NBA Notes: Paul, Wade captains for All-Star Saturday

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NBA Notes: Paul, Wade captains for All-Star Saturday

Andrew Bynum received injections into both knees in anticipation of ramping up his rehab (see story), but Sixers head coach Doug Collins remains cautious about the center's return (see story).

Meanwhile, Nick Young is turning into more than just a scorer (see story).

Now, let's look at some news and notes from around the NBA.

Wade, Paul All-Star Saturday captains
NEW YORK -- Dwyane Wade will captain the Eastern Conference and Chris Paul will lead the West when All-Star Saturday becomes a team event for the first time.

The conferences will play for $500,000 in charity in Houston on Feb. 16. The winning conference gets $350,000 for its charities, with $150,000 going to the loser's.

The All-Star Saturday events consist of the slam dunk contest, 3-point contest, the Shooting Stars, and the Skills Challenge. Players will accumulate points for their conferences.

The East will play for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Make-A-Wish America, while the West will be playing for Boys & Girls Club of America and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign.

The charities were selected by Miami's Wade and Paul of the Clippers, the NBA, and State Farm.

The money is being donated by NBA Cares and State Farm.

Raptors' Casey fined 25K
NEW YORK -- Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Thursday for criticizing officials the previous night after a loss at Atlanta.

In the closing seconds of the Raptors' 93-92 loss to the Hawks, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan grabbed the rebound of a missed shot by teammate Alan Anderson and had his attempt under the basket blocked by the Hawks' Al Horford. There was apparent contact from Horford on DeRozan, but no foul was called.

The Raptors wanted a foul called during the intense exchange, but no whistle meant the Hawks survived for the win. Casey charged onto the court with his arms extended, demanding an explanation and was still upset during his postgame news conference.

"I'm tired of this," Casey said. "I'm tired of losing games because of missed calls at the end of the game. I know the league's going to come down on me for this, but I don't care. Guys have fought their hearts out, played their hearts out and at the end of the game we get cracked, apology, go back to Canada."

Casey said his initial belief a foul should have been called was supported by his review of the video.

"I've been in this league 18 years and I've never seen as many missed calls at the end of the game to cost us the game," Casey said. "We have good officials. Too good to miss calls and short-change these young men like that. And it's not right."

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Report: Isaiah Canaan becomes free agent as Sixers don't extend qualifying offer

Report: Isaiah Canaan becomes free agent as Sixers don't extend qualifying offer

It appears the Sixers are letting guard Isaiah Canaan walk.

Canaan, who was set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, is now unrestricted as the Sixers did not extend him a qualifying offer, according to a report Wednesday night by Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The qualifying offer would have been worth $1,215,696. Canaan made $947,276 last season.

Canaan, 25, has played parts of two seasons with the Sixers after coming over from the Rockets in 2014-15 as part of the K.J. McDaniels trade.

The 6-foot, 201-pound guard averaged 11 points per game in 77 contests (39 starts) last season, while shooting 36.3 percent from three-point range.

Canaan has not fit with the Sixers as a shoot-first point guard, averaging just 1.8 assists per game in 2015-16, a season in which he essentially turned into an undersized, volume-shooting two-guard.

The backcourt — specifically point guard — remains the biggest priority for the Sixers this offseason.

On Wednesday, the Sixers decided to retain Hollis Thompson for next season by exercising his team option.

Dario Saric reportedly says he's coming to Sixers, but Colangelo still cautious

Dario Saric reportedly says he's coming to Sixers, but Colangelo still cautious

When dealing with a foreign player like Dario Saric, you can't help but wonder if something is being lost in translation. Keeping in mind that language barrier, a Croatian website is reporting that Saric is set on heading to Philadelphia.

The quote from Saric, as translated by Twitter user @CroSports_ reads as follows: "Everything is leading in that direction. I'm waiting for this tournament (Olympic qualifying) to end so that I can sit down and work out a deal, then head over to the USA to sign. 

"I have one more year with Efes (Turkish basketball team Anadolu Efes) and [head coach Velimir] Perasovic wants me to stay, but I gave [the Sixers] my word. My word means more than a paper.”

The speculation over Saric has been an ongoing saga for the Sixers. While president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo is cautiously optimistic about bringing over the No. 12 overall pick, he knows that Saric putting pen to paper does actually matter. 

"It’s a very solid statement on his part and indicates his commitment, but nothing is official until the buyout agreement is finalized and he gets cleared by FIBA. Then he can sign,” Colangelo said to CSNPhilly's Dei Lynam. 

Remember, earlier this month Colangelo and head coach Brett Brown met with Saric in Istanbul, and Colangelo didn't have a strong feeling either way regarding Saric's chances of coming to the Sixers.

“I wasn’t pessimistic, I wasn’t optimistic," Colangelo said at the time. "I was somewhat neutral as to whether or not I felt he would be coming over and I still feel that way."

Saric has until July 17 to notify his current team, Anadolu Efes, of his decision. 

Sixers exercise team option on G/F Hollis Thompson

Sixers exercise team option on G/F Hollis Thompson

Hollis Thompson will be back next season. 

The Sixers exercised the swingman's fourth-year team option for the 2016-17 season. The option is worth just north of $1 million, according to Basketball Reference. 

Thompson, 6-foot-8, 206 pounds, has played three NBA seasons with the Sixers after going undrafted out of Georgetown in 2012. 

In his 225 NBA games (81 starts), he has averaged 8.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He's also shot 39 percent from three and his 331 career three-pointers rank him eighth in Sixers history.