Jerryd Bayless, Matt Barnes

Jerryd Bayless traded to New Orleans for first round pick


Jerryd Bayless was drafted by a team that didn’t need him. He’s a combo-guard, of the most combo of combo-guards. His best skill is attacking the basket and getting buckets. He doesn’t manage an offense, he’s not a great distributor, he’s not an offense-manager. But repeatedly, Nate McMillan told him he was going to have to play point guard or not play at all. They had a shooting guard, his name is Brandon Roy, and he’s an All-Star. Whether it was out of trying to mold a player to need or due to Bayless’ diminutive size, Bayless was never a priority. Even when he started to pop-off last year, the team’s confidence in him was limited.

But now he’s got a new team.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reports Bayless has been traded to the Hornets for a future first round pick. Meaning the Hornets now have the oddest combination of backups to the best point guard in the league, ever. Marco Belinelli, who has lit up preseason (like he usually does), Willie Green, and Curtis Jerrells join Bayless. It’s a combo-guard festivus!

Bayless will likely be asked to take a similar role as Darren Collison had last year, though Collison was a much better distributor. He’ll also serve as an alternative to Marcus Thornton, who has struggled mightily in preseason under new coach Monty Williams. Bayless and Paul together would make up one of the fastest backcourts in the league, and in transition would be nimble as all get out, though they’d be surrounding a lot of size to any team with an adequately sized and even moderately talented shooting guard. It also probably cements Belinelli as a shooting guard option. He and Bayless would make for a nice combination of talent and scoring. Defense will be an issue, as it always is with smaller guards, but for depth, the Hornets made a major improvement. A first rounder is a steep price, though.

You have to wonder if Portland GM Rich Cho is acquiring assets to target a separate trade for the kind of pure point guard Portland’s been shopping for for years. Either that or he’s looking to advance the future of the team, which has been building for the future for seemingly forever.

Cavaliers stand in middle of Raptors dancers’ routine (video)

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The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.

The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.

Wizards score 6 (!) fourth-quarter points in loss to Hornets

Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions
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Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.

That was Washington’s last basket.

Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.

And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.

Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.

The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.

At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.

As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.