Houston Rockets v Phoenix Suns

Report: Celtics deal for Shane Battier not happening

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Feb. 22, 1:10 am: According to friend of the site A. Sherrod Blakely this trade is not happening. Which makes sense. As we discuss in the post below there just isn’t much the Celtics could really offer that would entice the Rockets — nobody is going to take on Jermaine O’Neal’s deal if they are smart. And Daryl Morey is smart. Even Avery Bradley and a pick is not going to get him to agree to that, he Morey can do better for Battier.

Feb. 21, 9:19 pm: In a move that should strike fear into every other title contender, the Celtics have reached out to the Houston Rockets about Shane Battier, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Boston has been looking for depth at the three since Marquis Daniels went down with an injury, but Battier is a considerable upgrade.

But it’s a tough deal to make. Battier is in the final year of a $7.4 million contract, and the Rockets are not going to give him up without something of real value for their future in return. A deal of Avery Bradley and Jermaine O’Neal works on paper, but that may well not be enough to interest the Nuggets. Boston is not going to move anyone from its core.

This seems a bit of a longshot, but it shows how hard Celtics GM Danny Ainge is working the phones to get a deal. They face some competition as the Bulls also would like to fill a slot on the wing before the deadline.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.