Archive for February 18th, 2014

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on Trail Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge, who needed a health check:

lamarcus aldridge

There was a notable absence at the Trail Blazers’ practice facility on Tuesday: LaMarcus Aldridge.

The All-Star power forward skipped the team’s first post All-Star-break practice for a visit with the doctor and an evaluation of his tender groin. It’s unclear what type of medical testing Aldridge was undergoing and what his availability will be moving forward.

Coach Terry Stotts refused to label his status for Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, saying the team would “find out” after his visit with doctors.

As is the case for several of the league’s top teams, the San Antonio Spurs care about the regular season, but of greater important is overall health for the full 2013-14 stretch, including the playoffs. Here’s ESPN.com with an update on Tony Parker:

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker will be out “for the foreseeable future” with “a variety of maladies,” coach Gregg Popovich said Tuesday.

Parker had been sidelined with stiffness in his lower back but played in Sunday’s All-Star Game, finishing with four points, two rebounds and one assist.

“He doesn’t have a pulled hamstring or anything, but he’s got a lot of little things,” Popovich said.

The Spurs have been mainstays in the playoffs throughout Parker’s career, and he has also played with the French national team in the offseason. Popovich is concerned about the cumulative effect it’s had on Parker.

Wizards may pass on trade deadline moves

Here’s the Washington Post blog with an update on the Wizards, who like all 30 NBA teams face a rapidly-approaching deadline to make trades:

The Washington Wizards have been mentioned in several trade rumors leading up to Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline for deals, but there have been few hints to suggest that any moves will actually get made.

“I think there’s a lot less chatter than ever before, so I’m not anticipating anything,” Coach Randy Wittman said after Monday’s late-night practice. “But obviously you gotta look, if there’s something there that makes you a better team down the stretch you got to look to do it.”

Wittman has stuck with an eight- or nine-man playing rotation for much of the season, and Al Harrington is expected to return in the next few weeks to possibly provide more front-court depth. The Wizards have an obvious need for help at backup point guard with Garrett Temple playing a larger-than-expected role because of the failings of last summer’s free agent pickup, Eric Maynor.

Some Orlando Magic trade considerations

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel blog reporting on the Magic, who with a 16-38 record are not in a position to be particularly competitive as the season continues:

The trade deadline, which arrives Thursday at 3 p.m., is the more pressing issue for the Magic, not that players can do anything about the approaching deadline, anyway.

Power forward Glen Davis and point guard Jameer Nelson continue to be mentioned most in trade rumors.

Davis would provide a contending team with an additional low-post presence on defense, while Nelson would give contending teams insurance at point guard. Davis and Nelson have extensive playoff experience.

Nelson wants to remain with the Magic for the long-term. He has said repeatedly that he and his family are happy in Central Florida, and he has not asked team officials for a trade.

Nelson arguably is the Magic’s most popular player, but the Magic traded J.J. Redick last season at the deadline, and at the time, Redick was perhaps the team’s most popular player.

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver and LeBron James recently spoke and one thing LeBron wants is what lots of players seem to want: More time off either before or after NBA All-Star weekend. It’s a legitimate concern for players actually involved in the big weekend who basically aren’t getting any real time off. Also, personally, I’d be cool if the weekend was extended, simply because it all goes by very quickly. But as for communication between LeBron and Silver, here’s ESPN.com reporting:

“LeBron and I have had a relationship for a long time,” Silver said. “We’re so far in season [that] the relationship has mainly been one of texting and emailing. I spoke to him for a little bit [Sunday], and he had a few things to say in the locker room when I was in talking to the players.

“One of the issues LeBron raised is a break during All-Star [Weekend]. A guy like LeBron, All-Star Weekend is not a break for him in any way. He’s going around the clock with a combination of things the league is asking him to do, personal commitments, and I think it makes sense if we can work in the schedule a few days so the All-Stars can get a break as well.”

Silver added that a schedule change of that magnitude would have to be negotiated with the players’ association but said he expects the issue to be among the prime topics discussed once the union selects its full-time replacement for ousted executive director Billy Hunter.

Bulls sign Jarvis Varnado to 10-day contract

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent forward Jarvis Varnado (Vur-NAR-doe) to a 10-day contract.

Varnado (6-9, 230) is currently in his second year in the NBA. After being drafted by the Miami Heat in the second round (41st pick) of the 2010 NBA Draft, Varnado played overseas for two seasons. During the 2012-13 season, Varnado played for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA D-League. This season, Varnado has appeared in 22 games (all starts) with the Iowa Energy of the NBA D-League, and has averaged 14.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 4.68 bpg and 0.8 apg in 31.1 mpg.

In one season in the NBA, Varnado played in 13 regular season games and averaged 0.6 ppg and 0.7 rpg in 4.5 mpg, and shot .429 from the field and .500 from the free-throw line. In two seasons in the NBA D-League, Varnado has appeared in 45 regular season games (44 starts) and averaged 14.3 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 4.00 bpg, and 0.9 apg in 31.1 mpg, and shot .539 from the floor and .622 from the charity stripe.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 13 players.

Lamar Odom signs overseas, in Spain

Lamar Odom signs overseas, in Spain

Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom has agreed a two-month deal with Spain’s Laboral Kutxa with an option to extend the contract to the end of the season in June, the Basque club said on Tuesday.

Odom, 34, won two NBA championships with the Lakers and also played for Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat. He represented the United States at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and the 2010 world championships in Istanbul.

– Reuters

Laboral Kutxa Vitoria reached an agreement with versatile forward Lamar Odom, who signed a two-month deal with an option to extend it for the remainder of the season, the club announced Tuesday. Odom (2.08 meters, 34 years old) had a long, successful NBA career and is set to make his Turkish Airlines Euroleague debut.

– Euroleague.net

Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting on the Pelicans, who have some players that could be on the move. But for now, there’s no reason to expect anything. Maybe. Anyway, here’s the report:

eric gordon

With Thursday’s trade deadline approaching, speculation persists about the New Orleans Pelicans’ front office listening to offers for Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans.

But Pelicans coach Monty Williams said after Monday’s practice that he expects for both players to still be with the team after the trade deadline passes.

”I don’t know where all that stuff comes from man,’’ Williams said. ”It’s silly to me to put guys names out there like that. I don’t know how to answer that.

”I’m focused on tomorrow’s practice. As far as I know, those guys are going to be here. All the trade stuff, I guess there is nothing else to talk about. It’s not something we put a lot of stock into as coaches.’’

Here’s the Charlotte Observer blog with a report on the Bobcats being interested in veteran Lakers power forward Pau Gasol. Doesn’t sound like anything will happen, but here’s the discussion:

pau gasol

The Charlotte Bobcats have been in contact with the Los Angeles Lakers concerning veteran big man Pau Gasol, but a source familiar with the discussion downplayed the likelihood Gasol would end up a Bobcat by Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

Gasol makes over $19 million in this, the final season of his current contract. Superstar Kobe Bryant is hurt and the Lakers have fallen out of the Western Conference playoff race, so getting something for Gasol – like a first-round pick – is something the Lakers have explored.

While adding Gasol could give the Bobcats the short-term boost to make the playoffs, giving up a first-round pick would make Gasol more of a long-term investment. That’s where the Bobcats would have pause.

Here’s the Associated Press (via the Washington Times) reporting on Miami Heat star LeBron James, who says his future is probably with his current squad. He kind-of has to say that sort of thing, though. It doesn’t make sense for him to say anything different between now and the end of the playoffs. Still, read on:

lebron james

LeBron James cannot currently envision a scenario where he leaves the Miami Heat this summer, though he still plans to assess his needs and his future at the end of the season.

James made the comments in a wide-ranging interview with NBA TV. The Heat star can choose to become a free agent after this season by exercising an option in the contract he signed when he arrived in Miami during the summer of 2010.

Asked by interviewer Steve Smith if he can picture himself being anywhere else, James did not seem to hesitate before answering.

“At this point, I can’t,” James said. “At this point, I can’t. We don’t know what can happen from now to July, so what I’ve been able to do this whole season to this point is just worry about what’s at hand and that’s winning another championship. And hopefully at the end of this year I can put myself in a position where I can hold that Larry O’Brien Trophy up once again and then I will assess what I have to do with my future after that.”

Here’s the Washington Post blog with a fun report on some serious betting action between a pair of Wizards players. Kids, don’t try pajama onesie-based bets at home:

john wall

A few hows before he hurdled G-Man for his unforgettable reverse dunk to claim the dunk contest, Wall made a peculiar bet with Bradley Beal about last Saturday’s college basketball game between his 18th-ranked Wildcats and Beal’s second-ranked Florida Gators. Wall declared that the loser would have to wear a footed pajama onesie of the opposing school to practice.

“He know what’s up with me. He might not want to want to see me,” Wall said on Saturday morning. “You know how that is, you’ve got a big rivalry going on. He got to wear that Kentucky onesie if we win. I have to wear that Florida onesie if they win. He don’t know that yet. That’s what I made. I’m the big brother so I make the rules.”

Wall never shared those stakes with Beal, whose Gators defeated the Wildcats, 69-59, around the time that Beal was finishing second in the three-point shootout and Wall was preparing to lead the Eastern Conference to a dunk contest win.

After scoring 12 points in his all-star debut for the victorious East, Wall said he still planned to make good on his essentially self-made bet.

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