Trade deadline: Spurs want to move Jefferson

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NBA_jefferson1_250.jpgWell, the Richard Jefferson to the Spurs experiment seems to have fizzled out. Officially. Everyone pretty much knew it was dead a couple months ago. But now we have proof.

Displeased with the way he has fit into their system, the San Antonio Spurs are attempting to trade forward Richard Jefferson just days before the trade deadline, multiple league sources have confirmed.

However, because of Jefferson’s lack of production this season, as well as his $14.2 million salary, it does not seem likely the Spurs are going to find any takers.

Really? Nobody wants to take on $15 million in salary next year for a guy whose production dropped dramatically this year? Couldn’t have seen that coming.

Jefferson’s shooting percentage numbers are pretty similar to last year (except from three, which dropped from 39.7% to 35.4%). What has dropped are his shot attempts (especially at the rim) as he has struggled to find his way fitting in with Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Jefferson is giving the Spurs 14 points a game, but he is using 11.5 shots to get that.

General manager R.C. Buford did roll the dice on this one, giving up Frabrico Oberto, Kurt Thomas and Bruce Bowen to get Jefferson. But he had to do something — the Spurs as constructed were not going to beat the Nuggets, let alone the Lakers, in the playoffs. They needed to do something to open the championship window again. On paper Jefferson seemed a good idea.

In practice, the Spurs are wasting a throwback year from Duncan. And no move at the deadline is likely to change that.

Dwyane Wade sinks halfcourt buzzer-beater (video)

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Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)

So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.

Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.

Jonas Valanciunas hits game-winning free throw, spoils James Harden’s 57-point night (video)

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The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.

But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.

Report: Suns exploring signing Jimmer Fredette

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Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.

He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.

Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.

But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.

The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.

It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.

Marcus Smart shoves down Joel Embiid from behind, gets ejected (video)

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Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.

After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.

Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.

Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.