Nets announce signing of Jason Collins for remainder of the season

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It’s been very quiet on the Jason Collins front in Brooklyn, just as it should be.

The NBA’s first openly gay player has done the job he was brought in to do, playing smart basketball in a limited role on a Nets team that needed the depth at his position. And after playing out consecutive 10-day contracts, Collins has been signed for the remainder of the season, the team announced on Saturday via official release.

Collins isn’t there to put up numbers, and in fact, when touting his contributions to the team so far this season, the press release had to use totals instead of his statistical averages. It’s his leadership (and ability to give fouls, apparently) that have head coach Jason Kidd appreciating the team’s most recent addition.

From Andy Vasquez of NorthJersey.com:

The 35-year-old 7-footer known as “Twin” is regarded as a smart, tough player who makes opponents pay for entering the paint. Along with 37-year-old Kevin Garnett, Collins has been providing leadership for the Nets younger big men, including rookie F/C Mason Plumlee.

“[Collins] and [Garnett] can help Mason understand a lot of different things on how to get better,” Kidd said. “Twin can help him understand what it means to foul. There’s a technique I guess in that. But I think it was a good signing all around and I think it helps Mason.”

Collins is jokingly referred to as a “professional fouler” by his teammates. He is averaging 11.1 fouls per 48 minutes this season, making him one of the most frequent fowlers in the league.

The numbers, if you’re interested, are five points, six rebounds, and six steals — total — in eight games, with an average of 9.8 minutes per contest. But again, that’s not why Collins is there. And more importantly, neither is the reason that his signing has received so much coverage.

Are Bulls and Dwyane Wade moving toward a buyout?

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About a month ago, the Bulls said they hadn’t discussed a buyout with Dwyane Wade.

Have the two sides progressed since?

Nick Friedell of ESPN:

Dwyane Wade isn’t long for the organization’s future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.

Expected by whom?

People with direct knowledge of momentum toward a buyout?

Or everyone who can see that a 35-year-old earning $23.8 million fits poorly on a rebuilding team?

For the Bulls to now drop their biggest name and a large expiring contract that could prove useful in trades should require Wade surrendering a large portion of his salary. He doesn’t sound like someone inclined to do that yet.

A few months is a long time. As long as Wade gets bought out by March 1, he could join another team’s playoff roster. It’d surprise nobody if he gets bought out after the February trade deadline, which we already knew. I don’t see strong indication of something more imminent.

LeBron James’ camp already shooting down leaving-Cavaliers rumor

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LeBron James has done a terrible job shooting down rumors about him leaving the Cavaliers

Except this one from Chris Sheridan, who cited a source saying LeBron would “100 percent” leave Cleveland next summer due to a rift with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Sheridan’s source saying LeBron is leaving doesn’t make that true. But other anonymous sources denying it doesn’t make the denials true, either.

New Orleans Saints fire Pelicans’ team physician

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The Pelicans have been crushed by injuries the last few years.

Why? That’s an incredibly complex question.

But the New Orleans Saints – who share an owner (Tom Benson), a front-office leader (Mickey Loomis) and other staff with the Pelicans – have found culprits for their own injury woes.

Mike Triplett of ESPN:

The Saints have fired team orthopedists Deryk Jones and Misty Suri, per source, after it was discovered that CB Delvin Breaux has a fractured fibula and will require surgery expected to sidelined him for 4-6 weeks. Breaux was originally diagnosed with a contusion

Suri is a Pelicans team physician.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Fairly or not, Suri – after the Saints deemed him unacceptable – will be in the crosshairs if he keeps his job with the the Pelicans and their injury woes continue.

Rumor: LeBron James ‘100 percent’ leaving Cavaliers next summer

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Chris Sheridan was ahead of the crowd in 2014, reporting LeBron James would likely leave the Heat for the Cavaliers – which obviously happened.

But Sheridan called it a “90 percent chance,” a small – but large enough – hedge. He also said LeBron would announce the decision on LeBron’s personal website. Of course, LeBron revealed his choice in a Sports Illustrated essay.

So, maybe Sheridan knows what he’s talking about. Maybe he doesn’t.

But the longtime NBA writer just fanned the flames of the already hot LeBron-leaving-Cleveland rumors.

Sheridan:

Of course, the denials came quickly.

There have already been plenty of warning signs about LeBron’s relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, which didn’t restart in a great place.

It’s entirely believable LeBron would leave Cleveland, in large part due to Gilbert.

But it’s also fun to speculate about that salacious storyline.

Maybe Sheridan or his source got carried away for that very reason. Or maybe they know something.

Neither possibility should be discounted.