You knew Mark Cuban was serious about breaking up the Mavericks the year after their championship when they let Tyson Chandler — the defensive anchor of their title squad — walk out the door all the way to the New York Knicks.
Now, they want him back.
Dallas’ makeshift roster won 49 games last season and showed some promise, but it also had some distinct needs. One is better rim protection on defense, Samuel Dalembert did the best he could but at this point that is only so much. So if the Knicks will talk trade the Mavericks will want in the conversation, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.
The most interesting whisper, at this early stage, is that the Mavs intend to be at the front of the line to try to reacquire Tyson Chandler should the Knicks make their defensive anchor available via trade. Letting Chandler go remains the most fiercely debated aspect of Cuban’s decision to break up the Mavs’ championship team, but word is they’ll indeed pursue what many will regard as an overdue reunion.
Chandler is owed $14.6 million next season and the Knicks, with Phil Jackson looking to retool a shaky roster, might be willing to move Chandler — but he’s going to want quality back. Jackson is not just going to dump the salary, he could hold on to Chandler all season, get good play out of him, and still save the money in the summer of 2015.
The Mavericks current roster is not filled enticing options to a rebuilding Knicks team. There could be draft picks involved but there would have to be a third team or other parts to get the Knicks to dump the salary. (Now, if you want Andrea Bargnani that salary they will dump, but Chandler still has value on the court.)
Still this is something to watch.
It’s also a sign that Dallas thinks they can win with core parts of this roster back and a few additions. Maybe. But it will not be easy in the very deep West.
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. However, those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and the team’s playoff chances have taken a serious hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers).
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and had said planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).