Al Harrington, Greivis Vasquez

Al Harrington, Hedo Turkoglu don’t expect to remain Magic much longer


We already knew the Magic and Hedo Turkoglu were negotiating a buyout, but Al Harrington could be headed out of Orlando, too.

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

Harrington and Turkoglu don’t expect the Magic to keep them.

Like Turkoglu, Harrington also has a partially guaranteed salary for 2013-14 ($7,148,600, half guaranteed). Unlike Turkoglu, whose contract expires after the season, Harrington also has a partially guaranteed 2014-15 salary ($7,609,800, half guaranteed).

So, the Magic have a bit more control over Harrington’s future, and contrary to my advice to Turkoglu, Harrington might need to accept less than he’s guaranteed in order to get his freedom sooner. But he can still show some patience.

Even if contenders fill their rosters today, spots will come open before the playoffs. If a contender wants the 33-year-old Harrington – no guarantee, considering he played in just 10 games last season and performed pretty poorly in that, admittedly small, sample – there will still be time to get on a roster. For veterans like Turkoglu, the playoffs are the whole point, anyway.

For the Magic, it’s all about getting young players experience and tanking, two goals that go hand in hand. Veterans stuck on rebuilding teams, often pushed to the bench in favor of the franchise’s long-term goals, sometimes become malcontents. Rather than putting Turkoglu and Harrington in that position, Orlando will just buy them out.

This seems like a matter of when, not if, it happens.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell
Leave a comment

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.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
Leave a comment

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: I’m healthier than a year ago


LeBron James received an injection in his back before the season.

It’s working.

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.

Report: Suns signing Bryce Cotton

Bryce Cotton
Leave a comment

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.