Morning Shootaround — Dec. 31


VIDEO: The Daily Zap for games played Dec. 30

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Report: Lakers, Cavs talk Gasol-for-Bynum swap | Rondo to D-League for rehab? | Adelman rails over Wolves’ loss to Mavs | Jazz show more improvement

No. 1: Report: Lakers, Cavs talk Gasol-for-Bynum swap — Disgraced Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum had his best years in the NBA as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Pau Gasol, the Lakers power forward who has fallen out of favor with coach Mike D’Antoni, could use a change of scenery himself, too. Those factors, plus a looming luxury tax hit facing the Lakers has L.A. pondering a move that would briefly bring Bynum back to Lakerland, if only to help the Lakers’ cap situation in the immediate future. Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN.com have more on the deal talks between Cleveland and Los Angeles:

The Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers have had discussions on a trade that would involve Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, league sources told ESPN.com.

No deal is believed to be imminent, but both sides are mulling it over ahead of a Jan. 7 deadline when the second half of Bynum’s $12.25 million salary would be guaranteed. The Cavs suspended Bynum for one game this weekend for conduct detrimental to the team and have excused him indefinitely from all activities, including games.

By trading Gasol in a package for Bynum and then waiving him, the injury-ravaged Lakers could save more than $20 million in salaries and luxury taxes, which could help them maintain financial flexibility heading into the next few summers. A Gasol-Bynum trade would have to include at least one other player and perhaps other assets from Cleveland.

The Lakers have been luxury-tax payers for six straight seasons. While the luxury-tax savings this season — and ability to avoid the repeater tax penalty that kicks in when a team is a taxpayer in four out of five years starting with the 2011-12 season — would undoubtedly help the Lakers’ long-term flexibility, the franchise’s history and organizational culture make that a difficult prospect to consider.

The Cavs have been after Gasol since this past summer, when they had extensive discussions with the Lakers, sources said. Those talks ended when Dwight Howard signed with the Houston Rockets. The Cavs, who have been struggling, are looking to upgrade their roster as they attempt to end a three-year playoff drought.

The Cavs also have had separate discussions with the Chicago Bulls on a Bynum trade for Luol Deng, according to sources. The Bulls are in a similar position as the Lakers, about $8 million into the luxury tax and dealing with an injury-marred season.

Deng, like Gasol, is a free agent-to-be, and such a trade-and-waive deal with Bynum also could save the Bulls in excess of $20 million in salary and taxes this season. However, the Bulls have maintained they do not want to trade Deng and believe they will be able to re-sign him after the season.

If Bynum is waived by the Cavs or any team that might trade for him by Jan. 7, Bynum likely would have multiple offers to join a team as a free agent.

In addition to talks of a Lakers-Cavs swap, Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon-Journal has a very in-depth look at why teams like the Knicks, Nets, Clippers and others could possibly pull a similar cap-room saving deal like the one Los Angeles is after:

There are six teams currently over the NBA’s luxury tax and in line to pay significant penalties at the end of the season. While the Cavs search for a trade to unload Andrew Bynum, those are likely their best — and perhaps only — potential trade partners between now and Jan. 7.

No team that actually wants Bynum is likely to trade for him because his contract for this season becomes guaranteed for $12 million after Jan. 7. But a team trying to get under the luxury tax threshold of $71.7 million could trade a hefty salary to the Cavs for Bynum and release him prior to Jan. 7, while Bynum’s cap figure can be reduced to $6 million.

The problem is the Cavs are no longer interested in taking on bad money for contracts that extend beyond this season, so they would either be searching for an expiring contract or it would have to be a player they genuinely like. It’s a narrow window of teams, which is what makes trading Bynum tricky.

If the Cavs don’t find a deal to their liking, they can either release him prior to next week and clear $6 million in cap space leading up to February’s trade deadline or hold onto Bynum, pay him the full $12 million for this season and try again to trade him around the draft. They would have until June 30 to trade him before his $12 million salary for next season becomes guaranteed.

By retaining him and paying him the full $12 million, it would essentially force Bynum to miss the rest of the season and create a $12 million trade chip around the draft.

One more disclaimer, it’s conceivable (though not likely) a non-contender could do the same thing. Another team with cap space could trade for Bynum, slide his $12 million figure into their cap and only have to physically pay him about half of that for the rest of the season. Then they would have a $12 million trade bullet to fire around the draft and until June 30.


VIDEO: The Beat crew chimes in on the Cavs and Andrew Bynum

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No. 2: D-League stint a possibility as Rondo continues rehab — If things go how Celtics coach Brad Stevens plans, the attendance at Maine Red Claws games could soon see a serious spike. Stevens’ star point guard, Rajon Rondo, is continuing to practice with the team, but his return to the lineup remains a ways off. While Boston readies for a West coast road trip. Stevens told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe that sending the All-Star guard to Boston’s NBA D-League affiliate for additional rehab work isn’t out of the question:

Rajon Rondo practiced again with the Celtics on Monday and is slowly returning to basketball shape and perhaps his rehabilitation may include a stint with Maine of the NBA Development League, according to coach Brad Stevens.

Stevens said Rondo likely wouldn’t return to the Celtics during their five-game West Coast road trip beginning on Jan. 5 but he could spent time with Maine practicing and playing in D-League games before coming back to the NBA.

Rondo has not played since Jan. 25 because of a torn right anterior cruciate ligament.

“I would make that a decision on him and our staff,” Stevens told the Globe following practice at the Celtics Training Center at Health Point. “That is something that has been discussed, probably some positives and negatives to that, but at the end of the day, it is an option as part of his rehabilitation.”

When asked if Rondo would travel west with the Celtics, Stevens said: “And playing? I have not been given any indication he would be playing that soon. It’s going to be on him. Physically, I think he’s looking better and better. But that’s to be expected, you’re going to gain more confidence but I don’t know when that translates to ready to play.”

Stevens former point guard at Butler, Ronald Nored, is a player development coach in Maine and he and Rondo have discussed the possibility of Rondo spending some time there.

“That would be positive,” Stevens said of Nored’s presence with Maine. “The extra practice time they have between games is a possibility, getting a chance to play multiple games in that area is a positive. So there are a lot of positives, getting your legs underneath you a little bit.”

The Celtics have not used their D-League affiliate for rehabilitation over the past few years. The last Celtics regular to see a stint there was Avery Bradley during his rookie season. Little-used rookies Fab Melo and Kris Joseph spent time with Maine last season.


VIDEO: Celtics coach Brad Stevens talks about Boston’s upcoming game against the Hawks

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No. 3: Adelman, Wolves rail about loss to Mavericks — Minnesota has been struggling to get itself over the .500 mark for the last few weeks, but last night’s game against Dallas would have given the Wolves their fifth chance this month do perform that feat. The Wolves found themselves down 21 at one point, but rallied back and had a shot at a game-tying bucket with 3 seconds left in the game. Minnesota worked the ball over the Kevin Love for a baseline jumper, who appeared to be fouled by Shawn Marion, but no call was made. Marion saved the ball before it went out of bounds and the Mavs left with a victory. Afterward, the Wolves — and coach Rick Adelman in particular — lamented the seeming lack of star treatment that Love received, writes Jerry Zgoda of The Star-Tribune:

When it was all over and they had carefully selected their words in attempts to ease their frustration without lightening their wallets, the Timberwolves lamented Monday’s 100-98 home loss to Dallas both because of their astoundingly uneven ­performance and Kevin Love’s still presumably incomplete superstar status.

Afterward, the Wolves ­discussed both how they lacked urgency in a game they had every reason to win and how they were wronged by no whistle when the game was on the line and the ball was in the hands of their star who had already delivered another 36-point night.

While Marion sat in the Dallas locker room, chuckling and saying he committed no foul, Wolves coach Rick Adelman expressed his exasperation.

“He got fouled,” Adelman said. “I wonder what that would have been if [Dallas star Dirk] Nowitzki, LeBron James, all the top players in the league … A guy reaches on a last-second shot like that instead of challenging it. Maybe they don’t understand Kevin is one of the top five players in this league.”

Long after the final horn, Love was asked if he had been fouled. “You saw the replay,” he said.

Then he was asked about Adelman’s comments.

“Of course I agree,” Love said. “I’m the type of person that if you see a foul — an obvious foul — you call it. I thought that was pretty, pretty obvious. Just look at the replay: Without saying too much, you look at the replay and it was obvious he got arm. I didn’t know how to react. I couldn’t, I wasn’t going to yell at him. That wasn’t going to do anything.

“I just walked off the court, just tried to keep my head up.”


VIDEO: Wolves coach Rick Adelman fumes after no foul was called on Kevin Love’s final shot

***

No. 4: Jazz continue to show improvement — With a 1-14 start to the season, the Utah Jazz looked to be headed for perhaps their worst season ever in Salt Lake City. What was lost on many during that putrid start, though, was that the Jazz were playing without their prized rookie point guard, Trey Burke, and were giving major minutes to journeyman point guards such as John Lucas III and Jamaal Tinsley. While Utah hasn’t pushed for the playoffs or anything since Burke has returned, it has looked like a more formidable squad with a brighter future than was seen just a month ago, writes Trevor Phibbs of The Deseret News:

Tanking for lottery position? Not exactly.

After starting the season 1-14, it appeared Utah was headed for record-setting futility. However, with the emergence of rookie point guard Trey Burke, the Jazz have climbed to respectability. Their ascension continued Monday as they closed the 2013 calendar with an 83-80 win over Charlotte at EnergySolutions Arena.

It was the 10th straight win over the Bobcats for Utah, which improved to 9-7 with Burke, Gordon Hayward, Richard Jefferson, Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors together in the starting lineup.

“It gives us a lot of confidence winning close games, especially at home,” explained Burke, who scored a game-high 21 points with five assists. “We feel we’re coming together as a team and we’re learning to play with each other more and more. As long as we continue to strap down on defense I think we’ll be good.”

Leading 78-77, Burke hesitated deep into the shot clock, beat Walker off the dribble and iced the win with a scoop off the glass.

“That’s why I went to the basket,” Burke said. “There was about two seconds left and I figured he thought I was going to shoot the shot, but I felt I could get a better shot and I went after it.”


VIDEO:
Rookie Trey Burke talks about his basket to clinch Utah’s win over Charlotte

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Raptors could be making a color scheme change in the future to a black-and-gold look inspired by musician Drake … The Bucks will be without young big man John Henson (ankle) for two weeksKevin Love is the latest of many NBA stars to copy Dirk Nowitzki‘s patented one-legged fallaway jumper

ICYMI Of The Night: As a guard, the 6-foot-4 John Wall is a pretty decent shot-blocker. But who knows what he was thinking when he decided to go up and contest this coast-to-coast dunk by 6-foot-11 Pistons big man Greg Monroe


VIDEO: Greg Monroe posterizes John Wall with a coast-to-coast jam

48 Comments

  1. jamminn says:

    Adelman quit crying for fouls u of all people should know refs tend to swallow the whistle at the end and if we are crying then give dallas the foul that wasn’t called on ellis that he got a technical foul for complaining about or the charge that was called against dallas when the guy was still moving or dirk getting hacked when he was shooting with no
    and one call or lets see the all ball block they called that was clearly all ball !! hmm? cry me a river adelman i can cry too!!!!

  2. spin says:

    trade d antoni for nothing and you are on the right track

  3. LA Man says:

    Lakers should trade Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman for Andrew Bynum and Anthony Bennett. Since Gasol wants a change of scenery and Bennett is not doing great in Cleveland.

  4. J4CK Nicholson says:

    The trade makes sense as it’s time for the Lakers to tank and save as most teams won’t give up draft picks for Gasol. Keep the core (Meeks, Young, Henry, Hill, Johnson, Farmar, Kaman and Blake) to attract free agents and try the luck on the draft.

  5. Lakermachine says:

    Gasol isnt a bad player but obviously his numbers are down. 3 things can be the reason for it. 1st: he doesnt fit d’antoni system. 2nd: He is getting really old (obviously) 3rd: He became such a big whiner because he has expressed jealousy towards the recruitment of the lakers to D12. I personally believe those 3 reasons i gave u are the reasons why he cant perform at a high level anymore. Making this trade will give the lakers a more faster line up without gasol with people that actually works hard and put their hearts on the floor every game. Making this trade would also help the lakers cut down salary for this year by waiving Bynum. This season is a season not to be remembered for the lakers. Its painful to watch them. even worst than the past 2 years that we didnt win a championship. This Deal Makes alot of sense. I hope this happens!

  6. Trevor says:

    What’s the point in this trade. I mean, okay the lakers could save money, if they waive bynum, but gasol’s contract would expire in the summer, so they just send gasol FOR NOTHING! Is he that bad?

  7. Unkle Daddy says:

    Kyrie no worries sir, LBJ is coming home next year with Wade in tow. Which you won’t like because you’ll be second in the pecking order, just except it and take your shot at a title. The Cavs should send Bynum, Bennett and coach Brown packing. To my boy Hayward if the Jazz don’t resign their best player, please go talk with my Spurs, we’d love to have you (did I just sound like a Laker or Miami “fan”).

  8. Josh says:

    That non call is why so many nba fans are conspiracy theorists. Hopefully the league questions the officials. And I too wonder what was going on with the replay review and why it was not used. The two refs involved should be suspended for a substantial time without pay. These occurrences need to be limited, the replay is there in case of human error, these refs cannot even defend there actions when looking at the replays later, shameful

  9. Lakers & Cavs Trade says:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=lo2lkdf

    this is the deal that could undergo

  10. shanika says:

    They should keep both. Just buy out Andrew Bynum contact.

  11. phil atti says:

    trade D’Antoni for Bynum case close

  12. y_age123 says:

    change d’ antoni not the players.

  13. Game Time says:

    The NBA needs to start coming down on these refs. They have the option to review which I’ve been seeing far too much of in situations that don’t warrant it. That was a play that the review was made for and they completely neglected to do it. Either the ref just wanted the game to be over, or he was going/betting for the Mavs to win. Either way there needs to be a punishment handed down.

  14. Eric OKC says:

    It’s hilarious how many people here haven’t read the article, and are outraged that the Lakers would trade Gasol for Bynum. Read people! Pay attention! It will save you and those around you a lot of grief.

    • Alex says:

      It’s not that they don’t read (okay, maybe it is) but it’s mostly they aren’t accustomed to their team actually attempting to save money and free up cap space. It’s what just about every other team has to do to eventually create a winning team. The Lakers have had the most success paying big stars big money in the past, but as the clubs in New York know all too well, that isn’t always the solution. L.A. is not attracting big free agents right now which is unusual, and with the new tax under the CBA their best bet is to begin a rebuilding process, and fans just aren’t used to that idea nor do they want to wait the couple to a few years it may take to do so. But it’s something many fans of other teams know must be done.

  15. Prenz says:

    gasol to cavs?? lol. Its a win for cavs.

  16. Giles says:

    Some folk think the Lakers and Bulls want to become minor league farm teams? Dream on. The Heat might be glad to pick up a waived all star center if one becomes available, though. Might win a championship? Already have two championships without one.

  17. Regarding NBA announcement that refs should have called foul on Love at the end of the game against Mavs – I totally disagree. There is RULE in basketball that states that HAND is part of the ball. Marion clearly slapped the HAND of Love as Love was going up for the shot. The ball comes out due to the smack on hand. That is NO FOUL! That is the rule and proper call. The other thing refs look for is the ARM is hit instead of hand is if BOTH arms go up in the air and they did! Look at Love’s follow thru and you see both arms go up. They tells the ref there is no foul also and that only the HAND was hit. If the ARM was hit – only the left arm would go up and the right arm would stay down because of the foul. Great no call! I am sick and tired of these reviews by the NBA. It discredits the refs and the game.

  18. GoLA says:

    The only trade that the Lakers should be considering with the Cleveland is trading D’antoni for Bickerstaff!!!! Gasol and Bryant can deliver a championship, Da’ntoni can’t. They should figure out what to do with Nash, the theory with him was great, but it did not materialize. Gasol is worth more than a couple of Bynums. There are better trades to consider if the Lakers just want to save cap space.

  19. Ballin for life says:

    Damn with Bynum the Lakers are finally contenders again!

    • Dwight Coward says:

      Not team will be a contender by picking up bynum unless they were already contenders before hand. He’s a nothing with the knees of a grandmother and the ego of a 3 year old.

    • skrutz says:

      …Not to mention, he’s going to be used as a financial piece, not to play basketball. READ THE ARTICLE, PEOPLE.

  20. Cold Joe says:

    Phil Jackson wants Andrew Bynum. Once we fire that control-freak D’ain’t nothing-o we will bring Phil back to right the ship. Face it Pau Gasol is finese and will never be physical. We need a beast in the paint.

  21. just a fan says:

    Lakers are pathetic if this trade pulls off.. continuing the mistakes they made last year.. d’antoni signing, kobes huge contract and now bynum trade..

  22. Frankenberry says:

    If Kevin Love keeps this up I think he can become the first player to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated and Crybaby Monthly.

  23. No Love says:

    well, for Love to become a “superstar” he must prove his worth with either a MVP, championship, or by the least lead his team to the those

    has he done one of those??

    yeah, good stats that doesn’t result in wins

  24. mee(a)t says:

    Wow that foul on the Shawn Marion was WAY to obvious.

  25. LMAO WHY WALL WHY. MUCH HEART AND RESPECT. IM 5’6 AND I WOULD OF RAN LIKE A KID

  26. Filipe Silva says:

    I’ve been a lakers fan all my life but i’m getting pretty sick of their ****. You have a squad full in injuries and you’re dropping Gasol for Bynum because of D’Antoni, who shouldn’t be coaching the Lakers in first place. Well, **** you.

  27. ski2014 says:

    bynum + waiters for gasol + williams?

  28. Princeeeee says:

    Trade Gasol,Meeks and Jordan for Bynum,Waiters and Jack….

  29. hopeman says:

    bynum gasol… hilarious :)
    lakers you need a little music to go with your decisions, like the benny hill show music.
    make a press conference, talk about why bynum is a good idea, and please at the same time play this music. bou pom pom polom pom

    • asdfgjkl; says:

      read before you comment
      “By trading Gasol in a package for Bynum and then waiving him, the injury-ravaged Lakers could save more than $20 million in salaries and luxury taxes, which could help them maintain financial flexibility heading into the next few summers.”

      • bunbury says:

        they don’t read the whole article. they just read Gason and Bynum trade and start writing their ignorant opinion.

  30. jonski22 says:

    Stupid article..why would the Lakers trade Gasol for Bynum? Struggling Lakers for a struggling former Lakers?…and what has By um show this season? A few flashes of old By um. Why not wait for him to be release…for sure he wants to try again with Lakers..trade him for KAman…and since we are at it..why not sign Odom and Shannon Brown?

    • wqasdtyujnhm, says:

      they’re going for bynum not because they want him, i think they want clear cap space by trading gasol for bynum then waive the knucklehead

    • Brendan says:

      also thow in a few possible draft picks for next year while not paying repeater tax this year when there not going past 1st round of west this year and pau is most likely going to walk yeah sounds like a perfect fit for both teams also cavs/gasol would try to revitalize this season with a team in the cavs that on paper looks great but is a sub .500 team could use veteran leadership and a way for gasol to prove his worth before his free agency this off season in a system better fitting for him than dantonies so yes it has nothing to do with actually wanting Bynum they would most likely wave before he gets the second guaranteed part of his contract save that $ and put to next year when lakers become relevant again due to a healthy kobe and free agency.

  31. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Well, I guess Chris Paul should take a huge downward plunge on that MVP Ladder thing. Think he was enjoying the Holidays too much like the sellout that he is. He and his Clippers got blown out at home by the Phoenix Suns. Paul was basically pathetic; didn’t really show up to play, apparently. I’m so glad OKC stuck with Reggie Jackson instead.

      • Caldron Pool says:

        Player haters. Paul and Griffin are ballin’ and rollin’ and everybody’s hatin’ on ‘em. Don’t be jealous CP3 and Big Griff are startin’ their 3rd straight all-star game and killin’ it on promotional revenue.

    • 3SECONDSINTHEPAINT says:

      It is apparent you don’t follow basketball. Players sometimes have subpar nights. It happens to the best of them. Reggie Jackson really?…I hear a clippper hater in the house smh….

      • bunbury says:

        too many games, that’s the problem with the NBA. Besides effort, there is also the injuries factor. As a NBA commissioner, that’s the first thing I would change– 41 regular season. look at the nfl, how well they do financially with a 16 game season. of course, right, an 82 game season makes more money to all the players, owners, and league. but as fans, we get to see effort-less games time to time.

    • Caldron Pool says:

      I’m a Paul fan, but he let the team down the last two weeks for sure. You’re just hatin’ ‘cos he’s ballin’ and rollin’ – same with Griffin. Bunch of player haters. LOL! He is a great player, but there are only two people in the MVP race – Durant and LeBron. I think LeBron is going to bring it down by the end of the season.

    • Game Time says:

      1st comments are always moronic, you’ve proved that with your Jackson comment.

    • Monsta Jam says:

      The Clippers just played 7 games in ten days. They looked gas’d last night, but Suns were playing great basketball well so credit to them. Clips are still a 4th seed and once their schedule starts to lighten up I guarantee they will climb up to at least the number two spot. Blazers and OKC are starting some road trips and once those finish I bet the rankings will be a lot different than they are now.