From Mark Medina, LA Times: Throughout his rehabilitation process, Lakers forward Matt Barnes has understood the fine line between pushing up the intensity toward healing his surgically repaired right knee and putting himself at further risk. But his might be one of those times when his desire to come back quickly has gotten the best of him. “No,” Coach Phil Jackson said Thursday when asked if the team’s medical staff supports Barnes’ timetable. “I appreciate his intensity and his wanting to come back, but I’ll talk to Matt tomorrow about it. I haven’t really talked to him about it yet. I’d hate to say anything, but we’re still saying, ‘Let’s be patient.’ We’re not in dire need now.”
From Andy Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Man alive! Has this been a crazy 24-48 hours or what? Kobe Bryant said during Thursday’s practice it’s the most active trade deadline day he can recall, and it’s hard to argue. Some pretty big names have swapped unis, and the NBA looks awfully different now. Well, except for the Lakers, who stood pat. Whether because of confidence, a lack of options or both, save perhaps a free-agent big man to play the “Theo Ratliff” role, the team that beat Portland Wednesday is the team that will defend its title. How does today’s zaniness affect that quest, or simply reshape the Western Conference? Let’s take a look at some of the major deals.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: Even through all the injury uncertainty, the Lakers have maintained a long and steadfast view that they shouldn’t trade center Andrew Bynum for one reason. Size. It’s an advantage few teams have in the NBA and it’s a huge reason why the Lakers have been through three consecutive Finals appearances. Heck, even when Bynum played a limited role during the Finals against Boston last season because of torn cartilage in his right knee, he altered and blocked shots, intimidated players from driving into the lane, provided close shots and rebounds, and gave an occasional breather to Pau Gasol.
From Royce Young, The Daily Thunder: Oklahoma City, who by all appearances was set to have another quiet deadline, just jumped up and made some noise. Not a little noise. Some serious noise. As in the Thunder just went from mild contender and likely second-round exit to a team people are legitimately afraid of. It took making a tough decision in sending out well-loved Jeff Green and center Nenad Krstic to Boston for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. Upon first hearing about it, I had no idea what to think. Picturing this Thunder team without Uncle Jeff just didn’t seem possible. But once my attachment to him subsided, I was excited. OKC is now a contender. Like a for real contender. Like a team that could potentially win now. No more of this wait until next year stuff. Wait until now. Because the Thunder is scary good.
From Breen Murphy, Clippers Blog: When Baron Davis arrived in Los Angeles almost three years ago, he was supposed to be the harbinger of a new era for the Clippers. He had just taken the almost equally pathetic Golden State Warriors to consecutive winning seasons and with a real big man in Elton Brand, he would be the bearded and smiling face of that change. People would be able to look back in the annals of Clipper history and pinpoint exactly when it was that the Clippers turned it around. Baron still may be able to be that marker, that Black Swan event that everyone rationalizes post-facto, but it won’t be in the way that he initially hoped.
From Rahat Huq, Red94: A lot of thoughts right now. First off, today has been one of the worst days in the history of Red94. The trade deadline–the biggest day of the NBA season–and the server decides to go out. I’m working to get this situation fixed so I apologize for all of the problems this week. This was downright embarrassing. Onto the trades: I wrote earlier this morning of my thoughts on what was then just a rumor in the Battier-Thabeet swap. I like it. Shane was a guy who was out the door this summer, most likely, so it’s a plus to get anything out of him. Yes, we’re out of the playoff race, and yes, this wasn’t the mega-blockbuster that had Shane and 3/4 of our roster going to NOLA for CP3, but scenarios like that were wholly unrealistic to begin with