who withdrew last week citing mental and physical fatigue, the preliminary roster of 16 is reduced to 14 players for the exhibition this weekend.

      Colangelo said he is hopeful Cousins is not seriously injured. A sprained knee could bring a recovery time of 4-6 weeks, which would wipe out the center for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball in Spain, which begins Aug. 30. The championship game is Sept. 14.

      The list of All-Stars not on the team represents a virtual who's who in the NBA, including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Durant, who withdrew after Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin had done the same.

      --Phoenix Suns guard Isaiah Thomas underwent successful arthroscopy on his left wrist and is expected to be fully recovered in time for training camp, the team said.

      Thomas was acquired from the Sacramento Kings in a sign-and-trade deal on July 12.

      Last season, he averaged career-highs of 20.3 points on 45.3 percent shooting, 6.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game for the Kings.

      For his three-year career, Thomas has averaged 15.3 points per game.

      --The Toronto Raptors signed free agent Jordan Hamilton to a one year deal. Terms of the agreement were not released.

      Hamilton split time last season with the Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets averaging 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

      In his three-year career, Hamilton has shot 36 percent from behind the 3-point line.

      --Boris Diaw played an integral role for San Antonio as the Spurs won the NBA title this past season. Diaw parlayed his excellent play into a new three-year, $22.5 contract.

      Now he hopes to continue that play with France in this summer's FIBA World Cup. Diaw acquired sufficient insurance and was granted permission by the Spurs to participate in the tournament.

      Spurs teammate Tony Parker is not playing for France this summer.

  • Thursday, August 14, 2014
    Suns G Thomas has wrist surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    PHOENIX -- Phoenix Suns guard Isaiah Thomas underwent a successful arthroscopy on his left wrist, the team said Thursday. Thomas is expected to be fully recovered in time for training camp.

    • Thomas was acquired from the Sacramento Kings in a sign-and-trade deal on July 12.

      Last season, he averaged career-highs of 20.3 points on 45.3 percent shooting, 6.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game for the Kings.

      For his three-year career, Thomas has averaged 15.3 points per game.

  • Thursday, August 14, 2014
    Diaw cleared to play for France in FIBA
    By The Sports Xchange

    Boris Diaw played an integral role for San Antonio as the Spurs won the NBA title this past season. Diaw parlayed his excellent play into a new three-year, $22.5 contract.

    • No wonder the Spurs were a little fearful when Diaw said he wanted to play for France in this summer's FIBA World Cup.

      Teammate Manu Ginobili was training to play for Argentina when he felt pain from a stress fracture. The Spurs shut Ginobili down.

      To be cleared to play, Diaw, the captain of the French team, had to acquire enough insurance. He finally did and now has the Spurs' blessing to participate.

      "The matter is settled. It is being finalized, it is a matter of hours" before Diaw can start to practice, a representative of the French national team told reporters.

      Diaw is expected to play this weekend when France takes on the Philippines.

      Spurs teammate Tony Parker is not playing for France this summer. He has decided to rest and spend the time with family.

  • Thursday, August 14, 2014
    Raptors sign free agent Hamilton
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Toronto Raptors signed free agent Jordan Hamilton to a one year deal on Thursday. Terms of the agreement were not released.

    • Hamilton split time last season with the Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets averaging 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

      In his three-year career, Hamilton has shot 36 percent from behind the 3-point line.

  • Wednesday, August 13, 2014
    Sterling loses appeal of Clippers' sale
    By The Sports Xchange

    Donald Sterling appears to have run out of options to block the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

    • Sterling's appeal of Tuesday's decision that closed the sale of the Clippers was denied Wednesday. The team's former owner had filed a request for an immediate stay.

      "The evidence before this court indicates the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to Steven Ballmer has closed," the 2nd Appellate District Court said in its ruling. "Thus, there is nothing for this court to stay."

      The court added that Sterling "failed to show that the balancing of the relative harms favors granting a temporary stay or supersedeas."

      Ballmer bid an NBA-record $2 billion to purchase the franchise after the league suspended Sterling and ordered the sale of the team because of his racially sensitive remarks that were captured on tape.

      "While we have no doubt Donald Sterling will appeal to the Supreme Court, we are beyond thrilled and gratified and supremely confident that this is now over and done and Steve Ballmer is the undisputed owner of the Los Angeles Clippers," Ballmer's attorney, Adam Streisand, said.

      Pierce O'Donnell, the lawyer for Sterling's wife Shelly, said she was happy with the outcome. Her earlier approval cleared the way for the franchise to be sold.

      "It is time for Donald to accept that the game is over and he has run out of courts," O'Donnell said. "For the Clippers, it is a new era under a new owner whose commitment to excellence and passion will take the team to an NBA championship."

      Donald Sterling bought the team in 1981 for $12 million. The 80-year-old billionaire has additional lawsuits pending in state and federal courts against the NBA and his wife.

  • Wednesday, August 13, 2014
    NBA releases 2014-15 schedule
    By The Sports Xchange

    The 2014-15 NBA schedule is out and LeBron James will be in Miami on Christmas Day to face the Heat for the first time as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    • The NBA announced Wednesday that the regular season will tip off Oct. 28 with the defending champion San Antonio Spurs playing host to the Dallas Mavericks. The other opening night game on TNT is the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Houston Rockets.

      James' first game in his return to the Cavaliers after four years and two titles with the Heat will be at home on Oct. 30 against the New York Knicks. The Oklahoma City Thunder face the Los Angeles Clippers in the TNT nightcap.

      The Cavs and Spurs meet in Cleveland on Nov. 19 and in San Antonio on March 12.

      The league schedule includes an extended weeklong All-Star break that will allow players who participate in the festivities a chance for a few days of rest.

      The anticipated return of guard Derrick Rose from his second serious knee injury to the Chicago Bulls is scheduled for Oct. 29 in a game against the Knicks in New York.

      Christmas Day games begin at noon ET on ESPN when the Knicks square off against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden. The Spurs host the Thunder in a rematch of the 2014 Western Conference Finals, followed by the Cavaliers against the Heat, the Lakers taking on the Chicago Bulls and former Lakers center Pau Gasol, and the Golden State Warriors going up against the Clippers in Los Angeles.

      ESPN will televise a Nov. 11 game between the Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves in Mexico City.

  • Tuesday, August 12, 2014
    Pistons' Monroe sets sight on 2015 free agency
    By The Sports Xchange

    Detroit Pistons forward-center Greg Monroe wants out of Motown so much he is willing to risk playing a year on rookie money for the chance to cash in as a free agent.

    • On Tuesday, Monroe told the Pistons he will accept their qualifying offer with the goal of becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015. USA TODAY reported Monroe has until Oct. 1 to sign the qualifying offer.

      The 24-year-old Monroe's decision means he will earn slightly under $5.5 million this upcoming season. Reports out of Detroit said the team had offered Monroe a five-year deal worth $60 million.

      Monroe, a restricted free agent, decided to forgo signing an offer sheet with the Pistons, which they could have matched.

      Monroe averaged 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds a game last season.

  • Tuesday, August 12, 2014
    Pacers meet with Marion
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Indiana Pacers, looking for fill a void left by forward Paul George's serious leg injury, are in the mix for free-agent Shawn Marion.

    • Pacers president Larry Bird confirmed that Marion, a 15-year NBA veteran, visited Indianapolis on Monday. Indiana and the Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be the leading contenders for the former All-Star's services.

      "What I came away with was he's undecided with where he wants to play and what he wants to do," Bird said Tuesday. "But he does want to play for a contender."

      The Cavaliers are hoping to entice Marion with the opportunity to win a championship with LeBron James now back in Cleveland. But the Cavs are limited to a minimum salary offer of $1.4 million after a flurry of offseason activity with other free agents.

      The Pacers could have at their disposal a $5.3 million disabled player exception, if approved by the league, after George suffered a compound leg fracture last month while playing for the U.S. national team. But, according to ESPN.com, the Pacers would have to pay a luxury tax if they spend more than $1.7 million of the exception.

      "We met with Shawn Marion and tried to gauge his interest, but there's no way to replace Paul George," Bird said.

      Bird won't rule out George returning for the 2014-15 season, but he's not expected to be back that soon.

      "No one has told us he's going to be out for the whole year, but based off our conversations, we're expecting him to be out for the whole year, but we don't really know," Bird said. "If he can play, he's going to play."

      Marion went to Cleveland last week for a meeting with Cavaliers general manager David Griffin and coach David Blatt. Griffin and Marion have worked together previously when both were with the Phoenix Suns as executive and player.

      The 36-year-old Marion spent the past five seasons with the Dallas Mavericks and was part of their championship team in 2011. He averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds last season for the Mavs.