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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.

Lakers name Magic Johnson President of Basketball Operations

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15:  Magic Johnson attends a ceremony honoring Jackie Robinson before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
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Magic Johnson essentially publicly anointed himself in charge of the Lakers’ front office.

Now, the Lakers are actually giving him the job.

Lakers release:

Los Angeles Lakers Governor Jeanie Buss announced today that the team has named Earvin “Magic” Johnson as President of Basketball Operations. In addition, General Manager Mitch Kupchak has been relieved of his duties, effective immediately. Furthermore, Jim Buss will no longer hold his role as Lakers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

“Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Jeanie Buss said. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”

“It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family,” said Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”

Jeanie Buss added, “I took these actions today to achieve one goal: Everyone associated with the Lakers will now be pulling in the same direction, the direction established by Earvin and myself. We are determined to get back to competing to win NBA championships again.”

Regarding Mitch Kupchak, Jeanie Buss stated, “We are grateful for the many contributions Mitch has made to the Lakers over the years and we wish him all the best.”

With regard to fellow owner and brother, Jim Buss, Ms. Buss said, “Jim loves the Lakers. Although he will no longer be responsible for basketball personnel decisions, he is an owner of this team and we share the same goal: returning the Lakers to the level of greatness our father demanded. Our fans deserve no less.”

In addition to the changes made within the basketball department, the Lakers also announced they have parted ways with John Black who had been the Lakers Vice President of Public Relations. Chief Operating Officer Tim Harris will immediately begin a search for a replacement. Jeanie Buss added, “We thank John for his many years of service.”

This closes an ugly chapter in which Jeannie Buss named Johnson as an advisor, and then he went about publicly trashing Jim Buss and Kupchack while evaluating them for her and clamoring for their front-office power.

Now, the real work begins. And that doesn’t mean calling Kobe Bryant.

Johnson inherits a team with plenty of young talent: D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Ivica Zubac. That’s a great starting point.

But the Lakers also face significant hurdles back to the top.

They lose their 2017 and 2019 first-round picks if their 2017 first-round pick doesn’t land in the top three. The Lakers have the NBA’s third-worst record. In the past, Johnson has expressed an affinity for tanking.

The Lakers also have the burdensome contracts of Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov. Those make it tough to clear cap space to sign a star.

At least they can trade Lou Williams, who’s having a special season. The deadline is Thursday, so Johnson must hit the ground running.

These conditions are the effects of Jim Buss’ misguided pledge to jolt the Lakers back to contending. Their shortsighted moves and even bigger dreams backfired so spectacularly, they backed into several high draft picks — and at least chose well. While Kupchak’s overall tenure was positive, his approach had grown stale.

The Lakers needed a change in management. I’m just not convinced Johnson was the solution.

Would they have hired him if he didn’t play for them? Probably not. Does his playing experience with the Lakers specifically, as opposed to any team, better prepare him for this job? Probably not.

But even if Johnson were hired for the wrong reasons, he can still succeed.

He thrived in business after retirement by putting the right people around him, and he can do that here. Johnson obviously knows basketball, but managing a roster and all the salary-cap complexities is a different animal. He needs staff, including a general manager, more familiar with that.

Johnson will be the franchise’s new smiling face. But, for this to truly work, Johnson will have to build a winner the old-fashioned way: With savvy drafting, trading and signing.

Reports: Bulls telling teams they won’t trade Jimmy Butler

Chicago Bulls guard/forward Jimmy Butler, top, shoots over Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry during the overtime of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, in Chicago. The Bulls won 123-118 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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The Bulls reportedly weren’t making Jimmy Butler available for a trade last month.

As the trade deadline approaches, it seems that hasn’t changed.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

The teams that talked to the Chicago Bulls today were told, “Just about everybody on our roster is available, but Jimmy Butler is not.”

The Bulls are not obliged to stand by that, and there’s no indication they’ve assured Butler anything. If they’re offered a package more valuable than Butler, they’ll trade him.

But that’s a lot of value.

Butler is playing like a superstar, 27 and locked up for two more seasons after this one. Not many teams have the assets to trade for someone like that.

Plus, Chicago could use the designated-veteran-player rule to re-sign him. No other team would hold that advantage if it trades for him.

So, Butler is probably valued more by the Bulls than any other team. But if another team with significant assets makes a suitable offer, I doubt Butler remains unavailable.

Lakers’ Lou Williams provides smooth scoring, trade intrigue

DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 22:  Louis Williams #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center on January 22, 2017 in Dallas, Texas.  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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Lou Williams declared for the 2005 NBA draft out of high school and proclaimed, “The second round is not an option.”

He was drafted with the 15th pick of the second round.

“I used to have to run through everybody,” Williams said. “Now, I don’t feel like I do. Just trying to outsmart guys.”

The last guard drafted directly out of high school, Williams has quietly refined his game. His athleticism has declined with age, but gone too is a recklessness to his play. He largely makes the plays he can and doesn’t try to make the ones he can’t.

Williams is the Lakers’ best player. As a result, he’s also one of the league’s bigger trade chips as Thursday’s trade deadline approaches.

He leads the Lakers with 18.6 points per game, and they come in just 24.2 minutes per game. He makes that time count with a historic combination of volume and efficiency.

Both his usage percentage (30.6) and true shooting percentage (60.9) lead the team. The only regularly-used players to produce full seasons with a usage percentage of at least 30 and a true shooting percentage of at least 60 are or will be Hall of Famers:

Harden (again), Isaiah Thomas and Kawhi Leonard are also on pace to do it this year. All three were All-Stars.

Williams flies under the radar, because he usually comes off the bench for Los Angeles — though that offers special opportunity for recognition later in the season.

Already a Sixth Man of the Year winner (2015 with the Raptors), Williams leads eligible players in win shares this season:

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Williams and Dwight Powell (Mavericks) are the only reserves leading their teams in win shares.

In fact, Williams has been so much better than his teammates, he could maintain his team lead even if traded. His 5.1 win shares rank well ahead of the 3.3 by Nick Young (another trade candidate) and 2.2 by Larry Nance Jr.

But there’s still a relatively high likelihood he gets moved. The Lakers are focusing more on player development, and the 30-year-old Williams could help a team ready to win now.

He’s locked in for a bargain $7 million next season. So, his more-than-just-a-rental status could help the Lakers land a first-round pick.

“I just go out and play,” Williams said. “I let the powers make deals or if they don’t.”

There’s a patience in Williams’ game that has developed in recent years. He attributes some of it to a torn ACL in 2013. No longer as quick, the pick-and-roll ace has been forced to play smarter.

Williams has mostly eliminated long 2s from his game, getting more shots at the rim, 3-pointers and free throws. His craftiness fits the modern game.

But there are still concerns about how he’ll translate to a better team.

He’s a defensive liability, and his size limits paths to reliability on that end. Not only is he 6-foot-1, he often needs to play shooting guard because his playmaking for others is only so-so for a point guard.

But as poor as he’s been defensively (400th of 450 players in defensive real plus-minus), he has been even better offensively (13th in offensive real plus-minus behind only All-Stars and Nikola Jokic). Still, he relies heavily on drawing fouls, and his tricks might not be so effective during a playoff series with plenty of time to scout him.

There are risks in acquiring Williams. But getting another player having a special season — like, say, Jimmy Butler — would be tremendously more costly. As long as a team has a plan to accentuate Williams’ strengths and hide his weaknesses, he might be one of the best bargains on the trade market.

Paul George says he’s not motivated by opportunity to earn higher max

Eastern Conference forward Paul George of the Indiana Pacers (13) reacts during the second half of the NBA All-Star basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
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NEW ORLEANS — The Pacers have already granted a standing max offer to Paul George.

So, if he wants to stay in Indiana, his potential paths look relatively straightforward:

If he makes an All-NBA team this season, he can sign a designated-veteran-player extension that would kick in in 2018-19 and projects be worth about $209 million over five years (about $42 million annually).

If he doesn’t make an All-NBA team this season, he can wait to sign and try again to make one next season. If he does, he can sign a new contract in 2018 that would be worth the same $209 million or so over the same five-year period.

I think it’s this simple: If he becomes eligible to become a designated veteran player, he’ll sign then. If not, 2018 free agency projects to offer a choice of about $179 million over five years (about $36 million annually) to re-sign or about $133 million over four years (about $33 million annually) to sign elsewhere — a more difficult decision.

George says he’s not thinking about earning the higher max.

“You want to be one of the best,” George said. “And that’s the only motivation. You want to be All-NBA. That’s what you strive for. That’s what you want to play for, to be recognized as one of the league’s best players.”

That’s no small challenge for George, who was one of 12 All-Star forwards this year, joining:

With only six All-NBA forward spots, George faces long odds this season — and no easy path next season.

But at least eligibility for the higher max coincides with one of his goals.

“It’s nice. It’s nice,” George said. “But that’s not the motivation you want to play for”