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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.

Jimmy Butler has meniscus injury, not ACL. Will miss time, return TBD.

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Rarely is a meniscus injury good news, but it is for the Timberwolves.

It looked like Jimmy Butler had torn his ACL in a loss to Houston Friday night, he had to be helped off the court and he could not put weight on it. But instead, he has an injured meniscus in his right knee, an MRI revealed.

Notice the report says meniscus “injury” not “tear.” The type of surgery and recovery times differ depending on the severity of the injury. With that, there is no timetable for his return yet — he could be back for the playoffs. Or not. We don’t yet know. Most of the time a surgical meniscus repair will keep a player out at least three months, which would end Butler’s season (a meniscus removal heals faster, but is rarely done anymore because long-term it is harder for the knee and the player, think of Dwyane Wade as an example).

Butler leads the NBA in minutes played per game, although he had eight days off before Friday’s game. He was selected an All-Star reserve by the coaches but chose to sit out the big game because he said he needed rest for the rest of the season. His coach, Tom Thibodeau, leans heavily on his best players and does not subscribe to the kind of rest we see in Golden State, San Antonio, and other programs trying to keep players fresh.

Minnesota has to hang on for the playoffs, the team is -8.3 points per 100 possessions when Butler is not on the court this season. At 36-26, the Timberwolves are currently the four seed in the West, but just three games from falling out of the playoffs.

Steve Ballmer: “Difficult” Blake Griffin trade moves Clippers toward modern NBA

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Last summer, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer went all-in on Blake Griffin. They wooed him with a mini-museum tour of his life, did a mock jersey retirement, told him they wanted him to be a “Clipper for life,” then sealed the deal with a five-year, $173 million maximum contract offer. Griffin accepted and never even met with another team.

Within eight months, the Clippers traded Griffin to Detroit for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovich, and a lightly protected 2018 first-round pick.

What changed? Was it another injury to Griffin that sidelined him and had the Clippers questioning their investment? Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN asked Ballmer about the decision.

“[Griffin] is obviously a superstar player,” said Ballmer. “But if you look at what happened injury-wise, if you look at the kind of chemistry we were getting on our team, the thing you can see at the high level with the numbers when I started — one guy got all the assists, one guy got all the points and one guy got all the rebounds. It’s not all quite that way, but I think in the modern NBA, we were seeing it more and more — there’s a greater distribution of responsibility….

“We have to add some pieces obviously, but I think we’re building for what I think is the modern NBA, and that trend has only accelerated since we signed Blake last summer.”

Ballmer thinks he can use this trade and the Chris Paul one last summer to begin to retool a roster in that fashion, saying that winning a ring is his goal. Maybe he can, but…

The Clippers are a long way from being that kind of a modern NBA team.

Talent still wins out in basketball. Those elite “modern NBA” have superstars — Stephen Curry, James Harden, etc. — who rack up a lot of numbers, but also where the other players are versatile threats. With Brad Stevens in charge, Boston runs a modern, egalitarian offense, but at the heart of it is Kyrie Irving and, eventually, Gordon Hayward as stars who can just get buckets and use their gravity to draw defenders, opening things up for others. Then there are All-Star level players around them such as Al Horford.

Without Chris Paul and J.J. Redick this season, the Clippers had to run the offense through Griffin because, well, who else? Danilo Gallinari can create some when healthy, but he’s really a second or third option and works better of the ball. DeAndre Jordan is a threat as a roll man but it takes a special point guard and passer to bring out the best in him. Austin Rivers has developed into a solid rotation point guard in the NBA, but he’s not a No. 1 option. Lou Williams is really their only other guy who can create at that level. The Clippers may have leaned on Griffin too much, but it’s not like Doc Rivers had better choices sitting around.

What is going to be interesting is to see what the Clippers do this summer — do they back up the Brinks truck and re-sign DeAndre Jordan? Do they try to bring back Bradley and Patrick Beverley? Do they keep or trade Lou Williams, who just extended with the team but at a very reasonable price ($8 million per year)? Can they move Danilo Gallinari (which would require attaching a first-round pick)?

Ballmer says he doesn’t want to bottom out and rebuild, but if Jordan leaves how much does that change the scenario? The Clippers 2019 first-round pick belongs to Boston but is lottery protected. What the Clippers don’t want is for a year from now to be exactly where they are today in the standings — on the cusp of the playoffs trying to get in. While the lottery odds change in 2019, they need to either be a rebuilding team that’s going to keep that pick, or find a way to push up into the standings (which is not going to be easy in a deep West).

It’s good to be moving toward a more modern NBA, but it’s going to be a process for the Clippers.

 

Lonzo Ball rusty in return, likes playing with Isaiah Thomas

Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES — Lonzo Ball took the pass and set his feet at the arc. Dallas’ Dennis Smith Jr. gave him space, so Ball put up the shot — and drained it.

And Staples Center erupted.

Lonzo Ball returned to the Lakers for the first time in 15 games following an MCL sprain. He was up and down (3-of-8 shooting) as to be expected, but had nine points, seven rebounds, and six assists in 17 minutes. (He will not play Saturday in a back-to-back in Sacramento.)

“I feel pretty good, only played 17 minutes so nothing crazy out there…” Ball said. “I could feel (his MCL), but the doc says I can get no worse. Just sliding a little bit, especially going right. Other than that it was OK.”

“I thought he looked good, I thought his shot looked good,” said Lakers coach Luke Walton, noting that he could have played Ball a little more under the minutes restriction.

Ball had three three-pointers on the night (3-of-6 from three). His shooting motion isn’t any quicker or less quirky, but he’s gotten much better and knowing when he has the room to get it off. When his feet are set and he has room, he can knock it down.

His ability to push the pace, find teammates and pick up the pace is a welcome return to the Lakers.

Ball fit in well as part of a blowout win over a Dallas team that, to use coach Rick Carlisle’s words, “played without any force.” The final was 124-102 and it was never really in doubt for Los Angeles. The Mavs looked like a team tanking, not that their owner would ever tell them to… oh, wait. Carlise and the Mavs are not trying to lose, but this is a time when Dallas needs to get a look at its players about to be free agents — Nerlens Noel, Doug McDermott, Yogi Ferrell — and young players to see who will be part of the future. The question is how to best utilize them.

“You got to trust your gut in a lot of instances,” Carlisle said of how to evaluate his young players. “It’s not rocket science, certain things become obvious. But it’s important to compete.

Luke Walton is doing the exact same thing and he liked how his team competed. He tried something different playing Ball and Isaiah Thomas together for stretches.

“I liked it a lot,” Ball said of being on the court with IT. “Two playmakers on the court, I think we benefit from it. Look forward to playing with him all the time.”

The two were -6 when on the court in a game the Lakers won in a blowout. Still, expect to see more of that and some other odd combos the rest of the way.

Nikola Jokic’s third straight triple-double leads Nuggets over Spurs, 122-119

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DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists before fouling out, Wilson Chandler had 18 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets beat the San Antonio Spurs 122-119 on Friday night.

Jokic has a triple-double in three straight games and six this season, but didn’t stick around for the finish. He was called for five fouls in the fourth quarter and fouled out on a charge with 1:46 left.

Gary Harris scored 23 points to help Denver win its fourth straight and seventh in its last eight.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 36 points and Patty Mills scored 20 for San Antonio. The Spurs lost for the sixth time in seven games despite the return of Aldridge, who missed the last two games before the All-Star break to rest his sore right knee. He looked strong Friday, hitting 13 of 23 shots and 12 of 14 free throws.

The Spurs rallied from down nine in the fourth to take a two-point lead late in the game. They were 14 of 17 from the line in the fourth quarter but couldn’t hold on.

With the game tied at 114, Harris made a layup to put Denver up for good. Mills made a free throw and Harris scored on a step-back jumper and then a dunk with 45 seconds left to make it 120-115.

After Aldridge hit a jumper to cut it to three with 33 seconds left, Mason Plumlee‘s dunk with 10 seconds to play sealed it.

 

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