Lakers finding nonexistent market for Vujacic

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vujacic.jpgUpdate 4:32 pm A new version of this trade has popped up on ESPN: Two parts are the same, the Lakers get Hinrich and the Blazers get Tyrus Thomas and Sasha Vujacic. What is different is more details on what the Bulls get: Adam Morrison, Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw and Juwan Howard. However, this does not solve the issue that the Blazers do not really want Vujacic.

1:15 pm The Lakers know they need an upgrade at point guard (although they add they can still win a title this year as is). They also think the Bulls Kirk Hinrich could be a good fit long term (even though is offensive numbers this year are basically the same as Derek Fisher’s).

Hinrich, however, is expensive — he is owed $9 million next year, $8 million the year after that. The Lakers are already paying Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom and Ron Artest a lot of money in that time. That would be $17 million for offensive option number five in the Lakers offense.

Still, their interested, but they need to get someone to take on one of their bad contracts. Say, Sasha Vujacic. That’s what Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting.

The Portland Trail Blazers were telling teams over the weekend they had a chance to acquire Los Angeles Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic and wondered whether teams might have an interest in obtaining him. This prompted several executives to suggest the Blazers were working on a three-team trade, including one Eastern Conference general manager who had been told the elements of the package included (Tyrus) Thomas and Vujacic to Portland, the Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich to Los Angeles and the Lakers’ Adam Morrison, another expiring deal and a first-round pick to the Bulls.

“What has, or will kill this,” one GM said, “is that Portland just won’t take Vujacic on.”

Vujacic is owed $5.5 million next year, the last year of a deal that he signed right after the 2008 Finals, when he closed out games alongside Kobe and played the best basketball of his career. Since then, his shot has come and come and gone like Punxsutawney Phil. His defense has mostly just gone.

Next year, as an expiring deal, the Lakers likely will be able to move him. But this year, if someone has to take him on for the Lakers to make a deal, it looks like Buss and team will play the cards they have been dealt.

Jose Calderon retires from Spanish national team

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11:  Jose Calderon #8 of Spain moves the ball against Nigeria during the Men's Basketball - Preliminary Round Group B Nigeria vs Spain on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1 on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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Jose Calderon has won three Olympic medals – silver in 2008 and 2012 and bronze this year.

Just three men’s basketball players have won more:

  • Carmelo Anthony (three golds and a bronze for Team USA)
  • Gennady Volnov (a gold,* two silvers and a bronze for the Soviet Union)
  • Sergey Belov (a gold* and three bronzes for the Soviet Union)

Calderon, who turns 35 next month, won’t catch them.

O. Cauchi of Sportando:

Veteran point guard Jose Calderon has officially announced his retirement from Spanish NT.

Calderon barely played in Rio. Spain is stacked at point guard with Sergio Rodriguez, Ricky Rubio and Sergio Llull.

The Lakers aren’t as deep at the position with D'Angelo Russell and Marcelo Huertas. Calderon might have a bigger impact in Los Angeles – especially if he’s not saving himself for Eurobasket 2017.

Craig Sager, awaiting another bone-marrow transplant, says ‘I continue to live life full of love and full of fun the only way I know how’

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13:  Honoree Craig Sager accepts the Jimmy V Award for Perserverance onstage during the 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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Craig Sager skipped the Rio Olympics to prepare for a bone-marrow transplant.

As he awaits that procedure, the famed sideline reporter provided an update on his outlook.

Sager, via I.J. Rosenberg at AJC.com:

“I have met life’s challenges by climbing the Great Wall of China, riding with the bulls in Pamplona, sailing the Pacific Ocean with Ted Turner, jumping out of airplanes over Kansas, hang gliding off the cliffs of Mexico, bungee jumping atop a tower in San Antonio, and swimming with the sharks in the Caribbean.

“I have run the bases with Hank Aaron after No. 715, thrown out the first pitch at Wrigley Field, graced the cover of ‘Sports Illustrated’, and received the Jimmy V perseverance Award at the ESPY’s. I have covered eight Olympiads, dozens of Super Bowls, 24 Masters, and NBA games too numerous to count.

“I continue to live life full of love and full of fun the only way I know how.”

Fight on, Craig.

Report: Pistons signing Trey Freeman to partially guaranteed contract

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31:  Trey Freeman #20 of the Old Dominion Monarchs shoots between Reid Travis #22  and Anthony Brown #21 of the Stanford Cardinal during the NIT Championship semifinals at Madison Square Garden on March 31, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
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The Pistons will start Reggie Jackson at point guard, and they signed Ish Smith to provide better backup at the position.

The competition for the third point guard spot is heating up.

With Lorenzo Brown and Ray McCallum already signed to unguaranteed deals, Detroit is adding undrafted Old Dominion guard Trey Freeman.

Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:

The Pistons have just 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. The final spot will very likely go to a point guard.

Brown and McCallum should be favored in the competition, because they’re more NBA-ready. A president/coach, Stan Van Gundy is more prone to covet the player who can step in immediately.

Freeman’s partial guarantee is likely designed to entice him to play in the D-League for a low base salary. The Pistons can waive him in the preseason and then assign his D-League rights to their affiliate, though he’d become an NBA free agent.

Freeman is working to become a better distributor after playing as a go-to scorer in college. A solid mid-range shooter, he must extend his range beyond the arc. It’d also help if he got to the rim more, and it seems he has the bounce to do that.

For an undrafted player, he has nice tools. They’ll probably just need to be refined in the D-League.

But even if that’s the intention, Freeman at least gives himself a chance first of upsetting Brown and McCallum in the race for third point guard.

Watch the New York Knicks top 10 plays of last season

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) gets a high five from forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in New York.  The Knicks won 102-94. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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With 32 wins and missing the playoffs, last season wasn’t exactly what the Knicks hoped for. However, last season also came with hope in the form of Kristaps Porzingis.

And there were highlights. Check out the team’s Top 10 plays, courtesy NBA.com.

It starts with some Derrick Williams moments, and ends with a Jose Calderon game winner, but there are moments from players the fans actually like in between.