2019 June

Allen Iverson wants to play in China if he can’t make it back to the NBA

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might have finally found his answer. The Far East.

Iverson has been trying to crawl his way back into the and despite his name recognition and potential draw at the gate, he hasn’t even come close to getting a look. He’s not entirely healthy, he doesn’t have the same game he used to, he’s older (37) and he’s probably not worth the headache.

But he still wants to play. :

I definitely want to return to the NBA, but if I can’t get back there,Eliaquim Mangala.Mangala is set for an emotional return to Porto, says O Jogo.The 28-year-old has spent the last two season on loan away from City in search of football, but endured an indifferent spell at Valencia before a miserable stint at Everton I’m hoping to play ball here (China).”

With regards to his team of choice, Iverson chose to reply obliquely, saying: “I’m not leaning towards any one team, and there’s no ‘first choice’ like what the others say.” However, Iverson points to the CBA as one of his backup options. “China is still one of my choices, but the team that wants me to join has got to show me that they really mean it, like ‘hey we really need you’.”

Iverson has tried the overseas circuit once, playing in Turkey two years ago. It didn’t end all that well with him leaving et of playing for Real Madrid in the futureBut he told Marca: “No. I have said that Real Madrid was more attractive to me because my father is from Madrid. This has nothing to do with where I would rather play. Honestly, the team that is most interestarly because of an injury. He was rumored to be ,  and maybe but hasn’t been able to fully complete a return to basketball.

China is a good option for him though. Stephon Marbury seems to have found a place there as a basketball star, which means there’s absolutely no reason Iverson can’t do the same.

Iverson doesn’t want to his career to be over. : “I’m not using that word [retirement],” he said. “I want to play basketball so bad.

“I mean, the way it is right now, I’ve accepted the fact that [playing in the NBA] might not happen,” he said. “But I still want to play basketball. If I can get an opportunity to where it’s going to make me happy at the end of my career, I’ll takmpions League title winner Sami Hyypia has promised Jurgen Klopp’s stars a ­lifetime of hero-worship if they lift the Premier League title this season.Hyypia reckons the street scenes that followed their Champions League triumph against Tottenham ine that opportunity. But I just love to play and I want to have another opportunity to play on the professional level.”

Well, that opportunity might be on the table. A long way away.

Scott Brooks whiffs with smallball in Game 2

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The have clearly grown up this postseason. They’ve matured, developed, evolved — pick the word and they’ve done it. They’ve closed games, fought back from deficits, showed incredible resolve and figured out ways to win enough to advance to within three wins of an title.The Thunder’s youngest guns — , and — are front and center in that regard, playing playoff basketball well past their years. They don’t act their age, and they definitely don’t play like it.

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But it’s not just the players. Thunder coach Scott Brooks has also developed, grown, matured et cetera et cetera from a guy that some felt wasn’t cut out for the job he had into someone most think might be as hot a free agent there is this summer. He’s managed his lineups well, adjusted in big moments, figured out hoArnault family are in takeover talks with Elliott Management for AC Milan.La Repubblica says luxury brand business Arnault are willing to pay €1bn to buy the Italian giants.The LVMH group owns brands including Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Christian Dior, w to take advantage of matchups and handled the postseason exceptionally well. He’s rapidly risen to one of the game’s finer coaches, a master motivater and improving tactician. Which is what makes Game 2 so frustrating. Brooks is notoriously stubborn with his lineups and rotations, something that has paid dividends for him in the pastanchester City.The Sun says a priority is the capture of a centre-half.The loss of Vincent Kompany is a hammer blow, and with concerns over the fragility of England defender John Stones, Guardiola wants another centre-half.Guardiola has been an admir. He prefers consistency and stablility, and doesn’t like the idea of altering the plan on a whim. It’s not the Thunder way, all the way down to the core of the organization. The whole mantra in OKC is to maintain a certain faith in the process, to believe in the plan. That’s not a critique of Brooks either. Continuity with a young team is a good, wise choice. So as his team stumbled out of the gate yet again this postseason, watching Miami’s small starting five torch them, Brooks wasn’t flinching. He was sticking with the gameplan, leaving the starters on the floor and playing things out. But an 18-2 hole to start the game, something Durant cited as the reason the Thunder lost, has to be concerning. Concerning enough to change the starting five though to match Miami? “No, not at all,” Brooks said. “We just lost 30 minutes ago, so I just think we were missing shots. We didn’t come out with the defensive toughness, the disposition that we need to play with. We have to do that first, and then if it doesn’t work, then we’ll think about doing other things. But right now we have to play better from the very start.”It’s more likely I get a 10-day contract than Brooks switches his starting five. It’s been the same group since the -Jeff Green trade and it’s not changing. That’s who the Thunder are and it’s how they shall remain.The area Brooks whiffed in Game 2 though was with his in-game adjustment in his secret weapon smallball lineup. Instead of subbing out in the first quarter for James Harden with about five minutes left, Harden checked in for . And then Brooks pulled the same move with five minutes left in the third. Brooks went small, but he did it with the wrong big. Perkins has a lot of value to this Thunder team, but it’s primarily in his post defense against interior focused scorers. Like Andrew Bynum, for example. The Heat though, are playing and as their 5. Which minimizes Perkins’ value. And yet Brooks is sticking with his scowling big man, for reasons unknown to many. “He’s one of our better players,” Brooks said of Perkins. “We have three good choices: Serge, Nick and Perk. I thought Perk — Perk is our best screener. He gets guys open. He scores by setting screens, and there’s no stat for that, but that’s what he does.Small ball, medium ball, big ball, that did not lose the game,” he continued. “Toughness lost the game. We didn’t come out with the toughness that we need to come out with. We’re an aggressive team, we’re a physical team, we are a — defensive mindset was not where it needs to be, and hopefully we change that going into Game 3.”The curiousity though stems from the fact had such a major impact on Game 1, and only saw 14 minutes and 32 seconds of playing time in Game 2. It was no grand coincidence that the Thunder’s fourth quarter push that cut Miami’s lead to four came with Collison on the floor. Now the numbers lean differently. The Thunder’s best defensive quarter in terms of efficiency was the third, when Perkins played center in the small lineup. With Collison as the 5 in the fourth, OKC allowed 120 points per 100 possessions. (They had an offensive efficiency of 154 though.) But here’s where those effiiency numbers fail: The most important stat is the scoreboard. And unless it’s moving, it doesn’t matter. The scoreboard wasn’t moving with Perkins in the game as the 5. Like in Game 1, it moved when Collison got those minutes. And in the fourth quarter of Game 2.

The Thunder were a +1 with Perkins on the floor as the only big. Which is obviously fine. The problem is, the Thunder were playing from behind for virtually the entire game, and a small lineup with Perkins doesn’t typich City boss Daniel Farke says they must learn from defeat at Crystal Palace.Farve says that everyone must stick together to make Carrow Road a fortress, following the club’s 2-0 away defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.“It was clear that there wically lead to offense, which is what OKC needed at the time.

What’s the explanation? I sure don’t have one. Brooks’ point that Perkins is a great screener is certainly valid, but the issue with that is that Collison actually might be the best screener on the team. And if you don’t like Collison in that spot, what about Serge Ibaka who had five blocks and adds a pick-and-pop dimension to the offense? It’s not Kendrick Perkins’ fault by any stretch. He’s not built for these matchups. He’s built to push, bang and play rough in the post against seven-footers. It’s up to Brooks to realize that and put the best possible lineups on the floor. He did that in Game 1. He left Harden on the bench for most of the fourth, stuck with Collison and rode out a hot lineup. Game 2, Brooks dropped the ball.

Lakers add Kurt Rambis, Johnny Davis to D’Antoni’s staff

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The added two defensive-minded assistant coaches, Kurt Rambis and Johnny Davis, to notoriously defensively lax Mike D’Antoni’s staff on Monday.

From the Lakers’ press release:

“Kurt and Johnny bring rcelona winger Abel Ruiz has opened the door to a loan exit.The youngster was been one of the revelations of Barca’s preseason.Ruiz was handed a half of football for Barca’s friendly win against Napoli in Miami.He said afterwards, “I want to grow amany years of NBA experience both as coaches and as former players to this team,” said Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni. “Kurt is a great basketball mind, extremely good at working with big men and his experience as a head coach in this league is going to prove very helpful to our staff. Johnny is a two-time NBA head coach with years of experience playing as well as coaching in this league. The vast array of NBA knowledge he brings to the table will be invaluable to us.”

Rambis previously served three stints with the Lakers as an assistant coach, first from 1994-1999, before taking over as head coach 13 games into the 1998-99 season. He tied a then-NBA record with nine consecutive wins to start his head coaching career and led the team to a 24-13 mark and into the Western Conference Semifinals. Rambis then served as Advisor and Assistant General Manager from 1999-2001, and then as Vice President of Business and Basketball Integration for half of the 2004-05 season.

Rambis also served as an assistant coach with the Lakers from 2001-04 and from 2005-09, helping to guide the team to two NBA Championships (2002 and 2009) as well as NBA Finals appearances in 2004 and 2008. Rambis then went to Minnesota, where he was the head coach of the from 2009-11.

In addition, Rambis played during the Lakers “Showtime” era and helped the team win NBA titles in 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988. Rambis spent the 2012-13 season serving as a basketball analyst for ESPN and Time Warner Cable Sportsnet.

Davis joins the Lakers with over two decades of NBA coaching experience. The Detroit native most recently spent the previous two seasons (2011-13) as an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors. Before joining the Raptors, Davis worked six seasons as an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies (2007-11), Indiana Pacers (2006-07) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2005-06). Davis spent two seasons (2003-05) as head coach of the Orlando Magic, where he was an assistant coach from 1999-03 before being promoted eleven games into the 2003-04 season. His stint with the Magic was the second head coaching job for Davis, United was the ideal way to return from the international break.Alonso expected Newcastle’s resistance and felt the home side’s patience finally paid off in the second half.”They played in a very compact style so it’s not easy to find space to attackwho also spent one year (1996-97) at the helm of the Philadelphia 76ers. The 23-year coaching veteran has also worked as an assistant coach for the Nets (1997-99), Trail Blazers (1994-96), Clippers (1993-94) and Hawks (1990-93). Additionally, Davis served two games as the Grizzlies interim head coach iimpact of Bruno Fernandes after victory over Watford.Fernandes produced his best showing yet on Sunday as he scored and created an assist in the 3-0 victory over Watford, but according to Shaw Fernandes is making just as important a contribution off n January 2009.

Before joining the coaching ranks, Davis, who holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Psychology, spent three seasons (1987-90) in the front office of the Atlanta Hawks where he served in a variety of roles including Director of Community Affairs, Assistant to the President, and President of the Atlanta Hawks Foundation. Selected by the Trail Blazers in the second round of the 1976 draft, the University of Dayton alum played with four teams (Trail Blazers, Pacers, Hawks and Cavaliers) in 10 years (1976-86), winning an NBA Championship in his rookie season with Portland.

Rambis, who worked as an analyst for ESPN after being let go as Timberwolves coach two years ago, had been in talks with the Lakers .

The Lakers and D’Antoni have been talking about adding a defensive specialist for months, since D’Antoni’s hiring last winter. Nate McMillan had been discussed but talks never solidified. The hiring of Davis and Rambis indicates a move to focus on that side of the ball, which was often criticized last year, despite the Lakers’ struggling on defense even before D’Antoni was hired.

Rambis and Davis will join a Lakers staff that also includes Dan D’Antoni, Mike’s older brother, along with player development coaches Mark Madsen and Larry Lewis.

ootball with Wednesday night’s Europa League final

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Laknking him with Juventus.The Italian collected his first trophy in football with Wednesday night’s Europa League final win over Arsenal.Juventus have targeted Sarri to replace Max Allegri, ba’s two-part apology for his outburst last week failed on both counts. We say two-part, because in case you missed it, Xhaka did fulfil his captain’s duties in Saturday’s matchday programme for the draw with Wolves. And the Swiss did refer (literallyut the 60-year-old says he was back to full fitness.The youngster spent much of last season on the treatment table.But he is delighted that he can now contribute to the club’s quest to win the Premier League and other trophies this season.Gomez was absent for a lot of last term nts to remain at Stamford Bridgeers center (hip) has still not been cleared to participate in five-on-five drills, reports the team’s official website. Hill, who underwent hip surgery back in January to repair of a torn labrum and remove loose particles, is trying to return sometime during the postseason. However, he has been ruled out of Los Angeles’ first-round playoff series against the Spurs.

OUTLOOK: John Henson

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came into the league with a reputation as an elite defender, but it was his offense that caught Fantasy owners’ eyes as a rookie. Henson played a very limited role, averaging just 13.1 minutes in 63 games, but was able to average 6.0 points per game, largely thanks to his elite offensive rebounding ability. Henson averaged 5.0 offensive rebounds per-36 minutes for the season, showcasing the kind of ability that could eventually make him a big-time Fantasy option down the road. If Henson can earn a larger role, there is every indication that he could become a solid Fantasy contributor, but it is not clear he will be able to find that role this season. Henson is unlikely to be worth targeting on Draft Day, but he should be a solid waiver-wire target if his role incra was “not very close” to joining Arsenal during the summer.The Gunners made a bid of £40million for Zaha in July – a figure way below Palace chairman Steve Parish’s valuation of the plae during a manager’s conference in 2016.Emery has won the competition three times, all with Spanish club Sevilla, and reached the final with Arsenal last season.When meeting in Switzerland, Ferguson couldn’t help but poke fun at Emery.In suit the system of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.The Southampton fullback has joined the Gunners on an initial loan.”I’ve been watching the last couple of weeks and you can see that something changed, definitely,” Soares told Arsenal Player. “There is a an interviewyer.Hodgson’s side are at Arsenal on Sunday, and he was asked aeases unexpectedly.

Thunder sign center Daniel Orton to training camp contract

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His second chance starts now.

The Oklahoma City announced the signing of unrestricted frr Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.Leicestershire Live says new Gunners boss Mikel Arteta knows one of his most pressing priorities is to make Arsenal much tougher to beat, with serious questions having been raised over the defence for some tiee agent center Daniel Orton on Saturday. that the contract is of the non-guaranteed, make-good in training camp variety.

Orton, 21, was the Orlando Magic’s first round pick in 2010. He appeared in only16 games over his two years in Orlando, notching 2.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

It’s unusual for a young big man selected in the first round not to have his rookie contract picked up by the team that drafted him, but that’s where Orton finds himself this summer. His signing by the Thunder in this fashion is a no-risk maneuver. If he shows that he can put knee problems behind him and contribute in any way, it’s free money.

If not, the team already has has 15 players on the roster, includin Pochettino is no longer Manchester United’s first choice to replace Ole Gunnar S top 2020 transfer target for Manchester United.The Manchester Evening News says United could use Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard to help them land Maddison.Maddison, 22, has enjoyed a fine start to the season with Leicester and has been rewarded wolskjaer should the Norwegian get the sack, it’s been claimed.Pochettino has long been on the radar of United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.Solskjaer has struggledg a stacked frontline that includes a dependable starting center (), a shot-blocking big man (), a glue guy (), an MVP candidate who can shift up to power forward (), an up-and-comer () and a project center (Hasheem Thabeet).

This boils down to: “Why not take a look?”

2013 Offseason Report: Washington Wizards

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Over the next month, CBSSports.com’s Eye On Basketball will take a team-by-team look at 2013 offseason. We continue with the Eastern Conference hopefuls, the . .

The Washington Wizards started the 2012-13 season as one of the more pathetic teams we’ve seen in a while — offensively, that is. As of January 11, the Wizards were the worst team in basketball with a 5-28 record. The problem wasn’t the defense. They were giving up 101.5 points per 100 possessions, which was good for 12th best in the NBA. They could stop teams when they needed to with manning the middle and active players on the perimeter.

The problem was they couldn’t score, almost to an embarrassing degree. The Wizards were managing 93.1 points per 100 possessions, easily the worst offensive rating in the league behind the Indiana Pacers’ 97.8 (29th in the league). To put that Tonali insists he’s in no rush to leave Brescia.The midfielder has been rated in the “€300m” bracket by Cagliari president Massimo Cellino.He laughed: “I love President Cellino very much and he rates me highly. He’s a great person and I hope to into context, only one team over the last 10 seasons has been worse at scoring and that was the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats team (92.3) that ended up being the worst team in history (to make them both feel better, the 2002-03 Denver Nuggets put up a pathetic 88.9 points per 100 possessioease Christian Pulisic into action at Chelsea.The American, signed from Borussia Dortmund this summer, was brought on a substitute in Sunday’s 4-0 loss to Manchester United. Speaking after the game, Lampard said: “Christian Pulisic is 20 years old. Hns).

Then something changed on January 12; returned from injury and galvanized his team like it didn’t seem possible. Over the final 49 games of the season, the Wizards managed 101.1 points per 100 possessions, 23rd in the league over that stretch and a far cry from when they were looking historically inept at putting the ball in the basket. The team went 24-25 after Wall’s return and looked like they could actually be a playoff team over the course of a full season, if healthy.

Wall was fantastic at driving the offensive attack, the defense was still spectacular (finished eighth in defensive rating for the entire season), and the role players stepped up. Most importantly, rookie shooting guard found his groove next to John Wall and his teammates, making 46.7 percent from the field and 46.6 percent from downtown over his final 25 games. 

Overall, the Wizards finished the season with a disappointing 29-53 season, but they really had two seasons during 2012-13 and I don’t mean like how the Lakers kept hitting the reset button every time something was difficult. 

Scoring. Lots and lots of scoring.

Even with the improvement after John Wall’s return, the Wizards finished last in the NBA in points per 100 possessions. If we pretend that Wall played the entire season and they performed at the same clip we saw over the final 49 games, their 101.1 offensive rating would still only be tied for 19th in the NBA with the Boston Celtics. None of that is acceptable for a team with a blur for a point guard and a shooting guard who found a deadly shooting stroke over the second half of the season.

The Wizards can best accomplish this by acquiring shooters this offseason. This may sound like an odd solution considering they were actually 10th in the NBA in 3-point percentage and 27th in the NBA in overall field goal percentage, but I believe there’s a reason they could use some shooters to open up the scoring. , the Wizards were arguably the most proficient 3-point shooting team from the corner and had the biggest discrepancy from corner 3-point shooting to above-the-break 3-point shooting. This means they weren’t actually as good at shooting the ball from downtown as their overall percentage looked.

When adjusting for pace, the Wizards ranked 20th in 3-point attempts per game. Why not shoot more if you’re such a good shooting team from downtown? The Wizards were also 24th in the league at making shots in the restricted area. Because so many of their shots inside were so unsuccessful compared to the rest of the league, spreading the floor from above-the-break behind the arc and not just from the corners would open up the floor and give their players easier shots inside.

They could also use some depth inside, preferably guys that can finish around the rim.

The Wizards had the third pick in the draft for the second straight year and ended up selecting  to fill out their perimeter of the future. Porter is a bit of a confusing prospect. You’ll love a 6’8″ small forward with a 7’1″ wingspan just about any day. He’s drawn comparisons to  and I think they’re pretty fair, but that’s only a good thing for the Wizards if he becomes the defender Prince was in his prime. The confusing thing is he doesn’t do a ton all that well on offense and you have no idea if his outside shot is the 42.2 percent on 3.3 attempts per game in sophomore season or the 22.6 percent on 1.6 attempts we saw from him as a freshman.

They also acquired second round pick Glen Rice, Jr. out of the D-League. Rice is exactly the type of shooter you’d want the Wizards to pick up this offseason, even if you’re not sure how much he can do outside of that. His stroke is pure.

With and Emeka Okafor opting in for the final years of their contracts, the Wizards didn’t have a ton of flexibility with their cap situation. They went out and re-signed to a four-year deal worth roughly $22 million. Webster shot a career-high 42.2 percent from downtown for the Wizards last season. They also went out and grabbed to be their backup point guard and to be a potential stretch-4 off the bench. They also re-signed to be a combo guard off the bench for them.

It wasn’t a terribly exciting series of moves, but you can see the reasoning behind most of them.

Overall grade and accomplishments: C+

I’m willing to fluctuate on this grade but I picked a C+ just to hedge somewhere in the middle. With Martell Webster’s back history, the lack of a true fifth big man on the roster when Nene and missed significant time last season, and not knowing whether or not Otto Porter can actually spread the floor the way the Wizards need to, I’m not sure how much the team truly addressed their needs for scoring/outside shooting and another big man to call their own.

However, skepticism isn’t damnation here; it’s simply waiting to find out more of what the Wizards have acquired this offseason. Maybe they didn’t need to do a whole lot. Maybe a healthy John Wall, who now has a max contract extension to prove to be justified, teaming up with a healthy Bradley Beal will be enough offensive punch to keep the ball moving and the defense scrambling. Add a healthy season from Nready to move for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos.AS says several European giants are interested in the Spain 21 star – with Spurs headlining the transfer battle. Ceballos is seen in London as a potential replacement for Christian Eriksen.It’s bene and you have more balance in the attack than we saw last year.

If Otto Porter proves he can play on offense the way they need him to, Glen Rice, Jr. proves he can be in the rotation, and Martell Webster can continue his incredible outside shooting from last season, the Wizards might have just enough offense to punch that defense into the playoff race. In 2012, the Wizards decided that hoping for the Oklahoma City Thunder model coming to fruition wasn’t for them. They jettisoned , , and to give veterans for John Wall to work with and hold him accountable on the court.

Since then, they’ve been looking for the right combination of veteran power with youthful exuberance. Perhaps, this offseason is one step closer to accomplishing that and getting back into the playoffs.

Sixers-Bulls Game 6: Where do the Bulls go from here?

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‘ reserves is anything but certain. (Getty Images) for the Bulls Thursday night. It’s always disappointing when your season ends in a loss. But this one needed to end. The healing needs to begin. In more ways than one. All year long the Bulls fought through adversity. tears a ligament in his right wrist, he plays through it. goes down, the Bulls step up and wait for him to get back. Derrick Rose goes down, the Bulls step up and wait for him to get back. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And it was all set. And it all fell apart. As the Bulls rip the confetti of the Sixers’ win from their clothes and the debris from their most disappointing season since 1995 from their souls, the future seems to hold a tremelegends match next year, nine years after leaving the club to sign for Chelsea. The Spaniard, who retired from professional football in June, will feature for the Reds against Barcelona legends in a charity game in March. The 35-year-old was a fan fandous amount of uncertainty. Where do the Bulls go from here, when everything has been torn away, not by failure, but by fate? Bulls . Despite being one of if not the most profitable team in the league, Jerry Reinsdorf has always resisted the luxury tax. With the repeater tax looming over it, he’s going to have to make some decisions. Derrick Rose, , Luol Deng, and comprise $56 million in cap space for 2012-2013. Throw in ‘s guaranteed $5 milion and rookie-scale contracts for and and you’re looking at over $65 million before ‘s qualifying offer, and that’s not counting non-guaranteed money for , , and . The Bulls have to either bring Asik back or risk losing him (and replacing hiLiverpool have the most valuable squad in the transfer market from Europe’s top-five leagues, according to research group CIES Football Observatory.With an aggregated value of 1.4bn euros (£1.27bn), the Reds top the list ahead of fellow Premier League side Manchester City (£1.24bn) in second.Chelsea are fifth, while Manchester United and Tottenham are in the top 10.m with first-round pick Nikoa Mirotic). They have to try and find room to improve the team without throwing their chemistry, which has been incredible, away. Or do they? Do they hang with what they got and pretend this season never happened?So much rests with Carlos Boozer. Essentially from the moment he signed, there’s been talk from Bulls fans about trading Boozer, which has morphed into the idea of amnestying Boozer. Would an ownership group that prides itself on getting the absolute most it can from any business transaction really subject itself to the risk of paying the majority of Boozer’s remaining $40 million contract? Unlikely, especially given Boozer’s play in the regular season. So in reality, the Bulls have to hope that Rose comes back at 100 percent, that Boozer doesn’t lose a step turning 31 next season, that Deng recovers from wrist surgery, that the backup center question is answered, and thats goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has welcomed new signing Dejan Kulusevski.The midfielder left Atalanta on Thursday to join Juve, though will remain on-loan with Parma this season.That’s a decision Szczesny agrees with.“Kulusevski is a strong player C.J. Watson or can improve. It’s a lot of hope, but it’s also not impossible. It’s hard to see management making any significant changes based off this season. That’s the trouble with seasons like this. A terrible showing that reveals changes must be made hurts, but it invokes progress. But a season like this forces you to convince yourself it would have been enough, that everything is fine, that you just have to pretend none of this ever happened. Easier said than done.

Agent says Rockets are a ‘leading contender’ for Marcus Camby

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the Rockets are a “leading contender” to swho sit sixth in La Liga, in the Copa del Rey on Thursday, going down 8-0.However the northern Spanish village population of 754 have been invitedto a future match from Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay.At a match of their choice, the people of Beceign free agent center , according to his agent:

The are a “leading contender” to land center Marcus Camby according to his agent Rick Kaplan if he becomes a free agent on Sunday, which is expected.

The Toronto Raptors, who acquired Camby in a trade with the New York Knicks last week, bought out the remaining $7.5 million on his contract and placed him on waivers on Friday.

“If Marcus becomes a free agent as we expect on Sunday the Rockets are a leading contender for where he’ll end up next season,” Kaplan said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports

“He had a very positive experience there. It’s his adopted hometown. He’d be a great fit with the organization. It’s premature right now. We’ll see whyer for Victor Wanyama this week.The London Evening Standard says Spurs may have to lower their £9million asking price for Wanyama as they struggle to find a buyer for the midfielder this month.Spurs had set the midfielder’s valuation at £17m last at happens in the next few days.”

Camby, 39, was traded to the Raptors in the deal that sent Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks, and then was waived for salary reasons. He averaged 1.8 pointRoda JC have snapped up Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo.The 20 year-old moves to Roda on a straight 12 month loan for the coming season.Ugbo spent last season on-loan with Scunthorpe United.W E L C O M E I K E #IkeIsWithUs#AreYouWithUs#Fandagpic.twitter.com/aD2PV2TyZW— Roda JC Kerkrade (@rodajckerkrade) August 3, 2019s and 3.3 rebounds in just 24 games last season for the Knicks in an injury-plagued season. 

The Rockets need cheap options to fill in their roster after the addition of Dwight Howard. Camby can still rebound a little bit and defend if need be, but if they trade Omer Asik, they’ll need a better backup center option because Camby simply can’t provide much at age 39. 

Wherever Camby winds up, it’ll be a championship contender. He’s too far into his career to play for anything less. 

Report: Bobcats in discussions to acquire Kris Humphries

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The Charlotte have re-engaged in discussions to acquire power forward , .

The likely scenario would be a sign-and-trade with the , thus opening a trade exception to potentially use on a player like Antawn Jamison later.

Humphries was part of four-team trade talks that would’ve sent him either to Charlotte, or Cleveland. to becomeAston Villa have made a move for Angers midfielder Baptiste Santamaria.L’Equipe says Villa have tabled a €7m bid for the defensive midfielder.However, Angers have rejected the offer, insisting it falls well short of their valuation.Santamaria, 24, is tied to Angers until 2022 and has been with the Ligue 1 outfit for three years.Villa are expected to try again in the coming days. more of a dressing room leader.Donnarumma, 21, haby providing better chances.Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Wolves took the Magpies goal tally to six from ten matches.Asked about Joelinton, Bruce said after the game: “To be fair, all forwards thrive off opportunities and in the second half we didn’t do enos been in the Milan first team since he was 16 years of age.He said, “We’re a young group full of quality. I’ve been at AC Milan for many years and I try to make myself heard in the dressiHumphries is an unrestricted free agent and is looking for a multi-year deal.

The Bobcats are looking to stock talent anywhere, especially inside. The team needs big man depth with only , and on the roster at that position.

Humphries, 27, has emerged as a nightly double-double threat averaging 13.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per game for the Nets last season.

Thunder-Grizzlies: Serge Ibaka is missing shots he typically makes

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It looks like is all alone right now. 

is nursing the knee recovery during games, and the combination of and just aren’t doing enough to help the right now. Against the stellar defense of the , it’s not easy to score. They take you out of your comfort zone and force you into shots that you just aren’t used to knocking down. And with so few points given up by the Grizzlies throughout any given game, the pressure to knock down shots could grow exponentially when it’s an important time like the playoffs.

As of right now, Ibaka has been completely detrimental to the Thunder’s offensive attack through the first three games of this second-round matchup. He can’t make jumpers. He can’t make shots inside. He can’t even complete dunk attempts right now. Ask Ibaka if it’s starting to get into his head a little bit, and he won’t shy away from that assessment. :

A day after  said  shooting struggles were all in his mind, Ibaka admitted that his confidence is waning.

“Yeah,” Ibaka said. “It’s normal, man. It’s normal. A little bit. But that does not mean my confidence is way down because after all the shots I missed, after the (missed) dunk, I was still playing defense. I wanted to still help my teammates. I wanted to still try to be aggressive. But it’s normal like he said. Of course, that happens to everybody.”

Ibaka isn’t the first guy to go into a shooting slump, and he certainly won’t be the last. But when it extends to him missing multiple open dunks and badly missing a put-back shot a foot away from the basket, then it’s easy to assume he has a mental block going on right now. He’s often been used as a safety valve within the Thunder’s attack. Durant draws attention, and he has the option to hit the open Ibaka for an easy bucket. When Westbrook was flying around the court, he always seemed to do a great job of opening up space to Ibaka.

He’s also right about the fact that he was still playing defense even though he was in a shooting slump. With Ibaka on the court in this series, has made just 38.2 percent of his shots. In Game 3, Randolph was down to 36.2 percent when Ibaka was in the game. His defensive presence has been quite valuable to the Thunder, but they still need some offensive production out of him.

Is there a difference in the way that Ibaka is playing against the Grizzlies or the way they’re playing him? Is he simply just missing good shots, or is he taking bad shots because of the pressure that Memphis puts on opponents?

Let’s take a look at his missed field goals from Game 3 to try to pinpoin of praise for Jamie Vardy.Rodgers likens the ex-England forward’s game to the role Luis Suarez had in his days as Liverpool manger.”People sometimes ask me: ‘Why don’t you play with two strikers?’,” said Rodgers. “Jamie’s playing consistently at a ht just what’s going on with Ibaka.

It’s hard to watch that video and think he’s taking bad shots. He’s getting a lot of the same high percentage shots that he got during .The Portugal international has been linked with Monaco and Wolves.”What do I expect from my future? No one knows,” he said on Wednesday.It is believed that the Rossoneri are looking to get €30m from his sale.“Cosa mi aspetto dal mio futuro? Nessthe regular season, but he’s simply just not able to connect on a lot of them. He was long on both dunk attempts. On the put-back attempt, he went hard off the backboard for no reason like he’s Dwight Howard on the block, and he hesitated on countless open shots. 

Is it possible the open shots are harder for him to concentrate on?

“Most of the time when you’re open that’s when it’s tough to make shots because you try to get some different focus than normally when some guys try to contest your shots,” Ibaka said. “So that’s happened.”

In the two attempts near the top of the key in which he was wide open, he hesitated both times. The first time, he passed it away in order to get a pass back to take a much more contested shot once Randolph recovered defensively. Maybe that was a rhythm thing to him, and receiving the initial pass from just wasn’t something that he was ready for. On the second hesitation, he still ended up taking the shot but threw his timing off by stalling before he pulled the trigger.

If you look at the breakdown between his regular-season shooting chart and his shooting chart through the first three games of this series, he has a serious case of the Darkos going on right now.

Ibaka has made just four shots outside of the restricted zone this series, and he’s shooting just 4 of 25 (16 percent) away from the basket. That’s a pretty big drop from the 48.3 percent that he shot outside of the restricted zone during the regular season.

He’s not the only player on the Thunder not supporting Durant enough. In Game 3, Thunder players not named Kevin Durant shot 33.3 percent from the field. For the series, Thunder players not named Kevin Durant are making just 36.0 percent of their shots. It’s a huge problem that has caused the Thunder’s superstar to take more of the load on his shoulders and try to carry the team to victory like he hasn’t had to do consistently th is “baffled” by Mesut Ozil’s lack of involvement this season.The German has not featured in Unai Emery’s last three match-day squads.”I want to see more offensive players on the pitch in positions where we’re going to be able to hurt teams,” Wright roughout his career.

Before Westbrook went down, Durant always had a sidekick to either complement him or take charge while Durant played off him. Now, he has to create the majority of his looks by himself and doesn’t have the benefit of resting while another All- talent attacks OKC’s opponents. Durant’s usage rate (percentage of team plays used by a single player) has jumped from 29.8 percent in the regular season to 31.9 percent in the second round of the playoffs. 

There are lots of players who have to play better on offense in this series, where points are at a premium. Martin, ,  and all have to find a way to join Durant in giving some offensive production. It isn’t just all on Ibaka to step up in Game 4.

But unless Ibaka can give the Thunder’s superstar some relief by becoming that safety valve on offense again, this Thunder team will be watching the playoffs with the rest of us very soon.

(H/T – )

* — Statistical information for this article obtained from ,  and

Sources: Magic narrow GM search to three finalists, considering two hires

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The Orlando have narrowed their search for a new general manager to three finalists and haven’t ruled out making two hires as they revamp their front office after the departure of GM Otis Smith and coach Stan Van Gundy, multiple league sources told CBSSports.com Tuesday.Two of the finalists, executive Dennis Lindsey and executive Rob Hennigan, are scheduled to meet with members of the DeVos family in Grand Rapids, Mich., in the next couple of days, one of the sources said. The other finalist, former GM Jeff Bower, has not been scheduled to meet with owner Rich DeVos and other family members yet, but his visit is expected to follow. Orlando is expected to wrap up its GM search by late this week or possibly early-to-mid next week.The reason for the order of the meetings wasn’t clear, but two additional people briefed on the process came away with the impression that the team plans to make two hires — a president and a GM or a GM and an assistant. Hennigan is a rising star with the Thunder, who will face the Heat in Game 1 of the Finals on Tuesday night, but is only 30 years old. More on MagicRelated links The Magic, however, may need to decide among these three finalists for the top job, as it is unlikely that they’d be able to hire two of them. Lindsey may well back out and decide to stay in San Antonio, as he has done on several occasions in the past. In any event, Lindsey almost certainly wouldn’t leave the Spurs for a No. 2 job. Despite his inexperience, Hennigan is highly regarded around the league and also would be unlikely to leave the conference champion Thunder for anything less than complete control. The search for the second hire could very well be conducted by the new GM from another field of candidates.The idea of hiring a tandem of executives to jump-start the Magic’s rebuilding plan was first broached with regard to executive Kevin Pritchard andefano Sensi is delighted to be part of Italy’s squad.Sensi moved to Inter from Sassuolo this summer.“I have high expectations of myself, as always,” the 23-year-old said at a Press conference.“Certainly, my attention levels will always be the sam his former right-hand man from Portland, Tom Penn. But Pritchard pulled his name from consideration when Pacers president Larry Bird informed Pritchard that he wanted to promote him to GM last week.As for a pie-in-the-sky option, the Magic have not asked the ‘ permission to speak with Doc Rivers about a role that would include coaching and final say on personnel decisions as the team president, another person with knowledge of the team’s plans said. But while the Magic haven’t ruled Rivers out completely, there has been no indication that Rivers — who signed a lucrative five-year extension last May — wants to leave Boston or, more important, that the Celtics would let him go.In Philadelphia, team president Rod Thorn’s expected retirement has led to coach Doug Collins pushing for Spurs executive Danny Ferry to replace him, Yahoo! Sports reported. Collins has in their Europa League third-round qualifier against Armenian side Pyunik with a dominant first-leg display in Yerevan.Republic of Ireland right-back Matt Doherty slotted into the bottom corner from Diogo Jota’s pass to put the visitors ahead after enormous clout in the organization and with the ‘ new ownership group, and league sources believe that Collins’ wishes to bring Ferry on board ultimately will be granted.Also, in a somewhat surprising turn of events, the are expected to conduct an open head coaching search after the draft. How open that search will be remains to be seen. New GM Neil Olshey had all but stated at his introductory news conference that the team would be sticking with interim coach Kaleb Canales, who shares the same agent with Olshey. But league sources say the team plans to interview other candidates, though probably not until after the draft. It would be sof Manchester United fullback Matteo Darmian is again in doubt.Darmian could leave United this summer with Inter Milan and Juventus both interested in signing him.Italian media sources state new Inter boss Antonio Conte is a big admirer of Darmian.Butmewhat unorthodox, but the Blazers seem to want to get their roster settled first before interviewing potential coaches.

Thibodeau disappointed with Bulls’ freakout over officiating

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The lost their cool on Wednesday nighthe young players at Chelsea are feeding off each other to improve.The Blues are enjoying a solid start to the season, as they eye a top four finish.They face a Carabao Cup clash against Manchester United tonight.And Mount believes that having so many, racking up technicals and ejections in a blowout loss to the . (And, honestly, blowout seems a bit generous.) and were ejected, and they didn’t leave the court in a very timely manner. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau expung team.Even though Arsenal sit in the Champions League places, with just one defeat so far this season which came away to early pace-setters Liverpool, Chambers feels there is still room for improvement in the coming weeks.Asked if there was still ressed disappointment after the game with his team’s approach to the officiating. 

Thibodeau, in the same monotone voice in which he always speaks, said, “We got sidetracked and you can’t do that. We allowed a lot of frustration to carry over to the next play. You have to have poise under pressure. You come in here, you’re not going to get calls. That’s the way it is. That’s reality.

“You can’t get wrapped up in that stuff. You have to stay focused on the task at hand.”

Neither coach said the game was too physical, chippy or dirty.

“It was playoff basketball,” Thibodeau said. “You have to have more fight, more determination. They’re a great team. You have to keep coming for 48 minutes. You can’t relax. You can’t let your guard down. You have to have strong concentration. You have to have discipline — all of the things that go into winning.”

Thibodeau said his players were distracted by calls that didn’t go their way.

“If you have a point to make to an official, there’s an appropriate time to do that and it’s during a deadball,” he said.

Thibodeau tried to get the attention of referee Scott Foster at halftime.

“I don’t want to put it on the officials,” Thibodeausays West Ham, Sheffield United and Watford are looking at the striker, who is a free agent.The Hammers want a replacement for Andy Carroll and it is understood Adebayor, 35, wants to play in London after spells with Arsenal and Tottenham.He has not said. “In an NBA playoff game, there are going to be calls that can go either way. If it doesn’t go your way, you can’t allow it to impact your next play. You can’t allow it to get you sidetracked so you don’t do your job. You have to have the ability to do your job all the time. You have to have great concentration.”

via .

Thibodeau is spot on here. The Bulls have enough things going against them that they can’t influence or control: the talent disparity, their own injuries, etc. They can’t afford to spend time on something else that they have no power over, the officiating. 

The Bulls need the game to be ugly. They need it called a certain way in order to muck up the game and drag it into the low-possession game in which they have the advantage with their defense. But if the game isn’t called that way, it’s on the team to adjust and adapt and not fall completely apart. 

Maybe the Bulls’ antics on Wednesday will pay off Friday. Maybe they’ll backfire. But they should listen to their coach and remain focused on shooting, rebounding and defense. Let their coach freak out over the officials. That’s what his gravely voice is for. 

Report: Thunder and Scott Brooks not close on a deal yet

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(Getty Images)

Saturday is the deadline for extensions and free agents will be hitting the market. Not just players though. Coaches, too. For example, Scott Brooks who is probably the hottest free agent on the market in coaching right now, at least in tDeparting Chelsea captain Gary Cahill is being linked with a return north.The Daily Mail says Burnley are considering a move for defender Cahill.The experienced centre-half will leave Chelsea on a free transfer when his contract expires in the summer.The former England star will be offered a short-term deal at Turf Moor.Cahill had a season on-loan with the Clarets when with Aston Villa.erms of active coachesconfirmed Manchester United remain in talks for “one or two” players.Those two players are believed to be Leicester City defender Harry Maguire and Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes. Reports on Tuesday also claimed United were in talks for Paulo.

He’s led the Thunder to three straight playoff appearances, a Western Conference finals berth and an Finals appearance. It’s pretty clear he’s a good match with the team, but he wants to get paid like a top tier coach.

, the Thunder and Brooks are still split.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have added a fourth year to a contract extension offer to coach Scott Brooks, but the two sides still have significant differences on salary, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Brooks’ contract expires on Saturday, and he could immediately become a candidate for the Portland Trail Blazers , sources said. Thunder GM Sam Presti and Brooks’ agent, Warren LeGarie, have had conversations this week, but there is still a gap between the sides.

The Thunder have reportedly already offered Brooks a three-year deal just under $11 million. Brooks made $2.1 million last season, which was the final year of his contract.

Presti has said that Brooks’ situation was at the “top” of the team’s offseason to-do list and has stressed that Brooks has immense value to the organization. With rumors beginning to circulate involving Jeff Van Gundy and Phil Jackson, Presti shot them down by calling them “rubbish.”

It’s pretty clear the Thunder want Scott Brooks back as head coach of theter seeing Liverpool win the Champions League final on Saturday night, Real president Florentino Perez and coach Zinedine Zidane agreed they must move for Salah this summer.AS says Perez is preparing a first offer for the Egypt international to be de team, but it’s a numbers game. Brooks wants to be paid like a top level coach and the Thunder are trying to be prudent about how much they dish out. To me, it’s never really been an issue of if, but more of when, and how much.

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili out Wednesday for the Spurs

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(Getty Images)

and ‘s nationally televised game Wednesday against the . Duncan is still recovering from a knee sprain he sustained Sunday, while Ginobili has a tight hamstring. 

Remarkably, injuries have not really affected San Antonio’s play, as their offensive is largely self-reliant and their shooters can still knock down 3s and make the extra pass. The T.The 22-year-old is currently on trial with Sky Bet Championship side Middlesbrough as he looks to earn a professional deal.The Daily Mail says Leicester, Watford, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham are also interested in the London-born forward, who isimberwolves are unlikely to feel much sympathy for San Antonio, as they’re missing both and and have suffered a season rife with injuries.idfielder Paul Pogba.The Times says United have rebuffed an offer of £27.4million plus the Colombian forward James.The bid was way short of the £150m valuation United have put on Pogba, and boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he will be staying put.S 

MRI’s confire prepared to SELL Paul Pogba to Real Madrid in January, it has been revealed.That’s according to Okdiario’s chief pundit Eduardo Inda, when speaking on El Chiringuito. “(Real coach Zinedine) Zidane has an obsession, which is still Pogba. The Frenchrmed no structural damage for Duncan, and he and Ginobili continue to be listed day-to-day.