Plenty of teams want in the Chauncey Billups sweepstakes

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All the cool kids want Chauncey Billups on their team.

Dwight Howard — who has already complained the Magic don’t listen to his player advice — wants him, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.

One of “changes” Dwight Howard wants is signing of Chauncey. If DH12 stays, sources say he’ll urge Billups to spurn Heat and “anchor” Magic

Chris Bosh wants him on the Heat and had this to say about getting Billups, via Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

“Any player with his type of talent, leadership, his capability on the court, he’s Mr. Big Shot, and he has that name for a reason. And I think he fits here.”

But neither the Heat nor the Magic may get a shot at him. Until 6 p.m. Eastern he is on secondary waivers — under the terns of the new labor deal, players waived by amnesty can be bid on by teams under the salary cap. A team under the cap could bid $1 million and get the rights to Billups (the Knicks would still have to pay the remainder of his $14 million).

And the Nets may put in a bid, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

Near the deadline on amnesty waiver wire, Nets are still “debating” putting in a claim for Chauncey Billups, league sources tell Y!

Billups has threatened to retire if a team he doesn’t want to play for claims him… such as a team with Deron Williams already at the point guard like the Nets. The reason the Nets put in a bid is to keep him away from the Magic — they want to trade for Dwight Howard, they don’t want him to suddenly start to be happy in Orlando.

Also out there, Billups home town Denver Nuggets.

Heat fans seem to think they have him, and they might, but we are a long way from that.

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.