It was always a long shot anyway, but the idea of the Lakers trading big man Pau Gasol at the deadline — most likely to Phoenix, but there were other talks including with Charlotte — always seemed to have the caveat that other teams wanted to see him healthy and back on the court.
Not going to happen before the trade deadline — Gasol is out for the Lakers Wednesday night when they take on Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets, tweets Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell. Gasol has been out with a groin issue for several weeks now and got a PRP injection in there to help the healing process.
While him being out doesn’t completely kill the chances of Gasol getting traded at the deadline, it’s doesn’t help as some trade partners remain unconvinced about his health.
It was always difficult to find a deal that worked anyway. First, only a few teams could or would add his massive $19.3 million salary to their books for a rental — Gasol can be a free agent this summer. However, there were a few teams open to it, for example the Suns, who want to solidify their playoff standing.
On top of the small market, Los Angeles wanted more than just a straight salary dump for Gasol, they wanted an asset back — and a pretty good one. Remember they were asking for one of the two highest of Phoenix’s potentially four first round picks in this draft, something that pushed the rebuilding Suns away from the bargaining table. The Lakers felt Gasol was worth more than a straight salary dump, other teams did not agree.
It looks like the Lakers will have Gasol through the end of the season. Don’t bet on his return to the team next year, this relationship has run its course.
DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).
After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.
Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.
The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.
And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.
He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.
Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.
Young, via TMZ:
“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”
Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.
Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.
So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.