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Tag:trades
Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:47 pm
 

Bynum says changes could come after road trip

Andrew Bynum says changes could come for the Lakers after the Grammy's trip. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The Lakers are not their usual dominant selves. They're good, improving to 13-9 after a thumping of the Bobcats Tuesday night. But there is a prevailing sense that after losing Lamar Odom and some changes in roster through free agency as well as the new coaching regime, they are not the usual favorites. There was, of course, the Chris Paul trade which fell through, and rumors relating to Dwight Howard persist.

But there have been no changes. Yet.

ESPN spoke with Andrew Bynum, who says that depending on how the Grammy's trip goes, the Lakers may not be the same team when they get back from the six-gmae trip as they are when they get on the plane. From ESPN:
"If we do well on this, then we'll be the team we need to be," Andrew Bynum said. "If we don't, then they might start looking around."

Lakers coach Mike Brown confirmed reports that the team has been in touch with Gilbert Arenas, whose sole duties of late have been cashing the checks Orlando keeps sending his way after using the amnesty provision on the remainder of his contract. Arenas believes the Lakers want to see what type of shape he is in before making a commitment, according to a source.
via Daily Dime - ESPN.

The Lakers need to make a move. Kobe Bryant only has so many years left, even with his scoring output and spring in his knees. Pau Gasol's on the slide. They need to make one more run and set themselves up for the future. Bryant is owed $30 millions by the end of his contract, which means either the Lakers will be surrounding him with very little support, or a trade or amnesty will be in order to avoid death by luxury tax. Not even the Lakers can afford that kind of bill. The time is now. If they can't pull this team into a position to look like the unbeatable team it's seemed in the past four seasons (despite the epic meltdown in the second round last year vs. eventual champion Dallas), they need to face the reality and make a move. They'll always have leverage as the most popular place to play. They need to exert it. 

Arenas has been talked about for a week now. He's not going to come in and be the difference maker, though. He can produce, and have some scoring nights. Certainly having a limited role will help. But his body simply can't give what the Habachi used to cook up.

That said, the Lakers' trip only includes one legitimate contender in Denver, with the Celtics' slide and Philadelphia still largely untested. There's a good chance they rack up the wins, puff up the record, and settle in for the long wait till the trade deadline. Then, no matter how well the team is doing, the Dwight Howard scenario will be in full effect, and the drama will only get louder in Hollywood. 

(HT: SLAMOnline.com)
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:10 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 12:11 pm
 

Howard would listen to offer from Celtics

Howard says he would consider playing for Boston. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore


OK, so now all of a sudden Dwight's OK with Boston. This is getting hard to keep track of. For months, it's been assumed that Howard would not consider Boston on his list of teams to go to. Multiple reports have indicated he's expressed that he will not re-sign there if traded to the Green Team. But now there's different information... from Howard's own mouth.  
And if Howard is still available — if the Magic don’t blink and move him before the March deadline — C’s president Danny Ainge will undoubtedly put in a call to Team Dwight.

The question is whether he’ll answer.

“Always. Always,” Howard told the Herald. “I’d always listen to a team like that.

“My thing is I want to win. It’s not something like I’m doing this for money. I win. I want to do it my way.”

There may be two problems for the Celtics in that last paragraph. Howard may question whether the club can win with him, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, a collection of minimum salary veterans and a few children. And his “way” likely means a bigger stage.
via Dwight Howard to Hub? - BostonHerald.com.

This does not mean that Boston is at the top of, or near the top of the list for Howard. He's made his choices pretty clear. But Boston has continually dogged him in the playoffs. Joining them would be joining an organization all about winning, who he knows will be able to build around him. He'd likely have Rajon Rondo as well, since the trade package would probably include the Big 3. The Magic have reportedly been looking for veteran players who can help them win now instead of younger players. If they want old guys, Boston's got them.

(Side note: Please try and imagine Rajon Rondo's surliness next to Dwight Howard's effusive jolliness. Unintentionally funniest duo ever.)

But Howard hasn't been all about winning. He's not targeting Chicago, which gives him the best chance to win a title. He clearly wants the money and fame that comes with Los Angeles or New York. If winning is what matters, you don't put the Nets at the top, no matter how good Deron Williams is. The Celtics are a long shot, but Howard would listen to the offer. From there it would come down to Danny Ainge and if he could pull off the sales job of his life.

(HT: SI
Posted on: January 2, 2012 6:11 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 10:20 pm
 

Cousins to rejoin Kings as trade offers pop up

By Matt Moore

Update (9:45 p.m.): Cousins issued a statement via his agent and SI.com has the details. "I want to address my missing the New Orleans game Sunday. I have not demanded or requested a trade. I don't agree with the actions taken but will give my sincere effort to put it behind me and compete the best I can for my team."

In other words, this isn't over. Not by a long shot. 

*******

As the fallout from the Kings sending DeMarcus Cousins home following what Paul Westphal publicly described as a trade demand continues, teams are circling even as the Kings continue to say they are not trading the volatile young big man. 

SI.com reports that the Nets have expressed interest, and the Washinton Post says the Wizards have called to inquire about pairing Cousins with his Kentucky teammate John Wall in Washington. Both teams believe the Kings are following through on their refusal to trade him.  

In the same vein, Yahoo Sports reports that Cousins is going to joing the team on its road trip, effectively ending his suspension-that-isn't-a-suspension, or his grounding, or whatever.

If the Kings aren't going to trade him, and they were going to let him back on the team, then why announce to the world his situation? Westphal actually took a measured approach Sunday, saying that the reason was because one way or another the media would be asking about it. Still, it seems like throwing Cousins under the bus for very little gain. Expect the Kings to continue to receive offers, albeit low ones, to try and get the talented powder keg.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 1:53 am
 

Report: Magic don't want to rebuild after Howard



By Matt Moore


There is a fairly established path to rebuilding. When a team is forced to start over, the way back to contention is to trade the biggest star along with a salary dump for as many young players and draft picks as possible. Then you rebuild through the draft using the picks you acquired and your own picks, which are high on account of you being terrible. This is a fairly proven formula, with the Blazers having had success before injuries wrecked them, and the Thunder currently a Finals contender with that model.

Which is why today's report from ESPN.com should be concerning for Magic's fans and is confusing for the rest of us. From ESPN:
Sources familiar with Orlando's thinking say that a picture of what the Magic will ultimately expect in return for their anchor has indeed begun to emerge, telling ESPN.com this week that Orlando would not hold out for youth and draft picks as the league-owned New Orleans Hornets were ordered to do in the Chris Paul sweepstakes. The Magic, sources say, would instead prefer to bring back multiple established veterans who can keep the team competitive.

Reason being: Orlando has moved into a new arena last season and has a 85-year-old owner in Rich De Vos. Sources say De Vos has little interest in starting over/rebuilding, as evidenced by the recent decisions to trade for Glen "Big Baby" Davis and re-sign Jason Richardson even though Howard's future is so murky.
via What will Magic want for Dwight? - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN. So the Magic are looking at that well-established path back to contention... and wanting to do the exact opposite. The problem is that the Magic would not and cannot get anything back that is comparable to Howard, so they'd be looking at either an aging star, or someone overpaid. Which means problems for the Magic in a few years when those contracts get larger and the talent isn't there. It seems like a cash grab for tickets in order to make casual fans go to games instead of really building towards a championship which perennial season ticket holders and long-term fans would want.

There are several repercussions if this report is accurate.

1. It puts the Lakers squarely in the lead for Howard. If you want established All-Star-level players, the Lakers have them. A package of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, which the Lakers insist they will not send for Howard, would fit this bill exactly. Even if they won't trade those two for Howard directly, the best scenario might be to bring Houston back into talks similar to what they were working on in the vetoed Chris Paul trade. That could net the Lakers a suitable replacement for Gasol in terms of firepower, provide Orlando with an All-Star power forward (Gasol) and the Rockets a franchise center of the future. Either way, if it's stars the Magic wants, the Lakers have them.

2. It severely damages the Nets' approach. Already missing their best trade chip in Brook Lopez due to a broken bone in the foot, the Nets have reportedly been dangling as many as five first-round picks for Howard. If the Magic want legitimate players, the Nets don't have any outside of Deron Williams. Their next best chip, Kris Humphries, cannot be traded until March due to his contract. If the Magic are serious about continuing to contend for the playoffs, the Nets can kiss their chances at Howard goodbye. In related news, the Nets were wiped off the map by the Hawks last night.

3. Speaking of the Hawks, ESPN says the Hawks have made offers regarding a possible trade of Joe Johnson and Josh Smith for Howard. This would be a genius move by Atlanta, even if Howard doesn't re-commit to signing there. You make one playoff run, clear Joe Johnson's cap-killing contract, and if Howard decides to leave, you've got cap space to rebuild with behind Jeff Teague and Al Horford. The immediate question mark is if the Magic would be willing to take on Joe Johnson's contract. Remember, if the Hawks want All-Stars, they have to take on big contracts, and Johnson's a multiple-time All-Star, even if his notoriety isn't on part with that accomplishment. Also keep in mind that Otis Smith traded for Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu last season. Big bad contracts do not scare the man. Still, the Haws are clearly on the outside of this race.

The Magic should be following the same pattern New Orleans did with the trade it actually pulled off. There's a reason the league vetoed the Chris Paul trade offer form the Lakers, and it wasn't because they all of a sudden hate their most popular team. It's because adding big contracts for lesser stars only compounds your situation and sticks you in NBA purgatory: late playoff seeds leading to first-round exits and no traction. That hurts every facet, competitiveness, ticket sales, enthusiasm, morale eventually. But if this is what the Magic want, they're in a position to wait until the trade deadline to get as much as they can. They don't want to start over, they just want to stay in the conversation.
Posted on: December 24, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: December 24, 2011 5:11 pm
 

Report: Grizzlies trade Vasquez to Hornets

By Matt Moore

The Memphis Grizzlies traded point guard Greivis Vasquez to the New Orleans Hornets Saturday for guard-forward Quincy Pondexter, via Yahoo Sports

Vasquez, entering his second season out of Maryland, was a prominent role player for the Grizzlies' playoff run last year, surprising many with his play-making ability. But head coach Lionel Hollins has said in preseason press conferences that he was impressed with the point guard work of Jeremy Pargo, and Vasquez lacks NBA athleticism and distributing ability. 

For the Hornets, it's a fine move, as Vasquez helps back up Jarrett Jack at point guard following the departure of Chris Paul to the Clippers. Pondexter got very few minutes last season, averaging just 11 per game. The Grizzlies are in desperate need of frontcourt help following the injury to Darrell Arthur, but Pondexter's 6-6 frame isn't exactly going to help in that area.
Posted on: December 14, 2011 8:31 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 1:40 pm
 

Chris Paul Trade Grade: Hornets have path back

By Matt Moore

There was no winning for New Orleans. No matter what, the Hornets are looking at losing the best player in franchise history. You don't replace Chris Paul. The Hornets were going to come away from trading him a worse team, facing a few years of terrible seasons. It's not what you want.

But if we take the conditions, a small market team with no leverage facing an uphill battle to even get some sort of value from the trade, with the league's overbearing hands all over it, and the roster as currently constructed, this is a great trade. The best trade you can make with CP3 is to not trade CP3. But if you're going to have to trade Chris Paul, you don't want a 30-year-old no-lift power forward, a 30-year-old combo forward who struggles with focus outside of L.A. and had no interest in playing in New Orleans, and a lesser version of Eric Gordon, along with the Knicks' 20-ish pick.

No, you want a star young player, like Eric Gordon, who has a great shot of making the All-Star game once the Hornets build anything around him. He's the franchise now, which he was not going to be in Los Angeles. You want a talented wing. Lost in this is the fact that Al Farouq-Aminu has everything you look for in a young wing. Great length, good defensive ability, decent hands. There's a lot of growth needed, but he's got the capacity to be a capable small forward in a few years. And you want to clear salary, which Chris Kaman's contract allows.

CP3 traded to the Clippers

Beyond, that, consider this. The Hornets were going to be terrible with Paul. They will be more terrible without Chris Paul. But, if you're going to be terrible, you want to be terrible this season with the 2012 draft class in play. This class is as good as any since 2003, and with the Minnesota pick they acquired from Los Angeles, the Hornets are in position to have two picks potentialy in the top five, likely in the top ten, and definitely in the lottery.

That means some combination, if they were to tank out, of Anthony Davis - Harrison Barnes - Jared Sullinger - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist along with some combination of Bradley Beal - Marquis Teague - Perry Jones - Quincy Miller - Patric Young. That's how you rebuild a franchise quickly. Young star (Gordon) plus talented athlete (Aminu) plus two top ten draft picks in a quality draft. Clear the cap, add young players, maintain flexibility, build in the Thunder model.

One veteran who expires next year. One star with high upside. One athlete with growth potential and a small contract. A pick with high value. It's a sad day for New Orleans, who loses its franchise player, and has to go through the pains of rebuilding. But after all the hand-wringing, all the consternation about the league's involvement, it got what was best for the franchise. The Hornets have to make the right decisions for it to pay off. But they have what they need to move on.

The circus is over. Time to build a new carnival.

Grade: A


Posted on: December 14, 2011 7:53 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 1:41 pm
 

Grade The Trade: Clippers get their man, CP3

By Matt Moore

You only get a shot at Chris Paul once. That's it. This opportunity will not come again, and honestly, a chance at a player of his caliber only comes along once every generation. But the trade -- as reported by Ken Berger of CBSSports.com -- that the Clippers pulled sending Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman, and a first-round pick to New Orleans for the best pure point guard in the league isn't about that. It's about what fits best with the future of the franchise. And the future of the franchise is Blake Griffin.

Sure, you want shooters for the kickout, someone to take the pressure off Griffin. But you can get those. Shooters abound. What don't abound are top level point guards who understand the pick-and-roll as well as any guard in the league. That's CP3. That's Chris Paul. Griffin will benefit more from Paul than he will from Gordon, and that was the kicker in this deal. While the haul for the Hornets is not only acceptable, but worlds better than the platter proposed in the original rejected trade, the gain for the Clippers is too great. They're in a position to win now, win in the future, win for the next decade.

CP3 traded to the Clippers

You have to keep Blake Griffin at all costs. The risk is too great that the team won't develop with Griffin, will stall out, and then watch as he departs, potentially to their neighbor at Staples. But this? This is a realignment. The Clippers have a shot, albeit a slim one, at changing the status quo that the Clippers are losers and the Lakers are winners. The Lakers didn't get Chris Paul. The Clippers did.

There's talk that Chris Paul may leave in two years (it's widely expected that part of the agreement involves Paul opting in for the 2012-2013 season and becoming a free agent in the summer of 2013 vs. next summer). That the Clippers could be left with nothing.

But you take that risk. You gamble that CP3-Billups (that move looks a lot better)-Caron Butler-Griffin-DeAndre Jordan is enough to compete, with an extra year to build around them, now as a top free agent position. You risk all of that because if you can't win enough with that group to convince Paul and Griffin to stay together, nothing will. No more aiming for the playoffs, for aiming for respectability, for trying to just be decent.

The Clippers have shot for the moon. The worst case scenario is the most exciting two years in the history of the Los Angeles Clippers. Greatness isn't made by being conservative; fortune favors the bold.

The Clippers made the bold move, and now they have Chris Paul.

Look up, there go the Clips.

Grade: A+



Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:18 am
Edited on: December 14, 2011 2:29 am
 

Bridges between Odom, Lakers are burned

By Matt Moore

"This is a business." 

That phrase is used more in professional sports each year than "I just want to thank God," "take it one game at a time," and "both teams played hard" all combined. It's like professional athletes, coaches, and management can never get tired of informing the world that they get paid to do this. And amazingly, that's supposed to explain away any and all decisions. 

And for Lamar Odom, it's just not us.

Odom was so hurt when it leaked that he had been traded to the New Orleans Hornets from the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal for Chris Paul that was blocked by the league, he met with general manager Mitch Kupchak last weekend and requested a trade. Kupchak obliged by trading him to the world champion Dallas Mavericks for a traded player exception in what is being described as a "cash dump." Few believe that's the end to the Lakers' angle considering their remarkable ability to make moves to reload at a moment's notice. But the result is the same. Odom is no longer a Laker after six years, and he's not feeling good about it. On Tuesday he revealed exactly how he feels about it.  
"This is the place I wanted to be,'' he said. "After I realized that I most likely wasn't going to be there, dallas was the one place where I thought I would be a great fit.''

Was he surprised the Lakers accommodated him?

"I think when you think about it, that kind of says it all,'' he said. "I guess it was just time from their standpoint I guess they just felt like to hell with it.''

"I told (Lakers management) that I'd be thankful if he could work with my agent, my representation so I could play for a team like the Mavs.

"It was just like overnight he told me they wanted to move me to New Orleans and we didn't feel like that was in our best interest.

"And how they did it. It wasn't about going to New Orleans, it was just about how they did it. I felt a little disrespected after being (in LA) for so long and going through so many things I felt like they could have just told me and I probably would have accepted it. If someone is telling you that you can't be here or there's no more room for you, you got to understand that. I think because it's just how they did it is the reason why I took it so personal.''
via Lamar Odom: Hard part just starting for Mavericks | Dallas Mavericks Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning
News
.

So yeah, pretty sure Jim Buss won't be getting a Christmas card from the Kardashians this year. Odom is not, did not, will not take this well. He was comfortable in L.A., it fit with his lifestyle, with his wife's lifestyle, with his general celebrity pursuits. He's in Dallas, playing for a contender, but beating L.A. may be just as high on his list of priorities. 

Kobe Bryant and other Lakers responded to the trade and Odom's feelings on it later Tuesday:  
“Yeah. I know about that whole process. Not knowing about coach Brown and so forth and so on. But the Lakers do things a certain way. This is the way that they do it, and you can’t take it personally. This is how they do business."

On whether he gets Odom feeling “disrespected"

“Yeah. You want to be told things before they obviously come out in public. Somebody that wins a couple championships with you, you’d think that’s what would happen. But it’s nothing personal. This is the way they go about doing it.”

"Lamar is a sensitive guy, though. Takes a lot of things personally. He won’t see it that way... You take it how you take it. But they’ve done it to him, they’ve done it to me, they’ve done it to Brian Shaw. It’s nothing personal, it’s just how they handle it… You can’t take it personally.”
via Lakers react to Lamar Odom feeling disrespected - Los Angeles Lakers Blog - ESPN Los Angeles.

A nice parting gift from Kobe, a crack about Odom's sensitivity. It remains to be seen whether Odom can fit into the Mavericks' locker room, a tight knit group that had beef with Odom and the Lakers last year during and after its sweep of the L.A. in the second round.

But one thing is for certain. Lamar Odom knows just how much of a business it is, and got a taste of why so many former players aren't close with the Lakers' organization. No one is bigger than the logo in L.A.. You can count your rings, but when the time comes, you'll have to count them somewhere else.

Now it's Odom's turn to see if he can exact a little revenge.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com