NBA news roundup: Bulls to sign Ronnie Brewer?

Lisa Blumenfeld

Chicago is looking at adjusting its roster close to playoff time, and Houston will get a boost when Patrick Beverley returns soon. Also, DeMarcus Cousins talks about his All-Star snub and Phil Jackson puts pressure on J.R. Smith.

The Chicago Bulls waived forward Erik Murphy on Thursday, the team announced, and could be eyeing free agent swingman Ronnie Brewer as the playoffs near:

Brewer played for head coach Tom Thibodeau in Chicago in 2010-11 and 2011-12. He last suited up for the Houston Rockets, who waived him in February.

The Bulls could also choose to bring back guard Mike James, who was released by Chicago earlier this season, according to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson.

Both of them would be eligible to play for the Bulls in the postseason, since they cleared waivers before March 1.

Beverley says he'll return before the playoffs

Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley attended ex-Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson's introductory press conference at the University of Houston on Thursday and said that he would be able to return from his knee injury soon:

Beverley tore his meniscus in his right knee on March 27 and has been out of the lineup since, and it was previously reported that he would be back in the Rockets lineup before the end of the season.

Houston has eight games remaining on its schedule, and has lost three games in a row since Beverley's injury. The Rockets are fourth in the West and the fifth-place Portland Trail Blazers are one game back, winners of four straight.

Cousins talks All-Star Snub

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has had a breakout season, but in the tough Western Conference it was not enough to land him in the All-Star Game. Cousins was everybody's list of snubs at the time, and, in addition to the sheer number of excellent big men in the West, there was the perception that his reputation could have held him back when it came to votes from coaches around the league. Cousins believes that is the case, via ESPN The Magazine:

Asked whether he is hurt about not being named to the team, he answers, "Absolutely. I hear it's because I'm on a losing team, but Kyrie Irving was a reserve with [16] wins. Anthony Davis? Same story. So you can't sell me on that."


"[The fans] pick who they want to pick," he says. "That goes with the reputation. I can accept that. But I was flat done wrong [by the coaches]. And it's clear as day."

While "clear as day" is up for debate, there's definitely a case to be made that Cousins deserved that recognition this season. The way he's progressing, even in the ridiculous West, he should get the nod eventually.

Jackson: Knicks need Smith

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson met the media on Thursday -- wow, a Knicks executive speaking to the press! -- and said that Carmelo Anthony has carried them all season long and the team could be dangerous in the playoffs if J.R. Smith keeps playing at a high level, via ESPN New York:

Center Tyson Chandler has repeatedly said that if the Knicks make the playoffs, teams won't want to face them in the first round. Jackson agreed.

"Well, with J.R. [Smith] playing at the level he's playing at now, yes," Jackson said. "When Carmelo had to carry the load in scoring, a lot of times on his own back, and other people weren't stepping into helping him carry that load, which Amar'e [Stoudemire] and J.R. have done, it could be a struggle. But now they have more than one option out there on the floor, and I think that we'll give teams trouble."

Smith famously fell apart during the postseason last year, and he will surely want to avoid a repeat of that if New York qualifies. The Knicks are eighth in the East, percentage points ahead of the ninth-place Atlanta Hawks.

McAdoo to enter draft

North Carolina forward James Michael McAdoo will leave the Tar Heels after his junior season, declaring his intention to enter the NBA Draft through a UNC press release on Thursday:

"I just feel I am ready to play at the next level and excited about that challenge. I had chances to go after my freshman and sophomore years but was more excited about coming back to school then. Right now I am excited about fulfilling my dream to play in the NBA and do what I have to do to take that next step."

McAdoo averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds this season, and he's projected to be a second-round pick on DraftExpress.

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