Rajon Rondo, Pau Gasol

Lakers, Celtics talk then kill Gasol for Rondo; LA still looking


Pau Gasol and Rajon Rondo have both traveled a similar path this season. Both were offered up in a trade for Chris Paul, and when that didn’t work out they became the names fans of the Lakers and Celtics talked about shopping. For their part, both teams said they wanted to keep the guy publically, but on the market told teams they would move him for an elite star.

Then there were the Rondo for Gasol rumors. Those came up again and the two teams talked last week and killed the idea, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The Lakers are unwilling to trade Pau Gasol for Rondo, making a deal with Boston unlikely before the trade deadline Thursday.

“Unless they give up Gasol, they’re not going to get a top-level point guard,” said a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Take note, that is clearly from a Los Angeles source. Talk to a Celtics source and you would get that they were not going to trade Rondo in that scenario. (Remember that principle this week — all rumor leaks are spin, so figure out who gains from it when you hear it.)

The Lakers may be slow to part with Gasol to make a major overhaul (unless ownership in Orlando changes its mind about Dwight Howard), but expect them to move one of their two first round picks for someone.

That someone could be Michael Beasley, reports the Times. He can provide scoring punch and is an expiring contract.

A more likely scenario is the Lakers giving up one of their picks — their own and Dallas’ first rounder, part of the Lamar Odom trade (think Dallas would like that pick back now?) — for a point guard. If I were a betting man I’d guess Ramon Sessions out of Cleveland, but a number of other guys like Detroit’s Will Bynum can be had for less if the Lakers want to hold on to those first rounders.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.