Could the Cavs be turning to Maggette as third option?

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nba_maggette_250.jpgIt would be a stunning non-move if the Cavaliers failed to make any sort of trade at the deadline. They’ve been linked to just about everyone, with Antawn Jamison and Amar’e Stoudemire their top option depending on who you talk to. Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ massive expiring contract is their big chip, and they’re aggressively pursuing an upgrade somewhere, unless just about every reporter involved is way off base. And apparently, behind the two “stretch fours,” is a third option the Cavaliers are now maneuvering as a backup plan before Thursday’s 3PM Deadline

ESPN the Magazine’s Chris Broussard reports:

It is not clear whether the Cavaliers’ second-choice is Jamison or Maggette. The discussions with Golden State have centered around Cleveland sending Ilgauskas and his $11.5 million expiring contract to the Warriors for Maggette. Other players, perhaps Cleveland’s Danny Green and Golden State’s Devean George, would have to be added to make the deal work financially.
As is the case with all their potential trades, the Cavaliers hope their trading partner would waive Ilgauskas so he could re-sign with Cleveland 30 days later. But no such deal can be struck beforehand, per league rules. The Cavaliers’ interest in Maggette, who is averaging 20.8 points per game for the Warriors, is somewhat surprising. While the 30-year-old small forward has long been regarded as one of the league’s most gifted scorers, he has three years and nearly $31 million left on his contract and has been somewhat injury prone.

It’s pretty clear from the three moves being discussed that points are the top priority for the Cavaliers. Their defense has been stout for years, but the playoffs have found them struggling for buckets against both longer, more athletic teams (Orlando) and savvy, veteran squads (San Antonio, Boston) time and time again. The addition of Maggette would certainly solve that problem. Maggette is having a renaissance year in Golden State and shooting the lights out. What’s interesting is that a move like this is kind of the polar opposite from a lineup standpoint from the other two deals being worked. Jamison or Stoudemire would keep LeBron James at the three, simply upgrading their power forward position. The addition of Maggette would likely mean more time for James at the four, which of course he’s brilliant at, but you could say the same thing for any position on the floor. It’s certainly a re-evaluation of his responsibilities and approach, and would heap more responsibilities on him, even with the scoring load lightened by Maggette. Plus, you have to wonder how much of that perimeter scoring he’d be willing to surrender.

If there’s one thing that’s becoming more and more certain, the odds of a Cleveland deal seem to be skyrocketing with every passing minute.

Grizzlies beat slumping Pacers, who fall into tie for final playoff spot

AP Photo/Brandon Dill
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Conley matched his career high with seven 3-pointers on his way to 36 points, helping the Memphis Grizzlies rout the Indiana Pacers 110-97 on Wednesday night.

Vince Carter had 21 points and eight rebounds, and Zach Randolph finished with 17 points as Memphis snapped a four-game losing streak. Conley went 13 for 21 from the field.

Paul George led the Pacers with 22 points, Aaron Brooks, who provided an early spark from outside the arc, had 18 points, and Thaddeus Young finished with 16.

Indiana lost for the fourth time in five games.

Memphis played without All-Star center Marc Gasol, who missed his third straight game with a left foot strain. But Conley helped the Grizzlies get off the fast start, and Pacers were never able to catch up.

Memphis led by as many as 22 in the second quarter and carried a 72-53 advantage into the break. Conley scored 22 points in the first half, and the Grizzlies went 10 for 17 from beyond the arc in the first two periods.

Brooks made four 3-pointers and scored 14 in the first half for Indiana.

The Grizzlies led 96-79 after three, and the sliding Pacers never threatened in the fourth.

Indiana (37-38) dropped into a tie with Miami for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Both are two games behind Milwaukee and Atlanta.

The Heat, Bucks and Hawks all won Wednesday night.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Brooks made a 3-pointer in the first quarter to reach 800 for his career. … Indiana dropped to 0-8 in road games on the second night of a back-to-back.

Grizzlies: JaMychal Green was out with left shoulder soreness. That caused Memphis to use its 22nd different starting lineup this season. … Memphis scored 38 points in the first quarter, matching its highest point total for any quarter this season. … Memphis has made at least 10 3-pointers in 36 games. … In the third quarter, Carter passed Ray Allen (24,505) for 22nd in NBA history for career points scored. … Reserve guard Andrew Harrison left in the third quarter with a right ankle injury.

PACERS HOMECOMINGS

Pacers forward Thaddeus Young played high school basketball in Memphis and still lives there. Pacers guard Monta Ellis has a home in the Eads community east of Memphis.

HOME STRETCH

Memphis (41-34), which sits seventh in the Western Conference playoff race, has a beneficial schedule down the stretch. Of its seven remaining games, five are at home, and five are against teams with losing records.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Visit Toronto on Friday.

Grizzlies: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.

Three Mavericks teammates restrain Devin Harris, who still gets ejected (video)

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Dallas guard Devin Harris was ejected from Wednesday night’s 121-118 loss to New Orleans after angrily protesting calls made by official Ben Taylor.

Harris was assessed two quick technical fouls by Taylor, the first after Harris protested Taylor’s decision to whistle him for a personal foul when he collided with Pelicans’ guard Jordan Crawford.

The impact with Crawford sent Harris crashing to the court, marking the second time in the period that Harris had gone down hard. The first time, no foul was called when a collision with Pelicans’ guard E'Twaun Moore left Harris flat on his back.

When Harris was assessed the first technical, he went into a tirade and had to be restrained by teammates as he advanced toward Taylor. That triggered his ejection.

Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon beats shot clock, Celtics with dagger (video)

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Who should win Rookie of the Year?

Joel Embiid has been, by far, the best rookie while on the court, but a season-ending injury will limit him to just 31 games. Malcolm Brogdon has been next best over the full course of the season. Dario Saric is making a heck of a finishing kick, and with a couple weeks left, he can still catch Brogdon.

But Brogdon got his own late signature moment in the Bucks’ 103-100 win over the Celtics tonight.

With the Bucks up one in the final seconds and the shot clock nearing expiration, Brogdon hit an off-balance jumper with 3.9 seconds left to produce the final margin.

Milwaukee’s win drops Boston (48-27) to second in the Eastern Conference, behind only the Cavaliers (47-26). The Bucks (39-36) keep pace with the Hawks in a tie for fifth.

Russell Westbrook scores most points ever in triple-double, 57

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Russell Westbrook led a double-digit comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Been there done, that.

Westbrook hit a defining buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Been there done, that.

Westbrook posted a historic triple-double. Been there, done that.

All three in one game?

That’s a new level for Westbrook, who lifted the Thunder to a 114-106 win over the Magic tonight while posting an incredible stat line: 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

James Harden scored 53 in a triple-double just this season, and Westbrook has already one-upped that record.

This MVP race is one for the ages.