With just about every team back in action after the All-Star break, here are a few leap day notes from around the league:
- The Celtics have intensified their efforts to trade Rajon Rondo, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN. Broussard says sources have told him the Celtics consider Rondo to be too high maintenance, and so the team is considering a deal with the Warriors for Stephen Curry that's been percolating since December. Other players would have to be in such a deal for it to work. ESPN's Chris Forsberg also contributed to the report.
- Shabazz Muhammad, a premier college prospect who currently sits atop the class of potential 2013 draftees according to NBADraft.net, could be in trouble with the NCAA, report Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com. The NCAA has informed schools recruiting Muhammad that his amateur status is in question. According to Goodman and Parrish, there are concerns that the 6'5", 210-pound shooting guard has been receiving payments for unofficial visits to campuses, among other benefits. Since NBA draft rules prohibit Muhammad from entering the league until a year after his high school class graduates, he may be forced to head overseas next year.
- Matt Moore of CBSSports.com doesn't see much truth in the rumored swap of Lamar Odom and Steve Nash, unless several other components are involved.
- It seems every other day we find out about another team that came close to signing Jeremy Lin, but whiffed. Today that team is the Italian club Banca Tercas Teramo, reports Adam Zagoria of SNY. The team was "extremely close" to signing him, Lin said, but they went with Charles Jenkins instead.
- The Chris Paul trade may have transformed the Clippers, but since amnesty claim Chauncey Billups was lost for the year with an Achilles' tear, the Clips have gone 5-5 and appear to have lost their mojo, as Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times examines.
- Before handing the Spurs just their second home loss of the season, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau praised San Antonio's ability to identify and nurture the talent necessary to keep the team on top, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago. Thibodeau hopes the Bulls can copy that model.
- Jazz swingman Josh Howard, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, has responded well since Raja Bell's injury forced him into the starting lineup, notes Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune.