Schayes: In the NBA, Sometimes You Can Go Home Again

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Last week, stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett played a road game. But not just any road game. Pierce Garnett

It was perhaps the most significant road game of their careers.

The future Hall of Famers returned for the first time to basketball-bonkers Boston, the city where they won hearts and championships. The former Celtics were given a warm welcome that included video tributes and had an emotional evening.

In this era of free agency, many players have a similar experience. They move from a place where they have been a fixture and get to return to their previous home for the first time.

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Bernucca: Grading the Trades That Have Already Been Made

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Andrew_Bynum_CavsSince training camp opened, there have been five significant trades involving 10 teams, 19 players and seven draft picks.

The big winners have been a team that got rid of the highest scorer among the traded players and a team that acquired a player who has yet to play. The big loser has been a team that swears by analytics.

Another way to look at it is like this: The biggest trades thus far have been the ones that haven’t been made – Omer Asik for Thaddeus Young, Carmelo Anthony for Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol for just about anybody.

And with six weeks until the trading deadline, there will be plenty more trades that are and aren’t made.

But we can’t grade those. So we graded the ones that have been made.

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Kings to acquire Rudy Gay in seven-player deal

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Rudy Gay, who has one of the most overbearing contracts in the NBA, reportedly has been traded for the second 220px-Rudy_Gaytime in less than a year.

Yahoo! Sports reported Sunday night that a seven-player deal is being finalized that would have the Toronto Raptors send Gay and the $37 million remaining on his contract to the Sacramento Kings.

The report said the Kings would also get deep reserves Aaron Gray ($2.69 million) and Quincy Acy ($790,000), both of whom have deals that expire after this season.

The Raptors reportedly get guards Greivis Vasquez and John Salmons and forwards Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes. Toronto will have to cut a player.

The Raptors acquired Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies in a huge three-team deal last January. But that deal was made by former GM Bryan Colangelo, who was replaced by Masai Ujiri in the offseason.

Ujiri has spent most of his brief tenure in Toronto cleaning up the team’s awful salary cap situation. He traded Andrea Bargnani and his unwieldy contract to the New York Knicks in the summer and now has unloaded Gay, who is the highest-paid current NBA player who has never made an All-Star team.

Vasquez ($2.15 million) and Patterson ($3.1 million) were members of the 2010 draft class who did not receive extensions and will be restricted free agents next summer. Salmons ($7.58 million) is in the final year of his deal. Hayes makes $5.72 million this season and $5.96 million next season.

Gay, 27, was second on the Raptors (6-12) in scoring at 19.4 points per game. However, he is shooting less than 39 percent from the field despite having offseason Lasik surgery. He makes $17.32 million this season and has a $19.32 million player option for next season that he will certainly exercise.

His arrival in Sacramento gives the Kings a potent but young starting lineup. Gay will start at small forward  alongside center DeMarcus Cousins and power forward Jason Thompson. Point guard Isaiah Thomas, who leads all bench players in scoring this season, will be elevated to starter alongside rookie Ben McLemore.

The Kings (5-13) also have a new GM in Pete D’Alessandro, who already had made one in-season trade, sending Luc Mbah a Moute to Minnesota for Derrick Williams in a swap of forwards last month.

No one on Toronto’s roster will replace Gay’s scoring. Candidates for his starting spot include Landry Fields, Terrence Ross and Salmons.

Vasquez had been starting for the Kings but was being outplayed by Thomas. He likely will back up Kyle Lowry with the Raptors.  Patterson and Hayes will provide depth for one of the worst benches in the NBA.

 

Sheridan Hoops 2013-14 Season Preview Index

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We are back with the 2013-14 edition of the Sheridan Hoops team-by-team season preview index.

In August, we asked bloggers who cover the NBA to give us five things to watch for the teams they cover for the upcoming season. You can read them simply by clicking on the team logo or name below.

You can also get caught up on each team’s payroll, draft picks and financial outlooks with our salary cap analysis index.

StatBox Free Agency Breakdown: Grizzlies hope Fab Melo amounts to something after Celtics give up

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In a seemingly minor trade, two former first-round picks from Syracuse were swapped for one another Thursday. Boston sent 2012 first-rounder Fab Melo to Memphis for the non-guaranteed contract of Donte Greene. This trade has relatively minor implications, but an impact nonetheless that will be laid out.

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 11.45.28 AMIt would be a surprise if Greene plays a single minute for the Celtics. The former Sacramento King didn’t play last season after breaking his ankle last summer. This was after a 2011-2012 season where he shot 40.6 percent from the field (exactly his career average) and a horrific 23.8 percent from the arc.

Even with this ghastly percentage, Greene still managed to hoist two 3-pointers per content in 53 games. Perplexing. Despite being nearly 7 feet tall, he has averaged just 5.1 rebounds per 36 minutes over his four-year career.