JR Smith Not With Team As Cavaliers Seek Deal – JR Smith and the Cleveland Cavaliers have mutually agreed for him to leave the team as both sides work to find a trade, sources told ESPN. The team issued a statement Tuesday acknowledging the arrangement. “The organization wishes JR and his family well and appreciates and thanks him for his contributions in the community, to the team and his role in the 2016 NBA Championship,” it said. Smith and the Cavs front office have been at odds all season. General manager Koby Altman previously discussed him leaving the team and Smith had chosen to remain. But the situation was inflamed Monday when Smith gave an interview to the Athletic in which he essentially accused the Cavs of tanking. “I don’t think the goal is to win. The goal isn’t to go out there and try to get as many wins as you can,” Smith told The Athletic. “I think the goal is to develop and lose to get lottery picks. I think that was always the plan.” Smith, who played just six minutes in the Cavs loss in Detroit, had already requested a trade and now will work out privately until one can be worked out. The two sides are not currently considering a buyout arrangement, sources said. Smith is earning $14.7 million this season and $3.8 million of his $15.6 million salary for next season is guaranteed.
Agent: 76ers’ Fultz Out Pending Shoulder Exam – 76ers guard Markelle Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in 2017, is scheduled to see a shoulder specialist early next week at the direction of his agent, Raymond Brothers. Brothers confirmed to ESPN that Fultz will not participate in team practices or games until after the specialist has evaluated him. Fultz was limited to just 14 regular-season games during his rookie season because of a shoulder ailment that confounded Philadelphia. While recovering from the initial right shoulder injury last October, Fultz was diagnosed with a scapular imbalance. The injury took longer to heal than initially expected. As late as last February, the guard was unable to shoot from beyond 15 feet with sound mechanics or rhythm. Fultz said in training camp for this season that he felt fully healthy after spending the offseason working on his shot. The latest plan for his shoulder, which was first reported by The Athletic, leads to more questions about the injury.
- Boston Celtics 112 – Charlotte Hornets 117
- Cleveland Cavaliers 102 – Detroit Pistons 113
- Utah Jazz 94 – Indiana Pacers 121
- Phoenix Suns 114 – Philadelphia 76ers 119
- Los Angeles Clippers 127 – Atlanta Hawks 119
- Dallas Mavericks 88 – Memphis Grizzlies 98
- Denver Nuggets 98 – Milwaukee Bucks 104
- San Antonio Spurs 126 – New Orleans Pelicans 140
- Oklahoma City Thunder 113 – Sacramento Kings 117
Wall Fined for Verbal Assault On Brooks – The Washington Wizards fined All-Star guard John Wall for unloading a verbal barrage at coach Scott Brooks in a recent practice session, league sources told ESPN. After teammate Jeff Green and Brooks pushed Wall and Wizards teammates to raise the level of intensity in a practice last week, Wall fired back with “f— you,” toward Brooks, league sources said. Wall did apologize to Brooks shortly afterward, and to his teammates the following day, league sources said.
Putting A Bow On It: Shoe Toss Cost Heat G $25K – Josh Richardson has been fined $25,000 for throwing his shoe into the crowd during the Miami Heat‘s 113-97 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. The Heat guard was assessed a technical foul and ejected from the game when he tossed his shoe midway through the fourth quarter. With 6:40 remaining in the fourth quarter, Richardson drove for a dunk and felt he was fouled by the Lakers’ Josh Hart. As Richardson hit the floor underneath the Heat basket, his left shoe came loose. Richardson took it off and flicked it initially right in front of him. Upset, Richardson showed his shoe to official Kevin Scott. As play resumed, Richardson’s frustration mounted. He drew his fifth personal foul and also threw his shoe against the scorer’s table. When Miami coach Erik Spoelstra motioned for Richardson to head to the bench, Richardson flung his shoe far into the stands. Scott whistled Richardson for a technical before ejecting him from the game.
Westbrook Missed Game For Birth Of Twin Girls – Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook on Sunday announced the birth of twin girls Skye and Jordyn. Westbrook, who had missed the Thunder’s past five games because of a sprained left ankle, missed Saturday’s 110-100 win over the Phoenix Suns with what the team listed as “personal reasons.” Westbrook, who was a full participant in a contact practice on Friday and went through the team’s shootaround on Saturday, appeared set to return against the Suns. However, he left after the team’s shootaround to fly to Los Angeles to join his wife, Nina, for the birth of their daughters on Saturday night. Nina Westbrook posted on Instagram that the girls “are here and healthy.” The Westbrooks also have an 18-month-old son, Noah. Westbrook is listed as out for the Thunder’s game Monday against the Sacramento Kings (personal). The Thunder next play the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday in Oakland.
Wizards’ Wall, Beal Could Be Fair Game – As the Washington Wizards’ season spirals, the franchise has started to deliver teams an impression that every player on their roster, including All-Star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal, is available for discussion in trade scenarios, league sources told ESPN. Washington’s preference remains to reshape the team around Wall and Beal, but poor play among key teammates is limiting their trade value and paralyzing the Wizards’ efforts to make meaningful changes to a roster that no longer appears functional together, league sources said. The Wizards (5-11) have resisted including Wall or Beal in previous trade talks, including discussions that they held for the league’s past two available stars. Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, league sources said. While Washington hasn’t shopped its All-Star backcourt, it is rapidly becoming apparent to the organization that it needs to start considering overtures for them.
LeBron Has 51 In First Win At Miami Since ’14 Exit – LeBron James scored 51 points Sunday in the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 113-97 win over the Heat, marking James’ first victory in Miami since leaving the Heat franchise in 2014. He also became just the fifth player in league history to score 50-plus points with three different franchises.
Denzel Valentine Injury Update – The Chicago Bulls announced today that guard Denzel Valentine has been diagnosed with ongoing ankle instability. After being evaluated by Dr. Bob Anderson, a foot and ankle specialist in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Valentine will undergo a surgical reconstruction by Dr. Anderson the week of Nov. 26 with an anticipated recovery time of four-to-six months. He is expected to make a full recovery and have a normal summer of offseason training leading into training camp for the 2019-20 season.
- Memphis Grizzlies 100 – Minnesota Timberwolves 87
- Los Angeles Lakers 113 – Miami Heat 97
- New York Knicks 117 – Orlando Magic 131
- Portland Trail Blazers 119 – Washington Wizards 109
- Golden State Warriors 92 – San Antotnio Spurs 104
Chicago Bulls 83 – Toronto Raptors 122
Highlights: Fred VanVleet scored 18 points, Danny Green added 17 and Serge Ibaka had 16 points and four blocks, sending the short-handed Raptors to a 122-83 rout of the Chicago Bulls that snapped their three-game losing streak. Kawhi Leonard, the team’s leading scorer, was held out after playing 43 minutes in an overtime loss Friday night at Boston. He played in just nine games last season and has yet to appear in back-to-back games this season. Green went 7 for 7 from the field, including 3 of 3 on 3-pointers. VanVleet, who entered shooting just 36.1 percent from the floor, was 7 for 11, including 4 of 7 on 3s. Antonio Blakeney had 13 points and Justin Holiday and Jabari Parker each added 12 for the Bulls, who have dropped four straight. Chicago also played without its leading scorer, Zach LaVine, who sat out with an illness. LaVine first experienced symptoms Thursday night and struggled through Friday night’s game at Milwaukee. Without him, the Bulls struggled on offense, making just 30 of 86 field goal attempts (34.9 percent) and committing 22 turnovers. VanVleet had 10 first-half points on 4-for-8 shooting. Pascal Siakam also scored 10 and Green led the way with 14 as Toronto took a 57-44 halftime lead. The Bulls managed just nine points in the third quarter (on 4-for-19 shooting) as the Raptors opened an 89-56 lead entering the fourth. VanVleet had eight points and made all three of his shots in the third.
- Los Angeles Clippers 127 – Brooklyn Nets 119
- Philadelphia 76ers 122 – Charlotte Hornets 119
- Atlanta Hawks 89 – Indiana Pacers 97
- Los Angeles Lakers 117 – Orlando Magic 130
- Denver Nuggets 115 – New Orleans Pelicans 125
- Utah Jazz 98 – Boston Celtics 86
- Toronto Raptors 122 – Chicago Bulls 83 (See Chicago Sports News)
- Sacramento Kings 112 – Houston Rockets 132
- Golden State Warriors 109 – Dallas Mavericks 112
- Oklahoma City Thunder 110 – Phoenix Suns 100