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

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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.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.

Report: Other small-market teams championing Pacers’ tampering allegation against Lakers

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The NBA, at the Pacers’ request, is investigating whether the Lakers tampered by making impressible contact with Paul George.

Bob Kravitz of WTHR

In fact, there’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”

Small-market teams whine too much about the disadvantages they face, but tampering isn’t really a market-size issue. Remember, under Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers were known as the only team that didn’t tamper.

The Lakers have advantages because George is from the area, and Los Angeles offers immense marketability. That’d be true whether or not they contacted George or his agent before he officially became a free agent.

I understand the desire to take down the big, bad Lakers – especially now that they appear poised to become truly big and bad again. But it’s hard to find a team that can cast a stone at them from anywhere other than a glass house.