Report: Four teams have conversations with Amundson

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Around this time of year, with the playoffs looming and growing closer, teams start to think about adding a little bit of veteran depth to the roster. Guys that will not get a lot of run but can be trusted in small roles, plus will be professional in practice and preparation.

That’s where Louis Amundson comes in. The veteran energy forward was let go by the Timberwolves and now is in conversations with a few teams, he told Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida.

Amundson said in a phone interview Thursday that his agent, Mark Bartelstein, has had conversations with Heat president Pat Riley about him. But he said the recent signing by Miami of Chris Andersen might be too much of a duplication as the Heat seek to possibly fill their 15th spot….

The 6-foot-9 Amundson said other teams in mix for him are Chicago, Boston and New York. The Knicks have a full roster of 15, but Amundson said they’re waiting to see how it works out with Kenyon Martin, who recently signed a 10-day contract. The Knicks also could clear a roster spot by waiving Rasheed Wallace, out for the season due to a foot injury.

With Miami having Andersen in the rotation and Joel Anthony still on the roster, it’s hard to see where Amundson fits there. As mentioned, the Knicks have Kenyon Martin and he likely sticks there.

We’ll see if the Bulls or Celtics — or previously rumored teams like the Sixers — decide to make a late season addition. Boston is giving D.J. White a chance first and it seems more and more like Amundson is everybody’s fallback position. But eventually someone likely gets to their fallback.

Report: Lakers ‘longshot’ to sign LeBron James

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
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Preeminent NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski called it “likelyLeBron James would sign with the Lakers or Clippers next summer. The Clippers have since been somewhat debunked as a LeBron destination. There’s circumstantial evidence linking LeBron to Los Angeles.

Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

So imagining James’ last act coming in purple and gold isn’t without basis. But as of now, it’s also a longshot, according to league sources.

Shelburne and Windhorst are highly credible. I doubt they’d report this without connected sources.

LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, and manager, Maverick Carter, have recently publicly downplayed the importance of Los Angeles to LeBron. That felt like a coordinated attack on the LeBron-Lakers rumors, and this fits as a continuation.

But why wage that campaign? To keep the Cavaliers focused while LeBron still plays for them, even if he might leave after the season? To lower expectations among the Lakers’ massive fan base, so as not alienate those people (potential customers of the many LeBron-connected brands) when LeBron inevitably signs elsewhere? Both could be true, but there’s obviously a difference between each driving LeBron’s camp.

DeMarcus Cousins barrels in for powerful putback dunk over Bucks (video)

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When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).

This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.

Enraged Jason Smith restrained from Mario Chalmers (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
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During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.

But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.

NBC Sports Washington:

I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.

The double technical foul called seems about fair.

PBT Extra: Two months from trade deadline watch DeAndre Jordan and… Paul George?

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The NBA trade deadline got moved up this season to Feb. 8 so the league can avoid the spectacle of DeMarcus Cousins being traded during the All-Star Game and then doing an uncomfortable press interview afterward where he had to be told of the situation.

That means we are less than two months away from the trade deadline, and in this PBT Extra I look at the big names that could be on the market.

The Clippers seem likely to move DeAndre Jordan, the only questions are where and what will they get back? But three other teams have big decisions to make about their stars: Oklahoma City with Paul George, New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins, and Memphis with Marc Gasol. Right now none of those guys are on the market, but that could change.