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Could the Blazers get a disabled player exception for Greg Oden?


The news Greg Oden’s latest microfracture surgery was a crushing blow to both the Blazers franchise and its fans, but there may be the smallest of silver linings on the horizon. Over on BlazersEdge, cap guru “storyteller” outlined how the Blazers may be eligible for a Disabled Player Exception because of Oden, and what they might be able to do with that exception:

If an injury occurs between July 1 and November 30, the physician determines whether or not the player will be unable to play (due to injury or death) during the current season.  If so, an exception can be offered…

Now onto the specifics regarding Greg Oden.  I assume that the team will apply for a disabled player exception.  If granted, the amount of the exception would be $3,380,262 and they would have 45 days to use it.  The league in the past has been pretty good about granting such extensions to teams who have disabled players…

A) Portland could use the exception to sign a larger-than-minimum-salary free agent, presumably a big man.  Someone like Erick Dampier would be an option.  I’m not a big fan of Dampier, but …..

B) Portland could use the exception to make an uneven (money wise) trade.  For example, sending Sean Marks and the New Orleans 1st round pick received in the Bayless deal to Philadelphia for Spencer Hawes.

C) Portland could use the exception to facilitate a trade to aid a team that is over the luxury tax threshold.  For example, sending a 2nd round pick to Denver for Renaldo Balkman and a 1st round pick (first waiving a player to create a roster spot).

Excellent work from storyteller, and a league source told BlazersEdge’s Ben Golliver that the Blazers will in fact seek a disabled player exception for Oden. Dampier, Hawes, and Balkman certainly won’t give the Blazers what a healthy Oden would, but at least they might be able to do something to fill the void left by Oden’s latest setback.

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

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell
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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.

LeBron James: I’m healthier than a year ago


LeBron James received an injection in his back before the season.

It’s working.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

LeBron James now says he feels better than he did even a year ago.

“I feel better in the mornings; I feel better throughout the games; I feel better throughout the day,” James said before a Cavs shootaround Wednesday in preparation for their game against the Toronto Raptors. “It was a rough start to the season for me last year and for our team. Obviously the way we’ve been playing, a lot is predicated on my health and being able to lead these guys out on the floor and not from the sidelines.”

LeBron certainly looks healthier than he did at this point last year. He’s moving much better and giving more effort.

But comparing November to November means very little for the Cavaliers, who hope to play deep into June.

The key question: Did LeBron properly time his injection? There’s a limit on the number he can have in a year, and it takes time to recover after one. Cleveland doesn’t want LeBron to peak to early.

It’s good for the Cavs that LeBron feels better now, but his health in the playoffs remains the priority.

Report: Suns signing Bryce Cotton

Bryce Cotton
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Eric Bledsoe missed the Suns’ loss to the Spurs on Monday with a knee injury.

So, Phoenix is bringing in a reinforcement – Bryce Cotton.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Jazz waived Cotton before the season despite Dante Exum‘s injury leaving them with just two other healthy point guards. That says something about Cotton – but also Utah’s depth.

Cotton – who went undrafted out of Providence last year – is quick, varies his speed well and can leap. There’s reason to believe in his potential at age 23. But his 6-foot-1 frame limits him defensively, and he’s not much of a distributor.

Phoenix will rely on Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price at point guard if Bledsoe is unavailable. The Suns can also use fewer two-point guard lineups – giving more minutes at shooting guard to Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin and Sunny Weems.

Cotton provides insurance while Bledsoe is banged-up with what seems to be a minor injury. But he might have to show something to keep drawing an NBA paycheck once Bledsoe gets healthy.