Michael Beasley, Mike Dunleavy, Carlos Delfino

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.

LeBron James first player to reach six straight finals in 50 years

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It speaks to an incredible level of talent — talent that was honed in countless hours in the gym.

It speaks to an amazing durability.

It speaks to leadership.

LeBron James has a long resume of accomplishments — two titles, four MVPs, and he hasn’t missed an All-Star Game or an All-NBA team for a decade — but he reached one of his more impressive milestones in leading the Cavaliers past the Raptors to the NBA Finals on Friday night.

LeBron has reached six straight NBA Finals.

He’s the first player to do so in 50 years.

The last guys to do this were Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, Bob Cousy and other members of the 1950s-60s Celtics dynasty. Nobody since has done it — not Magic, Bird, Jordan, Wilt or the rest.

Yes, it helps cement LeBron’s legacy as one of the all-time greats, but more than that it’s something we need to step back and appreciate. These were all LeBron-led teams — he has been the leader on and off the court, setting the tone. That requires incredible talent and skill on the court, plus knowing how to make those guys better not just drag them along on your coat tails. It also takes incredible physical durability. It’s an amazing accomplishment.

“There’s only one LeBron James,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said after his team was eliminated by James and company. “He makes a difference on whatever team he plays on.”

I can feel the typing in the comment section already: “But he’s 2-4 in the Finals, Jordan was 6-0” or “But he’s done it in a weak East” or “He keeps just jumping teams to where he has the most help.” It’s all just sad. Because LeBron James is the first NBA superstar of the social media age he faces a volume of criticism that past stars did not. It’s not that LeBron hasn’t brought some criticism on himself, but there is a need to tear him down that the mythologized Jordan never dealt with. We savored Jordan at the time; LeBron has never gotten that. Jordan took 13 NBA teams to the playoffs, six made the Finals; LeBron has taken 11 and seven are in the Finals. The thing is, it’s difficult to compare across eras in the NBA:

All of this is not to say LeBron’s record is better than Jordan’s, you and your buddies can debate that while sitting on bar stools until last call, but LeBron has been on an epic run through the peak of his career the likes we haven’t seen in a long time. If you’re a fan of the game, you should appreciate that, not try to tear it down (as if Jordan’s legacy somehow needs protecting).

What LeBron has done is a stunning accomplishment. If you’re in the same sentence with the legendary Russell Celtics teams, you’re doing something right.

Warriors/Thunder Game 6: Four things to watch as Oklahoma City tries to close out series

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 24:  Stephen Curry #30 and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors react in the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game four of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 24, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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For the Thunder, it is a chance for validation and an opportunity to get the ring Kevin Durant (and Russell Westbrook, and the rest of them) crave. For the Warriors, it is their biggest test of the last two seasons. Game 6 is Saturday night in Oklahoma City, here are four things to watch.

1) Dion Waiters and Andre Roberson need to play better for the Thunder. After a couple of series where Waiters suddenly has been reborn as a quality NBA player who is the third playmaker the Thunder need, and after Andre Roberson dropped a career playoff high of 17 points the game before, both were MIA in Game 5. Roberson was 2-of-5 shooting and had as many points as fouls (six). Waiters didn’t hit a shot all night. This was tied to the Thunder returning to the bad habits of too much Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant taking on the world and OKC not enough ball movement in the halfcourt. The Scott Brooks Thunder of the past few seasons showed up in Game 5, if the Thunder fall back to those bad habits again, they will lose again.

I expect the Thunder to treat this like their Game 7 and play much better. They will have a real sense of urgency; their defense will again be energized. The question becomes can the Warriors match it?

2) Can Andrew Bogut keep the Thunder from scoring in the paint?
In Game 5, the Thunder were 8-of-18 shooting in the restricted area, and 7-of-19 in the rest of the paint. That’s not going to get it done. A lot of that was the impact Bogut had in the paint — plus he got help, the Warriors switched pick-and-rolls more, they packed the paint more and took away driving lanes. It all worked, in part because Bogut and Draymond Green played with much better energy than in previous games. Steve Kerr said he didn’t play Bogut as many minutes in the first four games due to foul trouble, he has to trust the veteran to play through fouls in this game. The Warriors have simply been better with him on the court this series and they need close to 30 minutes from him this game.

Tied to Bogut’s play…

3) Golden State defense needs to show up on the road. As noted above, the Warriors went back to a more traditional defense in Game 5 — they started guarding Roberson (rather than having a big “guard” and ignore him to protect the paint), they switched, they stayed home in the paint, and they just trusted each other and played their system better. It was a marked improvement. However, they did it at home — now they need to do it on the road, where Green, in particular, has been more prone to mistakes and frustration.

One key here worth emphasizing is the Warriors got back to switching most pick-and-rolls — that’s what they did all season, that’s part of why the “death lineup” is so successful defensively, yet in this series they increasingly went away from it (in part because of how they guarded Roberson). Switching is part of who the Warriors are, and while it will create some mismatches teams don’t want to stray too far from their core identity.

4) Stephen Curry needs to be MVP level Curry. Draymond Green needs to be his All-NBA self.
I’m not saying the same thing about Durant and Westbrook because I have no doubt they will show up with urgency in their games Saturday night. However, Curry and Draymond have been shadows of themselves in the two previous games in Oklahoma City, and if that happens again only one team is flying back to the Bay Area postgame.

Curry finished his drives a little better in Game 5, and at moments he blew by bigs switched onto him off of picks, something we have seen far less of this series than during the season. Green played well defensively in Game 5, he hit the boards hard, but he made some head-scratching offensive decisions. If the Warriors are going to force a Game 7, those two guys have to be elite in this game. The Warriors best players must lead. It’s that simple.

Watch LeBron James drop 33 on Raptors in Game 6 win

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Friday night was a step forward in maturity for the Cleveland Cavaliers — given the chance to close out a conference finals on the road, in a place they had struggled, the team stepped up and did so convincingly.

They did it following the lead of LeBron James, who attack the basket from the start on his way to a team-high 33 points and 11 assists. LeBron set the tone and the rest of the Cavaliers followed.

Above you can see just how LeBron racked up those points. It’s an impressive display.

Report: In surprise to nobody, Bismack Biyombo will decline option, become free agent

TORONTO, ON - MAY 27:  Bismack Biyombo #8 of the Toronto Raptors reacts after being called for a foul against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first quarter in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre on May 27, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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This is not only expected, but it’s also the move all of us would make. Unless you hate money.

Raptors big man Bismack Biyombo has a player option on his contract for next year, pick it up and he returns to the Raptors at $2.9 million. Or, he can decline the option and become a free agent, where he may make about $17 million a season. So what do you think he’s doing? From Marc Stein of ESPN:

Certainly, the Raptors can’t retain Biyombo’s services, it’s just going to be expensive to do so.

If $15 million (at least) seems a lot for a player who can only impact the defensive end of the floor because of poor hands and a limited offensive game, you would be correct. Welcome to the crazy cap-spike summer the NBA is about to experience. The market will be flooded with cash (at least 20 teams will be able to afford a max player) and players with a valuable skill hitting that market are going to get PAID. Biyombo can block shots and rebound like a beast, and in an increasingly small-ball NBA era those skills have value. Teams will live with having to play 4-on-5 on offense to have those skills on the roster.

The real question is which teams — the Lakers? — and how much of that cap space are they willing to give up for him? It’s going to be an interesting July.