Suicide lines: Rudy on the block?; More like Earl 'Buck-ins'

Trey Kerby
August 20, 2010
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Each weekday morning, BDL serves up a handful of NBA-related stories to digest with your tapas.

Chris Sheridan, ESPN: I mentioned this in my report yesterday on the feud/pending divorce between Rudy Fernandez(notes) and the Portland Trail Blazers, but it belongs in the lead paragraph for this site: The Knicks are among the teams trying to acquire the Spanish shooting guard, and they have offered Wilson Chandler(notes). Other offers on the table include the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls each offering a No. 1 draft pick in 2011, a league source told ESPN.com. But after the Blazers turned down several offers of first-round picks in the teens on draft night when the team was still being run by former general manager Kevin Pritchard, they are looking to see if they can get a similar offer from a team they believe will finish in the middle of the pack next season.

Joe Freeman, The Oregonian: With roughly six weeks left before the Trail Blazers start training camp, the playing status of Greg Oden(notes) remains as unclear as ever. Oden continues to rehabilitate his surgically repaired left knee and the Blazers insist things are progressing according to schedule. But at the same time, the organization is so intent on keeping once sky-high expectations low for the injury-prone center, officials refuse to say that Oden will be ready to play by Oct. 26, when the team opens the season against the Phoenix Suns. "I don't really want to put any time frame on it," Blazers general manager Rich Cho said, regarding Oden's return. "I don't want any expectations out there. And I don't want to put any pressure on Greg. The last thing I want him to do is come back earlier (than he should) because people are expecting it." It's been 8½ months since Oden was wheeled off the Rose Garden floor on a gurney after fracturing the patella in his left knee in a game against the Houston Rockets. Since, Oden and the Blazers have maintained that the 7-foot center's rehab was on schedule and he was poised to return for October training camp -- a significant fact considering a healthy and productive Oden is perhaps the biggest key to how much success the team will have this season.

Connor Orr, New Jersey Star-Ledger: With a power forward officially secured for the upcoming season, Nets general manager Billy King thought it might be a good opportunity to take some time off. It won't be all leisure, though. "I'm planning on going on vacation Monday, but I do have a cell phone," King said, leaving the possibility of another roster move open. "So I think this will be our roster but you never know." King spoke with reporters Thursday after Troy Murphy(notes) was formally introduced at the team's practice facility in East Rutherford. But with rumors that Denver Nuggets forward and perennial All-Star Carmelo Anthony(notes) is considering other teams, including the Nets, it's difficult to consider any roster as set in stone. Anthony has yet to sign a three-year $65 million extension offered by the Nuggets, which could prompt Denver to deal Anthony in hopes of getting some return. The Knicks and Rockets have also been listed as potential suitors. King, though, wouldn't hint at a pursuit of any other players, just stating that the Nets' current situation gives them that opportunity. "We have flexibility," King said. "And having flexibility allows you to do different things, whether it be this year, next year or down the road. I feel fortunate ... there are not a lot of long-term contracts, there's cap space to allow (Murphy) to happen, there's flexibility for next year. So it's a great situation to be in, so now as we make decisions going forward you look at that cap space."

Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle: The Rockets on Thursday announced they are close to adding three players to their training camp roster, expecting to complete contracts with guard Ishmael Smith, center Jordan Eglseder and guard/forward Antonio Anderson(notes), a person with knowledge of the deals said.

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Charles F. Gardner, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Little Earl" is just the man to complete the Milwaukee Bucks' point guard trio. Veteran Earl Boykins(notes), ready to begin his 12th NBA season, has reached agreement on a one-year deal to join the Bucks, according to agent Mark Termini. "Earl had interest from other situations," Termini said Thursday. "But his familiarity with Bucks management and several players was important, and at this stage of his career he would like to take part in the playoffs. Now it's about picking places where he can have a role." Boykins will have a fully guaranteed deal for the veteran's minimum of $1.35 million, Termini said. The 34-year-old guard is expected to be in Milwaukee on Friday to take a physical.

Ronald Tillery, Memphis Commercial Appeal: The Grizzlies have fielded several trade offers from teams looking to acquire the rights to unsigned rookie Xavier Henry(notes) -- interest mostly derived from a contract stalemate between the team and the NBA's 12th overall draft pick. But Griz owner Michael Heisley insisted Wednesday that the team is only interested in signing Henry to a deal that will have him play in FedExForum this season. "I'm not looking to trade him just to trade him," Heisley said. "I'm not angry with him. I expect him to play. He's going to have an opportunity to play a lot, and we need him. So my reaction to this is I'm expecting we'll get something done and he'll play for us this season." Teams can pay players between 80 and 120 percent of an amount set by the league's rookie scale. The Griz have offered Henry 100 percent of that salary with the extra 20 percent tied to performance-based bonuses.

Corey Williams, AP: Ex-NBA player and Michigan State star Jay Vincent has been indicted for an Internet employment scam that bilked about 20,000 jobseekers out of about $2 million, the U.S. Attorney's office said Thursday. The 51-year-old Vincent and 53-year-old Anthony Portee face charges of mail fraud, and Vincent is charged with an income tax violation, authorities said. Both men live in Lansing.

Vincent Goodwill, Detroit News: Flint native Tom Gores has emerged as the "front-runner" to become the Pistons' new owner, according to sources close to the situation. The sources requested anonymity due to a confidentiality agreement signed by all prospective buyers. The Pistons have been valued at $479 million by Forbes. Gores, 46, and his group have made two visits to The Palace the past two weeks, the only interested group to do so. Gores made another visit Wednesday, but has not yet made a bid. Gores, who owns Platinum Equity, went to Michigan State and sold computer software before moving to California to go into business with his older brother, Alec. He owns a home in Grosse Ile. According to Forbes, Gores is worth $2.2 billion, making him the 147th-richest American.