SBattier

Shane Battier to Memphis for Thabeet trade becomes official

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UPDATE 4:10 pm: After everyone spent hours looking for a better deal, at the last second these two decided to hook up and make this deal a reality.

Battier replaces O.J. Mayo as the guy on the wing with Rudy Gay (Memphis traded Mayo to Indiana, they get Josh McRoberts back to provide front line depth). Like we said below, this deal makes the Grizzlies better this season. With all the trouble both Memphis and Battier have given the Lakers over the years, you can bet they’d like to avoid them in the first round.

11:47 am: The Memphis Grizzlies as trade deadline buyers? Rockets GM Daryl Morey trading for draft bust Hasheem Thabeet? You all are crazy or selling something.  Next thing you’re going to tell me somebody was willing to take Baron Davis off the Clippers… What? Okay, I’m not sure I understand anything any more.

But it’s true, there is proposed deal that would send Shane Battier to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Hasheem Thabeeet and a first round pick, according to the Commercial Appeal.

There were questions about whether the Grizzlies would include the pick, but recent reports suggest this deal is picking up steam and may well happen.

With the recent moves by Denver and Utah, the Grizzlies see the chance to move up in the standings. As of Thursday morning they are eight seed in the West, half a game back of Portland, one game back of Denver and two back of New Orleans for the five spot. The Jazz are half a game behind Memphis.

If the Grizzlies get all the way to the six seed they could see the Lakers in the first round — a team they match up well against and traditionally give trouble to. If they can get the five seed they would face Oklahoma City in the first round.

Houston, they are looking to the future, this has to be about the pick. This would be a 2013 pick, most likely, because the Jazz already own the Grizzlies pick for 2011 and teams cannot trade first-round picks in consecutive drafts. But we still think this is about the pick because Thabeet has a long way to go to show he should stick in the NBA.

Couldn’t the Rockets get more for Battier?

Report: With Joffrey Lauvergne trade, Mitch McGary likely done with Thunder

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 16:  Mitch McGary #33 of the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Center on March 16, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.  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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The Oklahoma City frontcourt is crowded. Enes Kanter and Steven Adams will start, and they will have Nick Collison, Ersan Ilyasova, Domantas Sabonis, and now Joffrey Lauvergne behind them.

Which likely means Mitch McGary‘s done as a member of the Thunder, according to Royce Young of ESPN.

McGary has battled injuries his two seasons in the league and got on the court for only 72 minutes total last season for the Thunder (he played in more games and put up solid numbers in the D-LEague). He was not part of the future there regardless. He’s an undersized five trying to play the four and what he brought as a rookie — energy — was not enough as a sophomore.

McGary will make $1.5 million this season. He may be tough to move because he’s suspended for the first five games he’s eligible to play next season for failing the league’s drug policy (five games is the standard suspension for testing positive for marijuana three times). Maybe a team looking to develop players will give him a shot, but there is little trade value for him.

Dwight Howard is shooting 19-footers to improve his free throw stroke

Dwight Howard
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If you can knock down a 19-foot shot, then a 15-footer should be easier. Right?

Apparently that — and just basic muscle memory — is the latest attempt to improve Dwight Howard‘s free throw shooting. And, he seems to be knocking down those shots.

It’s not hard to see the logic in this approach.

The challenge is form and reps are not the problems for Howard — or DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond or others — when it comes to hitting free throws. Anyone who says “why don’t they just practice the shot” doesn’t pay attention, these guys put in a lot of work on the shot. Pregame and in practice (I’m Los Angeles based), Jordan probably hits 65 percent from the line. At least.

The problem is mental. That can be a tougher hurdle to clear. Maybe taking 19 footers and knocking them down will have Howard feeling more confident at the stripe this season.

But we’re going to need to see it to believe it. Just like we’re going to have to see a rejuvenated Howard in Atlanta before we believe this season will be different from the last few.

Report: Veteran big man Jason Thompson agrees to deal in China

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 15:  Jason Thompson # 34 of Sacramento Kings in action during the 2014 NBA Global Games match between the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings at MasterCard Center on October 15, 2014 in Beijing, China. 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 Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
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Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.

Since the CBA’s season ends in March, Thompson could theoretically join an NBA team for the stretch run next year. But he didn’t appear to have much interest on the free-agent market this summer.

Report: Veteran big man Kevin Seraphin working out for Pacers, getting pursued by Barcelona

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 01:  Kevin Seraphin #1 of the New York Knicks reacts after he is called for a foul in the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden on April 1, 2016 in New York City. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)
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After five years in Washington, French forward Kevin Seraphin signed a one-year deal in New York last offseason. He played 48 games for the Knicks, averaging 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 11 minutes per game and wasn’t a big part of their rotation. Now, as a free agent, he’s looking for a new NBA home, and Yann Ohnona of L’Equipe reports that he’s worked out for the Indiana Pacers and has interest from the Spanish club FC Barcelona.

The translation of that tweet reads:

Kévin Seraphin, always courted by Barcelona, is in the United States for a trial with the Pacers of Indiana

With Barcelona in pursuit, Seraphin appears to have a solid fallback option if he can’t land a spot on an NBA team. He can be useful as a fourth or fifth big, it’s just a matter of a team having room.