Josh Smith to blast off with Rockets 

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
1:35
PM ET
UPDATE: It won't become official until forward Josh Smith clears waivers at 5 PM (Eastern), but as expected he will sign with the Rockets, per media reports, including ESPN.com's Chris Broussard.

Smith, who will be signed via the full $2.077 million Bi-Annual exception, has been assured he will get Houston's starting power forward.
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Most of the NBA media have the Houston Rockets as the favorite to sign forward Josh Smith after he clears waivers on Wednesday. The Rockets appear to be the leaders for several reasons: 1) His friendship with Dwight Howard; 2) the ability to give Smith the full $2.077 million Bi-Annual exception, while other teams can only offer a pro-rated minimum deal; 3) Houston could have a Top-4 playoff seed in the West; 4) there are enough minutes for him to have a big role for Houston.

Small trade increases Suns cap room 

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
1:35
PM ET
Stan Van Gundy waived Josh Smith on Monday and Wednesday the Detroit Pistons president of basketball operations/head coach made a minor trade. Per the Pistons website, Van Gundy sent forward Tony Mitchell to the Phoenix Suns for Anthony Tolliver.

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Kevin McHale's extension 

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
1:17
PM ET
Before today, Kevin McHale was the only head coach in the NBA without a contract beyond this season, but that is no longer the case. ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst confirms McHale has signed a three-year extension worth a bit more than $12 million.

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Cavs without Anderson Varejao 

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
9:46
AM ET
UPDATE: The speculation regarding Anderson Varejao's injury has been confirmed. He will miss the rest of the season due to a torn Achilles, reports ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst.
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have been in the market for a center and now those efforts will likely be stepped up after Anderson Varejao suffered a left foot/ankle injury on Tuesday night during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Boston's unsettled frontcourt 

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
9:23
AM ET
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has a problem on his hands as he can't find enough minutes for all of his frontcourt (power forward/center) players and all of them warrant time on the floor. After acquiring Brandan Wright last week from the Dallas Mavericks, Stevens has to try to find time for him, Brandon Bass, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller. Jeff Green at times plays at power forward, too. The Celtics lost on Tuesday and two of those players (Sullinger and Green) were not happy after getting benched in the second half due to their lack of production.


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Deron Williams trade talk cools 

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
8:54
AM ET
Recently reports came out that Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson were available for a trade. The team first linked to Williams was the Sacramento Kings, but that didn't go very far and any talk between the two teams could be over.


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Updating Aaron Gordon's status 

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
8:21
AM ET
Aaron Gordon's rehab work with the Orlando Magic training staff is going well after having surgery on Nov. 21 to repair his left foot (fractured fifth metatarsal). The rookie forward had played well to begin his first season in the NBA and he is expected to return at some point in January.


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Sixers to AK-47: Time to report 

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
8:03
AM ET
The Philadelphia 76ers added forward Andrei Kirilenko to their roster on Dec. 11 via a trade with the Brooklyn Nets. The initial speculation had the Sixers waiving Kirilenko soon after the trade was finalized, but that did not happen. Kirilenko has been in New York tending to his wife with the idea that he might sign with a team in March, but that is not in the cards right now since the Sixers want him to report as soon as possible.

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Jason Richardson available soon? 

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
7:41
AM ET
Jason Richardson has been sidelined since January of 2013 due to a left kneecap injury and a stress fracture in his right foot. There was some thought that Richardson's days as a player are over, but he never felt that way and a return to the active roster could occur soon.

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Ronny Turiaf out; Malcolm Thomas in 

December, 24, 2014
Dec 24
7:24
AM ET
The Philadelphia 76ers have had a revolving door with the roster the last two seasons and Tuesday the changes continued as center Ronny Turiaf was released and forward Malcolm Thomas was signed to a multi-year contract.

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Latest regarding Jermaine O'Neal 

December, 23, 2014
Dec 23
2:05
PM ET
Last Friday, ESPN.com's Marc Stein wrote a story in which sources said free agent center Jermaine O'Neal is "highly intrigued" with the possibility of signing with the Dallas Mavericks. A this time, O'Neal lives in Dallas and Tuesday he gave an update on his status via Twitter.

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Should Celtics target Derrick Favors? 

December, 23, 2014
Dec 23
10:00
AM ET

The Celtics own six first round picks in the next two NBA drafts and most followers of the team believe president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will eventually deal some of them for a top young talent. With that in mind, ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg was asked as part of his Monday Mailbag if the Celtics should try to acquire Utah Jazz big man Derrick Favors. Forsberg has an interesting take on that subject (SEE BELOW).

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Brook Lopez's role when he returns 

December, 23, 2014
Dec 23
9:11
AM ET
The Brooklyn Nets have been without center Brook Lopez for the last eight games and he might return to the active roster as soon as Tuesday against Denver. Lopez participated in practice on Monday and is clearly out of game-shape.

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Miami's play for Josh Smith 

December, 23, 2014
Dec 23
8:19
AM ET
The Miami Heat believe they have lost power forward Josh McRoberts for the duration of the season due to a knee injury (torn right meniscus). As a result, the team has requested help from the NBA and the extra exception could be granted in time to go after free agent Josh Smith.


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David Lee to accept any role from Kerr 

December, 23, 2014
Dec 23
7:34
AM ET
David Lee finally rejoined the Golden State Warriors active roster on Monday after being sidelined due to a hamstring strain. Lee's last game action came on Nov. 5 when he played just seven minutes. With his second game of the season under his belt, Lee was asked afterwards if coming off the bench is okay with him.

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