Report: NBA, players to meet Tuesday, maybe Wednesday

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So if you’re looking for few rays of sunshine poking through the clouds of the lockout, here you go — the two sides are going to meet again Tuesday. Things have not gone well at recent sessions, but at least they are talking.

If that bargaining session goes well they could meet again on Wednesday, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

With the prospect of two days of negotiations as the calendar marches toward the eventual canceling of regular season games in less than three weeks, National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter has postponed a regional meeting that had been scheduled for Tuesday in Miami and will stay in New York for talks with the league, the person with knowledge of the meeting said.

These are the small group negotiations that seemed to give rise to hope, at least until more owners and players were let into the room, anyway. But still, at least they are talking.

As former NBA union director Charles Grantham told PBT, the first thing the two sides must do is figure out how to define then divide “basketball related income.” It’s how you split up the pie that matters. (He also said canceling games would not put pressure on the talks.)

Last meeting, Berger reports the owners increased their offer to give the players 46 percent of the BRI, but the players’ most recent offer was 53 percent (maybe 52). While there had been reports that the two sides were close on the economics, it doesn’t sound like it (although the type of salary cap can tie into this debate). The real issue is if the revenue that goes to players is tied to the league’s income as it has been. Some owners want the players to have flat revenue over much of the deal, allowing the owners to pocket increase from future television deals and he like.

If the two sides figure out the BRI question, the cap and other issues will be tied in and likely resolved fairly quickly.

The two sides have a ticking clock on the regular season and they remain far apart, but at least they are talking.

Are Bulls and Dwyane Wade moving toward a buyout?

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About a month ago, the Bulls said they hadn’t discussed a buyout with Dwyane Wade.

Have the two sides progressed since?

Nick Friedell of ESPN:

Dwyane Wade isn’t long for the organization’s future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.

Expected by whom?

People with direct knowledge of momentum toward a buyout?

Or everyone who can see that a 35-year-old earning $23.8 million fits poorly on a rebuilding team?

For the Bulls to now drop their biggest name and a large expiring contract that could prove useful in trades should require Wade surrendering a large portion of his salary. He doesn’t sound like someone inclined to do that yet.

A few months is a long time. As long as Wade gets bought out by March 1, he could join another team’s playoff roster. It’d surprise nobody if he gets bought out after the February trade deadline, which we already knew. I don’t see strong indication of something more imminent.

LeBron James’ camp already shooting down leaving-Cavaliers rumor

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LeBron James has done a terrible job shooting down rumors about him leaving the Cavaliers

Except this one from Chris Sheridan, who cited a source saying LeBron would “100 percent” leave Cleveland next summer due to a rift with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Sheridan’s source saying LeBron is leaving doesn’t make that true. But other anonymous sources denying it doesn’t make the denials true, either.

New Orleans Saints fire Pelicans’ team physician

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The Pelicans have been crushed by injuries the last few years.

Why? That’s an incredibly complex question.

But the New Orleans Saints – who share an owner (Tom Benson), a front-office leader (Mickey Loomis) and other staff with the Pelicans – have found culprits for their own injury woes.

Mike Triplett of ESPN:

The Saints have fired team orthopedists Deryk Jones and Misty Suri, per source, after it was discovered that CB Delvin Breaux has a fractured fibula and will require surgery expected to sidelined him for 4-6 weeks. Breaux was originally diagnosed with a contusion

Suri is a Pelicans team physician.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Fairly or not, Suri – after the Saints deemed him unacceptable – will be in the crosshairs if he keeps his job with the the Pelicans and their injury woes continue.

Rumor: LeBron James ‘100 percent’ leaving Cavaliers next summer

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Chris Sheridan was ahead of the crowd in 2014, reporting LeBron James would likely leave the Heat for the Cavaliers – which obviously happened.

But Sheridan called it a “90 percent chance,” a small – but large enough – hedge. He also said LeBron would announce the decision on LeBron’s personal website. Of course, LeBron revealed his choice in a Sports Illustrated essay.

So, maybe Sheridan knows what he’s talking about. Maybe he doesn’t.

But the longtime NBA writer just fanned the flames of the already hot LeBron-leaving-Cleveland rumors.

Sheridan:

Of course, the denials came quickly.

There have already been plenty of warning signs about LeBron’s relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, which didn’t restart in a great place.

It’s entirely believable LeBron would leave Cleveland, in large part due to Gilbert.

But it’s also fun to speculate about that salacious storyline.

Maybe Sheridan or his source got carried away for that very reason. Or maybe they know something.

Neither possibility should be discounted.