A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that Miami’s LeBron James will be announced Saturday as the NBA’s MVP, the third time he’s won the award in the past four seasons.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the results have not been released. James is expected to be presented with the trophy Sunday by Commissioner David Stern before Miami hosts Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Indiana.
LeBron was the clear frontrunner for the award after a fantastic statistical season, averaging 27.1 points while shooting 53.1 percent on the year, and he had a league-best PER of 30.7. Simply, he stepped up and took on a larger role on offense and defense for the Heat and still had a more efficient season.
This would be LeBron’s third MVP award. It’s an elite group, the only others to do that are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone.
I can hear LeBron’s haters now — it doesn’t matter until he wins a title. All the other people on that list have a title. That’s true for the public perception of him in this moment. But if (really, when) he wins one or two, these MVPs will be a strong part of his legacy as one of the all time elite players.
Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.