Dream Links: Trade Talk Edition

I didn't see the game last night, and I have no idea whether or not Xiane, Dave, Lee, or Tom plans on writing a recap, so here's Posting and Toasting's take:

- In that first half, David Lee was positively magical. He seized the opportunity to compete against people his size, and connected on jumpers and drives with either hand. In the second half, Lee disappeared. I'm sure the Rockets stepped up their defense, but it seemed a little like the Knicks were looking elsewhere and Dave wasn't necessarily looking to score after catches. Meanwhile, Luis Scola copied Lee's first half with a scoring barrage of his own in the third and fourth quarters. Lee ended up with 26, 12, and 6, but Scola got his 23 and 7 when it counted most. I wish I'd taped this one, because I don't really know where Lee went.

...

- If any team is built to exploit Mike D'Antoni's short rotation, it's the Rockets. D'Antoni played only 7 men (plus a 3-minute charity stint for Marcus Landry), while Rick Adelman got serious, meaningful contributions from 9 players. The Rocket bench was outstanding. You know what to expect from Carl Landry, but Kyle Lowry was getting buckets and rebounds like he absolutely never should, Chase Budinger made some slick offensive plays, and David Andersen overcame a perilously douchey goatee to drop 10 points.

- No, but seriously, Andersen needs to either shave or accept the nickname I just came up with: David "Date Rape" Andersen.

Really? My personal nickname for him is "catfish-lips."

More links after the jump.

Peter "King of Bullshit" Vecsey has an interesting (probably made-up) story about the Lakers' pursuit of Chris Bosh:

My source believes the Lakers will offer Andrew Bynum for Bosh (if they haven’t done so already) well before the deadline expires. In itself, the one-for-one swap is impossible to make. Bynum’s "base year" essentially allows L.A. to take back but half of his salary this year ($12.5M). Of course, that restriction is lifted when next year’s salary ($13.7M) activates come July 1, at which time a sign-and-trade transaction would be feasible.

This seems pretty unlikely to me (well, even more unlikely than the other unlikely "trade rumors" floating around). I mean, Bosh and Gasol seem to be too similar to play effectively alongside one another. And here is where I tip my hand and make a confession, dear readers: I don't think too highly of Chris Bosh. This isn't based on that silly "Chris Bosh isn't a leader" thing being repeated last year. It's just that he strikes me as a great offensive player, a good rebounder, and a terrible defender. In other words, he's Yao without the defense, and I don't think that adds up to a "superstar" player.

Bynum, on the other hand (and I know this is going to seem silly, given how much time we spent trashing the guy in the playoffs last season - my personal favorite was "He's the league leader in towel waiving!"), seems to be turning into that sort of player. And if he weren't stuck in a system that is limiting his touches (uh oh, did I just say something kinda-sorta critical of Phil Jackson?), he'd be much more monstrous than he is now. He's great around the basket, he's a good rebounder (though his numbers are down this season), and he's a good defender.

So, despite the hype, I think this would probably be a net downgrade for the Lakers. Maybe we should hope it's true.

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In a supreme disappointment to me, it looks like the Pacers probably aren't interested in dealing away Danny Granger this season:

Minnesota Timberwolves general manager David Kahn recently offered forward Al Jefferson(notes) to the Indiana Pacers for forward Danny Granger(notes), but was immediately rebuffed, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

While Pacers president Larry Bird remains determined to build around Granger, sources say Kahn has become increasingly dubious on making Jefferson a cornerstone for the Timberwolves.

So far, Kahn has tried to undo almost everything from the Kevin McHale regime, and trading Jefferson would be another significant step in that direction.

On the other hand, maybe the Rockets could trade for one of the only guys who routinely kicks Yao's ass.

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The Nets are getting rid of everyone not named "Devin Harris" who has been in the league for more than two years.

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Marc Spears has a lot on the Blazers' current personnel issues:

Such is life for Portland’s NBA franchise these days. They cleaned out the Jail Blazers only to become the Ail Blazers. Expected to contend for a berth in the Western Conference this season, they have weathered a staggering run of injuries that rivals anything the league has seen in years. Even the daily injury updates didn’t seem as important compared to another problem that’s simmered all season before boiling over Thursday: McMillan and point guard Andre Miller(notes) have struggled to build a productive relationship.

The two clashed at the end of Thursday’s practice during a heated argument about Miller’s role. Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said as many as seven people talked in what he described as an open forum. But no one was heard louder than Miller and McMillan, who went back and forth at each other. A source with knowledge of the argument said Miller, who could not be reached for comment, has been frustrated for a while and became upset that McMillan called him out in front of the entire team during the pow-wow after practice.

...a little on Washington's attempts to clean house:

One NBA executive said the Washington Wizards continue to listen to offers for forwards Caron Butler(notes) and Antawn Jamison(notes). The source said that the Cleveland Cavaliers are willing to give up center Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes), but Washington doesn’t appear interested in that deal. If the Wizards eventually have the opportunity to void Gilbert Arenas’(notes) $111 million contract and Butler and/or Jamison are moved for expiring deals, the Wizards could start from scratch with plenty of cap room in the heralded 2010 free-agent market.

...a tad from Daryl Morey:

The Houston Rockets have continued to be patient with their attempts to trade Tracy McGrady(notes). "It’s probably something that might take to the deadline," Rockets GM Daryl Morey said. "That’s just how the league works. Teams don’t want to move until they are almost forced to move. But I think there are enough teams that are interested. We’re hoping that something happens to help him out and help us out." Morey said he hopes to acquire an "elite level" player for McGrady.

...and a sentence or two on the next CBA:

Two NBA general managers predict that commissioner David Stern will push for a hard salary cap once the Collective Bargaining Agreement re-opens in the summer of 2011. The league wants to better help teams save money while leveling the playing field league-wide. One of the GMs said such a hard cap would be gradually implemented. "I don’t know where it goes, but the players have to realize that teams are losing too much money," one GM said.

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I mentioned two days ago that Joey Dorsey continues to tear up the D-League, and his performance at the Showcase in Boise warranted a place in the showcase's honorary "first team." Joey is the only player on assignment (that is, a player currently on an NBA roster) on the first team, and one of only two among all the honored players. Good for him.

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Speaking of the D-League, Art Garcia has some interesting ideas on how to improve it. Personally, I think this is probably the biggest one:

Currently, the only D-League players tied to specific NBA clubs are those on assignment. Joey Dorsey is a member of the Rockets who plays for the Vipers. But the rest of the Vipers are free agents and can be called up by any NBA team.

For NBA teams that have made the financial commitment to run D-League clubs, one reward could be holding rights to additional players on those rosters besides those who are assigned. For example: if the Suns want to call up one of the Vipers, maybe the Rockets would have the ability to match.

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More on the D-League: BPro looks into NBADL-to-NBA translations.
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Despite the three-game skid last week, the Rockets are listed 7th in the B-Ref Blog rankings, still #1 in schedule strength.
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Last, here's Chase Budinger stealing the ball, beating everyone down the court, and sending it home. That boy's got some skills, I tell ya what.



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