SH Blog: Completed and failed trades on Thursday, Big Baby bought out by Magic

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If you were hoping for a blockbuster, “Woj Bomb” type of trade on Thursday, you were out of luck.

The trade deadline came and went on Thursday without any real stars packing their bags, but plenty of teams made relevant moves throughout the day to bolster their franchises in some way.

Our Chris Sheridan has the trade analysis of all the deals, but you can find more on everything that went down and everything else that fell through below.

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Sixth Man Rankings: People need to start paying attention to James Johnson

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James JohnsonI spoke with James Johnson at Atlanta Hawks media day back in October when he was just another former first-round pick trying to convince another team – his fourth, to be exact – that he was good enough for another shot.

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Sixth Man Rankings: Ginobili Keeps Climbing

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manu ginobiliIt’s time for people to start taking notice of the rejuvenated Manu Ginobili and his impressive start to the season.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had good reason to rest Ginobili on Thursday night in Golden State. After all, through eight December games, Ginobili has averaged 14 points, 5.4 assists and 4.0 rebounds.

Those numbers are impressive for any bench player. When you consider that Ginobili has put them up in just 22.6 minutes per game, it ranks him among the best in the league in impact on the game per minute played. 

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SH Blog: Lakers interested in Shumpert; Granger targeting Friday for return

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omer asikTrade season is officially upon us.

Of course, don’t tell the Kings: they’ve already gone out and gotten Rudy Gay and Derrick Williams. And the Raptors have dealt Gay and been very involved in discussions around Kyle Lowry.

One thing we do know: Omer Asik should be on the move any day now. But nobody knows where to.

The Knicks were interested in dealing for Lowry, but that may have fizzled out. So what will they do next? Peter May has a few ideas.

It seems likely they’ll look very hard at dealing Iman Shumpert, who is the subject of today’s top story:

  • ESPN’s Chris Broussard has the latest on Iman Shumpert, with an intriguing new suitor in the mix: “…With Steve Blake, who is expected to miss at least six weeks with an elbow injury, joining point guards Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar on the injured list, the Lakers could be interested in strengthening their backcourt. Shumpert is more of a shooting guard, but with Bryant taking on more of a playmaking role — averaging a career-high 6.7 assists while attempting fewer than nine shots a game — since returning from a torn Achilles tendon last Sunday, it’s easy to see the two playing together. Shumpert is struggling through a disappointing season, and the Knicks have discussed trades involving him with several other teams, including the Denver Nuggets and Toronto Raptors. Sources say the Lakers also are interested in another Knicks player — center Tyson Chandler. The Lakers did not inquire about Chandler when they called about Shumpert, but they are weighing whether to propose a Pau Gasol-for-Chandler trade, according to sources. The Knicks are not looking to move Chandler — several teams have contacted them about him, sources said — but if a club agreed to take back struggling guard J.R. Smith, the Knicks would consider such a deal.”
  • JR SmithSpeaking of J.R. Smith, here’s Frank Isola of the New York Daily News on his one-shot night: “According to a team source, Woodson admonished Smith for poor shot selection during the Bulls game and then became upset over something Smith said on the bench. Woodson waited until after the game to express his disappointment with Smith’s attitude and reminded the volatile shooting guard that he’s been his strongest advocate for the past two seasons. “Mike said that after all I’ve done for you I can’t have you talking back to me like that,” the source claimed. The same source added that Smith made a lewd comment that angered Woodson. During Thursday’s practice, Woodson used the game film from the win over the Bulls to demonstrate moments when Smith forced shots when he could have passed. Smith’s response to Woodson’s coaching lesson was to attempt one shot in 27 minutes against the Boston Celtics. Saturday night, Smith scored two points, making just one shot on eight attempts in 24 minutes, and appeared to be benched in the fourth quarter of a 111-106 win over the Hawks at the Garden.”
  • Ramon SessionsMike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times wonders what would have happened if Ramon Sessions had stayed with the Lakers: “What if Ramon Sessions hadn’t opted out of the final year of his contract, a move setting in motion a chain of events that led to the Lakers acquiring Steve Nash and then Dwight Howard? What if, indeed. Sessions is finishing a two-year, $10-million deal he signed with the Charlotte Bobcats after declining a one-year, $4.55-million player option that would have kept him with the Lakers for the 2012-13 season. He’s not a good three-point shooter and an average defender but would be fun to watch in Mike D’Antoni’s screen-and-roll system. He could also push the pace like Jordan Farmar, giving the Lakers a speed element. If Sessions hadn’t declined his option, he might still be the Lakers’ point guard (he was seeking a deal similar to what Charlotte gave him) and there might not have been a rabid pursuit of Nash, who cost them two first-round draft picks and two second-round picks. “I think about it at times,” Sessions said Saturday before his current team lost to the Lakers, 88-85. “It’s one of those things that when I opted out, I wasn’t expecting to leave. I was expecting to work something out. But you know how the NBA business is. “A few weeks later, they end up signing Steve Nash. He was a great player, a Hall of Fame player. That’s what they wanted.”"
  • Scott Cacciola of the New York Times has a really interesting look at the mindset of Cavs fans as it relates to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving: “It is never too early to worry in Cleveland, where the psychic wounds are deep. The city has not celebrated a major sports championship since 1964, and one of its greatest basketball stars, LeBron James, decamped for South Florida three years ago. Even as he plays for the Miami Heat, James continues to cast his considerable shadow over Cleveland — and on Irving, in particular, who has become the target of some LeBron-inspired civic angst. Such was the case on Dec. 7, during the Cavaliers’ game against the Los Angeles Clippers, when a young fan wandered onto the court wearing a T-shirt that read, “Kyrie Don’t Leave.” Play stopped. Security officers became involved. Irving found the episode disconcerting. Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown said, “There are pressures that he has to deal with that none of us have to deal with.””
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  • danny grangerDanny Granger is finally on the way back. From Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star: “On Sunday, Danny Granger smiled, and this time he waited before dropping a surprise about his playing status. “Go ahead. What did coach say?” Granger said, prompting a reporter to dish on Frank Vogel’s comments. After hearing that, yes, Vogel announced that the Indiana Pacers have marked Friday, Dec. 20 against the Houston Rockets as his possible return date, Granger beamed once again and echoed the official team stance. “We targeted Friday. It’s good news. I had a good practice today, I practiced yesterday, I’ll (practice) tomorrow,” Granger said. “We just want to get some practice under my belt before I’m on the court. Granger, who is recovering from a left calf strain, has missed every game in the Pacers’ 20-3 start this season.”
  • Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has the latest on Omer Asik: “Morey would not discuss his plans, but a person with knowledge of the Rockets’ thinking said Morey set his Dec. 19 deadline in part because he knows he has an offer he is willing to take. Though things can change several times by Thursday, that individual said “it very likely will be a pretty complicated, three-way deal. There are a lot of moving parts.” Ideally, the Rockets hoped to pick up a player who can quickly step into the rotation and, one way or another, have the impact they hoped Asik would have. Less desirable but more likely, Morey would have to put together a package of players or picks for Asik, knowing that the mixed grill option is usually not as valuable as getting one stronger player, especially for a team now built to contend quickly. With the emergence of Terrence Jones as the starting power forward, Morey is not determined to find a starter at the position. He hopes to come away with either a strong defensive wing who can catch-and-shoot, a power forward who can fill in as a backup center, or expiring contracts that come with first-round picks – or some combination of those assets.”

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Dan Malone is in his fourth year as a journalism student at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and spent this summer as a features intern at the Cape Cod Times. He blogs, edits and learns things on the fly for Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on Twitter.

Sixth Man Rankings: The Best of the West Take Over

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Isaiah ThomasWell, it happened.

After speculating last week that Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas would fall out of our Sixth Man Rankings despite his impressive stats, Thomas fell out by default as he was elevated to starter.

With Greivis Vasquez shipped to Toronto in the Rudy Gay deal, Kings fans can breathe a sigh of relief that Thomas won’t get screwed out of this year’s Sixth Man Award. 

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