Marc Stein of ESPN.com unveils his award winners for the first third of the NBA season, splitting the MVP award between the two conferences, with Carmelo Anthony besting LeBron James for the Eastern Conference honor and Kevin Durant getting the nod for the West. As usual, the ESPN scribe also checks in with a few rumors from around the league in his Weekend Dime, and we'll round them up here.
- The Lakers gave strong consideration to signing Delonte West, but the desire for stability, which has been in short supply for L.A. this season, kept them from doing so, a source tells Stein. The Lakers remain in the market for a point guard, but they're in no rush to do so, preferring to wait and see how the team looks with a healthy Steve Nash.
- Tyreke Evans wasn't rattled when he didn't receive a contract extension from the Kings, and he's likewise unfazed by his inclusion in trade rumors this season. "I'm just here to play basketball," Evans said. "If I get traded, that's what happens."
- Unlike Evans, Jrue Holiday did get an extension on his rookie deal, and while he believes the new deal took some pressure off of him, he doesn't think it's had any effect on his play. He's been thrust into a leadership role with Andrew Bynum out, and he's anxious to see how he and the big man fit together on the Sixers. "More so than curious, I'm just excited," Holiday said. "I'm excited for him to finally play, and I'd love to play with him. (But) I think the season at hand is the most important thing."
- Earlier today we heard the Knicks shopped Amare Stoudemire over the summer and found no takers. A source tells Stein that Stoudemire has come to grips with his reduced value and leverage, and understands that when he returns, he has to fit into whatever role coach Mike Woodson has for him.