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.

2017 NBA playoffs have been historically uncompetitive

AP Photo/Elise Amendola
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The NBA Finals so many wanted to see – Cavaliers-Warriors III – is here.

At least it will be.

Today is the first of six off days before the 2017, which begin June 1 in Oakland.

The lengthy delay is the product of an underwhelming postseason featuring few competitive series and numerous blowouts.

Golden State swept its way through the West, and Cleveland dropped only one game (to the Celtics in the conference finals) while winning the East. There have been only two Game 7s, but considering the magnitude, neither felt that compelling. Blake Griffin‘s injury undercut the Clippers against the Jazz, and Celtics over Wizards felt inevitable with home teams winning each game of the series. Between, there have been several lackluster games and series.

There have been just 74 playoff games this year – the fewest before the Finals since since the NBA instituted a best-of-seven first round in 2003:

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That’s 74 of a possible 98 games – 76%, the lowest since 1999 and seventh-lowest ever.

Even if the Finals go seven games, it will be the fewest games in a postseason since 2007. If the Finals go five or fewer games, it’ll be the shortest postseason in this playoff format.

And it hasn’t just been quantity. The quality of games has been lacking, too.

Though there were more blowouts last year by nearly any measure, the 2017 postseason’s average margin in pre-Finals games (13.5) is fifth-highest all-time and second-highest since 1959 (behind 2016, 14.2).

Combine the two factors, and these are the drabbest playoffs in nearly 50 years. Here’s each postseason plotted by average margin in pre-Finals games and percentage of possible games pre-Finals:

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This probably just confirms what you’ve seen: The 2017 playoffs have been in a rut.

We’re all counting on the Cavaliers and Warriors to salvage this postseason, but considering how deep the hole is, anything less than an epic Finals probably won’t cut it.

Kyrie Irving crosses over Avery Bradley, hits 3-pointer (video)

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Avery Bradley got around one screen then, thanks to Kyrie Irving‘s excellent ball-handling, lunged at another that wasn’t coming as Irving hit a 3-pointer.

LeBron James beautifully pass-fakes, makes layup in transition (video)

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LeBron James is a treasure.

Shaquille O’Neal’s big toe is seriously jacked up (PHOTO)

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Remember how we we all freaked out when we saw pictures of LeBron James‘ feet back in 2013?

You probably didn’t want to be reminded that it existed, but it does. Still. And apparently jacked up feet is the consequence of a lifetime of playing professional basketball. Once can only assume it has something to do with tight shoes and constant, hard changes of direction in said tight shoes.

We got yet another vision of what basketball shoes can do to feet on Thursday when TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal showed off his, er, little piggies.

Much to the horror of the Internet in general, it was Shaq’s right big toe that took social media by storm. Mostly because it’s not even close to pointing in the right direction.

I’m going to show you what it looks like. Be forewarned, it might just be NSFL.

Via Twitter:

Oh. Oh … why?

Social media reacted appropriately and proportionately:

Shaq did have issues with that toe during the course of his career, and at one point it was so bad that he had to have surgery to remove bone spurs from the toe in 2002.

That still doesn’t explain why it’s all over your TV and the Internet, but here we are. I am sorry.