UPDATE 6:51 p.m.: The Knicks and the Raptors have agreed on a trade that will send Andrea Bargnani to New York.
11:30 a.m. The Raptors became the latest team to engage the Clippers in trade talks for the young and dynamic Eric Bledsoe, but L.A. might not be interested in dealing him for what Toronto has to offer.
And with Doc Rivers now in the fold running basketball operations, he might want some time to evaluate Bledsoe further before trading him at all.
The talks between the two teams may not be completely fruitless, as the Clippers reportedly have some interest in Andrea Bargnani — just not at the asking price of Bledsoe.
So one possible outcome to the Clippers-Raptors talks, sources said, is a smaller trade headlined by Bargnani going to L.A. in exchange for Caron Butler, enabling the Clippers to save Bledsoe for a bigger trade — or, perhaps, keeping him if Rivers holds firm.
The Clippers would be the first team actually interested in taking Bargnani off of Toronto’s hands, who has two years and $23 million left on his contract. But Bargnani has some value as a big man who can step out and shoot it, as long as he can stay on the floor — he’s been limited to just 66 total games over the last two seasons due to injury.
The Raptors would likely jump at the chance to rid themselves of Bargnani’s contract, even if Bledsoe is taken off the table. The team has been haunted by taking him with the number one overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, and dealing him would help new GM Masai Ujiri give the franchise a much-needed fresh start.
Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.
With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.