Knicks really want Jamal Crawford. Don’t bet on it happening.

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The New York Knicks are working hard to get Jamal Crawford. Andy Miller, Crawford’s agent, is working really hard to get Crawford back to the Knicks.

But unless he’s willing to take a big paycut, it’s not going to happen. The Knicks have already offered Crawford their mini mid-level of $2.5 million according to the New York Post. Crawford thought this would be a big payday for him and wants more (and frankly deserves more, his market value is higher than that).

The Knicks and Hawks have been talking sign-and-trade but the problem is the Hawks do not want to pay the luxury tax and they are bumping up against that $70 million number, as the Atlanta Journal Constitution explains.

The only way a straight sign-and-trade with the Knicks is plausible is if the Crawford’s starting salary is low enough that the salary Atlanta takes back doesn’t result in a tax penalty… So all those factors mean a sign-and-trade with the Knicks is out. And, obviously, the Hawks also have no chance of re-signing Crawford or any other free agent making more than the minimum as long as they decline to pay the tax.

Here’s another reason the trade is unlikely, from the Post.

Billy Walker, Landry Fields, center Jerome Jordan and a 2012 second-round pick are the Knicks’ only trading chips.

That’s not impressing anyone.

Crawford is the best two guard out on the market right now, a sixth man of the year, a guy who can create his own shots and provide scoring punch, plus is a willing defender. There are plenty of teams under the cap or with their mid-level exception who can offer Crawford a lot more money.

But if he really wants to be a Knick, he’s going to have to play at well below market value to make it happen.

Are Bulls and Dwyane Wade moving toward a buyout?

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About a month ago, the Bulls said they hadn’t discussed a buyout with Dwyane Wade.

Have the two sides progressed since?

Nick Friedell of ESPN:

Dwyane Wade isn’t long for the organization’s future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.

Expected by whom?

People with direct knowledge of momentum toward a buyout?

Or everyone who can see that a 35-year-old earning $23.8 million fits poorly on a rebuilding team?

For the Bulls to now drop their biggest name and a large expiring contract that could prove useful in trades should require Wade surrendering a large portion of his salary. He doesn’t sound like someone inclined to do that yet.

A few months is a long time. As long as Wade gets bought out by March 1, he could join another team’s playoff roster. It’d surprise nobody if he gets bought out after the February trade deadline, which we already knew. I don’t see strong indication of something more imminent.

LeBron James’ camp already shooting down leaving-Cavaliers rumor

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LeBron James has done a terrible job shooting down rumors about him leaving the Cavaliers

Except this one from Chris Sheridan, who cited a source saying LeBron would “100 percent” leave Cleveland next summer due to a rift with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Sheridan’s source saying LeBron is leaving doesn’t make that true. But other anonymous sources denying it doesn’t make the denials true, either.

New Orleans Saints fire Pelicans’ team physician

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The Pelicans have been crushed by injuries the last few years.

Why? That’s an incredibly complex question.

But the New Orleans Saints – who share an owner (Tom Benson), a front-office leader (Mickey Loomis) and other staff with the Pelicans – have found culprits for their own injury woes.

Mike Triplett of ESPN:

The Saints have fired team orthopedists Deryk Jones and Misty Suri, per source, after it was discovered that CB Delvin Breaux has a fractured fibula and will require surgery expected to sidelined him for 4-6 weeks. Breaux was originally diagnosed with a contusion

Suri is a Pelicans team physician.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Fairly or not, Suri – after the Saints deemed him unacceptable – will be in the crosshairs if he keeps his job with the the Pelicans and their injury woes continue.

Rumor: LeBron James ‘100 percent’ leaving Cavaliers next summer

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Chris Sheridan was ahead of the crowd in 2014, reporting LeBron James would likely leave the Heat for the Cavaliers – which obviously happened.

But Sheridan called it a “90 percent chance,” a small – but large enough – hedge. He also said LeBron would announce the decision on LeBron’s personal website. Of course, LeBron revealed his choice in a Sports Illustrated essay.

So, maybe Sheridan knows what he’s talking about. Maybe he doesn’t.

But the longtime NBA writer just fanned the flames of the already hot LeBron-leaving-Cleveland rumors.

Sheridan:

Of course, the denials came quickly.

There have already been plenty of warning signs about LeBron’s relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, which didn’t restart in a great place.

It’s entirely believable LeBron would leave Cleveland, in large part due to Gilbert.

But it’s also fun to speculate about that salacious storyline.

Maybe Sheridan or his source got carried away for that very reason. Or maybe they know something.

Neither possibility should be discounted.