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Rights: Be A atl GMHT: 6-4
Jersey: 12WT: 190
DOB: 1/2/1981 Age: 40
Sal: $.00MInj: No Injury
Player Avg: FBPPG =0.00 PPG=0.00 APG=0.00 STPG=0.00
Contract Status: RET - Retired Player
PASPN.net Player News, BDL's Most Interesting Power Rankings: Post-trade deadline edition (Ball Don't Lie)
Trans. Feb 22 7:24 ET
Let's face it — the best and most powerful teams in the NBA don't really change from week to week. A handful of results in the middle of winter can only mean so much to a franchise's championship hopes. What does shift regularly, though, is how much interest a squad can hold over the course of a season. Every week, BDL's Most Interesting Power Rankings track the teams most worthy of your attention. This time: the aftermath of the most ground-shaking trade deadline Thursday in NBA history. THE TOP 15 1. Houston Rockets (28-28; last week : 2): This won’t be quite as awkward as the tortuous 2011-12 season the Orlando Magic put us through, as we rolled eyes through 66 games while Dwight Howard talked out of the side of his mouth while making (literal) promises we knew he’d never live up to. Howard and James Harden are far too passive aggressive to turn this into too big a soap opera. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] Reports say that the two don’t much care for each other and, if we’re honest, we can see where both players are coming from in regards to the alleged mutual enmity. Houston still failed to find a taker for Howard on Thursday, though, as the free agent to-be seeks out yet another Perfect Home (and oh by the way can you still pay me as much as legally possible; something like $30 million a year deep into my mid-30s, thanks). Cap complications, a reported high asking price and the idea that the Rockets (currently ranked eighth in the West) could still make the playoffs without Howard (thereby ensuring that the team would have to send its first round draft pick to Denver) got in the way of any deal, so here the Rockets are. Uneasy by nature, likely first round playoff fodder for a Golden State team they met in the Conference finals last season, waiting for Howard’s time to jet. (Unless he makes a show of things and opts-in again . Never doubt the man’s ability to be swayed by one plane ride.) 2. Miami Heat (31-24; last week : 3) The Heat are hardly a mess right now, winners of two straight coming out of the All-Star break against Southeast Division rivals (because divisions are still a thing!) from Atlanta and Washington. Josh McRoberts managed a +20 in just 19 minutes against the Wizards even while missing five of six shots, acting as the straw that stirred the drink, while Hassan Whiteside came off the bench to contribute 23 points, 25 rebounds and two blocks in just 29 minutes. However, the team is sadly without Chris Bosh yet again, as he determines a way to safely play through lingering blood clot issues. Dwyane Wade’s time on the bench (those knees, again) will probably extend into the workweek, and there’s no telling how long the team can manage to circle the wagons with a rookie in Justise Winslow starting at ostensible power forward, and the absolute opposite of a rookie in Amar’e Stoudemire jumping tip at starting center. Worse, a full calendar year into their time together, it’s become apparent that Wade and starting point guard Goran Dragic are not meshing. Dragic has averaged over 20 points, nine assists, six rebounds and two steals in those two wins without Wade, and it will be interesting to watch over the next two months how the two will attempt to put it all together. Miami isn’t dumping Dwyane, a free agent this summer and a Mr. Heat if there ever was. Dragic has already been committed to in free agency and he should be in his prime. Meanwhile the team has a 7-foot 26-year old dropping 20s off the bench; though they’ll have to dig into their own cap space to retain him this summer. And Florida probably isn’t even on Kevin Durant’s radar. Important few weeks, fellas. 3. Detroit Pistons (27-29; last week : 4) The Pistons have lost five straight, and just watched as Anthony Davis ate just about every member of the team’s frontline’s lunch on Sunday . Coach Stan Van Gundy can’t put his shirt on the right way , apparently, and the team may have to void the deal that sent a first round pick out for Donatas Montiejunas and Marcus Thornton. A cynic would wonder if the Pistons would be working with buyer’s remorse after coughing up a pick for a much-traveled swingman and a scoring forward with back issues (the crux of the extended physicals); but the Pistons can easily talk themselves into parting ways with that pick when they remind themselves that Orlando didn’t push for a first-rounder in the deal that sent Tobias Harris to Detroit. When healthy Donatas can either post up and spread the floor, acting as much-needed insurance in the wake of sending Ersan Ilyasova to Orlando. Detroit has until early evening on Monday to make up its mind, and though the team is in desperate win-now mode as it attempts to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009, it’s possible that a void still might be on the table. Despite SVG’s remarks about putting up with occasional time on the shelf for Montiejunas in order “to get a guy of his talent.” 4. Chicago Bulls (29-26; last week : 29) The Bulls have won two of three since the All-Star break, but this team is a tepid mess right now. The group dealt long time point guard Kirk Hinrich (the source of much consternation for Bulls fans, not only because of his play but also because of the machinations needed to reacquire him back in the 2012 offseason) to save cash, and passed on dealing likely free agent Pau Gasol not because of a too-high asking price, but reportedly because they want to re-sign the 35-year old in the offseason. Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic are weeks away from returning to full health due to some very Bulls-like conditions: Mirotic’s appendectomy surgery resulted in complications that his surgeon said were the first he’d seen in three decades of performing the procedure, while Butler was allowed to ignore Chicago’s medical staff while playing on a knee that clearly needed rest. Their absence left the Bulls dealing from a position of weakness at the deadline. To say nothing of Joakim Noah’s situation – no team wanted to deal any assets for a player who will likely sit out the rest of the season prior to leaving in free agency. Derrick Rose’s improved play of late (he might be the league best bank-shot artist right now ) did not inspire any teams to push to acquire the $21.3 million he’s owed next year. That’s presuming Chicago attempted to deal him, of course. 5. Boston Celtics (33-24; last week : 8) The C’s rebounded from a rather distressing blowout loss in Utah on Friday with a dominant turn from start to finish against Denver on Sunday. General manager Danny Ainge technically sat out the trade deadline, either failing to find listeners in Cleveland (Kevin Love) and Sacramento (DeMarcus Cousins) while reportedly inquiring about polarizing Philadelphia rookie Jahlil Okafor. When the dust settled, Ainge still had his same crew of on-a-string good guys, a top three defense, and his famous pile of impressive draft assets. Boston’s rotation isn’t old enough that drafting a teenager with a high-end draft pick this June would make for a Knicks-styled brand of incongruity, and while we respect the talents of the stars Ainge was rumored to be after and the potential of Okafor (who, for all his troubles, is still giving 17 and seven with a block in just 30 minutes at age 20; and maybe on the right team he could turn it around), the non-moves were probably the right moves. How Boston responds, with their leader passing on adding the hoped for “star” to the lineup, will be telling. If the Denver win was any indication, the Celtics will be set for now. 6. Cleveland Cavaliers (40-14; last week : 5) The Eastern champs beat up on an already beat-up Chicago Bulls team prior to dominating the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon. Rumored to be considering a white flag on the Kevin Love experiment prior to the trade deadline, while looking for a prototypical center to replace the dis

The Scoop: None.
Feb 22 7:24 ET
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