NBA Rumors, News 2014: Knicks, Bulls, Clippers, Rockets, Pacers, Kings, Suns, Team USA

The NBA rumors and news keep coming, mostly concerning preparation for the upcoming season and signings of bench players.

There’s also a fair amount of Team USA news as that roster isn’t set and exhibition games are coming up, including against Brazil on Saturday night.

Check out the latest buzz below.

Anthony Drops Weight to Helm Triangle Offense

Epoch Times Photo

(Instagram)

Carmelo Anthony is going to play a big role on the New York Knicks in the upcoming season, and has been dropping weight in order to better helm the new triangle offense.

Idan Ravin, Anthony’s personal trainer since he left Syracuse after winning the NCAA title 11 years ago, told the New York Post that Anthony’s weight loss stems from a desire to better lead the team.

“Amazing people have been hired over there and he wants to come in as the leader and a top-three player in the world,” Ravin said, adding Anthony wants the Knicks to follow his lead. “If [he’s] being meticulous, you should not just follow [his] word, but follow [his] actions.”

Anthony and Ravin have been training in Los Angeles, where Anthony has a second home. The training and diet plan began in mid-May.

Ravin’s other clients include Chris Paul and J.R. Smith.

He’s just tenacious with his training,” Ravin said. “He’s working out very hard, ramped it up, being even more meticulous. He’s been super diligent on his diet, extra cardio, rest. A lot of amazing people were hired [by the Knicks] and he’s excited about it. It’s another example of Melo trying to be super prepared.”

Sources added that Anthony wants to be quicker in the triangle, and get back to the athleticism he showed in his rookie year, when he weighed 230 pounds. He was listed at 240 pounds last year.

Clippers to Let Jordan Walk?

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, puts up a shot as Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan defends during the first half in Game 1 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series, Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file)

DeAndre Jordan can become a free agent next summer. Will the Clippers let him walk?

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders doesn’t think so.

“Like Paul Millsap, Jordan has outplayed his current contract. It’s very likely that DeAndre re-signs in LA with the Clippers on a new max level, or near max level contract. This is where the depths of the new Clippers ownership’s pockets is going to pay off,” he said.

“Like all potential unrestricted free agents, Jordan could walk away, but considering the Clippers will put the money on the table and the success the team has had as currently constructed, the odds that Jordan hits the market in a real way are slim. The problem is that he has to hit free agency to get the raise his camp is seeking. So, there is risk for the Clippers, but all sides have been fairly clear they want the marriage to continue.”

Rockets Looking to Re-sign Garcia

The Houston Rockets lost a lot of their depth with Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, and Omer Asik being dealt away or leaving.

One bench player who may return is Francisco Garcia.

No deal has been made yet, but in response to a reader’s question, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Rockets said that both sides plan on a re-signing.

“No agreement on deal yet,” he said.

Bulls May Sign Elton Brand

The Chicago Bulls may sign center Elton Brand, who appeared in 73 games for the Atlanta Hawks last year, including 15 starts.

Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors said this week that the most likely place for Brand to end up would be Chicago.

He would bolster a frontcourt already strong with Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and Pau Gasol.

Other rumors indicate that Brand will re-sign with the Hawks.

Kings sign 1st NBA player of Indian descent

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Sim Bhullar became the first player of Indian descent to sign a contract with an NBA team Friday, inking a deal to join the Sacramento Kings in training camp.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“I’ve long believed that India is the next great frontier for the NBA, and adding a talented player like Sim only underscores the exponential growth basketball has experienced in that nation,” said Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, the league’s first Indian-born majority owner.

“While Sim is the first player of Indian descent to sign with an NBA franchise, he represents one of many that will emerge from that region as the game continues to garner more attention and generate ever-increasing passion among a new generation of Indian fans.”

The 7-foot-5, 360-pound Bhullar was born in Toronto and played two seasons for New Mexico State, where he averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. He twice earned Western Athletic Conference tournament MVP honors and led the Aggies to back-to-back NCAA tournaments.

Undrafted this spring, Bhullar was part of the Kings team that won the NBA’s summer league tournament in Las Vegas last month. He will compete for a spot in training camp behind center DeMarcus Cousins and could be a candidate to join the franchise’s NBA Development League affiliate in Reno, Nevada, where he could have more time to develop his skills.

George still hopeful of returning this season

Epoch Times Photo

In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, Indiana Pacers’ Paul George is carted off the court after breaking his right leg during the USA Basketball Showcase intrasquad game in Las Vegas on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau, Glenn Pinkerton)

INDIANAPOLIS—Paul George hopes to make it back on the court next season despite the “freak accident” that caused a compound fracture in his right leg.

On Friday, the two-time All-Star responded to questions for the first time since the gruesome image of him colliding with a basketball stanchion.

George says the leg broke in two spots and that a rod was inserted during surgery Aug. 2. Doctors placed pins in the knee and ankle to hold the rod in place. The leg is now protected by a hard cast.

Coach Frank Vogel and Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said Tuesday that George has not been ruled out for the season though they didn’t expect to have him.

George has been told he will make a full recovery.

Cousins hurts knee in US practice, not serious

Epoch Times Photo

U.S. National Team player DeMarcus Cousins lays on the court and is looked over by trainers after an undisclosed injury during a practice of the men’s basketball team Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, in Chicago. The U.S. team will face the Brazilian team in an exhibition game at the United Center in Chicago Saturday. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO—DeMarcus Cousins had a big bag of ice on his right knee while he watched the end of practice Thursday. He briefly covered his face with a towel as trainers milled around his table next to the folded gym bleachers.

Just making it to the World Cup of Basketball is proving to be quite a chore for the U.S. national team.

Cousins was injured when he got tangled with Anthony Davis after both big men hit the floor going after a loose ball during a scrimmage. An MRI on Cousins’ knee showed no structural damage, and USA Basketball said the Sacramento Kings star was day to day.

The test result for Cousins was a breath of fresh air for a U.S. team still recovering from the gruesome injury to Paul George.

“He said he got a little scared, obviously, when you go down after we had that prior injury,” said Jerry Colangelo, the managing director of USA Basketball.

Cousins yelled out in distress as the practice pileup dissipated, leaving the center on his back near the free-throw line on one side of the court. He was helped off the floor, and then was confined to the training table for the remaining part of the first of two practices in Chicago before Saturday night’s exhibition against Brazil at the United Center.

Cousins took a few ginger steps while players were coming off the floor at the end of practice.

“Definitely scary, not just the fact that he went down, but the fact that I actually was the one who dove on him,” said Davis, a Chicago native who plays for New Orleans. “I kind of feel bad and I hope he’s fine because he really wants to be here. He really wants to play.”

It was the first practice for the Americans since George broke his right leg during an intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 1 in Las Vegas. George had surgery the next day, and the Indiana Pacers say their two-time All-Star is expected to make a full recovery.

Suns’ Isaiah Thomas has arthroscopic wrist surgery

PHOENIX—Phoenix Suns guard Isaiah Thomas has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist.

The team says he’s expected to be able to participate fully in the team’s training camp.

The Suns say the procedure was done Thursday in New York by Dr. Michelle Carlson at the Hospital for Special Surgeries.

The Suns acquired Thomas in a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings on July 12.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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