Barbosa, Boris Diaw, Tyson Chandler, Hedo Turkoglu trade on the rocks due to MJ


diaw.jpgUPDATE 11:57 pm: This deal may fall apart by the time you wake up in the morning. The seemingly omni-present Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo tweets that this seemingly done deal is now on the rocks.

You can thank MJ.

Charlotte owner Michael Jordan has had “second thoughts” on trade with Toronto and deal is suddenly in peril, league sources tell Y! Sports.

1:01 pm: Here is the upshot of a complex trade about to go down: The Toronto Raptors have the chance to run an interesting basketball experiment this season — what if we start two big men who don’t like to go near the basket or rebound?

They already had Andrea Bargnani, and now thanks to a trade they have landed Boris Diaw from Charlotte.

Toronto is on the verge of a deal that would net them Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa and Tyson Chandler, would net the Suns Hedo Turkoglu, and giving the Bobcats Jose Calderon. The details of this (including if Chandler is a part of it) are still being finalized.

I’m just fascinated by the idea of a Diaw/Bargnani front line. Throwing in a solid defending and rebounding presence like Chandler (at least when he’s healthy) mucks up my dream with actual basketball strategy.

Diaw is a decent player, he shot 48.9 percent last year in giving the Bobcats 11 points a game (in 35 minutes). But he does not rebound, he is a power forward who likes to hang out on the perimeter (and when pressured during the Orlando playoff series started jacking up a lot of bad shots).

Diaw is fine at the four, so long as you pair him at the five with a guy who likes to do the dirty work of rebounding and protecting the rim and just banging bodies. Like Chandler.

Bargnani is not that guy. He may be more allergic to the paint than Diaw. Toronto is forming what may be one of the best teams in the EuroLeague, except they have to play in the NBA. The Raptors need to come up with a rotation of big men where solid (if overpaid) Amir Johnson and recent draft pick Ed Davis get a lot of burn to actually have a big near the paint.

If they make the smart move they start Bargnani at the four, Chandler at the five. But we can dream of those Bargnani and Diaw moments.

Charlotte on the other hand saves a lot of money — Diaw makes $9 million this season and next (player option he will pick up) — and will start Tyrus Thomas anyway, so might as well move Diaw.

Sixers to retire Moses Malone’s number next season

Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone

Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.

There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?

LeBron James with two-handed halfcourt bounce pass for assist (VIDEO)

LeBron James
Leave a comment

Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:

Kobe gets great introduction, loud ovation in Philadelphia

1 Comment

Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game —  but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.

In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.

Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.

That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.

Rumor: Nets testing trade waters for Bojan Bogdanovic

Bojan Bogdanovic, Otto Porter Jr.
1 Comment

If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.

First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.

Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.

Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.

Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.