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.

Don’t like the wait for this year’s Finals? Here’s the top 10 plays from the last two (VIDEO)

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Que the Tom Petty

Nobody is enjoying the week-long break between the end of the Eastern Conference Finals and the start of the NBA Finals (except maybe a few of the older Cavaliers players trying to get healthy). For those of us basketball junkies, we just want to get on to the two best teams in the league battling it out.We need a fix.

Here’s the best we can do today: The top 10 plays from the last two NBA Finals, the last two Cavaliers/Warriors showdowns. Courtesy the folks at NBA.com. There’s plenty of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and a big shot by Kyrie Irving made the list. Enjoy. And just try to be patient.

Warriors’ center Zaza Pachulia cleared to play in Game 1 of NBA Finals

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These playoffs, the Golden State Warriors have been 15.4 points per 100 possessions better when Zaza Pachulia is on the court as opposed to on the bench. That’s a bit misleading, the reason for the gaudy number is he rounds out the dominant starting lineup, which has outscored teams by 32.6 points per 100 this postseason (that is actually better than the legendary “death lineup” in these playoffs). Pachulia is just the first big in the rotation with four All-Star, powerhouse players, but he fills his role well.

Pachulia was slowed by a sore right heel against the Spurs but is 100 percent and ready to go for the Finals when they tip-off Thursday night at Oracle Arena. Here are the details via Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News.

Zaza Pachulia, the only injured Warrior rotation player late in the Spurs series, has participated in all parts of all three practices, without restriction on that sore right heel. He is on track to start Game 1 of The Finals on Thursday.

“We’ve done running, had scrimmages and he’s done everything,” Mike Brown said.

He will have a crucial role on the glass against the Cavaliers. Cleveland brings two dominant rebounders to the party with Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love (plus that LeBron James guy can get some boards), the Warriors will use Pachulia to counter. Before you roll your eyes, he had 13 boards in the second meeting of these teams in the regular season, a blowout Golden State win.

He’s the first big in a rotation of them the Warriors will throw at Cleveland — JaVale McGee may get a little time, but expect a lot of small-ball lineups from the Warriors. If Pachulia can give Golden State a solid 18 minutes a night where he is strong on the glass and helps protect the rim, it will be huge for them.

Pachulia is going to get his shot, he’ll be healthy and ready to go.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge: “Who doesn’t want Isaiah Thomas on their team?”

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Isaiah Thomas is the best and most popular Celtics player, leading his team to the No. 1 seed in the East and the Eastern Conference Finals — both significant steps forward for an up-and-coming team.

Yet, from the moment the Warriors landed the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, the talk about Thomas has been about his future with the Celtics: If/when they draft Markelle Fultz, will the Celtics want to pay Thomas max or near max money next summer? Do they want to be locked into four or five years with an undersized guard who will start that contract at age 29? Do they extend him this summer at a likely better price? Trade him?

Celtics GM Danny Ainge doesn’t understand all the talk. He certainly didn’t sound like someone looking to trade Thomas this summer speaking to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

“All I’m saying is those are things I have to worry about that even I don’t like to think about. And I know that those are going to be difficult decisions at some point. But we want to keep Isaiah.

“All I know is that he’s had an amazing year, and who doesn’t want Isaiah Thomas on their team? Like, you’ve got to be kidding me…

“Why do the fans need to worry about how much money he makes?” he said. “I can understand if Isaiah and his wife and his agent are worried about that, but I don’t understand why that’s a conversation that needs to be had in the media.”

Two things I want to unpack from all that. First, that’s a “get off my lawn” take from Ainge that completely misses the mark with where sports fandom online has shifted. It’s not that he’s wrong at the core of his argument — we all should appreciate the season Thomas just had, Celtics’ fans in particular. Thomas is a joy to watch play and one of the good guys in the league on top of it. Name anyone in the NBA who has gotten more out of his natural abilities than Thomas — the man has put in the work to rise way past expectations. He needs to be appreciated and lauded for that.

But here’s the thing: Fans more than ever like to play GM, and they now have the tools to understand the tough financial decisions that fall on Ainge and others in his shoes. Let me explain it this way: The NBA Finals start June 1, but as a website, the NBC NBA page will draw way more traffic around the NBA Draft at the end of the month, then free agency in July will blow that away. Always does. Player movement — including both rumors of trades and talk of free agents and moves teams should make — is a much bigger draw than the games themselves. That’s not just the NBA, it’s true of the NFL and MLB and NHL and the Barclays’ English Premiere League and on down the line.

Second, Ainge may not like the speculation, but the questions are valid — he and the Celtics have some hard decisions coming up. At the core of them is the question of patience: Push their assets into the middle of the table now, get a couple of players ready to win next season, and make a run at LeBron James and the Cavaliers, or be patient and build to be better than Cleveland in three years (then sustain that for five or more years beyond that)? Ainge has been on the patient side of that equation from the start, and likely will be again — don’t expect him to trade that No. 1 pick or do anything but bring Thomas back. He can be a decision for the summer of 2018.

Then again, he has shopped Thomas before. Ainge is as good or better than any GM in the league of keeping his cards close to his vest, he’s impossible to read.

That said, the smart money is on him being patient. There’s no need to trade Thomas now, that’s the kind of rash overreaction that got the Knicks where they are over the last decade plus. Ainge can wait things out.

 

Adding Durant and thinking dynasty, it’s championship or bust for Warriors’ legacy

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The Golden State Warriors have been the best team in the NBA for three seasons now. That’s not my opinion, that’s LeBron James‘ — here is what he said after advancing to his seventh straight NBA Finals.

“That’s been the best team in our league the last three years, and they added an unbelievable player in Kevin Durant this year, so that makes it even more difficult.”

Adding Durant did make them more difficult to beat, but it also added to the Warriors’ burden — after a 67-win season and a historic 12-0 sweep into the Finals, the series that their season will be judged on is the one still to be played. They may as well be 0-0 because the second they added Durant it was championship or bust in terms of how they want to be seen.

Win and a pattern of dominance over years starts to come into focus, they will have a couple rings and beaten LeBron — who will go down as one of the all-time greats in his own right — to get them. Lose and this season will be viewed as another failure.

The Warriors want us to look back on them in 10-15 years and see a dynasty. They talked quietly about it last season during their chase for 73 wins — they saw that as a part of their resume as one of the greatest teams of all time. That’s part of the reason for the push last year. They, like LeBron, are chasing the ghosts of greatness at this point, and the Warriors had a Jordan record in their sights.

Regular season marks are nice, but in the NBA the great teams’ legacies are built around championships. Plural. If you’re going to go down as one of the dominant teams of an era — like the Shaq/Kobe Lakers, or Jordan’s Bulls, or the Celtics and Lakers of the ’80s, etc. — there needs to multiple rings on fingers. The Warriors have one, but their historic season unraveled last year when a combination of LeBron’s utter dominance, Draymond Green‘s suspension, Andrew Bogut’s injury (that one was underrated as an issue) all came together to snatch victory from their hands (and help cement LeBron’sa legacy).

The Warriors need the 2017 title for their legacy.

Not just the team, but the legacies of Warriors players will be impacted by this series. Injured or worn down or just in a shooting slump (or, most likely, a combination of the three), Stephen Curry struggled defensively and was outplayed by LeBron last Finals when the Warriors needed him. Curry has been fantastic through these playoffs, but like the team he will be judged as much or more for the games to come than the ones already played. Fair or not.  Can Green keep his head about him when LeBron pushes his buttons? Durant is back on the Finals stage, will he rise to that moment?

The championship or bust mentality is too often the prism through which fans — and media — view sports. It’s unfortunate because it clouds the joy of the game itself, the growth of players, of guys doing the unexpected and rising to heights we did not expect from them. Isaiah Thomas‘ brilliant season in Boston is not diminished because it didn’t end in a ring, to use one easy example. But there are hundreds more like that around the league. Championship or bust blinds people to the little things that can make the game joyous.

However, the Warriors have put themselves in a different place. They are chasing legends. They have the wins and the statistics to make a case, more importantly, they also have a style of play being copied (even by college teams) and is changing how the game is played. That is a hallmark greatness.

Now they need the rings to go with it. They need more than one, but it starts with this year’s title — it is championship or bust for them. Fair or not. If the Warriors want to be mentioned in the pantheon of all-time greats, it will take the 2017 title to be part of it.