Bernucca: Suns’ Epilogue on Dragic is Self-Serving Spin

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There was a lot of shade in the Valley of the Sun this week. It all started with Goran Dragic, who is far from blameless in this mess. But because the Phoenix Suns sent Dragic packing in a trade, president Lon Babby and GM Ryan McDonough got to write the epilogue and spin it in intelligence-insulting fashion. Dragic is an unrestricted free agent this summer. At 28, it’s his first and last chance at a max contract. And while the idea of

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Heisler: Trade deadline widens gap between best, worst teams

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Why is the trade deadline different from all other nights of the year? It’s not. The West just got tougher. In the East, where there’s no life-or-death importance attached to getting better, the top teams sat this one out while the bad teams—your Knicks and 76ers—dumped, shut down or otherwise disposed of their best players in order to tank more definitively.

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Here’s Your NBA Trade Deadline Buyout Cheat Sheet

Jamal Crawford

The NBA trading deadline is slightly more than 24 hours away. And while the feeling is that there will be some deals, many teams made their biggest moves some time ago. The deadline has become about far more than acquiring players. It is just as much about stockpiling assets such as draft picks and expiring contracts or unloading players with long-term deals. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of veteran players who have either partial or no guarantees on

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Sprung: Austin Rivers Not Doing Much to Help Dear Old Dad’s Bench

DocandAustin

Doc Rivers is still trying to make things work on the basketball court with his son Austin. After orchestrating a three-way January trade for his son with Boston and Phoenix, giving up what many thought was too high a price at the time, Doc is betting on Austin becoming the catalyst for a Los Angeles Clippers second unit that has been in the league’s bottom third this season in both points scored and allowed. Austin has played 10 games so far for Los

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Bernucca: Who Deserves to be an All-Star Reserve?

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Every team wants a player in the NBA All-Star Game. Just this week, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban complained that the voting system is “absolutely, positively broken” and lobbied for the NBA to provide additional roster spots for reserves who may have been overlooked by the fans. His reasoning was that leading vote-getter Stephen Curry received a mere 1.5 million votes, which is a miniscule total when you consider the global, electronic balloting process. As he often does, Cuban made some good

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Bernucca: For West Teams, Trade Grades as Deadline Arrives Early

Rajon Rondo and Josh Smith

After last week’s loss in Atlanta, Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger – whose team has the fifth-best record in the NBA – lamented his roster’s shortcomings. “We have to get another playmaker on the floor,” Joerger said. “We’re going to have to start playing multiple point guards (at the same time). We’ve got to be able to get inside of defenses.” It doesn’t matter that the Grizzlies have been at or near the top of the league for most of the season.

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James Harden’s surprising defensive improvement makes him MVP contender

James Harden

When you’re already a proven NBA superstar, improvement usually comes in subtle ways. For Houston Rockets star James Harden, his ascent into the MVP conversation (it’s essentially a two-man race at this point between he and Stephen Curry, unless Anthony Davis’ New Orleans Pelicans make the playoffs) has come from a slight improvement across and board and an understanding that league MVPs are, and always will be, two-way players. The Rockets have had to rely on Harden this year more than

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Bernucca: “They’re the Spurs” Might Not Be Enough This Season

Spurs Ring 2014 Multiple

Every time someone summons up the nerve to ask, “What’s wrong with the Spurs?” the defending NBA champions have provided an emphatic response: Nothing. They did it in November, beating the Clippers and Warriors on the road on consecutive nights after losses to Houston and New Orleans. They did it again in December, beating the Clippers to end a four-game losing streak that included back-to-back excruciating triple-overtime losses. And they did it again last night, beating the Rockets for the first time

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