– According to David Aldridge, the Lakers are “dangling” F Pau Gasol in a potential trade for Hornets’ G Chris Paul. Aldridge writes that Gasol “would almost certainly” be flipped elsewhere. New Orleans reportedly has no interest in a package built around G Rajon Rondo. The NBA is also no longer pushing for Clippers’ G Eric Gordon in trade talks. If accurate, the Clippers could offer G Eric Bledsoe, F Al-Farouq Aminu, F Chris Kaman and Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 1st-round draft pick for the star point guard. It’s easily the best offer for the Hornets, but one that the Clippers may feel they’re losing out on.
Also of note, the Celtics are out of the trade discussions for Paul. The Celtics are reportedly convinced that Paul will be dealt to one of the LA teams in the next couple of days and have moved onto other options. Boston was never really expected to get Paul following Stern’s decision to veto the original trade to the Lakers, but there have been rumours that the team might still be in the mix. The Warriors appear to be the last time, along with both LA teams, that are in the running for CP3. Stay tuned.
– Pistons’ RFA G Rodney Stuckey is reportedly “balking” at the teams’ 5-year/$40-45M contract offer. Stuckey is reportedly seeking a lucrative contract worth more than what Detroit is offering. He’s running out of time, and may be forced to accept a 1-year qualifying offer and trying again next summer.
– ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Trailblazers have “emerged” as a team involved in Dwight Howard trade talks which would land Howard in New Jersey. The Blazers would send F Gerald Wallace to Orlando, who would join F Brook Lopez as the “principal pieces” the Magic would receive in return. The deal would also allow the Magic to move the bloated contracts of F Hedo Turkoglu and G Chris Duhon. With last night’s reports that the Nets were working on a blockbuster, this could be it. Stay tuned.
– Bucks’ F Drew Gooden (feet) is still feeling pain. Gooden struggled with plantar fasciitis last season, and clearly it’s still an issue despite claiming he felt “great” in early December. “I’m not going to lie. I still feel pain, either in my foot or in other areas. But I’m continuing to push through it, and I’m out here playing.”
– Scott Miller of CBSSports.com hears that a deal between the Phillies and SS Jimmy Rollins is not close. The two sides continue to have dialogue, but Rollins’ agent Dan Lozano is reportedly having conversations with an unidentified club, rumoured to be the Tigers. The 33-year-old originally wanted a 5-year deal, but will almost definitely have to settle for something less.
– The Astros have traded RHP Mark Melancon to the Red Sox for INF Jed Lowrie and RHP Kyle Weiland. Melancon, 27 in March, posted a 2.78 ERA, 20 saves and a 66/26 K/BB ratio over 74 1/3 innings this past season. Lowrie should take over as the starting shortstop in Houston while Weiland figures to be a candidate for the starting rotation. It’s a good deal from the Astros’ perspective, while Boston appears to have finally gotten their closer.
– Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that the Blue Jays, Rockies and Cardinals are among at least five teams expressing interest in free agent OF Carlos Beltran. The 34-year-old is discussing a multi-year deal with most clubs.
– Texans’ DC Wade Phillips is taking a medical leave of absence in order to undergo an unknown surgical procedure. Phillips is expected to be away from the team for “a couple weeks.” The details of his issue are unknown right now. Phillips transformed a 29th ranked Houston defence last season into a top-5 unit this season.
– Rangers’ D Marc Staal (concussion) skated with his teammates during Tuesday’s morning skate for the first time since training camp. He remains out indefinitely.
– Chris Jericho was asked on Twitter about online reports that he’s returning to WWE to feud with CM Punk. Jericho, who is rumored to be returning to WWE in several weeks, called the reports “bogus, weak journalism.”
– WWE officials Trish Stratus to appear at Monday’s Slammy RAW to present the Divalicious Slammy along with Lita. Trish turned down the offer because she would have to spend two full days traveling from/to Canada for a 5-minute television appearance. WWE was understanding about the situation and there’s no heat on Trish for declining the offer.
– Monday’s special 3-hour Slammy RAW drew a 2.84 rating. The final 2 hours (RAW’s usual timeslot) did a 2.98, virtually even with last week’s 2.97. Continuing the trend of losing viewership in the final hour of the show, hour 3 did a lower rating than hour 2 this week.
– As we’ve seen in recent weeks, Monday’s RAW was re-written several times throughout the day. Triple H, who returned to RAW, won a Slammy and cut a promo on The Undertaker setting up a possible WrestleMania 28 rematch, wasn’t even booked to appear on RAW just a few hours before the show went on the air.– WWE Games noted on Twitter that data from the new WWE ’12 video shows that CM Punk is the most-played superstar in the game.