Grizzlies owner: “We’re not looking to trade Rudy Gay”

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There have been more Rudy Gay trade rumors floating around than Charlie Sheen rumors.

Gay is in the middle of a max deal that will pay him $16.5 million next season and while he is a good player he is not worth that much. The Grizzlies are already paying Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol big bucks and they are going to have to pony up for O.J. Mayo if they want to keep him. So, moving Gay becomes a hot rumor and finding trades for him a favorite past time of Grizzlies fans.

But don’t bother, Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

“We’re not looking to trade Rudy Gay,” Heisley said. “We’re not shopping him around. Period. Do we sit around and say ‘What if we traded Rudy, who could we get?’ No. Right now, Rudy is part of the future of this team….

“Our plan was always to protect the core. I’ve the core for four years,” Heisley said. “If we ever decide to do something it won’t be because of salary. We’re going to build a team around this core group. We understand Rudy’s salary. We understood it when we gave it to him. We’re not looking to cut salary. We’re looking to try and win a championship.”

Now, if I were shopping Rudy Gay, this is exactly what I’d say to the press. But I tend to believe Heisley when he says he is not looking to break up the core.

That does not mean Gay is safe — if someone comes to Memphis with a deal too good to pass then he will be traded. But if you play the semantics game that is not shopping him.

The challenge for Memphis is they are a good young team in the West, but the Thunder are younger and better. Then there is the up-and-coming Clippers who may already be better, and Memphis doesn’t have a lot of cap room to just add players. Let’s just say the road to that title is not an easy one from Memphis.

Report: Dennis Smith Jr. rejoins Mavericks after reconciling with Rick Carlisle

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Second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr. has been rumored to be on the trade block. The Dallas Mavericks guard hasn’t seen eye-to-eye with coach Rick Carlisle, and several teams have expressed interest in Smith. It appeared that Smith was all set to join another team as part of a swap as we approach the trade deadline.

A report on Sunday on the latest from Dallas has changed all that. According to The Athletic, Smith and Carlisle have had productive talks and the 21-year-old is set to rejoin the team for their game on Tuesday.

Via Twitter:

Smith hasn’t made the kind of leap the Mavericks were hoping for. Despite an offensive explosion across the league, he hasn’t seen his advanced numbers experience a significant bump. Smith’s flaws are that of a young player — shooting and decision-making — so any additional communication with coaches will be a good thing for him.

Who knows is he and Carlisle can ever heal the wound fully, but it felt too soon to press the eject button on a Top 10 pick like Smith for Mavs fans.

Lakers PG Lonzo Ball will miss 4-6 weeks with ankle sprain

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The Los Angeles Lakers have been dealt another injury loss.

Lakers PG Lonzo Ball, part of the young core the team is trying to develop around LeBron James, suffered an ankle sprain against the Houston Rockets on Saturday. The team release via their website said Ball would be re-evaluated but could mis 4-6 weeks.

Via Lakers:

Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, who was injured in last night’s game at Houston, underwent an MRI which revealed a Grade 3 left ankle sprain. Ball is expected to miss 4-6 weeks and updates will be provided as appropriate.

Ball had to be carried from the court after he collided with James Ennis during a play in the third quarter. Ball appeared to step on Ennis’ foot when the Rockets player tried to cut him off from the basket.

LA has had a rough go of it since LeBron injured his groin some 13 games ago. The Lakers have also been without Rajon Rondo, and have had a tough time winning games. The team, once thoroughly in the playoff race, has now dipped to ninth place in the West.

James and Rondo have been cleared for basketball activities, and they need their veteran leadership now more than ever heading into the All-Star break.

Watch the Bulls’ tribute video for Dwyane Wade

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Dwyane Wade is a Chicago native but the Miami Heat guard only played in the Windy City for a short amount of time. Wade was a member of the Chicago Bulls for 60 games in 2016-17 despite having signed a massive contract with the team in July of 2016.

Wade is now back where he belongs in Miami, and he’s been on a bit of a farewell tour across the NBA. As such, the Bulls felt it prudent to show a little tribute video for Wade before the final game he was to play at United Center.

Via Twitter:

How Bulls fans feel about Wade probably depends on who you ask, but a tribute video from the organization is a classy touch no matter what.

Wade has done jersey swaps with players around the league and in Chicago he got a special one: Benny the Bull.

‘One Piece’ fans are trying to get Steven Adams into All-Star Game

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There’s been a lot of clever NBA All-Star marketing over the years. Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum did a “Napoleon Dynamite”-themed video for his buddy Damian Lillard this season. The Toronto Raptors made a faux-vintage action figure ad for Kawhi Leonard.

Now it appears that anime website Crunchyroll is trying to get “One Piece” fans to vote for Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams.

Adams is a fan of anime, and has professed his admiration for the show “One Piece” before. Adams made mention about how he was watching the show instead of Kevin Durant‘s debut with the Golden State Warriors a while back. In turn, Crunchyroll — a streaming site — made a video trying to get people to vote for Adams in the NBA fan vote.

Via Twitter:

That’s pretty good, but will it be enough? We know the fan vote gets wild, especially with favorites who are sort of undeserving (Derrick Rose and Luka Doncic come to mind). Could a big push from the anime crowd help Adams, who is an excellent player but who has never been an All-Star, notch his first bid?