UPDATED Report: Rudy Gay to Toronto trade nearly done, Detroit may be third team

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UPDATE #2, 6:04 pm: Here is some twitter confirmation that the deal is close from one of the participants in the trade:

Memphis may have found their third team according to Marc Stein at ESPN:

Tayshaun Prince is a solid if no longer spectacular wing to fill in for Rudy Gay. Prince is shooting 43.4 percent from three this season (handy when you have passing bigs like Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph), is a solid defender and will fit in well with the Grizzlies as they try to make a playoff run.

Calderon in Detroit is not going to make Brandon Knight’s day.

UPDATE 4:40 pm: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network took to twitter on Wednesday afternoon to say that a deal to send Gay to Toronto is moving much closer to reality, with or without the addition of a third team in the mix — appaarently the Grizzlies really want to get this done.

It looks to me like a two-team deal is agreed to and Memphis is getting time to see if a third team can be found to jump in that makes it work better for them. Marc Stein at ESPN tweets that Dallas and Detroit were two possible third teams. However, if that doesn’t come together fast Memphis will just pull the trigger on a two-team deal then try to flip Calderon to another team in a separate trade later.

Ed Davis has played well for Toronto at the four as the starter since Andrea Bargnani went down, well enough that he took the starting spot away from the former No. 1 pick. Davis is on his rookie contract, Calderon has $10.5 million expiring deal (and would provide depth at the point with Mike Conley and provide tax relief in future years if they can’t flip him).

3:18 pm: No Rudy Gay to Toronto trade is imminent as of Tuesday night. In fact, the latest report from Adrian Wojnarowski suggests he may not be going there at all.

The Raptors and Grizzlies are looking to get a third team involved in the deal. While we fans at home love to come up with three-way trades the reality of them is they are exponentially harder to pull off than a straight swap. Too many people to make happy, too many issues to balance.

Here’s the latest, Wojnarowski of Yahoo sports and the NBC Sports Network.

The final hurdle for the salary dump of Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors hinges on finding a third team to absorb the expiring contract of Raptors guard Jose Calderon, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Grizzlies have inquired with multiple teams over the past several days, searching for a willing partner to facilitate a three-team deal, sources said.

Calderon is a quality point guard in the last year of a deal making $10.5 million. There is some trade value for him, but not as much as you might think. There are a lot of good point guards around the league and if you have one you like you’re not going to give up anything of value to get another one.

It could happen still, especially if the two teams work it out themselves, but with a third team don’t bet on it.

Paul George on return to Indiana Wednesday: “For whatever reason, I’ll be booed”

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This week is the Oklahoma City Thunder’s “you can’t go home again” week of the schedule. On Saturday night, Carmelo Anthony will return to New York where Knicks fans should welcome him with cheers and open arms — he meant a lot to that franchise in recent years — but may very well not.

First up, however, Paul George returns to Indiana in a Thunder uniform Wednesday night.

There’s little doubt how he will be greeted by Indiana fans, who felt betrayed by a man they stuck by through recovery from a severe injury. George knows what is coming,

Here are the key lines from PG13:

“Boos. I honestly wouldn’t think it would be any other way. The Pacers fans outweigh the Paul George fans. That’s what I’m looking forward to. For whatever reason, I’ll be booed, but I’m gonna embrace that. I’m gonna thrive on that.”

For whatever reason? You asked to be traded and fans take that personally. There is no loyalty in sports — I have no problem with players asking out because teams show no hesitancy in dumping players they no longer have a use for (and fans are almost always good with that) — but he had to know how this would be taken in Indiana.

What George might want to worry about is stopping the red-hot Victor Oladipo (he averaged 35.7 points per game last week), because he and the Pacers are playing better than the Thunder right now.

Kawhi Leonard returns Tuesday on minutes restriction

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The Spurs have been the Spurs this season, going 19-8 with an elite defense and offense that’s good enough to get them wins, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge playing at an All-Star level.

Starting Tuesday, they add Kawhi Leonard back to the mix.

He will return to the lineup against Dallas, but will be on a minutes restriction, coach Gregg Popovich said on Tuesday. He would not say how many minutes, although around 20 seems a logical starting spot.

Leonard is one of the five best players in the NBA (and that may be selling him short). He averaged a career-high 25.5 points a game last season, he’s arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA, and he finished third in the MVP voting last season.

However, there are going to be adjustments. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the focal point of the offense, but he could see fewer touches, particularly in crunch time. Kyle Anderson could see fewer minutes, and Rudy Gay may as well because Popovich liked some small-ball lineups last season with Leonard at the four. A lot of players will see their rotations change.

That said, it’s the Spurs. Do we really expect them to be anything but an incredibly good regular season team? One that is about to get better?

 

 

 

Pelicans’ Tony Allen out 3-4 weeks with fibula fracture

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The injuries just keep hitting the Pelicans. Guys like Solomon Hill and Alexis Ajinca are out for extended periods of time. Anthony Davis has missed four of the team’s last six games and is questionable for Wednesday night due to a left adductor injury.

Now comes the news that reserve guard Tony Allen will be out three to four weeks due to a nondisplaced left proximal fibula fracture, the team announced Tuesday. This is the part of the bone near the ankle.

Allen has played a limited role for New Orleans off the bench this season, averaging 12.4 minutes a game, and averaging 4.7 points. His reputation is that of a defensive stopper, and when he is on the court this season the Pelicans’ defense has been 5.6 points per 100 possessions better. However, father time has started to catch up with him and he is not the defender he once was.

Expect the minutes to bump up for Jrue Holiday and E'Twaun Moore with this injury, which is not a bad thing as they have played well (they were knocking down threes against the Rockets Monday like they were named Curry), plus Ian Clark could get a little more run.

Watch Kawhi Leonard chop boards ‘karate styyyle’ (video)

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Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.

He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.

But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.

Except we now know he apparently likes karate.

Leonard:

Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.

If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.

Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.

Michael C. Wright of ESPN: