• Philadelphia general manager Rod Thorn said during a radio interview over the weekend that the Sixers, Magic and Lakers discussed a three-way Dwight Howard deal that would have sent Andre Iguodala to the Magic, but that Orlando didn’t want Iguodala. Here’s Thorn, from Sports Radio Interviews via CBSSports.com:
“It’s interesting in that we’ve been talking to the Lakers and to Orlando for the last three weeks. We’ve been talking about different deals, various deals, and it never got out. In today’s world, that’s something of itself. And then it really came down to, Orlando — they did not want to keep Iguodala because they’re going in a different way. And they wanted to move him, and so they talked to a few teams and they ended up making the deal with Denver to move his contract, and that ended up making the deal. It took a while to do it but it ended up getting done.”
• Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune says the Jazz kicked around a possible Paul Millsap/Ryan Anderson sign-and-trade before the Magic signed-and-traded Anderson to New Orleans. Millsap will be a free agent after this season.
• Dan Devine of Yahoo! Sports did fantastic work chronicling every game in the just-concluded Olympics. His final column focuses on the gold- and bronze- medal games, with a nice send-off for Manu Ginobili and the rest of Argentina’s Golden Generation:
One moment in particular that I’ll remember: With Russia stretching its lead to 11 at 61-50 with 1:16 left in the third quarter, I found myself thinking, “Man, if Argentina doesn’t get some Manu magic here, they could be down 15 heading into the fourth.” Predictably, on the ensuing possession Ginobili drove and twisted his way through three Russian defenders, finished at the rim and got fouled, cutting the lead to eight and keeping Argentina within striking distance. For 14 years, he’s kept Argentina within striking distance, in step with — and often a step ahead of — the best players and teams in the world. Ginobili said Saturday he’s unsure if he’ll continue to don his national colors after the bronze-medal game; if he doesn’t, at least he gave us something to remember him by.
• Evidence of the new collective bargaining agreement’s impact on team purse strings.
• Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski on what comes next for USA Basketball.
• Colangelo speaks to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports in this piece about LeBron James’ emergence as Team USA’s centerpiece a half-decade after Colangelo reportedly thought of keeping James off Team USA because of alleged attitude issues.
• Jonathan Tjarks, writing at RealGM, on the similarities between James’ magical 2012 calendar year and Michael Jordan’s 1992 masterpiece. I bet LeBron got more sleep, though.
• Jay Aych of The Painted Area, as smart an observer of international hoops as you’ll find, remarks on Team USA’s gold-medal win over Spain.
• Ken Berger of CBSSports.com says David Stern is committed to getting veteran NBA stars out of the Olympics and into an NBA-run World Cup, even if that change won’t happen until after the 2016 Games (and the earliest):
NBA owners’ visions of a basketball World Cup replacing the league’s investment in the Olympics almost certainly will have to wait until after the Rio Games. There’s simply too much politics involved, too many nations with stakes in the FIBA hierarchy to get everyone on the same page with a 23-and-under tournament in time for Rio.
In fact, FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann said Saturday in London there are no plans to change the age limit for the Olympic basketball tournament any time soon. And the biggest American stars have been across-the-board against the idea.
Maybe they haven’t been fully debriefed. Maybe they haven’t yet received the memo about how much money the owners and commissioner David Stern believe a basketball World Cup could generate. Hint: The number begins with a “B,” as in “billion.”
Despite opposition to the concept floated this summer by Stern, league sources caution that the commissioner’s level of determination to make the World Cup the coup de grace of his commissionership should not be underestimated.
Click that link for more quotes and insider details.
• ESPN Insider’s Tom Haberstroh on Anthony’s performance in London:
What does it mean for the 2012-13 New York Knicks? Hard to say, but the Anthony we saw in the Olympic games might not look anything like the one that will play in Madison Square Garden come late fall. Anthony was a catch-and-shoot assassin in London, but that was largely a product of defenders collapsing on the likes of Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and James, which freed Anthony for the quick release on the perimeter.
Will he get those same looks in New York? It’s not likely with Amare Stoudemire’s slowly eroding skills and Raymond Felton’s slowly swelling frame. Ultimately, Anthony won’t be as open for New York as he was for Team USA, which will drag his shooting percentage down closer to more earthly levels. When he’s not given space to shoot, it’s a good bet you’ll see him go back to his patented drawn-out isolations from the wing.
Haberstroh has four other key takeaways from the Olympics. Read on.
• Congratulations, Rudy Fernandez, on this incredible flop. Gold medal!
• A new academic paper suggests that humans are seduced (to a fault) by potential rather than actual known achievements.
• Derek Bodner of the Sixers-themed blog Liberty Ballers with some smart thoughts on what comes next for the 76ers and Andrew Bynum.
• Photos and video of Team USA celebrating after the win over Spain. I especially like the procession of guys coming to show respect for Pau Gasol, who might have been the best player on the floor on Sunday.
• Argentina point guard (and soon-to-be Knick) Pablo Prigioni was unhappy with the officiating at the end of the bronze-medal game.
• Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register on when Dwight Howard might be fully recovered from April back surgery. (Hat tip: John Schuhmann of NBA.com.)