Your latest LeBron rumor: He and Bosh to Miami with Wade. It doesn't work, yet…

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LeBron_stares.jpgUPDATE 7:46 pm: ESPN salary cap guru Larry Coon blew this idea of Wade/Bosh/LeBron out of the water tonight. Here were his comments on twitter:

If they re-sign Wade, waive Jones & renounce all other FAs, they will have $27,596,027 cap room. Bron/Bosh are $16,568,908 each.

So one or both of them would have to take a steep pay cut as things stand now. Good luck with that.

But things also could change — if the Heat can find someone to take on Beasley for cap space. Something that Pat Riley has worked on and our own Ira Winderman has written about. If Beasley were moved it could free up the money needed to sign all three. Hasn’t happened yet, but it could. Riley could even have a potential landing place waiting, just if he needs to pull the trigger.

9:13 am: How about all of the big three from this year’s free agent crop — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — all teaming up together in Miami, with Pat Riley as coach?

That’s the new rumor. There will be new ones every hour on the hour, but this is the one right now.

It comes via Stephen A. Smith, who certainly has some NBA contacts but also is a big self-promoter, likes to say things that will draw the spotlight to himself and misses on plenty. So, make sure you have plenty of salt with you.

There are a lot of questions here, starting with how well Wade and LeBron would really pair on the court. Both are ball-dominating perimeter players, to pair them means you are taking the ball out of one of their hands half the time. How often would they feed Bosh in the post? That’s a lot of ego to keep happy.

The bigger question is: Would it be good for the league to have a “super team?”

The NFL thrives on competitive balance. The NBA has been more about the dynasties, but to make a dynasty work there has to be a genuine challenge. The Lakers have two titles in a row but they were pushed about as far as they can be by Boston this year. The great Bulls teams had a series of challengers, from Cleveland and Utah, among others. That team rose above, but they were pushed.

It looks like some kind of powerhouse will emerge from whatever LeBron, Wade and Bosh do. But wouldn’t LeBron and Bosh in Chicago be more interesting if Wade and say Amare Stoudemire were in Miami to challenge them? Then the winner gets the Lakers in the finals. Real competition. That is what the league needs.

PBT Podcast: Early trade deadline breakdown with Dan Feldman

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The NBA’s trade market did not collapse after the Jahlil Okafor trade.

There’s more to come, but with the trade deadline is less than two months away, we have more questions than answers. DeAndre Jordan very likely could be on the move from the Clippers (and Lou Williams, too). But what is Memphis going to do about Mark Gasol? New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins? Oklahoma City with Paul George? And if any of those guys are available, who is a buyer? Cleveland? Milwaukee? Portland?

Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman of NBC Sports break down the high end of the trade market, plus talk about other guys who could be on the move — maybe Nikola Mirotic from Chicago, and what about someone like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist from Charlotte — before Feb. 8 gets here. The last couple of trade deadlines have been interesting, but will we see a move that changes the landscape of the NBA playoffs in a meaningful way?

As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.

Joel Embiid calls out Karl Anthony-Towns’ defense during Instagram trash talk

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Joel Embiid often gloats on Instagram after 76ers wins.

Of course he did after Philadelphia beat Minnesota on Tuesday, specifically calling attention to this move on Karl-Anthony Towns (and this 76ers fan custom):

Embiid:

Euro stepping our way through Minnesota and we ended up raising the cat last night #TheProcess

A post shared by Joel "The Process" Embiid (@joelembiid) on

Towns commented:

That caption was as trash as your picture quality

Embiid replied:

Better quality than your defense

Embiid insisted it’s all in good fun.

Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia:

https://twitter.com/JCameratoNBCS/status/941395953113804800

I’m not sure Towns is having as much fun as Towns. But I know this:

Embiid had a valid point.

Salah Mejri kicks at Patty Mills as Mavericks and Spurs leave court for halftime (video)

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Mavericks center Salah Mejri has a history of agitating, including against the Spurs.

Two years ago, Mejri dunked while Dallas got blown out by San Antonio and yapped at the Spurs bench – drawing laughter from Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan. Last season, Mejri had Trevor Ariza and other Rockets trying to confront him after reportedly saying something about Ariza’s family.

In the Mavericks’ win over the Spurs on Tuesday, Mejri got into it with Patty Mills.

Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com:

Mejri and Rudy Gay received double technical fouls, and Mejri went to the bench. Everything could have cooled down at halftime, but Mejri escalated tension

Watch the full sequence above, but the key moment:

giphy (2)

That’ll probably draw a fine.

NBA introducing 2-for-1 All-Star voting days

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The NBA changed its All-Star format this season from East vs. West to captain-picked teams (though still naming players equally from each conference).

That apparently wasn’t a big enough overhaul.

After including media and player votes last year, the league is making All-Star starter selection even more complex.

NBA release:

NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon will tip off with an early voting period exclusively on the NBA App and NBA.com beginning Thursday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. ET.

Voting via all other channels, including Amazon Alexa for the first time, will launch on Monday, Dec. 25 at 11 a.m.

Additionally, new for this season, five “2-for-1 Days” will allow fans to have their votes count twice on Dec. 31, Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 12 and Jan. 15 when voting through the NBA App and NBA.com, along with Sina Weibo and Tencent in China.  All “2-for-1 Days” will be designated 12 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. ET.

TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 18 during TNT NBA Tip-Off

The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET. 

The team rosters for NBA All-Star Game 2018 in Los Angeles will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.

I suppose this is to drum up interest on otherwise quiet voting days. After all, this is really just about the NBA selling itself.

But the All-Star voting process has always left something to be desired. I don’t see how this changes that.