NBA News & Rumors: Shaq quotes, Bogut, Jackson, Agent Zero and Lopez

Shaq says Cavs are the best team he’s ever been on…at least on paper. Shaq has never been one to shy away from a juicy quote, but in touting his team, he calls Anderson Varejao “one of the top forwards in the league” and mentioned rookie Darnell Jackson by his nickname (D-Block). Um, okay. If it’s all the same, we’ll wait to see how this team fares on the court, especially in the playoffs. Did Shaq meet with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department? Shaq refused to confirm the report: “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he told The News-Herald. “Undercover officers aren’t allowed to talk about what’s going on.” Classic.

Andrew Bogut is ready for more work. Bogut is coming off a back injury that kept him out for much of the last four months of the 2008-09 season. Given his career numbers — 11.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg — he’s not a bust, but he’s certainly not what the Bucks were expecting when they took him with the #1 pick back in 2005. Milwaukee passed on Chris Paul and Deron Williams, two franchise-caliber point guards, and even Marvin Williams might be looking better right now since he’s been able to stay healthy. Bogut played in 82 games his rookie season, but since then, he has missed 27% of his team’s games and the Bucks haven’t made the postseason. This is a big year for the Aussie, who needs to prove that his contract (worth $60 million) is justified.

Stephen Jackson to the Cavs? This rumor has Jackson heading to Cleveland for Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his expiring contract. The Cavs are already loaded at the wing with LeBron, Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker, but the saga of Delonte West, might have the Cavs looking to add to the arsenal. However, it’s going to be tough to find minutes for all of these players as it stands, and Jackson isn’t one to sit quietly if he’s not getting what he believes to be appropriate playing time.

Is Gilbert Arenas changing his game? Arenas has always been a shoot-first point guard, but he only took five shots and dished out 10 assists against the Grizzlies on Tuesday. HC Flip Saunders wants him to be more aggressive, so we’re more likely to see a watered-down version of 2006 Agent Zero than some new, pass-first variety.

Nets looking to run offense through Brook Lopez. HC Lawrence Frank redesigned his offense to feature Lopez at the top of the key and at the elbows. He wants Lopez to facilitate, so expect the second-year center’s numbers to rise with all the additional touches.

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