Tuesday And-1 links: Shed a tear, Spurs waive Eddy Curry

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Here is our regular 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.

• Eddy Curry had actually looked better than you might expect for the Spurs this preseason, but that wasn’t enough. He was a longshot from the start. The Spurs cut Curry on Tuesday (along with Derrick Brown), the team announced. Hard to imagine a soft landing spot for him in the league.

• Speaking of guys waived in the last few days, there is Christian Eyenga (Lakers), Walker Russell (Thunder), Chris Douglas-Roberts (Lakers), and Greg Somogyi (Lakers).

Yao Ming golfing. Those are going to be some very long clubs.

• The Nuggets have exercised third year options on Kenneth Faried and Jordan Hamilton in a surprise to nobody anywhere.

• Actually less shocking, the Pistons exercised their fourth-year option for Greg Monroe.

Great post looking at how the Nets guards (Deron Williams, Joe Johnson) operate out of the post. That team has a lot of offensive options. Defense on the other hand….

An interesting interview with Jim Buss, the guy at the top of the Lakers front office food chain right now, son of Jerry Buss and the guy making the decisions. And he has his own stats formula, thank you very much.

• If you want more Lakers’ interviews, here is one with Pau Gasol.

Might the Heat decide to trade Joel Anthony?

• Paul Pierce can’t see himself in any uniform but a Celtics’ one. Have to agree there, it would look weird.

• Looks like Al Horford will be back in the Hawks lineup on Friday for the final preseason game.

• Detroit’s Corey Maggette’s has a “slight pull” in his left calf and he will be out for a while. Stunning, I know.

• Great post looking at the best minimum-salary players in the NBA. Hello Delonte West.

Some more details on how Royce White plans to get to some (most?) Rockets away games without flying.

• Lamar Odom was held out of Monday’s Clippers preseason game with what Vinny Del Negro described as a bone bruise on his knee. That does not help his conditioning issue.

• Hornets big man Jason Smith may miss the rest of the Hornets’ preseason to let his sore shoulder heal.

• Rookie Doran Lamb, who had battled an elbow injury, returned to practice for the Bucks on Tuesday.

• Wizards rookie Bradley Beal was held out of practice on Tuesday as a precaution after an ankle tweak, but it appears to be nothing serious.

• A Q&A with Dallas big Elton Brand.

Brian Scalabrine previews the Boston Celtics.

• Here is a blog post slamming the general populace of the Los Angeles Lakers fan base (some NSFW language, if that bothers you). As a guy who cut his blogging teeth on a Lakers site of my creation and who lives in Los Angeles, all I’ll say is this — I started a Lakers blog in part to be able to control the level of Lakers discourse going on around me.

• For those of you who need your occasional fix of international basketball, we have good news. FIBA and ESPN have announced a multi-year deal that has them covering the FIBA Americas Championships (2013, 2015), the
EuroBaskets (2013, 2015), the FIBA Basketball World Cup (2014). You can also add the FIBA World Championship for Women (2014) to the list.

LaVar Ball confronts wrestler at WWE event (video)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — LaVar Ball has brought his Big Baller Brand from the basketball court to the wrestling ring.

The outspoken father of NBA draft No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball showed up with the newly minted Los Angeles Laker and another son, 15-year-old LaMelo, for a live segment on Monday’s “WWE Raw” at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

During the segment, LaMelo Ball twice used the n-word, which was broadcast over the air. WWE says in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that the language “was not scripted nor reflects WWE’s values.”

For LaVar Ball’s appearance, the ring was decorated with mannequins displaying his Big Baller Brand clothing line. He got in a heated confrontation with WWE wrestler The Miz, and took his shirt off to cheers from the crowd.

Bulls, with Michael Carter-Williams, first team to decline extending qualifying offer to Rookie of the Year

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Just four years ago, Michael Carter-Williams won Rookie of the Year.

Now, the Bulls don’t even see a $4,187,599 qualifying offer as worth extending.

David Kaplan of CSN Chicago:

Credit Sam Hinkie for trading Carter-Williams (to the Bucks) at just the right moment, netting the 76ers a valuable Lakers first-round pick that Philadelphia used to trade up for Markelle Fultz. Carter-Williams hasn’t nearly lived up to the typical production of a former Rookie of the Year.

The Bulls got Carter-Williams far cheaper from Milwaukee, for Tony Snell (who had a breakout year with the Bucks). But Carter-Williams continued to regress in Chicago. It’s just hard for a point guard with such a shaky outside shot, and Carter-Williams’ injuries haven’t helped.

With a smorgasbord of point guards that now includes Kris Dunn and Cameron Payne, the Bulls can move on.

Carter-Williams can probably latch on as a backup point guard somewhere. As an unrestricted free agent, teams will have greater comfort pursuing him. But this is a blow for someone with such a big accolade on his résumé.

Celtics’ reported plan: Sign Gordon Hayward, trade for Paul George

AP Photo/George Frey
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The Celtics are trying to sign Gordon Hayward.

They want to trade for Paul George.

It seems those goals are not mutually exclusive.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Boston Celtics are pursuing an aggressive summer plan of sequencing the signing of free agent Gordon Hayward and relinquishing the assets needed to complete a trade for Paul George, league sources told The Vertical.

For salary-cap purposes, Boston wants a Hayward commitment before it can finalize a trade for George and secure the most dynamic free-agent coup in franchise history, league sources said.

For Boston, here’s the hitch: While Indiana believes Boston can offer the best possible package, the Pacers may be unwilling to wait until the start of July free agency on Boston’s timetable and could turn toward making a deal elsewhere for George, league sources told The Vertical.

The Celtics can clear cap space to sign Hayward. They have the ammo to trade for George. They could do both.

But, as covered before, there’s probably not a path to signing Hayward and extending George’s contract.

So, how much would Boston surrender for George on an expiring contract? The risk he walks in a year, particularly for the Lakers, should lower the Celtics’ offer.

Still, Boston could trade for the Pacers star and roll the dice on re-signing him. Playing with Hayward – and Isaiah Thomas and whichever other players the Celtics keep in this arrangement – would be pretty appealing.

Rumor: LeBron James would ‘never’ join Clippers

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The Clippers hired Jerry West, in part, to help lure LeBron James.

But even with LeBron-to-Los Angeles (Clippers or Lakers) rumors swirling, that plan might not even get off the ground.

Mike Wise of The Undefeated on Freddie and Fritz:

I’m going to give you something on this show, and this is breaking news. Nobody else is going to have it.

I got from a very good authority – a very good authority – that LeBron James will never be a Clipper. I can’t tell you who, but I’m going to tell you it’s somebody that knows, and LeBron James will never be a Clipper. I don’t know if that’s because he remembers what the Clippers used to be, or he just doesn’t want to put his lot in there, or he thinks Steve Ballmer is just too animated on the sideline.

He’s never going to be a Clipper. I’m just telling people right now, for your edification. I’m breaking this on the Freddie Coleman and Fitz show.

I don’t believe in “never” in situations like this. As Jerry Seinfeld would say, teams are just laundry. The Clippers can change owners, general managers, coaches, players. LeBron would remain absolutely opposed to joining?

Maybe, but I won’t go that far without knowing his reason for resisting the Clippers. A lot can change between now and 2018, when LeBron can opt out.

One of the Clippers’ biggest selling points was always going to be Chris Paul, LeBron’s close friend. Reading the tea leaves, maybe this is a sign Paul will leave this summer – for the Spurs, Rockets or somewhere else.