NBA Trade Deadline Tracker: All the trades, rumors, analysis, fun in one place

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It’s the one day on the NBA calendar you know is going to be like a roller coaster — rumors are going to fly, deals are going to appear close then fall apart, complete fabrications will fascinate a fan base who will then blame a GM for not making them reality, and in the end there will be a few trades. However, if you think your team trading for a big star is a lock to improve your team, you may want to think again.

Today may end up being light on actual deals getting done, but we will have everything going on here:

3:41 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: The trade of the day snuck in at the wire — the Pacers have  traded Danny Granger to the Sixers for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. Wow. Indiana is a title contender that just sent their sixth man away to gamble on Evan Turner in that role —  like the gamble, but it is one. Granger is averaging 8.3 points a game in 22.5 minutes a night, with a true shooting percentage of 49.1 — not that impressive and he was getting paid $13 million. Turner is scoring at a higher pace in Philly, 17.4 points a game, but he was forced into that role because of that roster. That said, taking on that higher scoring load Turner has a higher true shooting percentage (50.4) and he may well be an upgrade for the Pacers in that role. The question is can he blend in with the Pacers culture and second unit. It’s a gamble.

3:20 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: The Los Angeles Clippers are sending Byron Mullens to the Philadelphia 76ers. Not sure what is coming back to the Clippers yet. Not exactly earth shattering but Mullens gives the Sixers a floor spacing big as they traded Spencer Hawes away. For the Clippers, this move and the Jamison move save them millions, they are just over the tax line by a couple hundred thousand. That said, their front line depth is now DeAndre Jordan/Blake Griffin, then Ryan Hollins, after that…. nobody. (Ramona Shelburne)

3:12 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: One trade that did slip in under the deadline — San Antonio sends Nando De Colo to the Toronto Raptors for Austin Daye. That’s an exchange of guys at the end of the bench, although De Colo could get limited run in Toronto. I’d dismiss this move for the Spurs, but the way trades work for them he probably starts playing like an All-Star. (Adrian Wojnarowski)

3:02 pm: There is no deal between the Clippers and Knicks. It was too much to fit together under the pressure of the deadline, and the Clippers just did not want the Felton salary.  The Clippers did agree to send Antawn Jamison to the Atlanta Hawks at the deadline but that was not precursor deal.  (Adrian Wojnarowski)

3:00 pm: THE DEADLINE HAS COME AND GONE. (Some deals submitted just before the deadline will trickle out in the coming hour.)

2:59 pm: Knicks/Clippers discussing Darren Collison, Willie Green and Matt Barnes for Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton. Right up to the deadline. (Adrian Wojnarowski)

2:57 pm: Jarrett Jack to Minnesota is dead, not gonna happen.

2:54 pm: The Denver Nuggets announce that JaVale McGee has had surgery on the stress fracture in his leg that has kept him out all season. This makes it official, no Pierre until next season.

2:46 pm: Lakers talking to Philadelphia about sending big man Chris Kaman east. For the Lakers this would be about saving cash, the Sixers have the cap room to take him on and if they can they want to get over the league minimum salary number. (Ramona Shelburne)

2:43 pm: With Iman Shumpert only having a sprain and likely to miss a couple weeks, the Clippers are reportedly taking one last look at a trade for him. The issue has been the Knicks want the Clippers to take Raymond Felton’s contract and Los Angeles has no interest.  I don’t see how that has changed. (Marc Stein)

2:41 pm: No, there is not going to be a last-minute deal for Pau Gasol. The Lakers will keep him, they will have his Bird rights, but know that there is little chance he is back next season. (Ken Berger)

2:28 pm: At the last minute the Golden State Warriors are shopping Jordan Crawford. Getting Steve Blake allows the Warriors to do this.  (Adrian Wojnarowski)

2:20 pm: The Los Angeles Clippers are going to stand pat at the trade deadline. (Dan Woike)

2:14 pm: The Lakers have held out that they want more than just cash savings for Jordan Hill, teams have been reluctant to do that (some have suggested the Lakers should send out a second round pick since the other team will save them $7 million is salary and taxes). With nothing happening it is starting to look like Hill may be a Laker after the deadline. (Ken Berger)

2:10 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: The Denver Nuggets will send Jordan Hamilton to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Arron Brooks. Good deal for both teams — Denver wanted a backup point guard behind Ty Lawson, they get one. Hamilton gives the Rockets an athletic wing off the bench. (Adrian Wojnarowski)

1:56 pm: Iman Shumpert’s MRI came back showing just a sprain, nothing that requires surgery. That means it is possible he ends up in a trade in the final hour before the trade deadline.  (Ken Berger)

1:49 pm: Denver has come to terms to send Jordan Hamilton to Houston for Aaron Brooks. Nice pick up for the Rockets, who wanted a more athletic wing off the bench and really don’t need Brooks. Denver gets a solid backup for Ty Lawson, something they haven’t had since Andre Miller was banished to Siberia (or wherever Brian Shaw’s doghouse is). (Adrian Wojnarowski)

1:31 pm: Minnesota missed out on Andre Miller, so now they are talking to Cleveland about Jarrett Jack. (David Aldridge)

1:27 pm: If the Iman Shumpert MRI comes out negative and it is just a sprain he will be back in play for trades — and he may go to Oklahoma City for a first-round pick. Doc Rivers and the Clippers would still be interested but L.A. didn’t want to take on Raymond Felton’s contract and I doubt that changed. A first round pick will make Shumpert a part of the Thunder, if that report is accurate. (Chris Broussard)

1:23 pm: Among the massive amount of trades that died on the vine you can add the Kings/Cavs Jason Thompson-for-Jarrett Jack one.  (Sam Amick)

1:03 pm: It appears the Tyler Zeller to the Clippers for Reggie Bullock trade is DOA. (Ken Berger)

12:53 pm: With their taking on Eric Maynor and picks, the Philadelphia 76ers now have five picks in the second round of this year’s draft. Plus multiple ones in future years. That, my friend, is leverage for future deals.

12:46 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: The Charlotte Bobcats acquire Luke Ridnour and Gary Neal from the Milwaukee Bucks for Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien. This move gives the Bobcats some quality backcourt depth that can help them hold on to one of the final playoff spots in the East.  (Rick Bonnell)

12:40 pm: TRADE FINALIZED: The Washington Wizards have added some veteran depth to go with John Wall and Bradley Beal in the backcourt. In a three team-trade the Wizards will get Andre Miller — who should be a good fit with them, a veteran they could use in the locker room — while as part of the deal Denver gets Jan Vesely, while the Sixers will land Eric Maynor from Washington plus two second-round picks belonging to Denver — both reportedly 2014 ones. I like this for the Sixers, depending on the picks and protections on them. For Denver Vesely is a nice gamble but those two picks make it seem expensive just to dump Miller.  (Adrian Wojnarowski)

12:34 pm: Looks like we are close to another trade — Denver and Washington are “close” to a deal sending Andre Miller to the Wizards for Eric Maynor and Jan Vesely, although the Nuggets would quickly flip Maynor to a third team.  (Adrian Wojnarowski)

12:29 pm: It’s not likely, but the trade idea of Caron Butler and Gary Neal to Charlotte for Ben Gordon and another contract is not yet dead. Neal to Charlotte looks like it will happen, adding in Butler complicates matters.  (Gery Woelfel)

12:26 pm: The Knicks are working the phones hard, looking for a new point guard, but not making any progress. Remember, with Iman Shumpert spraining his surgically repaired knee, he is pretty much off the trade block. (Sam Amick)

12:22 pm: The Detroit Pistons are trying to shop Josh Smith around, but they want value back not just expiring contracts. That should provide other GMs a much-needed laugh on a tense day. (Zach Lowe)

12:18 pm: Here is your Andre Miller update — it looks as if Washington and Minnesota are the only two teams left trying to land him with the Wizards in the lead (if it is Washington don’t expect Eric Maynor to be part of the package heading back to Denver). However, most executives think no deal will be made and the Nuggets will just buy Miller out and make him a free agent. (Sean Deveney)

11:45 am: Gary Neal was always likely to be dealt by the Bucks today and they are now close to making a deal with the Charlotte Bobcats. Not a lot of details yet, but that’s a solid pickup for Charlotte, which wants to solidify its spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs (their sweep of a home-and-home with Detroit this week certainly helped that). (Ken Berger)

• The Clippers have been hesitant to part with Reggie Bullock, but they need front line depth desperately so have had talks about sending him to Cleveland for Tyler Zeller. (Brian Windhorst)

• Indiana has tested the trade market for Danny Granger but you were always going to have to blow them away with a deal because: 1) They liked the idea of the cap space they get with him leaving at the end of the season (or re-signing for much less); 2) He’s proven to be a good sixth man and they will need his offense come the playoffs. The Pacers haven’t found any deals for Granger they like and will probably keep him. (Brian Windhorst)

11:21 am: REPORTED TRADE: The Sacramento Kings will acquire Roger Mason Jr. from the Miami Heat, then are going to turn around and waived the little-used veteran. This really is just teams shifting around a few dollars — it is virtually a straight cash deal. Technically the Kings will send a protected second round pick back to the Heat, but it will be so heavily protected that Miami will never really see it. Miami is doing this to clear out a roster space so when players get bought out after the deadline they can sign them. The Kings are doing it for the straight cash money.  (Ken Berger)

11:17 am: The Cavaliers are finding it hard to find anyone to dance with who wants Luol Deng — Detroit and Minnesota are lukewarm and the Suns are not willing to give Cleveland a first-round pick to rent him for 30 games. Nobody is going to give up much for a guy who wants to test free agency this summer. (Ken Berger)

• Speaking of Cleveland, it appears that Jarrett Jack still will be a Cavalier after the trade deadline. That’s good for their playoff hopes. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

11:07 am: The New Orleans Pelicans are shopping around D-League star Pierre Jackson. If they don’t find a deal he will go overseas to play for Fenerbahce in Turkey the rest of the season (and make more money). There should be interest in him around the league, however. (Marc Stein)

10:52 am: While the fact that Luol Deng refuses to sign an extension complicates matters considerably (he wisely for his sake wants to test the free agent market), the Wizards, Mavericks and Pistons are all reportedly still talking to Cleveland about a deal for him. However, any deal appears unlikely.  (Marc Stein)

• On a lighter, non-trade note: No, Blake Griffin did not beat up Justin Bieber in a Starbucks. We kind of all secretly wished it were true, but it wasn’t.

10:44 am: New Orleans is  backing away from the Lakers and Jordan Hill. That leaves the Nets and Hawks still in the mix, with the Nets the frontrunner. (Adrian Wojnarowski)

10:22 am:

COMPLETED TRADE: The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to move Spencer Hawes to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Earl Clark and Henry Sims (both expiring contracts) and two second round draft picks. Not a bad haul for Philly. The Sixers had been holding out for first round picks but have lowered their standards at the deadline to get a deal done and did pretty well. Cleveland, winners of six in a row, have upgraded their front line with trades when you look at Hawes and Luol Deng, but I still don’t see much of a master plan there.

• The Sacramento Kings are shopping Jimmer Fredette hard, looking for a 2014 second round pick. His stock has fallen that far, but he might be worth a gamble at that price. (Adrian Wojnarowski)

• Lakers are talking with three teams who have a disabled player exception — Pelicans, Nets, Hawks — about Jordan Hill. Lakers trying to get one of them to throw in a second round pick to get the deal done, teams are hesitant. (Marc Stein)

• Denver still talking to teams about Andre Miller, who is deep in coach Brian Shaw’s dog house. Minnesota and Washington appear the frontrunners. (Sam Amick)

• For those of you thinking Kevin Love is going to get moved today, you can give up on that dream.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT FROM WEDNESDAY:

The Lakers traded Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks.

• Iman Shumpert sprained his knee on Wednesday night, which turned a trade of him from unlikely to nearly impossible.

• The Sacramento Kings agreed to trade Marcus Thornton to the New Jersey Nets for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans.

Called out by LeBron James, reporter Kenny Roda defends himself

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LeBron James reacted to the Cavaliers’ Game 3 loss to the Celtics by jawing with a fan and saying he was glad Cleveland lost.

The peculiarities didn’t end there.

LeBron called out Kenny Roda of WHBC for asking a question.

For full context, the earlier times LeBron addressed his individual performance and both of Roda’s questions are included in the above video. So is the funny look LeBron shot someone (Roda?) after the press conference. Here’s the noteworthy exchange:

  • Roda: “For you, you said it was just your game. Couldn’t get into a rhythm tonight, is that what it was? Based on their defense or just not feeling it or or what?”
  • LeBron: “Nah, I was just pretty poor. I mean, what do you want me to say? It sees like you only ask questions when we lose. It’s a weird thing with you, Kenny. You always come around when we lose, I swear. Yeah, OK.”

Roda:

“You cover us only when we lose” is a too-common complaint in high school sports. It’s odd to see LeBron employ it, though saying Roda asks questions only when the Cavs lose is a wrinkle that adds plausibility to LeBron’s claim. Still, it’s tough to believe.

Even if LeBron is right that Roda asks questions only when Cleveland loses, so what? Asking a question isn’t a sign Roda is happy the team lost or is trying to rub it in. Players tend to be testier after losses (case in point), and asking question then can be more difficult. If Roda puts himself out there after only losses, kudos to him.

LeBron’s struggles were the dominant storyline in Game 3. Getting him to expand on what went wrong was a worthy goal. Roda’s question probably wasn’t distinctive enough to get more out of LeBron after his first two responses about his performance, but the inquiry was on the right path. Asking a vague question on a topic already covered vaguely is only a minor offense.

LeBron understands the media better than most. This was a weird time to pick a public battle, which makes me think this was more frustration than ploy.

Stephen Curry: Dewayne Dedmon’s screen was ‘dirty play’ (video)

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Late in the Warriors’ Game 3 win over the Spurs on Saturday, San Antonio center Dewayne Dedmon appeared to initiate knee-to-knee contact on a screen of Stephen Curry.

Curry, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“I know he’s not a dirty player. I’m not going to try to mess up his reputation, but I feel like that was a dirty play,” Curry responded to ESPN. “Luckily no one was hurt.”

Golden State is clearly trying to gain equal footing in the dirty debate after Zaza Pachulia injured Kawhi Leonard – and gain the moral high ground by not calling a player dirty and bringing the consequences that invites.

But this isn’t the same as Pachulia’s double-slide closeout under a fading shooter.

It’s much easier to assign intent when watching in slow motion. Innocuous actions tend to look deliberate when viewed at partial speed, because we subconsciously believe players process their movements at the same rate we process their movements – but slow motion gives us an advantage.

Dedmon’s screen was probably illegal, but dirty? I’m not sure. I don’t know his intent, but executing that move intending to injure Curry would require incredible precision. Maybe Dedmon tries that often, usually misses and just happened to strike here. But I don’t see enough to assume this was a dirty play

LeBron James on Cavaliers’ Game 3 loss to Celtics: ‘I’m glad it kind of happened the way it did’

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After two dominant wins in Boston, the Cavaliers appeared on track to cruise into the NBA Finals.

Cleveland responded by getting upset by the Celtics at home in historic fashion.

LeBron James struggled in Game 3, and he even verbally sparred with a fan after the game. But he didn’t sound completely dismayed by the situation.

LeBron:

We’ve got to be a lot better. It’s the postseason. You win some, and you lose a couple maybe. But you want to – how can you be better from game to game? Like I said, they was better today than we were, and we have to figure out a way to be better than them in Game 4.

But we look forward to the challenge. I think it’s great. What happened, I mean, it hurts. It’s a loss in the postseason. But I’m glad it kind of happened the way it did. Let our foot off the gas a little, didn’t keep the pressure on them like we’ve been accustomed to.

But we have to play a lot better. We have to play a lot better in Game 4.

It’s odd to hear a player say he’s glad to lose, especially in the playoffs. But LeBron has a history of strange comments following postseason losses. This wasn’t a season-ender, but but he was so out of sorts last night.

He’s also probably right. It’s better for the Cavaliers, now 9-1 in the playoffs, to experience overcoming a postseason loss now rather than in the NBA Finals. Still up 2-1 on Boston and the better team, the Cavs have the luxury of learning lessons without significant fear they’ll lose the series.

2017 NBA Draft Prospect Profiles: Is Markelle Fultz really worth the No. 1 pick?

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Markelle Fultz is the best prospect in the 2017 NBA Draft, which is not exactly something that you would’ve seen coming had you known him as a sophomore in high school.

That was the year that Fultz failed to make the varsity team at DeMatha (Md.), one of the nation’s best high school basketball programs. From there, he developed not only into a point guard, but into one of the nation’s best high school players, eventually landing in the postseason all-star games and on the Team USA U-18 roster that competed in the FIBA Americas event.

Fultz committed to Lorenzo Romar early in the process and maintained that commitment, even as he watched a Washington team that failed to make the NCAA tournament lose Andrew Andrews to graduation and Marquese Chriss and Dejounte Murray to the NBA Draft. As a result, and in spite of the fact that Fultz was putting up insane numbers, the Huskies couldn’t even crack 10 wins with Fultz at the helm, and it eventually cost Lorenzo Romar his job despite the fact that the favorite for the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Michael Porter Jr., had already signed to play for him.

How will NBA teams weigh that?

Fultz put up ridiculous numbers, but he did it on a team that was the laughing stock of the Pac-12 come February. Is that guy worth the pick?

Height: 6′4″
Weight: 185
Wingspan: 6′10″
2016-17 Stats: 23.2 points, 5.7 boards, 5.9 assists, 41.3% 3PT

STRENGTHS: Fultz is an unbelievably well-rounded offensive player. I’m not sure what there is that he can’t do on that end of the floor. He shot 41.3 percent from beyond the arc last year and better than 50 percent inside the arc. At 6-foot-4, he’s big enough — and physical enough — to take smaller defenders into the post and score in the paint or simply shoot over the top of them off the dribble, and he does so effectively. His 6-foot-10 wingspan, huge hands and explosion on the move means that he can finish in traffic, whether it be with a dunk over a defender — his extension in the lane is reminiscent of Kawhi Leonard — or a finish around the shot-blocker; Fultz has terrific body control, and when combined with his length, allows him to finish contested layups at weird angles.

He’s more than just a scorer, however, as he averaged 5.9 assists last season with a higher assist rate (35.4 vs. 31.4) and lower turnover rate (15.4 vs. 18.9) than Lonzo Ball. That’s startling efficiency considering that he played such a major role on a team with so few options around him. Since 2012, only six guards have bettered his usage rate and offensive rating: Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Nate Wolters, Erick Green, Kay Felder and Jawun Evans.

Fultz is excellent leading the break in transition but may be even better operating in ball-screen actions — according to Synergy, more than 30 percent of his possessions came in the pick and roll last season, and he averaged 1.011 points-per-possession, which was in the 93rd percentile nationally. He is patient, he’s ruthless if you switch a bigger defender onto him and he has terrific vision, whether it’s driving and drawing a help defender, finding the screener rolling to the rim or popping for a jumper or spotting an open shooter on the weak side of the floor.

Ideally, that’s the role that Fultz would play in the NBA, as a ball-dominant lead guard in the mold of a James Harden or Russell Westbrook or John Wall.

But Fultz is also big enough and long enough to share a back court with a smaller guard — Isaiah Thomas? — because he will be able to defend shooting guards. He’s also a good enough shooter that he would be able to play off the ball offensively in that same scenario, meaning that he not only has the ceiling to be a new-age franchise lead guard in the NBA, he has the potential to be a multi-positional defender.

In theory, he’s everything NBA teams are looking for.

WEAKNESSES: The biggest concern with Fultz is on the defensive end of the floor. While he has the tools to be a plus-defender and has shown the ability to be a playmaker on that end — he averaged 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks, many of which were of the chasedown variety — but it was his half court defense that was a concern.

In a word, he was far too lackadaisical on that end of the floor. Whether it was being late on a rotation, getting beat on a close out because his feet were wrong, getting hung up on a screen, switching when he shouldn’t because he didn’t want to chase a player around a screen, failing to sit down in a defensive stance, etc., it’s not difficult to watch tape and find examples of the mistakes that Fultz made. How much of that was playing on a bad team for a coach that didn’t hold him accountable defensively, and how much of that is who Fultz is as a player?

To be frank, my gut says it was more of the former than the latter, but there also is a concern that Fultz’ approach to the game is too casual. He’s the kind of player that needs to grow into a game as opposed to being a guy that takes games over from the jump, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a guy who projects as a lead guard and a distributor.

The bigger issue with Fultz is that he lacks initial burst off the dribble and there are questions about whether or not he can turn the corner against NBA defenders. His game is awkward when you watch him, but that’s because he has this uncanny ability to get defenders off balance. Hesitation moves, hang-dribble pull-ups, splitting the pick-and-roll, euro-steps in traffic. Some might call it crafty or slippery, but the bottom-line is this: Fultz is able to get by defenders because he has them leaning the wrong direction, and once he gets a step on you, his length — both his strides and his extension — make it impossible to catch up.

But he’s not a Russell Westbrook or a John Wall in the sense that he’ll be able to get by any defender simply due to his explosiveness, and that is where the questions about his jumper come into play. If Fultz is going to consistently be able to get to the rim, that jumper is going to have to be a threat, because Fultz’s arsenal won’t be as effective if defenders can play off of him.

On the season, his shooting numbers were impressive, but those percentages took a dip against better competition and on possessions where he was guarded (1.020 PPP, 57th percentile) vs. unguarded (1.636 PPP, 94th percentile), although that may be a result of being on a team that had no other option for offense.

Put another way, Fultz is a tough-shot maker, and there is reason to wonder if he’ll be able to make those tough shots against NBA defenders.

Markelle Fultz is defended by Lonzo Ball (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

NBA COMPARISON: There really isn’t a perfect comparison for what Fultz could end up being as an NBA player. James Harden is probably the most apt considering that they are roughly the same size with the same physical dimensions, they both are ball-dominant scorers that can see the floor, they both likely needed a smaller guard in the back court with them because, despite their physical tools, they both lack that mean streak defensively.

But comparing any rookie to a guy that could end up being the NBA MVP after a season where he averaged 29.1 points, 11.2 assists and 8.1 boards is probably unfair. Perhaps D'Angelo Russell is more fitting, at least in the sense that it limits some of the expectations.

Whatever the case may be, if Fultz reaches his ceiling, he’ll be a franchise lead guard that has an entire offensive built around him. If he decides that he wants to play on the defensive end of the floor as well, he could one day be a top five player in the league.

OUTLOOK: Fultz has the potential to be the face of a franchise at the lead guard spot. His skill-set — the scoring, the ability to operate in pick-and-rolls, the efficiency — and ability makes it easy to picture him one day ending up playing a role similar to that of Harden or Westbrook or Wall. At the same time, I find it hard to envision a world where Fultz doesn’t one day end up averaging 20 points and six assists. It’s hard not to love a prospect where their floor is a bigger, more athletic D’angelo Russell.

When a player has the least risk and the highest ceiling of anyone in a draft class, it’s no wonder they end up being the consensus pick to go No. 1.