It drew a lot of attention when Paul George was fouled on the final shot in a huge Indiana-Miami game and it wasn’t called. The latest one, featuring Monta Ellis grabbing both of Austin Rivers’ arms, was far more egregious, and the NBA has admitted it was the wrong call.
I don’t know what the future holds for the general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chris Grant. He’s on the hook for the selection of Anthony Bennett, who, to this point, has done nothing to merit being the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2013.
He may have to answer for Tristan Thompson, as well, as the No. 4 pick in 2011.
But here’s what he won’t have to do: He won’t have to worry about ever being called a stooge for knuckling under to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Grant did something that a lot of general managers over the years have not done: He stood up to the Lakers and told them, ‘no.’ He wouldn’t send “the contract of Andrew Bynum” (as the Bulls called it in their press release) for Pau Gasol, a move which would have given the Lakers enormous financial relief and future flexibility. He resisted sending a younger asset to the aging Lakers to make the deal.
Instead, he turned Bynum’s contract into the much-more-attractive Luol Deng.
SH Blog: Bulls Keep Shopping Players After Deng Trade; NBA Warns J.R. Smith; Steve Nash Plans to Return
Well, I suppose that would actually be Derrick Rose, whose loss to season ending injury has given the Bulls a second chance to reassess their future.
I have already made my thoughts known on the Luog Deng-Andrew Bynum trade in a column, the gist of whih is that the big loser in this deal was the Lakers. Go ahead and click through and give it a read as you listen to this audio from the NBA’s Sirius-XM radio channel, in which I go into further detail about why Mitch Kupchak blew a golden opportunity to set the Lakers up for having a spectacular team — and not having to pay the repeated luxury tax — in the 2015-16 season, when Kobe Bryant will be in the final season of his contract.
But that is not all we touched on in this wide-ranging interview with hosts Frank Isola and Mateen Cleaves.
With Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook out for the next several weeks with injuries, who is the best point guard currently playing in the West? The choices are Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard, and I not only answered the question, I made the hosts answer it, too. (Can’t help myself; I am still a reporter at heart, and reporters ask questions).
Andre Miller of the Nuggets also gets discussed, as do Stephon Marbury, Delonte West and Bobby Brown — of of whom are currently playing in China.
Well, Lakers fans, you get to keep staring at Pau Gasol and watch him age before your eyes — until the trade deadline, that is. OK, maybe a couple months longer.
And the rebuilding plan that coincides with Kobe Bryant’s two-year contract extension? Don’t expect the Lakers to be flooded with max players. They still need to stay under the luxury tax line for two seasons to avoid the dreaded repeater tax, and it doesn’t look like this season will be one of them.