This morning's headlines:
- Celtics, Cavs in a staring contest of sorts
- Odom reflects on career-altering trade
- Wall, Beal helping Wizards raise hurricane-relief money
- Rose: 'I can still play'
What's next for Cavs, Celtics? -- The trade last week between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics sent superstar guards Kyrie Irving (of the Cavs) and Isaiah Thomas (of the Celtics) to the other locale. Except now, if you've missed it, the trade is in a state of flux as concerns over Thomas' injured hip and his timetable to return is on the Cavs' minds. Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today chimes in on what may happen next now as the trade is in a holding pattern:
The results of Thomas’ physical have given the Cavaliers pause – enough so that voiding the trade is one option, though that would be the nuclear choice in this blockbuster deal. Per NBA collective-bargaining rules, a team can void a trade if a player fails a physical.
Now, the Cavaliers are conducting a thorough review of the trade and plotting their next step, which may also include asking the Celtics for more compensation.
Thomas did not undergo surgery to repair his hip, and Celtics president Danny Ainge admitted on a conference call last week after the trade was announced that “there’s going to be probably a little bit of a delay for Isaiah as he starts the season this year, but – um – I think that Isaiah should be fine and healthy as the season goes along.”
Word out of Boston is that the Celtics aren’t thrilled with the idea of adding another piece to the trade and are adamant they were up front with the Cavs about Thomas’ injury. However, that doesn’t mean the Cavs’ medical staff sees it the same way the Celtics did. It’s possible the Cavaliers believe Thomas will miss more games than Boston did.
The Celtics don’t want to give up an additional player or asset nor do they want the trade voided, which would leave them trying to mend a relationship with Thomas and without a top-level point guard at the start of the season.
ESPN analyst and former Nets front-office executive Bobby Marks suggested the Celtics could throw in their 2018 first-round pick with protections to appease the Cavs, with the idea that Irving, 25, should be their point guard for the next seven seasons.
The Cavaliers like this trade – the Thomas complications notwithstanding – especially the acquisition of Crowder and the unprotected first-round pick. To build a championship roster, the Cavs traded draft picks and didn’t have a first-round pick in 2016 and 2017. They covet that 2018 pick, which should be in the top-10.
If the Cavs voided the trade, they would have less than a month before training camp to trade Irving and feel good about the return from another team.
The deadline for players involved in the trade to pass physicals and complete the trade is 10 a.m. ET Thursday, but that deadline can be extended if both teams agree.
Both teams have plenty to lose if the deal falls apart and plenty to gain if the deal goes through. The Cavs and Celtics have incentive to make it work even if one team is a little less happy about the outcome of the deal.
Odom: Trade from Lakers 'basically ended my career' -- In the last few years, former Kia Sixth Man Award winner and Los Angeles Lakers standout Lamar Odom has had his off-the-court troubles, including a near-death experience in 2015 stemming from drug use. He's doing much better now, though, and in an interview with Shams Charania of The Vertical, Odom says his being traded from the Lakers in 2012 sent his career and life into a tailspin:
Odom, 37, never wanted to leave here, and his trade from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 offseason still haunts him. Odom was an integral component on two Lakers championship teams in 2009 and 2010, and he relied on the franchise’s stability and the foundation around Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and then-coach Phil Jackson. He played 14 NBA seasons, but the final four pro years with Dallas, the Clippers, in the Euroleague and with the New York Knicks seem like a blur.
“That trade from the Lakers basically ended my career and purpose,” Odom told The Vertical. “I was never really myself ever again. Being in L.A., the structure, the people I knew, it hurt leaving. I had great memories with the Lakers, with Kobe and Pau. That was a special time in my life.
“I got traded the season after we lost to Dallas in the playoffs, and I had won Sixth Man of the Year for the team. To trade me after winning Sixth Man of the Year … what else do I got to do? Why?
“I think about it all the time, about how much I had left in the tank. I had issues going on. But barring injury, could I play in the NBA today? I could play. I should still be playing.”
At some point, Odom will come full circle in Los Angeles, with plans being discussed for him to sign a contract to retire as a Laker in training camp.
“My family looks forward to me retiring as a Laker more than me,” Odom told The Vertical. “I’m not really emotional about being praised, about signing for a day. I’m shy at the end of the day. For my son, for my family, for my fans, they may enjoy that day. It’s for them.
“I ain’t celebrating not playing no more. In life though, I’ve learned to live with regrets.”
“No one was close to Kobe for me, his competitive spirit,” Odom told The Vertical. “I mean, D-Wade and Chris Paul … Chris Paul is second with his competitive drive, but Kobe Bryant, man, in the morning, man. He taught me to really finish off. To finish. Finish everything. I already had the Heat mantra instilled in me, lifting weights every day, which I started that season in Miami. I was cool with that, being around Kobe. You want to be strong, defend your spot and your territory when you play with Kobe.”
For Odom, one of his earliest regrets was his handling of his predraft meeting with the Chicago Bulls, who held the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft. Odom had been kicked out of UNLV in 1997, transferred to Rhode Island, where he sat out the 1997-98 season, and then led the program to the NCAA tournament in 1998-99. He was a potential No. 1 overall pick.
Nevertheless, Odom derailed his chances of being selected No. 1. Then-Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, who died in March, and then-coach Tim Floyd waited seven hours at the airport for Odom’s predraft visit to Chicago, Odom says, but he no-showed and spent the day on Jones Beach in Long Island.
Odom gave the Bulls every reason to pass, including a disconcerting interview with team officials at the predraft combine, and they eventually selected Elton Brand No. 1 overall.
Odom spent seven seasons with the Lakers after his trade from Miami and remembers making a similar decision to the one Andre Iguodala made this offseason when the Warriors forward received lucrative offers to leave Golden State but elected to remain with the champions. Odom says in 2009 he chose the Lakers over a more significant proposal from Portland.
“If I thought about leaving the Lakers at the time, the only thing that would get me to consider it is money,” Odom told The Vertical. “If someone brought me something crazy. Portland was in it, no lie. After we got Pau [Gasol in 2008], it was easy for us. I just kept that in mind. It was a wrap after we got Pau. His first game was amazing, and he didn’t even know the triangle. Playing with him, playing off of him, he was easy to play with. He knows the game so well, and he’s so talented. Right hand, left hand, right hook, left hook, back hook, fadeaway.
“He’s another competitor. People don’t give him enough credit for that. He competes.”
He had partnered with Gasol and Bryant to help lead championship teams for the Lakers, and that summer of 2011 thinned Odom’s basketball lifeline. The NBA lockout was underway, and Odom didn’t work out in the offseason while mourning the death of his cousin. In fact, he never returned to the court between the end of the season and reporting to the Mavericks after the trade. Odom had performed his whole life amid the death of loved ones, including his mother, grandmother and daughter, but this was when his body, mind and game crumbled.
“That was a hard year for me because my cousin had just got killed,” Odom says. “It was the lockout year, so I didn’t work out any, none, before that season. I spoke to [Mavs owner] Mark Cuban, and I told him the situation I was in emotionally, that this is what you’re getting, the player you’re getting. There were hard feelings over the course of the season. I thought I would return to my old form.
“It’s too bad that it didn’t work out there because I really could have flourished with Dirk Nowitzki. I could have taken advantage of his skills and my skills. It’s too bad that I wasn’t at the top of my game mentally or physically. I couldn’t perform.”
“I might play in the BIG3 next year,” Odom says. “It would give me something to do. That league is going to last. It’s not going anywhere, and more dudes will get down with it. Getting $100,000 for playing, and three-on-three is nothing to these guys. They can play still. It was fun watching them, seeing the stars come out.
“I think the BIG3 could become international. It could tour. Basketball is an international game, and the four-point shot is entertainment. The reason it’s going to last is Cube – and celebrities come out for it.”
Beal, Wall spearhead Wizards' fundraising efforts for Houston -- The Wizards are one of the top teams in the East because of their star guard combo of Bradley Beal and John Wall. That duo is also trying to make an impact in a greater arena off the court, too. Wall and Beal are leading fundraising efforts for Houston's hurricane victims by collecting money from teammates for that cause. Candace Buckner of The Washington Post has more:
As Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston over the weekend, Washington Wizards players John Wall and Bradley Beal decided to help. The pair reached out to teammates through a group text message, leading the effort to raise money for people affected by the hurricane and historical flooding in Southeast Texas.
By Monday, the players’ donations had reached $250,000 with more dollars expected. According to a team source, Markieff Morris and Otto Porter Jr. were two of the first players to respond to the group message and give money, and the players’ impromptu fundraising has spread throughout the Wizards organization. Majority team owner Ted Leonsis, President Ernie Grunfeld and Coach Scott Brooks also have personally donated money to the American Red Cross, and the organization over the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics’ charities — MSE Foundation — has contributed to the players’ amount.
“John and Brad put together a group text and wanted to help out the people in Houston, and I think everybody is jumping on board,” Brooks said Monday morning, hours after learning of his players’ efforts. “It’s exciting. I’m pretty proud of them to spearhead the group and help out the people in Texas.”
Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. also has called Houston his home. In 2005, Oubre was 9 years old when he and his father evacuated their home town of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The Oubres settled in Houston for years before moving to Las Vegas for his senior year of high school.
Brooks still has friends within the city, many of whom have abandoned their homes. According to Texas officials, nine people have died as a result of the storm and 20 feet of additional rainfall is expected by Thursday.
“Nothing like this,” Brooks said when comparing past Houston flooding with the heavy amount of rain after Hurricane Harvey. “We had our share of major storms, but nothing like this. I mean, I’m just watching on TV and through the Internet. It’s devastating some of the areas that you can see. And then talking to some of my friends, it is pretty tough. They’ll have to move out and go to safety. It’s sad.”
Rose looking forward to Cleveland stint -- On and off the court, the last few years of NBA life have not been easy or kind to former MVP Derrick Rose. This summer, he accepted a minimum deal to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers and is looking forward to the rewards and happiness that can come with playing for a winning team. Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press recently talked with Rose about his offseason, his career and his outlook going forward:
In an interview with The Associated Press about his offseason and his future, Rose said he believes he’s misunderstood by many, but realized long ago that he’s not interested in changing those misconceptions.
“I’m stubborn,” Rose said. “I like moving at my own pace. So as long as I’m not harming anybody, I feel like I’ve got the right to do that. People think that I’m cocky, reckless, unruly. That’s not me. That’s not who I portray myself as. But it’s not up to me to care or worry about that. My family and friends know the person that I really am.”
Rose is a self-described introvert, someone who rarely posts on social media. He does his own thing, without apologies. He arrives in China this week to promote his latest adidas shoe, is hopeful to have a place to live in Cleveland picked out by the time he gets back to the U.S. from that trip, and has been so busy this summer with on-court work that there’s been little time for much else — not even a haircut or shave, both of which he thinks are desperately needed.
“I’m not going to lie to you; the last two or three years, Derrick has been through a lot mentally,” said his older brother, Reggie Rose. “When you’re losing more than you’re winning, it can get difficult. So with him going to be in a winning environment again now, able to see how LeBron prepares himself, the things LeBron does with his body, Derrick can incorporate that into his own game.”
Last year fuels him, in many ways. It started with him facing a civil trial in Los Angeles over a rape allegation that a jury did not believe. It ended with him playing for a bad team in New York, the Knicks season dominated by drama off the floor — the Jim Dolan-Charles Oakley mess, the eventual departure of Phil Jackson and the still-going talk of Carmelo Anthony getting traded someplace.
“On the court was when it was the craziest to me,” Rose said. “Some of the strategies and all that, I didn’t understand. It was confusing. It was just a learning experience.”
The lowest of the low points in Chicago, on the injury front, may have been when he made the statement about how he didn’t want to be sore at his son’s graduation. He doesn’t regret saying it, or the fallout that it caused.
What Rose was trying to do was illustrate how being active in his son’s life matters to him. It just came out less than perfectly, and he believes the message got twisted.
“He’s the only reason that I’m playing this game,” Rose said of his son. “My dad wasn’t around. So my mom was that figure for me. I want to be the example to my son, the dad that I didn’t have. He’s going to do what he wants to do, but sometimes he’s going to be like, ‘Damn, Pops was right all these times.’ It’s going to hit him one day.”
Rose knows people doubt whether he can still play. He doesn’t share those doubts. And though he won’t say so, he wouldn’t mind proving some wrong.
“When I get on a good team and I’m still hooping the same way, what are you going to say then?” Rose said. “The only thing that you’ll can say is that I can still play.”
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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Former NBA All-Star Elton Brand has been named GM of the Sixers' G League team, the Delaware 87ers ... Rockets owner Les Alexander will donate $4 million to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Houston ... The Mavs officially re-signed Nerlens Noel yesterday ... Three players on the verge of stardom in the East ...