Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

Ron Artest to Bobcats rumor surfaces. Not. Going. To. Happen.

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Overshadowed in the Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony silliness Tuesday was a report from ESPN’s Ric Bucher that the Lakers also have tried to move Ron Artest.

Bucher states the Lakers called the Bobcats looking to swap Ron Artest for either Stephen Jackson or Gerald Wallace, and that the Bobcats turned it down. Artest, when asked about it today, kind of blew off the question, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Apparently the Lakers were hoping that Isiah Thomas was consulting with the Bobcats, because that’s a terrible trade for them. Bucher suggested it was dead, and it should be.

What the Bobcats and Michael Jordan want to is cut payroll — Ron Artest has one more year and a couple million more on his contract than both Wallace and Henderson. Artest does make less money each season, but the extra year slows down the rebuilding process and still has to be paid out.

This works for the Lakers and their goal of upgrading at the three. Artest continues to be a better defender at the three than Jackson (based on opponent PER this season), but Jackson provides more shot creation on offense. Wallace is just a better player all around at this point in his career.

But if the Bobcats are going to move either it will not be for an older player with a longer, more expensive deal. It will be for youth and picks. What every team wants.

Which is why the Lakers are really stuck with the roster they have — it is older players on expensive deals. That’s great for winning right now (hence the two titles) but it’s bad for making trades.

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.

Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.

It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.

That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.

Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.

Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.

I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.

This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.