Report: Paul Millsap is on the trading block. Any bidders?

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We welcome with open arms our first real trade rumor of the post-lockout era. We’ve missed you guys.

Jazz forward Paul Millsap is available, according to a story in the Indy Star and backed up by John Hollinger of ESPN. This is not a huge shock, the Jazz were reportedly shopping Millsap around during the draft but didn’t find an offer they liked.

The Pacers are reportedly interested. What makes this especially interesting is that Kevin Pritchard is with the Pacers now, but he was with the Trail Blazers when they made a run to lure Millsap out of Utah. The Jazz matched that offer, but Pritchard has apparently not soured on Millsap, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The Jazz like Millsap, too, but they have young Derrick Favors to play the four and the pogo stick that is Jeremy Evans behind him. (Evans impressed me at the Impact league and I hope to see him get more run.) The Jazz will move Millsap if a team can give them value in return.

Millsap has two years, $13.5 million left on his deal and will turn 26 next season, which essentially makes him a steal. He is a good rebounder and solid offensive threat inside who gave the Jazz 17.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season, he is a good passer out of the post and just does everything pretty well. He had a PER of 19.8 last season, which would have had him 10th in the league among power forwards (just behind David West but ahead of Lamar Odom, Chris Bosh and Josh Smith).

PBT Extra: Bobby Portis punch adds to challenges for Bulls this season

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Nikola Mirotic will be out 4-6 weeks due to his concussion and fractured jaw.

Bobby Portis has been suspended for the first eight games of the season for causing those injuries to Mirotic with a punch at practice.

What does this mean for a Bulls locker room that was already going to have to deal with the weight of losing a lot of games.  I get into all these questions in this latest PBT Extra.

It’s going to be a long season in Chicago.

Gordon Hayward’s agent says return this season unlikely

Associated Press
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Wednesday night in Boston Gordon Hayward underwent surgery to repair his dislocated ankle and fractured tibia suffered just five minutes into the season-opening game, a gruesome injury that put a pall over the rest of the night.

There had been hope from some Celtics fans that Hayward could return this season, likely for the playoffs, but now that the surgery is complete Hayward’s agent told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN not to expect him back until next season.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw the injury. Hayward is in the first year of a four-year deal with the Celtics, they were always going to choose a cautious path rather than rush him back. Under Danny Ainge Boston has always taken the long view, even with all their moves this summer — specifically bringing in Hayward and Kyrie Irving — the target was to be the team set up for next as LeBron James and the Cavaliers faded. That plan does not change now.

Earlier in the day, Hayward had sent a video message out to Celtics fans thanking them for their support in the past 24 hours.

Without Hayward, the Celtics now will focus more on smaller lineups, rookie Jayson Tatum will get more run, as will Marcus Smart in his contract year. Jaylen Brown will be thrust into a more significant role. Also, Kyrie Irving will be asked to do more as the team’s second-best playmaker is now out for the season.

The Celtics will take a step back this season without Hayward, who was going to be crucial for them on both ends of the floor. That’s evidenced by their 0-2 start, falling to the Cavaliers and Bucks on the first couple nights of the season. Boston should still be a team well above .500 and in the playoffs, but they will not be quite the same this season.

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.