Samuel Dalembert should have been signed by now. A shot-blocking and rebounding specialist, the 7-footer would figure to be in his demand simply because capable 7-footers are always seemingly in high demand.
Dalembert had been in negotiations with the Houston Rockets, who have been trying to dig out of the rubble caused when commissioner David Stern dynamited their trade with the Hornets and Lakers, ruining their plans to field a front line of Pau Gasol and Nene.
But now that the news is out that the Kings have voided the contract of free agent signee Chuck Hayes because of a heart abnormality, it makes all that much more sense for Dalembert to re-sign with the Kings, whose owners vowed to keep him at the conclusion of last season.
Yet Dalembert remains idle, as is Kris Humphries, who averaged a double-double for New Jersey last season before marrying and then breaking up with Kim Kardashian.
Both are represented by agent Marc Cornstein, as is free agent Boki Nochbar, who told me back in September when I was covering EuroBasket2011 in Lithuania that he was willing to play for the New Jersey Nets, Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors. But since then, he held a workout for the New York Knicks.
News came today that Baron Davis had signed with the Knicks for the veteran’s minimum instead of the $2.5 million “room exception” that New York still has not spent, meaning they have some decent money to throw around to add the final piece to their puzzle.
I was doing an informal Twitter poll that James Posey was leading over Bostjan Nachbar and Steve Novak while I awaited tipoff of Clippers-Lakers on NBA-TV when Novak suddenly tweeted: “Next stop: NY!!!!” Within an hour or so, Novak removed the tweet.
But Novak is not a $2.5 million room exception guy, is he?
That means the Knicks could still go after Posey or Nachbar, who could replace exactly what Shawne Williams brought to the team a year ago – a stretch 3-4 with the ability to knock down 3-point shots from the corner. And then there is Reggie Evans, who I listed among the top 5 underrated free agents. Click the link to check out his rebounding efficiency numbers.
Nick Young has signed his qualifying offer with the Washington Wizards. According to Michael Lee of the Washington Post, Young appears to be making good on his vow to never wear Jordan Brand sneakers again, showing up at practice Monday wearing Kobe kicks.
In Memphis, the Grizzlies got a piece of bad news Monday when they learned that backup forward Darrell Arthur will be out for the season with torn Achilles tendon.
There was one minor trade made, with Oklahoma City sending seldom-used center B.J. Mullens to Charlotte for a second-round draft pick and cash.
Meanwhile, things were quiet on the Dwight Howard trade front, but not completely mum.
Pau Gasol has been told by the Lakers there is only a “slim” chance that he will be dealt, and Andrew Bynum acknowledged that getting dealt is still a possibility.
From Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles: “I think Dwight is a great player and obviously if the Lakers can get him for the right deal, it would be worthwhile,” Bynum said after the Lakers’ film session on Saturday. “But, if they want too much [in return], it won’t go through.” If he stays in L.A., that works for him. If he’s sent out of town, he’ll handle that too. … “I don’t care … I’ll be happy anywhere I play, honestly. It doesn’t really matter to me. In Orlando, I’ll probably get more shots and more touches, but here, I think this year they’ll need me to step up here. So, it really doesn’t matter.”
In Florida, the Magic were still reeling from their 33-point loss to the Miami Heat in their first exhibition game, as Howard shot 2-for-9 for five points and six rebounds in 29 1/2 minutes of playing time (Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com noted that if it had been a regular season game, those would have been Howard’s worst stats in four years). Coach Stan Van Gundy reportedly held a 3-hour shootaround that ended at 1 p.m. prior to the game.
More from Windhorst: “So it was a bad game for Howard. But it also begged the question of whether it was a message from a guy who has demanded repeatedly to be traded. The Magic currently are not in the mood to trade him; they’ve technically pulled him off the market. “So, here’s where we are: If he has a bad game, now it’s going to be he’s disengaged,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “I mean that is b.s. That is after-the-fact stuff. I didn’t think he was disengaged at all. He just didn’t play real well.” Van Gundy could defend him all he wanted, but it was hard to take anything else away from what took place out on the floor. Neither Howard nor his teammates looked like they were very inspired by their situation. During the fourth quarter, a group of rookies and training camp free agents plus Udonis Haslem rattled off a huge run against three Magic starters and top reserves Ryan Anderson and J.J. Redick. During a timeout, veteran Quentin Richardson implored his teammates to wake up, pointing to the scoreboard and reminding them of who was the competition at the time. Howard, who had mercifully been pulled by that time, stood outside the huddle chewing on his shirt. Afterward in the locker room he did speak, apparently. “I told the guys we’re in this together … we’re going to stay on the path to win a championship,” Howard said. “Like I told the guys, at the present time we’re all on the same team and we’re all in this together. Until that changes, we should go out and play hard every night.”
The key words from Howard there? “At the present time.”
So stay tuned. Six days until the season starts, and much of substance remains unsettled.
Now, as promised in the headline, some odds:
These come courtesy of Bodog.com, an Internet gambling site.Odds to win 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Championship Miami Heat 10/11 Chicago Bulls 3/1 New York Knicks 7/1 Boston Celtics 8/1 Orlando Magic 12/1 New Jersey Nets 25/1 Atlanta Hawks 30/1 Indiana Pacers 40/1 Philadelphia 76ers 60/1 Milwaukee Bucks 60/1 Washington Wizards 80/1 Charlotte Bobcats 80/1 Cleveland Cavaliers 100/1 Detroit Pistons 100/1 Toronto Raptors 100/1 Odds to win 2012 NBA Western Conference Los Angeles Lakers 2/1 Oklahoma City Thunder 3/1 Dallas Mavericks 4/1 Los Angeles Clippers 7/1 Memphis Grizzlies 14/1 Portland Trailblazers 16/1 San Antonio Spurs 18/1 Denver Nuggets 30/1 Houston Rockets 35/1 Phoenix Suns 35/1 Utah Jazz 50/1 Golden State Warriors 50/1 Minnesota Timberwolves 75/1 New Orleans Hornets 75/1 Sacramento Kings 75/1 And we would be remiss if we did not include this prop bet: Who will be Kobe Bryant’s next girlfriend? Model 3/2 Entertainment (Film/TV) 2/1 Singer 3/1 Athlete 5/1 Elin Nordegren 50/1