<span class="vcard">Dan Feldman</span>

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  Kevin Durant #5, Lebron James #6 and Russell Westbrook #7 of United States stand for National Anthem following the Men's Basketball gold medal game against Spain on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Team USA announces 30 finalists for 2016 Olympic roster


Team USA started with 34 mini-campers vying for a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Add Andre Iguodala. Don’t add Kobe Bryant.

That left 35 players in the pool.

USA Basketball trimmed the list to 30 today:

The five cuts:

All five are fine players. But they were all longshots to begin with, and none are having a strong enough season to boost their candidacy.

That they’re such easy cuts speaks to the Americans’ depth.

The more difficult selections will come later. Team USA will pick a final roster in late June. It’s unclear whether the pool will be reduced again before that, but it’s already getting difficult to find names to drop.

It’s going to be unbearably difficult for USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo to make his final decisions for the 12-man team.

Nuggets’ Will Barton fist bumps a baby (video)

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 23:  Will Barton #5 of the Denver Nuggets reacts after scoring against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on December 23, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Nuggets defeated the Suns 104-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Will Barton did some cool things in the Nuggets’ win over the Pacers last night.

Another one: He fist-bumped a baby going into the halftime locker room.

That’s a memory that baby will never forget.

hat tip: (Ananth of Pandian of CBSSports.com)

Rick Carlisle comes onto court clapping at ref, gets ejected (video)

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The Mavericks were getting their teeth kicked in by the Spurs last night – plenty of teams have been there – when Rick Carlisle snapped.

The Dallas coach picked up one technical for arguing a J.J. Barea foul. Then Carlisle walked toward referee Sean Corbin, clapping at him. That drew technical No. 2 and an ejection.

If the league determines Carlisle was charging at Corbin menacingly, Carlisle could get an extra fine.

Jason Terry doesn’t know whom Sasha Kaun is, looks on back of his jersey to find out (video)

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 28: Sasha Kaun #14 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the Cleveland Cavaliers media day at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 28, 2015 in Independence, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Cavaliers signed Sasha Kaun last summer. The center was the No. 56 pick in the 2008 draft after playing four years at Kansas. Between, he played for CSKA Moscow.

Apparently, Rockets guard Jason Terry knew none of that.

So, Terry created this hilarious moment when he circled around a confused-looking Kaun to read the back of the rookie’s jersey.

(hat tip: Ananth Pandian of CBSSports.com)

Report: Influential Cavaliers players open to trade for Markieff Morris

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 7: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots over Markieff Morris #11 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena on March 7, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Markieff Morris still wants to leave Phoenix, and the Suns don’t seem fond of him, either.

How about a trade to Cleveland?

Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

Influential figures within the Cavaliers’ locker room are open to the notion of trading for disgruntled Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris, cleveland.com has learned.

They believe the Cavs can get the most potential out of him in the role he’d be assigned.

However, league sources with knowledge of the Cavaliers’ thinking insist there’s no connection right now between Morris and the defending Eastern Conference champions. I’m told the organization isn’t too keen with the idea, fearing the team chemistry would be ruined.

Instead, the Cavs on the lookout for another defensive-minded wing with a long distance spot-up stroke, cleveland.com was informed

There are other good players, but there’s only one truly influential figure in the Cavaliers’ locker room: LeBron James. If he believes Morris could fit in Cleveland, the Cavs should look into it.

They have a trade exception large enough to absorb Morris’ salary and an open roster spot. Considering other teams reportedly want a sweetener just to take him, that might be enough. I wouldn’t give away Morris if I were the Suns, but they might be ready to move on from the hassle.

Morris has talent as a stretch four, though his production has regressed the last couple years. I believe a trade from the team that traded his brother – let alone to a championship contender – would reinvigorate him. But that’s far from a guarantee.

When Cavs management approached LeBron about trading for Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, LeBron was more enthusiastic about the mercurial Smith. LeBron said he could keep Smith in line, and he has. If LeBron trusts he can do the same with Morris, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt.

That said, dealing for Morris still might not be the best use of Cleveland’s assets. The Cavs could use another wing beyond Smith, Shumpert and Richard Jefferson – especially in anticipation of LeBron sliding to power forward and Kevin Love to center to counteract the Warriors’ small lineups.

And then there’s the biggest question: Would Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert approve? Simply adding Morris would increase Cleveland’s projected payroll by $43,030,293 – Morris’$8 million salary plus$35,030,293 in additional luxury-tax payments.

That’s a huge cost for a second stretch four behind Love and sometimes LeBron.

Using the trade exception for a wing would also create similar issues. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cavaliers stand pat.

But if LeBron believes in Morris and the Suns are willing to give him away and Gilbert is willing to pay for it – notice all the ands – it might make sense.