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Thursday, February 23, 2017

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Paul George reportedly determined to play for Lakers

One of the reasons Paul George was so difficult to move before the NBA trade deadline is that there are reportedly only two teams he is interested in playing for — his current one and the Los Angeles Lakers. George is under contract with the Indiana Pacers through the 2017-2018 season. After that, it is…Read More

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Willie Taggart freezing out reporter who broke workout story

Willie Taggart

Willie Taggart’s brief tenure as Oregon’s new head football coach has been rife with media tension. And he isn’t exactly making things better.

Taggart is freezing out the reporter who broke the story about the team’s workouts that left three players hospitalized last month and led to the suspension of the program’s new strength coach.

Taggart says he spoke with Andrew Greif, who broke the story for The Oregonian, prior to the story’s publishing. He believes Greif did not report the story accurately.

“When you’re not fair and honest, then to me that’s personal,” Taggart told the Daily Emerald about his issues with Greif. “When you do something that’s negative and it’s going to be personal, then I won’t have s— to do with you.”

“‘You’ve got to be s—-ing me,’ was kind of my reaction,” Taggart said. “I explained exactly what happened and he didn’t report it.”

Both comments were censored to remove the profanity.

Greif says he did report things accurately and that Taggart did not say the workouts were not grueling or military-style, which are phrases the coach believes contributed to the story going viral.

Taggart is so upset with Greif that he is not speaking with the reporter and even ignored a text message from the reporter requesting to talk things out.

Taggart wants The Oregonian to print an apology for the story or correction, but the paper believes their reporting was accurate and has no plans to do so.

Besides the workouts matter, Taggart also had to deal with one of his new offensive assistants getting fired days after being hired for a DUI arrest. The season can’t come soon enough for Oregon.

Chris Bosh joining TNT as analyst

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh will be visible to NBA fans over the next month, but it won’t be for playing in games.

TNT announced on Thursday that Bosh will serve as an analyst for them:

According to the Sun-Sentinel, Bosh will serve as an analyst as part of TNT’s “Players Only” group on the next five Monday nights.

He will join Isiah Thomas, Chris Webber and Baron Davis on that team.

Bosh has not played this season after failing his preseason physical with the Miami Heat. He and the team were in a heated dispute over his ability to play despite his blood clots. The Heat are hoping to have his contract removed as a salary cap hit against them because of his medical condition. If Bosh plays in 25 games in any remaining season during the term of his deal with Miami, the Heat would have to pay him his full contract amount. Thanks to the TNT deal, the Heat are in the clear for one year and will hope Bosh does not play 25 games in either of his two remaining seasons. Bosh is owed around $52 million for the next two seasons.

P.J. Tucker was reportedly acquired by Raptors with LeBron James in mind

Did the Toronto Raptors make a trade deadline deal to get a player who will ultimately be tasked with agitating LeBron James? It sounds like the answer is yes.

ESPN’s Marc Stein said Thursday that the Raptors’ addition of forward P.J. Tucker from Phoenix had to do with James, who may end up facing Toronto again in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Tucker is a tough, strong, defensive-minded forward who is entirely capable of guarding guys who are a little bit bigger than he is. That means that if the Cavaliers and Raptors do cross paths in the playoffs, he’ll be ideally suited for physical LeBron defensive duty. He has previously proven his willingness to get tangled up with bigger guys. Cleveland would still probably win, but the hope for Toronto is that they’d make it a little bit harder.

Deron Williams could sign with Cavs if waived buy Mavericks

The Cleveland Cavaliers may not have added anyone at the trade deadline — Kyle Korver excluded — but that doesn’t mean they won’t improve their roster.

The Cavaliers are exploring options to sign players who have been bought out of contracts. One such player could be Deron Williams, who would work to sign with the Cavaliers if waived by Dallas, according to TNT’s David Aldridge.

We previously noted that Williams was a buyout candidate for the Mavericks. The Utah Jazz are expected to provide competition for the Cavs in the Williams market.

Williams is averaging 13.1 points and 6.9 assists per game. He has been a disappointment since being acquired by the Nets from the Jazz in 2011.

Cameron Payne will have chance to shine with Bulls

The Chicago Bulls are preparing to give new acquisition Cameron Payne every chance to make the point guard position his own.

After dealing Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson to Oklahoma City to get Payne, it was made pretty clear that the Bulls are essentially ready to hand the keys over to the 22-year old.

The Thunder also felt very strongly about Payne, but simply accepted that he was blocked for the foreseeable future by Russell Westbrook.

This may end up being a deal that benefits both teams. The Thunder got some help for their playoff push, while Chicago has a point guard that they hope they can build around. It’s also a pretty blatant admission that the Rajon Rondo experiment did not work at all. If Payne develops like the Bulls think he can, they may have just made a really savvy move.

Kevin Durant wants to be NBA GM or owner after playing career

Kevin Durant Warriors

Kevin Durant tries not to pay too much attention to trade rumors at the deadline and during the offseason, but he doesn’t want to ignore them altogether. If he shields himself from that part of the business entirely, it may be more difficult for him to achieve his post-playing career goals.

While speaking to reporters at practice on Thursday, Durant said he hopes to one day own an NBA team, work in a front office, or both.

“Want to be a GM, want to own a team, hopefully own a team and run it,” Durant said, via Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News. “So I look to see what rumors are getting out there, what deals are being presented to these teams. Try to figure that stuff out. It’s fun, especially for a guy who knows that part of the business.”

Durant said he tries to stay off Hoops Hype and other rumor sites around this time of year, but he always finds himself following along on some level. He also may be more familiar with the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement than some other players.

“I do (read it),” Durant said. “Obviously it affects me and affects my peers. Like I said, I want to learn more and more about the business of basketball. I try to keep that fine line of keeping it pure and fun and also knowing that this is a really big business. So I like to go through the CBA, also ask questions.”

If he has any questions about the business side of the game, Durant said he isn’t shy about asking Warriors GM Bob Myers or head coach Steve Kerr questions. Kerr has been a player, executive and coach, and Durant says he has a lot to offer.

Durant’s ownership aspirations aren’t limited to basketball, either. He said a while back that he has had dreams of taking over his hometown NFL team, which is a franchise that could use some help. Durant will certainly earn enough money in his career to make those dreams a reality, if he so chooses.

Report: Mavericks discussing buyout with Deron Williams

The Dallas Mavericks look as though they are preparing to go into the future with an emphasis on their young talent.

To that end, the Mavericks are reportedly working towards a buyout for point guard Deron Williams, which would turn the position over to undrafted rookie Yogi Ferrell.

The Cavaliers, who have long been interested in a backup playmaker, will almost certainly pursue Williams once he is bought out.

Shams Charania said on The Vertical’s Trade Deadline Special that the Jazz, who were previously interested in trading for Williams, will be Cleveland’s main competitor for the player. He started his career in Utah and played there until he was traded in 2011.

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