Earlier today, we heard that the Sixers are a good bet to stand pat at this year's deadline, and given how their last trade turned out, perhaps that shouldn't be a surprise. One player acquired by the 76ers in the deal, Jason Richardson, underwent successful surgery on his left knee this morning, according to a team release. Meanwhile, the centerpiece, Andrew Bynum, told reporters today that he still intends to play for Philadelphia this season, though it won't happen until at least March.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:
Rumors have been swirling around Josh Smith the past couple of days, yet HoopsWorld's Lang Greene says that the Hawks aren't actively shopping Smith for now, and are simply listening to offers to gauge the power forward's value. Greene also passes along the comments Smith made about the speculation in a video report by Atlanta journalist Nubyjas Wilborn. Smith is far from the only player who's had to respond to trade chatter as the February 21st deadline approaches, as we hear from another who could be on the move in our roundup from the Eastern Conference:
FRIDAY, 11:28am: Richardson confirmed to reporters, including Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (Twitter link), that he'll undergo surgery next week and could be out as long as 9-12 months.
WEDNESDAY, 8:06pm: Spears provides more detail on Richardson's injury, which is a cartilage tear on his kneecap.
7:49pm: Sixers shooting guard Jason Richardson will have left knee surgery and miss the rest of the season, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports, via Twitter. The recovery will take six to nine months, Spears adds, and that could put his return for the start of next season in jeopardy as well (Twitter link). It's unclear exactly what kind of injury Richardson suffered, but he's been out since January 19th with fluid in that knee.
It's frustrating news for Sixers fans, who've yet to see Andrew Bynum play a game for Philadelphia. Richardson was the only other player acquired in the blockbuster four-team summer deal that brought in Bynum for Andre Iguodala, Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and a first-round pick. It's also a blow to the team's playoff hopes, as Philly stands three games behind the similarly banged-up Celtics for the last Eastern Conference playoff spot entering tonight.
It's past the deadline to file for a disabled player exception, but the Sixers some have room to maneuver, since they still have a prorated portion of their $2.575MM room exception available, plus they have an open roster spot. It's unlikely they'd find a player of Richardson's caliber unless they made a trade, but his impact on the team was muted this year as the 32-year-old struggled to career worsts in shooting percentage (40.2%) and points per game (10.5). Richardson is making $5.8MM in the second season of a four-year deal, so the Sixers probably wouldn't have much luck dangling his contract in a trade, especially given his decline in production.
While Bynum may return around the All-Star break, the Sixers are also without Thaddeus Young for at least three weeks with a hamstring injury. Before the news about Richardson broke, GM Tony DiLeo told reporters, including John Finger of CSNPhilly.com, that the team would emphasize a forward-looking approach with any deadline deals, as opposed to a quick fix. That isn't likely to change with Richardson out.
"We’re talking to every team in the league and if there is something we think that will improve the team, and not just in the short-term, we’ll see what we can do," DiLeo said. "We’re looking to build."
The seismic NBA news in the last 24 hours has come out of the West, but that doesn't mean the East is all quiet with the season two days away. Here's the latest from around the Atlantic Division.
Jason Richardson has cut ties with agent Dan Fegan, but he says he fully expected the Magic to trade him over the summer when he was still represented by the man who also serves as the agent for Dwight Howard, reports John Denton of Magic.com (Twitter link). The Magic sent Richardson to the Sixers as part of Howard's trade to the Lakers this summer.
"Anybody associated with Dan Fegan was going to get traded," Richardson told reporters, including Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link).
The Magic franchise was seemingly on hold last season as Howard waffled on whether he wanted to remain in Orlando. He wound up waiving the early termination option on his contract for 2012/13 right before the trade deadline this past March, but regretted the move. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reported on the eve of the deadline that the Magic were "incensed" with Fegan, believing he was trying to convince the star center to leave. Fegan also leaked information from a meeting Magic executives held with Howard in July, a couple weeks before the blockbuster trade that sent Howard and Richardson out of Orlando.
Richardson said he wished he could have done more during his time in Orlando, Schmitz tweets. The Magic acquired him from the Suns in December of 2010, and his numbers took an immediate hit. He averaged 11.6 points and 3.6 rebounds with a 13.3 PER last year, all of which were career lows. His numbers of 13.9 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 13.2 PER in a partial season with Orlando in 2010/11 weren't much better.
Fegan recently made a move of his own, leaving Lagardère Unlimited to join Happy Walters at the newly created Relativity Sports agency. Walters represents Earl Clark, another of the players involved in the Howard trade. The other player the Magic unloaded in that deal, Chris Duhon, is represented by Kevin Bradbury and Bill Duffy. Al Harrington, whom the Magic got from Denver in the deal, is believed to be the only Fegan client on the Magic roster, according to RealGM.com.
Of today's slate of preseason NBA games, three are scheduled for tonight, with one already in the books -- the Heat defeated the Clippers 94-80 in Beijing in a contest that got underway at 6:30 CST this morning. As we await the rest of today's action, let's round up a few odds and ends from around the league....
Jason Richardson is excited to play out the final three years of his contract on a team that's headed up instead of down, writes Philly.com's John Mitchell. The 31-year-old is especially looking forward to playing with another dominant center who's capable of drawing consistent double teams.
Here's a look around the rest of the league.
1:34pm: Ken Berger of CBS Sports has tweeted a number of the details on the traded draft picks in the deal. We've updated the list below to reflect the protection on those picks.
12:19pm: The Magic, Lakers, Nuggets, and 76ers have completed their trade call with the league office, making Dwight Howard a Los Angeles Laker, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). The Magic officially announced the transaction in a press release this afternoon.
The details of the massive four-team swap can be found in our post from yesterday that tracked updates as they came in. But here's a quick recap of how the deal looks from each team's perspective based on what's been reported so far, with players' 2012/13 salaries in parentheses. If anything changes when the teams make their official announcements, we'll update this post to reflect that.
Acquire: Arron Afflalo ($7,750,000), Al Harrington ($6,687,400), Josh McRoberts ($3,135,000), Maurice Harkless ($1,731,960), Nikola Vucevic ($1,719,480), Christian Eyenga ($1,174,080), protected 2014 first-round pick from Nuggets1, protected 2015 first-round pick from Sixers2, protected 2017 first-round pick from Lakers3, Warriors' 2013 second-round pick from Nuggets, conditional 2015 second-round pick from Lakers4
Trade: Dwight Howard ($19,536,360), Jason Richardson ($5,799,625), Chris Duhon ($3,250,000), Earl Clark ($1,240,000)
The Magic also create a trade exception worth about $17.8MM in the deal, as outlined here.
Acquire: Andre Iguodala ($14,968,250)
Trade: Arron Afflalo ($7,750,000), Al Harrington ($6,687,400), protected 2014 first-round pick from Nuggets1, Warriors' 2013 second-round pick
Acquire: Andrew Bynum ($16,889,000), Jason Richardson ($5,799,625)
Trade: Andre Iguodala ($14,968,250), Maurice Harkless ($1,731,960), Nikola Vucevic ($1,719,480), protected 2015 first-round pick2
Los Angeles Lakers
Acquire: Dwight Howard ($19,536,360), Chris Duhon ($3,250,000), Earl Clark ($1,240,000)
Trade: Andrew Bynum ($16,889,000), Josh McRoberts ($3,135,000), Christian Eyenga ($1,174,080), protected 2017 first-round pick3, conditional 2015 second-round pick4
1 The lesser of the Nuggets' and Knicks' first-rounders.
2 Top-14 protected in 2015, 2016, top-11 in 2017, top-8 in 2018; if the pick still hasn't been conveyed after four years, the Magic will receive 2018 and 2019 second-rounders instead of a first-rounder. The pick cannot be conveyed until the Sixers meet their draft pick obligations to the Heat, which could delay the Magic from getting a first-round pick until 2017.
3 Top-5 protected in 2017 and 2018, unprotected in 2019. The pick cannot be conveyed until the Lakers meet their draft pick obligations to the Suns, which would prevent the Magic from getting a first-round pick if the Lakers fail to make the playoffs the next three years. If that takes place, the Magic will receive 2017 and 2018 second-rounders instead.
4 Top-40 protected; if the pick isn't conveyed in 2015, the Magic will not receive it.