Wednesday began with such promise in Dallas, but ultimately ended in some level of disappointment.
The Mavericks began the day meeting with free agent big man Andrew Bynum. The club had its medical staff do some evaluations, and there was a lunch with Bynum’s agent and team executives where the early stages of contract negotiations had begun to be initiated.
Whether due to advice from the team’s doctors or an unwillingness to match the offer on the table from Cleveland in terms of either guaranteed money or total compensation, Dallas lost out on the chase for Bynum, who had decided to sign with the Cavaliers before the day was finished.
With limited options left available on the market at the center position, Dallas has now turned its attention to journeyman free agent Samuel Dalembert.
From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that Dalembert will be the Mavs’ primary target after their pursuit of Andrew Bynum fizzled. A source told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that Bynum decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There simply aren’t many other quality alternatives in free agency to fill the Mavs’ massive void at center, considering that it’s pretty much a given that restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic will return to Minnesota.
It’s an underwhelming option, but it might be all the Mavericks have left if they’re determined to go with a veteran to fill this role. Dallas began the summer as one of five teams that entered the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, but were eliminated by Howard fairly early in the process.
Dalembert has played for four different teams the last four seasons, and averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocked shots in 16.3 minutes per game for the Bucks most recently — but appeared in just 47 contests for them last season.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Dalembert will meet with the Mavericks Thursday in Dallas.
After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.
Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.
They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.
Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.
The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.
76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.
The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.
LeBron James received an injection in his back before the season.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
LeBron James now says he feels better than he did even a year ago.
“I feel better in the mornings; I feel better throughout the games; I feel better throughout the day,” James said before a Cavs shootaround Wednesday in preparation for their game against the Toronto Raptors. “It was a rough start to the season for me last year and for our team. Obviously the way we’ve been playing, a lot is predicated on my health and being able to lead these guys out on the floor and not from the sidelines.”
LeBron certainly looks healthier than he did at this point last year. He’s moving much better and giving more effort.
But comparing November to November means very little for the Cavaliers, who hope to play deep into June.
The key question: Did LeBron properly time his injection? There’s a limit on the number he can have in a year, and it takes time to recover after one. Cleveland doesn’t want LeBron to peak to early.
It’s good for the Cavs that LeBron feels better now, but his health in the playoffs remains the priority.
Eric Bledsoe missed the Suns’ loss to the Spurs on Monday with a knee injury.
So, Phoenix is bringing in a reinforcement – Bryce Cotton.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
The Jazz waived Cotton before the season despite Dante Exum‘s injury leaving them with just two other healthy point guards. That says something about Cotton – but also Utah’s depth.
Cotton – who went undrafted out of Providence last year – is quick, varies his speed well and can leap. There’s reason to believe in his potential at age 23. But his 6-foot-1 frame limits him defensively, and he’s not much of a distributor.
Phoenix will rely on Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price at point guard if Bledsoe is unavailable. The Suns can also use fewer two-point guard lineups – giving more minutes at shooting guard to Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin and Sunny Weems.
Cotton provides insurance while Bledsoe is banged-up with what seems to be a minor injury. But he might have to show something to keep drawing an NBA paycheck once Bledsoe gets healthy.