It’s official: Knicks trade Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton to Dallas

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UPDATE 10:30 pm: And it is official, the Dallas Mavericks have confirmed the trade.

The final details are Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton go to the Mavericks in exchange for Samuel Dalembert, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Shane Larkin and two 2014 second-round picks.

UPDATE 5:45 pm: The two sides have reached an agreement in principle on this trade, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

It still must be formally approved by the league office, but the deal is in place.

4:40 pm: You know Phil Jackson needed to go big to change the Knicks roster, and with that maybe persuade Carmelo Anthony to stay in New York (and other big names to come).

Well, this is big. Not sure it helps keep Anthony in town but it’s big.

The Knicks are near a deal to send Tyson Chandler back to Dallas and Raymond Felton along with him, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Multiple other reports called the deal “close”.

It should be noted that Chandler is one of Anthony’s better friends on the Knicks roster.

As laid out this is a trade-off on the court for New York. On one hand, while Chandler had a rough last season he is still one of the NBA’s better rim protecting big men. They will miss his presence inside. However at the point Calderon is an upgrade over Felton — the triangle needs three point shooters and Calderon does that (44.9 percent last season), plus is a low turnover guy. Calderon plays smart, but is used to having the ball in his hands more, it will be an adjustment. Felton struggled last season in just about every way, so there is some addition by subtraction there.

Plus the Knicks get Wayne Ellington and more importantly Shane Larkin, who has promise.

The Knicks also save money. Chandler and Felton make a combined $19.4 million. Dalembert is set to make $3.8 million but can be bought out for $1.8 million. Calderon, Ellington and Larkin combined make just $11.5 million.

What the Mavericks get is a real center to put next to Dirk Nowitzki — they get the rim protecting big that was there when the Mavericks won the title in 2011. They need that in the West. Felton gets the chance to turn his career around under one of the best Xs and Os coaches in the game, one who will put him good positions to succeed.

For a couple grand, Warriors fans can have Larry O’Brien Trophy visit their suite

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There’s so much money floating around the Bay Area right now thanks to another tech boom, this price almost seems low.

If you have a suite for the Golden State Warriors home games this season — and those are pretty much sold out, the Warriors draw big from the Silicon Valley crowd — you can have the NBA championship Larry O’Brien Trophy visit your suite. All for just a couple grand. From Gilbert Lee, via ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

The best part is it includes champagne… do you get to spray each other with it as you hold up the trophy? Now that would be perfect (goggles included, of course).

Have an issue with this? Why? To the victor goes the spoils. The Warriors may be able to sell this package for years.

Sixers new “Spirit of 76” court is fire

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First, the Sixers nailed the Nike “statement” jersey.

Now, they have announced a new “Spirit of 76” promotion, with seven tribute nights this season honoring the history of the franchise and of the Philadelphia area (and there is plenty of history to honor).

The best part — the “Spirit of 76” court with the bell logo.

Here is the promo vid

I just hope the Sixers team can live up to all the hype.

Wizards’ Markieff Morris to have sports hernia surgery, miss start of camp

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When the Washington Wizards open training camp next Tuesday, starting forward Markieff Morris will not be on the court.

That’s because he will have surgery to repair a sports hernia, a story broken by Candice Buckner of the Washington Post and since confirmed by Chase Hughes at CSNMidAtlantic.com.

While we don’t have details on the surgery, often recovery time for this is just a few weeks, and Morris could well be ready for the start of the season.

Morris averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds a game last season, and the Wizards offense was 5.7 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court last season. With him out, coach Scott Brooks can lean on Jason Smith or Mike Scott for traditional lineups, but don’t be shocked if he tries a little small ball with Otto Porter and/or Kelly Oubre at the three or four.

Morris also is in the midst of a felony assault trial in Arizona (one where he does not need to attend).

Sixers enter camp with Joel Embiid not cleared for 5-on-5, Jahlil Okafor on trade block

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This is the season the 76ers make the leap from team with potential to playoff team fast on the rise.

Maybe.

That’s the plan in Philly, but there are a lot of questions for this team to answer. While a couple of these issues are answered already — Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz are cleared to play and practice with teammates — a couple big ones still hang around. At the top of the list is “how healthy is Joel Embiid?” Coach Brett Brown doesn’t even have that answer yet, reports Derek Bodner of The Athletic.

It’s this simple: The Sixers outscored opponents by 3.3 points per 100 possessions when Embiid was on the court last season, he was a dominant force defensively who scored 20.2 points a game. When he was off the court the Sixers were 11.5 points per 100 possessions worse. They need him to play and play consistently if the Sixers have playoff dreams. It’s unclear when Embiid will return, but know that the Sixers will be cautious with his minutes again when he does get cleared (he has played just 31 games in three seasons).

Does that mean more Jahlil Okafor? Maybe not, the Sixers are still willing to trade him.

The Sixers have shopped Okafor for most of a year and found no deal they like. Okafor battled knee issues last season and, after a summer working to get healthy, other teams will want to see him play a little before talking trade. If he comes to camp slimmed down and his knee looks right, it could revive trade talks. Using a back-to-the-basket game, he averaged 11.8 points a night shooting 51 percent last season, he’s efficient, and some teams could use what he does (off the bench).

It’s going to be an interesting season in Philly. Are they playoff bound?