NBA Rumor Round Up For Monday, February 8:
New York Knicks: Forward Carmelo Anthony has been dealing with soreness to his surgically-repaired left knee for most of the season and it is still an issue that will likely linger for the rest of 2015-16. "It's not going to heal in a week or a couple days or two weeks," Anthony told Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com on Sunday. Anthony is still planning to play in the All-Star game this coming Sunday. "We have a game Tuesday, and then we don't play until the following Friday," said Anthony. "I want to take advantage of that time."
Sacramento Kings: Plenty of chatter in recent days that head coach George Karl could be on his way out. For his part, Karl isn't worried about what might happen. "I don't have any control over what other people are thinking or saying. That's their storm," Karl told ESPNBoston.com on Saturday. "My preference would be it wouldn't be there. But there's always energy today. Then once something gets out, it magnifies and grows and becomes a storm. That's not my storm. My storm is the Boston Celtics."
Brooklyn Nets: The team will begin interviewing candidates for their vacant GM position on Monday. According to the New York Post, as many as 10 candidates might be interviewed. Until the new GM is hired, which may come before the Feb. 18 trade deadline, assistant general manager Frank Zanin will continue to run basketball operations. Names reportedly on the candidate list include Bryan Colangelo, Denver's Arturas Karnisovas, Houston's Gersson Rosas and Washington's Tommy Sheppard.
Los Angeles Clippers: Backup guard Austin Rivers returned home on Sunday and Monday he is set to meet with a specialist to have his broken hand checked out, reports the Los Angeles Times. Rivers is expected to miss the next four to six weeks, which will move Pablo Prigioni into the rotation at point guard. Jamal Crawford will also continue to get minutes as the backup point guard. "We're getting thin, obviously, but somebody else will just have to pick up the slack for right now," head coach Doc Rivers said.
Orlando Magic: The second 10-day contract guard Keith Appling signed with the Magic expired Sunday night and the team has decided to not offer him a rest-of-season deal at this time, reports the Orlando Sentinel. There is a chance the open roster spot will be left vacant until the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 18 has come and gone. ... Speaking of the trade deadline, the players are hoping the team will stay intact. "That's no reason to think we need to change anything. We have to find a way within each other to get back to what we were doing early in the year," Nikola Vucevic told the Orlando Sentinel. "We just got to find a way to get out of this [slump]. Trades or whatever ... I don't think about that — that's not my job — and I never will." ... Regarding possible trades, ESPN.com's Marc Stein writes: "Monday morning trade scuttle: Orlando isn't outright shopping Tobias Harris, but word is the Magic aren't discouraging offers for him either. There's a growing sense among rival executives that Orlando, now 3-15 in 2016, is open to proposals of any kind to get a bit more seasoned."
Memphis Grizzlies: Backup forward JaMychal Green was part of the rotation early in the season, but that is no longer the case as he is behind Ryan Hollins on the frontcourt depth chart. “Unless you’re going to play 11 or 12 guys, it’s very difficult (to work in Green),” head coach Dave Joerger tells The Commercial-Appeal. There is a chance the Grizzlies may not retain Hollins after his second 10-day contract expires, which could push Green back into the rotation. “He’s certainly a valuable piece of what we’re trying to do,” Joerger said.
Philadelphia 76ers: The 2016-17 NBA season has just over 65 days to be played and head coach Brett Brown is still trying to figure out how to get the best out of the Jahlil Okafor - Nerlens Noel tandem. "We're trying some things with Jahlil, seeing if he can guard perimeter, four-men type and let Nerlens block shots. It's not something that I regret. That's our job, we have to see how to pair those two up. We're trying different things," Brown told the Philadelphia Daily News.
Miami Heat: There is a chance guard Tyler Johnson will not return to the active roster until next season. Johnson had surgery last Wednesday to repair his torn left rotator cuff. “The doctors said it’s going to be two to three months before I can resume contact,” Johnson told The Miami Herald. “It’s a possibility [I could be back for the playoffs]. But we’ve just got to see. Again, we’re not trying to rush it back. If it feels healthy by then, and I’m actually able to contribute and not just be out there trying to figure it out during the playoffs, [then I’ll play]."
Atlanta Hawks: Backup center Tiago Splitter (sore right hip) will not play again until after the All-Star break. “Hopefully we’ll do everything we can to get him in a good place,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Splitter has missed the last four games due to his hip issue. ... Until Splitter returns, the backup minutes will go to Mike Muscala.
New Orleans Pelicans: The decision has been made to sit guard Tyreke Evans (knee) until after the All-Star break. "It's just a little tendinitis and it's always there," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told The Times-Picayune on Saturday. "We're probably going to hold him out until after the All-Star break. That gives him a situation where he has almost two weeks where he can rehab and get it back."