Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

NBA trade deadline rumors post (updated all day)

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There are more rumors swirling around the NBA today then there were groupies swirling around All-Star Game parties last weekend in Los Angeles. Okay, we exaggerate; there could not possibly be that many. But there are a lot of rumors. So we are putting them here, new ones at the top, and updating this post all day. Bookmark this and come back between now and 3 p.m. Eastern as we give you everything we hear. (Well, except for some of the stuff about the groupies.)

LAST UPDATE 4:30 pm EST (deadline passed, deals still rolling in)

The Cleveland Cavaliers have approached Leon Powe about buying out his contract.
And it’s officially dead — O.J. Mayo was not traded to the Pacers, team owner Michael Heisley told David Aldridge of NBA.com. Of course, Heisley blamed the Pacers.
Rip Hamilton almost became a Cavalier, but that deal fell apart when Rip declined a buyout of his current deal.

Not so fast on our previously reported O.J. Mayo to Indiana trade — the teams may have missed the 3 p.m. (Eastern) trade deadline. We’re all waiting to hear from the league.

Aaron Brooks in the Phoenix Suns up-and-down the ourt offense could be scary. Houston traded Brooks to Phoenix for Goran Dragic and a first round draft pick. Like that for both teams, at first glance.

Look for Mike Bibby to seek a buyout of his contract, he doesn’t want to back up John Wall on a losing team, according to the folks at NBA TV.

The Gerald Wallace to Portland trade ended up being for Joel Przybilla and two first round draft picks. That’s still quite a steal for Portland in terms of talent.

Boston made other moves as well as the big one, such as Boston has trading Semih Erdan and Luke Harangody to Cleveland for a second-round pick.

How does a wing pairing of Danny Granger and O.J. Mayo sound? The Grizzlies have traded O.J. Mayo to the Pacers for Josh McRobertsand a first-round pick, according to the Commercial Appeal.

Gerald Wallace has been traded from Charlotte to the Portland Trail Blazers. No word on what is headed back, but apparently the Bobcats relented on their demand for Nicolas Batum. (Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski)

The Thunder are making a collection of centers, also getting Nazr Mohammed from Charlotte for Mo Pete’s expiring and D.J. White. I love this deal for OKC — they just filled their biggest weakness. They will miss Green some but they still have Westbrook and Durant.

Remember that Kendrick Perkins could be a free agent, there may have been concern from Boston they could lose him and get nothing. But still, he is the rock on the back line of that defense. What if the face Orlando in the playoffs? Is Shaq, Jermaine O’Neal and Krstic enough?

The Seattle Times is tweeting that Nate Robinson is also going to the Thunder. So Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic? There has to be something I’m missing here because that is not a win for Boston. Why break up the core?

The Rockets did make a deal, sending Aaron Brooks to the Phoenix Suns. (ESPN)

The previously discussed here Shane Battier to Memphis for Hasheem Thabeet and a pick trade has become a reality. (Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski)

WOW! Boston has agreed to send Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a exchange for Jeff Green and Krstic. That is a stunner. (Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski)

The Bulls really want Courtney Lee and have offered multiple picks, but they refuse to give up the big man Omer Asik the Rockets have demanded. Just 10 minutes left for someone to blink. (Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson)

The Cavaliers are in discussions with the Golden State Warriors for a deal that would send Antawn Jamison to the Bay Area. (ESPN)

The Rockets are making one last big push to get a deal done, going hard at Marcus Camby from Portland. The problem is the deal is complex and could involve Jonny Flynn and the Timberwolves as a third team. Those deals are hard to pull off under pressure. (CBSSports’ Ken Berger)

The smart bet on the guy to be moved right before the deadline — Anthony Parker of the Cavaliers. Boston is interested, Chicago is interested, and now two new teams have entered the mix as dark horses. Something will happen here. (CBSSports Ken Berger)

Friend of this blog A. Sherrod Blakely says that the Celtics are targeting the Cavs Anthony Parker, and if not him they will try to get Rasual Butler. But they don’t think Marquis Daniels is coming back and they want help there.

The Washington Wizards say they are done making deals. They should be, how can you top getting Mike Bibby? (ESPN’s John Hollinger)

The Rockets seem to be eager to make a deal. We told you about maybe Shane Battier to the Grizzlies. There also were rumors he and Arron Brooks and Battier could be headed to Portland for Marcus Camby, but that rumor now seem to be dead according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

There are some rumors out there that the Celtics will trade Ray Allen (to the Bucks). I’m not repeating them here other than to tell you we know those not to be true. Not even close. Ray-Ray s

The Jazz say that nobody on their roster is untouchable. You would think the Deron Williams trade would have made that evident, but they said it again anyway. If they shed $5 million in salary they go under the luxury tax. (Salt Lake Tribune)

One possible reason that nobody is jumping in to trade for Rip Hamilton, teams are hoping that the Pistons will buy him out and they can just snatch him up that way. Don’t bet on that buyout, though. (Fran Isola, New York Daily News)

The Detroit Pistons are still taking calls from teams interested in Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince, but a deal for either seems unlikely. (CBSSport’s Ken Berger)

Mo Williams has waived his early termination option, which means he is locked in with this deal ad the Clippers through the summer of 2013. (Well, they could trade him someday.) This is still a great deal for the Clips. (NBA.com’s Scott Howard Cooper)

The Gerald Wallace to Portland deal went from rumor to seeming almost done to dead in one day. Why did it die? Because the Bobcats kept demanding that Nicolas Batum be part of the package headed back to Charlotte. The Blazers are not trading him and have been clear about that with everyone from the start. But the Bobcats would not back off it. (Marc Stein, ESPN)

The Orlando Magic have no plans to make any deadline deals, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Which makes sense, everything is just fine there.

Denver has no interest in sending J.R. Smith to Dallas. (Well, that or they had no interest in what Dallas was sending back. Either way it’s the same result.) (ESPN’s Marc Stein)

There is value in big men who can defend and rebound, so for that reason there were rumors the Kings might try to move Samuel Dalembert. Looks like no. (ESPN’s Chad Ford)

Golden State just got Troy Murphy from New Jersey, but rather than just buy him out they are trying to flip him into another pick, according to Matt Steinmetz at CSN Bay Area.

The Pacers seem unable to find a good trading partner to take on T.J. Ford, so they may just buy him out. Miami is begging them to do that. (Ken Berger, CBSSports)

Those Jonny Flynn rumors (read the next paragraph) apparently involve either Aaron Brooks or Jared Jeffries going to Minny for Flynn. That is a terrible trade for the Rockets, so it really must be about the pressure to get under the luxury tax threshold and save money.

The Rockets are getting a lot of calls about Courtney Lee but are holding out for a big. The pressure is on the Bulls with Omer Asik, who they don’t want to give up. (Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski)

Minnesota has interest in Raja Bell. The Suns would love someone, anyone, to take on that contract. They’re talking. (CBSSport’s Ken Berger)

Boston is dangling Nate Robinson plus a first round pick to get someone to replace Marquis Daniels. Or they will even trade Daniels. So far, no takers.

Sharpshooter Jason Kapono may get bought out by the Sixers. If so, look for the Lakers, Celtics, Thunder, Hornets and pretty much everyone else to go after him. (Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski)

The Rockets and Timberwolves are talking about a deal for Jonny Flynn. Why? It gets the Rockets under the luxury tax line. But shockingly the Wolves are getting a lot of interest in Flynn. (ESPN’s Marc Stein)

The Bulls are making a last-ditched push to get Courtney Lee or O.J. Mayo to fill in their hole at the two.

The Mavericks would really like to get Tayshaun Prince out of Detroit or J.R. Smith out of Denver. I would like to drive a Maserati. They have about the same chance of happening.

The Blazers have won six in a row so they are starting to pull back from big trades. Do they really think they have something to build toward a title with?

A lot of teams would love to get Jared Dudley out of Phoenix, but the Suns seem to know what they have and are not looking to move him.

No, you can’t have Andre Iguodala, either.

Nor Jeff Foster… although that one makes less sense.

One guy who might be available is Toronto’s Reggie Evans. The man is a beast of a rebounder. But because he provides little offense there seems to be no interest.

Dwane Casey: Jared Sullinger has Raptors’ starting PF job to lose

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 05: Jared Sullinger #7 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket against Patrick Patterson #54 of the Toronto Raptors in the first half at TD Garden on November 5, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
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Last year, Patrick Patterson declared the Raptors’ starting power-forward job his to lose.

Well, he lost it.

Luis Scola started most of the regular season before Toronto tinkered in the playoffs. Patterson claimed the job. Then, the Raptors turned to DeMarre Carroll with Norman Powel in a small-ball lineup. Finally, Toronto reverted back to Scola.

A year later, there’s still no clear, great option at the position. Scola went to the Nets. Patterson returns. Pascal Siakam and Jarrod Uthoff are rookies. First man up: Newly signed Jared Sullinger.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey, via Doug Smith of the Toronto Star:

“I would say Sullinger is the guy now that it would be his to lose, but I reserve the right to change my mind,” Casey said, citing the need to see how that group reacts defensively.

If Sullinger’s bar is defensive, he’ll have a tough time clearing it. He neither protects the rim nor moves well on the perimeter – making him similar to Scola. But Scola got the job last year with similar contributions.

Sullinger rebounds well, and he has some shooting range, though he hasn’t been selective enough with it.

Patterson’s ability to defend the pick-and-roll might make him a better fit next to Jonas Valanciunas, especially if Patterson has confidence in his 3-point shot.

There should be a place for Sullinger in the rotation, but if he’s starting at power forward, that speaks to a lack of quality options.

Report: Cavaliers giving championship rings to 1,000+ workers

CLEVELAND, OH -  JUNE 20: The Cleveland Cavaliers mascot Moon Dog cheers on the fans prior to the arrival of the Cavs players return to Cleveland after wining the NBA Championships on June 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Cavaliers will reportedly give David Blatt a championship ring, and Anderson Varejao also has one available.

They aren’t the only two unexpected ring recipients.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Majority owner Dan Gilbert and his partners decided to present rings to more than 1,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization, employees who’ve been fitted for rings told cleveland.com.

A conservative cost for distributing rings to employees is more than $1 million.

This is very cool by Gilbert. Obviously, lower-level team employees won’t receive the same blinged-out rings the players get. But this is a nice way to reward their hard work.

Not to go all Jerry Krause, but organizations win championships. Some pieces – LeBron James – matter much more than others, but everyone plays a part. Security guards keep players safe, preventing a dreadful incident that could derail a playoff run. Public-relations staffers ease the burden on players. Ushers improve the fan experience, which increases revenue and helps Gilbert afford a massive luxury-tax bill.

It all adds up, as Gilbert clearly recognizes.

Mike D’Antoni: Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony rejected my system, but new (old) approach with James Harden

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  Head coach Mike D'Antoni of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates with Kkobe Bryant #24 and Pau Gasol #16 after the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center on November 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 95-90.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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I can’t understate how revolutionary Mike D’Antoni’s offense looked with the Suns. In his first full season, 2004-05, they scored 110.4 points per game – the most anyone had scored in a decade. And it wasn’t even close. Phoenix played fast and scored efficiently.

That offense eventually got D’Antoni jobs in the NBA’s biggest markets and with two of the league’s best scorers, Carmelo Anthony (Knicks) and Kobe Bryant (Lakers).

Ian Thomsen of NBA.com:

But his coaching relationships with Anthony and Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles did not turn out so well. The last two stars essentially rejected his system.

“They did,” acknowledged D’Antoni. “And they were paid 20-something million dollars for it — they were successful. So I don’t blame them. Nothing’s been proven up to that point.”

The Warriors had yet to show that D’Antoni’s offense could thrive in late May and June.

“They’re thinking, like, he’s crazy,” D’Antoni said of Anthony and Bryant. “So I don’t blame them at all. This is a much better situation.”

With the Knicks and Lakers, D’Antoni edged back from his own offensive principles in part because he wasn’t sure, either. He was in a lonely place as the proponent of a style that was rejected by NBA fundamentalists. In New York and L.A., D’Antoni lacked the proof that would be provided years later by the Warriors of Kerr, who when serving as GM of the Suns had himself objected to D’Antoni’s point of view. The inventor didn’t believe fully in his own invention.

“I wasn’t that confident,” D’Antoni insisted. “It was a little bit before analytics. Everybody was telling us that we couldn’t do it, no one was telling us we could. Analytics came in and said, hey, you can do this — this is good, actually. So now you’ve got (GM) Daryl Morey with the Rockets and how they play and different teams trying to do it, and now it’s kind of caught on.

This bucks the narrative that D’Antoni’s offense can’t work with a score-first star. If D’Antoni compromised his scheme for Kobe and Melo, we haven’t yet seen it full bore with a player like that.

We will this season in Houston, where D’Antoni has turned score-first James Harden into the Rockets’ point guard.

As D’Antoni said, it’ll be easier to sell his scheme now that it has been proven to work. But as other teams adopt elements of it, he’ll have less of a strategic advantage.

The best coaches have revolutionary ideas AND get their players to buy into them. D’Antoni’s methods are no longer as cutting-edge, but he’ll have an easier time selling his players. That’s a justifiable knock on D’Antoni’s overall coaching prowess, but he still brings positives.

We’ve seen D’Antoni’s system at full throttle, and we’ve seen him coach generational scorers. To get both simultaneously will be a fun experiment in Houston this year.

Paul Pierce: Clippers are a super team

PLAYA VISTA, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  L-R; Paul Pierce #34, Austin Rivers #25, DeAndre Jordan #6, J.J. Redick #4, head coach Doc Rivers, Blake Griffin #32, Jamal Crawford #11, Luc Mbah A Moute #12 and Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers pose for a photo during media day at the Los Angeles Clippers Training Center on September 26, 2016 in Playa Vista, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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Derrick Rose opened the super-team floodgates by declaring the Knicks one.

Paul Pierce is trying to get the Clippers into the conversation.

Pierce, via Jesse Dougherty of the Los Angeles Times:

“To me, I think we have a super team here,” Pierce stated at Clippers media day on Monday. “You look at Chris Paul who’s been first-team all-NBA … Blake Griffin first-team … DeAndre Jordan currently first-team All-NBA.

“I mean how many teams can currently say that? You have the best three-point shooter in the NBA (J.J. Redick). You have the Sixth Man of the Year (Jamal Crawford). I mean why is this not a super team? What defines super team? When you look at those stats and you hear when I’m saying, this could very well easily be what’s considered a super team.”

If the Knicks are a super team, so are the Clippers – and Cavaliers and Spurs and Grizzlies and Bulls and…

But New York can’t be the standard.

With four players who made an All-NBA team last year – Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson – the Warriors are the undisputed super team.

Relative to Golden State, the Clippers don’t hold up.

All four All-NBA Warriors are expected to remain elite. Paul is 31 and coming off injury, and Griffin had an injury/suspension-ravaged season that kept him from making All-NBA last year.

Jordan made All-NBA at center, where a bevvy of players have cycled through in recent years. None of the All-NBA Warriors relied on that wide-open position to make it.

Golden State has two players – Curry and Durant – better than any Clipper.

Redick is one of the NBA’s most underrated players, but he’s not a star, leaving the Clippers with just three to the Warriors’ four. Crawford’s Sixth Man of the Year award last year was dubious, and I’d rather have Golden State reserve Andre Iguodala.

With three All-NBA players in or near their prime, the Clippers might have been a super team in a different era. They stack up reasonably well in stature with Pierce’s 2008 Celtics, who also had Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.

But the Warriors have pushed the bounds of what a super team can be so far, I’d consider them the league’s only super team now.

At least Pierce’s claim sparks discussion of the term and his team’s credentials – unlike the response Rose inspired: laughter.