NBA Rumors: Cavs Or Spurs To Get Andrew Bogut, Lakers' Jose Calderon To Warriors

As the trade deadline has officially passed, NBA rumors are now starting up with regards to recently waived NBA players. While guard Deron Williams was recently part of rumors to head to the Cleveland Cavaliers, it seems that another recently waived player, center Andrew Bogut, is also considering that as his top destination. However, the San Antonio Spurs are among four other teams who also have a shot at getting Bogut onto their rosters. In addition, the Golden State Warriors seem like they are the frontrunners to sign recently-released Los Angeles Lakers guard Jose Calderon. On Monday night, ESPN Senior Writer Marc Stein reported on the latest transactions and rumors around the league. Stein noted that the Lakers and 76ers had both completed their buyouts of Calderon and Bogut respectively, so they’re officially released to the pool of players available to sign. The frontrunners for the two stars are also the frontrunners to win the NBA Championship this postseason: Golden State and Cleveland. Jose Calderon was released by the Lakers on Monday and appears headed to Golden State next. [Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images] Calderon, in his 11th year out of Spain, is averaging just 3.3 points, 2.1 assists, and 1.8 rebounds a game this season. His career numbers feature averages of 9.7 points, 6.3 assists, and 2.6 rebounds. After averaging over 28 minutes a game last season for the Knicks in 72 starts, he’s gone to averaging just 12.2 minutes per contest with Los Angeles. Calderon has played in a total of 24 games for the season and started 11. In order for Golden State to add him to their lineup, he’ll need to clear waivers by Wednesday as of 5 p.m. Eastern Time. While New York Knicks guard Brandon Jennings was also waived on Monday and it was said that the Warriors would have preferred Jennings over Calderon. However, the sources indicate that “the process was already too far along with Calderon,” so it appears he’s just about a done deal to go to Golden State. The Warriors would make for Calderon’s sixth team in his 12 NBA seasons. The 6-foot-3 guard spent his first seven seasons with Toronto, went to Detroit, back to Toronto for a season, and then played for Dallas, New York, and most recently played for the Lakers. With Bogut, the expectation according to ESPN‘s Ramona Shelburne is that he’ll sign with the Eastern Conference’s top team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. That would give the Cavs their second pickup over the past week, as the team also was recently said to be signing former Mavs guard Deron Williams, another released star. Bogut has career averages of 10 points, 8.9 boards, and 1.6 blocks a game, but is averaging just three points and 8.3 rebounds this current season. However, he’d provide many contending teams with a solid backup center to bring in during key stretches of games in the playoffs. Andrew Bogut is a big man whose playmaking abilities are useful for playoff contender teams. [Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images] While Cleveland is considered where the former Warriors star will end up, there are four other playoff-bound teams which Bogut could sign with. According to Sportsrageous, they include the Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets in the Western Conference, as well as the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference. All four teams are looking as if they’ll make it into the postseason and could use the addition of roster help to compete against the top tier squads. The former No. 1 pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2005 was part of their team through 2012, before being traded to the Golden State Warriors along with Stephen Jackson. While with the Warriors, Bogut became a key part of their successful playoff runs and was a member of the championship team in 2015. Last summer, he was traded by the Warriors along with a future second-round pick to the Mavericks. The move was made to free up salary space in order to bring Kevin Durant to Golden State. The longtime Bucks and Warriors center went on to suffer a right knee injury this past December and then a right hamstring strain in January, causing him to miss a total of 17 games. Just last week, he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers along with Justin Anderson, with the Mavs acquiring Nerlens Noel in the exchange. Andrew Bogut would be a key addition to any of the aforementioned rosters due to his veteran experience and playmaking abilities as a big man. He’s proven to have the skills to make smart plays from the high post and provide defensive intensity, when healthy. His health will be the biggest question mark going forward with Bogut, but the Cavs seem like the team ready to make the gamble to help LeBron and company improve their chances at another title. Adding both Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut seems to be just the sort of roster upgrades that LeBron had been requesting during his media talks over the past months, and his prayers seem to be ready to be answered via waivers rather than trades. [Featured Image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]

Horizon League Tournament 2017: Printable Bracket, Seeds, Schedule & Odds

The 2017 Horizon League Tournament printable bracket and schedule is set. While the Horizon League doesn’t get the hype of other big conferences like the Big Ten, ACC and SEC, when it comes to college basketball, don’t be fooled by its lack of national air time. There are quite a few talented kids that play in the Horizon Conference and they will be on display later this week when they open up their annual conference tournament this Friday. Jordan Fouse of the Green Bay Phoenix celebrates winning the 2016 Horizon championship. [Image by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images] According to a Freep report, Oakland University won its first regular-season Horizon League championship on Sunday afternoon after defeating the Wis. Milwaukee Panthers 86-75. While OU finished in a tie with Valparaiso atop the Horizon Conference at 24-7 (14-4 in league play) they earned the regular season title thanks to a season sweep over the Crusaders. Valparaiso had won four of the previous five Horizon League titles. Oakland will now open this week’s Horizon League tournament as the No. 1 seed when the action gets underway at Joe Louis Arena this Friday. OU has made huge strides under long time coach Greg Kampe, and while they are excited about the upcoming conference tournament, they want to make a splash in the big dance this March. “You think anybody outside of our locker room after we walked off the floor after losing to Cleveland State (Jan. 16) at home thought we would be the champions?” coach Greg Kampe said. “Perseverance. Our kids never quit. They pulled themselves off the mat, they worked really hard, they deserve it.” Along with Oakland, Valparaiso and Northern Kentucky also have a good shot at not just winning the Horizon Tournament, but also getting an at large bid into the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The Norse of Northern Kentucky finished in third place behind Valpo and OU, but these guys have the talent to win the upcoming league championship and earn the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Northern Kentucky defeated Valparaiso last night behind sophomore sensation Drew McDonald. McDonald’s 23 points led the way and Lavone Holland II made a pair of key free throws with 2.3 seconds left helping Northern Kentucky pull off the 82-78 upset of Valparaiso on Sunday evening. Even though Northern Kentucky finished in third overall in the conference standings, they are the No. 4 seed heading into tourney play. The No. 3 spot will go to the Green Bay Phoenix – who will be trying to win back-to-back Horizon League Tournaments when they hit the hardwood this weekend. Head coach Linc Darner of the Green Bay Phoenix celebrates a conference championship in 2016. [Image by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images] The host team, the Detroit Titans head into the Horizon League Tournament as the No. 7 seed. Below is a look at the seeds, odds and schedule for the upcoming Horizon League Tournament. Be sure to click here for your own Horizon League printable bracket. The 2017 Horizon League Tournament will take place from March 3-7 from Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. This will be the last time the Horizon League will hold its tournament at the Joe Louis Arena, as the stadium will close its doors sometime after the Detroit Red Wings’ NHL season comes to a close. Seeds: Oakland U Valparaiso Green Bay North Kentucky Wright State UIC Detroit Mercy Cleveland State Youngstown State Milwaukee Odds: Oakland U -140 Valparaiso -130 Green Bay +180 North Kentucky +350 Wright State +450 UIC +650 Detroit Mercy +800 Cleveland State +1500 Youngstown State +1500 Milwaukee +2000 2017 Horizon League Tournament Schedule: First round: Friday, March 3 Game 1, 5:30 p.m.: No. 7 Detroit (8-22) vs. No. 10 Milwaukee (8-23), ESPN3. Game 2, 8:00: No. 8 Youngstown (11-20) vs. No. 9 Cleveland State (9-21), ESPN3. Second round: Saturday, March 4 Game 3, 5:30: No. 1 Oakland (24-7) vs. Game 2 winner, ESPN3. Game 4, 8:00: No. 2 Valparaiso (24-7) vs. Game 1 winner, ESPN3. Third round: Sunday, March 5 Game 5, 5:00: No. 3 Northern Kentucky (21-10) vs. No. 6 Illinois-Chicago (14-17), ESPN3. Game 6, 7:30: No. 4 Green Bay (18-12) vs. No. 5 Wright State (20-11), ESPN3. Semifinals: Monday, March 6 Game 7, 7:00: Game 3 winner vs. Game 6 winner, ESPNU. Game 8, 9:30: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, ESPNU. Horizon Championship: Tuesday, March 7, 7 p.m. ET – ESPN [Featured Image by Turner Botz/Getty Images]

NBA Draft 2017: Lonzo Ball Father's Lakers Comments Hurting His NBA Draft Stock

When it comes to professional sports leagues like the NBA, college players have no say in where they play if they are good enough for the NBA Draft. That makes the statements by the father of UCLA superstar Lonzo Ball troubling. LaVar Ball said in an interview that Lonzo Ball will only play for the Los Angeles Lakers, although he went back on that slightly when speaking to ESPN. The original statement by Lonzo Ball’s father might make teams – including the Los Angeles Lakers – think twice about drafting Lonzo. There have been cases in the past, such as with John Elway and Eli Manning, where players refuse to play for the teams that drafted them and hurt the entire draft process. [Image by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images] It even happened in the NBA. When the Los Angeles Lakers drafted Kobe Bryant, the high school star said he refused to play for the Charlotte Hornets if they chose him in the NBA Draft. While the Lakers have the third-worst record in the NBA, there are two teams with worse records in the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns that might want Lonzo Ball. Of course, the NBA Draft is a very different sort of professional sports draft. They use a lottery so that the team with the worst record is not always the one with the first pick in the draft. That means the Lakers might not even get to pick in the top three picks by the time it rolls around. So, what did Lonzo Ball’s father say about the Lakers that caused all the controversy? It came in an interview with The Kevin and Mike Show, which is a radio show in Arizona. “My son will only play for the Lakers.” It seems cut and dried, especially since it was on a radio show and was in his own words. However, Ball’s father is going back on this and saying that he meant that Lonzo will play for the Lakers one day, even if they are not the team that drafted him. “I’m not trying to say he won’t play for a different team. But I’d like him to play for the Lakers because it’s home and I’d love him to learn from Magic (Johnson) He’s the best guard ever to me, and nobody better for Lonzo to learn from than Magic Johnson.” One thing that NBA teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, have to worry about is a parent of an athlete with such an outspoken personality. If Ball is willing to talk to radio stations and ESPN about Lonzo, who is a top three prospect, what will he do when his Lonzo reaches the NBA? Ball has already put way too much pressure on his son to become a huge star in the NBA. With players like Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Steph Curry, and more, it is hard for even the best college superstars to break out in the big leagues. [Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images] However, Ball’s father has made it clear in an interview with TMZ Sports that Lonzo will have no problem becoming a star in the NBA. “He’s gonna be better than Steph Curry in the NBA… Steph Curry’s pretty good,” he continued. “My son is young, he’s got time to grow. And you only consider him good because he’s won a couple championships.” With the NBA Draft a dream-come-true for many college athletes, it seems that Lonzo Ball is heading into a tough situation due to something he has no control over – his father’s mouth. Evan Daniels at Scout.com said he has spoken to NBA execs and some have concerns about Ball because of his father. Lonzo Ball seems like he is trying to distance himself from the comments and just wants to let his talent speak for itself. After UCLA beat Arizona on Saturday, reporters asked him what he thought about his father’s comments concerning the Los Angeles Lakers. “No, it’s not distracting. I just go out there and play basketball. All I do is go out there and play basketball.” [Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]

Golden State Warriors Rumors: Dubs Release Briante Weber, To Sign Jose Calderon

The Golden State Warriors did not make a move prior to the NBA’s Trade Deadline on February 23, but it appears that they are not opposed to shaking up their roster Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury tweeted early Sunday morning that the Warriors are expected to sign Jose Calderon once he works out a buyout from the Los Angeles Lakers. Warriors are expected to sign Jose Calderon once he works out a buyout with the Lakers, per team sources. — Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 26, 2017 Slater’s tweet came after Briante Weber was informed of his release following the Dubs 112-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night. Coach Steve Kerr announced the team’s decision to cut ties with Weber at his press conference according to Slater. Kerr said that the team will add an another point guard to fill the 15th spot on the roster. “It’ll be a point guard.We think we have something in place, but it’s not finalized. Got to wait until it’s official.” {Image by Ezra Shaw/ Getty Images] Golden State had to make a decision on whether to sign Weber for the rest of the season or release the second-year point guard by Sunday per ESPN. The Warriors initially signed Weber to a 10-day contract on Feb 4. They re-signed him to another 10-day contract on Feb. 14. Weber appeared in seven games during his tenure with the Warriors, averaging 1.7 points while shooting 35.7 percent from the field in 6.6 minutes per game. He saw his most extensive action with the team in the Dubs’ 132-110 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 13. In 24 minutes versus the Nuggets, Weber produced two points and doled out three assists though he did not turn the ball over. [Image by Matthew Stockman/ Getty Images] Weber is a defensive- oriented player who is extremely quick and possesses strong hands. His biggest problem is that he can’t shoot, making only 35.7 percent of his shots from the field in 14 career games. The 24-year-old has also played for the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat. Prior to signing with Golden State, Weber was averaging 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 3.26 steals in 36.8 minutes for the Sioux Falls SkyForce, the Heat’s D-League affiliate. Slater said that several teams have already inquired about Weber with the Charlotte Hornets showing the most interest. “He’s going to be snapped up,” Kerr said. “I’m hopeful he can go somewhere where he can get more playing time than here. As I mentioned when we signed him, I liked the roster balance, I liked to be able to finish games with a more natural lineup out there. That’s what we are going to continue to do with the guy who is going to come in next.” Charlotte (25-33) snapped its five-game losing streak with a 99-85 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. The Hornets, who are three games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, have an open roster space as they have just 14 players under contract. Point guard is an area of need as backup Ramon Sessions is currently out after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Veteran Brian Roberts is also on the team’s point guard depth chart. Calderon is still a member of the Lakers though it is generally thought that he will get released by Wednesday, which is the last day that players can be released and retain playoff eligibility for their next team as reported by Marc Stein of ESPN. Calderon is a candidate to be released as he is not in the Lakers’ future plans, and the team took on the 35-year-old’s salary because the Chicago Bulls offered them two- second round picks to do so. Calderon is in the final year of his contract and is making $7.7 million. Calderon has only seen the floor for just five minutes in the past nine games. He has appeared in 24 games overall, producing 3.3 points and 2.1 assists in 12.2 minutes a game. Calderon is shooting 41.6 percent from the floor and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc this season. Golden State (49-9) clinched its fifth straight playoff appearance on Saturday night. And while they have the best record in basketball, and an open roster spot, the Warriors could use an upgrade to their bench. Calderon is very crafty and is an excellent facilitator. He is also a knockdown shooter when he gets his feet set, draining 47.3 percent of his shots for his career including 41.1 percent of his long distance shots. Calderon does have some deficiencies on the defensive end as he does not have the ability to stay in front of opposing point guards, anymore. [Primary Image Ron Jenkins/AP Images]

NBA Rumors: Deron Williams Will Sign With Cleveland Cavaliers On Monday

As LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers prepare to face the Chicago Bulls tonight, it’s being reported that their front office has been busy signing Deron Williams. On Thursday, Williams reached a buyout agreement with the Dallas Mavericks. On Saturday, he cleared waivers. Now, the three-time NBA All-Star will be a back-up for Kyrie Irving. Now, the only time Kyrie Irving will guard Deron Williams is during practice. [Image by Chris Chambers/Getty Images] As noted by Yahoo! Sports, Williams had been considering an offer from the Utah Jazz but decided on Saturday to go with the defending NBA Champions. Along with the recent signing of forward Derrick Williams, the Cavs now have 15 players under contract. While Derrick Williams is currently signed to his second 10-day contract with Cleveland, it’s expected that he will be signed for the rest of the season. The Cavaliers have also shown interest in Andrew Bogut, who is expected to buyout of his contract with the Philadelphia 76ers after being traded from Dallas. During the 2016-17 season, Deron Williams has started 40 games for the Dallas Mavericks. He is averaging 13.1 points and 6.9 assists on 29.3 minutes per game. He’s shooting 43.0 percent from the floor, 82.1 percent from the free throw line, and 34.8 percent from three-point range. He also averages 2.6 rebounds per game, 0.6 steals per game, and one blocked shot every ten games. A veteran playmaker, this is Deron’s fourteenth season in the league. He was drafted third overall in 2005 by the Utah Jazz after playing college ball at the University of Illinois. Williams played five full seasons in Utah, and was traded to the Nets midway through the 2010-11 NBA season. Many would consider this the point at which Deron’s career peaked, playing in the NBA All-Star Game three times from 2010-2012, and being selected to represent the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He also represented Team USA in the 2008 Summer Olympics. RELATED REPORTS BY THE INQUISITR NBA: Are the Cleveland Cavaliers Starting to Play Like the Golden State Warriors? LeBron James Gives Up McDonald’s to be the New Face of Blaze Pizza NBA MVP: Steph Curry — LeBron James Questions what ‘Valuable’ Means Cleveland Cavaliers Consider DeMarcus Cousins, Vince Carter Cleveland Cavaliers: Cavs Looking for Backup Center and Point Guard LeBron James: Cleveland Cavs Defeat New York Knicks while The Wall Wins Ratings Cleveland Cavaliers: Kevin Love Injury Update Williams played for New Jersey/Brooklyn through the end of the 2014-15 season, at which point the Nets decided to buyout the two final years of his contract. He would go on to sign with the Dallas Mavericks. Now that he’s signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he will help fill the hole that has been left with the departure of Mo Williams. His veteran status should prove to be a valuable asset, helping Cleveland out while rookie point guard Kay Felder continues to develop. As the NBA Playoffs approach, his experience and maturity will be welcomed with open arms as King James hopes to help bring the Cavs back-to-back championships. Upcoming Cleveland Cavaliers Schedule The Cleveland Cavaliers host the Bulls on Saturday night, looking for their first win of the season against Chicago. With a record of 29-29 headed into Saturday night’s game, the Bulls are 12 games behind the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. The Cavs have another home game on Monday, February 27, when they play the Milwaukee Bucks. Cleveland leads tenth place Milwaukee by 15 games in the East. LeBron James, Kevin Love and Deron Williams were all on the USA Men’s Basketball team in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. [Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images] After those home games, Cleveland has a three-game road trip. On Wednesday, March 1, the Cavs travel to Boston to play the Celtics. Boston is currently sitting in second place in the conference, trailing Cleveland by four games. On Friday, March 3, the team travels to the Philips Arena to face the Atlanta Hawks. At fifth place in the conference, the Hawks record of 32-25 puts them 8.5 games behind the Cavaliers. Cleveland’s road trip ends on Saturday, March 4, as LeBron returns to Miami once again. The Heat have had a tough year so far, with a record of 26-32 that puts them 15 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers. [Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]

Toronto Raptors Could Be A Threat To Cleveland Cavaliers

With the NBA trade deadline over and done, the biggest news of the 2017 trade deadline cycle was easily the New Orleans Pelicans acquiring the services of big man DeMarcus Cousins. Surely, with the New Orleans Pelicans acquiring DeMarcus Cousins to pair with established All-Star and fellow franchise player Anthony Davis, New Orleans has certainly positioned themselves for future success. That said, however, while most headlines focus on the big name, blockbuster trades, sometimes it’s the minor tweak to any given roster that can make the biggest difference — and that is precisely the case with the Toronto Raptors. The Toronto Raptors have been on the cusp of greatness for a few years now, but have never quite managed to get over the hump, as it were. With the All-Star backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, the pair have been both consistent in terms of play and consistently under the radar in recent years. As talented as the Toronto Raptors pair are, the fact is that the franchise has needed a little more help to go from consistent to a legitimate contender, and, with the NBA trade deadline come and gone, the Toronto Raptors got exactly what they needed as the NBA season begins to wind down and the playoff push begins. The acquisition of Serge Ibaka from Orlando (while not making as many headlines as the DeMarcus Cousins trade) is arguably one of the better moves of the entire NBA trade deadline cycle this year. Prior to this acquisition, the Toronto Raptors were on quite a skid, at one point losing 11 out of 16 games and dropping from second to fourth in the Eastern Conference in less than a month. So far this season, Serge Ibaka is averaging 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per contest. Even more than his stats, however, Serge Ibaka fills a position for the Toronto Raptors that has been in need of filling for quite some time. Also, while Serge Ibaka was never able to get over the hump during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, those years have given him valuable playing experience, and, as a battle-tested veteran, he brings a toughness and a tenacity to the Toronto Raptors squad that may just give them the edge down the stretch. Serge Ibaka playing for the Orlando Magic before being traded to the Toronto Raptors. [Image by Elsa/Getty Images] That said, while not quite as big a name as Serge Ibaka, the Toronto Raptors also managed to acquire the services of P.J. Tucker. Originally drafted by the Toronto Raptors in 2006, P.J. Tucker’s stat line doesn’t immediately stand out, however, he is a serviceable player, and, at 6’6, he is another body that the Toronto Raptors can throw at a LeBron James come playoff time. Perhaps best of all, Toronto did not have to give up much to acquire both players, and that will only help them moving forward. Unlike the Boston Celtics who chose not to make any moves before the NBA trade deadline, the Toronto Raptors certainly did make the moves they deemed necessary to compete and take the franchise to the next level. One of the criticisms of the Toronto Raptors of late is that they have the tendency to play isolation basketball, and/or simply trade off between Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan when it comes to getting buckets. Serge Ibaka gives them a legitimate third option that can play defense, block shots, and space the floor with his shooting. Ultimately, we will know soon enough if the Boston Celtics made the right decision by choosing not to make any moves, and whether the moves made by the Toronto Raptors will pay off in the end come playoff time. Either way, both the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors have the task of trying to knock off the Cleveland Cavaliers, and, whether or not that happens will be the true measure of success. They’re ready. #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/eUfIyNuNqe — Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) February 25, 2017 [Featured Image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]

‪‪Toronto Raptors‬ Vs. Boston Celtics: Tempers Flared, Raps' Newcomers Emerge

The Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics met Thursday in a fiery clash of Eastern Conference contenders. It was an excellent game that had some physicality but in the end, the Raptors completed a comeback from a 17-point deficit to capture a 107-97 victory. The Raptors, Celtics, Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks are teams in the East seen having the best chance to oust or at least come close to reigning champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers. A game featuring two of these squads is always a must watch. That is what happened when the Raptors recently hosted the Celtics at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto played the game without All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry who is nursing a wrist injury. Despite this, the Raptors still managed to beat Boston as they were led by their other All-Star, DeMar DeRozan. The 27-year-old exploded for a career-high 43 points, also having five rebounds and five assists. Helping him were newcomers Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker. Ibaka, who was traded from the Orlando Magic, contributed 15 points, seven rebounds, one steal and one block. Tucker, who was acquired from the Phoenix Suns, added nine points, 10 rebounds, one assist and three steals. Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan [Image by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images] Meanwhile, for the Celtics, it was All-Star playmaker Isaiah Thomas who led the way as he tallied 20 points, three rebounds plus five assists. Thomas, in the second quarter, was involved in an altercation after a hard foul from the Raptors’ DeMarre Carroll. The Celtics were up by 11 with less than three minutes left in the period when Carroll nudged Thomas who was trying to finish a fast break play. Thomas went down, although he immediately stood up to accost Carroll. Their teammates and the officials tried to pacify the situation. Boston’s Jae Crowder also had some words for the Raptors forward. All three of them were handed a technical foul, Carroll was even slapped with a flagrant 1. In a report by ESPN, Thomas expressed his thoughts regarding Carroll’s foul after the game. He believes the push was intentional and is “not a basketball play.” The 28-year-old went on to blast the Raptors veteran. “Guys who aren’t factors in games do that. It is what it is,” Thomas stated. Aside from Thomas, Crowder and Marcus Smart stepped up for Boston in Thursday’s defeat. Crowder had 19 points, four rebounds, and one assist. Smart came off the bench and also had 19 points, which came along with five rebounds, and four assists. Rookie Jaylen Brown tallied 13 points in a losing effort. This is not the first time things got heated between the Raptors and the Celtics. Back in January, the Raptors’ Jonas Valančiūnas ripped the Celtics saying they are only playing for the second spot in East while his team is gunning for No. 1. During that time, the Raptors were just a few games away from the Cavs. However, this February, it was Boston’s turn. To open the month, the Celtics defeated the Raptors and the win was part of a streak that helped them be second in the conference. Thomas then fired back and said Valančiūnas was unable to back up his words, with the Celtics now the ones aiming to take the top seed in the conference. Kyle Lowry and Isaiah Thomas [Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images] This rivalry is expected to be more interesting as the postseason nears and the race in the East goes on. The latest win gave the Raptors a 34-24 record to be the fourth-best team in their conference. They have won back-to-back and can go for three straight when they host the Portland Trail Blazers this Sunday. Meanwhile, the Celtics have lost two consecutive and they are currently at 37-21, still enough to be No. 2 in the East. They will continue their road trip, also on Sunday, when they face the Detroit Pistons. [Featured Image by Rick Bowmer/AP Images]

Kevin Durant, Steve Kerr Speak Out Against Shaq O'Neal Over JaVale McGee Feud

Has Shaquille O’Neal gone too far in his years-long coverage of JaVale McGee during the popular “Shaqtin’ a Fool” segment on TNT’s Inside The NBA? Kevin Durant thinks so and the Golden State Warriors small forward has spoken out in support of his teammate, who he says doesn’t deserve the constant criticism from Shaq. Durant isn’t alone in his anger at the former NBA superstar either, and the Warriors coach Steve Kerr has also given his support to McGee. It’s true that Shaq has taken aim at McGee for years, constantly featuring the Warriors center on his “Shaqtin’ a Fool” segment. For those wondering just how hard Shaq went in on McGee, just check out the YouTube video below. That compilation is for the segments about JaVale McGee from 2011-2016 and doesn’t even have the recent jabs Shaq has taken at his current NBA nemesis. It’s pretty obvious why JaVale McGee might not be a fan of Shaq’s constant criticism but the Golden State Warriors are also tired of their center always taking the brunt of Shaq’s jokes during his blooper segment. ESPN reported that the NBA team reached out to Turner Sports, who is responsible for sports broadcast on TNT, to complain after the most recent “Shaqtin’ a Fool” segment that took aim specifically at McGee. After the segment aired, McGee tweeted about Shaq’s ongoing segment that seems to revolve around him, calling out the NBA-superstar-turned-sports-commentator with the clever use of a peanut emoji and an acronym that was relatively easy to figure out. @SHAQ get my????’s out of your mouth! And EAD! #thatisall — Javale McGee (@JaValeMcGee34) February 24, 2017 Naturally, Shaq responded via Twitter and blasted McGee for only finally speaking up now that he’s on a good team. Prior to his move to the Warriors, JaVale has spent time with the Wizards, Nuggets, 76ers, and Mavericks. It is true that in recent months, McGee has been more oppositional about Shaq’s constant criticism of his playing abilities. The Twitter feud between Shaq and JaVale got pretty heated and eventually, Shaq threatened violence and JaVale called him out because he said it would never actually happen. We back like we never left! #juglife #javale #javalemcgee #ballislife #warriors #godubs A post shared by Javale Pierre McGee (@javalemcgee) on Feb 22, 2017 at 2:11pm PST It turns out that JaVale McGee isn’t the only one who is sick of Shaq’s constant ribbing and the Warriors center got support from his teammate Kevin Durant as well as his coach Steve Kerr. “He works extremely hard,” Durant told ESPN on Friday. “He’s come in here and done so much for us as a player, He only wants to be respected, just like anybody else.” “I understand that Shaq works for a company that wants him to do that type of stuff and make fun of players… but when you just keep doing it time and time and time again, for no reason, and the guy actually disagrees with you and you threaten him… I didn’t know cops could threaten civilians like that.” Durant wasn’t done ranting about Shaq’s constant coverage of JaVale McGee’s non-defining basketball moments. “It’s definitely childish,” Durant continued. “But that’s what they want from these stars and these retired players… to feud with the guys playing now. If I was JaVale, I’d feel the same way. It’s childish.” My name is @javalemcgee and I’m really a bum A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O’NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on Feb 24, 2017 at 1:04am PST Steve Kerr also weighed in on the Shaquille O’Neal vs. JaVale McGee feud. “JaVale has been fantastic for us, as a player, a teammate, fantastic guy,” Kerr said. “He’s funny, he’s fun to be around, he does his job. He’s a total pro. “I don’t blame him for being frustrated. Shaq’s been picking on him for years and years and years. I think JaVale, and rightfully so, I feel like he’s frustrated. It’s like, ‘It never ends.’ It’s one thing to just have a little fun, but I think you can go a little bit over the top.” Possibly the best part in all of the backlash against Shaquille O’Neal for his constantly negative coverage of JaVale McGee happened when Kevin Durant decided to put the former NBA star on blast for his own play. Shiny suit man A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O’NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on Feb 19, 2017 at 7:15pm PST “Shaq was a s**tty free throw shooter. He missed dunks. He airballed free throws. He couldn’t shoot outside the paint. He’s bigger than everybody. He didn’t have any skill, but he was bigger and stronger than everybody. And he’s still a great player, but you had your flaws too as a player. And he played on five or six teams too, so it’s not like he was just like this perfect center. You had your flaws, too.” Ouch! Considering how hard that several members of the Golden State Warriors have hit back against Shaq for his “Shaqtin’ a Fool” segment and it’s obvious focus on McGee’s gaffes, many are wondering how TNT will react. Should Shaq’s segment be shut down or should he be allowed to continue his constant ribbing of JaVale McGee? Sound off in the comments below and let us know if Shaq should be stopped or allowed to continue his commentary. [Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

Deron Williams' Contract: Cavs, Nets, Mavs Throwing Money At His 2017 Net Worth

Deron Williams’ contract status may have some resolution soon, following the Dallas Mavericks waiving the former All-Star point guard. The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to offer Williams a new contract as soon as he clears waivers, giving LeBron James the playmaker he had requested from the front office. The Mavs are about to join the Brooklyn Nets as teams that have basically thrown money toward Williams’ 2017 net worth and then continued paying him to go join another NBA team. Williams’ contract is a bit complicated, as he will be getting paid by three NBA franchises for the 2016-17 NBA season. Under his current deal, Williams earns $9 million from the Dallas Mavericks this season. He signed a one-year contract with the team during the offseason, which he will continue to earn through the waiver process. Another team can claim Williams off waivers, but that would then require them to pay the remainder of his salary this season. Once he clears waivers, he can be signed for the veteran’s minimum. As previously reported by ESPN, the Brooklyn Nets bought out the remainder of Deron Williams’ contract with the team in order to save some money. The Nets still owed Williams $43 million but negotiated it down to $27.5 million in order to simply cut him loose. Under the terms of the buyout, Williams will make $5.5 million from the Nets through the 2019-20 NBA season. Once that “buyout” had been agreed to, Williams signed a two-year free agent contract with the Dallas Mavericks. [Image by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images] Breaking it all down, Deron Williams will be under contract with the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, and Cleveland Cavaliers this season, should he make it through waivers. So how much money are these teams throwing at his 2017 net worth? At the end of the season, Williams will have received $14.5 million in combined salary from the three franchises. It’s not often that a third team will show interest after two teams basically pay a player to go away, but Williams is about to enter new territory in the NBA. For the new Deron Williams contract to come from the Cavs, he first has to clear waivers. While on waivers, any other team can put in a claim on the point guard, forcing him to report somewhere other than Cleveland. In Major League Baseball, often times teams will put claims on players in order to prevent them from going to a rival team. This is where some strategy could come into play, as the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, or Washington Wizards could step in and place a claim on Williams to prevent him from playing for the Cavs this season. NBA waivers work in reverse order of the standings, giving the worst teams the first crack at claiming a player. It means that the only teams with a worse shot at claiming Williams than the Cavs would be the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. In fact, the Cavs would have a difficult time claiming Williams, as they would be on the hook for the remainder of his salary this season. That would put the team even further into the luxury tax penalty, adding to what has already been a record number of total salaries this year. [Image by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images] In 40 games for the Dallas Mavericks this season, Deron Williams had averaged 29.3 minutes, 13.1 points, 6.9 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game. They aren’t the All-Star numbers that he once put up for the Utah Jazz, but it certainly caused many teams around the NBA to take notice of him in Dallas. When the NBA trade rumors started popping up again this winter, any team in need of a point guard to lead the second unit got linked to his name. At the top of the list was the Cleveland Cavaliers, but recently, Utah had been looking at reuniting with its former leader. Over six seasons and 439 total games with the Jazz, Williams averaged 17.3 points, 9.1 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Quite a few of those seasons included Williams averaging a double-double every night he stepped on the court. It led to invitations to play on the Western Conference All-Star team as well as Team USA. Knee problems took a toll on him, but Williams is still the type of veteran playmaker who could help any contending team down the stretch. While his time with the Brooklyn Nets did not end well, Williams might soon have a chance to re-write his legacy if he can do well in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. Backing up Kyrie Irving means Williams would play fewer minutes, possibly keeping his legs fresh for what could be a grueling playoff run. If he does find a lot of success with the Cavs, the next Deron Williams contract in free agency could include a 10-figure salary that bumps up his net worth even further. [Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]

March Madness 2017: Spartans, Wolverines, 'Cuse, Hurricanes on Tournament Bubble

The 2017 March Madness NCAA basketball tournament is still just over three weeks away, so the teams on the bubble of making the big dance need to pick up their games now, before time runs out. As indicated by Bleacher Report, while we do know teams like the Kansas Jayhawks, Duke Blue Devils, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Arizona Wildcats and the Villanova Wildcats are shoe-ins for the big dance this March, many big named schools that are used to making the tourney are not in it this time around. Some perfect examples of that are the Miami Hurricanes, Michigan Wolverines, Syracuse Orangemen and Michigan State Spartans. It would almost seem very odd to have the tournament without the ‘Cuse and Sparty along for the ride, but it is very possible that they may be on the outside looking in if they start a nice winning streak – now! Michigan State fans are not used to being a bubble team at all. In fact, under Tom Izzo the yearly Big Ten Tournament was just considered a warm-up to the NCAA Tournament. This season is a whole different ball of wax for MSU. Tom Izzo looks to once again lead the Spartans to the NCAA Tournament. [Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images] The Spartans will definitely have to win a game or two in the 2017 Big Ten Tournament if they are planning on dancing this March. MSU is a very young team, and they have actually had a very good season when you consider that they have played freshman Nick Ward and Miles Bridges quite a lot this season. With most of their squad returning in the fall of 2017, Michigan State may be the team favored to beat in the Big Ten, but as of right now coach Izzo wants to get his guys in the tourney, even if it is just for the experience build for next season. In-state rival Michigan is also in need of Big Ten tourney noise if they have hopes of playing this March. The Wolverines are currently 18-10 on the season and in seventh place in the Big Ten. If they win their next three games they would probably be in the tourney, but they are facing two of the three best in the Big Ten Conference along the way. The Wolverines have Purdue, Northwestern and Nebraska left on the regular season schedule before conference tournament play begins. Now on to Miami and Syracuse. With both teams in the middle of a log-jammed ACC Conference, they are looking up at five teams ahead of them that are most likely tournament bound. The Hurricanes (19-8) are sixth in the ACC Conference, followed by Syracuse (17-12) in seventh place. While the Canes have a nice record, getting win No. 20 won’t be easy. Miami finishes the season against Duke, Virginia Tech and Florida State. Tyler Lydon helps lead Syracuse to a win over Duke. [Image by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images] Syracuse, which is coming off of a big upset win over Duke on Wednesday, still has to face Louisville and Georgia Tech to finish out the regular season. A strong finish for Miami and Syracuse, along with making some noise in the ACC Tournament, is going to be needed from each team as the calendar flips to March or they both may be NIT bound instead of NCAA bound. The annual March Madness Tournament is not only must see TV for college hoops fans, it also brings people together and helps draws interest in college basketball from millions of people who would otherwise not pay attention to the sport, and the main reason why is down to the legions of different NCAA bracket contests that take place annually. It is estimated that over 30 million college hoops fans will fill out a bracket, whether it be from their place of employment or online in a contest. The countdown to all of the 2017 NCAA Tournament hoops mania is on! Are you ready? [Featured Image by Michael Reaves/Getty Images]