Dan Feldman

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Report: Bulls trading Jameer Nelson to Pistons for Willie Reed, pick swap

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Update: Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago:

Looks like Reed won’t even make it to Chicago. This was always primarily about the pick swap for the Bulls.


Energized by Blake Griffin, the Pistons are back in the thick of the playoff race.

But with Reggie Jackson still sidelined, Detroit is relying on a hodgepodge at point guard: Ish Smith, Dwight Buycks and Langston Galloway. Though that group has performed decently, Pistons president/coach Stan Van Gundy is getting a familiar reinforcement – Jameer Nelson.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Nelson had his best years with the Van Gundy-coached Magic, but that was also nearly a decade ago. Nelson, who turns 36 tomorrow, has declined significantly. He probably won’t be in the rotation once Jackson returns. Heck, he might not be in the rotation even now. But he’s another option on a team that hasn’t found stability at point guard.

Is that worth a chance of dropping a bit in the second round in four years? Maybe. I doubt the present-focused Van Gundy blinked at the cost, especially considering he had no attachment to Willie Reed (who came to Detroit in the Griffin trade).

For the Bulls, this is a chance to get a little more value out of the Nikola Mirotic trade. Nelson – who, like Reed, is on an expiring minimum contract – provided nothing to tanking Chicago. Reed, who’s one-game into a six-game suspension for domestic violence, probably won’t either. But at least he’s just 27 if the Bulls want to take a flier on evaluating him for next season, and moving up in the second round only helps.

It might even allow Chicago to sell the pick for more money in June.

Rodney Hood says he expects, and reportedly welcomes, Jazz to trade him

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Donovan Mitchell has quickly ascended as a foundational player for the Jazz.

Where does that leave Rodney Hood, who many figured would become Gordon Hayward‘s heir apparent as Utah’s best perimeter offensive player before Mitchell seized that role?

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Hood has become a player teams are inquiring about, with the 25-year-old very open to a change of scenery, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

“My gut feeling is that I won’t be here by the deadline. I’ve enjoyed my time here, but I’ve felt isolated the past month and I would not be surprised if I was moved.

Hood is still playing 27.8 minutes per game (up from last season) and posting career highs in usage (27.5%) and true shooting (55.1%). It’s not as if Mitchell has rendered him useless.

But do the Jazz want to pay Hood in restricted free agency next summer? Maybe not anymore.

So, it makes some sense to deal him now. Plenty of teams are interested. The 25-year-old shooting guard is a strong 3-point shooter, and his 6-foot-8 frame helps defensively. He’s also a good ball-handler, which suggests an ability to grow into an even bigger role.

That’s just unlikely to happen in Utah, where Mitchell is taking over.

So, maybe this is wishful thinking by Hood, who sounds ready to move on. Or perhaps he and his agent have truly gathered that a trade by today’s deadline is more likely than not.

Report: Thunder telling inquiring teams Paul George is untouchable

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Unlike telling the Pacers he planned to leave next summer – prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – Paul George said he wouldn’t tip Oklahoma City on his plans for unrestricted free agency.

Operating blind, the Thunder aren’t blinking.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

Ask any rival executive who has come calling for George, who thought the Thunder’s inconsistent season might prompt Presti to trade George for fear he might lose another transcendent talent for nothing, and you hear the same word: untouchable.

Thunder, who have deemed George, Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams untouchable in trade talks.

None of this is surprising.

Russell Westbrook can’t legally be traded, because he’s within a year of signing a designated-veteran-player extension. Steven Adams’ dirty work is too important to the Thunder. Carmelo Anthony’s no-trade clause would make it extremely difficult to get worthwhile return, if he’d even waive it at all.

All three are under contract for next season, making it less urgent to move one. Perhaps, Oklahoma City would have looked to get ahead of impending luxury-tax concerns or balance the roster, especially after Andre Roberson‘s injury. Alas not.

But George is a special case, because he can leave with no return this summer.

The Clippers reportedly called about Blake Griffin for George, and the Thunder could probably draw even better George offers if they earnestly explored the market. But Oklahoma City is also trying to win this season and showing promise specifically because of George’s two-way excellence. The Thunder must weigh the odds of re-signing with what they could get for him before tomorrow’s trade deadline.

What’s abundantly clear: George enjoys playing for the Thunder right now. I believe he would have played out the season with the Pacers if they kept him, but I’m also convinced he was trying to hasten his exit from Indiana when he informed the team of his 2018 plan. It seems he wants to spend the rest of this season in Oklahoma City.

The Thunder will oblige, but the looming question remains: Will he justify that faith by helping them advance in the playoffs and/or re-signing next summer?

LeBron James hits game-winner on Christian Laettner play (video)


With the game tied late in overtime, the Timberwolves could have held the ball for the final shot. Instead, Jimmy Butler shot and missed too soon.

Then, J.R. Smith made his own error, dribbling after grabbing the defensive rebound. That prevented the Cavaliers from advancing the ball with a timeout.

But it also set the stage for LeBron James.

Inbounding from the backcourt with one second left, Jeff Green hit LeBron near the free throw line, and LeBron nailed the game-winner.

What a finish by LeBron, who finished with 37 points 15 assists and 10 rebounds and delivered Cleveland a much-needed 140-138 victory. Even against poor Minnesota defense – why were Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson guarding players in the backcourt while Butler single-covered LeBron far closer to the basket? – LeBron had little time to get off a shot. So clutch.

Did that play look familiar? Check out Grant Hill and Christian Laettner connecting for Duke in the 1992 NCAA tournament:

Pacers-Pelicans game rained out

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
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After a nearly two-hour delay due to a leaky roof amid rain in New Orleans, the NBA announced the Pelicans and Pacers wouldn’t play tonight.

NBA release:

The National Basketball Association game scheduled for tonight between the New Orleans Pelicans and Indiana Pacers has been postponed due to a leak in the roof at Smoothie King Center.

The date for the rescheduled game will be announced at a later time.

Here are dates that both teams aren’t scheduled to play, don’t already have events booked at New Orleans’ home arena and aren’t during the All-Star break:

  • Feb. 8
  • Feb. 13
  • Feb. 15
  • Feb. 22
  • Feb. 27
  • March 1
  • March 8
  • March 12
  • March 14
  • March 16
  • March 21
  • March 26
  • March 28
  • March 31
  • April 2

Is it too short of notice for both teams to remain in New Orleans and just play tomorrow? That might be the simplest solution, but at least there are plenty of plausible options.