Nick Young to sign Wizards qualifying offer, will enter free agency 2012

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Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports:

Restricted free agent shooting guard Nick Young is in the process of catching a red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Washington and is expected to sign his one-year, $3.7 million qualifying offer with the Wizards on Monday, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

via Sources: Nick Young to sign one-year deal with Wizards – Wizards Insider – The Washington Post.

Nick Young probably thought this was going to be the payday, but this is where restricted free agency dooms players like him. The Wizards weren’t going to use the Rose rule on him with Wall around, and other teams, knowing that the Wizards would match, and recognizing there’s no upside to ruining the Wizards, didn’t even put out a flyer offer. You’d think someone would throw out an offer sheet good enough to get him to sign it, allowing the Wizards to match.

In a way, not getting the offer sheet is worse than not being re-signed by the Wizards for what you want. Because there’s always someone will to try and steal a player in restricted free agency. Josh Smith couldn’t draw iron in restricted free agency, but the Grizzlies tossed out a deal. Portland slung something heavy and front-loaded for Wesley Matthews. Again, Wesley Matthews drew a more favorable situation, at least relatively, than Nick Young did.

This isn’t staggering by any means. Young is an inefficient volume scorer and the market value on those players has never been lower. He shot 44 percent from the field, 39 percent from the arc. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. He would have a lot of value on a team like Chicago, but they don’t have the money to throw at him. Washington does well by waiting. If the rest of their core, (Wall, McGee, Singleton, and potentially Jordan Crawford) develops there’s no reason to put the money towards him. They probably will, because that’s what teams do. But this at least gives them another year to see if he craters.

And if he doesn’t, he could work himself into one of the top free agents of 2012, assuming Williams, Howard, and Paul stay with whatever team they end up on by season’s end.

Either way, the tenuous relationship will hold for another year. The Wizards have a two guard, who will have his eye on next summer.

 

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.