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Kaman's dealings have Livingston watching

Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy has stated the importance of extending center Chris Kaman's contract. Teammates have weighed in with similar sentiments.

Clippers management has until an Oct. 31 deadline to get a deal done or Kaman will become a restricted free agent next summer. The Clippers would be allowed to match any offer he receives, but if they choose that approach, it allows the market to dictate what they will have to pay.

The Clippers generally have not signed players to contract extensions before they became restricted free agents. Elton Brand and Corey Maggette were signed to contract extensions only after they signed offer sheets from Miami and Utah, respectively.

Watching intently at the way Kaman's situation is being handled is third-year point guard Shaun Livingston, who becomes eligible for a contract extension next year. Kaman can sign a five-year extension now. If he waits until the summer, the Clippers can sign him to a six-year extension.

"I'll definitely be interested because he's a year ahead of me and he had a breakout season," Livingston said. "From my knowledge of the league, centers and point guards are the most important players on a team. So his situation will be a learning tool for me.''

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Baylor Is Looking for a Big Season

General Manager Elgin Baylor said Saturday he expects even bigger things from the Clippers this season.

The team last season advanced to Game 7 of a Western Conference semifinal series against the Phoenix Suns, and the deep and experienced group has not reached its ceiling, Baylor said.

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Time heals wounds for Martin; re-signed Johnson excited, too

October isn't just for football homecomings.
Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin on Wednesday returns for a preseason game to Cincinnati, where he played his college ball. Joining him will be guard DerMarr Johnson, another former University of Cincinnati player who re-signed Sunday with the Nuggets, getting a guaranteed one-year deal for the $932,015 minimum.

That follows Nuggets forward Eduardo Najera going back Saturday to his native Mexico. And Nuggets coach George Karl returns Saturday to Milwaukee, where he previously coached.

"It's cool," Martin said of the game against Indiana at U.S. Bank Arena. "They don't have a pro basketball team (in Cincinnati), so the closest you can get is Indianapolis. . . . It's for the fans. That's a good thing."

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Rose Guardin'

The shrinking role of Jalen Rose is among the most sensitive issues Knicks president/coach Isiah Thomas must navigate as he tries to return harmony to a fractured locker room.

It is becoming increasingly clear Rose is not in Thomas' plans for his 10-man rotation, unless camp standout Quentin Richardson is traded.

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Discussion Starter #5
Clippers Offer Kaman Long-Term Extension

The center, who would get $50 million over five years under deal, has until Oct. 31 to decide

The Clippers moved to reach a long-term contract agreement with Chris Kaman on Sunday night, offering the productive 7-foot center a five-year, $50-million extension, team sources said.

Coach Mike Dunleavy made the guaranteed offer to Kaman's agent, Rob Pelinka, after the team's final day of training camp at Santa Barbara City College. Attempts to contact Dunleavy, Pelinka and Kaman late Sunday were unsuccessful.

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Lack of height could continue to be big issue for Bulls

One of the primary lessons for viewers of professional sports to always remember is that the preseason means nothing.

Still, watching the Bulls take the court last week against real, live NBA opponents, it was tough to ignore one obvious red flag:

The Bulls’ lack of height could be a major issue this season.

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This Vegas Act Warmup Proves the Stakes Are High

The beautiful thing about Las Vegas is it can accommodate any agenda, be it gamblers, a group of young Lakers looking to establish themselves, bachelorette partyers, a Phoenix Suns team hoping a star can make a full recovery from injury and a league that's ready to make the unprecedented move of bringing the NBA All-Star game to Sin City.

They all came together this weekend, the conclusion being … we'll get back to you.

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All signs point to West as off-guard -- Plan calls for pairings with Telfair, Rondo

The Celtics have alleviated their jam at point guard without making a roster move. According to coach Doc Rivers, Delonte West will play primarily at the off-guard position this season.
“I’m going to play him more as a 2,” the Celtics coach said. “He will play some point, especially down the stretch of games and the last possession when you need all shooters on the floor. So he will play it at times, but I love him at the 2.”
Prior to the season, the Celts were hoping Sebastian Telfair would play well enough so they could bring West off the bench. And with rookie Rajon Rondo playing even better, the notion has become more definitive.

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Williams likely to sit and learn

The preseason is only three games old -- a veritable lifetime in the nonstop, ruminating existence of an NBA scout -- so already one Eastern Conference advance man has reached a conclusion about Marcus Williams.

"Beautiful player," the scout said after watching the Nets rookie point guard recently. "But he'll never play."

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Discussion Starter #10
Time off weakens Yao's conditioning

Yao Ming would have felt awful if his left big toe did not feel so good.

At this point, perhaps that is the way the Rockets would prefer it. He can rebuild his conditioning, but first he needed to bring his troublesome left big toe, now without the toenail that was removed a week ago, back on the court for Sunday's test drive.

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Melo stressing defensive play

Carmelo Anthony had an "offense go, defense no" reputation his first three NBA seasons. Now the Nuggets forward says he will prove he is a "go" on both ends of the court.

"I don't play defense. That's the only thing I (ever) heard," Anthony said. "Now, I am hearing I do play defense. So I guess people just wanted to see me do it. This summer really helped, and it really showed I can get out there and defend."

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Hawks hold off Breakers

The Wollongong Hawks have secured their first home victory of the season, outlasting the New Zealand Breakers 98-95 at the WIN Entertainment Centre on Monday.

The win was aided by a strong third quarter by the Hawks as little separated the teams in the other three periods.

Tony Rampton provided 14 points in the second half to help push Wollongong home, the New Zealand international finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds as the Hawks won their third game in a row.

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Cavs hope stability will translate into championship

The Cavaliers have been an epic coming-of-age film over the last several years, with you-know-who playing the leading man-child.

Back in 2003, it was as if they'd just gotten their driver's license and the keys to a brand-new muscle car named LeBron James. Of course they didn't exactly know what to do with it. The high jinks and growing pains followed.

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I was merely defending my teammates

Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson says he was just trying to protect three teammates when he fired a handgun and was hit by a car during a fight outside an Indianapolis strip club.

The 28-year-old Jackson faces a pretrial hearing on a felony charge of criminal recklessness and misdemeanor counts of battery and disorderly conduct Nov. 1, the same day the Pacers open the season in Charlotte, N.C.

His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 8 in Marion Superior Court. The criminal recklessness charge carries a prison term of six months to three years.

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Bobcats' Herrmann out 7-10 days with strained foot

Bobcats forward Walter Herrmann of Argentina will miss seven to 10 days because of a strained right foot.

The Bobcats signed Herrmann a one-year contract in September. Known for his outside shooting when he played in Spain, Herrmann has missed all nine shots he has taken in Charlotte's first two exhibition games.

Coach Bernie Bickerstaff, speaking before Monday's exhibition game against Washington, called the injury a "good thing."

"It gives him the time off because he's been playing a lot of basketball," he said.

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Jazz guard Fisher falls, has bruised pelvis

Utah guard Derek Fisher suffered a bruised pelvis after he fell during the first quarter of the Jazz's preseason game against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night, a Jazz spokesperson told The Deseret News.

Fisher drove to the basket and collided with Indiana forward Jermaine O'Neal while attempting a shot with 7:09 left in the quarter. Fisher, who was whistled for an offensive foul, hit his back and head on the floor.

He remained down for several minutes before being helped to the Jazz locker room. Jazz spokeswoman Cindy Edman said Fisher was taken to the hospital for additional X-rays of his pelvis after X-rays at Conseco Fieldhouse were unclear.

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Four OKC businessmen join group buying Sonics

Four more Oklahoma City businessmen are joining the ownership group that is buying the Seattle SuperSonics.

The new members announced Sunday are William M. Cameron, president and CEO of Oklahoma City-based American Fidelity Assurance Co.; Bob Howard, president of Mercedes Benz of Oklahoma City; Everett Dobson, executive chairman of Oklahoma City-based Dobson Communications Corp.; and Jay Scaramucci, president of Oklahoma City-based Balon Corp.

Clayton I. Bennett, chairman and managing partner of Professional Basketball Club LLC, announced in July that his group would buy the Sonics and WNBA Storm for $350 million. The sale is subject to league approval and is expected to be addressed at the NBA Board of Governors meeting on Oct. 24.

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