According to rotoworld.com, the Blazers may be interested in shoring up their depleted frontline by swapping Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw to the Wizards for center Brendan Haywood.
Blake, Outlaw, and Haywood all have expiring deals, which would make this a fairly low-risk move for both franchises. Blake has been underwhelming in his third season with the Blazers, averaging 7.5 points and 3.8 assists this season while shooting 40% from the field. With Andre Miller currently playing well, the Blazers have little use for Blake’s services. The Blazers also have a harem of talented young backcourt players, including Jarryd Bayless, Rudy Fernandez, Martell Webster, and rookie Patrick Mills, so it is probably in the Blazers’ best interest to let those players develop instead of letting Blake take their minutes.
Outlaw is a talented scorer and is still only 25 years old, but has been hit hard by injuries this season; the recent strong play of 21-year old swingman Nicolas Batum also makes Outlaw somewhat expendable. For the Wizards, acquiring Outlaw could give them more freedom to trade Caron Butler, who they are believed to have been shopping
as they look to rebuild.
For the Wizards, Haywood is quietly having one of the best seasons of his career. He is currently averaging 9.7 points on a career-best 56.1% mark from the field to compliment his 10.3 rebounds per game, which also represent a career high. He provides good defense and tough play inside, something the Blazers have missed since losing Greg Oden and Joel Pryzbilla to injury.
Of course, with their recent run of centers, Haywood may want to check his insurance before heading to the Pacific Northwest.
This trade looks like a slam-dunk for the Blazers if they can get the Wizards to agree on it. For the Wizards, the decision they have to make is whether Haywood fits into their long-term plans or whether or not it’s worth giving him up for some goodwill around the league and some much-needed stability in their backcourt.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.