Bledsoe has been stellar for the Suns this season, fitting in well with Goran Dragic in the backcourt. In Shelburne's profile of Bledsoe, Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek says he talked to the players about ignoring outsiders talking about the team tanking, as Vegas put the Suns' over/under for wins at 17. Phoenix is currently 18-11, the Western Conference's sixth-best record. Bledsoe is averaging 18.4 points, 5.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in his first year as a starter.
The Suns couldn't work out an extension with Bledsoe before the season started, so they'll likely have to pay a premium in the summer.
Al Horford to have surgery on Tuesday
Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford will have surgery on Tuesday in Atlanta, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Horford has a torn right pectoral muscle, suffered in overtime against the Cleveland Cavaliers last Thursday, and the procedure will likely end his season.
He averaged a career-high 18.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 blocks for the Hawks in the season's first 29 games, shooting 56.7 percent from the field.
The Los Angeles Lakers will welcome big man Pau Gasol back to the starting lineup when they face the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. Gasol did not suit up in their previous two games due to an upper respiratory infection.
The Lakers have lost their last five games and Gasol has received criticism for sitting out. After participating in all of practice on Monday, he told reporters that he was not feeling good enough to help the team, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Gasol visited an ear, nose and throat specialist last Wednesday, whom Gasol said diagnosed him with sinusitis and bronchitis. Gasol also reported dealing with constant coughing, breathing issues and infected cavities. He participated in some light weight-training during Sunday's morning shootaround in preparetion for the Lakers' game that night against Philadelphia in Staples Center.
Could Gasol have played then?
"I tried and it crossed my mind," Gasol said. "But I just get very exhausted and winded when I get my cardio up. I didn't want to have any setbacks to prolong this thing more than it has to. I wanted to badly because it was a game we needed to win. Unfortunately, I wouldn't have been of much use."
The New York Knicks have reportedly decided to waive guard Chris Smith and sign big man Jeremy Tyler, via ESPN's Ian Begley. They considered releasing center Cole Aldrich before deciding it was best to cut ties with Smith and agreed to terms on a contract with Tyler on Monday, via Begley. Tyler will sign the contract on Tuesday morning, via USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt.
Knicks guard J.R. Smith, Chris' brother, took to Instagram to express his displeasure with the move.
Tyler has averaged 18.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game and shot 47.8 percent from the field in six games with the Erie Bayhawks of the NBA D-League this season. He played for New York in summer league and signed a partially guaranteed contract before fracturing his fifth metatarsal in his right foot and having surgery in September.
A three-year-old photo of San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker making an anti-Semitic gesture in a photo with a French comedian has been making the rounds on the internet, and Parker released a statement through the team explaining that he was unaware of the gesture's offensive connotations until recently, via Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News:
"While this gesture has been part of French culture for many years, it was not until recently that I learned of the very negative concerns associated with it. When l was photographed making that gesture three years ago, I thought it was part of a comedy act and did not know that it could be in any way offensive or harmful.
"Since I have been made aware of the seriousness of this gesture, I will certainly never repeat the gesture and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding or harm relating to my actions. Hopefully this incident will serve to educate others that we need to be more aware that things that may seem innocuous can actually have a history of hate and hurt."
Milwaukee Bucks big man John Henson will be sidelined for the team's next three games with a high left ankle sprain, via Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. With Henson out, the team will continue to start Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova in the frontcourt.
Henson had been receiving major minutes before the injury and making the most of them, averaging 15.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game in December.
The Toronto Raptors might be wearing black and gold in 2015-2016, according to the Toronto Star's Doug Smith. The team announced that Drake would be involved in re-branding the team in a press conference in September, where he was named the franchise's global ambassador and the city was officially awarded the 2016 All-Star Game. Smith reported that no decision has been made, but black and gold has been talked about as a possibility.
Klay Thompson was almost a Cavalier, per report
The Cleveland Cavaliers came close to acquiring Klay Thompson on the day of the NBA Draft in 2011, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:
The Cavs selected Kyrie Irving first overall and Tristan Thompson fourth. Grant wanted one more pick and one of his targets was Klay Thompson. The Cavs talked to the Sacramento Kings about a deal involving J.J. Hickson for the No. 7 pick, but the Kings ultimately dealt the pick in a different deal and the Cavs sent Hickson to the Kings after the draft for Omri Casspi and a future pick. Then the Cavs had a deal in place with the Utah Jazz for the No. 12 pick, but the Warriors snatched Thompson at No. 11. The Jazz ultimately backed out of the deal with the Cavs and selected shooting guard Alec Burks.
Given that the supposedly win-now Cavaliers are 10-20 and fans are less than thrilled with how things have played out with their recent lottery picks, knowing that the team failed to complete a deal for Thompson -- an ideal fit next to Kyrie Irving -- can't make the city of Cleveland too happy.