Winderman: What other onerous contracts could be traded?

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Well, the Magic, Wizards and Suns showed us, didn’t they? More to the point, they shut us up.

“No one is taking on Gilbert’s deal.”

“The Magic aren’t unloading Rashard’s contract.”

“The Suns are stuck with Turkoglu.”

We all either said it or thought it. For years, the crutch in shooting down the wildest trade permutations was that there simply were some contracts in a salary-cap world that were untradeable. Or so we were lead to believe.

Instead, in the spirit of the season, Orlando, Washington and Phoenix got involved in a bit of re-gifting. The lesson to us all is that apparently anyone can be moved with a little creativity and a lot of equivalent desperation.

So picking up where the Magic, Wizards and Suns left off, we look at a few other deals heretofore believed to be immobile.

Luol Deng, Bulls: Including this season, four years at $51.3 million remain. The Nuggets apparently had no interest during the early rounds of Carmelo talks, but for a suitor that otherwise would be unable to lure talent in free agency, there is value there. With the Bulls so deep into Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, and soon Derek Rose, there will be a need to sort things out.

Anderson Varejao, Cavaliers: Including this season, five seasons at $43.1 million remain. The money is a bit extreme for a complementary piece, and what the Cavaliers need at this stage is a post presence more than a hustle player. It would behoove just about every contender to consider the possibilities.

Brendan Haywood, Mavericks: Including this season, five seasons at $41.7 million remain. Dallas made the offer this summer when Haywood was viewed as a starter, a role he no longer fills with the Mavericks. But it is a role he could possibly fill elsewhere.

Richard Hamilton, Pistons: Including this season, three seasons at $35.5 million remain. He wants out and the Pistons have little need for a disgruntled scorer on the downside. At $12.5 million, he is a bit pricy to be utilized as a reserve by a contender, but could be swapped in a deal for another team’s headache.

Baron Davis, Clippers: Including this season, three seasons at $41.7 million remain. Speaking of another team’s headache, the Clippers need to make this go away sooner rather than later. At this point, Davis has to play himself into a trade, show there still is something there.

Travis Outlaw, Nets: Including this season, five seasons at $35 million remain. Well, that didn’t take long, did it? Now the challenge is searching for another 2010 offseason signing that soured just as quickly elsewhere.

Elton Brand, 76ers: Including this season, three seasons at $51.2 million remain. For our money, we make this the new clubhouse leader as the league’s current most untradeable contract.

Josh Childress, Suns: Including this season, five seasons at $33.5 million remain. Can they coax him back to Greece?

Jose Calderon, Raptors: Including this season, three seasons at $29.3 million remain. And who exactly thought this was a $10 million player? The Raptors have been trying to push him out seemingly since the deal was signed.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.