Kurt Helin

Report: Bulls have no plans to buy out Rajon Rondo in short term


Rajon Rondo took a savage swing at the two best players on the Chicago Bulls, slamming Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler for their leadership after those two called out younger players on the team for not caring. Rondo basically said they were no Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce.

All that motivation didn’t change the Bulls’ fortunes, they got thrashed at home by the suddenly hot Miami Heat.

In some cases, what Rondo did and his level of play would have a team looking to buy him out and get him out of the locker room, but that’s not the plan in Chicago, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

The key line here is Rondo is a trade chip — there is zero chance they buy him out before the Feb. 23 trade deadline.

After the deadline? That question remains open. The sense around the league is the Bulls are leaning toward a buyout, but if the situation improves in Chicago or if his play is key to the team keeping that final playoff slot in the East, then the Bulls may well keep him. That’s a decision that doesn’t need to be made for another month.

Carmelo Anthony says drama around him, Knicks is “mentally draining, mentally fatiguing”


Friday night at Madison Square Garden, Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks heard boos — and that was on a night they won, beating the Hornets 110-107.

The Knicks are engulfed in drama — again — this time about efforts to trade Anthony and start a rebuilding process around Kristaps Porzingis, all while still trying to make the playoffs (they are two games out as of now). After the game Friday Anthony was asked about all the drama around the team and how it is impacting him and the club, as reported by ESPN.

“You’ve got to deal with that, even though I try not to read it, and everywhere you go, even if you don’t hear about it, somebody is telling you about it, somebody is saying something,” Anthony said of the trade rumors and drama around him and the Knicks. “It can be mentally draining, mentally fatiguing…

“Yeah, I enjoy that,” Anthony said with a smile when asked about the fans booing him. “I enjoy it.”

As for playing in New York…

“You’ve got to be cut from a different cloth to take this day in and day out and to deal with this all day long every day,” he said. “You’ve got to take the good with the bad. I don’t know how I do it, but I do it.”

He’s right, not every player is cut out for New York. But that’s not a revelation, or even the topic at hand.

Rather the questions are, first, is ‘Melo cut out to play somewhere else? Or, more accurately, does he want to?

Secondly, will this drama kill the Knicks chances of making the playoffs?

Report: Cavaliers could target Shelvin Mack, Jameer Nelson in trades

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LeBron James wants a backup point guard on the roster, and for all the Twitter haters saying “stop your whining and just play” LeBron isn’t wrong. The Cavaliers let Matthew Dellavedova walk last summer because of the cost (with tax he would have cost them north of $30 million) and they had Mo Williams under contract for this season. Except on the day before training camp started Williams decided to walk away from the game on top. That left a hole in the roster that Kay Felder cannot fill.

The Cavaliers have a couple of trade exceptions, and they are looking at some point guards that they could slot into those spots, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

The simpler option for the reigning champions, as opposed to a Melo-sized blockbuster deal, might prove to be a smaller swap in which the Cavaliers absorb the salary of a veteran point guard into their $4.4 million Anderson Varejao trade exception that expires Feb. 20. Sources say one vet known to interest the Cavs — one who possesses a salary that would fit into that exception — is Utah’s Shelvin Mack at $2.4 million. Mack, according to sources, is most definitely available. The Cavs, though, would be forced to use the $4.8 million trade exception they just created in the Kyle Korver deal (with an expiration date of Jan. 7, 2018) to absorb the salary of Denver’s Jameer Nelson, who is said to be another Cleveland target but makes $4.5 million this season.

Also out there, Mario Chalmers and Jarrett Jack are free agents looking to make comebacks off injuries.

The other option for the Cavaliers is to see what players might get waived after the trade deadline, for example, the Bulls could decide to buy out Rajon Rondo. Frankly, Nelson would be a better fit in the locker room and willingly would take on the backup role, but if the Cavs are willing to wait out the market there could be interesting names available for cheap. Of course, that comes with the roll of the dice about who will be available.

All just things to watch. It’s far more likely to happen than the Carmelo Anthony trade ideas.

James Harden becomes first player ever with two 50-point triple doubles in one season (VIDEO)


That’s not a guy playing like an All-Star, that’s a guy playing like an MVP.

James Harden had 51 points, 13 rebounds, and 13 assists in the Rockets win over the Sixers Friday night, his second 50 point triple-double of the season — he is the first player in NBA history to do that.

Then Kevin Hart crashed his postgame interview.

PBT Podcast: Chicago’s roster, Carmelo Anthony trade talk, All-Star snubs

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It’s been a roller coaster few days around the NBA.

It’s Rajon Rondo and the team youth vs. Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade vs. management in Chicago.

The Knicks are struggling to find a Carmelo Anthony trade that works.

Joel Embiid, Rudy Gobert and the other All-Star Game snubs.

It’s a lot, so Dan Feldman of NBC Sports joins Kurt Helin to break it all down in this latest podcast.

As always, you can check out the podcast below, or listen and subscribe via iTunes (check there to see all the NBC Sports podcasts), subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out our new PBT podcast homepage and archive at Audioboom.com.