Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings

Joe Dumars denies Brandon Knight-for-Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings trade talks


The Pistons talking to the Celtics about trading Brandon Knight for Rajon Rondo or the Bucks about Brandon Jennings in general – not true, according to Joe Dumars. Via Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

“Never happened, never even a conversation about Brandon,” Dumars said of the Boston Globe report over the weekend. “And today I saw something about Brandon Jennings.

“John Hammond and I were on the phone talking about our dogs.”

The Pistons have several options at point guard, none of them overwhelmingly appealing. Jennings or Rondo would likely upgrade the position for Detroit, but either would require a larger financial commitment plus giving up assets (though Jennings is a free agent, the Pistons no longer have the cap room to sign him outright, so a sign-and-trade would be necessary).

If the Pistons are serious about making the playoffs, they should be at least exploring ways to get Rondo or Jennings. That doesn’t mean there’s a good trade available, but it’s at least worth investigating.

So, why wouldn’t Dumars talk to Danny Ainge about Knight? And why wouldn’t he talk to Hammond about Jennings? There is no good reason, just as there’s no good reason to alienate Knight over a trade that probably won’t happen.

Dumars isn’t under oath. General managers mislead the media all the time, sometimes going as far as outright lying. Is that the case here? I have no idea, but it’s standard protocol for general managers to deny all trade talks until a deal is actually reached.

Likely, we’ll never find out whether Dumars discussed these options with the Bucks and Celtics.

Though he’d be a marginal upgrade, Jennings isn’t a great fit with a frontline of non-shooters in Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, and Jennings would cost much more than Knight, who has two years remaining on his rookie deal.  Rondo would be a much bigger upgrade, especially defensively, but again, his lack of shooting doesn’t mesh well. A Rondo trade might change Detroit’s need for backcourt shooting if the deal involves Drummond (really doubt the Pistons does that) or Monroe (possibly workable) going to the Celtics. But a deal based on Knight for Rondo? I can’t see how Ainge accepts that.

At best, these were probably discussions that went nowhere. Or perhaps, Dumars is being completely forthright. Either way, the result will be the same.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.