Saturday afternoon linkage..
- If Stephen Jackson wants to leave Milwaukee to play with Dwight Howard in Orlando, the guard will have to give the Bucks $5MM or so back in a buyout, tweets Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
- Former Blazers draft pick Joel Freeland denied a report from earlier this week that he agreed to a contract extension with his Spanish club, writes Nick Gibson of SheridanHoops.com. The big man also insists that he has nothing against the prospect of playing in Portland and will make the transition to the NBA “if the situation is right.”
- The Heat could use an upgrade at center as they may have to face Tyson Chandler, Dwight Howard, and Joakim Noah to win the Eastern Conference in the postseason, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
- Some fans are calling for the Raptors to start tanking, but that doesn’t guarantee much for the club and would hurt the locker room culture, writes Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun. Some are also calling for Toronto to deal Jose Calderon as the point guard has just one year remaining on his deal, but Jerryd Bayless hasn’t done enough prove that he be the team’s one-guard going forward.
- A number of contenders could benefit from adding Steve Nash to the fold, but the point guard continues to stand his ground and won’t ask for a trade, writes J.A. Adande of ESPN.com.
- There isn’t a trade out there that will be good enough to boost the 76ers into a finals team, opines John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Daily News.
- In his piece earlier today, Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that the Warriors could use a 10-day contract as a tryout for a D-League big man. Will Foster of the Rio Grande Valley and Bakersfield’s Brian Butch could both be considered.