Sheridan: Let’s Try to Trade Waiters, Shumpert, Turner and Deng

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shithappensTrades happen.

And when they happen, good things can follow. Need proof? How about Marcin Gortat’s 11-for-12 shooting performance Wednesday night?

Granted, it came against the woeful Milwaukee Bucks. But Gortat is 17-for-20 in his last two games, and the Washington Wizards – who dealt the injured Emeka Okafor for him prior to the season – appear to be headed to the playoffs as they float near .500 in the woeful Eastern Conference – which has two, count ‘em, two! – teams playing better than .500.

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Most Improved Player Rankings: Tony Wroten jumps into the table

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RoseIf you’re anything like me, you still can’t shake the Derrick Rose injury.

It sticks with you like a gas station burrito, refusing to leave you alone no matter how badly you want to forget it.

Every time I turn on League Pass, I’m reminded that one of the most explosive and entertaining players of this era is gone, and his career is probably never going to be the same.

It’s pretty depressing.

Fortunately, in times like these, we’ve got the Most Improved Player Rankings to keep us going. Much like mint chocolate chip ice cream, old-school video games and Barry Manilow, the Rankings have become an international symbol of comfort. They’re here to heal.

You see, this column can be thought of as the yin to a season-ending injury’s yang, the new life that springs from sudden disappointment.

There’s plenty of fish in the sea.

Take Sixers guard Tony Wroten. He’s not really a fish, but my point will probably still make sense.

Wroten spent last season with the Grizzlies and only got off the bench when Marc Gasol’s gas station burrito returned to its natural, gaseous state. Or when somebody spilled something.

This season, Wroten is a key rotation player with the Sixers, averaging 25.6 minutes. He’s gone off for 10 double-digit scoring efforts, or nine more than he had all of last season. He had a four-game stretch last week in which he averaged 19.5 points and even posted a triple-double in a 123-117 win over the Rockets on November 13, putting up 18 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds).

Overall, the Hustlin’ Husky (as Kings broadcaster Jerry Reynolds might call him) is averaging 12.6 points, 3.4 assists and 3.2 boards.

Of course, he did go down with a back injury on Friday against the Bucks. Is love even real?!!

Hopefully, he’ll be back soon, because we don’t deserve that kind of pain.

On to the rankings.

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Rookie Rankings, Week 3: Trey Burke, Shane Larkin make strong debuts

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Trey-Burke-Utah-JazzLast week, we discussed how the race for Rookie of the Year is wide open because of injuries to several of the top picks.

No. 3 Otto Porter, No. 6 Nerlens Noel and No. 10 C.J. McCollum still haven’t taken the court this season. But a couple of first-round picks – both point guards – made their NBA debuts this week.

On Monday, it was Dallas Mavericks guard Shane Larkin, who suffered a broken ankle in the last practice before summer league. On Wednesday, it was Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke, who suffered a broken finger in training camp.

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Most Improved Player Rankings: Bledsoe grabs top spot

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Markieff  & Marcus Morris Suns People have short attention spans.

Milk eggs cheese buttuh … Was there anything else on that list?

Sometimes we get really excited about things after small sample sizes, and start declaring them the Greatest Thing since that last Great Thing we can’t remember anymore. It happens too often.

Take “Call Me Maybe.” Or Jeremy Lin. Or that “What does the Fox say” video that I wish I could un-watch like I took the blue pill in The Matrix.

So when Markieff Morris (twin brother of Marcus) came out of nowhere and put up 17, 23, 28 and 23 points in four games, well … Let’s just say I was exuberant. It looked as though Morris was going to have a breakout season, and I thought he’d be a fixture here in the Most Improved Player Rankings.

I’m here to say that I overreacted.

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Sixth Man Rankings: Best Bench Players Igniting Surprise Teams

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Growing up, fans are taught several “facts” about team sports.

It’s a fact that teamwork is better than selfish play. It’s usually a fact that a good defense beats a good offense. It’s a fact in baseball that last licks is more advantageous than leading off.

Perhaps no “fact” is more emphasized, however, than the notion that the best players in every sport always start.

In the NBA in 2013, that “fact” is fiction. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

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