Bernucca: NBA Buyout Season’s Winners and Losers

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I’m kinda high on what the Charlotte Bobcats did with Ben Gordon.220px-Gordon7_20091204

The Bobcats waived Gordon on Sunday, preventing him from appearing in the postseason should he sign with another team. While they may have alienated his agent – not a trifle thing in the business world of the NBA – two things should be pointed out.

1. When teams waive or buy out players at this time of the season, they are essentially establishing a price they are willing to pay to that player to not play for them.

2. In this case, the Bobcats made it impossible for Gordon to come back to haunt them in the playoffs.

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Bernucca: Cap Room, Exceptions, Expiring Deals: Who Has What as NBA Trading Season Begins

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220px-Rudy_GayThe NBA holiday shopping season is upon us a little early this year.

It usually starts December 15, the first day players who were signed in the offseason become eligible to be traded. But after seeing Rudy Gay’s immovable contract somehow sent from Toronto to Sacramento, it is clear that shopping season is under way. 

Come next Sunday, NBA general managers will have increased flexibility when looking to improve their rosters, which was Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro’s approach in acquiring Gay, or their payroll, which was Raptors GM Masai Ujiri’s approach in moving him.

In addition to the Raptors-Kings deal, we’ve already heard reports that the Houston Rockets are telling teams reserve center Omer Asik is on the block and they are looking to move him between Sunday and Dec. 19, which is the deadline for any player acquired for Asik to be rerouted before the trade deadline on Feb. 20.

So Rockets GM Daryl Morey may make two deals. Or he may make one deal. Or he may not deal at all.

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PODCAST: Thunder will be haunted again by Harden trade

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James Harden cropEver heard of the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City?

It is haunted, and a good number of NBA players have reported paranormal activity while staying there.

You know what else in Oklahoma City is haunted? The Thunder.

And you know why?

Because of the monumental act of stupidity known as the James Harden trade. That haunting will carry into the upcoming NBA season, and the Thunder will be nowhere near the top of the West, I state in this podcast with Sam Mayes and Colby Daniels of 107.7 The Franchise in OKC.

While you are listening, give a read to this column on the Thunder by Chris Bernucca. Safe to say he is not particularly fond of Clay Bennett.

(RELATED: THUNDER SEASON PREVIEW: FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR)
(RELATED: THUNDER SALARY CAP ANALYSIS)

Bernucca: Clay Bennett’s skimping may cost him Kevin Durant, too

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Jerry WestKevin Durant is a great player. He deserves a great owner.

Durant may not know it yet, but he is becoming this generation’s Jerry West: a fantastic talent and class act whose career was marked by finishing second.

In 14 seasons, West twice finished second in scoring (also winning once). He never won an MVP award, finishing third once and second a record four times. And he lost the NBA Finals seven times before finally winning in his 13th season.

In six seasons, Durant has finished second in scoring once (last season, ending his three-year reign). He has never won an MVP award, finishing second three times already. And he lost in the NBA Finals in 2012, his only trip thus far.

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Bernucca: Kobe Bryant is the ideal amnesty candidate

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There is a sneaky, devious way that the Los Angeles Lakers can re-sign Dwight kobeinjuryHoward, continue to pay Kobe Bryant the NBA’s highest salary and create even more cap room for this summer and next summer.

Use the amnesty provision on Bryant.

Yes, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said in the days after Bryant tore his Achilles tendon that using the one-time provision – which 15 teams still have at their disposal – on the face of the franchise was not under consideration. But maybe it should be.

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