Does Australia want Bogut enough for the government to help?

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Andrew Bogut is a big deal in Australia. They have other players in the NBA — hello Patty Mills — but Bogut is a defensive stalwart, the former college player of the year at Utah who, if he gets his shooting touch back, is a borderline All-Star.

Plenty of teams in the Australian league (the NBL) want him to play for them if the lockout drags on, and Bogut tweeted he is in talks with several teams.

But one team, the Perth Wildcats — five-time league champions, essentially the Celtics/Lakers of Australia — has a plan to pick up the massive insurance bill for Bogut (roughly $500,000 every three months) to insure the remaining $39 million on his Milwaukee Bucks contract.

Well, the Wildcats don’t actually want to pick it up themselves, as a team executive told The West Australian (via Hoopshype).

If negotiations progress, the Wildcats would seek financial support from the government and corporate sectors. (Team managing director Nick) Marvin said the benefits of Bogut playing in Perth would be felt not just by the Wildcats, but by the wider WA community….

“For Andrew Bogut to play for us, and if that is the only hurdle we have to cross, I would hope that government and corporate Western Australia would support us and make it work,” Marvin said.

Corporations and sponsors? Maybe. The government? In this country it’s hard to get public money to pay for an arena (with good reason) — can you imagine the reaction if Pat Riley went to the governor of Florida to ask for money to pay LeBron James and Dwyane Wade?

But if Marvin can sell this to them, well, he is the new Blake.

Trail Blazers beat Suns by 48, biggest season-opening rout in NBA history

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Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.

More than fine.

Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.

Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):

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The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.

Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova scrap (video)

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Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.

Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.

Report: ‘Tremendous concern’ for Jeremy Lin’s knee injury

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The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?

Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:

If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.

The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.

It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.

Aaron Gordon throws himself alley-oop off backboard (video)

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Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?

The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.

There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.