LeBron James wanted a playmaker to help the Cleveland Cavaliers. Deron Williams is ready to be that guy. The Dallas Mavericks waived Williams on Thursday, and the five-time All-Star is now looking to join the Cavaliers as they pursue a second straight championship, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
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The New Orleans Pelicans have waived forward Terrence Jones and signed shooting guard Hollis Thompson to a 10-day contract. The moves, announced Thursday evening, give New Orleans more depth at shooting guard after the club traded away guards Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield and Langston Galloway to Sacramento as part of a trade Sunday night that brought All-Star 6-foot-11 forward DeMarcus Cousins and 6-9 forward Omri Casspi to the Pelicans.
The Dallas Mavericks made two plays for the future Thursday, acquiring big man Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers before the trading deadline and waiving point guard Deron Williams to clear the way for rookie Yogi Ferrell. A person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press that the Mavericks agreed to send veteran center Andrew Bogut, young swingman Justin Anderson and a protected first-round draft pick to the 76ers. The 22-year-old Noel was the sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft.
PHILADELPHIA -- With the All-Star break behind them, the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers resume their seasons Friday in Philadelphia, having made significant changes to their rosters in advance of Thursday's trade deadline.
The Atlanta Hawks added scoring help for their playoff push by acquiring forward Ersan Ilyasova from the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. The 76ers got injured center Tiago Splitter and a protected second-round draft pick from Atlanta, and have the right to swap another 2017 second-round pick with the Hawks. The 6-foot-10 Ilyasova is expected to add scoring punch to Atlanta's front line as the Hawks attempt to improve their playoff position.
Carmelo Anthony had a half-season of clues about what Phil Jackson thought of him, and now it was his turn to evaluate his boss. Anthony had trumpeted his trust in Jackson when he re-signed in 2014 and reaffirmed it months later, even as Jackson continued trading away key players from the best team Anthony ever played on in New York. The Knicks are 23-34, 12th in the Eastern Conference and on pace to miss the playoffs for the third time in Jackson's three full seasons as president of basketball operations.
The New Orleans Pelicans are hoping to give their playoff chances a boost by acquiring power forward DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings, US media reported Sunday night. Cousins would join forces with fellow all-star Anthony Davis who scored 52 points and was named MVP of Sunday's all-star game. Nothing was official but Yahoo Sports, ESPN and USA Today reported that the Kings were on the verge of dealing Cousins for rookie guard Buddy Hield, swingman Tyreke Evans, guard Langston Galloway, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 second-round pick obtained from the Philadelphia 76ers.
Paul Millsap knows how to make an entrance. NEW ORLEANS — When the Eastern Conference All-Stars took the floor for Saturday’s practice session at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the first player introduced was Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks. Music blaring, public address announcer yawping, dancers gyrating … and Paul Millsap, stone-faced, walks through it at an unhurried pace as fans offer a polite, respectful, muted pop.
The NBA will continue its push into Africa, announcing on Saturday the league will return to Johannesburg with an exhibition game pitting Team Africa against Team World. In an ongoing effort to spread the basketball gospel, tap new markets and develop more players, the National Basketball Association (NBA) will bring promising African players including Bismack Biyombo of the Orlando Magic and Emmanuel Mudiay of the Denver Nuggets and American C.J. McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers to South Africa for the Aug. 5 showcase.
Experience, connections, buckets and beads: What the Rising Stars want out of New Orleans (Ball Don't Lie)
Karl-Anthony Towns enjoys hearing about Devin Booker’s plans to interface with influencers. NEW ORLEANS — OK, let’s be honest: the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge is not the biggest draw of NBA All-Star Weekend. Sure, it’s fun to watch some of the best and most exciting first- and second-year players in the league strut their stuff in a defense-optional, highlight-hopeful contest featuring plenty of springs and no shortage of youthful exuberance.
Australian playmaker Ben Simmons, the top pick in last year's NBA Draft, will have his broken right foot examined next Thursday in New York to see when he might finally be able to make his NBA debut. On January 23, doctors examined a CT scan and found an inner portion of the bone had not mended, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report citing unnamed sources, which also said Simmons would be looked at next week at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Ben's long-term health remains our primary concern," 76ers president Bryan Colangelo said.
If the Wizards come back from the All-Star break without missing a beat, the nation's eyes will soon be glued to Washington, D.C. Something special is happening in our nation's capital - the Wizards are just five games behind the defending champion, first-place Cleveland Cavaliers, and they are playing some of the best basketball in the NBA over the past six weeks. ''I've never been this close to winning this many games in my career,'' guard John Wall said.
The Boston Celtics are linked to Jimmy Butler in trade speculation and get an up-close look at the Chicago Bulls guard Thursday night at the United Center. After defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 116-108 on Wednesday night at TD Garden, the Celtics go head-to-head with Butler in their quest to sweep the back-to-back set prior to the All-Star break -- something they've done four previous times already. Whether they acquire Butler, the Celtics sights are set squarely on the top spot in the Eastern Conference, which is held by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After coming up short in the running for a starting spot and finding himself outside the coaches’ picks for the reserve corps, Carmelo Anthony had to come to terms with the fact that, for the first time in seven years, he wasn’t an All-Star. “I got plans,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ Tuesday practice, according to Fred Kerber of the New York Post. The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony will replace injured Kevin Love as an Eastern Conference All-Star, according to league sources.
Philadelphia center Joel Embiid will not participate in the Rising Stars Challenge or the Skills Challenge at All-Star weekend in New Orleans because of an injured left knee. Oklahoma City's Alex Abrines will replace Embiid on the World Team for Friday night's Rising Stars game. Denver's Nikola Jokic will take Embiid's spot in the Skills Challenge on Saturday night.
When Memphis beat New Orleans on Dec. 5, Marc Gasol had a triple-double and the Grizzlies hung on to beat the Pelicans 110-108 in double overtime. Gasol posted 28 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for the Grizzlies, who resembled a M*A*S*H unit more than an NBA team. With a mish-mash of journeymen and rookies, coach David Fizdale's squad overcame 28 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots from New Orleans All-Star Anthony Davis.
If ever a team needed help, it is the Toronto Raptors. "I think he's a great addition to any team," Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry said. Ibaka did not play in the Raptors' 105-94 loss to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on Tuesday but could be available Wednesday -- although there is no guarantee -- when they play the Charlotte Hornets at the Air Canada Centre.
When they defend, the Los Angeles Clippers can compete with any club in the NBA, center DeAndre Jordan believes. "We can score against anybody," Jordan told the Los Angeles Times. Defending has sparked the Clippers to three consecutive wins.
Kyle Lowry said something had to change in Toronto. Serge Ibaka is on his way to try to make that happen. The Raptors acquired the veteran power forward from Orlando on Tuesday for Terrence Ross and a 2017 first round draft pick.
The season is nearing its All-Star break, and DeMarcus Cousins has games to play that actually count. This is a first for him as a pro, as the Sacramento Kings center has yet to work this deep into an NBA February while still in a playoff race. It took an overtime victory against the tanking Philadelphia 76ers just for the team to line up at 10 games under .500 at the All-Star break last season, but this time around the Kings have a chance to be tied for the No. 8 seed in the West when the break hits after Thursday night.
What was then viewed as a bad loss for the Rockets morphed over the ensuing three weeks as the Heat reeled off an NBA-best 13-game winning streak before succumbing to the Philadelphia 76ers last Saturday night. "Every single night it's a challenge," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. During the streak the Heat were second only to the San Antonio Spurs in defensive rating (99.9) and second to the Golden State Warriors in net rating at 10.5.
The life-affirming play of Joel Embiid and a surprisingly solid 21-34 record have eclipsed one clear negative for the Philadelphia 76ers — Ben Simmons, the top pick in June’s draft and a potential superstar, has not played a single game for the team this season. While the absence of Simmons has not been felt especially strongly in the team’s on-court performance (relative to expectations, at least), going through more than two-thirds of the season without him has held back some of their long-term plans. It now looks like Simmons and the Sixers will have to wait longer for that much-anticipated debut.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Gerald Henderson sent a text message to his teammates before Monday night's game reminding them that Nic Batum had guaranteed a Charlotte Hornets victory. The fired-up 76ers responded by beating the Hornets 105-99 behind 18 points and 11 rebounds from reserve Dario Saric for their third straight win. ''Everybody pays attention that stuff,'' said Henderson, who previously played in Charlotte.