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Sources — Rockets to sign veteran forwards Jeff Green, DeMarre Carroll

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The Houston Rockets are doubling-down on small ball, planning to use their two remaining roster openings on 33-year-old forwards DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Green, league sources tell ESPN.

Green, a free agent, plans to sign with the Rockets on Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN.

Carroll agreed to a contract buyout with the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, his agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports told ESPN. Carroll will sign with the Rockets upon clearing waivers, league sources tell ESPN.

The Rockets traded center Clint Capela to the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline, acquiring forward Robert Covington. Houston is preparing for the postseason with one of the league’s smallest rosters in years.

Carroll joined the Spurs on a three-year contract this summer as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards, but never found traction in the Spurs lineup. The contract buyout with the Spurs included negotiations on guaranteed money of $2.3 million for the rest of this season, $6.65 million in 2020-2021 and $1.35 million guaranteed in 2021-22.

The Jazz waived Green in late December, after signing him to a one-year free agent deal in July. He averaged 7.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 30 games.

Green has career averages of 13 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while playing for eight franchises. Green was a teammate of Rockets stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook when they began their careers together with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Stephon Marbury trying to get masks from China for N.Y.

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Former New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury is trying to arrange a deal that would deliver 10 million N95 masks to New York City, but he has run into issues coordinating a deal between a Chinese company and the coronavirus-struck city.

Marbury told the New York Post that he arranged for a supplier in China to sell the masks for $2.75 each, nearly two-thirds less than their standard price tag.

“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury told the Post from Beijing, where he coaches the Chinese Basketball Association’s Royal Fighters. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”

Marbury added: “I have family there in Coney Island, a lot of family … who are affected by this, so I know how important it is for people to have masks during this time.”

Marbury reached out to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to help coordinate the sale.

But Adams told the Post that he was initially informed by the officials that they did not need the masks. When the Post contacted state Department of Health officials, however, they said state officials “want to talk to Stephon.” The department was put in touch with Adams’ office to continue talks.

Marbury played in the NBA for 13 seasons, including five with the Knicks, before joining the CBA, where he played from 2010 to 2018 before becoming a coach last year.

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Ex-NBA guard O.J. Mayo poised to join Chinese league powerhouse

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Former NBA guard O.J. Mayo is close to joining the Chinese Basketball Association to play for powerhouse Liaoning Flying Leopards, pending medical and other procedural clearances.

Mayo, 32, landed in the northern Chinese city of Shenyang — home to the No. 3-ranked Flying Leopards — from Taipei on Friday. He has since entered a 14-day quarantine, as mandated by government medical officials.

After the quarantine, Mayo will need to get medical clearance and have additional league paperwork approved before officially registering to play, the team said.

The team said it was looking for a third import as early as the start of the Lunar New Year recess, mainly as a possible backup in case Lance Stephenson, its main backup, had eligibility issues.

Stephenson, as well as Liaoning’s other import, Brandon Bass, have been in the United States since the Lunar New Year break, before the coronavirus outbreak in China pushed the season to a halt in late January.

They have remained in the U.S., staying in shape, because the league’s restart has been postponed again from mid-April.

It is unknown when the season will restart, as the league’s final plan has to be approved by the country’s athletic governing body.

China on Saturday began temporarily banning entry for foreign travelers as part of its COVID-19 outbreak control measures, meaning players outside the country may encounter challenges rejoining their teams. Mayo’s addition could guard against that.

Mayo, the No. 3 overall pick in 2008 out of USC, played eight seasons in the NBA, averaging 13.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 points. After being dismissed from the NBA in 2016 for violating the league’s substance-abuse program, he has played in Europe and Asia.

Although this would be Mayo’s first CBA journey, he is no stranger to China. Last year, he had a stint with Hunan in China’s second-tier league, the NBL. He is also a familiar name to many Chinese fans due to his tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks.

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Knicks owner James Dolan tests positive for coronavirus

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James Dolan, the executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company and owner of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Knicks announced Dolan’s diagnosis Saturday night. It is not clear when he was tested or when he received the diagnosis.

Dolan, 64, is the first U.S. major pro sports owner known to have tested positive for the virus.

“The Madison Square Garden Company Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Dolan has tested positive for coronavirus,” the team’s statement said. “He has been in self-isolation and is experiencing little to no symptoms. He continues to oversee business operations.”

New York has been the hotspot for the pandemic in the U.S.

All 50 U.S. states have reported some cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, but New York has the most, with over 52,000 positive tests for the illness and more than 700 deaths. About 7,300 people were in New York hospitals Saturday, including about 1,800 in intensive care.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems.

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