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.

  • Source: Nets' Reggie Evans first NBA player to be fined for flopping

    Reggie Evans was fined for a second flopping offense Wednesday. (Getty Images) In his 11-year journeyman career, Brooklyn Nets forward Reggie Evans has finally made history: He is the first NBA player to be fined for flopping.

    Evans was fined $5,000 for his second flopping offense, a league source told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday.

    Under the NBA's new policy, players get one warning for flopping before an escalation of fines for ensuing flops is instituted. The league office identified an instance of flopping on Evans in the Nets' loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

    [Related: Carmelo Anthony's improved defense makes him legit MVP candidate]

    In the demonstration video shown to players in the preseason, Evans was what one league executive called, "the star."

    A third violation of the flopping rule would cost Evans $10,000, a fourth $15,000 and a fifth $35,000. Beginning with a sixth violation, the NBA could suspend a player.

    Fantasy advice from the Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Minute:

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  • Too early to peg UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad as lock for NBA's top draft pick

    NEW YORK – Privately, NBA executives had feared that the case of Shabazz Muhammad could present an unprecedented problem: Perhaps the best pro prospect in the draft class would never get his eligibility at UCLA, never giving them a prism to truly evaluate a possible No. 1 pick.

    The NCAA had held him out of UCLA's summer trip to China, three games to start the season, but couldn't ultimately close on the leads that it had been chasing on illegal benefits for Muhammad and his family. For all the predictable – and legitimate suspicions – on the associations surrounding the most recruited high school star in America, the business of basketball's food chain needed Muhammad where he emerged on Monday night: Inside the Barclays Center for his college debut, with nearly 50 NBA executives beginning an intensive evaluation of him against high-level competition. 

    Shabazz Muhammad scored 15 points in his collegiate debut for UCLA. (Getty Images) Muhammad let out a deep breath at the scorer's table on Monday night, checking into the UCLA-Georgetown game at the Legends

    Read More »from Too early to peg UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad as lock for NBA's top draft pick
  • Darko Milicic considering leaving Celtics to return to Europe

    Darko Milicic is leaning strongly toward leaving the Boston Celtics for the season and returning to Europe to be with his ill mother, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Milicic, the No. 2 overall pick in the famed 2003 NBA draft, didn't travel with the Celtics to Detroit this weekend, and sources say that he's close to deciding to leave the NBA for the season to be with his ill mother in Serbia. After failing to play since opening night, After failing to play since opening night, Milicic has also been frustrated with his lack of a role with the Celtics, sources said. Darko Milicic (Reuters)

    If Milicic, 27, leaves the Celtics less than a month into his one-year contract, it could ultimately spell the end of a disappointing NBA career that has included stops in Detroit, Orlando, Memphis, Minnesota and briefly, Boston.

    [Related: Brandon Roy to have another knee surgery]

    In recent years, Milcic has strongly considered a permanent return to Europe. Leaving the Celtics now could ultimately push him

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  • Royce White's battle with Rockets over anxiety disorder could cost him NBA career

    The Rockets made Royce White the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. (AP)
    As a lost, confused young man plays the martyr on Twitter timelines, Royce White's chance to construct a sustainable professional basketball career slips away. He's chasing cheers on the court for the Houston Rockets, but they haven't found him deserving of playing time. So, White started to lash out, search for his stardom in cyberspace, and it's turned a combustible partnership into an embarrassing public spectacle.

    White has left the Rockets, and there's no telling when he'll return. Before long, White will lose the platform that he so desperately wants to advocate for mental illness. He's fighting a noble fight, with the most noble of intentions, and perhaps someday he can be remembered as a trailblazer on the issue of anxiety disorders.

    Yet now, this can't be his crusade, his burden. It's too much. People have tried to tell him this. Royce White needs to save himself and save his basketball career. Without the NBA, his desire to bring awareness – to be a champion for

    Read More »from Royce White's battle with Rockets over anxiety disorder could cost him NBA career
  • After disappointing breakup with Knicks, Jeremy Lin building a better relationship with Rockets

    Jeremy Lin received a three-year, $25 million contract from the Rockets. (Getty Images)
    HOUSTON – For the monumental lengths the Houston Rockets had gone to wrest him out of New York, Jeremy Lin still walked into this franchise an uneasy, mistrusting soul. Somehow, the $25 million free-agent commitment hadn't eased an impending suspicion of betrayal, a gnawing uncertainty that sides would soon be chosen against him, that welcoming faces could soon turn without warning.

    From the front office to the coaching staff, the Rockets found Lin slow to embrace them. New York had built up Lin, torn him down and spit him out far more cynical, far less earnest. In so many ways, he had come to isolate himself with the Knicks. He was wary of management and media, coaches and teammates and, ultimately, even his closest friends.

    Who was with him?

    Who was against him?

    "I went into an absolute shell for a few months in New York," Lin told Yahoo! Sports. "I went through a phase when I didn't want to talk to anybody. I didn't want to talk to my friends. I didn't want to give

    Read More »from After disappointing breakup with Knicks, Jeremy Lin building a better relationship with Rockets
  • Chase Budinger to miss at least three months after knee surgery

    After surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, Minnesota Timberwolves starter Chase Budinger will miss minimally three months, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

    Chase Budinger (Getty Images)Budinger joins Timberwolves stars Kevin Love (broken hand) and Ricky Rubio (torn ACL) on the sidelines with significant injuries. Despite the injuries, the Timberwolves have managed a 5-2 start in the Western Conference.

    Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery on Tuesday, and a source said the meniscus was completely repaired and will allow for a full recovery for Budinger. He had averaged nearly 12 points a game for the Wolves this season, after coming over from the Houston Rockets for the 18th overall pick in the June NBA Draft.

    Budinger, 24, injured the knee on Saturday night in a game against the Chicago Bulls. With the knee expected to heal, Budinger is considered an intriguing free-agent possibility for several teams – including Minnesota – next summer.

    More sports news from the

    Read More »from Chase Budinger to miss at least three months after knee surgery
  • Lakers resist Phil Jackson's power grab

    Phil Jackson hasn't coached since leaving the Lakers after the 2010-11 season. (Getty Images)

    Between the hours of Mike Brown's firing and a meeting on Saturday morning with history's most accomplished coach, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak privately told people there was one candidate: Phil Jackson.

    Jackson wanted to humiliate Lakers vice president Jim Buss far more than he wanted to coach the team. He wanted significant allowances on travel, coaching duties and an ability to veto player personnel moves that didn't fit his vision. With an unprecedented 11 coaching championships, Jackson had every right to make unprecedented demands. He doesn't have the right to be surprised when the Lakers rejected them and hired a pliable, cheaper coach in Mike D'Antoni.

    "Phil wanted Jim Buss to walk away with his tail between his legs," one source with knowledge of the discussions told Yahoo! Sports. "He thought he had time to still negotiate with them, and see how much they would give him."

    Now, the Lakers are going out of their way to spare Jackson the embarrassment of his

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  • Phil Jackson reunion with Lakers could lack perfect Hollywood ending

    Phil Jackson won five of his 11 NBA titles as a coach with the Lakers. (Getty Images)

    Everyone remembers the glorious Phil Jackson, the championships, the genius, and they forget the way they had watched him so tired, so beaten in his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers. They forget the way the work ethic had eroded within the franchise, the way that he lost discipline within the roster.

    Lakers owner Jerry Buss wants to bring Jackson back to coach again, and perhaps he's holding onto something that left long ago: the coach's drive and determination to withstand the grind of the job. He'll come back, cash those checks and leave everyone unsure whether he's still hell-bent on molding championship teams. His old assistants – Jim Cleamons and Kurt Rambis – are out of coaching jobs and anxious to come back to the bench with history's greatest coach.

    Everyone's going to get paid again, but you wonder: Do they have the stomach to chase championships again?

    The old band could get back together, and it is fair to suspect that one of those staggering $10

    Read More »from Phil Jackson reunion with Lakers could lack perfect Hollywood ending
  • Lakers fire coach Mike Brown, search for long-term replacement

    After losing four of five games to start the season, the Los Angeles Lakers fired coach Mike Brown on Friday.

    The Lakers fired Mike Brown after 71 regular-season games. (Getty)The Lakers fired Mike Brown after 71 regular season games. (Getty)

    Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will serve as interim coach while the Lakers search for a long-term replacement. In a news conference, team general manager Mitch Kupchak left open the possibility of the Lakers making a run at bringing back Phil Jackson for a third time as coach.

    "I think you'd be negligent not to be aware that [Jackson's] out there," Kupchak said.

    On Friday morning at the Lakers' practice facility, Brown was meeting with his coaching staff to discuss the evening's home game against Golden State, when a Lakers employee interrupted and asked him to step out for a few minutes. Nearly 10 minutes later, Brown returned and informed his staff that he had been fired.

    The Lakers will cease running the Princeton offense immediately, sources told Yahoo! Sports. Management was unhappy with the offense implemented this season, and Bickerstaff was told

    Read More »from Lakers fire coach Mike Brown, search for long-term replacement
  • James Harden disappointed Thunder didn't give him more time to consider offer

    HOUSTON – Even with the rapid embrace of life as the franchise player for the Houston Rockets, something still troubles All-Star guard James Harden about the way his departure unfolded with the Oklahoma City Thunder: Why didn't officials give him longer than an hour to consider a final four-year, $54 million offer before trading him?

    "After everything we established – everything we had done – you give me an hour?" Harden told Yahoo! Sports on Monday afternoon. "This was one of the biggest decisions of my life. I wanted to go home and pray about it. It hurt me. It hurt."

    James Harden totaled 92 points in his first two games for the Rockets this season. (AP)Asked if additional time might have caused him to accept a deal several million dollars short of the $60 million maximum contract Harden had long sought, he responded: "Who knows? Another day, who knows what another day would've done?"

    Looking back a week later, Harden believes he likely had to leave his sixth-man role in Oklahoma City and become what Houston general manager Daryl Morey calls the Rockets'

    Read More »from James Harden disappointed Thunder didn't give him more time to consider offer

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