Philly Talking Trades; A Possibly Awkward Reunion In Cleveland

While their new draft pick won’t be coming to the NBA this season (Jonas Valanciunas and Toronto’s front office reached an agreement on his buyout and the power forward will be coming over for the 2012-2013 season), the Raptors learned that Leandro Barbosa won’t be leaving them. He exercised his player option for $7.6 million for next season. For much of the offseason, some in Barbosa’s camp pushed for him to return to Brazil, where there are some better endorsement opportunities and a new league that he could play in if and when there is a lockout. But alas, he won’t be going (all Toronto fans collectively bash their computers against the walls). Sorry Raps fans, you’re still gonna have to pay him (while Leandro’s probably still paying Nash for getting him this deal in the first place) … Toronto also picked up the team options for Ed Davis, DeMar DeRozan and James Johnson. No surprises there … Cleveland’s reach to grab Tristan Thompson at No. 4 in the draft was surprising for a few reasons. First, Thompson wasn’t in the conversation for much of the draft process. Then, he had a couple of great workouts, tested out well statistically and boom, he’s the fourth pick. Second, they could’ve traded down a few spots, picked up a few extra assets and still probably gotten their man. Now finally, Thompson is represented by Rich Paul, who just so happens to work under the direction of Leon Rose and CAA, who just so happens to represent LeBron James. Everyone is saying all the right things now, and maybe there won’t be any problems. But it wasn’t too long ago that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was ready to “Fredo” LeBron. Business is business, but the thing is, we don’t exactly trust Gilbert to keep it strictly business. He has a propensity to – how should we say it? – lash out. Someone needs to take away his Twitter account and give him a gag order. He’d probably be the first guy to draft someone and then alienate him before he even plays a game … If you’re Dallas, do you bring back DeShawn Stevenson? Chuck always says you need at least one crazy guy. But with Caron Butler on his way back from injury – and with his own contract situation – and with the arrival of Rudy Fernandez, will it be worth it? Abe made over $4 million this past season and figures to get the championship bonus from some idiotic team next season. That’ll be a lot of tattoos. Amazing, a guy can average 5.3 points a game, and even less in the playoffs, and still he might be too expensive for a team to hold onto. And you wonder why we’re about to be in a lockout … After the Lakers tried to convince everyone that they weren’t shopping anyone, now it’s Philly coach Doug Collins explaining that no one is looking to move Andre Iguodala, even after Rod Thorn basically came out and said that just a week ago. Please Doug. Don’t even get us started … Jonny Flynn is apparently ecstatic that he’s finally outta the woods and in Houston. It almost feels like he had his own draft day, coming up with a fresh start after a miserable season in Minnesota. There’s no cooler dude than Flynn, and we can’t help but feel good for him … All indications point to Denver getting a new deal done with Nene. But prospects don’t look quite as good for Kenyon Martin. He’s in a weird spot, a guy coming off the worst season of his career, with his mammoth contract finally ending (he made close to $17 million last year), and he’ll have to take a pay cut no matter what. Now a cut from $16.5 mill isn’t too bad. But does Martin want to do it in Denver? … If you could grab one center this summer, who would you most want? Nene, Tyson Chandler or Marc Gasol? Actually, we can think of a better question: Which one of these guys is most likely to get drastically overpaid this summer? … So Michael Beasley is out in L.A. working out with and getting mentored by former Laker Norm Nixon. You mean the same guy who once didn’t want to share the ball with Magic Johnson, and became such a distraction to the team’s chemistry that the Lakers eventually said enough is enough and shipped him out to San Diego? Awesome … And check out this tweet from Jay Bilas: A man in a store came up to me, “You look like a celebrity, but I’m not sure who.” “Jay Bilas?” I said. The guy said, “No, a celebrity.” … We’re out like Abe.

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