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.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.

Report: Other small-market teams championing Pacers’ tampering allegation against Lakers

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The NBA, at the Pacers’ request, is investigating whether the Lakers tampered by making impressible contact with Paul George.

Bob Kravitz of WTHR

In fact, there’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”

Small-market teams whine too much about the disadvantages they face, but tampering isn’t really a market-size issue. Remember, under Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers were known as the only team that didn’t tamper.

The Lakers have advantages because George is from the area, and Los Angeles offers immense marketability. That’d be true whether or not they contacted George or his agent before he officially became a free agent.

I understand the desire to take down the big, bad Lakers – especially now that they appear poised to become truly big and bad again. But it’s hard to find a team that can cast a stone at them from anywhere other than a glass house.