Dwight Howard is gone, but that is just knocking down one wall in the major rebuilding project that is going on in Orlando. GM Rob Hennigan is rebuilding the entire house and there is a lot more work to do.
That means he is not done trading. Pretty much everyone on the roster is available.
That’s something Brian Schmitz tried to make clear at the Orlando Sentinel.
They are open for business to any team that is interested in the likes of holdovers Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Big Baby Davis and Quentin Richardson. (And those players also might be looking to join a team that’s not competing for lottery prizes the next few seasons.)
Vets Al Harrington and Josh McRoberts, who both arrived in the Dwight deal, also will be there for the asking. What do the Magic want in return to jettison any of those deals? Ideally, expiring contracts and/or draft picks.
The Magic have been trying to move the Turkoglu contract (two years, $17 million left) for a couple seasons, and good luck with that.
But Redick with one year at $6.1 million will draw interest for teams who need a shooter. Glen Davis could be useful but with three years and $17 million not sure anyone takes him. And while Nelson is a quality point guard but may not be easy to move with his new deal (three years, $25 million).
Still, the blue light special sale is still going on in Orlando and you can expect a lot more moves.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)
The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.
While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”
Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”
We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.
Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.
Shaquille O’Neal was as dominant a force as the NBA has ever seen.
His peak years came with the Lakers, when paired with Kobe Bryant one the court — and Phil Jackson manipulating both of them — they won three titles (and arguably would have had more if they stayed together). Those Lakers teams were one of the NBA’s great teams.
Friday night, the Lakers unveil Shaq’s statue at Staples Center. Take a look back at some of Shaq’s Lakers highlights.
The Kings were very good to Matt Barnes.
They signed him to a two-year contract worth more than $12.5 million when it seemed he wouldn’t come close to that on the market. Then they waived him, allowing him to receive all his salary and escape basketball hell for the Warriors, who make him much happier.
Yet, he’s going into tonight’s Golden State-Sacramento game with an edge.
Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle (hat tip: CSN Bay Area):
Matt Barnes holding a grudge? Why, I never.