Friday And-1 links: Wade, LeBron and the pick-and-roll

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Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• Miami is changing up some of its offensive sets to be better prepared for the slowed down, half-court style of play that comes with the playoffs. Specifically, the LeBron James/Dwyane Wade pick-and-roll.

• Is Tyson Chandler’s hand injury more serious than the Knicks are letting on?

• Former NBA player Loren Woods was arrested on DUI charges in Tampa after being pulled over and refusing a blood-alcohol test. Woods, 33, spent six years in the NBA.

• Taking a look at the legendary (at least in NBA circles) Phoenix Suns training staff.

• Looking at how John Wall attacks the pick-and-roll. He can be aggressive but sometimes is hesitant if you change looks on him. He’s still learning.

• A good read by Kelly Dwyer about the rebuilding challenges for the Trail Blazers. They aren’t rebuilding in the traditional way.

• Kendrick Perkins has 12 technical fouls now. One more and the Thunder center is suspended for a game.

• Michael Beasley hopes to return to the Timberwolves rotation this weekend, but says he is only at “70%-80%” because of his toe injury.

• Luke Ridnour also sounds a long way away from returning to the lineup.

• He didn’t have the highlights, but Pau Gasol owned Blake Griffin Wednesday night.

• Even with the Suns making playoff push, nobody expects Aaron Brooks to return to the team. He will be a restricted free agent this summer.

• LSU center Justin Hamilton says he is leaving school to go to the NBA. He is on nobody’s draft board and is going to have to earn a way on to a roster the hard way.

• Sometimes the Clippers remind you that even with great players, they are still the Clippers.

• The Dakota Wizards of the D-League may be moving to a slightly warming climate — Santa Cruz, California.

• The Nets have made official that Jordan Farmar is done for the season.

• The Raptors signed Alan Anderson to a second 10-day contract.

• Rockets have sent point guard Courtney Fortson down to the D-League.

Are Bulls and Dwyane Wade moving toward a buyout?

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About a month ago, the Bulls said they hadn’t discussed a buyout with Dwyane Wade.

Have the two sides progressed since?

Nick Friedell of ESPN:

Dwyane Wade isn’t long for the organization’s future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.

Expected by whom?

People with direct knowledge of momentum toward a buyout?

Or everyone who can see that a 35-year-old earning $23.8 million fits poorly on a rebuilding team?

For the Bulls to now drop their biggest name and a large expiring contract that could prove useful in trades should require Wade surrendering a large portion of his salary. He doesn’t sound like someone inclined to do that yet.

A few months is a long time. As long as Wade gets bought out by March 1, he could join another team’s playoff roster. It’d surprise nobody if he gets bought out after the February trade deadline, which we already knew. I don’t see strong indication of something more imminent.

LeBron James’ camp already shooting down leaving-Cavaliers rumor

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LeBron James has done a terrible job shooting down rumors about him leaving the Cavaliers

Except this one from Chris Sheridan, who cited a source saying LeBron would “100 percent” leave Cleveland next summer due to a rift with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Sheridan’s source saying LeBron is leaving doesn’t make that true. But other anonymous sources denying it doesn’t make the denials true, either.

New Orleans Saints fire Pelicans’ team physician

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The Pelicans have been crushed by injuries the last few years.

Why? That’s an incredibly complex question.

But the New Orleans Saints – who share an owner (Tom Benson), a front-office leader (Mickey Loomis) and other staff with the Pelicans – have found culprits for their own injury woes.

Mike Triplett of ESPN:

The Saints have fired team orthopedists Deryk Jones and Misty Suri, per source, after it was discovered that CB Delvin Breaux has a fractured fibula and will require surgery expected to sidelined him for 4-6 weeks. Breaux was originally diagnosed with a contusion

Suri is a Pelicans team physician.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Fairly or not, Suri – after the Saints deemed him unacceptable – will be in the crosshairs if he keeps his job with the the Pelicans and their injury woes continue.

Rumor: LeBron James ‘100 percent’ leaving Cavaliers next summer

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Chris Sheridan was ahead of the crowd in 2014, reporting LeBron James would likely leave the Heat for the Cavaliers – which obviously happened.

But Sheridan called it a “90 percent chance,” a small – but large enough – hedge. He also said LeBron would announce the decision on LeBron’s personal website. Of course, LeBron revealed his choice in a Sports Illustrated essay.

So, maybe Sheridan knows what he’s talking about. Maybe he doesn’t.

But the longtime NBA writer just fanned the flames of the already hot LeBron-leaving-Cleveland rumors.

Sheridan:

Of course, the denials came quickly.

There have already been plenty of warning signs about LeBron’s relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, which didn’t restart in a great place.

It’s entirely believable LeBron would leave Cleveland, in large part due to Gilbert.

But it’s also fun to speculate about that salacious storyline.

Maybe Sheridan or his source got carried away for that very reason. Or maybe they know something.

Neither possibility should be discounted.