As an action packed weekend of basketball comes to a close, here’s the good, bad and the ugly of what took place.
There was a trade! Not the blockbuster many are waiting for (Gasol/Bynum) but nonetheless, it’s something. The Memphis Grizzlies will send Jerryd Bayless to the Boston Celtics for Courtney Lee, pending league approval, reports ESPN. To absorb Lee’s $5.2 million yearly contract, it’s believed Memphis will use its trade exception left over from the Rudy Gay trade last season. The Grizz could also package another player with Bayless to make it work financially. Bayless is set to make $3.1 million with his contract coming off the books at the end of the season. As the Grizzlies backup PG, he averaged eight points and two assists per game. Lee has two years left on his contract after this one. Lee has been averaging 7.1 points per game as the Celtics secondary shooting guard. The deal should be finalized by Monday as a trade call with the league is scheduled for then.
To other news around the NBA:
We’re all still waiting to see what happens with the rumored trade that would send Pau Gasol to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Andrew Bynum to the Los Angeles Lakers. There were reports the sides were intensifying the talks hoping to get a deal done sometime later in the evening on Sunday. The base of the deal looks like this: Gasol would go to Cleveland for Bynum, another player and potentially a draft pick. There’s been reports that the “other player” is Dion Waiters but it’s believed Cleveland doesn’t want to give him up. One reports suggests the Lakers would be willing to include a first-round draft pick in hopes of landing Waiters. The latest report suggests the deal may be off as Cleveland looks at other options.
Sunday evening in Los Angeles Kobe Bryant briefly spoke to reporters. Bryant acknowledged he might not be ready in time for the NBA All-Star game in February so he encourage voters not to vote for him. He said other players are more deserving, and brought up Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard as a prime candidate. He said he doesn’t have plans for another MRI but said it’s something that will be done in the future. Bryant, however, plans to travel with Lakers on their upcoming road trip.
It’s also been a rough few days for injuries around the league. Two players will be sidelined for substantial time after MRI’s turned up unfortunate results.
The Los Angeles Clippers announced Chris Paul underwent an MRI Sunday and was reevaluated by team doctors. Paul has been diagnosed with a Grade 3 AC joint separation and will be out up to six weeks. No surgery is required for Paul, who suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Clippers win over the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 3.
San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter underwent an MRI on his shoulder Sunday, which confirmed he has a right shoulder sprain. The injury occurred in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against the Clippers. Splitter is expected to miss 3-5 weeks of action.