Tuesday morning one liners: Rumor mill starting to spin

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If you read one thing on the new NBA CBA, this breakdown by Larry Coon of ESPN should be it. This will make you smarter.

Here is a complete list of all 129 free agents that hit the market Dec. 9.

It makes almost no sense for the Lakers to make a run at Kris Humphries, they have more pressing needs (point guard) and no money to spend really, but that is the rumor from one quarter.

Whatever the Washington Wizards decide to do with the amnesty clause, Rashard Lewis wins.

The Wizards top priority is to ink Nick Young to a longer deal.

A lot of teams are eyeing Brandon Roy if the Blazers use the amnesty clause on him as expected, but don’t expect him to slip past the Timberwolves or Warriors in the bidding process. (This time around guys waived by amnesty cannot just choose a team; rather teams under the salary cap can bid to pick up a portion of their contract and the highest bid gets the player.)

NBA.com’s David Aldridge says the Celtics are looking very hard at Tyson Chandler as a free agent. I looked really hard at a $5 million beachfront home once, didn’t mean I could afford it. (The Celtics don’t have the cap space for a run at Chandler.)

Expect the Nets to make a run at Tayshaun Prince.

Expect the Pistons to make a run at Big Baby (that’s Glen Davis to the rest of us).

how u? A lot of players are lobbying Roger Mason Jr. to come play for them.

Making the argument that the NBA lockout was about the owners trying to control the workers more than it was just about the money.

A report that Andrea Bargnaini seems to have lost weight and is moving well. That’s nice.

In what is really news to nobody, the Memphis Grizzlies say they will match any offer another team makes to Marc Gasol.

The Golden State Warriors are in the market for a big man. Who isn’t?

We talked about this before the lockout and we can do so again now — the Bobcats buyout of Bismack Biyombo from Spain is not going to be that simple.

It sure looks like President Barack Obama wears Under Armour when he plays hoop (as noticed by Henry Abbott at TrueHoop).

Lakers fans give Dwyane Wade standing ovation, check out L.A. tribute video

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Lakers fans take a lot of abuse from other fan bases, some of it well deserved, but the core fans know the game.

And they know how much Dwyane Wade has meant to it.

Which is why they gave him a standing ovation when he checked into the game Monday night in Los Angeles.

The Lakers also put together a tribute video that played in the arena.

Classy move, Lakers. Well done.

Pacers’ Myles Turner shuts down Bradley Beal at the rim (VIDEO)

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Myles Turner owned the paint in the first half — the Pacers’ center had five blocked shots in the first 24 minutes.

The big shut down was on Bradley Beal, this is how a big man recovers and goes after it.

Then later there was this play leading to a bucket on the other end.

Turner has had a strong defensive season in the paint so far for the Pacers, a big step for him. He’s sixth among centers in ESPN’s defensive real plus/minus stat (which has its flaws but is a good snapshot).

Washington learned that the hard way.

 

Report: Houston kicking tires on J.R. Smith trade with Cavaliers

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The Houston Rockets desperately need help on the wing (among other things, but wing is the personnel focus). The Rockets would also like to have less salary on the books next season, giving them some flexibility and lowering the tax bill.

J.R. Smith fits both of those bills, so Houston and GM Daryl Morey are at least taking a look at a potential trade, reports Marc Stein of the New York Times.

While there is some logic to this, we are a long way from it being a reality. Smith does not exactly have a positive trade value, at least as a player right now.

Smith was part of the rotation that helped the LeBron-led Cavaliers reach the NBA Finals last season, but he will be best remembered for the Game 1 blunder in the Finals that deflated the Cavs. Without the playmaking of LeBron, Smith struggled to start this season, shooting 34 percent for the Cavaliers in limited minutes, before going on hiatus from the team. That said, in a better situation where he was asked to play a small and specific role, maybe he could still help.

Smith is guaranteed $18.59 million this season but only $3.87 million of his $15.68 million salary for next season is guaranteed.

Houston seems a logical fit. Money wise, a Brandon Knight for Smith trade works, but the Rockets will have to throw in picks or other sweeteners to get the Cavaliers interested. Cleveland also likely will be patient, hoping that as the deadline gets closer there is a little bidding war for Smith.

Still, the Rockets are active on the trade market (as always), and they need wings, so this is worth keeping an eye on.

Lakers’ Rajon Rondo has fluid drained from hand slowing his recovery from surgery

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Rajon Rondo has been out more than three weeks following surgery to repair the third metacarpal bone in his shooting hand (his right hand), and while there has been no official timeline he was expected back in the next week or two. He’s been out on the court before recent Lakers’ games getting in some work.

But he has now hit a bit of a setback, Lakers’ coach Luke Walton said on Wednesday. Here is what Walton said, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“There’s a little bit of swelling,” Walton said at Lakers shootaround on Monday in advance of his team’s game against the Miami Heat. “We’re going to shut him down for a few days then get back out after it again.”

It’s not clear when Rondo will return. He was averaging 8.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds a game before the injury.

The Lakers have gone 8-4 since Rondo went to the bench with his fractured hand. Without the veteran point guard, LeBron James has had the ball in his hands more as a playmaker (to Magic Johnson’s frustration at times), paired with Lonzo Ball (who has started to show some real chemistry with LeBron). The Lakers offense hasn’t been particularly good in these past dozen games, bottom 10 in the league, but they have balanced that with a top 7 defense. The Lakers are getting wins thanks to that defense and enough LeBron shot creation to get it done.

The Lakers are going to have to keep getting it done and now without Brandon Ingram, too, who is expected to miss a few more games with a sprained ankle.