PBT’s trade deadline tracker — up to minute news, analysis

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Trade deadline day in the NBA can be ridiculously hard to keep up with as reality and rumor collide. We understand. That’s why we’re here to help. This is our trade deadline day deal tracker — the one place where all the NBA’s trade deadline news and rumors will be. Plus you get our thoughts on everything. This post will be constantly updated throughout the day as the newest information becomes available. Just hit refresh and you will know what we do.

Also, you can track what everyone at PBT, Yahoo Sports and the Comcast Sports Network is saying on twitter by checking out our running NBA twitter feed for the day. That is a great way to stay on top of things.

4:04 pm: We should note that the Utah Jazz chose not to make a move and now have two free agent big men, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. They likely are going to lose one of those for nothing now (they probably re-sign the other).

4:00 pm: Golden State did make two small deals at the trade deadline, which is enough to get them under the luxury tax line for this year. They sent Jeremy Tyler to Atlanta and Charles Jenkins to Philadelphia, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. They are getting a second round pick back on both of those. This doesn’t impact the Warriors on the court but it is good for their bottom line (getting under the line helps with the repeater tax in future years).

3:55 pm: Ric Bucher of Comcast Bay Area says it was the Hawks that back out of the Josh Smith trade at the last minute. Bucher put this out on Sulia: “Hawks would’ve received Ekpe Udoh, Luc Mbah-Moute, Beno Udrih and a protected No. 1 pick. Can’t imagine the Bucks are happy having invested so much time in trying to make it happen. Leaves big question now if Hawks can do better this summer.”

3:33 pm: One last trade sneaks in just under the wire at the league office — New York trades Ronnie Brewer to Oklahoma City for a second-round pick, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports.

3:18 pm: Josh Smith is staying in Atlanta. This was always a possibility — Danny Ferry wants cap space and flexibility and if he couldn’t get that with a trade he could just let Smith and his $13 million come off the books at the end of the season. That’s what he’s doing.

3:16 pm: From the earlier Jordan Crawford to the Celtics trade, the Wizards also get Jason Collins from Boston. Note to Wizards fans, if you see a lot of Collins on the court it’s a bad sign.

3:08 pm: Charlotte swapped forwards right at the deadline with the Magic — Hakim Warrick to Orlando,  Josh McRoberts to Charlotte.

3:06 pm: Atlanta traded Anthony Morrow to Dallas for Dahntay Jones, reports ESPN.

3:04 pm: Looks like the Bucks and Magic worked out a straight up deal for J.J. Redick — Redick, Gustavo Ayon, and Ish Smith go to the Bucks and the Magic get  Doron Lamb, Beno Udrih and Tobias Harris.

3:00 pm: DEADLINE. A few things may still trickle in, we’re watching for it, but the paperwork needs to already be at the NBA league office.

2:59 pm: The Hawks have pulled out of the three-way talks with the Bucks and Magic, a deal that at one point may have involved a last, desperate attempt to move Josh Smith. So it comes down to the Bucks trying to get J.J. Redick straight up.

2:53 pm: From Joshua Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Magic are working on a 3-way trade, which would include J.J. Redick. Milwaukee is one of the teams.” That smells of a Josh Smith deal as well, but there are not a lot of details.

2:48 pm: Right up against the deadline, the Thunder are talking about a deal that would send backup point guard Eric Maynor to Portland, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. That makes sense for the Blazers, the question is what goes back to OKC in the deal. There seems to be some weight here as it popped up a number of places. And Stein says this appears to be all but done.

2:40 pm: Report now that the Pacers are out of the J.J. Redick sweepstakes. That means unless somebody swoops in last minute it is down to Philly and Orlando for a possible deal. It feels more and more like Redick could stay the season, but then Orlando gets nothing for him when he leaves as a free agent this summer.

2:30 pm: Just half an hour left until the trade deadline and Josh Smith is still in Atlanta, J.J. Redick is still in Orlando and Metta World Peace is still in his Cookie Monster pajamas.

2:09 pm: The Suns and Raptors have made it official — Hamed Haddadi and a second round pick to  Phoenix, which brings Sebastian Telfair to Toronto as a backup point guard. We’d heard about this one before and Chris Broussard of ESPN says it’s done.

2:02 pm: The trade is Jordan Crawford to the Celtics for the expiring contract of Leandro Barbosa, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Barbosa is out for the season with an ankle injury, this is simply a cash move for Washington. Crawford can provide some perimeter scoring for the Celtics off the bench.

2:00 pm: One hour to the deadline. One hour left.

1:57 pm: Now multiple reports say that while Jordan Crawford looks headed to Boston, it is not Fab Melo going to Washington. Not sure who else is on the end of that bench the Wizards would want.

1:50 pm: The Miami Heat have worked out a deal to send little used big man Dexter Pittman to the Memphis Grizzlies for a 2013 second round pick reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports. Memphis also gets Miami’s second round pick (they swap picks). This creates a roster spot for the Heat to add another body.

1:48 pm: Deal close now for something reported a while ago — Jordan Crawford goes to Boston and Fab Melo comes back to Washington. Marc Spears of Yahoo is the latest but this has been picking up steam.

1:44 pm: Zach Lowe of Grantland makes a good point — we had a couple major deals this year, just they happened earlier than normal. Those are the James Harden and Rudy Gay trades.

1:41 pm: There are multiple reports that the Lakers approached the Cavaliers about Daniel Gibson, problem is what minor role player on the Lakers would you like to take back? Exactly. The Lakers have no assets worth trading.

1:13 pm: The Nuggets don’t like the offers they are getting and will not trade Timofey Mozgov, reports Adrian Wojnarowski. They also are not going to buy him out. He’s just going to have very good seats at the rest of the Nuggets games this season.

1:06 pm: I feel like I am just sitting here humming the Jeopardy theme.

Fact is that the new CBA and luxury tax  have scared teams off and they are not making the big moves this deadline. The owners hoped this would flatten out the talent pool by making teams afraid of spending like the Lakers did this summer anyway. It feels more and more like Josh Smith may get moved and some smaller deals but that’s it. Even Redick may stay in Orlando.

12:59 pm: Josh Smith admitted that it was hard to sleep last night because of all the trade rumors, tweets the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He also said, “No matter what happens Atlanta will still be home. ”

12:50 pm: Portland is still shopping J.J. Hickson around but want a first round pick and are not finding any takers, ESPN Chris Broussard reports. Hickson is a free agent this summer and teams that have interest will just wait until then.

12:48 pm: So far a very slow trade deadline, but with more than two hours left things could start to fly. However, the predictions of a slower than normal trade deadline have a nice lead as we make the turn toward the home stretch.

12:43 pm: Sorry Bulls fans, but your team will not be moving Carlos Boozer at the deadline, for anyone or anything (via ESPN’s Chris Broussard, although it is not a surprise). They also are not going to get J.J. Redick. It looks like you will get the same old Bulls, but with Derrick Rose, the rest of the way.

12:35 pm: More buzz that if the Knicks make any move it will be Ronnie Brewer. Iman Shumpert is not going anywhere. He stays a Knick, to the delight of Knicks fans.

12:30 pm: Teams are dropping out of the J.J. Redick sweepstakes like flies. Detroit is out of the running and the Bucks have pulled back. Ridick likes the idea of the San Antonio Spurs — he lives in Texas in the off-season and the Spurs are really good — but they are out according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The Magic want a first round pick and the Spurs first round picks stink. Pacers, 76ers still in mix, may be others.

11:58 am: Some buzz out there that the Clippers and Celtics are talking again (about what… Kevin Garnett? Not again). Again, coach Vinny Del Negro and some in the Clippers organization want to go into full on win-now mode and try to swing a deal like that for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan, but the decision makers are not sold. Chris Paul pushing for it is the one guy who can swing that, but he tried to talk KG into leaving Boston this summer and was told no.

11:43 am: Marc Stein of ESPN says this could happen — Hamed Haddadi and a second round pick to  Phoenix, which brings Sebastian Telfair to Toronto as a backup point. As we’ve said, since the Jose Calderon trade the Raptors need a backup point so there is some logic here. Telfair also is friends with Kyle Lowry and Rudy Gay.

11:40 am: The Boston Celtics are making a trade-deadline run at Tyreke Evans and the Kings are open to the idea, reports Mark Stein of ESPN.

11:34 am: Josh Smith is participating in Hawks practice on Thursday. Take that for what it’s worth. His name still is being passed around in trade talks more than a joint at a Cypress Hill concert.

11:31 am: Multiple reports say the Kings are willing to trade Tyreke Evans in the right deal. Not sure what the right deal would be but that is out there

11:28 am: The Bobcats want to move Gerald Henderson — a solid role-playing guard — but can’t find anyone willing to surrender a first round pick for him, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports. If I were a contending team needing guard help to win now and with a pick in the 20s, I’d offer that. But nothing more. Apparently Charlotte can’t even get that.

11:19 am: While there seems to be some buzz out there, the Nuggets have said they have no intention of buying out Timofey Mozgov’s deal. If you want him, you have to trade for him. Miami wants him but lacks the assets to get it done, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

11:14 am: In case you are watching SportsCenter or some other network talking about it, let me just be clear again — the Lakers ARE NOT TRADING DWIGHT HOWARD UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. So stop talking about it.

11:07 am: There has been some buzz that the Rockets would try to flip Thomas Robinson after getting him in a trade Wednesday. First, they could only flip him if he got to the team and cleared his physical before the deadline, which is unlikely. Plus, they want to keep him in Houston, not trade him, according to Rockets beat reporter for the Chronicle Jonathan Feigen.

10:59 am: What is it with the Bulls owners and their owners hatred of the luxury tax? J.J. Redick would be a great fit for the Bulls on the court, but they are cooling on him because Redick is a free agent next summer and to re-sign him would send the Bulls into the luxury tax, Ken Berger reports at CBS. The Bulls have never paid the tax. Never. And they are trying to move Rip Hamilton now to get below the line this year.

10:51 am: The Bulls would love to move Richard Hamilton to save some money, other teams seem to be asking for a pick to sweeten the deal and the Bulls are saying no, reports Adrian Wojnarowski.

10:45 am: Who is pushing hardest for J.J. Redick? The Bucks, Pacers, Spurs, 76ers according to David Aldridge of TNT and NBA.com. In the Bucks case it might only be if Monta Ellis gets moved (part of the J.R. Smith deal). The Magic will end up taking what they see as the best first rounder of those for him (Sixers?).

10:37 am: Now comes the rumor that the Bucks will not send Monta Ellis to Atlanta as part of a Josh Smith deal. That from Chris Broussard. I would say not to believe much of anything specific coming out of the talks. The talks are certainly serious and going on, but the details will be in constant flux until a deal is reached.

10:34 am: The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards are having a Fab Melo for Jordan Crawford discussion, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard. That would give the Celtics some more perimeter shooting.

10:15 am: It looks like the Milwaukee Bucks may be the font runners to land Josh Smith, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports. The deal would look something like Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and other players for Smith and Devin Harris.

10:05 am: The Lakers are looking to shed a little salary and are offering Steve Blake, Chris Duhon, Devin Ebanks, Darius Morris for 2nd-round picks, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

Contrary to earlier reports, the Magic are still looking at Redick deals and have some offers of first round picks, they are just in the 20s and the Magic are holding out something better comes along, reports Wojnarowski.

Golden State is trying to unload some of the guys at the end of their bench to get under the luxury tax line.

9:55 am: Sounds like the Bucks and Dallas have a deal in place to send reserve point guard Beno Udrih to Texas, but it’s on hold in case Udrih becomes part of the ongoing talks between the Bucks and Hawks about Josh Smith, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

9:50 am: Here is where we stand as the morning tips off:

• The Orlando Magic apparently told J.J. Redick they were not going to trade him. I wouldn’t bet on that. Lots of teams still interested and talking to Orlando.

• It depends on who you talk to and when, I guess. Ken Berger at CBSSports says the Rockets are “involved at high level” in Josh Smith talks. Then Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports reports the Rockets appear to be out of the Josh Smith sweepstakes, because Atlanta asking for Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons, which is a pretty steep price. The Rockets will have the cap space to go after Smith (or Dwight Howard, or anyone) this summer as a free agent if they so choose.

• The Raptors are the front-runners to land Sebastian Telfair, reports Wojnarowski. This makes sense, after the Jose Calderon trade the Raptors need some depth at the point and Telfair is out of the rotation in Phoenix.

• Andrea Bargnani likely is not moved at the deadline, reports the Toronto Sun. That fits with the rumblings out there, the fact is the Raptors couldn’t get real value back for him. Why? Teams have seen Bargnani play.

• The Spurs may not move DeJuan Blair after all, reports David Aldridge of TNT. That may just be posturing as the Spurs try to get a better deal. If he does stay it sucks for Blair, who has been squeezed out of the rotation.

Ken Berger of CBS brings us another report that the Nets don’t want Ben Gordon of the Bobcats. The Nets really want to get that news out there.

Report: Becky Hammon rejects offer to become Florida women’s head coach, stays with Spurs

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Becky Hammon, the NBA’s first female full-time coach, faced an intriguing choice: Remain a Spurs assistant or become the head coach of Florida’s women’s basketball team.

She apparently chose the former.

Mike Robinson of Swish Appeal:

Hammon has decided she will not take the coaching position at Florida. Instead, she will remain an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich.

The Florida job would’ve offered a higher salary and full charge of a program.

It also would’ve taken her further from her goal of becoming the NBA’s first female head coach.

Perhaps unfairly, it would have been too easy for NBA teams to forget about Hammon if she returned to women’s basketball. Her road is already difficulty enough. An opportunity for teams to typecast her as only a women’s-basketball coach could’ve debilitated her NBA-coaching prospects

Hammon still faces a long road, but the more time she spends coaching men, the more barriers she erases. Her staying in San Antonio goes a long way toward normalizing the idea of women coaching in the NBA.

NBA Power Rankings Week 23: Can Spurs, Rockets knock Warriors out of top spot this week?

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There’s only a few weeks left n the NBA season, and if someone is going to knock Golden State out of the top spot it’s going to happen this week — the Warriors play the Spurs once and the Rockets twice. As for now, Golden State remains the team on top, while both Boston and Washington slide past Cleveland.

 
Warriors small icon 1. Warriors (59-14, Last Week No. 1). And people were worried about this team because… why? Golden State is winners of seven in a row, and Kevin Durant seems to be on track to be back before the regular season ends. This week they will get tested: back-to-back at Houston and San Antonio, then Houston and Washington back at Oracle. If they stumble, the door opens for San Antonio to get the No. 1 seed, but don’t bet on it as Golden State’s schedule softens after this week. Also, just a reminder Andre Iguodala can do this.

 
Spurs small icon 2. Spurs (56-16, LW 3). Winners of four in a row, and this becomes the third straight season the Spurs have beat all other 29 teams in the NBA at least once in the regular season. No other team in NBA history has done that. If the Spurs don’t beat the Warriors Wednesday and close that gap for the No. 1 seed this week (and even if they do) expect Gregg Popovich to make sure his stars get rested heading into the playoffs.

 
Rockets small icon 3. Rockets (51-22, LW 4). If you are making a case for James Harden for MVP based on his efficiency and ability to lift his team up, Sunday’s win over the Thunder should be Exhibit 1A (it also was an easy win for Houston in what may well have been a first-round playoff preview). That said, Harden is playing through a sore wrist, and this week the Rockets have the Warriors twice, plus a desperate Portland team trying to make the playoffs. Houston will need MVP Harden to keep winning (and he may get a night off to rest that wrist).

 
Celtics small icon 4. Celtics (48-26, LW 7). In one week they beat the Wizard and the surging Heat, the Celtics have won 8-of-10 and are now tied with Cleveland for the best record in the East. Know that the Celtics have a much softer schedule the rest of the way than the Cavs. Al Horford has stepped it up since the All-Star break and in March is averaging 15.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game. How high will Brad Stevens finish in Coach of the Year voting?

 
Wizards small icon 5. Wizards (45-28, LW 8). Quality win over the Cavaliers Saturday in Cleveland, and while I may not be sold they beat the Cavs in a seven-game series they deserve acknowledgment for what they did. The Cleveland win was the first game of six-of-seven on the road, and they have a gauntlet of the West ahead on this trip with the Clippers, Jazz, and Warriors. That’s a problem because Toronto is winning again and is just one game back of Washington in the race for the three seed (and avoiding Cleveland in the second round).

 
Cavaliers small icon 6. Cavaliers (47-25, LW 2). They have lost three-of-five, and their defense is 29th in the NBA in the month of March, which has let Boston tie them for the best record in the East (and Cleveland has a tougher schedule the rest of the way. Yet, most observers around the league (including coaches/scouts) expect the Cavs to flip the switch come the playoffs. Tyrone Lue says he has a plan to fix the defense in the postseason, but it feels like the plan on both ends come the playoffs is “unleash angry LeBron James.” By the way, that’s a really good plan.

 
Raptors small icon 7. Raptors (44-29, LW 10). Winners of five in a row and that has them back in the mix for the three seed (the Raptors are just one game back of the Wizards and have an easier schedule the rest of the way). The Raptors have gone 11-5 without Kyle Lowry thanks to an improved defense and a lot o DeMar DeRozan, and this team looks dangerous in the postseason.

 
Clippers small icon 8. Clippers (44-31, LW 9). Every time you think this team is making strides, they turn around and do something like that ugly loss on their home court to the Kings on Sunday. That said, the win over the Jazz this week and a very soft schedule the rest of the way should have the Clippers getting home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs against Utah (that series is almost a lock). The question is, which Clippers team shows up for the playoffs? Or will that vary night to night?

 
Thunder small icon 9. Thunder (41-31, LW 5). More than just an MVP showdown, the Thunder/Rockets game Sunday was a likely first-round playoff matchup — and that should worry Thunder fans as their team got crushed. That said, OKC likes to play a physical style of defense and they may be able to get away with more on that front in the postseason. Interesting Friday night game vs. Spurs, what will Westbrook do when Kawhi Leonard locks in on him?

 
Jazz small icon 10. Jazz (44-29, LW 6). They have lost four of five, but the loss to the Clippers Saturday was the biggest blow. While LA is a game back for the four seed and home court in the first round, the Clips have a much easier schedule the rest of the way. For that apparent Jazz/Clips first round series, Utah needs Derrick Favors back and contributing. Los Angeles will use more Marreese Speights because he can draw Rudy Gobert away from the basket, Favors can help counter that for Utah.

 
Bucks small icon 11. Bucks (37-36, LW 14). Atlanta, Indiana, and Milwaukee are all tied for the 5-6-7 seeds in the East with nine games left to play. The Hawks have a mildly easier schedule but the Bucks are playing much better right now than either of those two teams, having won 11-of-14. In the last 14 games, the Bucks have had a top-10 defense, and that has sustained them night to night — the Bucks have won 17 in a row when holding their opponent under 100 points.

 
Heat small icon 12. Heat (35-38, LW 12). Miami is clinging to a half-game lead over the Bulls for the final playoff slot in the West, but if the Heat are going to keep that they need to rack up wins in their next five games, because the team’s final four are brutal (and Chicago has a much easier schedule). This week the Heat are at Detroit, have a home-and-home with the Knicks, then host the Nuggets. The Heat need consistency from Goran Dragic, he needs to take charge with Dion Waiters out.

 
Blazers small icon 13. Trail Blazers (35-38, LW 15). They are tied for the eighth seed in the West having gone 11-3 in March, with the second-best net rating and seventh best defense in the NBA in that stretch. The Blazers are tied with the Nuggets for the eighth seed and the two teams play Tuesday, but Portland has a much softer schedule the rest of the way. Making the playoffs begins to salvage what has been a disappointing season in Portland (they still have some questions to answer this summer, regardless.

 
Nuggets small icon 14. Nuggets (35-38, LW 16). Denver beats Cleveland, then turns around and gets blown out at home by New Orleans. Their offense led by Nikola Jokic is good, but they don’t get stops and that leads to the inconsistency. Huge game Tuesday night against Portland: The two teams are tied for the eighth seed but Denver’s schedule the rest of the way is much tougher so the Tuesday game becomes almost must win for the Nuggets.

 
Grizzlies small icon 15. Grizzlies (40-33, LW 11). I like the new starting lineup with Vince Carter at the three, but this team has lost three in a row and needs to get healthy (both Tony Allen and Marc Gasol missed time this week). Memphis seems destined for the seven seed at this point, if they are going to give the Spurs (probably, maybe the Warriors) a push,Memphis needs to get healthy for the postseason.

 
Pacers small icon 16. Pacers (36-36, LW 17).. Another inconsistent team trying to hold on to a playoff slot. Tied for 5-6-7 in the East, they have a tough week ahead but a soft enough schedule overall they should get in as the six or seven. The Indiana bench has been a problem all season long and the ankle injury to Al Jefferson is not going to help matters down the stretch.

 
Bulls small icon 17. Bulls (35-39, LW 20). They are just half a game back of the Heat for the eighth seed and have a much softer schedule the rest of the way, so you’d like to say they will get in. Then they turn around and lose to the Sixers, and we all are reminded this is not a good team, so don’t count on anything. Nikola Mitotic is coming on as the season winds down, averaging 14.2 points and shooting 39.2 percent from three in March, all of which just seems very Bulls. Also, Jimmy Butler dished out 14 assists in a game this week.

 
Hawks small icon 18. Hawks (37-36 LW 13). Losers of seven in a row, as injuries to Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore have taken their toll — the lack of depth has been a serious issue of late, the bench is a problem. While the Hawks are tied for the 5-6-7 seed in the East right now, they are just 2.5 games ahead of Chicago in the nine seed, and if any team looks like they could slide out of the playoffs in the final weeks of the season, it’s Atlanta right now.

Pistons small icon 19. Pistons (34-39, LW 18). . If they have any playoff dreams left, they have to beat the Heat on Tuesday night (Detroit is just a game back of Miami, but it feels like it should be much more). Ish Smith is starting at point guard for Stan Van Gundy, but that didn’t solve the problems as Detroit lost to Chicago and Orlando last week once the change was made. Talk about a team that really needs to access where it is and how it is structured this off-season, few teams have been as disappointing as Detroit this season.

 
Mavericks small icon 20. Mavericks (31-41, LW 19). The Mavericks’ next loss will officially end their 16-season streak of being .500 or better. That streak started when Mark Cuban took over as owner and speaks to the job he has done as owner turning what had been one of the worst franchises in the NBA around. On the court the final weeks of the season, Rick Carlisle is experimenting with lineups to see what works, which is interesting to watch.

 
Hornets small icon 21. Hornets (33-40, LW 23). The Hornets have questions to answer this summer, but not as many as you may think. This team has outscored opponents by one point per 100 possessions this year, or put another way the Hornets are +66 for the season. Basketball-Reference.com says their record should be 39-34 right now, which would have them solidly in the playoffs as the five seed. No team has been as unlucky this season as Charlotte. Also, Kemba Walker had an overlooked 31 points Sunday.

 
Pelicans small icon 22. Pelicans (31-42, LW 21). How has Anthony Davis performed since DeMarcus Cousins came on board? His numbers are almost identical, if anything Davis is shooting a little more efficiently (watch his highlights below). Assuming the Pelicans can re-sign Cousins (as is expected around the league), those two will work out their offensive challenges this summer (the Pelicans are already playing good defense with them). The question is who is coaching in New Orleans next season?

 
Sixers small icon 23. 76ers (27-45, LW 24). In his last 10 games, Dario Saric is averaging 20.2 points a game, shooting 38 percent from three, and pulling down seven rebounds a game. He has been fantastic since the All-Star break, but is that enough to get him past teammate Joel Embiid for Rookie of the Year? It’s going to be close and how Saric plays in the final nine games of the season could have a lot to do with it (as does how voters feel about giving Embiid the award despite him playing in just 31 games).

 
timberwolves small icon 24. Timberwolves (28-44, LW 22). Losers of six in a row, that has sealed the Wolves fate, they will be golfing in mid-April again and haven’t made the playoffs since 2004. Fans are forced to say “wait until next year” but that may be the truth based on how Minnesota has played defense since the All-Star break. Still, this team is battling expectations and those will continue to rise this off-season.

 
Magic small icon 25. Magic (27-46 LW 28). They have won three-of-four, Elfrid Payton is racking up triple-doubles (against Detroit last week), and there are still flashes of hope in Orlando. Coach Frank Vogel has gone into experimentation phase, such as trying Mario Hezonja at the four. Which is what the coach should be doing on this team at this point. See what works so he can talk about it with the next GM.

 
Kings small icon 26. Kings (28-45, LW 26). Buddy Heild was putting on a show, scoring 11 of the Kings 22 points in a close-out run that had Sacramento beating the L.A. Clippers Sunday. He’s showing promise, but needs to spend the summer working on his handles and willingness to drive the lane, he needs to be more than just a spot-up guy for the Kings.

 
Knicks small icon 27. Knicks (27-46 LW 25). Plenty of drama in New York to end the season, with Joakim Noah getting 20 games for using a banned substance. While all the talk has been about a focus on the triangle offense, the Knicks problems remain they are a terrible defensive team, and that is more about the makeup of the roster than the coaching staff or the system. It’s going to be a very interesting summer in New York.

 
Nets small icon 28. Nets (16-57, LW 29). They have seven wins in March and have now won back-to-back games this season. The wins may keep on coming, the Nets have a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way. Relax Celtics fans, they are still going to have the worst record in the NBA for the season, but the wins speak both a little to health and some to the culture coach Kenny Atkinson is starting to build.

 
Suns small icon 29. Suns (22-51, LW 27). Devin Booker goes off for 70 and is a needed distraction from a seven game losing streak that has them pressing the Lakers for the bottom spot in the West. I’ve got no problem with the time outs and fouls at the end of the game to get Booker to 70, Earl Watson said it best: If Jae Crowder and the Celtics didn’t like it, go out and stop them.

 
Lakers small icon 30. Lakers (21-52, LW 30). We all know the Lakers keep their pick if it’s in the top three; otherwise it goes to the Sixers (part of the Steve Nash trade). Let’s just lay out the odds: As it stands now with the second-worst record in the league, the Lakers have a 56 percent chance of keeping that pick. However, slumping Phoenix is within a game of the Lakers, if those two tie the Lakers odds go down to 51 percent. If the Lakers pass the Suns in the standings (and have the third-worst record in the league) the odds of keeping the pick drop to like 45 percent. So, tanking.

Kyle Korver out for Cavaliers-Spurs: ‘Foot never really got all the way right’

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Cavaliers forward Kyle Korver will not play Monday night against the San Antonio Spurs because of a left foot injury that sidelined him seven games this month.

Korver only recently returned to the lineup, but says his foot has “never really got all the way right.” The shooting specialist has had MRIs, which have not revealed structural damage.

The team says Korver has an inflamed tendon, a problem he has had in years past. He usually treats the injury with rest.

This is the latest medical issue to hit the struggling NBA champions this season. Guard Iman Shumpert is questionable with a sore right knee. He sat out Saturday’s loss to Washington.

The Cavs enter the week in a virtual tie with Boston for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Report: Jim Buss resigns as Lakers trustee

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Jim Buss’ fall from power within the Lakers continues.

After Jeanie Buss fired Jim from his front-office position, Jim and Johnny Buss tried to wrestle control from Jeanie.

That gambit has failed.

Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times:

The three siblings have agreed for Jeanie to serve as controlling owner and on the team’s board of directors as long as the family owns the Lakers. On Monday morning, they asked a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge to issue an order to that effect.

According to a person familiar with the situation, Jim Buss resigned as co-trustee Thursday as part of a requirement by Jeanie Buss to resolve the dispute. Her younger sister and staunch ally, Janie, replaced the brother, joining Jeanie and Johnny Buss as co-trustees.

The person said there was no financial settlement with Jim Buss.

So Jim Buss no longer runs basketball operations, is no longer a trustee and received no payout. This is what happens you make bold promises and don’t keep them.

But Jim remains an owner of the franchise. This is what happens when you’re born to a wealthy father.

This will end the latest round of drama, but Jim’s ownership gives him some — though far less — say. The Buss/Laker business is too personal to assume this new legal arrangement ends the drama for good.