A longer All-Star break just might put the fun back in All-Star weekend, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Each team will have a minimum of seven days between games with the new format, with the majority of the league not resuming play until the Friday after the All-Star Game. However, there is one catch for players. Since the season doesn’t begin any sooner or end any later than usual, there are more back-to-backs in this year’s schedule. Here’s more from around the league..
- With some help from Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll writes that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce tried to convince the Celtics to sign him in 2011 after a strong summer. “The Celtics got with my agent, Mark Bartelstein, but that didn’t work out. To this day, [Pierce] always tells Danny, ‘I told you DeMarre was going to be good,'” said Carroll.
- In today’s mailbag, a reader asks Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel if the Heat could conceivably put together a package for Pacers center Roy Hibbert. Winderman explains that the only players the Heat can put into a trade are Norris Cole, Justin Hamilton, and Shabazz Napier since since every veteran free agent signed this offseason cannot be dealt until December 15th. Of course, there’s no guarantee the two sides could be a match for a deal beyond that date.
- Big man Kris Humphries has become a more efficient player and he’s excited to bring his new game to the Wizards, writes Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. Hump’s 8.6 PPG and 5.9 RPG aren’t the double-double figures he was posting for the Nets during his best season, but he got those points and boards more efficiently with the C’s as he played just 19.9 minutes per game.
- Real Madrid announced that they have extended guard Rudy Fernandez through the 2018 season, according to the ACB League’s official Twitter (translation via Sportando). A report in February indicated that Fernandez had attention from the Thunder and other NBA teams, but Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman recently said that there was nothing between the 29-year-old and OKC.
- Former NBA forward Derrick Byars has signed a two-year deal with ACB Baloncesto Sevilla in Spain, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Byars played in two games for the Spurs in 2011/12 and was in training camp with the Grizzlies last season.