Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Hornets

Lakers, Rockets, Hornets talking three-way Chris Paul trade

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After things seemed to cool of on Wednesday, the Chris Paul trade rumors have heated up fast and furious on Thursday.

That includes a three-way deal where Paul ends up with the Los Angeles Lakers, who give up Pau Gasol. Then there is both Boston and New York working hard to find multi-team deals that would let them land CP3.

The three-team rumor comes via Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated although it now has been confirmed by multiple sources. The details are not yet clear, but Chris Paul would land with the Lakers, Pau Gasol would end up with the Rockets (who are looking for a big man) and the Hornets would get Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and some picks. There are a lot of details we don’t know and details have to be worked out.

Three-team trades are hard to make come together, but there are talks taking place.

The Lakers had wanted to trade Gasol for Chris Paul and not Andrew Bynum, hoping to keep the young big man in house for a potential trade with the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard (or just to play Bynum). Landing Paul would force a radical change in offensive philosophy for new Lakers coach Mike Brown — he said he wanted to go with a “twin towers” idea with Gasol and Bynum not unlike what the Spurs did with David Robinson and Tim Duncan — but he would do it for the best point guard in the league.

Meanwhile Celtics GM Danny Ainge continues to work hard to find a way to land Paul in Boston — even though Paul has said he would not re-sign there. Ainge and the Celtics brass think they can change his tune if they just land him. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo has the details.

The Celtics have relentlessly pursued Paul and have presented the Hornets with as many as eight different scenarios that would bring them some combination of Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, two future No. 1 picks and additional talent from third teams, sources said.

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers believe they can sell Paul on re-signing with Boston for the long-term and desperately want him as the franchise star of their post-Big 3 era.

The Knicks also are reportedly going hard after a Chris Paul trade, with several scenarios out there. Those may include trying to trade Amare Stoudemire for Paul, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. Why the Hornets would do that is beyond me. The Hornets want to rebuild with young players and picks, Stoudemire is older, expensive and with a history of injury problems. The Hornets could try to move him in a secondary deal, but that seems like a lot of work when better offers are on the table.

Russell Westbrook laughs off question about Kevin Durant

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 21:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant #35 discuss play during the first half against the Los Angeles ClipperLos Angeles Kingsat Staples Center on December 21, 2015 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 condition of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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At some point, Russell Westbrook will sit down with members of the media and discuss Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder, how he felt about the move, and how it impacted him both personally and professionally.

But not right now. He remains silent.

This Vine making its way around, where Westbrook laughs — probably at the question, although read into that whatever you want — when asked about Durant sums up where we are.

https://platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js

In the full Facebook clip, Westbrook walks away, too. It’s his right. He can talk about it on his schedule.

Rudy Gay, Vlade Divac clear the air

Rudy Gay
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Rudy Gay expressed displeasure with how the Kings were handling trade rumors. Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac retorted that Gay had his phone number.

Apparently, Gay found it.

Sean Cunningham of ABC 10:

Following those comments, Gay told ABC10 on Thursday afternoon that he had since spoken with Divac.

“I have talked to Vlade,” Gay said from his Nike Skills Academy at Hardwood Palace in Rocklin. “I can’t say since Monday stuff has changed, but I just feel like we have a little bit of time to start changing things.”

Gay, who will be entering his 11th NBA season, has insisted he hasn’t demanded a trade and should he remain a member of the Kings by the time training camp opens in October, he says he’ll report and be ready to go.

“At this point in my career I just want to be happy,” said Gay. “I talked to Vlade and we’re trying to make that happen.”

Even if he hasn’t demanded a trade, it sure sounds like Gay would welcome one. I doubt the Kings would mind moving on, either.

But it takes another team to trade for Gay, and so far, one hasn’t emerged.

In the meantime, tensions appear to be eased. Open communication usually helps.

 

Jimmy Butler: I didn’t move Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah from Bulls

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 30:  Joakim Noah #13, Derrick Rose #1 and Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls react during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 30, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Bulls 99-93. 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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Jimmy Butler said of the Derrick Rose trade, “It had to be one of us.”

Butler also says not blame him for the Bulls losing Rose — or Joakim Noah, who’s also headed to the Knicks.

Jimmy Butler, via Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:

“That has nothing to do with me, I don’t move guys,” Butler said. “People are gonna think what they’re gonna think. I don’t let it bother me. I know where I stand, I know who I am. It’s one more thing for people to talk about. I don’t pay too much attention to it.”

I can believe Butler didn’t directly urge Chicago to trade Rose, but Butler’s presence matters.

Rose and Butler clearly didn’t ideally mesh on the court, and there might have been off-court issues, too. If it weren’t for Butler, the Bulls might have kept Rose.

Noah is a little different, because it seems he, more than the team, was ready for a breakup. Still, that might have also had to do with Butler.

Butler is trying to grow into a leader, a natural progression for someone who became his team’s best player. But that was awkward with the Bulls’ previous leaders — Rose and Noah — still in the locker room. There’s no simple solution, though moving on without Rose and Noah will clear that cloud.

So — without other information — it’s too much to “blame” Butler for Rose’s and Noah’s departures. But Rose and Noah moving from Chicago to New York can still be ascribed to Butler.

It might not have been something asked for directly. It’s just the reality of the situation.

Dwyane Wade: “It’s Jimmy Butler’s team”

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Dwyane Wade is back in sweet home, Chicago.

Wade met with the media for the first time and talked about the pairing of himself and Rajon Rondo with the Bulls’ existing star in Jimmy Butler — Wade used the term “three alphas” more than once. But he also was clear about whose team this was going to be on the court.

“We’re not going to go through this all year. It’s Jimmy Butler’s team. Myself and Rondo are here to bring what we bring as athletes.”

Wade added that he would not be a Bull if Jimmy Butler had not personally called him and asked him to come.

Wade took that cue from Shaquille O’Neal when he joined Wade’s Heat team — which eventually led to the Heat’s first title in 2006. The Bulls would love for that kind of result here, although it’s much tougher to see this Chicago roster having anywhere near that kind of impact.