Odds & Ends: Lakers, Luxury Tax, Meeks

Yannis Koutroupis and Stephen Brotherston of HoopsWorld both agree that it wouldn't be in the Lakers' best interests to deal Dwight Howard despite how the team has struggled with him thus far. Brotherston also thinks that with Pau Gasol's value to teams looking for some veteran leadership, it would be wise for Los Angeles to cash him in for younger and more athletic players who can provide a better fit next to Steve Nash and Dwight. You'll find more of tonight's miscellaneous links below:

  • Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer looks at how the CBA's more restrictive luxury-tax implications (set to take effect in 2013-14) have reconfigured the way trades have been discussed in today's NBA, where cap space and draft picks have become the most coveted bargaining chips in what Celtics coach Doc Rivers calls 'economic trades.' 
  • Brotherston writes about how the emergence of Earl Clark in Mike D'Antoni's rotation has come at the expense of guard Jodie Meeks, who has gone from averaging 26.5 MPG in December to playing a total of 38 minutes in the Lakers' last seven games. While Meeks admits his frustration, he says there is nothing else to do but remain positive and stay ready for when D'Antoni gives him another opportunity to play. 
  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer points to inexperience as an explanation for the Bobcats' struggles when trying to close out games. Of their 31 losses this season, 10 have been decided by six points or less. 
  • While there is no set timetable for Hedo Turkoglu's return to action for the Magic, the 6'10 veteran forward recently participated in fullcourt scrimmages and said that the injured left hand he's been dealing with is "about to be 100 percent soon," notes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

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