Mike James kicks off the buyout list

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The days of buyouts started just hours after the trade deadline passed, when the Washington Wizards told Mike James to take a leave of absence pending the buyout of his contract.

James was a regular part of the Wizards rotation last year, starting 50 games, but he had appeared in just four this year. The Wizards tried to find a way to use his $6.6 million expiring contract in a deal, but when that didn’t happen they decided to just buy him out.

Buying out contracts is going to be the hot thing over the next few days in the NBA. Some of these guys, like Zydrunas Ilgauskas, will have no trouble getting work. It is likely Mike James will have some suitors, although the rumored leader early is Charlotte.

Another guy out there right now is Kenny Thomas, who was waived by the Kings. However, he is not going to a lot of suitors for what is left of his game.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.