PBT’s constantly updated trade deadline tracker

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Here it is — the one place where all the NBA’s trade deadline news and rumors will be. With our thoughts on everything. This post will be constantly updated throughout the day as the newest information becomes available. Just hit refresh and you will know the latest.

The trade deadline is 3 p.m. Eastern (all times in this post are Eastern)

3:00 pm: DEADLINE. I’m having a beer. (Note, sometimes deals leak out at deadline, but there is confirmation of no deals for Raymond Felton, Jamal Crawford or Chris Kaman).

2:59 pm: The Lakers traded Derek Fisher. Didn’t expect that. To the Rockets for Jordan Hill. The Lakers also sent off their other first round pick in the deal. Not a big thing on the court, but that is going to tick off Kobe Bryant.

2:49 pm: Multiple reports now say the three team deal — Lakers, Timberwolves and Blazers — that would have moved Jamal Crawford and Michael Beasley appears to be dying if not already dead and lying in a ditch somewhere.

2:43: It appears the Hornets will not make a deal to move center Chris Kaman before the deadline, with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo confirming. Now, if the Hornets were a normal team they would try to reach a buyout deal with Kaman in the next few days. However, with the league owning the team that may well not happen. Why? Because the Miami Heat would be primary suitors of a free agent Kaman and the other owners don’t want that to happen. (Think I’m kidding? Remember the Chris Paul to the Lakers deal and how the other owners killed that?)

2:40 pm: Also on the Sessions to the Lakers deal — Los Angeles also will send Jason Kapono to Cleveland.

2:39 pm: Knew their had to be more, along with Richard Jefferson Golden State got a first round pick from the Spurs, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo.

2:34 pm: Now we have the details on the Marcus Camby to Houston trade: Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn and a second round pick go back to Portland. Before you think Portland got hosed here, Thabeet and Flynn have team options for next year, so the Blazers just cleared some cap space. Still, love this deal for Houston.

2:30 pm: The rumor has become official — Stephen Jackson has been traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Richard Jefferson. Marc Spears of Yahoo was first with the story. Curious to see if a pick is included because Jackson’s deal is expiring but Jefferson has one more year left.

2:25 pm: The Houston Rockets have gotten the center they wanted — Marcus Camby from the Portland Trail Blazers. Not sure yet what is headed back to the Pacific Northwest. But this is a good deal for Houston — they needed a defensive minded big in the paint. Tough out in the playoffs for whoever gets them.

2:18 pm: The Lakers getting Sessions would seem to mean they are ready to ship out Steve Blake in a three-team deal (Lakers get Michael Beasley, Minnesota gets Jamal Crawford). The Lakers also would have to send out a pick or some other kind of sweetener in that deal. The Lakers could stand to lose a point guard off the roster now. Reports are those talks are still going on.

2:03 pm: ESPN’s Ric Bucher is reporting that a Stephen Jackson for Richard Jefferson trade is being discussed. Not sure why the Spurs would do that, other than to save money.

2:00 pm: One hour remains until the trade deadline.

1:46 pm: The Lakers/Cavaliers deal actually shakes out to be Ramon sessions and Christian Eyenga to the Lakers, Luke Walton and the Lakers first round pick to the Cavaliers. That may be more than the Lakers wanted to pay, but with a good point guard now they are maybe the second best team in the West. Or at least in that discussion.

1:32 pm: The Lakers have gotten a point guard by trading for Ramon Sessions of the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. The cost is one of the Lakers first round draft picks this year (the Lakers have two, they keep the Dallas pick from the Lamar Odom trade).  L.A. was reluctant to give either of those up as they are key parts of their strategy to lower their salary levels and tax payments in future years. But they needed a point guard more. Sessions can opt out of his contract after this season.

1:25 pm: The Nets/Blazers trade we talked about earlier is not official (and is now officially the biggest trade of the day. The Nets get Gerald Wallace. The Trail Blazers get the expiring contract of Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and a 2012 first round pick that is top three protected. Not a great trade for the Nets, but they did something and their starting five just got better.

Good enough to keep Deron Williams….. probably not. But that is another day.

1:02 pm: Boston is trying to trade Jermaine O’Neal — well, mostly his expiring contract — in a package deal. If it falls through, O’Neal wants the Celtics to buy him out. Reports are the Heat (desperate for a true big man due to playoff matchups) would have interest in picking him up if he does get bought out.

12:49 pm: The deal between the Blazers and Nets would be Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and a protected 1st round pick to Portland; Gerald Wallace to the Nets. That according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. That wouldn’t be bad for the Nets. When healthy their starting five would be Deron Williams, MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez. That’s a playoff team. Not a contender, but a playoff team in the East.

12:29 pm: The Portland Trail Blazers and New Jersey Nets are in serious discussions of a deal that would send Gerald Wallace to the Nets, reports Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo. The Nets need to so something to help their roster out and convince Deron Williams to stay. The Trail Blazers would want picks and young players, things the Nets have. There may be a deal to be had there.

12:26 pm: ESPN’s Chris Broussard just said on SportsCenter that he got a text from Dwight Howard saying he signed the papers — he will stay with the Magic for another season.

Which means next trade deadline we may have to do this all over again (his contract will end in the summer of 2013, along with Chris Paul).

12:24 pm: Quick point guard note update: Looks like that Eric Bledsoe is staying put with Clippers. However, the Bobcats are listening to offers for D.J. Augustin. And if anyone is really desperate, Jonny Flynn is still out there.

12:22 pm: Dwight Howard update… there is no update. The Magic are waiting for him, however reportedly they are confident and are making plans for a press conference with him.

11:58: Quick update on the trade of Leandro Barbosa to the Pacers: The Raptors get back veteran guard Anthony Carter as well as a second round pick. The Pacers were going to cut Carter so he’s just a throw in the Raptors can use the rest of the season.

11:55 am: The Nets continue to reject all offers for Deron Williams — and that includes the idea of a Pau Gasol for D-Will trade, according to Marc Stein at ESPN. The Nets apparently rejected that before the season and said they would turn it down again now.

11:38 am: Couple interesting notes via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo:

The Celtics are getting a lot of offers for Ray Allen, some good young players and some first round picks (which teams are very slow to offer this year). The Celtics are holding out for both.

The Hornets had been demanding a first round pick for Chris Kaman and the market would not pay it. Now they are starting to lower their demands, making a deal before the deadline much more likely.

11:11 am: The Indiana Pacers have acquired backup point guard Leandro Barbosa from the Toronto Raptors, according to Marc Spears at Yahoo. I like it for the Pacers, who get a nice reserve guard who can push the tempo and give them solid minutes behind Darren Collison. The Raptors reportedly will get a second round draft pick in the deal.

11:04 am: One deal to watch, the Nets reportedly are trying to get the expiring contract of Boris Diaw from the Bobcats for Jordan Farmar and Johan Petro. The trade would give the Nets some cap relief this summer as Diaw is an expiring deal, the Bobcats get some players.

Don’t expect the Suns to make a move at the deadline, not with Steve Nash, not with anyone, so reports our own Brett Pollakoff.

10:58 am: We have our first trade of the day — Philadelphia will get Sam Young from the Memphis Grizzlies for the rights to Ricky Sanchez, a 2005 second-round pick who currently plays in Argentina, according to Philly.com.

10:38 am: The New Jersey Nets are shooting down all requests for a trade involving Deron Williams, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. They may just try to convince him to stay this summer, in part because they need to — they need a star to open the Brooklyn arena — and in part they couldn’t come close to getting value back for him. Everyone expects him to opt out, the offers would be lowball ones.

10:05 am: We mentioned below that the Celtics have interest in getting J.J. Hickson from the Kings, but ProBasketballDraft is saying watch out for the Nets. (For the record, ProBasketballDraft has no affiliation with this site.)

Celtics GM Danny Ainge does not sound like a guy likely to make a trade today.

9:45 am: Here is where we stand as the morning kicks off:

• Dwight Howard wants to stay with Orlando, but the paperwork is not formally filed yet.

• A three-team trade that would send Jamal Crawford to the Timberwolves (from the Trail Blazers), Michael Beasley to the Lakers (from the Timberwolves) and Steve Blake plus a pick from the Lakers to the Trail Blazers is reportedly near completion. There have been some hang-ups about exactly what the pick would be, but this deal is close according to multiple reports from various teams involved. There have been reports the Lakers wanted Luke Ridnour in this deal, but with Ricky Rubio out for the season it’s hard to see Minnesota giving him up.

• The Pacers are going to try and make another run at getting Chris Kaman from the Hornets, according to the Indy Star.

• The Celtics are reportedly interested in getting J.J. Hickson out of Sacramento. Don’t bet on this one, hard deal to pull off, but they are talking.

• The Wizards are trying to move JaVale McGee, but are asking a high price, according to Marc Spears at Yahoo. Which probably has other GMs laughing. Hard.

• It’s not a trade but we’ll put it here — the Grizzlies are going to work out and have interest in Gilbert Arenas, according to the Commercial-Appeal.

Jusuf Nurkic’s agent says big man wants to stay in Portland this summer

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Last season, after his trade from frustrated backup big in Denver to new starter in Portland, there was a honeymoon — the Blazers went 14-6, their defense was better, and Nurkic was a big man setting big picks for quick guards in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

This season the honeymoon is over, things have been up and down, but far from time to say the marriage should end, as he is a free agent next summer. Nurkic is the only real starting center on the roster (even if coach Terry Stotts left him on the bench in the fourth quarter in favor of Ed Davis a few games back). Nurkic is averaging 14.6 points and 7.2 rebounds a game, and the Blazers’ defense is 1.5 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the court. However, his effort level has been up and down, and his shot is off, with a true shooting percentage of just 49.4, and he is shooting just 56.6 percent in the restricted area.

Nurkic wants to stay in Portland, his agent told Ben Golliver in a story at Sports Illustrated (that story is worth the read for the Nurkic origin story, which is amazing).

“I feel like the Blazers are very happy with Jusuf and Jusuf is very happy there,” Tesch, the agent, told The Crossover by telephone this week. “We had some [extension] talks but we decided to play it out this year and engage in talks again in July. He has already proven that he can help the team. There is a fit for Jusuf in Portland and he’s looking to stay there long-term.”

The two sides talked extension before the season, but Portland understandably wanted to make sure there was more to this relationship than just a honeymoon. It gave Nurkic a chance to drive up his asking price.

Portland and Nurkic likely will find a long-term deal next summer because it just makes sense for both sides. There are not a lot of teams with max free agent money next summer (4-6, I was told by an insider), or a lot of money to spend in general, and both DeAndre Jordan and DeMarcus would be centers on the market who rank ahead of Nurkic. Portland will offer more than other free agent destinations, if not as much as Nurkic dreamed of, and they will find common ground.

But there is a lot of season to play out before then. The Blazers feel like a team that should be better than its record so far, and Nurkic is part of that untapped potential. If things change, that’s good for Nurkic — and the Blazers.

Celtics look to push win streak to 16 vs. Mavs

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DALLAS (AP) — The Boston Celtics aren’t yet halfway to the NBA record for consecutive victories, a mark the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers still hold, but at 15 in a row, they are in rare territory.

Since 1946-47, there have only been 35 instances of a 15-game win streak or longer. And of all the legendary Celtics teams, this squad already holds the franchise’s fifth-longest win streak. A victory Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks, who are an NBA-worst 3-14 overall and 2-8 at American Airlines Center, would tie the 1964-65 Boston team’s 16-game win streak.

If the Celtics (15-2) get the win, they would climb closer to the 1959-60 team’s 18-game win streak, and then comes the club mark of 19 in a row accomplished by the 2008-09 team.

This version of the Celtics has to be considered the most unexpected to string together so many wins. The team has a slew of new players, starting with guard Kyrie Irving, and Boston lost another prized newcomer, forward Gordon Hayward, in the season opener.

After starting 0-2, Boston hasn’t lost. Yet, it’s not exactly as if the Celtics are steamrolling the league. For the Mavericks, who are coming off snapping the Milwaukee Bucks’ four-game win streak Saturday, the fact that Boston has actually had to rally to get a handful of its wins must be seen as an opportunity to steal a decision.

In fact, four of the Celtics’ victories during the streak have come after Boston trailed by 16 points, including a 110-109 win against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

“Most of us have never been on a winning streak like this,” Irving said following the win over Atlanta. “I don’t know if we even know how to pay attention to all the hoopla that goes on in terms of the excitement of it. I just think that every single game we take it as a challenge.”

Irving has been accepting that challenge with tremendous success after asking to be traded away from Cleveland, where he won one title with LeBron James and lost twice in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors.

He closed out those same Warriors last week, scoring 11 of the last 15 points in the final 4:21. The clutch play has Irving already being talked about as an MVP candidate.

“He’s so good in those moments that you want to give him the appropriate amount of room,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens told the Boston Globe about Irving. “Maybe it’s finding a matchup. Maybe it’s creating a two-man game with Al (Horford).”

Irving will be a major test for Mavs rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who has displayed some tremendous flashes while also showing he is a green 19-year-old with one season of college ball under his belt.

Dallas, one of the league’s lowest-scoring offensive teams, is relying heavily on Smith and Harrison Barnes to carry the load. Dirk Nowitzki, 39, has dropped off significantly, averaging just 10.3 points a game, his lowest output since his rookie season in 1998-99.

Unlike the Celtics, Dallas has lost its share of games by being unable to close out games late. On Saturday, the Mavericks won a rare game going away, blitzing the Bucks with a franchise-tying 19 3-pointers. Guard Wesley Matthews said he thinks all the hard work is starting to pay off.

The history-chasing Celtics will put that claim to test.

“We can actually see everything that we’ve been trying to do come together, and hopefully that just carries the momentum into the off day where everybody’s feeling good,” Matthews said after Dallas’ victory. “We’ve got another tough battle Monday against Boston, who is the hottest team in the league right now, but it’s another opportunity for us.”

Nuggets’ coach Mike Malone suspended one game for confronting referee

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Denver coach Mike Malone decided if he was going to get tossed and fined/suspended, he was going to get his money’s worth.

During the second quarter of the Nuggets’ Sunday loss to the Lakers, Malone ran onto the court during play to argue a no-call on a play by Nikola Jokic around the basket. Malone furiously confronted referee Rodney Mott, who swiftly ejected the coach. As he should. Malone was suspended one game for “entering the court, halting play and making contact with a game official,” the league announced. Malone will serve his suspension tonight when the Nuggets face the Kings in Sacramento.

Mott also tossed Jokic when he entered the argument Sunday night, but the NBA rescinded the ejection saying Jokic earned a technical but should not have been thrown out. A lot of good that does the Nuggets now, who had to go more than half the game without their best player and lost (not that he changes the outcome of the game, but a comeback is less likely without him).

 

 

Kevin Garnett: Thon Maker “is going to be the MVP of the league one day. Mark it down.”

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Not to get to inside baseball on NBA journalism, but one fundamental truth is player trainers pump up their guys. There usually is some truth in what they say, but it is in their interest to spin the player the best way possible. On and off the record it happens. It’s like asking a political campaign manager about his candidate, you will only get the positive.

Kevin Garnett worked out and helped the Bucks’ Thon Maker this summer.

In just his second season, Thon Maker has been in and out of the starting lineup for the Bucks at center, and he’s struggled this season with a true shooting percentage of 48 getting him 4.5 points a game, and PER of 9.3. (Bucks fans are understandably disappointed, but this is a second-year player, some patience is required).

Garnett had Makers’ back in a Q&A with Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Abrams.

Thon Maker reminds me a lot of myself. He loves the game. He’s a young, exuberant athlete who has a lot of tools—he has touch; he has agility; he has really, good feet. He has a really good shot from three-point all the way up to 19 to 21 feet. He has very good bones, as we say.

Thon is going to be the MVP of the league one day. Mark it down. He has the bones. He has the appetite to be able to chase something like that.”

Garnett may have the wrong young-stud Buck with an MVP in his future.

Maker has gotten KG comparisons for years, he’s a very mobile and athletic but thin big who can shoot from the wing… but the physical similarities are not enough. Maker is no KG. Not yet. Maker showed promise against the Raptors last playoffs but has not taken a step forward off that progress this season, looking far more prone to fouling than defending. The effort is there, but the maturity of game has a long way to go to catch up.

Garnett is right that Maker has the tools, and he is just in his second NBA season so patience is required, but there were concerns around the league before the draft if he had the makeup to put it all together and become a quality NBA player. That question is still out there, let’s get past it before we heap on accolades.