Wednesday morning one liners: Golden State eyeing Odom?

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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) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• Could the Golden State Warriors be eyeing Lamar Odom when he eventually gets bought out and becomes a free agent this summer? He’s on their radar, according to a report. Smart money for me is still one of the Los Angeles teams or the Heat, but nothing would surprise me.

• One more time, because I keep getting emails/tweets asking about this: No team can sign Odom right now. First, Dallas did not release him, they just made him sort of a permanent inactive. Also, it is past the deadline when teams can add a player and use him in the playoffs — rosters are set. He may get traded and he will get bought out and become a free agent this summer, but nothing his happening right now.

• If each member of the San Antonio Spurs were a super villain, which super villain would they be?

• Ricky Rubio says his knee may not be ready for the start of training camp next fall.

• Taking a close look at the Celtics killer starting lineup.

• Chris Hansen, the guy looking to bring a team to Seattle, has purchased the rest of the land where he would like to build an arena. He still needs to work out a deal where the city pitches in money, then he needs to get a team. But baby steps are still steps.

• Kyle Korver was so hot Tuesday night he was making plays sitting down.

• If you read one thing today, may it Sports Illustrated’s profile of JaVale McGee. It will give you a better picture of the man. Not that you will understand him when you are done.

What makes Kawhi Leonard so good?

• Al Harrington is going to try and play through his knee injury, just with a reduced role for the Nuggets.

• Rajon Rondo walked away from Team USA, and he does not want to ever go back and play in the Olympics. Ever.

• Ben Gordon is frustrated with the Pistons. He should be.

Brooklyn is a reality for the Nets.

• Taking a closer look at the Nets trade for Gerald Wallace and the protected pick sent to Portland. I still just do not get that move.

• Saints owner Tom Benson was talking Hornets with NBA Commissioner David Stern.

• The Portsmouth Invitational college showcase still matters because guys go from there to the NBA (Landry Fields and Jeremy Lin, just to name a couple). I want to go to this one year just because I love Portsmouth.

• Please help out one basketball blog’s battle against Parkinson’s disease if you can.

PBT Extra: Grading the top of the NBA Draft

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The Phoenix Suns got it right at the top of the draft — they took Deandre Ayton.

But what of their move to trade for Mikal Bridges, the No. 10 pick, surrendering a valuable pick and the potential of Zhaire Smith for what should be a solid “3&D” wing to go with their athletic stars?

How did the Kings do at No. 2? What about Dallas’ big trade up to land Luka Doncic at three, or the Atlanta bet on Trae Young?

In this PBT Extra, I grade the top 10 picks in the draft, from the moves I like (I think Dallas did well) to ones I’m not sold on (sorry Chicago).

 

Have questions leading up to free agency? Submit your questions via e-mail for our PBT Mailbag feature. Drop us a line at pbtmailbag@gmail.com.

Lakers’ recruiting pitch for Paul George leaks

AP Photo/R Brent Smith
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LeBron James doesn’t want elaborate pitches in free agency.

Paul George never said that, though.

So, the Lakers are apparently planning to put some showbiz into their recruitment.

Robin Lundberg of Sports Illustrated, citing a “Hollywood source,” revealed a Lakers pitch for George. The direction:

Less Morgan Freeman/Denzel Washington, and more Jamie Foxx. A bit more edge an attitude to their voice, and a bit less aspirational

The text:

When you were just a kid

In your room
Dreaming from Palmdale

We were dreaming too.

While you dreamt, we built – built for your arrival

And while we dreamt, you built too
Becoming one of the world’s greatest.

Life’s most powerful dream are the one we realize ourselves.

The ones that turn us into legends.
That kid from Palmdale always knew it
Now the world will, too

Who wrote this, noted storyteller Kobe Bryant?

My bigger question: Did or did not the Lakers, who’ve gone to great lengths to make their interest in George known, want this to leak before the official start of free agency?

Report: No divide between Chris Paul and Rockets over contract

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
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That rumor of tension between Chris Paul and the Rockets over his contract?

Sam Amick of USA Today:

As for the recent report from Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard that there are rising tensions between the two sides because Paul wants the full max and isn’t sure if he’ll get it, two people with knowledge of the situation refuted the idea there is any friction between the sides.

Remember, everyone who leaks something has an agenda. But I find this report far more credible than the initial rumor.

Paul’s max projects to be about $205 million over five years. That’s a lot to commit to a 33-year-old, but Paul took a discount to facilitate an opt-in-and-trade to Houston last year. He expects to be made whole.

Until Broussard’s report, all indications were the Rockets would appease him. Barring more information, that should remain the expectation.

Report: LeBron James not planning to sit for elaborate pitch meetings in free agency

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LeBron James held court in Cleveland in 2010, listening to pitch after pitch as teams flew in to recruit the superstar during free agency. That approach became a model, and Kevin Durant followed it in the Hamptons in 2016.

But maybe once is enough.

Durant announced months ago he’d stay with the Warriors. And now LeBron – who could definitely leave Cleveland – is making clear he doesn’t want the hoopla, either.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

sources close to the situation tell ESPN that he has no intention of hearing elaborate pitch meetings from teams.

league sources believe he and his agents Rich Paul and Mark Termini have enough understanding of the stakes and NBA landscape to handle the process without much fanfare.

LeBron is still haunted by The Decision. He’s a great player and philanthropist and does plenty to connect with fans. Yet, people still dislike him purely because of how he changed teams eight years ago.

If I wielded as much power as LeBron, I’d want suitors wining and dining me. He wants to avoid more backlash.

This will probably look similar to 2014 – LeBron’s agents hearing out teams then LeBron meeting with only the most serious options, though the final announcement will likely come via Uninterrupted rather than Sports Illustrated.

The Lakers, Cavaliers, Rockets and 76ers are commonly viewed as the favorites for LeBron. This approach makes it less likely for a longshot to emerge – though, for what it’s worth, we don’t know those four teams are his favorites right now.