Andrew Bogut, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier

Bucks put Bogut on trade block, but you have to take Stephen Jackson too


For a long time, Andrew Bogut was untouchable as a trade piece in Milwaukee — there just are not a lot of quality big men in the NBA and when healthy Bogut was a borderline All-Star.

But he hasn’t really been healthy for several years — first his major elbow injury two years ago and this year he broke his ankle — so now the Bucks are listening to offers for the Australian center, according to multiple reports.

But there is a catch, reports Mark Stein of ESPN.

Sources say that the Bucks, at least for the moment, are insisting that any team that trades for Bogut take on the disgruntled Stephen Jackson as part of the trade.

And that’s what is bound to keep Bogut in Milwaukee past Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline more than his latest health setback, after he suffered a fractured left ankle against Houston on Jan. 25 after landing on the Rockets’ Samuel Dalembert in the lane.

Jackson is owed $10 million next season and teams are leery about taking that on. Bogut is owed $27 million over two seasons after this one, but again if healthy he is worth that. It’s a gamble some teams would take.

Bogut has never requested a trade but is open to the idea, reports the Racine Journal Times.

But there are whispers Bogut wouldn’t mind a change of scenery, having become frustrated about the team’s lack of progress and his strained relationship with Bucks head coach Scott Skiles.

Skiles wears on a lot of players. He’s an old-school, hard-a** coach and players get tired of that act.

One team reportedly interested is the Washington Wizards, who would likely want to swap bigs and give the Bucks JaVale McGee. But likely not at the price of taking on Jackson, too.

A Bogut trade is something to watch, but if the Bucks really are insisting on someone taking on S-Jax don’t expect a deal.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.