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.

MVP James Harden, dominant Rockets show up in second half, crush Timberwolves

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We had to wait three-and-a-half games for it.

We had seen James Harden play like an MVP all season. We had seen the Rockets bury threes at a record rate all season. We had seen Houston’s switching defense impress all season (sixth best in the NBA). We had seen Houston rack up 65 wins and make it look easy.

Then we got to the playoffs and the Rockets couldn’t put it all together at once. Harden struggled after Game 1, including going 0-of-7 in the first quarter Monday night. The defense was inconsistent and the threes were not falling. All of it let the Timberwolves hang around in the series — down 2-1 — and the same in Game 4, down just a point at halftime.

Then the Harden and Rockets we all expected showed up.

Houston put up 50 points in the third quarter alone, shooting 61 percent overall and 9-of-13 from three, plus they got to the line 13 times and made every shot. The Rockets opened the second half on an 11-0 run that extended all the way to 25-4, with almost all of the damage from Harden, who had 22 in the quarter.

The Rockets pulled away and cruised from there to an easy 119-100 win.

“We hit the switch, the switch we’ve been trying to hit since the beginning of the playoffs on both ends of the floor,” Harden said postgame. “It’s pretty scary what we’re capable of when defensively we’re locked in like that, and offensively we got rolling.”

Houston now leads the series 3-1 and can close it out at home in Game 5 Wednesday night.

In the first half this looked nothing like something that would end with a comfortable Rockets win. Houston struggled at the start of Game 4, opening 0-of-5 in the paint, including Harden missing an open layup. As a team, the Rockets started the game 4-of-16 from three, and a lot of those were uncontested looks. The Rockets play a lot of isolation, but even for them the ball seemed to stick in the first half. If not for Trevor Ariza knocking down three from beyond the arc, the Timberwolves might have been able to pull away.

The fact they didn’t was a blown opportunity for the Timberwolves, something they just can’t do in this series. It was a one-point Rockets lead, 50-49, at the half.

Minnesota had some moments on offense in the game, usually when attacking quickly off the Rockets switch. Derrick Rose had some moments and finished the game with 17 points. Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points and 15 rebounds, Jimmy Butler had 19 points on 17 shots.

But that was no match for the Rockets when they flipped the switch.

It was a barrage of threes that we have waited for all season, and it all started with Harden and Chris Paul, they had all of the first 15 points of the second half for Houston. Harden finished with 36 points and hit 5-of-11 from three. CP3 had 25 points and six assists, Eric Gordon finally woke up in this series with 18, and Ariza finished with 15.

Minnesota is a talented team, but they are learning fast what a contender can do — even not at their peak the Rockets had taken two of the first three in the series, and when they did flip the switch it was another level. A level the Timberwolves want to get to, there are just some rough lessons along the road to getting there.

James Harden puts on show to start second half vs. Timberwolves

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James Harden started Game 4 0-of-7 from the floor, including missing a lay-up. It was an extension of Game 3, and it let the Timberwolves hang around for a half despite their own offensive woes.

Then in the second half the MVP Harden showed up.

Houston started the second half on an 11-0 run that extended all the way to 25-4, and a lot of it was Harden (with a little help from Chris Paul). Harden had 22 points in the third (with 4:30 left in the quarter). After a couple rough games the Timberwolves were going under the pick when Harden had the ball, and suddenly he made them pay.

Or, he was just stepping back.

With all the buckets the Rockets turned a close game into a 25 point lead.

Tyronn Lue doesn’t hold back with retort to heckling Pacers’ fan

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It’s a part of the NBA experience that most fans don’t get to hear — some fans courtside heckling opposing players and coaches, and those guys occasionally firing back. We only tend to hear about it when things cross a line.

Sometimes the interactions are just funny, such as this one passed along by J. Michael of the Indy Star.

Well played, Lue.

Although is Cleveland really a city at the forefront of fashion? Well, I suppose if you went to college in Nebraska…

Report: Pelicans picked up Alvin Gentry’s option for next season before sweep

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Last summer the buzz was all over the league: Pelicans GM Dell Demps and coach Alvin Gentry were given a “playoffs or bust” mandate by management. If the Pelicans were not in the postseason — and just barely getting in and then blown out in the first round might be good enough — there was going to be a housecleaning.

The Pelicans made the playoffs as the six seed with 48 wins despite losing DeMarcus Cousins to a torn Achilles midway through the season.

That alone was good enough to get Gentry another season in New Orleans, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

As noted, this happened before the Pelicans swept the Trail Blazers out of the first round and into a summer of re-evaluation. This option season is the last of Gentry’s original deal with the Pelicans.

Gentry has the Pelicans playing fast, using the elite defense of Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday to get stops, and right now Davis is leading an offense that is just getting it done, with guys such as Nikola Mirotic stepping up. Gentry has earned another year, and a shot to integrate Cousins into this style and level of play, to see where that could take New Orleans next season.

It will be interesting to see if Demps can add more shooting and versatility with a capped out roster.