Rumor: Bobcats shopping Michael Kidd-Gilchrist due to belief they can draft Otto Porter

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There are already plenty of rumors and reported trade talks surrounding teams with lottery picks in Thursday night’s draft, and there will be many more to materialize before teams are officially on the clock.

We advise taking the vast majority of them with one or more grains of salt, including this latest one involving the Charlotte Bobcats.

From Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops:

The Charlotte Bobcats are shopping Michael Kidd-Gilchrist around the league, confident they will be able to replace him with Otto Porter of Georgetown with the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s draft.

The reason the Bobcats braintrust of Rich Cho and owner Michael Jordan believe Porter will be available is because, SheridanHoops has learned from league sources, the Washington Wizards are determined to draft Anthony Bennett of UNLV with the No. 3 pick.

A second league source said the Bobcats have been working the phones, gauging the interest level among teams for the 2nd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

There are several things in play, here.

The notion that Bennett going to Washington with the third overall pick isn’t at all a crazy one. It’s believed that the Wizards are deciding between Bennett and Otto Porter with that pick, and at least one oddsmaker has it at even money that Bennett will land in Washington.

Most mocks have Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore going one and two, so if the intel the Bobcats have on Bennett is correct, they can nab Porter at four if they so desire.

But does that really make Kidd-Gilchrist expendable? He showed flashes at times during his rookie season, even though his averages of 9.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and nearly a blocked shot in 26 minutes per game didn’t set the stat sheet on fire.

The only way this makes any sense for the Bobcats is if they believe they can get talent in exchange for Kidd-Gilchrist that’s capable of producing more immediately in order to improve in the win column as early as next season. Pairing a more proven player with someone like Porter (if it all works out the way the Bobcats believe it might) then makes parting with Kidd-Gilchrist slightly more understandable.

But it’s worth noting that giving up on high lottery picks the year after you draft them is pretty much the opposite of the correct way to build a winning franchise, and that type of thinking is a perfect example of why Charlotte has seen the postseason just once in the last nine years.

Dwyane Wade sinks halfcourt buzzer-beater (video)

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Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)

So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.

Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.

Jonas Valanciunas hits game-winning free throw, spoils James Harden’s 57-point night (video)

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The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.

But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.

Report: Suns exploring signing Jimmer Fredette

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Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.

He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.

Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.

But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.

The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.

It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.

Marcus Smart shoves down Joel Embiid from behind, gets ejected (video)

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Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.

After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.

Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.

Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.