SH Blog: What does Rose’s injury mean for the Bulls?

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What’s going on? Are the Nets really this bad?

They lost to the Pistons (who have also started a bit sluggishly) today. And that was with Joe Johnson going bonkers from deep.

Also losing today were the Jazz. They’re really this bad. Not as bad as that time in the video game when I traded all their players away for draft picks and had Jason Kapono and Brian Scalabrine in the starting lineup, but pretty bad.

SH Blog: Celtics may be interested in deal for Stoudemire, Carter calls Howard a crybaby during contest

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STORY OF THE DAY:

amare_stoudemireBoston Celtics quickly ended the notion that they would be interested in dealing Rajon Rondo to the New York Knicks, but they may be willing to deal others to acquire Amare Stoudemire. Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report has details:

But even if it’s not Rondo, the Celtics are still attractive for the potential of a big man swap, and according to a source close to Gang Green, they might be willing to take on what basically no other team wants: Stoudemire’s $21.7 million and $23.4 million salaries this season and next, respectively. In that scenario, according to the source, the Knicks would acquire power forward/center Kris Humphries and small forward Gerald Wallace, while the Celtics would lose two massive salaries for one, Stoudemire, who the Celtics would have to retain only until 2015 (Wallace is through 2016). The Celtics also plan on “stinking in 2014-15 anyway,” according to the source close to the team, so Stoudemire’s financial presence wouldn’t necessarily hurt them as they have plenty of salary-cap flexibility and can continue to add roster pieces.

 

QUOTES OF THE DAY:

  • After a tough loss against the Charlotte Bobcats, Kevin Garnett offered his thoughts on the Brooklyn Nets’ situation, from Stefan Bondy of Daily News:

Kevin Garnett on how to fix this: “I don’t know. If I knew, I’d share it with this locker room.”

  • Vince Carter, a former teammate of Dwight Howard, had some very bold words to say to the center during the contest between Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets on Wednesday, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

Vince Carter just now to Dwight Howard: “You’re the biggest crybaby I know.”

Fighting words, indeed.

FINED FOR CURSING:

Gerald Wallace has been very vocal about the Boston Celtics this season. Here were his latest words after getting blown out by the Houston Rockets, from Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe: “I don’t know what the [expletive] that was, to be honest.”

For those words, the forward has been fined a handsome $10,000 by the league.

KOBE UPDATE:

Kobe BryantKobe Bryant may be practicing, but he isn’t quite ready to be himself and admits that he may have to make adjustments to his game, from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

“Within the Lakers practices, the private belief has been this: Kobe Bryant could hold his own right now, but he wouldn’t be himself yet. And truth be told, who could be so soon? Not Michael Jordan, not LeBron James, not anyone… ”You’ve got to be honest with yourself, and if you have those limitations, then you’ve got to figure out a way to be effective around those,” Bryant told reporters at the Lakers practice facility Tuesday. “You can’t be stubborn about that. If there are certain things that I used to do that I can’t do now, I won’t try to do them. I’ve got to figure out another way.”

After practicing for the first time, Bryant broke down how he felt and what needed to improve. Mark Medina of Daily News has details:

“I just went out there, played and tried to do what I normally do,” Bryant said. “I tried to figure some things out I could do at this stage and figure out what I can’t do at this stage.”

What did he learn?

“I’m able to hold my defenders off pretty easily with my off hand and maintain position in the post,” Bryant said. “I’m much much stronger now than I was.”

“There’s areas that still need to be stronger in terms of jumping and being able to play quickly, change directions and things like that,” Bryant said. “Those are areas you have to get stronger. But I can adjust my game and play at a pretty high level right now.”

OTHER NEWS FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE:

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Abrams: Which NBA Players Will Be Traded? Odds Say …

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moneyintrashThe offshore sports book Bovada recently published odds on certain players to be traded at any moment this season, which has created a bit of a buzz in the NBA sports betting industry because of its intrigue.

Some offshore sports books have offered these type of proposition bets in previous years, but with the early intrigue and excitement of this upcoming season I believe the exploration of these particular players and their teams’ current situation is definitely of note.

As many of you know, sports books in Las Vegas are not allowed to offer these types of bets because they are not officially scored in the nightly boxscore, which is just one of the reasons why the offshore sports books offer such large intrigue to many bettors across the nation and the world.

Here is the list of players on which odds were offered before the season began Tuesday night:

GayPlayer: Rudy Gay

Position: SF

Team: Toronto Raptors

Odds: Yes (6/1) & No (1/10)

Gay has been a member of the Toronto Raptors for a little over 270 days since his trade from the Memphis Grizzlies, and Toronto has already had discussions about what it could potentially get for Gay in a deal this season. Gay’s odds are very interesting, but you would assume they are a little bit higher than most on this list because of two reasons. One would be Raptors new general manager Masai Ujiri, who is a deep thinker when it comes to rebuilding a team and will look up and down for a deal that may get his team closer to the top sooner rather than later – which does not necessarily mean a deal for Gay. Two would be the fact Gay is currently taking up $17.8 million on Toronto’s cap, and you would have to find a team on their way toward the top to take on that contract. I would say Dallas, Chicago or Cleveland could be destinations for Gay, but keeping money off the books that are not expiring contracts may be more valuable for these teams than acquiring a scoring wing.

lowryPlayer: Kyle Lowry

Position: PG

Team: Toronto Raptors

Odds: Yes (2/1) & No (1/3)

Different player, same team. The fact that another Raptor is on this list is just another reason why “NBA-heads” are pretty sure Ujiri is going to shake things up pretty soon in Toronto. If the Raptors do not start off on a good note, things may change pretty quickly. Lowry is a completely different animal than Gay for a multitude of reasons – one being Lowry’s price tag is about $11 million less than Gay’s and may be easier to trade across the league if injuries thin a team at point guard. Lowry may be intriguing to a few teams considering his contract is an expiring one, and a contender may be interested in renting his services to make a run. Here is a list of possible destinations, IMHO: Warriors, Heat (not really talented point guard, but a need), Pelicans, Spurs (probably a long shot) and Wizards.

boozerPlayer: Carlos Boozer

Position: PF

Team: Chicago Bulls

Odds: Yes (1.5/1) & No (1/2)

It seems like Boozer has been discussed in trade rumors for the past two to three seasons, even though he had only been signed as a free agent by Chicago in 2010. Boozer has two years left on his contract that pays him approximately $15.3 million per year, which is a tough contract to trade away unless you are adding assets or an incentive for another team. With $14.25 million left on Luol Deng’s expiring contract, I fully expect Deng to be a bigger asset for teams than Boozer will until next season, when his expiring deal will be an asset for contending teams a few months into the season. People have discussed such deals as Boozer for LaMarcus Aldridge or the possibility of a blockbuster trade of Boozer, Jimmy Butler and assets for Kevin Love. But if you ask me, it will be tough for the Bulls to deal Boozer this season.

(RELATED: AMNESTY PROVISION: WHO STILL HAS IT; WHO DOESN’T? A TEAM-BY-TEAM LOOK)

grangerPlayer: Danny Granger

Position: SF

Team: Indiana Pacers

Odds: Yes (1/2) & No (1.5/1)

Granger and the trade market go hand-in-hand. He played only five games in 2012-2013 and is expected to miss the first three to four weeks of this season. Trading Granger and getting some sort of equal value from another team would be tough for the Pacers. Indiana made the Eastern Conference finals last season basically without Granger doing anything, so they are definitely not going to rush him back, especially after adding depth in Luis Scola and Chris Copeland this offseason. Granger currently has one year at $14 million left on his expiring contract, which makes him a potential deal chip if he can ever string together 10-15 games of action to show other teams there is the possibility of playing time.

asikPlayer: Omer Asik

Position: C

Team: Houston Rockets

Odds: Yes (1/3) & No (2/1)

Many people believed the signing of Dwight Howard over the summer for the Houston Rockets meant the inevitable exit for Asik, who even thought so himself at first. When the signing went down, Asik went public, demanding a trade out of Houston because he did not want to play behind Howard on the roster. Two months later, Asik is still in Houston, the Rockets have two really good centers on their roster – and are playing them alongside each other. Asik has two years and $8.3 million per year on his contract, but the positive is the fact many teams across the league have a need for a productive center and a deal is a possibility if GM Daryl Morey and the Rockets ever wanted to pull the trigger. The 1/3 odds on Asik to be traded is more about the public perception than it is Houston’s point of view. From an outsider’s perspective, people are a bit shocked Houston has not yet pulled the trigger on a deal to send Asik somewhere for players and draft picks to strengthen other parts of their roster. But only time will tell what Houston wants to do.

Evan Abrams covers basketball gambling for SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE FROM EVAN ABRAMS:

PROP BET LINES ON SCORING LEADER, REBOUNDING, MVP, MORE
NBA FUTURES ODDS: LAS VEGAS VS. OFFSHORE
TEAM BY TEAM OVER/UNDER ODDS FOR WIN TOTALS

 

Tweet of the Night: Luol Deng Concerned About Injuries

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With the NBA regular season just nine short days away, players and teams are turning it up a notch to prepare for the first meaningful games since spring.

Chris Paul dropped 40 last night. Kevin Durant 36 two nights before.

Luol_DengLuol Deng doesn’t bring that type of offensive firepower to the table, but he’s still more than ready to get back on the court with the Chicago Bulls, a popular favorite to dethrone the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference.

Geltzeiler: Five Players Who Could/Should Have Breakout Seasons

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crystal ballBefore last season began, I wrote a piece predicting 5 players who will have breakout seasons, 5 players who will get traded, and 5 players who will have the biggest impact on the title picture.

I whiffed so badly on the players who will be traded and the players that will impact the title picture, that I’m not even going to try again.

However, I was 2 for 5 on my five breakout players (Ty Lawson and Paul George), which would win me a batting title in Major League Baseball, so I’ll give it another try.

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