The trade that put the Mavericks in contention may be even better than expected.
Those who said that center Brendan Haywood, not former All-Star guard Caron Butler, was really the key to the deal — owner Mark Cuban was first but not alone in this chorus — were dead on.
And that is what makes the Mavericks’ current five-game winning streak more significant than any they have had in years.
The Memphis Grizzlies assigned center Hasheem Thabeet to the Dakota Wizards, Memphis’ NBA D-League affiliate, it was announced today.
The assignment is the 23rd time an NBA player has been assigned to an NBA D-League affiliate this season.
Thabeet, the second overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, becomes the highest-drafted NBA player to join an NBA D-League roster. In 50 games for Memphis this season, he averaged 2.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 10.3 minutes.
Boston Celtics and LeBron
Looking to reason why the Celtics are slipping? It is simple. The Celtics have lost their edge, and good health and a couple of ubuntu chants following huddles are not going to bring it back.
This is not the 2007-08 team and the Celtics are stumbling against Eastern Conference contenders like a punch-drunk champion who has nothing but a few good rounds left.
The Celtics played a sparkling first half but had nothing for a response when the Cavaliers made adjustments, as good NBA teams do.
The Wizards and center Zydrunas Ilgauskas completed a buyout agreement on Thursday and the Hawks wasted no time making a pitch to sign the soon-to-be free agent.
“Once he clears waivers and becomes a free agent [on Monday], hopefully he will consider us,” Hawks general manager Rick Sund said. “We talked to his agent [Herb Rudoy]. He knows we are interested, as are a couple other teams.”
Ilgauskas has long been expected to re-sign with the Cavaliers, who traded him to the Wizards last week.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have assigned guard/forward Danny Green and forward Darnell Jackson to the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League.
Green has played in 13 games for the Cavaliers this season and has averaged 2.5 points on .480 shooting and 0.7 rebounds in 5.2 minutes per game.
Jackson has averaged 0.8 points on .348 shooting and 0.8 rebounds in 4.0 minutes per game in 23 games.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas and the Washington Wizards agreed to a buyout Wednesday evening, according to a league source. The buyout will save the Wizards just over $1M.
Ilgauskas is expected to sign with the Cavaliers 30 days after the date he was traded, but he will also receive offers from Atlanta, Denver and Dallas.
Reports claim that he will especially listen to offers from the Nuggets and Mavericks.
The last time Bostjan Nachbar played in the NBA it was 2008 and he was with the New Jersey Nets.
Then he decided to follow the money and head back to Europe, where he signed a three-year deal with Dynamo Moscow for $9.8 million Euros. He opted out of that deal the next summer and then signed a two-year deal with Efes Pilsen in Turkey.
Now, Nachbar apparently wants to get out of that because he is not enjoying his current coach. He is apparently waiting to see what his options are and does not rule out returning to the NBA next year.
What a difference a year makes in the world of Carlos Boozer.
Boozer was asked how aggressive he thought the Jazz would be in re-signing him this summer as a free agent given the $32 million commitment the team made in matching Portland’s offer sheet to Paul Millsap last summer.
“I hope very aggressive,” Boozer said.
“This is a team that I’m proud to be a part of and I hope it’s an option for me to come back and stay.”
Kings center Spencer Hawes was inactive for the team’s game against the Pistons on Tuesday night.
“I saw where he’s having a hard time understanding his role,” said Sacramento coach Paul Westphal. “He should understand it (after) tonight.”
Westphal did not give a specific reason for the benching, but Hawes has been vocal about his up-and-down minutes and changing roles.
Second-year center Hamed Haddadi’s sudden appearance last Sunday has earned him a supporting role.
Griz coach Lionel Hollins announced Tuesday night that Haddadi would supplant rookie Hasheem Thabeet as the backup to starting center Marc Gasol.
“You just feel something and you want to see something and you want to change. You run with it and see what happens. How long will this last? I don’t know,” Hollins said.