Winderman: Forget New York, Cleveland can get LeBron and Bosh


LeBron_stares.jpgWell, so much for having to miss Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Learning that it might be better off next time to actually go live when it comes to “Larry King Live,” CNN has released the entire transcript of Tuesday’s taped interview with LeBron James, after several outlets reported the content of the interview that airs Friday at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Reading through the transcript, it is as vapid as your typical Larry King interview, although Larry’s hair again looks marvelous.

What has gotten lost in many of the interpretations of James’ non-answers to King’s non-questions is the element of James saying Cleveland has an “edge” in the process.

In many outposts, that has been taken as James attempting to climb the same mountain with the same Sherpas, therefore leaving the likes of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson free for the other cap-space teams, without James pairing up for 2010-11.

What that overlooks is what seemingly has been overlooked since the start of the process:

The capped-out Cavaliers emerging as a prime player in the process, with James already in tow.

When it comes to sign-and-trades, Cleveland has plenty of prime real estate to offer.

There is Anderson Varejao’s $7 million for 2010-11.

There is the $9.3 million Mo Williams is due next season.

There is J.J. Hickson’s $1.5 million.

There is Delonte West’s $4.5 million for next season that can be bought out for $500,000 by Aug. 2.

And that’s not even getting into Antawn Jamison or setting up Shaq with a new deal and then including him in a package.

In the interview with King, James continually references the possibility of playing with another leading free agent next season. He just does not say where.

If the Raptors are to lose Bosh, they could do worse than the energy of Varejao alongside Bargnani. Heck, there even could be a Jamario Moon homecoming.

For weeks, the notion of James-Bosh, James-Johnson or James-Free Agent X were of unions in New York, Chicago, Miami or elsewhere.

But Danny Ferry may just find himself with an opportunity that Mike Brown never received.

One last, post-elimination shot to save his job.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

PBT Extra: How did Thunder, Pacers move up in PBT Power Rankings?

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As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.

Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.

Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.

PBT Podcast: We’re back talking Kobe, 76ers, Warriors, Pistons, more

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The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.

Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.

Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.

We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins probable to play against Dallas Monday

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It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)

So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.

This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.

Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.

PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant understands now is time to walk away

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It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.

It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.

In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.

More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.