The one salvation for all long-suffering fans in the NBA is this: anyone can be traded. At any time. It doesn’t matter how egregious their contract is or how awful their production is. We’ve seen everyone from Gilbert Arenas to “Theo Ratliff‘s expiring contract” be moved for one reason or another. One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure, and as long as we have GMs in the league who love to needlessly make moves (Kaaaaahn) or make moves while smoking Cubans on the 10th hole (MJ), bloggers will continue to have things to complain about. Since burying his game in a grave somewhere in the Windy City, Ben Gordon has done nothing but frustrate fans in Detroit. They’ll probably be happy to know he’s gone: the Pistons traded the former Ben Jordan to Charlotte for Corey Maggette and his expiring contract. There is also a first rounder going to the Bobcats, and sources say the pick is lottery-protected in 2013, top-eight protected in 2014, top-one protected in 2015 and unprotected in 2016. One bad contract for some Bad Porn. In reality, both sides might win out. Detroit clears off about $14 million in savings as Maggette has only $10.9 million owed to him in the final year of his contract, while Charlotte gets the shot creator and scorer they’ve been searching for over their entire existence. We’ve spent time with Gordon over the past year, and he made no secret his years in Detroit weren’t going as planned. This could be the only time in league history that a player is thanking God for sending him to one of the worst teams ever. But check out Charlotte’s backcourt now: D.J. Augustin is 5-11 (barely), Kemba Walker is 6-1 (barely), Gordon is 6-2, and Gerald Henderson is 6-5 (barely). They are taking “going small” to new lows … Can you imagine the Pacers without Larry Bird? Get used to it because it sounds like he won’t be coming back next year. The Indy Star reports that health issues are causing Larry Legend to leave the front office just as he did on the court. There are rumors old friend Donnie Walsh could return to take over Bird’s old role as president. This also sets up current director of player personnel, Kevin Pritchard, for a promotion as Indiana’s new general manager now that GM David Morway is leaving as well. This is the same Pritchard who used to run circles around three quarters of the NBA in the draft. Indiana currently owns the No. 26 pick in this Thursday’s draft. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them swing a deal … Bird’s health problems also nearly derailed his trip with the original Dream Team. But he wasn’t the only old guy along for the ride. Magic Johnson was receiving special treatment because of the situation with his HIV virus. Back then, there wasn’t much information on it, and as Clyde Drexler admits in the new book from Jack McCallum called Dream Team, “Everybody kept waiting for Magic to die. Every time he’d run up the court everybody would feel sorry for the guy, and he’d get all that benefit of the doubt.” We’ve never met anyone in our lives who smiles as often as Clyde, but the man sounds frustrated. He blames Magic’s special treatment of robbing him of the 1992 All-Star Game MVP, which Johnson won, and says if we had all known Magic would live as long as he did, things would’ve been very different … Keep reading to hear about what Carmelo Anthony had to say on his future in New York …
Smack / Jun 27, 2012 / 12:00 am
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