NBA Rumors Round-Up

Rumors: Clippers Making Moves

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Check out the biggest rumors of the day in our NBA Rumor Round-Up. For more rumors and news, check out Basketball Insiders’ headlines, which are constantly being updated.

Nate Robinson, Celtics agree to buyout

The Celtics have completed the buyout of Nate Robinson, I’m told, after he was traded from Denver yesterday.

Via Sam Amick of USA Today Sports on Twitter

This occurred very swiftly as the Celtics only acquired Robinson yesterday from the Nuggets in exchange for Jameer Nelson. Like seemingly everyone the Celtics acquire these days, they had no interest in keeping Robinson and he now is just the waiver-clearing process away from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Robinson, who suffered a torn ACL last year, averaged 5.8 points and 2.3 assists per game while playing just 14 minutes a night behind Ty Lawson.

The Los Angeles Clippers are rumored to be the team in the lead for his services. Doc Rivers, the Clippers head coach and top executive for basketball operations has a history with Robinson dating back to their championship run with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics also happen to have a need at the point guard position as Jordan Farmar has not proven to be the adequate replacement for Darren Collison that they thought he would be. The Sacramento Kings are interested in Farmar, who the Clippers may have to move in order to make the moves they’re poised to while staying under the hard cap that they are restricted by this season.

Austin Rivers poised to join Clippers too

Celts will send Austin Rivers to Clippers, but have to wait to clear roster space for two expiring contracts.

Via Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald 

The Celtics recently acquired Rivers as a part of the three-way trade that sent Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies. However, per their strategy, brought him in solely as a formality, not with any interest in actually having him don the green and white.

The possibility of Austin playing for his father Doc was a hot topic when he was entering the draft as the Celtics were reportedly very high on him. Austin’s career has not gone as expected for a lottery pick that came in with such a well-respected basketball pedigree and he’s already on one of his final lifelines as a professional.

The father-son dynamic isn’t going to get him any favors. He’s going to have to earn every second of playing time, but should benefit from the much more experienced set of teammates around him to help make his job easier. The Clippers have a need at the backup point guard position, they’re pretty set at the two guard spot with J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford, but Rivers will likely have to battle against Nate Robinson for time behind Chris Paul.

James, Blatt downplay shoving incident

LeBron James and David Blatt assured media the push looked worse than it really was. Both player and coach said James was simply saving Blatt from being called for a technical foul.

“I got called for an offensive foul, and they said I hooked one of the Morris twins on a post-up when he grabbed me,” James said after the game. “It was a referee that was away from the play [who called it]. I was talking to Eric Lewis, one of the other refs, and Coach Blatt was getting a little fired up about it, too, and he was on his way to a technical. So I just got him up out of the way before he got a T. So, just protecting my coach.”

Blatt echoed James’ explanation.

“He was trying to keep me from getting a technical foul,” Blatt said.

Via Dave McMenamin

The Cavaliers can keep trying to tell us that where there’s smoke there isn’t fire, but at some point it’s going to become impossible to believe. Coaches are refrained from getting technical fouls by their players and coaches all the time, but it looks nothing like the James-Blatt incident. Their interaction looked much more like James belittling Blatt and showing him that his presence wasn’t needed. There have been other instances in the season where James has taken over huddles, seemingly pulling rank on Blatt in front of the entire team.

The Cavaliers went on to lose to the Suns. Kevin Love sat during the game’s most critical moments down the stretch and J.R. Smith led the team in shot attempts with 19. To put it simply, it seems like there’s a lot more wrong in Cleveland than we’re being made to believe. The Cavaliers made some major moves last week to try to address their issues, but if things don’t get better soon, their next response could be even more drastic.