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Category:NBA
Posted on: March 9, 2012 7:11 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2012 1:59 pm
 
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:01 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 11:13 pm
 

Miami Heat work out UFA F Shavlik Randolph

Posted by Ben Golliver  

The Heat continued their search for a 15th man on Thursday, working out unrestricted free agent forward Shavlik Randolph in Miami, league sources told CBSSports.com.

The Heat signed center Mickell Gladness to a second 10-day contract on Feb. 28, according to the Sun-Sentinel. They now must decide whether to re-sign Gladness for the remainder of the season or go a different direction.

Miami reportedly worked out retired forward Rasheed Wallace recently and had been linked to free agent center Joel Przybilla before he signed with the Portland Trail Blazers in February.

Randolph, 28, played for the Heat during the 2009-2010 season and attended training camp with the Heat prior to the 2010-2011 season. Randolph signed a 1-year contract with no NBA opt-out with the Dongguan New Century Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association during the lockout, where he averaged 24.7 points and 11.9 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per game. Dongguan was recently eliminated from the CBA playoffs.

"I'm not going to be someone who is going to sit there and be picky," Randolph said, during a February interview from China. "Anyone who would want me, I'm somebody absolutely willing to accept any role. Rebounder, defender, opportunistic scorer. Hopefully when I get back, I'll get a good opportunity with a number of the teams we've been talking to."

Sportando.net reported earlier this week that Randolph was in contact with multiple NBA teams.

A 6-foot-10 forward out of Duke, Randolph holds career averages of 2.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game during a 5-year NBA career which includes stops with the Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers and Heat.
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:44 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 11:33 pm
 

Hedo Turkoglu grabs ref; suspension coming?

Posted by Ben Golliver  

Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu was whistled for a technical foul during the fourth quarter of a Thursday night game against the Chicago Bulls after he touched NBA referee Karl Lane with both of his hands while protesting a no-call on a drive.

It's likely that Turkoglu will be suspended for Sunday night's game against the Indiana Pacers.

The NBA rule book notes: "Any player or coach guilty of intentional physical contact with an official shall automatically be suspended without pay for one game. A fine and/or longer period of suspension will result if circumstances so dictate."

The sequence occurred with just less than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, with the Magic leading the Bulls 89-88. Turkoglu drove through multiple defenders and was stripped of the ball as he rose to attempt a lay-up. Turkoglu went over to Lane to protest the call and put both of his hands on Lane's shoulders while arguing. He then continued to argue with referee Bill Spooner, making contact with him as well, before he was able to be settled down so that play could continue.

The Magic went on to defeat the Bulls 99-94 at the United Center. Turkoglu finished with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal on 3-for-10 shooting in 39 minutes.


Here's the video of Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu making contact with official Karl Lane during a game against the Chicago Bulls. 

Posted on: March 8, 2012 6:46 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 7:04 pm
 

Blazers, Pacers talk Jamal Crawford trade

Jamal Crawford could be headed out of Portland just months after he arrived. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported Thursday that the Portland Trail Blazers were seeking a first round pick in a trade package for guard Jamal Crawford. Potential suitors included the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers. Add to that list the Indiana Pacers.

A league source with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com later Thursday that reported talks between the Blazers and Pacers are "legitimate" and have included a scenario that would send Crawford to Indiana for guard A.J. Price and a 2012 first round pick. Indiana has sufficient salary cap space to absorb Crawford's contract without matching salaries. 

The Pacers were first linked to interest in trading for Crawford by ESPN.com and reportedly had interest in Crawford's services back in December, before the Seattle native elected to sign with the Blazers after also considering the New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings. Crawford's name has surfaced in rumors since shortly after he became trade-eligible on March 1.

Indiana, the source said, is hesitant to part with a first round pick, given the quality and depth of this year's draft pool as well as Crawford's contract situation. Indeed, trading for Crawford and his $5 million salary amounts to a low-risk 2-month rental. 

Crawford's player option for 2012-2013 -- and the uncertainty that goes with it -- could be hurting his value during early trade talks. 

"The first team to give Portland a first round pick for Crawford will have him," the source predicted.

Crawford's Portland tenure hasn't worked out as expected. The Blazers are currently in the Northwest Division basement and Crawford has seen his role change and playing time vacillate due to Nicolas Batum's promotion to starting two guard and the ongoing struggles of point guard Raymond Felton

There are links between Indiana and Portland executives. Indiana's director of player personnel Kevin Pritchard previously served as GM for the Blazers, before being fired on the night of the 2010 NBA Draft. Pritchard's hand-picked director of college scouting, Chad Buchanan, is currently serving as Acting GM for the Blazers, after previous GM Rich Cho was fired in May 2011.

Crawford, 31, is averaging 14.3 points and 3.8 assists in 26.8 minutes per game for the Blazers this season.
Posted on: March 8, 2012 4:32 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 4:42 pm
 

Trade Deadline: Teams looking to make a move

Dwight Howard faces the most uncertain trade deadline of his career. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The winds are filled with whispers and disinformation. Fans are rattling trade machines and scouring salary lists. And most of the players in the league have a heightened anxiety while telling everyone they're oblivious to what's going on.

It's trade season.

With the deadline a week away, talks are ramping up, and while this is the most difficult trade deadline in years to predict in the way of volume of deals, the chatter is going to be the same as ever. Teams are at the point in the season where it's time to either head in a different direction, try and get over the hump, move towards the future, add that final piece, blow the whole thing up, or try and stay the course.

Some teams are above the fray. The rest will be on the phone. And some desperately need to get a deal done in the next seven days. With that, we present the Deadline Urgent Care Report, for teams that need to make a move now. It's time to trade or get off the block.


1. Orlando Magic: There's so much going on with this situation that no one really wants to talk about. It gets boiled down to a handful of narratives. "You have to rebuild if you're going to lose Dwight Howard." "You don't trade Dwight Howard until you absolutely have to." "You can't make decisions based on emotions." "Who really wants to rebuild around Brook Lopez?"

There's so much more going on. The health of their owner. Dwight's complex relationship with the city, with ownership, with Otis Smith, with Stan Van Gundy. To be sure, there's an impression given that Howard thinks he's beyond all of them at this stage in his career. But there's part of him that knows Smith took a chance on him. He knows Stan Van Gundy helped make him into the Defensive Player of the Year that he is. He knows Orlando has embraced him. This isn't an easy scenario in back and white lines.

But the reality remains. The Magic have to trade Howard if he is unable to give them a solid indication he wants to stay. Yes, Cleveland has rebuilt well without trading LeBron James. But it's less about what you get in return than it is about clearing space. Letting Howard go in free agency means you have a terrible team that's expensive. Trading him means the possibility of moving Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, or Glen Davis to alleviate the contract situation.

The Magic need to be looking to the future, trying to pull in as many young viable could-be-stars as possible, not bringing in veterans with large contracts or injury issues. They need to scrap it and start over. It's the quickest and most logical way back to title contention. Currently the odds are a pick 'em for if they'll trade him or not. At some point, despite how complicated the situation is, you have to move forward. Otherwise you're not saving yourself, you're just waiting to die.

Targets: Distributing wing creator, point guard upgrade.
Movable assets: Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, J.J. Redick, Jameer Nelson


2. Los Angeles Lakers
: It's pretty simple stuff, really. This team, as constructed, will most likey win a title. They can, but they probably will not. And that is not how the Los Angeles Lakers operate. They have movable stars, are willing to take on salary, and are in need of a face-saving move to try and redeem the decisions of the front office.

The trick for the Lakers is determining trade value. Pau Gasol was thought of as the best big man in basketball a year and a half ago. Now, he's a sidekick delicate shooter who fell apart in the playoffs. Andrew Bynum was a project with upside who you could still rationalize moving for something less than elite return. Now he's an All-Star who finally looks healthy. Do you see the problem? Gasol is better than his current value will allow in return and Bynum's current value is so high as to make it difficult to net equal return.

Furthermore, they need a star to put next to Kobe Bryant. Dwight Howard is there, but that situation has been temperamental. And it doesn't address their issues. A trade for Howard means they still have weaknesses at point guard and small forward. If the Lakers are going to do a deal, they need to pull in other teams to get some auxiliary talent back.

Targets: Dominant superstar option B, point guard upgrade, small forward who can hit water falling out of a boat.
Movable assets: Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum (?), Metta World Peace, Steve Blake, Matt Barnes.


3. Boston Celtics:
It's. Over.

The run was good. It wasn't great, just one championship, two Finals, and for a collection of Hall of Famers, it's disappointing. But the reality remains, it's time for Boston to move on. Every indication is that Danny Ainge isn't looking to try and win a title this year through trade. He's aiming for down the line. The idea is to be in a position to make a big move should one come available, not try an force one with the older players currently on roster.

And still, a change is needed. They can definitely re-stock in free agency when Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett's deals come off the books. But considering the value of both players, it would make sense to shop either or both in an attempt to get something of value now. Again, the idea is not to find players to win a title now, since they're not in that position. But to get players that will have value later to then move for those big pieces.

And then there's Rondo.

The enigmatic, temperamental shrouded in mystery and a faint air of disgust who drops triple-doubles to boggle the mind continues to be at the center of the Celtics' uncertainty. The Celtics took to the offensive last week to shoot down rumors they were looking at moving Rondo. But he's been discussed as a potential trade target for far longer than the past two weeks. Rondo has trouble scoring efficiently. He also possesses arguably the best vision of any point guard in the league, including Chris Paul. Can you build around him? Is his success a product of playing with three Hall of Famers? Is he limited by the Celtics' pace and lack of speed? The questions about Rondo have implications beyond whether to trade him or not. They also deal with how to build a team around him going forward if they don't trade him.

Targets: Versatile wings, on-ball creators, anything resembling a legitimate center.
Movable assets: Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce (?), Chris Wilcox, Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, Jermaine O'Neal (expiring contract).


4. Atlanta Hawks:
Josh Smith still wants out. The roster is stale. Marvin Williams is movable, finally. Jeff Teague makes Kirk Hinrich expendable. There's every reason for the Hawks to be big players at the deadline, but as always, their ownership situation makes things complicated. Still, the Hawks have repeatedly made moves at the deadline over the years and Smith should get a high amount of offers.

Targets: Clearing salary, legitimate center, back-up scoring guard.
Movable assets: Josh Smith, Kirk Hinrich, Joe Johnson.


5. Golden State Warriors:
The Warriors' new ownership has made big noise about change and bringing in stars, changing the culture. Instead they're largely the same team they have been for the past few years. They want to make a big splash. They have all the components to do so, it just matters how desperate they are. Expiring contracts, young stars on good contracts, versatility and depth. They have everything but a good roster. Fixing it will take more than a quick fix, but if they want to make a splash, the time is now.

Targets: Legitimate star, legitimate center, defensive backcourt and frontcourt upgrades.
Movable assets: Literally every player on roster.


6. Milwaukee Bucks:
Stephen Jackson has a huge contract, a bad attitude and a declining skill set. So clearly the market should be strong for him. The Bucks have wandered into no-man's land, not bad enough to land a star in the lottery, not good enough to make progress. But how do you remake a roster like this with a very specific outline for a blueprint? Brandon Jenning is the franchise player... is that a good thing? If Andrew Bogut can stay healthy they're a force... can he? They have depth that plays exceptionally well, is it worth selling high on them? It's a complex situation in Milwaukee.

Targets: Scoring, versatility, multi-dimensional impact.
Movable assets: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, Brandon Jennings (?), Andrew Bogut (?), Stephen Jackson.


7. New Jersey Nets:
They can wait on Dwight. But that's the kind of gamble that puts the fear of God in you. It's like telling your spouse, "Don't worry, honey. I've lost our car, our couch, our refrigerator, our bed and our life savings the last five times I've tried this gamble, but this time it's going to be different!" Nets supporters often point out that Billy King has made a number of four and five team trades. What they do not mention is how seldom his teams have gotten the better end of those deals. Not that his teams come out worse. But it's not like we're dealing with a stellar record.

The Nets have young players, but they're not very good. It's unlikely they'll panic should Howard stay put in Orlando, but it's going to make them break out the scotch. Expect their phone lines to be busy for the next week.

Targets: Dwight Howard. Pieces necessary to get Dwight Howard.
Movable assets: Anyone but Deron Williams.


8. Houston Rockets:
The Rockets are where they always are. Trying to get a star and building up assets to get a star they can never seem to land which makes them build up more assets to try and get a star. It's like an M.C. Escher painting.

Targets: Superstar to build around, low-post scorer.
Movable assets: Anyone for the right price.
Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:53 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 3:56 pm
 

Report: Josh Smith requests trade from Hawks

Is Josh Smith headed out of Atlanta? (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith has only known one home during his NBA career. And he's sick of it.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Smith has requested a trade from the Hawks.
Even as Josh Smith is having a strong season for the Hawks he has let the team know he wants to be traded as the March 15 deadline approaches, according to people with knowledge of Smith’s thinking.

And the reasons for Smith’s dissatisfaction with the team now have to make the Hawks wonder if they will be able to sign him to a contract extension next season.
The paper reports that Smith's grievances include being under a microscope, not getting enough organizational support for his All-Star bid and a belief that Atlanta doesn't have what it takes to compete for a championship. Smith would not comment on the report when offered the opportunity.

Smith, 26, is averaging 17.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals per game this season. He was an obvious All-Star snub this year. According to StoryTellersContracts.com, Smith is on the books for $12.4 million this season and $13.2 million next season.

That Smith is making noise with the trade deadline coming up next week is absolutely no surprise. He's been a regular on the rumor mill for years. Contract-wise, it's never made more sense for Smith to move. A team trading for him gets to add a versatile, hyper-talented 2-way player to their rotation in time for the playoffs with a test season next year to see if he acclimates to the new situation. There's no immediate pressure on the team side to keep him happy and there's no risk that he leaves for somewhere else in free agency this summer with the extra year on his deal. What's more, teams aren't trading into a contract they could come to regret. Smith is every bit of his cap number and we're talking about 1.5 years of paying him big money, rather than 3.5 or 4.5.

This all boils down to whether Atlanta has finally had enough and/or if they are able to find a way to offload him in a way that saves sufficient money to justify the loss. Even a disgruntled Smith is a major asset for the Hawks and there's a strong argument that he's Atlanta's best player, especially with Al Horford sidelined due to injury. You can understand why they would proceed with caution or delay the move as long as possible.

On balance, this just doesn't seem like an urgent situation from Atlanta's viewpoint, even if Smith really is itching to get out of town.
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:32 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 9:39 am
 

Report: Lakers considering offensive mutiny

The Lakers are facing serious problems on the road. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The Lakers' loss to the lowly Wizards isn't causing panic. But it's definitely got the Nation of Lakerland in an uproar, inside and out. The Lakers' inability to win on the road where they are now 6-14 on the season is a huge black mark on their championship-caliber record. It makes two losses in two nights to lottery teams, with the Wizards truly one of the league's worst teams. It involved a 21-point blown-lead, a dagger from Nick Young, and Kobe Bryant shooting 31 times. Thirty-one-times for thirty points. 

So in this time of trouble, Mother Laker has of course came to them, speaking words of wisdom: "throw your coach under the bus and try and run the offense you want on your own." From ESPN.com: 
Bynum publicly invited the bulk of the responsibility for the Lakers' second straight loss to a lottery-bound straggler from the Eastern Conference, but sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com this week that there is growing concern among some Lakers players as to whether first-year coach Mike Brown and his staff have the X-and-O wherewithal to fix a Lakers offense that is averaging its lowest per-game point total (94) since before the advent of the 24-second shot clock in 1954-55.

Brown's effect on the Lakers' defense has been undeniable, but sources say the team's ongoing struggles on the road -- with L.A. dropping to 6-14 away from Staples Center following a loss in Detroit and blowing a 21-point lead to the undisciplined Wizards -- have some veterans longing for a return to the trusty Triangle offense preferred by Brown's predecessor, Phil Jackson.
via Sources: Los Angeles Lakers players have concerns over coach Mike Brown's X's and O's - ESPN Los Angeles.

The report goes on to say:  
Sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com that multiple players have continued to meet privately since the initial team meeting to discuss running elements of the Triangle offense again.

"The players want to unify," one source with knowledge of the situation said. "They know how to win, and they want to fix this. I don't know if they can, though. "
via Sources: Los Angeles Lakers players have concerns over coach Mike Brown's X's and O's - ESPN Los Angeles.

Yes, because clearly, when I think about who should be organizing an offense behind their coach's back, I think of Matt Barnes, Metta World Peace, Andrew Bynum, and Steve Blake.

If the report's on target, that's an abject disaster for Brown and Lakers' management. Players considering overthrowing a coach's offense in favor of what they want to do, which happens to be one of the most complex offenses to run? It should be noted that no coach outside of Phil Jackson, with either Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant in his prime, or Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, have been successful with the system. So basically this is a terrible idea.

This kind of talks is what comprises a coach losing his team, so the report's pretty volatile. It's been less than a full season for Brown and with the players unrest showing in both their effort and talks like this, the Lakers' most drama-filled season since Kobe Bryant's trade demand in 2007 is threatening to break apart one of the most dominant teams of the last half-decade.
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:12 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 2:12 pm
 

Wednesday Night Game-Winner Power Rankings

By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver  


Wednesday night was one of those nights in the NBA. Multiple game winners, so many that we decided we need to break them down, power rankings style. 


1. Rose does MJ: Derrick Rose's game winner had to be the best of the night for pure elegance. It had everything we look for from a winner: at the buzzer, walk off, isolation, high degree of difficulty, total calm, nothing but net. So much was going on in this one. He read the defense patiently, unleashed some crippling dribble moves, created and took the exact shot he wanted and even had large swaths of a road crowd cheering for him. Watch that thing and try not to think Michael Jordan.



2. Kyrie Irving's end-to-end. Irving's dash to the rim for what would be the game winner wasn't 94 feet of basketball brilliance, but it was as close as you want it to be. The fact that Byron Scott had the confidence in Irving to navigate all that space and the tactical knowledge to know the Nuggets wouldn't expect Irving to just get a running start and barrel to the basket deserves some points, while Irving's approach to switch hands on approach shows off his handle. That kid is something special. 



3. Isaiah Thomas read-and-react. Thomas, at his best, is the type of undersized guard that just makes you marvel. That he was the 2011 NBA Draft's "Mr. Irrelevant" just makes the story that much better. Thomas was at his best on Wednesday night, intercepting an idiotic entry pass at full stretch and with perfect timing. Thomas' game is all action/reaction/action and he made an incredibly heady play to move the ball forward to a streaking John Salmons, hitting him in stride. No second-guessing, no covering the ball to allow the defense to react. Just pure open court instinct in a very unusual game situation. The only downside is that it wasn't a walk off winner, or the Power Balance Pavilion might have stormed the court. Thomas' growing reputation for putting smiles on faces continues to grow.

 

4. DWill trusts Farmar. What? Why aren't people flipping out over Deron Williams passing up the crucial shot in the Nets' win over the Clippers like they did with LeBron James? Regardless, Williams made a great play and Farmar didn't get too excited or go hero-mode. He just lined up and knocked down the open jumper. You know, the right basketball play. On the opposite end of the spectrum,CP3 was never going to take that pass, and gambling on it meant he couldn't run Farmar off. Big mistake as Farmar's been en fuego from the outside this year.  



5. Nick Young has daggers on daggers.  If this was later in the game, it would be a top-three candidate. After all, Young did rise and fear to knock off the master of rise and fire. But alas, we had more free throws and missed Kobe Bryant threes to get through before it was said and done. But make no mistake, Nick Young's dagger to punch the Lakers' comeback attempt was the game winner in the Wizards' stunner over L.A.. 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com