Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside isn’t taking the bait after Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid called him “dirty” and “soft” following a tussle Thursday night at American Airlines Arena. Whiteside told reporters Friday that Embiid is “just another dude. He just talks more. I’m not talking no more, no more talking. No more talking. 2018, when he talks, no more”. Embiid and Whiteside, who have a rivalry that dates back to the preseason, were involved in an altercation in the third quarter of Miami’s 108-99 win Thursday. After Whiteside blocked Embiid, the Heat center appeared to push the Process in the back before hitting himself in the face. Referees called a personal foul on Embiid while Whiteside received a technical. Embiid said after the loss: “He tried to hit me in the back, which is kind of dirty because of the fact that I’ve had back problems. We’re going to see about that. I won’t forget about that”. Embiid didn’t stop there. He added: “I didn’t think I touched him. But then they called a technical foul on him because obviously he’s the one that made a dirty play. He hits really soft, so I didn’t feel anything. But just the action of him trying to do that I think is pretty messed up. I don’t care what we have outside of basketball but at the same time, you’ve got to respect the rules of basketball and play basketball and have fun doing it”. The Sixers and Heat split their regular-season series with two wins apiece. Barring a postseason showdown, the two towering bigs will need to wait until the fall to renew their heated head-to-head battle.

The Los Angeles Lakers are adding the No. 2 overall pick from the 2011 NBA draft to their frontcourt heading into the stretch run of the 2017-18 campaign as the team announced the signing of Derrick Williams (10-day contract). Williams has played in China this season, though the Arizona product has laced it up for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat in his NBA career. Williams impressed in the early portion of his career with the Timberwolves and was named to the 2011-12 All-Rookie second team when he averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He built on that the following season with 12.0 points and 5.5 boards a night, but both of those totals marked career highs. He was never able to replicate the initial success from his Minnesota days when playing for the Kings, Knicks, Cavaliers or Heat and shot just 43.4 percent from the field and 30.0 percent from three-point range in six seasons. His last appearance in an NBA game was the 2017 NBA Finals, when he played 10 total minutes and scored seven points in Cleveland’s five-game loss to the Golden State Warriors. Despite a lackluster resume for Williams, the Lakers can use the depth on the wing considering Brandon Ingram is dealing with a groin injury and Josh Hart is out with a broken hand. The Lakers are 6-1 in their last seven games and just 5.5 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers in the race for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. While they are running out of time with just 18 contests remaining, it is a testament to the young core’s development that the Lakers are still within shouting distance at this point of the rebuild. Williams will look to provide a scoring and rebounding spark as the Lakers strive to continue playing at an elevated level down the stretch.

Derrick Rose has agreed to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the remainder of the season. Rose was waived by the Jazz after the trade deadline. The Wolves already have Jeff Teague and Tyus Jones on their depth chart at point guard. Rose as predicted, will reunite with Tom Thibodeau, who coached him for several seasons with the Bulls. He was waiting until his wife gave birth to his baby before signing with a team. Rose was married during an extended leave from the Cavaliers earlier this season.