Marc J. Spears

  • NBA Power Rankings: LeBron James and the Cavs make their move

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 21 hrs ago

    1. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 37-8; last week: 1): Atlanta has won 16 straight games overall and 11 in a row over the West. The Hawks are 7 games in front in the East.

    2. Golden State Warriors (Record: 36-6; last week: 2): As the West's All-Star coach, Steve Kerr will have the option of making Klay Thompson the replacement starter for Kobe Bryant – provided Thompson is officially named to the All-Star team later this week.

    3. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 31-12; last week: 3): Mike Conley is more than deserving to be an All-Star, but he could get squeezed out with so many West guards playing well.

    4. Houston Rockets (Record: 31-14; last week: 5): Josh Smith returns to Detroit on Saturday to play the Pistons for the first time since they waived him last month.

    5. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 30-14; last week: 7): The Clippers still have interest in free agent guard Nate Robinson, but are exploring other deals first, a source said.

    6. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 32-13; last week: 3): Robin Lopez could return later this week after being out since Dec. 15 with a broken right hand, a source told Yahoo.

    More NBA coverage:

  • Top NBA All-Star reserve candidates

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. – The Golden State Warriors had been nervous about Klay Thompson being on the bubble for his first-ever All-Star selection because of a long list of elite Western Conference guards. That list became shorter Thursday after the Los Angeles Lakers learned Thursday Kobe Bryant has suffered a rotator cuff injury that could end his season.

    The NBA announced Thursday night that Bryant was named a West All-Star starting guard alongside Golden State's Stephen Curry after the fans voted them in. An extra West roster spot will open if the injury keeps Bryant out of the All-Star Game on Feb. 16 in New York, as expected. That will likely give the Warriors their wish of getting two All-Star selections thanks to the team's NBA-best 34-6 record.

    "We deserve two," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who will coach the West All-Star team. "The whole of point of what we are doing is trying to win. We have the best record in the league. Steph is an automatic, but I don't know how you couldn't have two All-Stars from a team with that record.

    "I know there are a lot of great guards in the West. But winning needs to be a trump card in any tiebreaker."

  • Kobe Bryant has torn rotator cuff in right shoulder

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    An MRI exam revealed that Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, the team announced Thursday.

    Bryant injured his shoulder during the Lakers’ 96-80 road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night. He left the game with a sore right shoulder in the third quarter. He returned in the fourth and shot twice left-handed but was unable to finish the contest.

    Bryant left for Los Angeles on Thursday for further evaluation with team doctors.

    Bryant has averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists this season in 35 games for the Lakers. The 19-year NBA veteran only played in six games last season due to knee and Achilles’ tendon injuries. He is expected to be voted in as a Western Conference All-Star starter Thursday, but would have to be replaced if he’s out with the injury.

    Spurs guard Patty Mills underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff in July 2014 and returned to play for the team in December.

  • Source: Grizzlies sign Tyrus Thomas

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    The Memphis Grizzlies have reached an agreement to sign D-League Iowa Energy forward Tyrus Thomas to a 10-day contract, a league source told Yahoo Sports.

    Thomas, who is returning to the NBA after nearly two years, worked out for the Grizzlies prior to signing with Iowa last week. The seven-year NBA veteran is averaging 14 points and 7.5 rebounds in 26.5 minutes off the bench in two games for Iowa. The Grizzlies recently had 10-day contract offers turned down by forward JaMychal Green and James Michael McAdoo, who signed with the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors, respectively.

    Thomas averaged 7.7 points and 4.8 rebounds during seven seasons with the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats, now the Hornets, exercised the amnesty provision on the final two years of his five-year, $40 million contract after the 2012-13 season.

    Thomas is making $9.3 million from the final year of his Bobcats contract and had a cyst removed from his spinal cord during surgery last March.

  • NBA Power Rankings: Are the Knicks the worst team ever?

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    1. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 33-8; last week's rank: 2): The Hawks leapfrogged the Warriors to take over the No. 1 spot thanks to their 12-game winning streak and victories in 26 of their past 28 games.

    2. Golden State Warriors (Record: 32-6; last week's rank: 1): The Warriors are still winning at an elite level, but Atlanta made the margin of error so slim that one loss last week dropped Golden State.

    3. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 29-11; last week's rank: 7): The Grizzlies will celebrate MLK Day by honoring ex-NBA players Earl Monroe, Chauncey Billups and Jason Collins.

    4. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 30-11; last week's rank: 3): The Clippers, Memphis and San Antonio gave Portland a three-game losing streak. Is that reason not to believe in the Blazers as a legit power?

    5. Houston Rockets (Record: 28-13; last week's rank: 5): Terrence Jones is expected to return soon after being out since Nov. 3 with a leg injury. How will that affect Josh Smith and Donatas Montiejunas?

    6. Dallas Mavericks (Record: 28-13; last week's rank: 6): The Mavericks are 10-1 when Chandler Parsons scores more than 20 points.

    More NBA coverage:

  • Sources: Spurs to sign D-League forward JaMychal Green

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – JaMychal Green will sign a 10-day contract with the San Antonio Spurs after departing Friday from their affiliate team at the 2015 NBA D-League Showcase, sources told Yahoo Sports.

    San Antonio is waiving Austin Daye to clear a roster spot for Green, a league source told Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. The Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers had expressed interest in signing the free-agent forward as well, a source said. Green, 24, is averaging 23 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists this season for the Austin Spurs of the NBA Development League.

    The 6-foot-9, 220-pounder participated in the Spurs’ training camp, but was cut Oct. 22. Green, who played college basketball at Alabama, spent time in the off-season working with the Spurs' renowned shooting coach Chip Engelland.

    More NBA coverage:

  • Tyrus Thomas makes D-League debut in attempt to return to NBA

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 10 days ago

    SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Nearly two years after his last NBA game, Tyrus Thomas hopes to return to the league. Not, he said, because he needs the money. He's just missed the game.

    Thomas returned to the court at the D-League Showcase on Friday in hopes of making his way back to the NBA. He is making $9.3 million this season from the final year of his amnestied contract with Charlotte.

    "The last two years I've just been miserable," Thomas told Yahoo Sports on Friday morning. "I hate when people say, 'You're getting paid, so it's cool.' No, it's not [expletive] cool. I'm [expletive] miserable sitting at home.

    "I'm not broke. I'm not desperate for money. When playing basketball is what you love to do and you physically can't do it and you still have that urge to do it, it's tough."

    He was traded to Charlotte on Feb. 18, 2010, and was re-signed to a five-year, $40 million contract on July 12, 2010. Charlotte amnestied Thomas after he averaged a career-low 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 26 games during the 2012-13 season. He was also plagued by a calf injury and questions about his attitude.

    More NBA coverage:

  • Source: Clippers to buy out Jordan Farmar's contract

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 11 days ago

    The Los Angeles Clippers are in the final stages of working out a buyout of point guard Jordan Farmar that could be completed on Thursday night, a source told Yahoo Sports.

    The Clippers found Farmar expendable after acquiring guard Austin Rivers, the son of Clippers president and coach Doc Rivers, from the Boston Celtics in a three-team trade on Thursday. Farmer averaged 4.6 points on 38.6 percent shooting from field and 1.9 assists in 14.7 minutes per game for the Clippers this season.

    Farmar signed a two-year, $4.2 million deal last offseason with a player option in the second season paying $2.1 million.

    The waiving of Farmar will open a roster spot for the Clippers. The Clippers have shown interest in point guard Nate Robinson, a source told Yahoo Sports. The Miami Heat, Washington Wizards and the Cleveland Cavaliers have also expressed interest in Robinson, who was traded from the Denver Nuggets to the Boston Celtics this week before reaching a buyout with the Celtics.

    More NBA coverage:

  • Source: 76ers to sign D-League guard Larry Drew II

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    The Philadelphia 76ers will sign guard Larry Drew II from the NBA Development League to a 10-day contract Thursday, a source told Yahoo Sports.

    Drew is averaging 11 points, 10.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds for the Sioux Falls Skyforce this season.

    The former UCLA star was the D-League Player of the Week from Dec. 22-28 after averaging 17.5 points and 15 assists. Drew also set a D-League record for assists in a game with 23 against Rio Grande on Dec. 25.

    Drew was undrafted in 2013 and will be making his NBA debut with the Sixers after being cut by the Miami Heat in training camp the last two years.

    More NBA coverage:

  • Top 10 D-League Showcase prospects

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    The NBA Development League's Showcase begins Thursday in Santa Cruz, Calif., and one long-time scout thinks there will be plenty of talent to consider among the 16 D-League teams.

    "Overall, there is some pretty good talent and some call-up candidates," the long-time scout said. "My personal feeling is the same guys you see on the bench [Nos.] 12-to-15 on NBA rosters are the same guys you see in the D-League. It's just about opportunity. This season I've seen a lot more NBA scouts at D-League games than before."

    Here's 10 potential call-ups to watch at the D-League Showcase.

    1. Quincy Miller, Reno Bighorns, F, 6-10, 219 pounds: "He's still young and might be the best prospect with his length, ability to play small forward and power forward, make 3-pointers and handle the ball, too."

    2. JaMychal Green, Austin Spurs, F, 6-9, 220 pounds: "He is the MVP of the D-League so far. He can rebound and he can spread the floor. He's a jump shooter who can knock down the 12- 15-footer and is a consistent rebounder."