Dan Feldman

in the first half at American Airlines Center on February 3, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Erik Spoelstra: No timetable for Chris Bosh playing for Heat

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The Heat were reportedly trying to convince Chris Bosh to sit out the rest of the season.

Bosh released his own statement — not through the team — saying he was “positive” he’d play again this season.

See the disconnect?

Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald:

I’m sure Bosh wants to return as quickly as possible. He’s a professional competitor.

Miami’s motivations are a little less clear. Surely, Bosh’s long-term health matters, but how much does triggering insurance benefits factor? It’s also not an either/or proposition.

Bosh says he has no blood clots, but if he’s still on blood-thinners, it’s nearly impossible doctors clear him to play. The risk is just too great.

 

Spanish coach: Marc Gasol wants to play in 2016 Olympics

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The Grizzlies ruled Marc Gasol out for the rest of the season.

But what about the 2016 Olympics?

Spain coach Sergio Scariolo, as translated by HoopsHype:

“Marc is hoping to be there, but health comes first and the main thing is he recovers 100 percent,” Scariolo told the Spanish media yesterday. “When the time comes, he will tell us what’s his situation and his club’s opinion because with Marc there’s a lot of factors at play. I wish it was only up to him to make the decision.”

Gasol broke his foot in February, and the Rio Games begin in August. I doubt he’ll be healthy enough to play.

More so, I really doubt the Grizzlies allow him to play.

They just gave him a max contract last summer, and he remains their best player. They’re going to be cautious.

Spain, in the more difficult Group B, can hope Gasol plays. Optimism isn’t a problem.

I’d just bet strongly against the Memphis center reaching Rio.

Report: Kevin Durant not considering Knicks in free agency

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates his three point shot in the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 26, 2016 in New York City.The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the New York Knicks 128-122 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Before the season, Kevin Durant was reportedly considering signing with the Knicks this summer.

Then they fired his friend and former teammate Derek Fisher, which reportedly reduced their chances of signing the Thunder star.

Completely, apparently.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

A source told The News that the biggest fish in the summer pond, Kevin Durant, does not consider the Knicks as a destination.

Durant has said he hasn’t determined his offseason plan, a stance he maintained when asked about New York.

But why would he pick the Knicks?

Carmelo Anthony (too old) and Kristaps Porzingis (too young) don’t cleanly overlap Durant’s prime, and market size is less of a concern that in the past (though still relevant to some players). Phil Jackson, beyond drafting Porzingis, has shown only limited ability to build New York into a winner. (Again, to be fair, Jackson hasn’t had much time yet. But does Durant, who can sign anywhere, want to tie his future to an unproven Jackson and a demonstrably difficult James Dolan?)

Even if Durant believes right now he won’t choose the Knicks, he could always change his mind in the summer. New York’s unique appeal often at least gets a meeting, and that could turn Durant.

But if he’s already down on the Knicks, it’s nearly impossible to see them changing his mind. What are they going to do at this stage? Pick a star with their non-existent first-round pick? Hire Scott Brooks?

The Knicks ought to keep pursuing Durant, because he’s that good. Even a longshot chance at him justifies the effort.

But they also better be prepared to move onto Plan B.

Quickly.

Stan Van Gundy says he’s not worried about potential union grievance on behalf of Donatas Motiejunas

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 19: Head coach Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons looks on during the second half of the Pistons 98-86 loss to the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on February 19, 2016 in Washington, DC.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The National Basketball Players Association is reportedly considering filing a grievance after the Pistons voided the Donatas Motiejunas trade.

Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy says bring it on.

Van Gundy, via Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

“Those things come up,” Van Gundy said at American Airlines Arena. “He’s upset for very personal reasons, and I understand it, but we did everything by the book and followed the process exactly the way it’s laid out to be followed and we made a decision we had every right to make based on very legitimate reasons.”

“I don’t worry about it all,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t begrudge him if he wants to file the suit. He can do what he wants. We’re not the least bit worried about it.”

It’s difficult to find wrongdoing in the Pistons’ process of voiding the trade, but the case could hinge on whether they said anything inappropriate afterward. The Collective Bargaining Agreement states:

each Team may make public medical information relating to the players in its employ, provided that such information relates solely to the reasons why any such player has not been or is not rendering services as a player.

Did Van Gundy make Motiejunas’ medical information public when Motiejunas wasn’t in the Pistons’ employ – i.e., after the trade was voided? Van Gundy’s comments after Motiejunas accused Detroit of using his physical as an excuse to back out of the deal come closest.

If the union is going to file a grievance, it must do so by March 23 – 30 days after the Pistons voided the trade. Then, Van Gundy can make his case to someone who counts.

Team USA gets reasonably easy draw in 2016 Olympics

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  (L-R) Russell Westbrook #7, Deron Williams #8, Andre Iguodala #9, Kobe Bryant #10, Kevin Love #11, James Harden #12 and Chris Paul #13 of United States pose together on the podium after defeating Spain to win the gold medal in the Men's Basketball gold medal game on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Five men’s basketball teams in FIBA’s top 10 have already qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Team USA won’t have to face any of the other four in group play.

Here are the groups, which were drawn today, with each team’s FIBA ranking:

Group A

  • 1. United States
  • 11. Australia
  • 14. China
  • 22. Venezuela
  • Olympic Qualifying Tournament winner
  • Olympic Qualifying Tournament winner

Group B

  • 2. Spain
  • 3. Lithuania
  • 4. Argentina
  • 9. Brazil
  • 25. Nigeria
  • Olympic Qualifying Tournament winner

Each team in each group will play each other. The top four teams in each group advance to the knockout stage.

The Olympic Qualifying Tournament winners will be slotted after those events this summer. They could produce Team USA’s toughest competition in the group stage – with the possibility of both No. 5 France and No. 6 Serbia joining Group A.

The Americans were always going to be heavily favored to advance from the group stage (and go much further). This draw just makes it a little more certain.