Report: Suns don’t want to give up Goran Dragic

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The Suns have third-team All-NBA guard Goran Dragic under contract for at least one more year at a very reasonable $7.5 million (he has a player option for the season after that, he’s likely looking for a healthy raise then). Dragic and restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe were at the heart of a surprisingly resurgent Suns team last season.

So they’re going to trade Dragic?

You’d be right to have been skeptical of a recent report that the Indiana Pacers wanted to trade for Dragic, maybe in a big three-team deal. Not that the Pacers wouldn’t have interest in such a deal, but getting all the other parties on the same page is highly unlikely at best.

Starting with the Suns, who want no part of it, reports Sean Deveney of the Sporting News.

“No, no, no,” the source said. “Nothing to that. The team and Goran, they’re still committed to each other.”

The Pacers should be looking at upgrading the point, it’s a way they can add needed shot creation to the roster quickly and easily. Dragic would be a great fit. But to concoct a trade the Suns would like is going to be hard — Roy Hibbert is not going to cut it. You can bring in the Celtics as a third team, but three-team trades are rare because they are very hard to pull off. And by the way, the Suns don’t really want to trade Dragic.

This time of year you should take every rumor with plenty of salt — teams talk to other teams about everything. A lot of trial balloons are floated, few stay up in the air long. This one has landed with a thud.

PBT Extra: Bobby Portis punch adds to challenges for Bulls this season

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Nikola Mirotic will be out 4-6 weeks due to his concussion and fractured jaw.

Bobby Portis has been suspended for the first eight games of the season for causing those injuries to Mirotic with a punch at practice.

What does this mean for a Bulls locker room that was already going to have to deal with the weight of losing a lot of games.  I get into all these questions in this latest PBT Extra.

It’s going to be a long season in Chicago.

Gordon Hayward’s agent says return this season unlikely

Associated Press
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Wednesday night in Boston Gordon Hayward underwent surgery to repair his dislocated ankle and fractured tibia suffered just five minutes into the season-opening game, a gruesome injury that put a pall over the rest of the night.

There had been hope from some Celtics fans that Hayward could return this season, likely for the playoffs, but now that the surgery is complete Hayward’s agent told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN not to expect him back until next season.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw the injury. Hayward is in the first year of a four-year deal with the Celtics, they were always going to choose a cautious path rather than rush him back. Under Danny Ainge Boston has always taken the long view, even with all their moves this summer — specifically bringing in Hayward and Kyrie Irving — the target was to be the team set up for next as LeBron James and the Cavaliers faded. That plan does not change now.

Earlier in the day, Hayward had sent a video message out to Celtics fans thanking them for their support in the past 24 hours.

Without Hayward, the Celtics now will focus more on smaller lineups, rookie Jayson Tatum will get more run, as will Marcus Smart in his contract year. Jaylen Brown will be thrust into a more significant role. Also, Kyrie Irving will be asked to do more as the team’s second-best playmaker is now out for the season.

The Celtics will take a step back this season without Hayward, who was going to be crucial for them on both ends of the floor. That’s evidenced by their 0-2 start, falling to the Cavaliers and Bucks on the first couple nights of the season. Boston should still be a team well above .500 and in the playoffs, but they will not be quite the same this season.

Trail Blazers beat Suns by 48, biggest season-opening rout in NBA history

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Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.

More than fine.

Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.

Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):

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The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.

Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova scrap (video)

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Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.

Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.