In his Weekend Dime, Marc Stein of ESPN.com runs down his picks for this year's All-Star reserves. On Stein's ballot, the Nets get a representative in Houston, but it's not star point guard Deron Williams, who is barely shooting 40% from the floor. Instead, it's center Brook Lopez who has given the Nets the kind of steady offense that Williams hasn't been able to. Here's more from Stein's column..
- No matter how much TNT's Charles Barkley clammors for a major trade in Miami, the Heat just aren't looking for that sort of shake-up. Sources familiar with the club say that they aren't prepared to part with Chris Bosh, not only out of fear of a major change, but because it would make things umcomfortable from a player-relations perspective to break up the star trio.
- Sources close to the situation tell Stein that the Mavericks are not among the teams that have expressed interest in Grizzlies' Rudy Gay. The Mavs were previously mentioned as being among the clubs interested in the forward. Meanwhile, we learned yesterday that the Bobcats are aggressively pursuing him.
- The "Bank of Cuban" may be reopening its doors in Dallas, but the Mavericks still want to preserve their wiggle room this offseason. That's why even though the Mavs can offer cap relief to teams at the trade deadline, Stein doesn't expect them to take on significant contracts. Instead, they're more likely to trade Vince Carter to a contender that could use an extra shooter, or move Brandan Wright to a team in need of another big man. That could yield them some picks or perhaps allow them to shed even more salary.
- While the Hawks could move Josh Smith for an impact player, Stein is skeptical that they would want to sacrifice their cap space this summer.