Monday And-1 links: Former Net now “Moses of Rikers.”

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Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT).

Former Net Jayson Williams is now the “Moses of Rikers.”

Can you blame all the problems in your life on Minnesota GM David Kahn? Maybe.

The Orlando Magic play the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis Saturday. Sunday the New York Giants play the New England Patriots in Indy in Super Bowl XLVI (which you can watch streaming here on NBCSports.com, if I can throw in a plug). The Orlando Magic didn’t book their hotel long in advance due to the lockout. Now, basically every hotel room in the city is booked and the Magic are scrambling.

There’s a rumor (really some random talk) going around that Mitch Kupchak might leave as Lakers GM. I would say don’t put much stock into that.

NBA players are getting to the free throw line less often this season. League official Stu Jackson talked about if it about the officiating.

Paul Pierce sat more than he liked in the fourth quarter of the Celtics loss to the Cavaliers Sunday.

Also Celtics fans, don’t expect Keyon Dooling back anytime soon.

Kobe Bryant was impressed with Ricky Rubio.

Carlos Boozer’s son was at the Bulls/Heat game Sunday and was chanting “let’s go Heat.”

Paul Millsap hates your zone defenses.

Watching Delonte West get ready for a game is pretty funny.

Andris Biedrins is in coach Mark Jackson’s doghouse because of a lack of production. No way anyone saw that coming…

The Hornets were only about $5 million over four years away from reaching a deal with Eric Gordon.

Ryan Anderson says Dwight Howard is right to criticize his Magic teammates.

Don’t expect to see D.J. Augustin this week with the Bobcats, his toe injury is still keeping him out.

EuroBasket sensation Bo McCalebb says the NBA can wait.

Like he is in preperations for games and with his shot, Ray Allen is all about consistency and repetition when naming his kids.

The Warriors owners paid a premium for their franchise, but it’s already paying off.

The Celtics wouldn’t mind landing Chris Kaman, but it’s not likely.

The Rockets’ Courtney Lee was involved in a serious car accident, but was not hurt (nor was anyone else). Fortunately.

The Nets have brought Jordan Williams back up from the D-League.

PBT Extra: Five players to watch heading into the NBA’s trade deadline

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It’s going to be a slow NBA trade deadline this year.

The reason it will be relatively quiet on Feb. 7 (the deadline day) this year is reflected in the five players to watch talked about in this PBT Extra. The bottom line: There are far more buyers than sellers.

Take Trevor Ariza in Washington, for example. A number of playoff teams are looking for wings on expiring contracts to help them out — the Rockets and Lakers are at the front of that line — but Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has said the team the team will not tank, so is Ariza even available.

Or, what about Terrence Ross in Orlando? Another wing a lot of teams have interest in, but is Orlando selling?

And while the Dallas Mavericks have made public overtures about reconciliation with Dennis Smith Jr., sources tell me the plan on both sides is still to find a trade, it’s just right now the offers are lowball ones (because the Mavs have no leverage and there will be good young point guards such as Terry Rozier and D'Angelo Russell available in July as restricted free agents, and teams like them better).

Still, there will be trades. These are the guys to watch.

Report: Hornets rookie Miles Bridges to compete in dunk contest

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
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Want to see more dunks like this and this?

Watch the dunk contest during All-Star weekend.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

Miles Bridges, the No. 12 pick in last year’s draft, has quickly proven himself as belonging in the Hornets’ rotation. He’s active, capable of getting to the rim and picks up defensive concepts quickly.

But like most rookies picked in the middle of the first round, he hasn’t yet earned a national profile.

The dunk contest will be his opportunity to change that.

Bulls’ Wendell Carter reportedly out 8-12 weeks following thumb surgery

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Wendell Carter Jr. has had a strong rookie season in Chicago: 10.3 points a game, 7 rebounds, showing real strength and touch inside and getting 67 percent of his shot attempts in the paint. The advanced stats like him: He’s got an above average PER and Value over Replacement Player, something very rare for a rookie. He looks like a key part of the future in Chicago.

And he’s out for the next two-to-three months.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune first reported that Carter might have ligament damage in his left thumb requiring surgery, and that coach Jim Boylen said Carter was seeing a specialist. Shams Charania of The Athletic took it to the next step.

That’s a blow to his development but doesn’t really change the trajectory of a Bulls team that will pick high in next June’s draft.

This does not change the Bulls’ plans heading into the trade deadline — big man Robin Lopez is still available (but likely will end up a buyout candidate) reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Bobby Portis will get more run with Carter out.

The young Bulls have been hit hard by injuries this season.  Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Portis have all missed time, and Denzel Valentine has yet to play a game for Chicago this season.

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis: ‘We will never, ever tank’

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Before the season, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis stated his goals: 50 wins and the conference finals.

Washington is 19-26 and 11th in the Eastern Conference.

Time to shift priorities?

NBC Sports Washington:

Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington:

The Wizards are too talented to tank right now. Led by Bradley Beal, they have a roster of capable veterans. They just traded for Trevor Ariza, making that even more true.

As bad as they’ve been, the Wizards are just 2.5 games and three teams out of playoff position. They will likely miss the postseason, but there’s no alternative better than trying to get there. They’re too far down the road toward winning now to simply pivot into a rebuilding.

But what about if the Wizards get eliminated from playoff contention with games left in the season? They won’t tank down the stretch to improve their draft position? What’s the point of that?

And what about future seasons? Washington will have a tough time building a satisfactory winner after signing John Wall to a super-max extension that kicks in next season. That difficult-to-move contract almost mandates the Wizards prioritize the present. A healthy Wall is good enough to ensure Washington can’t bottom out – for now.

Wall be 32 in the final year of that deal. The Wizards could be in ruins by then. Taking the option to tank off the table would be a mistake.

To be fair, I’m not totally sure Leonsis is doing that. Owners almost never admit to tanking. Most deny it.

But this goes a level beyond. This is far more forceful than Leonsis had to be, which makes me believe it’s actually his plan.

That’s fine right now. Eventually, it could make a futile situation far worse.