Rumor: Bobcats shopping Michael Kidd-Gilchrist due to belief they can draft Otto Porter

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There are already plenty of rumors and reported trade talks surrounding teams with lottery picks in Thursday night’s draft, and there will be many more to materialize before teams are officially on the clock.

We advise taking the vast majority of them with one or more grains of salt, including this latest one involving the Charlotte Bobcats.

From Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops:

The Charlotte Bobcats are shopping Michael Kidd-Gilchrist around the league, confident they will be able to replace him with Otto Porter of Georgetown with the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s draft.

The reason the Bobcats braintrust of Rich Cho and owner Michael Jordan believe Porter will be available is because, SheridanHoops has learned from league sources, the Washington Wizards are determined to draft Anthony Bennett of UNLV with the No. 3 pick.

A second league source said the Bobcats have been working the phones, gauging the interest level among teams for the 2nd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

There are several things in play, here.

The notion that Bennett going to Washington with the third overall pick isn’t at all a crazy one. It’s believed that the Wizards are deciding between Bennett and Otto Porter with that pick, and at least one oddsmaker has it at even money that Bennett will land in Washington.

Most mocks have Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore going one and two, so if the intel the Bobcats have on Bennett is correct, they can nab Porter at four if they so desire.

But does that really make Kidd-Gilchrist expendable? He showed flashes at times during his rookie season, even though his averages of 9.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and nearly a blocked shot in 26 minutes per game didn’t set the stat sheet on fire.

The only way this makes any sense for the Bobcats is if they believe they can get talent in exchange for Kidd-Gilchrist that’s capable of producing more immediately in order to improve in the win column as early as next season. Pairing a more proven player with someone like Porter (if it all works out the way the Bobcats believe it might) then makes parting with Kidd-Gilchrist slightly more understandable.

But it’s worth noting that giving up on high lottery picks the year after you draft them is pretty much the opposite of the correct way to build a winning franchise, and that type of thinking is a perfect example of why Charlotte has seen the postseason just once in the last nine years.

Gordon Hayward breaks leg against Cleveland in first game with Celtics

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The Boston Celtics season has taken a turn for the worse.

During Tuesday nights opening game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, new Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward broke his leg after landing following a leaping back cut to the basket.

It became immediately apparent to those in the arena, and the broadcast angle of the left leg injury was not pretty.

Just be warned here, the resulting photo and media is pretty disgusting. I let out a big yell when I saw it live, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Via TNT:

This is just the most awful way to start the NBA season, for all of us. Get well soon, Gordon.

Kings’ rookie De’Aaron Fox commits California mortal sin, slams In-N-Out

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We Californians take a few things seriously. Surf reports, for one. Winemaking/tasting. Tech toys. Coming up with potential blockbuster movie franchise ideas, getting a star to buy in, then maybe or maybe not worrying about getting a decent script.

Also, In-N-Out Burger. If there is one thing all Californians can agree on, it’s that In-N-Out is the best burger chain in the world. It’s not up for debate.

Apparently Kings’ rookie De'Aaron Fox did not get that memo. He did a Q&A with Rolling Stone’s Seerat Sohi and crossed a sacred line.

“All I gotta say, you can tell everybody that lives in the state of California this: In-N-Out is not good.”

What’s your beef with In-N-Out Burger?
“Their burgers are overrated. They’re OK.”

Even Animal Style?
“Yes. People always say, you haven’t tried this. You haven’t tried that. I’m like, “Yeah, I looked up the secret menu. I’ve tried it all. It’s just not good.”

That’s controversial. What’s the best fast food spot then?
“Honestly, for me, I don’t count Chick-fil-A, because it’s way too good to be considered fast food. So I’m gonna say Wendy’s. Fat Burger in L.A. is better than In-N-Out.”

It’s this simple: Fox is flat-out wrong.

First off, Chick-fil-A is wildly overrated, so we know the taste of the 19-year-old point guard is off. Fat Burger is legit. But Wendy’s? Come on now, that’s just average.

If Fox had tried to argue Five Guys, I would have let it slide — I don’t think they’re as good, but I will admit a California bias. But Wendy’s? You lose the entire argument right there. It’s like saying Pixels was the best movie ever.

In-N-Out is the best. Fox needs to get on board with this.

Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic hospitalized after practice fight with Bobby Portis

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It was going to be a difficult season in Chicago if everything went right — and two days before the first game of the season things have gone horribly wrong.

Bulls’ starting forward Nikola Mirotic got into a shoving match with Bobby Portis, and Portis turned and sucker-punched him, according to multiple reports.

The Bulls have confirmed the fight and have announced Mirotic suffered a concussion and maxillary fractures in his face — the upper jaw and nasal cavity area — which likely will require surgery. He is going to miss weeks of time.

Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports had more details.

Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical. Mirotic is undergoing tests, but is expected to be out for the foreseeable future, league sources said.

Mirotic will miss weeks, according to a source, and you can be sure severe discipline from the team is coming down for Portis.

In the short term, this likely means more run for rookie Lauri Markkanen as well as just re-signed Cristiano Felicio.

LeBron James will play in opener against Celtics

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Did we really expect anything else?

LeBron James was a game-time decision for the season opener in Cleveland against Boston and Kyrie Irving due to a sprained ankle. We expected he would go, but ankles can be tricky and are easy to re-injure once sprained, so the Cavs wanted to be careful.

He’s going to play. Coach Tyronn Lue made it official.

LeBron is the best player on the planet, but he can coast through the regular season at times. What teams try to avoid is giving him extra motivation… say bringing in a guy who left the team last summer on opening night. Expect full force LeBron tonight.