Ben Maller's NBA rumors: C-Webb could land in Dallas FOXSports.com
Pacers star O'Neal backpedals from demanding trade to Lakers or Nets?
Indiana Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal has discounted Internet reports that he wants to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. "My preference is to play here and win here," O'Neal said in a telephone interview after returning from Los Angeles on Monday afternoon, attempting to deflate a brewing controversy that had brought clarifying statements from Pacers president Larry Bird and O'Neal's agent, Arn Tellem. O'Neal appeared at -- but did not play in -- a charity basketball game Sunday hosted by NBA stars Baron Davis and Paul Pierce. There he talked with reporters from Web sites for Sports Illustrated and ESPN. Both accounts quoted him expressing a desire to be traded to the Lakers. He added he also would favor a trade to New Jersey. Bird issued a statement through the Pacers on Monday, repeating his claim that O'Neal would be traded only if he brings "fair market value." -- Indy Star
Mavs still in mix for Brown and Posey?
Mark Bartelstein, the agent for P.J. Brown and James Posey, said Brown is evaluating four to five teams, including the Mavs, and then will decide if he wants to retire or play. The Suns, Celtics and Magic have all shown interest. The Clippers could also enter the mix after Elton Brand ruptured his left Achilles' tendon Friday. Bartelstein said the Mavs have continued conversations about Posey despite signing Eddie Jones. "The door's not closed," Bartelstein said. -- Star-Telegram
Clips may turn to Brown, Varejao or Skinner?
The task of replacing Elton Brand's minutes could fall on current Clippers forwards Tim Thomas and Aaron Williams or a free agent. Free-agent power forwards currently available include: P.J. Brown, Anderson Varejao and Brian Skinner. -- LA Times
C-Webb could land in Dallas
As for the rumor Sunday night that Chris Webber was on the verge of signing with the Mavs? Webber is definitely on the Mavs' radar, that's no secret, but a deal does not appear imminent. -- Star-Telegram
Clips Brand to have surgery today
Clippers star forward Elton Brand will undergo surgery today to repair his ruptured left Achilles' tendon. The procedure will be performed in Wilmington, Del., by Dr. Craig Morgan. Morgan performed surgery on Brand in 2002 when he suffered a minor cartilage tear in his right knee. The Clippers have not given a timetable for Brand's return. The team said it would make an announcement today on Brand's prognosis and his rehab schedule following surgery after a consultation by Morgan with team physician Tony Daly. Brand, 28, suffered the injury Friday during his daily workout at Spectrum Club South Bay in El Segundo. In the last three seasons, the two-time All-Star has only missed six games. -- LA Times
Pacers have no pressure to deal O'Neal?
There's really no pressure on the Pacers this time, no matter what Jermaine O'Neal says or doesn't say. If the Indiana front office doesn't find a trade that works, it will just let him opt out at the end of next year and use the big bucks to sign a free agent or two. Let's be real: His threat of opting out of his final two years is idle, if not downright laughable. Does anybody think O'Neal is going to find another team willing to pay him approximately $43 million over two years? He's a good player, a very good player who is a perennial All-Star, but a year from now he'll be a 29-year-old veteran with an injury history. -- Indy Star
Celts add Cavs Pollard to roster?
The Celtics agreed to terms with free agent forward/center Scot Pollard yesterday, according to executive director of basketball operations/general manager Danny Ainge. The 6-foot-11-inch, 265-pound Pollard got a one-year deal believed to be worth the veteran minimum ($1.2 million for 10 years service). He adds a much-needed big man to the Celtics' frontcourt and raises the number of players under contract to 12, one shy of the league minimum. After signing a one-year deal with Cleveland almost a year ago for about $2 million, Pollard played 24 games with the Cavaliers, averaging 1 point and 1.3 rebounds in 4.5 minutes per game. He has career averages of 4.5 points and 4.8 rebounds.-- Boston Globe
Bobcats want McInnis back as reserve point
The Charlotte Bobcats want to bring back Jeff McInnis as backup point guard, but it's no given the two sides will agree on a salary. Bobcats executive vice president Bernie Bickerstaff and McInnis' agent, Steve Kauffman, had discussions Monday about a one-year contract. A Charlotte native, McInnis came to the Bobcats in a January trade from the New Jersey Nets. -- Charlotte Observer
At Summer Clinic, NBA Refs Put on a Happy Face Despite Donaghy Investigation
Tim Donaghy's absence from the referee clinic he started nine years ago wasn't lost on the youths at Don Guanella High or five NBA officials who carried on without him Monday. Although the FBI's investigation of Donaghy, a former 13-year NBA official, for allegedly betting on games and providing confidential information to gamblers continues to hover over the leagues and its officials, it couldn't silence the laughter and stifle the smiles in a tiny, carpeted gym in suburban Philadelphia. NBA referees Joey Crawford, Mike "Duke" Callahan, Steve Javie, Eddie Malloy and Mark Wunderlich spent an hour teaching about 50 developmentally challenged boys the rules of the game and how to signal violations. They also showered them with hugs and gifts such as NBA officials jerseys and jackets, basketball cards and caps. "This is what we do," Javie said. "It's no more important than any other year." -- Washington Post
Yao's wedding unites East, West cultures
Yao Ming, the supersize Houston Rocket, on Monday married his girlfriend of eight years in a private Shanghai ceremony that local media described as a melding of Chinese and Western traditions. The wedding of Yao, the 7-foot-6-inch NBA All-Star with a huge international following, and Ye Li, the 6-foot-2-inch former Chinese National Team basketball player who has been studying at the University of Houston, drew substantial media attention in China. The Web site sina.com dedicated a special section to the event, even though reporters clustered in the lobby of the five-star Pudong Shangri-La Hotel were excluded from the ceremony. -- Houston Chronicle
Rockets' Alston calls report of assault exaggerated
A Houston Rockets point guard who was arrested and charged with public intoxication and assault after police said he shook and spit in the face of a parking attendant said the reports are exaggerated. Rafer Alston, 31, was arrested at the corner of Fannin and Prairie at the ACE Parking Lot around 1:45 a.m. Sunday following a confrontation with a parking attendant who police said had his vehicle towed. In a statement released Monday evening, Alston called the accounts "widely exaggerated" from "individuals that stand to profit." He then apologized to his fans and the Rockets for "any distraction." "I am confident that when the full story is reported, I will be vindicated," Alston said. -- Houston Chronicle
Rick Fox to Guest on 'Ugly Betty'
RICK FOX will be joining ex VANESSA WILLIAMS this fall on her hit show "Ugly Betty" for some primetime sparks, ET has confirmed. The former NBA hunk will guest-star in two episodes of the ABC series, stirring up trouble for Mode magazine editrix Wilhelmina Slater, played by Williams, as her bodyguard. The two wed in 1999 and divorced five years later. -- Entertainment Tonight
Heat star Wade joins community effort in Chicago
Miami Heat star and Chicago-area native Dwyane Wade joined his mother, Jolinda Wade, in a community effort to donate Converse shoes, clothes and household items to families in Ford Heights last Friday. Wade's sister Tragil Wade, and his wife, Siohvaughn Wade, also joined in the effort from the Wade's World Foundation. -- Chicago Tribune
Ben Maller can be heard weekends on Fox Sports Radio and can be reached at Ben@BenMaller.com or BigBen@FoxSports.com.