The Latest Basketball Newslines

Kobe Bryant Admits to Fading Athleticism

(Kobe) Bryant held a fireside chat recently during his promotional Nike tour in that region, touching on everything. His mental focus. How he stays motivated. What moves he works on during the offseason. How he keeps his confidence. And, of course, how will he play in the 2013-14 season after appearing in only six games last year because of injuries to his left Achilles and left knee.

“I can say I want to be able to jump as high as I used to. I want to be as fast as I used to. But no; I don’t jump as high as I used to,” Bryant said. “That’s okay. I’m not as fast as I used to be. That’s okay, too. I’ll figure out another way to do it.”

The majority sentiment supported by Bryant and those around him suggests he will resort to his strong fundamentals both with his footwork and in the post. It also appears Bryant could face some restrictions with his minutes both with playing time and possibly even sitting on certain back-to-backs.

via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News

Rondo Letting Things Play Out in Boston?

Multiple league sources have repeatedly said that Rondo wants to start the season in Boston and see where things go from there. A similar sentiment has trickled out of Celtics camp, as well.

Rondo is hopeful that the team Danny Ainge is assembling around him is better than most anticipate, that they can be this season's feel-good story not only in the East but throughout the NBA.

via A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast SportsNet Northeast

Sixers Eyeing Australian Forward Joe Ingles?

Australian forward Joe Ingles has received some interest from the Philadelphia 76ers, sources told Sportando. Ingles is currently playing in the FIBA World Cup with Australian NT.

via Segui Orazio Cauchi of Sportando

Koponen Looking to Make NBA Jump Soon

Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen hopes to be playing in the NBA by the 2015-16 season.

Here at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Koponen told ESPN.com he intends to make the jump to the NBA after completing the final season on his contract with BC Khimki in Russia.

"I always said my dream is to play in the NBA," Koponen said. "Every summer we talk a little bit with Dallas to see what the situation is and what they think. I've got one more year left on my contract in Russia and then of course I would like to come over. I hope I get some options to go there and show I can play at that level."

via Marc Stein of ESPN

Rose: I’m Fine Playing Behind Kyrie Irving

The NBA's 2010-11 MVP (Derrick Rose) also says he has no issues playing behind Kyrie Irving at the point after it appeared earlier in the summer that he would be a starter for (Team USA Coach) Krzyzewski.

"We have a deep team," Rose said. "And that’s what makes us so good.

"My role is coming off the bench right now. I'm fine with it. I know no second unit can win when I'm on the court or stick me when I'm on the court."

via Marc Stein of ESPN

Witte Departs from 76ers to Join Clippers?

Courtney Witte, the 76ers’ director of player personnel and a fixture in their scouting department for more than a decade, is leaving the Sixers to join the Los Angeles Clippers, two sources confirmed Sunday.

via Mike Sielski of The Inquirer

Source: Kings Waive Wayne Ellington

Sacramento (Kings), I'm told, waived Wayne Ellington on Sunday, which was last day teams could apply waive-and-stretch provision to coming season

via Marc Stein of ESPN on Twitter

Pacers Make Deal to Add Chris Singleton?

NBA free agent Chris Singleton, I'm told, has committed to deal with the Indiana Pacers.

via David Pick of Eurobasket on Twitter

Source: Douglas-Roberts to Join Clippers

Can confirm Woj report that LAC is close to a deal with Hedo Turkoglu. Team is also close to signing Chris Douglas-Roberts, per a source.

via Dan Woike of the Orange County Register on Twitter

HEAT Making Big Changes to Coaching Staff?

The Miami Heat are reassigning two prominent assistant coaches, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Ron Rothstein and Bob McAdoo will no longer play significant roles on head coach Erik Spoelstra's staff – and are completely off the bench, according to league sources.

Those changes will clear the way for Juwan Howard to be promoted from his role in player development, league sources said.

via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

Sources: Clippers Close to Signing Turkoglu

Free-agent forward Hedo Turkoglu is nearing agreement on a one-year, $1.4 million deal to return to the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

Jason Terry Traded To The Rockets

The Rockets will send a package centered on non-guaranteed contracts, including Alonzo Gee, that the Kings can ultimately waive and gain salary savings and roster space, league sources said. Sacramento will send Houston two second-round picks in the deal, including one via the Knicks, league sources told Yahoo. The trade could take some time to officially complete, based on restrictions of contracts in the deal, league sources said.

Sacramento had been trying to unload Terry and his $5.4 million expiring deal, and Houston had been searching for a playoff-sturdy guard to join its bench.

via Adrian Wojnarowski - Yahoo Sports.

Rajon Rondo Demands Trade?

But maybe the relationship isn't as strong as the Celtics indicate or Rondo is already sick of rebuilding. During a behind-the-scenes clip of ESPN's Around the Horn, which the show posted Wednesday on YouTube, the great Jackie MacMullan suggested Rondo has already made it clear he will not stay after his contract expires next summer. (See video below.)

When Frank Isola raised the topic of trading Rondo, MacMullan replied, "Oh, I hope so. Just get it done. And it will happen because he's told them he wants out. And no one believes me, but that's the truth."

via MassLive.com

Spurs, Clippers Interested in Ray Allen

The San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers are the latest elite teams to join the race to sign Ray Allen, league sources told ESPN.com.

The sources told ESPN.com this week that the Spurs and Clippers have emerged as two more rivals for the Cavaliers to worry about as Cleveland continues to try to lure Allen away from the Miami HEAT.

via Marc Stein of ESPN

Sources: Nike to Keep Kevin Durant

At the 11th hour, Nike just simply couldn't let Kevin Durant walk away.

With Durant on the verge of a move to Under Armour, sources told ESPN on Sunday that Nike has exercised its right to match any rival shoe company's offer to the Oklahoma City Thunder star.

Nike has countered Under Armour's offer of between $265 million and $285 million and believes it will keep Kevin Durant for the next 10 years, sources told ESPN. Nike, whose seven-year deal that guaranteed Durant $60 million is expiring, made an initial offer of about $20 million a year that was far from what Durant was looking for. Under Armour's huge play for Durant had many believing that Nike would even let him go at that price.

via Darren Rovell and Marc Stein of ESPN

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