Monday morning one liners: Coming, going from Europe

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With the end of the NBA lockout, NBA players are exiting Europe and heading back to the good ol’ US of A for an NBA season. What players are on the move are the highlights of our morning one liners.

If you read one thing today, make it this very thoughtful look at where the NBA will be in six years and how the fast-changing style of media consumption by you fans could impact the league and the new labor deal, written by friend-of-this-blog Kevin Arnovitz

Despite all kinds of rumors there were handshake deals under the table, so far Chinese teams do not look like they are going to release J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler and others.

Know this about the new NBA 66-game schedule — it’s not good for quality NBA play. But it will maximize revenue for the owners and players. Again, it’s all about the money, not the game.

Tony Parker and Ronny Turiaf have played their last game for ASVEL in France and are on their way back to the USA. In his last game there, Parker had 23 points and 8 assists, he has looked good.

Wizards draft pick and dunk machine Jan Vesely has arranged a buyout agreement with his team, Partizan Belgrade.

Leandro Barbosa is on his way back to the USA soon, but he doesn’t sound happy about it. The Brazilian was playing in his home country and was pumped to have Christmas with his family. Not going to happen now.

While a lot of players are pumped to be coming back for an NBA season, Chris Douglas-Roberts is not, he’s staying in Italy (he was an NBA free agent who did not ask for an opt-out).

Rudy Fernandez tweaked his knee with Real Madrid and will be out about a week. That will not impact his return to the Dallas Mavericks for training camp. Or him telling Dallas he wants to go back to Spain.

This is the second report suggesting Tyreke Evans looks like he put on weight during the lockout. We will see when camps open.

Here’s a great breakdown of where every team is in relation to the salary cap and what kind of moves they can make starting Dec. 9 when free agency opens.

More rumors that John Wall didn’t play in the Donte Green charity game because of a groin injury. Not sure if it’s true, but those are slow to heal and need rest when they happen.

The Knicks and Nets may make a run at Jamal Crawford, but smart money has him staying with the Hawks.

In a shock to almost nobody, the Bulls will not bring back Janero Pargo.

Watch Michael Jordan’s best highlight from each of his playoff runs (video)

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I’ve become a sucker for this highlight format.

Jazz deny rumored promise to draft D.J. Wilson

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Michigan forward D.J. Wilson said he’d stay in the draft only if he’d go in the first round. Yet, despite not doing any on-court work at the combine, the borderline first-rounder remained in the draft beyond the withdrawal deadline.

What gives?

Rod Beard of The Detroit News:

Kyle Goon of The Salt Lake Tribune:

NBA teams sometimes promise to draft a player. They never reveal that before the draft. So, Utah’s denial doesn’t mean much – even if it’s true.

The Jazz were the last team to give Wilson a full work out before he injured himself in a Spurs workout. So, this rumor could be based on circumstantial evidence rather than leak of a Utah guarantee.

Wilson would make sense for the Jazz, who could see their payroll bloat if they re-sign Gordon Hayward and George Hill (and maybe even Joe Ingles). They could move Derrick Favors, an interior who doesn’t exactly fit with Rudy Gobert. Wilson would give Utah another option with Trey Lyles as developing stretch fours behind Boris Diaw. (Utah could even move Diaw and count on Lyles/Wilson to emerge sooner than later.)

Watch LeBron James’ top highlight from each of his postseason appearances (video)

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LeBron James and Tony Parker are the only players to play in the last dozen postseasons.

(If you’re wondering, Manu Ginobili missed the 2009 playoffs due to an ankle injury.)

It’s fair to say LeBron was a bit more spectacular than Parker in that span. As LeBron enters his seventh straight Finals, the NBA released this awesome video showing LeBron’s best playoff highlight from each year:

There’s no entry for this year. Here’s betting it comes against the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

David Stern: We thought we could re-work Chris Paul-to-Lakers trade until Mitch Kupchak ‘panicked’

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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NBA commissioner David Stern – acting as New Orleans’ owner representative, he says – infamously vetoed a potential Chris Paul-to-Lakers trade in 2011.

But that didn’t close the possibility of Paul going to the Lakers.

The New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans and not be confused with the current Charlotte Hornets), Lakers and Rockets tried to rework the three-team trade that would’ve sent Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to Houston and Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and a first-round pick to New Orleans. But talks fell apart around the time the Lakers dealt Odom to the Mavericks.

Stern on Nunyo & Company (hat tip: Harrison Feigen of Silver Screen & Roll):

In fact, in the course of the weekend, we thought we could re-do the deal. We really thought that Houston would be ready to part with Kevin Lowry, and we had a trade lined up for Odom that would have gotten us a good first-round draft pick – not we, but my basketball folks. But Mitch Kupchak at the time panicked and moved Odom to Dallas. So the piece wasn’t even there for us to play with at the time. So that was it — just about what was good for the then-New Orleans Hornets.

Remember, Stern – roundly criticized for his handling of this episode* – has blamed the Lakers and Rockets for the lingering perception. This could just be him again trying to shift responsibility.

*Somewhat fairly, somewhat not. Owners veto general manager-approved trades often enough, and Stern was acting as New Orleans’ owner after George Shinn sold the franchise back to the league. But Stern had an agenda as commissioner. He never should have assumed such a large conflict of interest. What he did with the Paul trade was reasonable for an acting owner, but because Stern was also commissioner, it’s fair to question how much New Orleans’ interests and how much the league’s interests factored into the decision-making.

But let’s take Stern at his word – that he and the Hornets thought they could re-do the trade and send Paul to the Lakers. That doesn’t mean they were right. Maybe the Lakers and Rockets (who had Kyle Lowry, not the “Kevin Lowry” Stern named) were never going to part with enough to get Stern’s approval.

And maybe New Orleans didn’t properly convey its interest in still completing a deal. Perhaps, Kupchak acted reasonably by trading Odom to Dallas – for a first-round pick, a deal Mark Cuban would ultimately regret – rather than wait around for the Hornets, who eventually sent Paul to the Clippers.

It’s easy to blame Kupchak, but he might tell a different story.