NBA Rumor Round Up For Tuesday, February 9:
New York Knicks: Team president Phil Jackson fired Derek Fisher on Monday and installed Kurt Rambis as the interim head coach. Soon after the announcement we got some names who might be candidates for the head coach position. Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com writes: "Going by what Jackson said on Monday about what he is looking for in a head coach, the Tom Thibodeau-to-Knicks movement favored by many fans has some obstacles in front of it. ... There’s no shortage of coaching candidates for the Knicks. Besides Rambis, Jackson has disciples in former Nuggets coach Brian Shaw and current Warriors assistant Luke Walton. And there are coaches with former Knicks ties out there like Thibodeau, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Scott Brooks." ... In other news, the 10-day contract signed by forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo expired on Sunday and he was not offered a second 10-day deal. The Knicks now have an open roster spot and they will likely keep it open up to the trade deadline on Feb. 18. ... Speaking of trades, Carmelo Anthony and rookie Kristaps Porzingis are the only untouchables on the roster right now. "I think it is a known fact that Carmelo has a no-trade [clause]," Jackson told Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. "And we like Kris. Everybody likes Kris. There's not too many people that ever would say that I would trade [Kristaps]." Jackson has few assets to offer up, so he likely won't be able to upgrade the roster until free agency starts in July.
Sacramento Kings: According to a few reports, including one from ESPN.com's Marc Stein, head coach George Karl will be fired sometime after Wednesday's game against Philadelphia. Stein reports Corliss Williamson will likely be named as the interim head coach for the duration of the season. ... Regarding possible trades, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee believes the Kings will not trade center DeMarcus Cousins or forward Rudy Gay unless they can can get back a major haul for either player.
Los Angeles Clippers: According to The Orange County Register, Clippers' TV announcer Ralph Lawler said Monday during the game against the Sixers that Austin Rivers won't have surgery to fix his broken hand and the guard could return in about four weeks.
Chicago Bulls: The Bulls have been off for a good amount of the season thanks to all their injuries and a mindset from the players, which is different from previous years. "It's a great group of guys," Taj Gibson told ESPNChicago.com. "Guys come and do the work. It's just a different group from what we had in the past. We had straight defensive guys, hungry dogs. Now we have guys coming in, offensive-minded, shoot the 3. ... We used to be scrappy. Now we're trying to mold these guys into getting scrappy. Every game is rough because we're still trying to get guys to talk. And you would think talking would be the easiest thing, right? Every day we're just trying to get guys to talk. It's frustrating, but what can you do?"
Golden State Warriors: Backup center Festus Ezeli had surgery on Monday to remove "debris" from his right knee that has been bothering him. Ezeli is expected to be out at least six weeks and this time will allow Marreese Speights to log a lot of minutes as Andrew Bogut's backup. "Mo is going to step in and play well for us," head coach Steve Kerr told the Bay Area News Group. "I just feel bad for Festus. It's a contract year. We're just keeping our fingers crossed that he's going to be OK." ... Coming back and playing well in the playoffs is vital to Ezeli as he is hoping to land a big contract in July as a restricted free agent. Speights will enter July as an unrestricted free agent.
Atlanta Hawks: Backup center Tiago Splitter is dealing with his right hip injury and he decided to get a second opinion, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Splitter won't return to the active roster until after the All-Star break.
Milwaukee Bucks: According to the Journal Sentinel, head coach Jason Kidd said guard O.J. Mayo will rejoin the active roster on Tuesday after practicing on Monday. Mayo has been sidelined for the last 11 games due to his left hamstring injury.
Dallas Mavericks: Backup guard Devin Harris, sprained left big toe, will not play on Tuesday against Utah, reports Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. This will be the ninth consecutive game that Harris will miss due to the injury. According to MacMahon, the Mavs believe Harris will be cleared to rejoin the active roster after the All-Star break. ... With Harris unavailable tonight, head coach Rick Carlisle may once again give some minutes to rookie Justin Anderson.
Washington Wizards: Forward Kris Humphries has not played since Jan. 3 due to his sore right knee. There is a chance he will return to the lineup on Tuesday after practicing on Monday, reports CSN Mid-Atlantic ... In other news, Otto Porter Jr. will likely be used as a "stretch-4" whenever head coach Randy Wittman runs with a small lineup. "A lot of his big scoring games are from the four spot," Wittman tells CSN Mid-Atlantic. "Dallas comes to mind off the top of my head, playing against Dirk Nowitzki. I told him he's got to have the mentality."