Odds & Ends: Deng, Miller, Kings

The Kings are playing much better than they did in last year’s awful campaign or to open this season, routing the Magic and Cavaliers after beating the Blazers last week. While the playoffs are still a long shot, FOX Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico sees signs of promise. The team has improved around DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, and now Rudy Gay as the roster has shaped up around the talent at the center, point guard, and swingman positions. Here’s a look around the rest of the league:

  • Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports wonders if the Cavs could put off contract talks with Luol Deng in an effort to land LeBron James next summer.  A league source tells Spears that the Cavs are interested in keeping Deng long-term, but also know there is plenty of time to evaluate him and begin extension talks.  Deng says he understands that contract talks could be placed on hold as long as Cleveland has any hope for a James homecoming.
  • ESPN Insider’s Amin Elhassan [subscription only] looks at a hypothetical Andre Miller trade that could be a nice fit, sending him to the Wizards for a second round pick.
  • The storyline that has played out between Miller and Nuggets coach Brian Shaw is nothing new in the NBA, writes The Salt Lake Tribune’s Steve Luhm in a post lamenting the common necessity for new coaches to move on from an older veteran.
  • The Mavericks’ D-League affiliate Texas Legends are planning to add P.J. Hairston off wavers, Spears tweets. Hairston recently filed paperwork to join the D-League after North Carolina booted the junior from its NCAA squad due to an investigation of rule violations. He cannot be an NBA call-up for any team until next season, since he wasn’t ever draft-eligible this year.
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