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.

Pacers’ Lance Stephenson will get his chance, but coming off the bench

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Indiana is Myles Turner‘s team now. Gone from last season are Paul George, Monta Ellis, Jeff Teague, Aaron Brooks and more. More than just Turner, everyone on the Pacers’ roster is going to get a chance to shine.

That includes Lance Stephenson.

But he will do that coming off the bench, coach Nate McMillan told the Pacers’ website.

Coach Nate McMillan said he has a starting lineup in mind heading into training camp, but wouldn’t reveal it. He did acknowledge, however, that Lance Stephenson likely will start the season as the sixth man…

“I hope he can establish (that role),” McMillan said. “A sixth man is like a starter, and he can be a guy who can do a lot of things with that second group with his ability to handle the ball, score the ball. He’s an unselfish player.”

Stephenson was only with the Pacers for a few games at the end of last season, but he was their second best player in the postseason brought an energy and toughness the team lacked. He hit threes (62 percent for the Pacers), played hard, and looked more like the guy Indiana had years ago than the guy who has bounced around the league since. But that was a very small sample size, it’s something else to do this over the course of a season.

Indiana is rebuilding but they did not bottom out and tank, they brought in guys who can handle the ball such as Victor Oladipo (the George trade), Darren Collison, and Cory Joseph. Stephenson is going to have to accept and find a role behind and with those guys. But he’s going to get a chance, and he has played his best ball in a Pacers’ uniform.

Suns’ center Alex Len expected to sign qualifying offer, head to camp

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In the free-spending summer of 2016, Bismack Biyambo got a $72 million contract. Timofey Mozgov got $64 million.

Those kinds of contracts — and there were plenty more of them — had a lot of NBA big men (and players in general) heading into this summer thinking they were going to get PAID. Instead, teams learned the lessons from their drunken spending binge and the market got tight. Especially for centers.

Which leads us to the news Suns big man Alex Len is going to bet on himself and sign his qualifying offer before coming to camp, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Barring an unforeseen change of events, Phoenix Suns center Alex Len is planning to sign the team’s $4.2 million qualifying offer before training camp, clearing the way to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018, league sources told ESPN….

Phoenix wants to study’s Len’s progress in the 2017-18 season before committing to a long-term, lucrative contract extension to him. Len has started 80 games over the past two seasons, including 34 in 2016-17 when he averaged eight points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks a game.

Phoenix wants to leave its options open. Len is mobile, can protect the rim, and has some skills that would help him fit in a modern NBA style offense — he could play with Devin Booker and Josh Jackson — plus last season he improved his shooting around the rim and in the paint. However, he’s not consistent on either end of the court. He shows his potential in flashes, but the Suns need to see more.

Len will now be an unrestricted free agent next summer — he is playing for his next payday. If that can’t motivate him, nothing will.

Report: Lottery reform will really help teams in middle of lottery

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Tanking in the NBA is a problem more of perception than reality — Adam Silver and the league office doesn’t like that there are portions of team’s fan bases rooting for their team to lose. It doesn’t like that tanking is openly discussed on radio shows and online. Combine that with the resting of star players on the road, and in nationally televised games, and the league sees sports talk radio talking points as real problems for the league’s image.

Spreading out the NBA’s schedule is done, and with that the resting of players’ in those high-profile games will decrease (of course, if teams want to sit LeBron James or Stephen Curry or Kawhi Leonard in a nationally televised game, they will just say he has a sore back/ankle/shoulder that needs rest).

Lottery reform looks like it will pass as well, even though it’s putting a band-aid on a broken leg. The league’s new rules will decrease and flatten out the odds at the top of the lottery, and it will reward the teams more in the middle, according to a new report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

 The worst three teams’ odds would now have an equal chance at the No. 1 overall pick: 14 percent. Presently, the teams with the three worst records have descending chances of 25 percent, 19.9 percent and 15.6 percent. Also, the worst record can drop as far as No. 5 in the new lottery proposal, down from No. 4….

Teams in the Nos. 7-10 range will have a stronger chance to move up into the top three picks, ESPN has learned, with No. 7’s chances improving from 15 percent to 23, No. 8 from 10 percent to 19 percent, No. 9 from six percent to 15 percent and No. 10 from four percent to 10 percent.

He adds that the odds for the three teams at the top of the lottery — picks 11, 12, and 13 — increase only a couple of percentage points, which the league believes means teams will not try to tank their way out of the playoffs and into the lottery. There is extra money in terms of ticket sales and revenue — at least $5 million for a couple home games — for teams that get into the postseason, and that money can matter to teams.

That said, teams are still going to tank for picks. The league seems to be chasing the ghost of Sam Hinkie with this proposal, trying to make it less likely teams go on a multiple year deep dive, but that was never really a problem anyway — few owners would have the stomach for that, and the one that did (Joshua Harris in Philly) eventually bowed to the pressure from the league and others and canned Hinkie as GM. No GM is trying to put his job at risk with a rebuilding plan.

Tanking will continue because teams need one of the game’s franchise changing stars — of which there are maybe 10 in the league at any one given time — to compete at the highest levels, and for 24 or so markets the only way to get that player is via the draft. What’s more, land that player and thanks to the CBA, teams control that player for four years at a very affordable salary, then thanks to extensions/restricted free agency the team can keep that player for another four or five years. They have this great talent locked in for at least eight or nine years (for example, Kevin Durant spent nine years in Seattle/Oklahoma City before moving on, same with LeBron the first time he left Cleveland, and that list goes on). Now with the “designated player” designation — call it the Kevin Durant rule — teams are more likely to keep that star for another four or five years beyond that.

If you really want to end tanking, make rookie contracts two years then they become unrestricted free agents. Now the motivation to tank for a pick goes away, but of course, small and mid-market teams would rightfully complain about that because then they will have a very hard time keeping talent around.

Bottom line, if you have a truly elite player you win more basketball games, and for most teams the only way to get that player is the draft — so tanking will continue. It’s a smart strategy to rebuild.

The new lottery odds will pass, and they are not a bad thing, but it is far more about perception than reality. And you can be sure there will be unintended consequences.

Jeopardy uses “crying Jordan” meme for question

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You know a meme has jumped the shark when it appears on Jeopardy. (Also, the phrase “jump the shark” has jumped the shark.)

The “crying Jordan” meme reached that level this week when Alex Trebek asked a question about it.

This in no way means we should stop using the crying Jordan meme — even if it bothers MJ himself, and it does — because it’s still funny.