Raymond Felton being courted, done with the Bobcats

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Raymond Felton’s departure from Charlotte has been in the works for some time. Felton and the team could never agree on terms for an extension that would have made Raymond the Bobcats’ long-term point guard. Then Michael Jordan tore down his Raymond Felton poster to put up a D.J. Augustin one, exposing the writing on the wall in the process. Felton played out his contract (including last year for the qualifying offer), and is now the top free agent point guard in the holy 2010 FA class.

Not that he’s all that great. Felton’s a good player and a strong defender, but he’s not exactly a top-tier point guard. Yet with so many teams looking to the sky with money in their pockets, Felton seems destined to get his due (and perhaps more) on a PG-deprived roster. One that isn’t the Bobcats.

From the Associated Press:

Unrestricted free agent point guard Raymond Felton has been contacted by seven teams as all signs point to him leaving the Charlotte Bobcats. Agent Tony Dutt wouldn’t name the teams, but said Thursday Felton would consider a sign-and-trade deal with the Bobcats that would allow Charlotte to get some compensation for the starting point guard “if it would help them and Raymond as well.” The Bobcats have made no push to re-sign Felton in part because of salary-cap issues. The team’s payroll close to the luxury tax, a figure owner Michael Jordan says the team won’t exceed.

All of those trades that seemed to turn out well for the Bobcats in the short-term? This is where they hit hard. If the Bobcats aren’t willing to go over the tax, not only is Felton the first to go, but Tyrus Thomas (a restricted free agent) could soon follow. Those following the Bobcats knew that the team’s course meant that certain long-term sacrifices would have to be made, but this appears to be a collision of that “distant” future and a particularly problematic present.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

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With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.

Bulls’ Kris Dunn dunks on T.J. Warren after savvy/explosive halfcourt drive (video)

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Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.

T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.