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Tag:Houston Rockets
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:19 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 10:17 pm
 

NBA 'pulled plug' on Chris Paul to Lakers trade

Posted by Ben Golliverchris-paul-lakers

On the same day that reports indicated that the New Orleans Hornets had engineered a 3-team trade that would have sent All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, the trade, which also was to include the Houston Rockets, will not take place as expected.

Yahoo Sports reports that the NBA, which owns the Hornets and has veto power over all personnel moves, stepped in after prompting from unnamed NBA owners at Thursday's Board of Governors meeting.  
The NBA has killed the proposed deal to send Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources tell Yahoo! Sports. The NBA has caved to pressure from owners that the appearance of this deal, on heels of lockout, had to be stopped, sources tell Y! Sports. "The deal is off," a source involved in the talks tells Y! Sports. "It's dead." 
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirmed that the blockbuster deal is now "dead" and that the NBA "pulled the plug" on the trade.

As word of the deal's rejection spread, Paul posted a one-word message on Twitter: "Wow."

ESPN.com reported that Paul was "fuming" about the blocked deal and "exploring [his] legal options" to protest the NBA's decision with the help of National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter. 

NBA.com reported later Thursday that NBA spokesman Tim Frank issued the following statement: "Not true that owners killed the deal...League office declined to make the trade for basketball reasons."
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:52 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 8:55 pm
 

Lakers trade for Chris Paul: Winners & Losers

chris-paul-lakers

Posted by EOB Staff.

On Thursday, reports surfaced that the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets agreed to a 3-team trade that sent Chris Paul to L.A., Pau Gasol to Houston, and Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic to New Orleans. Assuming the trade is completed as reported once free agency opens on Friday, here's who won and lost.

Winners: Los Angeles Lakers

Just when you thought the championship window was closing, Chris Paul, the perfect backcourt partner for Kobe Bryant, enters to re-install Los Angeles as clear Western Conference favorites and eventually receive the face of the franchise baton from Bryant, ushering in the next era of Lakers basketball. Talk about reloading rather than rebuilding, the Lakers now have two multi-talented threats on the perimeter, two guards committed to two-way play and two of the most competitive players in the NBA. On top of that outside firepower, the Lakers retain promising center Andrew Bynum in the middle and could possibly look to flip him for Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard, as has been rumored recently. Even if step two of the plan falls through, the Lakers have the best top-3 players of any team in the league this season, Miami Heat included.

Losers: Houston Rockets

The Rockets get the second best player in this trade but it ultimately amounts to a solid but not spectacular upgrade, as Pau Gasol plugs in for Luis Scola. The Rockets also improve their cap position by attaining some extra flexibility but it comes at the cost of their major perimeter scoring three, a proven backup point guard and at least one draft pick. The cupboards around Gasol are fairly bare. While he’s an All-Star and a potential franchise guy, Houston is asking too much unless major additional moves are in the works. When push comes to shove, it’s better to have perennial All-Star than a host of minor trade assets but this won’t be a transformational move for Houston unless something major is coming in free agency.

Winners/Losers: New Orleans Hornets

It’s difficult to be declared a “winner” when you lose the popular face of your small-market franchise to a major-market monolith because he had all the leverage. But the Hornets did alright here. They won’t be contending for anything any time soon but they got a number of efficient, proven pieces, flexibility in Lamar Odom, and some draft pick building blocks. Considering how quickly the trade came together, it could have been a lot worse. Potential buyers of the Hornets, who are currently owned by the NBA, will have to swallow the fact that they no longer have a marquee star but, at the same time, they won’t need to deal with six months of trade rumors and free agency plans. The franchise is on steadier ground, even if it’s a step down from where it has been for the last few years.

Losers: Boston Celtics

The Celtics thought they had a legit chance at upgrading from Rajon Rondo to Paul and instead came home with Keyon Dooling as a party favor. Thanks for playing. The always-aggressive Danny Ainge will surely live to fight another day.

Losers: New York Knicks

Landing Tyson Chandler, even if they have to over-pay, would help soften the blow of watching Los Angeles pilfer Paul. Still, CP3 was the true apple of the Big Apple’s eye and the Knicks must now head back to the drawing board. 

Winner: Devan Ebanks

Someone is about to get seriously paid for his No. 3 jersey. CP7 just doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

Loser: Derek Fisher

Time was running out for Fisher as the head man of the Lakers to start with, but now it's officially over. He instantly becomes a backup and someone that's looking at 15 minutes a game. Actually, he might say that he's a winner...

Winner: Mike Brown


He gets to start basically fresh with the Lakers. No leftovers of the triangle, no inherited drama between Gasol and Kobe. He can install whatever kind of system he wants and now has Chris Freaking Paul to run it. There might be a bit more pressure on him now with this studly looking team, but he's the head coach of the Lakers. That's to be expected.

Loser: Kevin Martin

Sometime, someone will have to explain to us why exactly it is that Kevin Martin can never be traded to a contender. He's hyper-efficient, he's capable, he plays hard, he's an offensive juggernaut when he gets rolling, and yet, he winds up on the New Orleans Island of Misfit Toys. 

Winner: Chris Paul

He gets to go somewhere he wants, play with Kobe Bryant and instantly be on a team that can win a championship. He's never had that before. He doesn't have to spend a lame duck season in New Orleans, doesn't have to answer constant questions about where he might be traded and moves right into forum blue and gold right in time for training camp.

Loser: Pau Gasol

Do you realize a year ago, Pau Gasol was discussed as potentially the best big man in the NBA? That he was a near-MVP candidate for the first two months of last season? And today he's the Rockets desperation project, a biscuit thrown in by the Lakers to entice the Rockets into giving two B+ players to New Orleans. Houston has a new coach, an incomplete roster, and a desperate front office. But we do hear the symphony, which Gasol loves, is nice there. So he's got that going for him. 

Winner: Kobe Bryant


Uh... winnner. The guy who has pouted his way through even championship seasons over frustrations with Pau Gasol's ice cream interior gets the best point guard in the NBA and one of the truly most brutally win-obsessed players in the NBA. Paul is the only player who can match Bryant's intensity... and his brilliance. He will never be left scowling from being open again. Kobe rides into the sunset in glory.

Winner: Andrew Bynum

For now: Bynum gets the best pick-and-roll point guard in the league (with apologies to Steve Nash) to throw him alley-oops. He gets a larger share of the offense and now is a member of the "Big 3" in L.A.. He's in a great position... and he might get traded to Orlando for Dwight Howard. So this could be the best thing that ever happened to his career, or the worst thing possible. 

Winner: Luis Scola

The food is GREAT in New Orleans. The end.

Loser: Lamar Odom

The reality television opportunities aren't so great in New Orleans. He seemed to genuinely love the Hollywood stage. Welcome to a different life.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 7:35 pm
 

Hornets trade Chris Paul: Grade the Trade

Posted by Royce Young



It was inevitable. Chris Paul wasn't going to start the 2012-13 season in New Orleans. The only question there was how much of the 2011-12 season he'd spend there. 

The answer came late on Thursday, just a few hours before training camp and free agency officially opens: Chris Paul, pending a deal going through, will be a Los Angeles Laker.

Whoa. I mean, whoa.

The Hornets had to act quickly and swiftly in order to maximize the return on their franchise guy. The longer Dell Demps waited, the lower the asking price he'd have to slap on CP3.

So, what do they get in exchange for the guy that been been their face for the past six seasons? Is it anything close to equaling Paul's value?

Here's the breakdown: Chris Paul goes to L.A. with Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and Luis Scola going to New Orleans. With a pick getting tossed in on the back-end of it (Knicks 2012 first-rounder).

So really, the Hornets did pretty well. Not just well, actually. As good as they probably could possibly do. Chris Paul is a more valuable player than Carmelo Anthony, but in comparing this trade to that trade, the Hornets did far better than the Nuggets did. The Hornets get Odom, a player with a ton of trade value that they can flip for a young talent and a draft pick from Houston to help rebuild with. Or deal Martin and Scola as well to blow it all up and get a heap of talent and picks. Scola's not young at 31 and Martin is 28.

But here's the thing: If the Hornets wanted, they could just stick with this group for this season and probably make a postseason run. Dragic isn't the best point guard in the world, but he's certainly serviceable. And besides, Odom might be playing that more than anyone else in the end, if they so choose. Scola is a talented 4 and Martin is the posterboy for efficient scoring.

Dragic, Martin, Trevor Ariza (or Odom), Scola and Emeka Okafor. With Odom (or Ariza) off the bench. That's a pretty good group of six, no? This team could conceivably be a playoff contender for the next two seasons and then figure out where to go from there after that when they presumably have new ownership.

Considering the circumstances, it's hard to imagine how the Hornets could've done better outside of baiting the Clippers into giving them Eric Gordon and that unprotected pick from Minnesota. And even still, New Orleans has options right now. Lots of them. They can stick with the current roster, maintain a level of flexibility (Martin expires in 2013, Scola in 2014 and Odom after this season), and look to rebuild in the coming years.

Replacing a player like Chris Paul is pretty much impossible. He's meant everything to your franchise and taken you to unseen levels of success. But he wasn't staying. And the team wasn't going anywhere this year with him anyway. Demps did the wise thing and cut his losses. It's just a matter of how well he did and in this case, I'd say his return is just about as good as it could be.

Grade: A-
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:39 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 10:52 pm
 

2011-2012 NBA schedule: strength analysis

Posted by Ben Golliver

bulls-spurs
Aside from cutting the 2011-2012 NBA regular season length down from 82 games to 66 games, the lockout had one major impact on this year's schedule: every Western Conference team is no longer able to play a home-and-home series with every Eastern Conference team, and vice versa. Instead, each team gets just 18 non-conference games instead of 30, playing just three non-conference opponents twice.

Is this a big deal? Imagine you're the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, coming off one of the worst seasons any NBA team has every played. Would you rather play the Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks twice each or would you prefer the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets? Obviously, your preference would be to stack up as many games as possible against poor teams.

There was no perfect solution for the NBA to balance this aspect of the schedule. Thanks to player movement, back-to-backs, back-to-back-to-backs, and the like, just about every team in the league feels like it's getting a raw deal this year. The distribution of non-conference opponents is sure to be a sore spot for some fanbases and a point of happiness for others.

So who are the first glance winners and losers? Let's take a look using a simple method.

Elite Winners: San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls

There are two clear winners when it comes to this aspect of the schedule and it just so happens that the winners were the league's top-2 teams during the regular season last year. Let's pencil it out using a straightforward win differential based on last season's performance.

The Spurs won 61 games last year and their three repeated non-conference opponents are Cleveland, Orlando and Philadelphia. Those three teams averaged a combined 37 wins last season. 61-37 gives you a differential of +24, the highest of any team in the league.

Chicago, who won 62 games last year, got similarly good luck, facing New Orleans, Memphis and Sacramento, who averaged 39 wins last year, yielding a +23 differential. If the Hornets wind up trading Chris Paul prior to their games with the Bulls, Chicago's advantage here becomes even more pronounced.

Elite Losers: Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder

Boston, with 57 wins, and Oklahoma City, with 56 wins, both were among the NBA's elite last year. However, both drew exceedingly difficult home-and-home opponents, likely by virtue of their television-friendly teams. 

Boston plays the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Thunder twice each. The Thunder is set to play the Celtics, the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic twice each. If Tyson Chandler and/or Dwight Howard change teams prior to the start of the season that would probably be appreciated in Massachusetts and Oklahoma. 

Both Boston and Oklahoma City, despite being well above .500 last year, have differentials of zero thanks to the tough scheduling.

Marginal Winners: Houston Rockets

The Rockets won just 43 games last year, missing out on the Western Conference playoffs. While they will struggle to climb up the Western Conference playoff table, they'll do it with the help of playing three of the East's weakest sisters: Charlotte, Toronto and Washington. It doesn't get much more cake than that. Houston winds up with a differential of +17 in these home-and-home match-ups, good for third best in the league.

Marginal Losers: New York Knicks

The Knicks are a premier team in the hearts and minds of just about everyone but they still won just 42 games last year. Given their acquisition of new star power and their big-city locale, the NBA has made sure they play plenty of marquee match-ups. Indeed, the Knicks are set to face home-and-homes with the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, getting a bit of a reprieve with the Sacramento Kings. Still the presence of two 57-win teams from last year gives New York a differential of -4, tied with the Philadelphia 76ers for the worst mark of any 2011 playoff team. 

Terrible Winners: Detroit Pistons

During the offseason, I graded Detroit's roster as the worst in the league and thankfully the schedulers had some mercy, scheduling the Pistons against Memphis, Minnesota and Sacramento, giving Detroit extra games against the two worst teams in the West. Despite winning just 30 games and heading to the lottery once again, the Pistons manage to have a +1 differential in this category, a pretty astounding feat.

Terrible Losers: Cleveland Cavaliers

It's no secret: the Cavaliers were garbage last year, setting an NBA record for consecutive losses and winning just 19 games overall. They didn't get lucky here, drawing home-and-homes with the league-best San Antonio Spurs and two middle-of-the-pack teams in the West: Phoenix and Utah. That's good enough for a league-worst -28 differential. By comparison, the 17-win Timberwolves drew Charlotte, Detroit and Indiana and had a -17 differential.

Remember, this is just one minor elements in the league's overall 2011-2012 adjusted schedule. Still, it's interesting to see the range involved. Here's a chart to help visualize what's happening. Click here for the full-size version.

chart-small-500

Here's a complete list of the differentials in 2010-211 win totals between each NBA team and the average of its three repeat non-conference opponents on the 2011-2012 schedule. All numbers rounded.

San Antonio Spurs 24
Chicago Bulls 23
Houston Rockets 17
Portland Trail Blazers 14
Denver Nuggets 14
Utah Jazz 11
Memphis Grizzlies 8
Phoenix Suns 7
Dallas Mavericks 5
Los Angeles Lakers 5
Indiana Pacers 4
Atlanta Hawks 4
Golden State Warriors 2
Los Angeles Clippers 2
New Orleans Hornets 2
Miami Heat 2
Detroit Pistons 1
Boston Celtics 0
Oklahoma City Thunder 0
Charlotte Bobcats -1
Orlando Magic -3
New York Knicks -4
Philadelphia 76ers -4
Milwaukee Bucks -11
New Jersey Nets -12
Minnesota Timberwolves -17
Washington Wizards -18
Sacramento Kings -21
Toronto Raptors -24
Cleveland Cavaliers -28
Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:21 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 12:47 pm
 

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

Posted by Royce Young



When you have a season, you have to have a schedule. That's how it works, right?

Though it's abbreviated and not every city will see every team, the NBA put out its 66-game schedule Tuesday night.

And as it typically goes, within each schedules there your usual dregs and ho-hum matchups and there are big, storyline-filled mega showdowns. So let's get to it. What are the can't-miss games for this NBA season? Here are 21 you need to clear the calendar for, excluding the obvious can't-miss slate of Christmas games:

Dec. 26: Memphis at San Antonio:
It was stunning at the time, but after watching the Grizzlies rip through the Spurs before bowing out to the Thunder in seven-game, it felt like we should've seen this coming. And this was with the Grizzlies missing their best scorer in Rudy Gay.

Dec. 26: Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings
Jimmer Mania will finally get off to its NBA start and the league was kind enough to let it begin at home. You can be sure Sacto will be buzzing with the hated Lakers coming to town and Jimmer's debut, but there could be more to the hype than that. There could be a little optimism for the Kings are Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and company might have a little something brewing this season.

Dec. 26: Oklahoma City at Minnesota
Before there was Jimmer Mania, there was Rubio Fever. We've just had to wait a while for it. Anctipation! Kevin Love will finally be able to believe what he sees as the floppy-haired Spaniard takes the floor with the Timberwolves for the first time against Durant, Westbrook and the Thunder.

Dec. 27: Boston at Miami
The first meeting between the Heat and Celtics since last season's playoff series. It's no secret that LeBron and Wade don't really get along well with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The more teams don't like each other, the better.

Dec. 29: New York at Los Angeles Lakers
Maybe the two most visible franchises in the league with two rosters full of stars. Amar'e Stoudemire head-to-head against Pau Gasol is an awesome matchup, but if we're lucky, it'll be iso battles between Melo and Kobe for the last couple minutes of the game.

Dec. 29: Dallas at Oklahoma City
The first Thunder opportunity for payback and redemption would've come almost two months into the old season, but now it gets to happen right away. You can be sure the Arena Formerly Known As The Ford Center will be amped about this one. The last time the Mavericks were in Oklahoma City, they broke the Thunder’s heart with that ridiculous 15-point comeback. No way Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder fans have forgotten.

Jan. 1: Cleveland at New Jersey
Top pick Kyrie Irving will have a handful of games under his belt by the time he heads to New Jersey, but this will be his first game against an elite point guard. How will he hold up against Deron Williams? This could be a quick welcome-to-the-NBA moment for the Cavs new franchise kid.

Jan. 5: Dallas at San Antonio
The old champs versus the new ones provides a new twist to an old rivalry. These two Texas titans have never gotten along and have had some pretty awesome games over the past decade or so. You can be sure that for once, Dirk and the Mavs will have a bit more swagger in Dallas as the Mavs take the floor against Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Funny how a ring can do that.

Jan. 13: Chicago at Boston
It's the Thibodeau Bowl. The Celtics might be aging but you know they aren't going to just hand the East over. The Bulls are rising and you know they want to rub last year's triumph over the Celtics in the regular season in their face.

Jan. 14: Lakers "at" Clippers
By no means have the Clippers caught up to the Lakers, but there is a chance that this team could be pretty decent. After a horrific start to last season, the Clippers put together a solid last four months of the season. Some might be looking at this game as a changing-of-the-guard type of affair -- which it's not -- but the Clippers could definitely raise some eyebrows.

Jan. 14: New Jersey at Utah
It'll certainly be more unceremonious as LeBron's return to Cleveland, but Deron Williams coming back to Utah will definitely have the attention of Jazz fans. There's some that still blame Jerry Sloan's retirement on Williams and that whole situation didn't sit well in Salt Lake. Williams will likely feel some anger from Jazz fans, even if it's not entirely deserved.

Jan. 19: Los Angeles Lakers at Miami
I'm not totally sure, but I think Kobe is still in American Airlines Center shooting. Kobe loves beating LeBron and you know the feeling is mutual. Two of the league's biggest, most visible teams with the two biggest, most visible stars. If you aren't watching, I have to wonder what the heck you could possibly be doing.

Jan. 20: Los Angeles Lakers at Orlando
The first time the Lakers visit the Magic. The question is, will Dwight Howard be playing home, or away?

Jan. 29: Chicago at Miami
A rematch of the Eastern Finals. Derrick Rose's last memory of the Heat is LeBron and Wade storming back in Chicago and stealing Game 5 when the Bulls had it all but won. These two teams will likely be the class of the East and with this being the first meeting of the season, somebody's going to make a statement.

Feb. 9: Los Angeles Lakers at Boston
It's the league's best rivalry, maybe sports' best rivalry. Every Celtics-Lakers game is an event. I don't think I even need to give you reasons why this game is huge.

Feb. 17: Miami at Cleveland
LeBron returns, again. It's the third time he's played in Cleveland since "The Decision" and some of the sting certainly has worn off, at least in that fans won't be buying tickets ONLY to yell at LeBron. But you can be sure that an unusual amount of Maverick blue will be littered throughout Quicken Loans Arena.

Feb. 17: New Orleans at New York
Take a good look at Chris Paul and wish, Knicks fans, assuming CP3 still is in NOLA. You know he's a free agent in 2012 and you know he'd look pretty nice alongside Amar'e and Melo. But he's on the other side right now and there's a pretty good chance he's going to drive you crazy, at least on this night.

Feb. 23: Lakers at Oklahoma City
The Lakers always bring out the best in Thunder fans, and that's saying something. Kobe, Durant, Westbrook, Bynum, Gasol, Harden, Perkins -- the names are there and the games are always good.

March 25: Miami at Oklahoma City
LeBron and Kevin Durant. Two of basketballs most enjoyable, explosive talents that are always easy on the eye. The Thunder have always been painted as the anti-Heat, but the young kids from OKC don't care about making a statement for the little guy. There may be a good storyline, but it's more about a really good Eastern team versus a really good Western team.

April 1: Miami at Boston
LeBron and Wade return to the scene of one of their greatest crimes. The Heat opened the season in Boston and took an embarrassing, humbling loss at the hands of the Celtics but got revenge in the postseason, besting the Celtics in five with the final game coming on the parquet. It's not exactly a rivalry, but again, the Heat don't enjoy the Celtics and the Celtics certainly don't enjoy the Heat.

April 15: Miami at New York
The two supposed "super" teams meeting in Madison Square Garden with potential Eastern seeding implications? Yes, please. LeBron against Melo is good stuff no matter what, but you can be sure the Knicks will be trying to push the Heat with a stronger roster by this point.
Posted on: December 4, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Tyson Chandler down to three teams?

Posted by Royce Young



Maybe when Tyson Chandler said he expected to be with a new team before training camp, he was serious. Most took it as free agent posturing, something just part of the negotiation. But it's looking like Chander could be very serious about moving on.

According to ESPN.com, talks between Chandler and the Mavericks have stalled out and he's planning on meeting face-to-face with three teams this week -- the Warriors, Rockets and Nets.
With little movement in the talks in the days since, sources say that Golden State, Houston and New Jersey have emerged as the most serious suitors for Chandler, who is widely credited with changing the defensive culture in Dallas and combining with Mavs mainstay Dirk Nowitzki to spark the franchise to its first-ever championship.
It could still be just part of the process of Chandler re-signing with Dallas though. He wants a big deal and the Mavs are making it seem as if they can't afford him unless it comes with a little hometown paycut.

The Nets could be after Chandler with an eye towards flipping him in a package to Orlando for Dwight Howard. But that's just speculation at this point. Because otherwise, it seems a bit curious that the Nets would be this interested in acquiring either Chandler or Nene, given they have Brook Lopez. Obviously they haven't been thrilled with Lopez's progression, but still, he's potentially a franchise big man already on your roster, especially considering he's just 23 compared to Nene and Chandler who are both 29.

And don't forget either: Lopez averaged 20.4 points per game last season. That's nothing to just gloss over. If you asked me, that's a player I'd keep as a cornerstone.

But the Nets want to make a major splash in order to impress Deron Williams, so they're looking for a big name free agent. Chandler could be that guy, or it could just be part of Chandler's tour to drive up interest and his price tag. There's no doubt he'd be a nice fit in Houston and Golden State has been hunting an athletic big man for a while. He's going to require a hefty number and with his injury history and age, there could be hesitation.

Don't rule out the Mavs completely though. Chandler hasn't signed anywhere yet and you know he wants to return to Big D. It's just about the numbers right now.
Posted on: November 27, 2011 1:43 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 3:55 pm
 

Nene is going to get PAID

By Matt Moore 

We've already told you that Nene is the top free agent in the market. But the thing is, it's a weak market. The best players are in restricted free agency and therefore are difficult to acquire. The unrestricted market is full of players with huge limitations or age and injury concerns. As such, you'd expect spending to be limited. After all, teams just got done holding a five-month lockout based on saying that spending to much on players is the problem. 

Nope! Back to the market with their pockets full of change they go!

First, from the New York Post:  
The players the Nets likely will pursue have been out there: Nene, Tayshaun Prince, Jamal Crawford. Then there is always the sign-and-trade route, which seems more feasible again as the new deal apparently will allow for immediate sign-and-trades like in the past.
via Nets ready to get to work on Williams, 'going home soon'.

OK, well, sure, the Nets want to sign him. The Nets are always looking to overpay for a free agent. See: Outlaw, Travis. But surely there's not some sort of huge buyer's market for him, right? Nene is excellent at what he does, but he's not a star. Teams aren't goin to go gaga... oh. From the Houston Chronicle:  
The Rockets have some hard decisions to make. They’re going all out for free-agent center Nene. He’s 29 years old and coming off a season in which he averaged 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Nene is 6-11, 250 pounds, and Morey believes putting him in a lineup with Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin would give the Rockets three to build around.
via Rockets will target Nene in free agency, and if they don’t get him, will consider a full-blown reconstruction. | SportsJustice | a Chron.com blog.

Then you have the Nuggets, who have a world of cap space and every intention of re-signing the Brazillian center. If this winds up being an arms race, they have a good chance as anyone, given Nene's comfort level there. Then there's the possibility Nene could forgo the money and instead opt to chase a ring, putting the Knicks and Heat on the radar. Either way, Nene's goin to be the most sought-after player on December 9th, and there's a pretty good possibility that after a summer talking about controlling costs, a team is going to dramatically over-commit in pursuit of Nene.
Posted on: November 19, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 10:07 pm
 

Goran Dragic signs with Caja Laboral in Spain

Posted by Ben Gollivergoran-dragic

Goran Dragic is taking his magical act back overseas during the NBA lockout.

Marca.com reports that the Slovenian point guard best known for an improbable explosion during a 2010 playoff game against the San Antonio Spurs has signed with Caja Laboral of the Spanish ACB league. The contract reportedly includes an NBA opt-out clause.

Dragic, who was traded by the Phoenix Suns to the Houston Rockets for Aaron Brooks back in February, will help fill in after Golden State Warriors wing Reggie Williams suffered a sprained right knee that is expected to keep him out of action for multiple weeks. He will join Washington Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin and free agent forward Joey Dorsey (who played for the Toronto Raptors last year) on Caja Laboral's roster.

Dragic, 25, averaged 7.5 points and 2.9 assists per game for the Suns and Rockets last season. He was set to make $2.1 million in 2011-2012 during the final year of his current contract. 

Prior to his entry into the 2008 NBA Draft, Dragic played for multiple teams in Slovenia, including Olimpija Ljubljana, who competed in Euroleague.

With ties to Europe, no major injury concerns and no future guaranteed money at stake, there's little risk in this decision. Should the NBA get its act together and save a portion of the season, Dragic pencils in as Kyle Lowry's back-up. Jonny Flynn, acquired in a 2011 Draft day trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, will also compete for minutes on a rebuilding Rockets team under new coach Kevin McHale.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com