Eight guys who might be traded come December 15


Next Wednesday, Dec. 15, the NBA trading landscape gets interesting.

That’s the day that guys signed to free agent contracts this summer become eligible for trades. So those guys your team signed this summer that seemed smart then but look like a disaster now can be shipped out — if you can find a taker.

We thought Darko Milicic and Richard Jefferson would be on that list. We were wrong.

But Ira Winderman gives us here at NBC a list of eight guys who become available and could be on the block:

Jermaine O’Neal, Celtics: Shaq is working out well, Kendrick Perkins will be back, Glen Davis is your backup four now… so Jermaine becomes expendable for the right deal.

Brendan Haywood, Mavericks: Tyson Chandler (along with young developing centers in the pipeline) make him expendable — if you can find a sucker for that six-year, $55 million deal Dallas gave him. Haywood is not a bad option for a team that needs a big, but that is a steep price tag.

Theo Ratliff, Lakers: Winderman said it best: “Well, what do you know, the Lakers signed an injury-plagued, aging center and he turns out to be injury plagued and old?”
Eddie House, Heat: He is sliding down the depth chart and may be available.

Tracy McGrady, Pistons: He’s played okay, but if the Pistons decide to blow it up and trade Tayshaun Prince and/or Rip Hamilton, McGrady could get moved, too.
Randy Foye, Clippers: Winderman again: “With the emergence of Eric Bledsoe and the return of Baron Davis, there is not much need. The question is whether interest remains elsewhere in the league.”

Anthony Carter, Nuggets: Not a guy getting a lot of run in Denver, but it comes down to if the Nuggets decide to trade Chauncey Billups if they move Carmelo Anthony. There probably is value for Carter out there.

Joe Smith, Nets: Winderman: “From opening-night starter, the veteran forward has gone to afterthought. The Nets do not need him, but a playoff contender just might find some value there as injury protection.”

Guys Winderman throws on the “maybe to be moved list” are: Joel Anthony of Miami, Drew Gooden of the Bucks and Mike Miller of the Heat. Kind of hard to see the last one, even with the emergence of James Jones.

Giannis Antetokounmpo to tell his story on 60 Minutes this week (preview clip)

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Giannis Antetokounmpo grew up hocking wares — clothes, sunglasses, whatever — on the streets of Athens, Greece. He easily could still be living there, the tallest salesman in a poor part of a country with high unemployment and real challenges.

Instead, he is a multimillionaire living comfortably in the United States, and is one of the 10 best basketball players in the world — and still improving. In a few years we may well be saying he is the best player on the planet.

Antetokounmpo will be telling his story on the legendary television news magazine 60 Minutes this week, and the show released a clip. Check it out.

This is the best missed free throw to game winner you will ever see

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We’ve all seen this situation before at every level of basketball: A team down three points gets fouled in the final seconds and has two free throws, so the shooter aims to make the first free throw then miss the second and create a rebound he or a teammate can grab then throw back in to tie the game. It works about as often as an NFL Hail Mary — either the shooter makes the shot anyway or the defense gets the board — but what other choice is there?

Nobody has ever pulled it off as well as Paulinho Boracini of the Brazilian league team Cearense.

Intentional or not (and I lean not), he banked the second free throw off the rim toward the corner, ran it down himself and hit the game-winning three.

Damn. That’s impressive.

(If Boracini and Cearense sound familiar, you win the award for “watching too much Knicks preseason basketball” because they played New York in a 2015 exhibition.)

Giannis Antetokounmpo doubtful with ankle injury for Bulls game

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MILWAUKEE (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks say Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful for Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls with a sprained right ankle.

The All-Star forward got hurt in the second quarter of a 127-120 loss on Wednesday to the Los Angeles Clippers when he appeared to trip over teammate Shabazz Muhammad under the Bucks’ basket.

Antetokounmpo is fourth in the league in scoring at 27.3 points a game.


Anfernee Simons declares for NBA draft straight out of high school (kind of)

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Anfernee Simons spent the last year playing high school basketball. But because he did so as a fifth-year prep after technically graduating from high school last year and turns 19 in June, he’s eligible for the NBA draft.

Following a path taken by Thon Maker and considered by Jonathan Isaac, Simons – as expected – is turning pro.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN:

Anfernee Simons will forgo his collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2018 NBA draft, he informed ESPN.

Simons informed ESPN that he will sign with agent Bobby Petriella of Rosenhaus Sports Representation

Simons looks like a mid-first-rounder, though his range is quite wide considering how large of a jump he’s making. Teams can learn relatively more about him in workouts and interviews.

A 6-foot-4 shooting guard who specializes in scoring, Simons is quick on his feet with a quick release off the dribble – with range from beyond the 3-point arc to an impressive floater game. Those floaters will be important, because Simons isn’t nearly strong enough for the NBA. He’s also a lackluster passer, though because of physicality concerns, no team will count on Simons to run an offense anytime soon, anyway. He’ll have time to develop as a distributor.

By signing with agents, Simons loses his college eligibility. Drew Rosenhaus, a big-name football agent, isn’t certified with the National Basketball Players Association. Petriella’s only NBA client has been Diamond Stone, a 2016 second-rounder who’s out of the league. They’re all in this bold venture together now.

As the NBA considers changing its draft rules for young prospects, Simons will be an interesting case study. He obviously meets the draft-eligibility requirements in the one-and-done era, but he’s also jumping from prep-school competition to the NBA. The league’s strength and nutrition programs should serve him well. His overall development could influence the wider debate.