Rasual Butler is the first, but you are going to see a rush of these stories in the next few days, followed up with speculation about where they will land.
Now is when teams try to negotiate buyouts of contracts for veterans that the team is not going to play. The player takes a little less than full value to get out of the deal, that frees him up to sign up with a contender where he might get some run.
These have to happen by March 1 or the players cannot be on a playoff roster.
The Clippers bought out Butler, according to a tweet from Marc Spears with Yahoo. He has to clear waivers now, but it is not likely anybody wants to pay.
The veteran swingman has a lot interest — Boston still wants depth at the three, Chicago is in according to CSN Chicago, plus there is New York, New Jersey, Atlanta and Oklahoma City all have interest. Someone close to Butler told Spears he was going to consider his options.
The big name expected to be bought out is Troy Murphy, the stretch four currently with Golden State. Also Rip Hamilton could be bought out, although good luck figuring out what is going on in Detroit. Other potential buyouts of interest are Mike Bibby (Washington), T.J. Ford (Indiana), Jason Kapono (Philadelphia), Mo Peterson (Charlotte) and maybe Dan Gadzuric (New Jersey).
Derrick Rose being back for start of season in question
The opening night projection for a Derrick Rose return is a bit murky at this point, as the Bulls are taking a cautious approach to his recovery with Fred Hoiberg essentially ruling him out for the rest of the preseason.
“Most likely (out for the preseason),” Hoiberg said….
In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rose sit out the first handful of games, as the Bulls start the season with a three-game in four-night stretch starting Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is in two weeks.
“That will be in consideration, sure,” Hoiberg said. “We gotta make sure, he really hasn’t done anything and that will be a good two or three weeks where he has total inactivity, so just to throw him back out there going 100 percent with his speed and everything, you just don’t want to take any risks, chances, where it could be a lingering issue.”
Just what TNT and the NBA hoped for with an opening night Bulls vs. Cavaliers showcase: Kirk Hinrich vs. Mo Williams. (Don’t forget Kyrie Irving will miss the start of the season recovering from his knee surgery.)
Of course, this is the smart play for the Bulls who need to be thinking about getting Rose fully healthy and focusing on what condition he will be come April 27, not Oct. 27.
And of course, a lot of Bulls fans who are down on Rose will slam him for this. Even though the injury was a freak accident and the team is right to be patient.
Rose could play opening night, if he gets back to practice next week and can get closer to basketball shape. But I wouldn’t bet on it.
Stephen Curry apologizes for Warriors’ health, playoff path, success
A sarcastic Stephen Curry joined the fun (and to his credit, did so much more appropriately than his teammate).
I just want to say, I apologize for us being healthy. I apologize for us playing who’s in front of us. I apologize for all the accolades we’ve received as a team and individually. I’m very, truly sorry. We’ll rectify that situation this year.
We try to have fun with it.
What the Warriors refuse to realize: Acknowledging the fortunate breaks they received en route to their championship is not the same as saying they didn’t deserve their championship. It’s not insulting them.
Of course, the Warriors aren’t obligated to fully understand the critiques. They’re incentivized to spin the comments into motivation.