NBA: Weekend Wrapup
By: Steve Kyler
The Dead Deal : As the publisher of HOOPSWORLD, I am
often faced with a quandary, do you report something you know to be
dead or run it because its juicy? This becomes relevant because our
friends at Yahoo!, who have been doing a great job behind some quality
reporting from Adrian Wojnarowski, ran a piece about a possible Bulls
trade with Miami. Now mind you the Chicago Bulls have been as careful
as anyone in the league about what information was allowed out, and
were extremely careful about how trade rumors would affect the team
this year. Basically learning their lesson from last year, when Kobe Bryant rmors, compounded with botched contract talks destroyed the Bulls locker room. Now with just 13 days until NBA raining camps open the Bulls are again surrounded with trade rumors
involving Ben Gordon, Joakim Noah and Larry Hughes. There is little
doubt the Bulls would love to move Larry Hughes, and he is likely a
player dealt before the February trade deadline if the Bulls can find a
taker on Larry's deal. Moving Noah or Ben Gordon for that matter is not
on the table, and has not been for some time, according to Bulls'
sources reached yesterday. The HEAT have let everyone with a pen know
that trading Shawn Marion is not on the table, and the rumored deal
with Chicago revolved around talks in late July that died a quick
death. So while there is always a need to put out the news, when does
putting out the news on something dead become more harmful than
helpful? If you ask teams heading into camp in two weeks, its stuff
like this that makes them want to stop allowing press in the building.
Laying Off The Gym : Reports out of Cleveland suggest the Cavaliers have urged Lebron James to stay out of the gym since the Olympics, urging him to get some rest. Several teams have asked their Olympians to take it light, but informed sources near a few of them say the positive vibe they got from winning the gold in China has motivated them to get in the gym early. Orlando star Dwight Howard was a driving force behind getting all of the Orlando Magic players in town a full three weeks early. The Magic are reportedly working hard every day, even going as far as saying they have started working on the offense and defense, a bit more structured that some heated pickup games. While the risk of injury is greater for those that played in China, it will also be interesting to see how quickly those guys and their teams get out of the gate, especially teams like Cleveland and Orlando that need all the help they can get in the much improved Eastern Conference.
AJ Signs Overseas: Former HEAT player Alexander Johnson has signed a deal to play in Europe. AJ signed with Brose Baskets of Germany, and will play the Euroleague season abroad. AJ was cut early by the HEAT after a marginal season in Miami. A bruising four spot player, AJ is a favorite of HOOPSWORLD who got a raw deal by the HEAT who cut him while injured. AJ is expected to play summer league next summer and try to get back into the NBA.
The Beazer Not Feeling The Love : Reports are surfacing that Michael Beasley has fired his agent Joel Bell, with reports citing lack of "marquee endorsements" as the root cause. Beasley, like most athletes was steered to Joel Bell by a long-time family friend and AAU coach Curtis Malone . Beasley is now shopping for a new agents and it seems he's down to Aaron Goodwin and Andy Miller. Goodwin seems like the front runner due to his relationship with Kevin Durant, one of Beasley's closest friends in the NBA. It's not a surprise to see The Beaser switching agents, before it's all said and done, I think Big Mike going to fire everyone in the business, he seems like a tough client to keep happy.