NBA Rumors: San Antonio Spurs Looking For Front Court Help After Waiving Nico Laprovittola?

The San Antonio Spurs have an open roster spot. The Spurs made a surprising roster move on Tuesday evening, waiving guard Nicolas Laprovittola. Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News tweeted that the reason that the team released Laprovittola was to maintain roster flexibility. Laprovittola was in his first season with the Spurs after spending the last half of the 2015-16 season with Spanish club Estudiantes. The 26-year old Argentinian point guard averaged 3.3 points along with 1.8 assists while shooting 37 percent from the three-point line in 18 appearances. He made three starts and averaged nearly 10 minutes a contest. Laprovittola played well when he played over 10 minutes in a game, which occurred six times. He reached double-figures twice with his best game coming against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 5, where he tallied 11 points, on 4-of-5 shooting, and doled out five assists. Laprovittola reportedly had trouble adapting to the NBA game. It is unknown where Laprovittola will end up in the immediate future. Obviously, he could sign with a D-League team and wait to see if he gets a call when someone gets hurt. However, the likely bet is that he goes back oversees and possibly try to hook up with a NBA team next summer. Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News tweeted that part of the reason the Spurs decided to release Laprovittola was due to the development of first round pick Dejounte Murray. Nico Laprovittola was always the placeholder until Spurs trusted Dejounte Murray to be the 3rd PG. Apparently that time is now. — Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) December 27, 2016 Murray, the No. 28 overall selection in this year’s draft, has seen an increase of playing time lately. He has appeared in four straight games and has seen a total of 31 minutes during that span, including a season-high 20 minutes of action against the Portland Trail Blazers on Dec. 23. Against the Blazers, the six-foot-five point guard tallied nine points, on 4-of-8 shooting, and three rebounds along with an assist though he did also turn the ball over three times. He has tallied 23 of his 37 points the past three games and is averaging 2.5 points in 5.3 minutes of action over 15 games. [Image by Harry How/Getty Images] “With Dejounte, it’s about minutes,” head coach Gregg Popovich told Michael C. Wright of ESPN. “The more minutes he gets, the better. He’ll still play some minutes in the D-League. I don’t think it’ll do him much good just to sit on our bench the whole time. He needs to get repetitions in the pick-and-roll, make decisions on a fast break, all that sort of thing. He’ll still do double-duty in a sense. But I just think his potential is off the charts because he is so willing, he’s so young, and he’s got so many physical attributes. We just need to work on his skills and stick with him.” San Antonio now has 14 players, meaning that they can add a player to the roster without making a corresponding move. The Spurs are laden with 10 guys capable playing either one, two or three. They have seven players that can play in the frontcourt though only five players are natural power forwards or centers — Davis Bertans, David Lee, Pau Gasol, Dwyane Dedmond, and LaMarcus Aldridge. Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Anderson are capable of playing the four. [Image by Harry How/Getty Images] The Spurs are excellent on defense but could use another scorer and/or shooter as well someone who can rebound from the power forward position. No move is imminent so they have plenty of time to make a decision. San Antonio ran its record to 26-6 with a 119-98 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday as Aldridge led six players in double figures with 27, on 10-of-12 shooting. Tony Parker added 20 points while Gasol posted his seventh double-double with 16 points and 10 caroms. Lee (12), Manu Ginobili (12), and Danny Green (11) were the others in double figures. Anderson, starting in place of Leonard (stomach ailment), didn’t score but led the team with five assists and had four assists. It marked the fourth time in his career that Leonard missed a game due to a stomach ailment. Six Spurs scored in double-figures tonight, leading us to the 119-98 #SpursWin. pic.twitter.com/xlIx9sQtAu — San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 29, 2016 The Spurs have won three straight and eight of 10. The Spurs, 15th in the league with 105.0 points, have topped the century mark in nine straight games. They are a league-best 16-2 on the road and have the third best scoring defense at 97.9 points a contest. [Featured Image by Darren Abate/AP Images]

NBA Trade Rumors: Hassan Whiteside To Lakers, Lou Williams And Timofey Mozgov To Heat

The latest batch of NBA trade rumors are speculating that the Miami Heat may be considering a rebuild (as the team currently sits at 10-22), and if they do, their most marketable asset is star center Hassan Whiteside. According to Fox Sports, the Heat will likely be a player in the trade market before the NBA trade deadline, but are they willing to deal Whiteside as part of a roster overhaul? The Los Angeles Lakers have also made a lot of recent noise in the rumor mill, as the team is floundering with a 12-23 record. The Lakers have some good young talent, but they lack a marquee star — and in a huge media market like Los Angeles, that is a problem both on and off the court. One player who’s potential trade value has risen sharply this season is shooting guard Lou Williams. Williams has been spectacular as the Lakers’ sixth man this season (per the Orange County Register), averaging 18.8 points in only 25 minutes per game. Lou Williams [Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images] During the off-season, Los Angeles made a controversial move by giving journeyman center Timofey Mozgov a four-year, $64 million contract. SB Nation reports that Mozgov is playing well so far in 2016-17, but many believe that he is not the Lakers’ long-term solution at center. If Los Angeles is going to make a big splash by bringing in a star player before the trade deadline, the center position is viewed as the most likely spot for the Lakers to target. Current NBA trade rumors are circulating that the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat may have a deal in the works. The hypothetical trade proposal that is being discussed online would see the Lakers acquiring Hassan Whiteside from Miami. In exchange, the Heat would receive a package that includes Lou Williams, Timofey Mozgov and Los Angeles’ first-round draft pick in 2018. RELATED ARTICLES ON THE INQUISITR: NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs’ Kevin Love To Lakers, Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony To Cleveland Highlight Blockbuster Seven-Player Deal NBA Trade Rumors: Buddy Hield, Omer Asik, And Terrence Jones To Heat, Hassan Whiteside And Dion Waiters To Pelicans NBA Trade Rumors: Brandon Knight To Kings, Rudy Gay To Magic, Mario Hezonja And Jodie Meeks To Suns From the Los Angeles Lakers’ viewpoint, this is a deal they would make. Mozgov would be expendable with the addition of Whiteside, and even though Williams is playing excellent basketball, his role would be capably covered by Nick Young and Jordan Clarkson if Williams was shipped out. The team’s first-round pick in 2018 is likely to be in the lottery, but to obtain an up-and-coming star like Hassan Whiteside, the Lakers would roll the dice on this deal. The Miami Heat need to decide if they are ready to rebuild, and if so, would unloading Hassan Whiteside be a move that would benefit them in the future? If this specific trade was agreed to, both Timofey Mozgov and Lou Williams would become starters for the Heat. In the short-term, the team would take a small step back, but the first-round draft choice would be a solid future asset for Miami. Hassan Whiteside drives on Indiana’s Myles Turner [Image by Alan Diaz/AP Images] The problem for Miami is that both Mozgov and Williams are 30 years old, and if the goal is to build for the future, Heat president Pat Riley would probably want younger talent if he decides to jettison Hassan Whiteside. In terms of value, this theoretical offer is reasonable, but it appears probable that Miami could get a better offer if they shopped Whiteside around the NBA. In case the Heat were tempted to pursue this deal, it would be a legal transaction as verified by the ESPN NBA Trade Machine, so the option would be there. Current NBA trade rumors are buzzing about a possible swap that involves the Lakers and the Heat. Los Angeles would be likely to jump on the opportunity to acquire a budding star in Hassan Whiteside, but Miami would be much more hesitant. In order to feel good about dealing Whiteside, the Heat would want younger players and more overall value than the Lakers are alleged to be offering. This is an interesting scenario, but it is doubtful that Miami would trade Whiteside unless someone makes them a blockbuster proposal that includes some outstanding young players and/or multiple draft picks. [Featured Image by Alan Diaz/AP Images]

NBA Rumors: Phil Jackson Will Not Return To Los Angeles Lakers After Calling Off Engagement

NBA rumors about the athletes playing on the court often dominate headlines around the holiday season, but this week’s new set of rumors are involve New York Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson after announcing he and Los Angeles Lakers team president Jeanie Buss were ending their four-year engagement. While the ending of the engagement was unfortunate news for the couple, some Los Angeles Lakers fans uncovered a devastating truth after Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss dissolved their relationship. NBA rumors had swirled since last season that Phil Jackson — who signed a lucrative five-year pact with the New York Knicks in 2014 — would use an escape clause at the end of the third season to return to the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason, according to the Inquisitr. Rumors that Phil Jackson would gracefully exit a New York Knicks franchise where he won two NBA championships as a player in the 1970’s to return to a team he led to five NBA titles as a coach from 1999-2010 was put to rest by The Washington Post Wednesday. In an article addressing the ending of the engagement, the writer noted that Phil Jackson no longer had a reason to return to the Los Angeles Lakers. “The fact he and Buss broke off their engagement and cited the physical distance between the two as a significant reason behind it would lead one to believe Jackson won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Jackson’s $12 million annual salary doesn’t hurt, either.” NBA rumors suggesting Phil Jackson — who won two NBA titles with the New York Knicks — would be leaving the franchise to serve as an executive for the Los Angeles Lakers appears dead. [Image by Elsa/Getty Images] ESPN not only confirmed the NBA rumors about Phil Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers potentially reuniting, but the sports network also dispelled them. According to the article, the executives from New York and Los Angeles will be judged on how they mold their teams over the next several years. “Those close to Jackson say he intends to stay for the full five years of his contract with the Knicks, despite the mutual option that’s built into his contract this summer… Buss must decide whether to reboot the Lakers’ front office. Jackson needs to make the Knicks into a contender.” The Washington Post article attempted to concretely contend that Phil Jackson would not reunite with the Los Angeles Lakers anytime in the future. With Phil Jackson no longer a viable option for Jeanie Buss should she decide to reorganize the Los Angeles Lakers’ front office staff, fans of the venerable franchise were already looking forward to the return of another Los Angeles great. “Jackson officially being out of the picture rules out one option and potentially opens the door for others. One of those could be a return in some capacity of Lakers legend Jerry West, who currently is an executive board member of the Golden State Warriors.” Jeanie Buss is looking to return the Los Angeles Lakers to their glory days. With Phil Jackson no longer an option for the team’s front office, could the team look toward Lakers legend Jerry West for help? [Image by Reuben Canales/Getty Images] The announcement that the New York Knicks executive and his Los Angeles Lakers counterpart were ending their 17-year relationship came Tuesday night via social media. Phil Jackson posted a statement to his Twitter account from both parties acknowledging the distance between them and “profession obligations” had finally led to the end of their engagement. pic.twitter.com/2V2JUEfWLb — Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) December 28, 2016 Jeanie Buss furthered her thoughts on her own Twitter account. The Los Angeles Lakers team president agreed with the decision as she had to split her attention between the two loves of her life. The love of my life is the Los Angeles Lakers. I love Phil & will always. It’s not fair to him or Lakers to not have my undivided attention — Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) December 28, 2016 ESPN noted that Jeanie Buss seems determined to make a change in the front office this offseason despite Phil Jackson no longer being a viable option. The Los Angeles Lakers may have a hard time selling Phil on a front office position with Jeanie Buss becoming more vocal as the Los Angeles Lakers’ part owner and team president. Currently, the New York Knicks owner James Dolan allows Phil Jackson to run the team with little to no interference, according to the article. Do you agree with NBA rumors that Phil Jackson will not return to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of this season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. [Featured Image by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]

Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss Call It Quits Before Tipoff

Phil Jackson, president of the New York Knicks, and Jeanie Buss, part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, decided to call it quits on their four-year engagement, citing difficulties in maintaining a long-distance relationship, the New York Post reported on Tuesday. Jackson, 71, and Buss, 55, took to Twitter to announce and confirm their break-up. “With mutual love and respect, we have decided to end our engagement,” Jackson wrote on his Twitter account. “With the nature of our professional obligations and the geographic distance between us, sustaining the relationship has been difficult. We have shared many wonderful moments through the years, and we expect to remain supportive of each other in the future. PJ/JB” [Image by David Livingston/Getty Images] Buss responded to Jackson’s tweet Tuesday evening. The love of my life is the Los Angeles Lakers. I love Phil & will always. It’s not fair to him or Lakers to not have my undivided attention — Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) December 28, 2016 Jackson, who became president of the New York Knicks in 2014, first met Buss in the 1999-2000 season, wrote the LA Times. Twelve years later in December, they got engaged and spent the next four years working on opposite sides of the country, which eventually, in Phil’s words, led to the end of their engagement. Buss, who USA Today refers to as the “top decision maker for the Los Angeles Lakers,” is the daughter of the late Dr. Jerry Buss, former long-time owner of the Lakers. Jeanie and her brother Jim have continued their father’s legacy, managing different facets of the organization their father cherished for so many years. Since the day Phil first arrived in New York to take the helm of the Knicks, the speculation on how long he would stay and in what capacity fueled the sales of tabloid magazines around the city. While he had already been engaged to Buss a few years before accepting the position with New York, Jim Buss, brother to Jeanie and vice-president of basketball operations, sparked controversy and raised even more speculation when he threatened to resign if the Lakers didn’t become a “contending team” by the end of 2014, reported the Washington Post. Jim Buss’ threat to resign ignited a firestorm of speculation, leaving the tabloids and everyone else to imagine a logical opening for Phil Jackson to return to the team in that gave previously added another three NBA championships to the six he and Michael Jordan had won when the Chicago Bulls dominated the 90s, the LA Times reported on Tuesday. [Image by Robert Mora/Getty Images] Jackson, according to the New York Post, maintained his commitment to his five-year contract with the Knicks barring a reunion with Jeanie Buss. It is unclear who, if anyone, initiated the break-up, but both parties appear to be calm and collected on social media. Jackson spoke highly of his former fiancé’s team. Jackson, according to Sports Illustrated, signed a $60 million contract when he became president of the Knicks in 2014. James Dolan, owner of the Knicks, has the option to buy out Jackson’s contract for the entire amount at the end of the 2016-2017 season. With a new, 7-foot-3 forward, Kristaps Porzingis, recently drafted by the Knicks, Dolan might have reason for pause. “They’re moving forward in the right direction. … It was never important to me to go back and be a part of that. Especially not now. I have this job, this commitment.” If Jim Buss does keep his word about resigning as vice-president of basketball operations and the Lakers do continue to spiral into oblivion, Jeanie Buss will need to fill the position with someone, likely a figure from the Lakers past as an interim VPOBO. Jackson and Buss may be calling it quits, but for the Lakers and the Knicks, the 2016-2017 season continues. [Featured Image by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]

NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs' Kevin Love To Lakers, Knicks' Carmelo Anthony To Cleveland Highlight Blockbuster Seven-Player Deal

Certain players cannot avoid being part of the NBA trade rumors carousel, and one of those players is Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love. Love has been long-rumored to be on the trading block due to his subpar performance in the 2016 NBA Finals and the insistence of many observers that he isn’t a good fit alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, as detailed in a report by ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight. Another top player who has recently been mentioned in the rumor mill is New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony. Anthony is playing on an expensive contract (four years, $124 million), he’s on the downside of his career after 13 years in the NBA, and the Knicks do not appear to be a serious contender in 2016-17. Fox Sports discusses Anthony’s situation in New York, the possibility that he might be dealt to Cleveland to play with his good friend LeBron James, and team president Phil Jackson’s assertion that Carmelo Anthony has a tendency to hold onto the basketball too long and stall the team’s offense. Carmelo Anthony [Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images] “He can play that role that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played, that’s a perfect spot for him, to be in that isolated position on the weak side. Because it’s an overload offense and there’s a weak-side man that always has an advantage if the ball is swung.” “Carmelo, a lot of times, wants to hold the ball longer than — we have a rule, if you hold a pass two seconds, you benefit the defense. So he has a little bit of a tendency to hold the ball for three, four, five seconds, then everybody comes to a stop. That is one of the things we work with. But he has adjusted to it, he knows what it can do and he’s willing to see its success.” RELATED ARTICLES ON THE INQUISITR: NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson To Cavs, Iman Shumpert And Jordan McRae To Los Angeles NBA Trade Rumors: Cavs’ Kevin Love To Celtics In Seven-Player Deal NBA Trade Rumors 2016: Carmelo Anthony And Ricky Rubio To Lakers, Andrew Wiggins And Julius Randle To Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis And Jordan Clarkson To Timberwolves In Blockbuster Nine-Player Deal NBA Trade Rumors: Brandon Knight To Kings, Rudy Gay To Magic, Mario Hezonja And Jodie Meeks To Suns The Los Angeles Lakers excited their fan base with a good start to the 2016-17 campaign, but they have recently fallen on hard times (their record has now dipped to 12-22). As a result, the Lakers’ inclusion in the rumor mill has ramped up and there has been a great deal of talk swirling around the team, including this piece from Yibada that discusses the possibility of Kevin Love returning to his home state of California to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. “While Love was a contributor to the Cavaliers success in their 2016 NBA Championship, he has yet to win over the team’s affection,” said Fansided‘s Bret Stuter. “Stories abound with his ‘misfit’ with the current roster, and his defense stood out as a weakness.” Current NBA trade rumors are pointing toward a potential deal between the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks. The scenario that is being discussed online has the Lakers acquiring Kevin Love and center Kyle O’Quinn, while the Cavs would obtain Carmelo Anthony. To round out the three-team swap, the Knicks would receive a package that includes combo guard Jordan Clarkson, small forward Luol Deng, center Chris Andersen, center Tarik Black and Cleveland’s first-round draft pick in 2018. Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love chase a loose ball [Image by Phil Long/AP Images] There are some problems with this rumored trade proposal. Kevin Love is playing extremely well for the Cavaliers this season (21.7 points and 10.8 rebounds per game on stellar 41 percent three-point shooting). It seems highly unlikely that the Cavs would move him now that he has finally found a comfort zone in Cleveland (he’s also helped lead them to the best record in the Eastern Conference). An even bigger obstacle is the legality of this hypothetical deal — according to the ESPN NBA Trade Machine, New York would have too much incoming salary in this transaction, so it would not be allowed by NBA trade and salary cap rules. Based purely on basketball logic, this deal would seem to have a slim chance of happening, but when it comes to the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, this swap has no chance of taking place. NBA trade rumors involving star players come up all the time, but very few of those rumored deals are feasible. There is some circumstantial evidence that allows this rumored trade offer to make some sense on the surface, but in the final analysis, this three-team deal is simply a creation of the NBA rumor mill. [Featured Image by Tony Dejak/AP Images]

NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers Eye DeMarcus Cousins, May Need To Part With D'Angelo Russell In Trade

NBA rumors are swirling that the Los Angeles Lakers are eyeing a possible trade for DeMarcus Cousins to sure up the center position for the long-term. Multiple NBA rumors have suggested that the Los Angeles Lakers are willing to part with significant players in order to obtain the impact player from the Sacramento Kings. Forbes is the latest media outlet to offer Lakers fans hope that Los Angeles could land DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings, according to a recent report. To acquire DeMarcus Cousins, the article suggested the Sacramento Kings would ask for D’Angelo Russell as part of the return package. “Cousins has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers for quite some time and the Lakers could give the Kings perhaps the best return on a trade. Sacramento would be wise to pry D’Angelo Russell from Los Angeles in any return and then focus on building around him. The Lakers may be too giddy with the thoughts of Cousins and Brandon Ingram manning the paint to pass up on this deal.” The Los Angeles Lakers currently have a center under a long-term deal after inking Timofey Mozgov this off-season to a four-year, $64 million contract. While Timofey Mozgov has produced for the Los Angeles Lakers, his 8.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest are no match for what DeMarcus Cousins is producing for the Sacramento Kings. Currently, DeMarcus Cousins is scoring 29.1 points per outing to go with 10.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks each game this season. Timofey Mozgov is better defensive player than DeMarcus Cousins, but the recent Los Angeles Lakers’ signee is no match for the Sacramento Kings’ offensive leader. [Image by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images] The reason DeMarcus Cousins has yet to leave the Sacramento Kings for the Los Angeles Lakers — or any other team, for that matter — is the return package for the impact center. Basketball Insiders‘ Steve Kyler reported that while the Sacramento Kings have listened to offers for DeMarcus Cousins, the trade package in return has lacked the value for such an impact player. “The Kings have listened over the last year to what has come in regarding offers and ideas, and while there are a few teams that would unload a lot to get Cousins for the next year and six months, none of it is equal value for what Cousins is to the Kings right now.” Basketball Insiders suggested that the Sacramento Kings would ask for D’Angelo Russell as part of any deal. The second-year player out of Ohio State has had a decent start to the season, scoring 15.0 points per game while chipping in 4.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds each night. While D’Angelo Russell would offer a slight upgrade at the point guard position over Darren Collison (12.2 points, 4.4 assists per game), the reason Sacramento would target the Los Angeles Lakers point guard is the security that D’Angelo Russell can provide. While Darren Collison and back-up Ty Lawson can walk away next off-season as free agents, D’Angelo Russell has multiple years remaining on his team-friendly rookie contract. D’Angelo Russell could be part of the trade to bring DeMarcus Cousins to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to recent NBA rumors. [Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images] Another reason the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling to get this deal done is the Sacramento Kings are still interested in finding a way to make things work with DeMarcus Cousins. ESPN is reporting another of the many NBA trade rumors suggesting DeMarcus Cousins and fellow University of Kentucky standout Brandon Knight could be teammates with the Sacramento Kings, according to the report. “I know that Sacramento has been talking to Phoenix about Brandon Knight since the summer. Will that ultimately get done? I don’t know, but it’s out there.” DeMarcus Cousins isn’t the only Sacramento Kings player who may have a new team before the February 23 trade deadline, according to the Inquisitr. Rudy Gay is currently the subject of several NBA rumors suggesting he could be dealt to the Orlando Magic, possibly in exchange for Nikola Vucevic. Fan favorite Omri Casspi is also pursuing a trade as the veteran forward is looking for more playing time with another team. Do you believe the NBA rumors suggesting the Los Angeles Lakers are eyeing a possible trade for DeMarcus Cousins this season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. [Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]

George Karl Claims NBA Has A Steroids Problem

Former longtime NBA coach George Karl insists the league has a deeply-rooted steroids abuse problem. Karl makes his shocking, though largely unsupported assertions, in his new NBA tell-all Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection. “We’ve still got a drug issue, though a different one than thirty years ago,” Karl pens is the still yet-to-be released novel. “And this one bothers me more than the dumba**es who got in trouble with recreational drugs.” While not providing any hard evidence for his claim, the man who has served as head coach of six NBA teams based his reasoning on the way many older players are now able to stay in better shape and even get thinner as they age and their careers progress. He also questions how so many of them can recover from injuries as quickly as they do and why more and more of them now spend their summers traveling to such far-away places as Germany, where the latest and most advanced blood boosters and PEDs are far more readily available. “I’m talking about performance-enhancing drugs,” he wrote. Later, he added, “drug testing always seems to be a couple steps behind drug hiding. Lance Armstrong never failed drug test.” Some have interpreted Karl’s specific mentioning of Germany to perhaps be a direct shot at now retired L.A. Lakers longtime star Kobe Bryant, who over the last several years of his surefire Hall of Fame career spent significant time there being treated for various lingering injuries. Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on from the bench late in the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center in Los Angeles. [Image by Harry How/Getty Images] The league long ago instituted a drug policy that includes blood testing for players and over the years has been largely free of any large-scale PED-related scandals. Meanwhile, released excerpts from Karl’s to-be-released in January book have generated all sorts of controversy, particularly his comments about former stars Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin being hard to deal with while he coached them with the Denver Nuggets because neither one of them had a father-figure around while they were growing up to teach them “how to act like a man.” Karl went on to describe the two along with then teammate J.R. Smith as “AAU babies,” who were like “the spoiled brats you see in junior golf and junior tennis.” Now starring with the New York Knicks, Anthony was particularly signaled out for even more harsh criticism with Karl insisting he found the star forward to be a true conundrum. “He was the best offensive player I ever coached,” he added. “He was also a user of people, addicted to the spotlight and very unhappy when he had to share it.” Karl went on to add he viewed Anthony as a one-dimensional player only concerned about scoring the ball and coaching him always meant having to compensate for his bad attitude. Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks sits on the bench during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix, Arizona. [Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images] While Anthony has only publicly responded that he hopes his now 64-year-old former coach “finds happiness in what he is doing,” Martin and other former Nuggets players have blasted him in a series of posts to social media. “I never knew I was a— what’s the word?—conundrum,” said Anthony, hinting that he’s pleased several of his former teammates have rallied to his defense. Karl last coached in the NBA in April of last year when he was fired by the Sacramento Kings following a season where he openly and frequently feuded with star center DeMarcus Cousins and veteran guard Rajon Rondo. He took his first NBA coaching job in 1984 and spent several seasons with the Seattle Supersonics, where he once led the star tandem of Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp to the NBA Finals against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. [Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]

NBA Trade Rumors: Knicks Acquiring Goran Dragic Or Tony Allen Before The Trade Deadline

The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and a lot of teams are looking at opportunities to upgrade their roster. One of those teams is the New York Knicks, who are right smack in the middle of the Eastern conference race. The problem with the Knicks is that they are just a couple of losses away from falling out of the playoffs picture. And with some teams at the bottom of the race getting better, it seems like the Knicks need to desperately move some pieces in order to secure their spot at the Easter conference. According to Fox Sports, the New York Knicks could be eyeing two potential game-changing guards for the team. The first is Goran Dragic, who has been mired in a lot of trade rumors. The other is a bit of a surprise, as Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies is also said to be in the running as a potential guard for the Knicks. Starting off with Goran Dragic who is having a stellar season with averages of 19.2 points per game with nearly 7 dimes to go with it. While those stats are quite good, the problem with the Miami Heat is their current standing. They sit somewhere at the bottom of the pile and rumors are swirling that the team will undergo a major rebuild for the next season. If so, one of the larger contracts that the Heat would probably let go is that of Goran Dragic. Great team win!!! Boy that altitude in the Mile-High City is not a joke! #TheDragon ???? A photo posted by Goran Dragic (@the_1_dragon) on Nov 30, 2016 at 9:43pm PST Dragic will provide the Knicks with a solid backup option for Derrick Rose. Or better yet, the Knicks could experiment with a lineup that will move Rose to the shooting guard position while playing Goran Dragic at the point. This lineup could offer Rose some new looks as he is sometimes ineffective as a distributor. Another plus for Goran Dragic is that he is already familiar with the coach of the Knicks. Dragic played for Jeff Hornacek when he was still with the Phoenix Suns. The fact is, though there are other teams that could grab Dragic at this point, the Knicks could remain as one of the dark horses to land the talented point guard. Next up is Tony Allen, and this one could be huge for the Knicks. The New York Knicks have a glaring problem and that is defense. Currently, the Knicks are the only team in the NBA with an above.500 record to give up more points than they can score according to News Day. As much as the Knicks are showing poor defense, the 16-14 record that they have also says that the team has been brilliant on the offensive side. If the Knicks can somehow get defensive whiz Tony Allen before the trade deadline, then there is no doubt that they will improve. A photo posted by Tony Allen (@aa000g9) on Jan 12, 2015 at 12:21pm PST The problem with Tony Allen is that he is already 35 years old. He could give the Knicks about two more seasons of great play before he starts breaking down or leaving the NBA. But acquiring him will definitely give the Knicks’ chances of going deep in the Eastern conference that much better. But New York won’t go past the Cleveland Cavaliers or even the Raptors with Tony Allen in their lineup. But right now, getting back in the thick of things might be the best route possible for the New York Knicks. So trading for Tony Allen might just be what the Knicks need in order for them to have a better shot at the NBA finals in the next few years. A lot of fans would surely be watching whether the Knicks make a play for Goran Dragic or Tony Allen before the trade deadline. [Featured Image by John Bazemore/AP Images]

George Karl Boldly Claims The NBA Has A PED Problem

George Karl insists on being the lightning rod to controversy these days. George Karl is suggesting that several NBA players are using PED’s, or performance enhancing drugs. Karl’s latest claim is a bombshell that could damage the NBA, or at least how some people view the league. George Karl was a former NBA head coach who most recently coached the Sacramento Kings. He is promoting his book entitled Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs and Poor Shot selection. In it, Karl makes an attempt to reveal some of the NBA’s dirtiest secrets and failings. George Karl already had created a stir with his opinions on some of the NBA stars he has coached. One of those stars George Karl dished some controversial opinions on is retired power forward Kenyon Martin. Martin disclosed with The Undefeated that Karl’s comments put him in a foul mood. What the hell is going on with this man: https://t.co/EGibDZDAmI — Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) December 26, 2016 George Karl mentions that Kenyon Martin not having a father in his life played a role in his maturation process. Martin was not pleased. “We were going to Disney and Al Harrington texted me a little snippet. I hadn’t seen anything until then. I was putting some gas in the truck. I didn’t get a chance to read it all, but just that part alone, I don’t need to read the rest of it. Who are you to talk about that?” After angering Kenyon Martin, among several NBA stars, George Karl might draw the ire of the NBA. An additional George Karl mic drop was revealed by NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman. His bold claim is that PED use is alive and well in the NBA. And this is despite the NBA having an extensive drug program. “We’ve got a more thorough drug-testing program than the NFL or MLB, which we always brag about. But we’ve still got a drug issue, though a different one than thirty years ago. And this one bothers me more than the dumba**** who got in trouble with recreational drugs.” George Karl makes a point to mention the drug issue which plagued the NBA in the 1970s and 1980s. Back then, the drug problem was cocaine use. Cocaine use nearly crippled the NBA in the 80s, with the saving grace being the emergence of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Michael Jordan, and Isaiah Thomas. George Karl: I struggled because my players didn’t have good dads https://t.co/3gbYlk9ZcZ pic.twitter.com/D0ReVdLLBG — Deadspin (@Deadspin) December 22, 2016 George Karl goes in further explanation what he believes the NBA is dealing with. “I’m talking about performance-enhancing drugs—like steroids, human growth hormone, and so on. It’s obvious some of our players are doping. How are some guys getting older—yet thinner and fitter? How are they recovering from injuries so fast? Why the hell are they going to Germany in the off-season? I doubt it’s for the sauerkraut.” George Karl’s claims of NBA players using performance enhancing drugs comes at an interesting time. Good feelings have gone across the NBA with the collective bargaining agreement getting ratified by the players (courtesy of NBA). It is easy to assume that an updated PED policy has been included in the new CBA. Things are starting to look upwards for the NBA. This is the opposite of what took place in the 70s and 80s, when the NBA needed some significant enforcement on drug usage. There did not appear to be any problems with several players getting caught. Now a dark cloud and suspicious eyes could cast heavily with George Karl’s bold claims. George Karl continues his rants… pic.twitter.com/xWTo3kVmeO — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 26, 2016 None of George Karl’s statements can be proven without the help of a former NBA player or coach putting their names and reputations on the line and back him up. Nothing else can substantiate Karl’s claims. Chances are slim that anyone will come to George Karl’s aide publicly. Karl is a highly-respected NBA coach. And as a member of the famed University of North Carolina alumni, there will be several supporters. Many of them are in good standing with the NBA. And they will want to stay in good standing with the league. Being aligned with George Karl might send a message that the NBA does have a PED problem. After nearly losing fans decades ago with the cocaine that ran rampant, this is the last thing the NBA wants — an angry former coach. [Featured Image by Rob Carr/Getty Images]

NBA Trade Rumors: Brandon Knight To Kings, Rudy Gay To Magic, Mario Hezonja And Jodie Meeks To Suns

NBA trade rumors have been hovering like a cloud over small forward Rudy Gay and the Sacramento Kings for months. Gay has not been pleased with his experience as a member of the Kings, and the team reportedly agrees that he isn’t a good fit in Sacramento. Basketball Insiders reveals that the Kings have been talking to the Orlando Magic about a possible deal, and Rudy Gay has been the focal point of those discussions. Rudy Gay [Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images] Point guard Brandon Knight of the Phoenix Suns is another player who has been frequently mentioned in the rumor mill, and according to Fox Sports, there have been ongoing discussions between the Suns and Kings regarding the availability of Brandon Knight. “It’s hard to read Sacramento. Sacramento talks a lot, but then never does anything, so Sacramento’s very frustrating to people,” said Brian Windhorst of ESPN. “I know that Sacramento has been talking to Phoenix about Brandon Knight since the summer. Will that ultimately get done? I don’t know, but it’s out there.” RELATED ARTICLES ON THE INQUISITR: NBA Trade Rumors: Paul George And Monta Ellis To Kings, DeMarcus Cousins And Rudy Gay To Pacers NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers’ Julius Randle And Luol Deng To Magic For Serge Ibaka And Jeff Green NBA Trade Rumors: Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony To Cavs, Kevin Love To Suns, Devin Booker And Tyson Chandler To New York NBA Trade Rumors: Nerlens Noel To Celtics, Marcus Smart To 76ers Orlando Magic small forward Mario Hezonja came into the NBA with high expectations as the No. 5 overall choice in the 2015 NBA Draft, but his situation with the Magic has gone from bad to worse, as detailed in a piece published by Fansided. Hezonja is no longer in Orlando’s playing rotation, and the team is even considering sending him down to the D-League to work on his game. As often happens when a young player underachieves, Mario Hezonja’s name has been coming up in NBA trade rumors as a result of his issues with the Magic, and head coach Frank Vogel recently weighed in on the matter. “Mario is in a tough spot right now. You can’t earn minutes without minutes. Right now, he’s doing everything he can within that to stay ready and to show that he has a great attitude, which he does, and to show that he as a great work ethic, which he does. He’s handled it exactly how you want a young player to handle it, by double and tripling his work. And just being very determined to be ready when his number is called again and to be a team guy until it does.” Mario Hezonja [Image by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Images] The latest from the NBA rumor mill has the Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, and Phoenix Suns involved in a potential three-team deal. The specifics of the transaction are rumored to have Brandon Knight going to the Kings, Rudy Gay heading to the Magic, and Mario Hezonja and shooting guard Jodie Meeks joining the Suns. This four-player swap would satisfy all NBA trade rules per the ESPN NBA Trade Machine, so the league would approve this deal if it were agreed upon by the teams involved. It appears that this trade would be advantageous for both the Sacramento Kings and the Orlando Magic, but it would be questionable for the Phoenix Suns. The Suns do have reason to move Brandon Knight, but would they do it for Hezonja and Meeks? Current NBA trade rumors are circulating that the Kings, Magic, and Suns could be contemplating a three-way deal. Sacramento and Orlando would be likely to agree to this four-player swap, but it might take more prodding to get Phoenix to join in — and that may lead to the demise of this potential trade unless the Kings or Magic would be willing to add something more to their offer. [Featured Image by Matt York/AP Images]