Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls - Game Two

NBA “Deal Day” moves and rumors (constantly updated)

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Today is going to be the Black Friday Sales of the NBA — there will be deals happening fast here, there and everywhere. Just like at Wal*Mart, you might have GMs pepper spraying others to make sure they get the player they want.

It’s going to be hard to keep up with all the information, so this one post will have updates on everything that goes down. You’re going to read more details about a lot of them in other posts here at ProBasketballTalk, but this spot is your one-stop shopping — refresh this post and you will know what is going on as soon as we do. And watch out for Daryl Morey and the pepper spray.

11:19 pm: Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe had surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus and will be out at least another month. That means more Mo Williams minutes.

11:15 pm: LaMarcus Aldridge is going to to miss the first week of Blazers training camp due to an irregular heartbeat. He suffered from this during his rookie season but has been fine since then.

10:50 pm: David West is about to be a member of the Boston Celtics, according to David Aldridge at NBA.com. That’s an interesting choice — West is a power forward, the Celtics have one of those in Kevin Garnett. West is one of the best pick-and-pop forwards in the league, how he fits with Rajon Rondo is a question mark. But this is about one of the biggest name pickup the Celtics could make.

10:35 pm: Looks like the Knicks are finalizing a trade to send Ronny Turiaf to the Washington Wizards as part of their efforts to clear cap space for Tyson Chandler, according to the New York Post. Turiaf in Washington is interesting as he is the opposite of Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee — he’s not blessed with the best physical talent ever but his heart and effort are unquestionable.

9:45 pm: Is Metta World Peace (aka Ron Artest) the new Shawn Kemp? Lakers coach Mike Brown said World Peace was “obviously a little overweight.” Or, check out the quote from Artest himself:

Metta World Peace says he’s not in top shape. He thought season wouldn’t start until January, so he had “a little more martinis” in Nov.

9:05 pm: Vince Carter is headed to the Mavericks after being bought out by the Suns, according to Marc Stein at ESPN. As David Aldridge notes, he essentially takes over the DeShawn Stevenson role (with fewer tattoos).

8:53 pm: It was expected but now it is official — Tracy McGrady has signed with the Atlanta Hawks.

8:51 pm: Earl Watson was expected by many to sign with the Wizards (and back up John Wall), but he was popular in Utah and the Jazz figured out a way to bring him back for this season.

8:47 pm: Luis Scola and Kevin Martin were there for the first day of Rockets practice. Awk-ward.

8:32 pm: The Celtics have re-signed Jeff Green to a one-year contract, according to the Boston Globe. Most likely this is just the qualifying offer, but either way he will be a free agent next year. This year he will be key to the Celtics making any run at the title.

8:23 pm: Greg Oden has had another setback with his knee. This just makes me sad.

8:21 pm: The Magic are not going to file tampering charges against the Nets. Not yet, anyway.

7:56 pm: Tyson Chandler is going to the Knicks, but all the pieces were not in place for him to be signed Friday, so the Knicks were a bit shorthanded for their first day of practice.

7:52 pm: The Pacers have re-signed Jeff Foster to a one-year contract. Not surprising, but the Knicks and other teams had inquired.

7:39 pm: Kobe Bryant with the quote of the day, talking about Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and the blown up Chris Paul trade.

“”They’ll get over it. Don’t win back to back by being soft emotionally.””

6:38 pm: Golden State has waived Jeremy Lin, the second year player from Harvard. I’d like to think he can land somewhere, some limitations but he’s a guy who could stick in the NBA if somebody lets him develop.

6:26 pm: Marcus Thornton’s deal with the Kings has been finalized and at a more logical four years, $33 million according to Sports Illustrated. This was first leaked deal was five years and $40 million, which seemed steeo

6:13 pm: As expected, the Lakers have inked three-point specialist Jason Kapono to a one year deal for the veterans’ minimum (just more than $1 million, in this case).

5:56 pm: Kyrie Irving, the top pick in the last NBA draft, has inked his deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s going to get thrown into the fire to learn the hard way this season.

5:44 pm: The Sixers have agreed to a five-year, $43 million dollar deal to keep Thaddeus Young with the team, reports Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer. That seems a fair price, good deal for both sides.

5:29 pm: Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard has inked his deal, according to Sports Illustrated. Spurs fans are going to like this guy.

5:19 pm: The Pistons have bought out and let go of Rip Hamilton. This was not an amnesty move, this was a straight buyout. Rip is a free agent so start the Heat speculation in 3…2…1

If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on him becoming the Bulls new wing starter.

5:14 pm: Lamar Odom came late and left early from Lakers training camp Friday. He did not practice, but Pau Gasol did. (Odom came late and left early at a sporting event, that makes him a real Angelino.)

5:09 pm: Timberwolves guard Martell Webster is out indefinitely after having surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. He had returned to play last season after a previous back surgery. Not good news for him.

5:05 pm: The Celtics have signed draftee E’Twaun Moore to a guaranteed deal. He will be a Celtic this year. Good team for a rookie to learn on if he pays attention.

4:52 pm: Gary Forbes is very close to a deal with Toronto, according to Yahoo.

4:51 pm: The Lakers, Hornets and Rockets are talking Chris Paul deal again, trying to find a way to “sweeten” it then resubmit it. And dare David Stern to veto it again.

4:19 pm: The Nets and Knicks are apparently in a competition to sign forward Shawne Williams. I don’t get it either.

4:09 pm: Chris Paul showed up for the first day of Hornets training camp today. Good for him. That was the right thing to do.

4:01 pm: In a surprise to nobody, the Suns waived Vince Carter on Friday. This was not an amnesty clause thing, this was business — Carter was owed $18 million on his deal but could be bought out for $4 million. Carter’s game isn’t worth the extra $14 million any more.

He is a free agent and may well land with the Miami Heat.

3:53 pm: That Marcus Thornton deal we talked about less than an hour ago (five years, $40 million with the Kings) apparently has hit a snag. How serious a snag remains to be seen, his agent told David Aldridge a deal would get done. But for now, snagged.

3:24: pm: Center Jeff Pendergraph, last seen as one of Portland’s injured big men, is expected to sign a two-year deal with the Pacers, reports Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated. That signing makes me think Jeff Foster is headed elsewhere.

3:22 pm: Rudy Fernandez continues to have trouble with his visa to return to the United States. He is expected to join the Mavericks on Monday.

3:21 pm: At age 38, Juwan Howard is coming back for one more season, this with the Heat, tweets Ira Winderman. If you see a lot of him on the court this season in anything other than mop-up duty, the Heat are in trouble.

3:19 pm: The Sixers are brining back veteran center Tony Battie for one more season.

3:12 pm: Thaddeus Young and the Sixers are apparently close to a deal that keeps the promising young forward in Philly. They should lock him up, he is part of the future of this team.

3:05 pm: The Sacramento Kings have reportedly signed Marcus Thornton for five years, $40 million. My gut reaction is $8 million a year is steep. They needed to lock him up, he shows promise and is just entering his third season, and he averaged 12.8 points per game last season… but $8 million a year? Maybe in a few years this is a steal. Maybe.

3:01 pm: Gilbert Arenas has been waived by the Orlando Magic under the league’s amnesty clause. In other news, the Pope remains Catholic.

He now enters a secondary waiver process where teams under the cap can bid to take over his deal at a reduced price. Don’t expect any takers, nobody wants him for three years.

2:16 pm: NBA teams will be able to dress 13 players — not the usual 12 — for the first part of the season, report Marc Stein of ESPN. Depth is going to matter in this condensed season, so the move makes some sense. Not that guy 13 is ever really going to see the court.

2:12 pm: Teams have until Dec. 16 to use the amnesty clause this year or it goes away until next year under the terms of the new CBA. Only about three or four players will get amnestied this year, but clock as started Cleveland so set Baron Davis free now.

2:06 pm: Golden State, after losing out on Tyson Chandler, is going to make an offer to Clippers restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan for around $10 million a year, reports Yahoo. The Clippers really want to bring back Jordan, but that price may be too rich for their blood.

2:01 pm: The Nets are going to offer Nene a four-year deal worth between $60 million and $65 million, reports Yahoo Sports. After flirting with a lot of teams Nene was expected to re-sign with Denver, but this could change that. The Nets made their move after the Magic started talking about filing tampering charges against them for talking to Dwight Howard, almost certainly killing that deal.

1:59 pm: The deal is finalized according to Yahoo — a signed-and-traded Glen Davis will be shipped to Orlando in exchange for Brandon Bass.

1:46 pm: Pau Gasol has arrived for the start of Lakers training camp. Lamar Odom has not.

Also, the Lakers are not going to join any legal action against the league over the trade, reports the Los Angeles Times.

1:34 pm: The live-in girlfriend of Jazz big man Al Jefferson was arrested after allegedly biting and hitting Jefferson, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

1:11 pm: Warriors guard Charlie Bell was arrested after Thursday after showing up drunk to court for his DUI hearing.

1:02 pm: The Orlando Magic are considering filing tampering charges against two teams for trying to deal with Dwight Howard, according to NBA.com. That would be big. More to come on that.

1:27 pm: Dwight Howard has dropped agent Dan Fegan and his father will now represent him. Last year Howard left Aaron Goodwin as an agent to go to Fegan on the advice of family members (so that family members could play a larger role). I will tell you now this will end badly. Good agents do a lot more for a player and can provide a better picture of things than family members (who often are out for their own self interests).

12:13 pm: The Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic are talking a Glen Davis for Brandon Bass sign-and-trade deal, reports the Boston Herald.

11:59 am: Grant Hill has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Phoenix Suns, tweets Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. He has rejected the offer of the New York Knicks.

11:17 am: The Heat have re-signed three-point specialist James Jones to a three-year deal, reports ESPN.

11:33 am: The Phoenix Suns “improved their offer” — read: coughed up more money — to Grant Hill and now await his decision, reports the Arizona Republic. Hill is choosing between the Suns and the Knicks (or do you want to spend the winter in Phoenix or New York).

11:12 am: Mario Chalmers has agreed to a deal to return and be the point guard for the Miami Heat today, reports the New York Post. The Knicks might have made a run at him after they used the amnesty on Chauncey Billups, but the Heat would have matched any offer.

10:51 am: Shelden Williams is going to sign a one-year deal with the Nets, reports Yahoo.

10:47 am: Tyson Chandler will be signed by the New York Knicks today, the New York Times reports. Chauncey Billups will be waived and Ronny Turiaf will be traded to make room for this deal. It will put Billups into a secondary waiver where teams under the salary cap can bid for his services (and he cannot reject them if they have the winning bid).

10:37 am: The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to waive and amnesty Baron Davis today, according to Yahoo Sports.. Not a huge shock, this is Kyrie Irving’s team now.

10:19 am: The Toronto Star is reporting (via Sportando.net) that the Suns have agreed to send Mickael Pietrus to the Raptors in exchange for a conditional second round pick.

10:13 am: Brandon Roy is going to announce his retirement due to medical reasons (he has no cartilage in his knees), reports Chris Broussard of ESPN. Secondary reports say the decision is not yet final, but he is leaning toward retirement heading into a key meeting today. Much more to come on this, but I will always remember him in Game 4 against the Mavericks. That will be his encore, to me.

10:00 am: Teams cannot officially sign anybody until 2 p.m. Eastern, but to get us started here is a quick list of some of the things we expect to go down today:

• Shane Battier will sign a deal with the Miami Heat to join the big three there and provide some versatility — and high IQ hoops — to that team.

• Caron Butler is expected to sign a three-year deal with the Clippers for way more than he probably should get paid.

• Tracy McGrady will sign with the Hawks.

• Tayshaun Prince will sign a four-year deal to stay in Detroit.

• Jonas Jerebko also will stay with the Pistons.

• Mike Dunleavy will sign a two-year deal with the Bucks.

• Greg Oden will spend one more year on the Trail Blazers roster.

• Shannon Brown will sign a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Phoenix Suns.

• Sebastian Telfair is expected to sign with the Suns as well.

• Eddy Curry is about to sign a deal with the Heat. Yes, we are serious, but it is a make-good contract or training camp.

• Roger Mason is likely to sign with the Wizards. how u?

• Jamal Magloire is about to sign with the Toronto Raptors (which would make him the first ever Canadian born Raptor).

• Earl Watson is expected to sign with the Wizards.

Three Things We Learned, Cavaliers/Warriors edition: What can we take away from Monday to NBA Finals?

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 16:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers holds his face after being fouled by Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on January 16, 2017 in Oakland, 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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The NBA goes big on Martin Luther King Jr. day — as they should — but if you missed the action because you were busy counting to 100,000 for no reason, we’ve got you covered with the key takeaways from the biggest game on the schedule.

And we’re doubling our usual three things we learned to six for a day.

Six things from Warriors’ thrashing of Cavaliers that could play out in NBA Finals.
 Nothing that happens in the regular season guarantees anything come the NBA playoffs, let alone the Finals. Last season’s 73-win Warriors were just the latest in a long line of teams to prove that. Which means we need to be careful reading much into Golden State’s thrashing of Cleveland on Martin Luther King Jr. day. The Finals are a little less than six months away — both of these teams will be different by then (the Cavaliers hope to have a healthy J.R. Smith and Kevin Love by then, for example).  Remember, in January one year ago the Warriors thrashed the Cavaliers on national television, and how did the following Finals turn out?

However, when these teams meet some strategies are tested, little things in the game that we could see — or teams will need to at least account for — come the Finals meeting we all expect. Here are six things from Monday’s game that could well play out in June in the NBA Finals.

1) In the four straight wins the Cavaliers had in this series prior to Monday, they were very aggressive in defending Stephen Curry — they trapped him off picks, were physical, tried to pressure him into decisions to give up the ball, then when Curry tried to make the playground passes that worked against other teams the Cavaliers help defenders made steals and were off in transition the other way. All of that made Curry passive — remember the guy floating on the perimeter taking just 11 shots on Christmas Day?

On Monday night Curry took that pressure in stride, attacked Kyrie Irving from the opening tip (remember Curry’s first possession he blew right by him), used his handles to create space, used his gravity to draw defenders to him, then he whipped smart passes around the floor. In the first half, Curry had 10 assists and zero turnovers. For the game Curry had 20 shots. If he can match that, or even come close, in the Finals, the Cavs are going to struggle to slow this offense down. Like every mortal team has.

2) In January 2016 the Warriors thrashed the Cavaliers on national television, and that was a critical step in the Cavaliers deciding they needed to let David Blatt go, hire Tyronn Lue, and make changes that put them on Golden State’s level. With Monday’s loss, one thing that was evident was the depth of playmaking options the Warriors have and how that can be difficult to guard. Cleveland has two playmakers right now, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. Cavs’ GM David Griffin has talked about wanting to add playmakers, LeBron has called for a backup point guard, but it’s clear whatever position they could use to add another playmaker or two heading into the trade deadline.

3) Can Kevin Durant guard LeBron? Chris Haynes of ESPN with an interesting stat:

The Cavaliers were on the last night of a six-game, 12-day road trip — they were not at their best. LeBron clearly wasn’t. However, if KD can even do a reasonable job on LeBron — or can switch on to him without getting torched — the Warriors will be a lot more comfortable and have more options on defense.

4) How did Warriors handle Kyle Korver? They went right at him and made him play defense, which has never been a strong suit (to put it kindly). The Warriors have enough playmakers that whoever Korver was guarding just went at him, and it worked — particularly during the stretch that saw the Warriors first push their lead north of 20. Korver didn’t have a great shooting night, by June he likely is far more comfortable, but if the Warriors can expose him on the other end it will be hard to keep Korver on the court for extended periods.

5) When JaVale McGee checked in for the Warriors, Tyronn Lue countered with Channing Frye. JaVale is not a strong defender, doesn’t step out away from the basket if he can help it, and the Cavs saw an advantage. JaVale’s offense covered that in this game scoring inside, but it’s something to watch.

6) DeAndre Liggins is a good defender, but he’s more focused on-ball than off, and in the fourth quarter Klay Thompson torched him a few times making Liggins chase him off screens away from the ball. You can be sure Steve Kerr noticed and filed that away.

Isaiah Thomas’ big fourth quarter carries Celtics past Hornets 108-98

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) raises his arms as he celebrates after hitting a 3-pointer against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. Thomas had 35 points as the Celtics defeated the Hornets 108-98. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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BOSTON (AP) — Isaiah Thomas scored 17 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, and the surging Boston Celtics beat the Charlotte Hornets 108-98 on Monday night for their ninth victory in 11games.

It was Thomas’ 25th straight game with 20 or more points. He’s been putting up big final quarters of late – scoring 20 or more three times this season. No other NBA player had done it more than once entering Monday.

Al Horford had 22 points, while Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder added 15 apiece for Boston, which has won all three meetings with Charlotte this season.

Kemba Walker scored 24 points and Marvin Williams had 21 for the Hornets, who lost their fifth straight – all on the road.

Thomas scored 13 straight points, pushing Boston ahead 93-83 with his 3-pointer from the left wing with 7 1/2 minutes left.

Boston led 80-71 entering the final period.

TIP-INS

Hornets: Entered averaging the second-fewest turnovers in the league at 12.1 per game. They had 11.

Celtics: G Avery Bradley returned after missing four straight games because of a strained right Achilles. He scored five points on 2-of -9 shooting. … Thomas scored a team-record 29 points in the final quarter of a victory against Miami on Dec. 30 to finish with 52.

INSPIRING WORDS

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown addressed the crowd before the game on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Without notes, he quoted King in saying: “The day our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about things that matter.”

NICE CATCH

New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount sat courtside behind a basket and made a two-handed grab of a ball flying out of bounds.

SPORTS TRANSITION

It was the nightcap of a hockey/basketball doubleheader, and 6-foot-4 Celtics guard Marcus Smart entered TD Garden wearing a winter jacket and hat. He paused and stood seemingly unnoticed as a group of youngsters and parents – most wearing Boston Bruins colors – walked down a hall to meet some of the hockey players.

Smart smiled when a media member said, “I don’t think anyone noticed you.”

Later, 6-foot-9 Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara headed past folks walking in for the basketball game.

 

Clippers guard Chris Paul leaves game with sprained thumb, more tests coming

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The Clippers have now won seven games in a row, but if they don’t have Chris Paul in the lineup that streak is going to turn around very quickly (remember just a couple of weeks ago when he missed seven games with a hamstring strain?).

Which is why Paul leaving the game with what the team has called a sprained thumb is potentially troubling news. Paul was trying to get over the top of a Joffrey Lauvergne screen when he ran into Russell Westbrook who had pulled up to take a three, Paul’s hand hitting Westbrook’s hip and seemingly getting caught up in his shorts. Paul walked off the court and went straight to the locker room, making it seem worse than the team said it is so far.

From the press release from the Clippers:

X-rays during the game were negative, but further tests still need to be done to determine the extent of the injury, which occurred in the second quarter after Paul jammed his left hand on Russell Westbrook’s right leg.

The Clippers held on without Paul for the comfortable win over the Thunder, 120-98.

The Clippers are the four seed in the West but could fall down that ladder if Paul is out for any stretch of time. Starting Saturday The Clippers have 10-of-11 games on the road — and the one home game is the Warriors. That’s going to be a tough run of games even with Paul.

Kevin Durant scores 21, Stephen Curry 20 to help Warriors cruise past Cavs (VIDEOS)

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Pretty much everything the Warriors did Monday against the Cavaliers worked — transition buckets, pull-up threes, drive-and-dish plays, curls off screens, you name it and the Warriors got enough space to get a shot they wanted. Then they knocked them down. Which is why the Warriors won going away.

Stephen Curry had a big night with 20 points and 11 assists, which you can see highlights of above. It was a big night for Curry’s confidence: In the Cavaliers four-straight wins against the Warriors, Cleveland trapped Curry off picks, were physical, and when Curry tried to make the playground passes that worked against other teams Cavaliers’ help defenders made steals and were off in transition the other way. Monday night Curry took the pressure in stride, used his handles to create space, used his gravity to draw defenders to him, then he whipped smart passes around the floor. Curry had 10 assists and zero turnovers in the first half.

Kevin Durant benefitted from some of those passes and had 21 points on the night, and he chipped in three blocks.