Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical

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Adrian Wojnarowski is the NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports. His book "The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty"; was a New York Times best-seller. He is a 1991 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, where he considers Butler Gymnasium's rims to be the most giving in the game.

  • Shane Larkin leaving Miami to enter NBA draft

    University of Miami sophomore guard Shane Larkin will enter the NBA draft, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Shane Larkin averaged 14.5 points and 4.6 assists last season. (USA Today Sports)Larkin's family has set up several meetings with prospective agents in New York next week, sources said.

    Larkin will hold a news conference on campus Sunday to formalize his intentions.

    [Also: Former Notre Dame coach Digger Phelps has bladder cancer]

    At 5-foot-11, Larkin, is considered a borderline first-round pick. He is considered the third-best point guard prospect in the draft class behind Michigan's Trey Burke and Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams. Teams outside the lottery needing a backup point guard are looking closely at selecting Larkin, league executives said. Burke and Carter-Williams both are considered possible lottery picks.

    Larkin led the Hurricanes to the ACC regular-season championship and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. He is the son of Baseball Hall of Famer, Barry Larkin.

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  • Nets finalizing contract extension for GM Billy King

    The Brooklyn Nets are finalizing a multiyear contract extension with general manager Billy King, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Billy King has spent the past three seasons as the Nets' GM. (USA Today Sports)A formal announcement is expected in the near future, sources said.

    The extension for King almost assuredly will end speculation that Phil Jackson could be joining the organization. Jackson has expressed much more interest in running a front office than returning to coach.

    King's contract was set to expire this summer, but talks have been ongoing since the fall on a new deal.

    After inheriting a gutted-out lottery roster in July 2010, King has reshaped the Nets into a 49-victory, No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

    [Also: D12 finds low finish in Defensive Player of the Year voting funny]

    The Nets and Chicago Bulls are tied 1-1 in an Eastern Conference first-round series. King still has a decision to make on interim coach P.J. Carlesimo's future at season's end.

    King made the blockbuster trade for Deron Williams in February 2011 and worked to re-sign him to a

    Read More »from Nets finalizing contract extension for GM Billy King
  • Lakers forward Jordan Hill available to play in Game 2 against Spurs

    After three months of rehabilitation for hip surgery, Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill will be available to play in Game 2 against the San Antonio Spurs, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Jordan Hill hasn't played since Jan. 6. (USA Today Sports)The Lakers had ruled Hill out of the first-round Western Conference playoff series, but Hill has progressed in practices and workouts and believes he can be effective in limited minutes, sources said. Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni will use Hill based on game situations, but there's a strong likelihood he'll play for the first time since tearing a muscle in his hip on Jan. 6.

    [Also: Is LeBron going back to Cleveland only a fantasy?]

    Hill has been determined to return to the Lakers before the season ends and find a way to contribute in the playoffs. The Spurs lead 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.

    Hill, 25, was a vital part of the Lakers' front-court rotation and is comfortable playing the power forward and center positions behind Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. Hill had surgery on Jan. 23 after suffering

    Read More »from Lakers forward Jordan Hill available to play in Game 2 against Spurs
  • Cavaliers need to give up dream of 2014 reunion with LeBron James

    Mike Brown is returning to Cleveland, but the odds of LeBron James joining him aren't great. (Getty Images)

    From the moment Mike Brown marches back into the Cleveland Cavaliers, ownership needs to empower him to tell everyone the truth: LeBron James is gone and he's never returning to the franchise.

    No more tanking for draft picks. No more empty free-agent classes. No more false promises and mirages. No more illusions of chasing James in the summer of 2014, only to compromise themselves over and over in the conceptual pursuit of him.

    The Cavaliers have a franchise player, Kyrie Irving, and here's the problem today: No one cares his thoughts on the next coach, nor how the hiring affects him. Every day Brown's ever spent on the job as Cavaliers coach, every choice and action was colored with how LeBron James would react, how he'd respond.

    For the good of this franchise, Brown doesn't need to be set up again as the fall guy for James wanting to play elsewhere. Three years later, Brown returns to coach the Cavaliers and somehow they're all still trying to get LeBron James to love them.

    "The way

    Read More »from Cavaliers need to give up dream of 2014 reunion with LeBron James
  • Mike Brown finalizing five-year contract to return as Cavaliers coach

    The Cleveland Cavaliers and Mike Brown are finalizing a five-year, $20 million-plus contract for him to return as coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Mike Brown spent a little more than one season as the Lakers coach after leaving Cleveland. (AP)Brown was still ironing out details about his control within basketball operations, but a formal announcement will come as soon as Wednesday.

    The fifth year of Brown's deal will include a buyout provision, a source said.

    After five seasons with the Cavaliers, Brown was fired prior to LeBron James' free agency in the summer of 2010. The Cavaliers are determined to try to lure James back if he opts out of his contract with the Miami Heat in the summer of 2014. James and Brown had an up-and-down relationship, and many within the league don't believe that Brown's return would be especially enticing to James.

    Nevertheless, Cleveland wants to shore up what was the worst defense in the league under previous coach Byron Scott, who was let go last week. Cavaliers officials understand Brown can do that for them.

    [Also: Bobcats

    Read More »from Mike Brown finalizing five-year contract to return as Cavaliers coach
  • With Tom Thibodeau grinding away, Bulls even first-round series with Nets

    NEW YORK – Outside the visiting locker room, Tom Thibodeau limped to a stop, leaned against the wall and closed his eyes for a moment. He could see everything unfolding again on Monday night – waves and waves of resistance, brilliant tactical execution and an enormous investment of belief and bravado out of these Chicago Bulls.

    Hours after the humiliation of a Game 1 obliteration, Thibodeau gathered these Bulls on Sunday morning for one of his blistering sermons from the pulpit. He challenged the Bulls with the fiercest of ferocity, and the crooked smile washing over his face late Monday night reflected the resounding response of his locker room.

    As circumstances go, the Bulls' 90-82 victory over the Nets was one of Thibs' masterpieces, a Mona Lisa born of a crushing Game 1 loss, a beaten and broken-down roster getting buried in an avalanche of criticism and overnight obits. Some were so sure that Thibodeau had pushed these Bulls too hard, too far and they had

    Read More »from With Tom Thibodeau grinding away, Bulls even first-round series with Nets
  • Carmelo Anthony gets help from a couple of old Nets in Knicks' Game 1 victory over Celtics

    NEW YORK – Carmelo Anthony had come a long way without a productive pass on Saturday, and as Kevin Garnett closed hard on Anthony, 'Melo waved his screener Kenyon Martin far away from the ball.

    Right away, Anthony's instincts told him these were unwise circumstances to defy the double team. And so, inside of a minute left in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference playoff opener, Martin rolled to the rim and, yes, 'Melo owed that old, familiar face a pass over the top of a compromised defense.

    Anthony fired high and wide, but Martin reached toward all those dusty banners in the rafters, snatching that wayward pass and somehow dropping the ball into the basket for the most devastating blow in this 85-78 victory over the Celtics.

    "Dez Bryant," the Knicks' Jason Kidd marveled later. "That catch was incredible."

    For all the fluidity of those Anthony jumpers on the way to his 36 points – so good early, and so good late in the victory – his first assist with 40 seconds left

    Read More »from Carmelo Anthony gets help from a couple of old Nets in Knicks' Game 1 victory over Celtics
  • Lawrence Frank doesn't want to return as Pistons coach unless team guarantees contract option

    With his brief tenure rapidly reaching a crossroads, Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank informed owner Tom Gores that he shouldn't be retained for the third year of his contract unless the franchise is willing to guarantee the deal's fourth-year team option, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Lawrence Frank guided the Pistons to a 29-53 record this season. (AP)In the week prior to completing his second season as Pistons coach on Wednesday night, Frank delivered this message to Gores and Detroit general manager Joe Dumars in face-to-face and telephone discussions, sources said.

    Within the organization, Frank has been insistent that the Pistons' full-blown rebuilding project and recent instabilities in the head coaching position make it largely unworkable for him to return as a lame-duck coach for the 2013-14 season.

    Nevertheless, Frank has been passionate in his desire to stay the course through Detroit's long-term rebuilding process. After purchasing the Pistons in 2011, Frank was Gores' first significant hiring as owner.

    [Also: Sources:

    Read More »from Lawrence Frank doesn't want to return as Pistons coach unless team guarantees contract option
  • Brazil's Lucas Nogueira declares for NBA draft

    Lucas Nogueira is 7 feet tall and could be a first-round draft pick. (Getty Images)Brazilian 7-footer Lucas Nogueira has decided to enter the June NBA draft, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Nogueira, 20, possesses a 7-6 wingspan and has been an intriguing prospect to NBA executives for several years. He is considered  a potential first-round pick.

    The center entered his name into the 2011 draft but withdrew before the deadline. The rules don't allow for a player to do that a second time, so Nogueira is committed to this year's draft after declaring.

    Nogueira played for Estudiantes in the elite Spanish ACB League this season. His athleticism has been a striking element of his game, and Nogueira's offensive abilities have shown improvement as he's gained strength and polish.

    [Also: Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. will enter NBA draft]

    Nogueira made a strong initial impression on pro executives with a spectacular performance at the under-18 FIBA championships in San Antonio in 2011.

    DraftExpress.com rates him as the fourth-best international prospect in his age

    Read More »from Brazil's Lucas Nogueira declares for NBA draft
  • Sources: Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. will enter NBA draft

    Junior Tim Hardaway Jr. is projected to be a second-round pick. (Getty Images)Michigan junior Tim Hardaway Jr. will enter the NBA draft, sources told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday.

    Hardaway is the second member of the NCAA runner-up Wolverines to leave school early this spring for the NBA, joining consensus national player of the year Trey Burke.

    Hardaway has an on-campus news conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

    Hardaway, a 6-foot-6 forward, is considered an unlikely first-round draft pick and could slip well into the second round of the draft, league executives told Yahoo! Sports.

    Draftexpress.com has Hardaway rated as the 56th-best prospect among the likely players in the NBA draft June 27 in New York.

    [Also: James Michael McAdoo’s return boosts North Carolina’s hoops title hopes ]

    Hardaway averaged 14.2 points and shot nearly 44 percent for Michigan this past season. Now the Wolverines wait to find out if two players projected to be first-round picks – freshmen Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III – will decide to leave school for

    Read More »from Sources: Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. will enter NBA draft

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