Samuel Dalembert

Dalembert considering Heat, Knicks, Rockets

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Centers are at a premium in this league, that should be evident by now. Nene, Tyson Chandler, Marc Gasol, all will lead this free agency class. Dwight Howard headlines the next. Chandler’s defensive impact was a primary factor in the Mavericks winning the title. So Samuel Dalembert will be getting his fair share of calls in the next few weeks as teas vie for his services. More importantly? Dalembert’s willing to take less to play for a contender. Say hello to Miami.

From FoxSportsFlorida.com:

Soon, the Miami Heat might have a basketball volunteer in Dalembert. The team desperately needs a center, and the 6-foot-11 Dalembert is a free agent. And the Heat is high on his list as the free agency signing period is expected to begin Dec. 9 following a five-month lockout.

Joining the Heat “would be fantastic,” Dalembert said Sunday night from Haiti in an interview with FOX Sports Florida. Miami is where more than 50 of his relatives live and is about one hour south of his home in Boca Raton.

via Dalembert: Joining Heat ‘would be fantastic’.

Dalembert would provide a major upgrade for the Heat who very nearly won the title anyway. Joel Anthony would work a lot better at power forward alongside Udonis Haslem. Having size inside to deter opponents inside would help the perimeter weapons of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James and take pressure off Chris Bosh, the starting power forward. Dalembert’s strengths would play perfectly to the Heat’s style and his offense is just strong enough to make him a better offensive weapon than Anthony.

But the Heat aren’t the only option on Dalembert’s radar. He also lists the Knicks and Rockets. The Knicks are starting Ronny Turiaf. There really shouldn’t be any further discussion, but sure, why not. Dalembert’s mobile enough to function in D’Antoni’s offense while not only providing defense at the rim, but rebounding which is an inherent issue in the Knicks’ coach’s system. However, as long as the Knicks are focused on acquiring Dwight Howard in 2012, the Knicks will likely tread lightly in their approach. If CP3 is their primary objective, though, Dalembert would improve the Knicks and make them a more attractive option.

Finally, Dalembert also regards Houston as a potential landing spot, since they need a center with Yao gone. The Rockets are making a lot of noise about being active in free agency, with Nene also a target according to reports. But Dalembert doesn’t make the Rockets that much better, which is what the Rockets really need.

Dalembert’s going to have his options, and his decision could impact who wins the next NBA title.

Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)

Gordon Hayward (20), del Jazz de Utah, intenta un enceste ante Thon Maker (7) y Michael Beasley (9), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, en el duelo del viernes 24 de febrero de 2017, en Milwaukee. (AP Foto/Benny Sieu)
AP Foto/Benny Sieu
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Are we obligated to call Gordon Hayward “deceptively athletic”?

The Bucks have something special in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and they think they have something special in Thon Maker.

But Hayward jammed all over those two in the Jazz’s 109-95 win last night.

First, he got Antetokounmpo:

Then, he got Maker:

Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Jose Calderon #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a called foul during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. 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 Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.

As was expected, the Lakers are now talking about buying out the Spanish national and letting him head to a playoff team for a stretch run, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….

Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.

Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.

Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.

Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.

There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.