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Odds & Ends: Draft, O’Neal, Heat

On this date 50 years ago, Wilt Chamberlain delivered his 100-point game for the Warriors against the Knicks in Hershey, Pa. Chamberlain averaged more than 50 points a game that season, but wasn't the MVP. Instead, Bill Russell got the nod. You'd figure having that over his friend Wilt would convince Russell to speak openly on the anniversary of Wilt's accomplishment, but as Ken Berger of noted last night, he doesn't want to talk about it. Here are a few notes from today's NBA, where plenty more are willing to open their mouths:

  • Berger offers a primer on dissecting trade talk as the rumor mill nears peak season. The keys are to consider the source, discount mere discussion, and know that when one coach or team executive denies a trade rumor, another could be working on that very deal in the next office.
  • Michael Lee of The Washington Post is the latest to call this year's draft class, led by Kentucky big man Anthony Davis, one of the deepest in years. But top draft prospects Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, Perry Jones and Quincy Miller are all giving indications they may stay in school, writes ESPN's Chad Ford. (Insider link)
  • Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal, rumored to be part of a potential Michael Beasley deal, is considering season-ending wrist surgery, reports Paul Flannery of WEEI radio.
  • South Florida Sun Sentinel writer Ira Winderman answered reader questions about the Heat. The efficiency of the Heat's rotation has kept the Heat out of trade talks this year, but team president Pat Riley remains on the lookout for any available top-tier talent.
  • Sam Smith opened up his mailbag, too. He doesn't foresee Chicago making a deal, and doesn't seem them signing draft-day acquisition Nikola Mirotic any time soon, either. He believes the 6'10" big man with the inside-outside game, currently playing overseas, is at least a couple years away from joining the Bulls. He also says the notion that Beasley could be had for a second-round pick, an idea advanced by Berger in his piece, says plenty about how far the former No. 2 overall pick has plummeted.

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