Wakeup Call: Unhappy New Year for the Clippers

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Wakeup Call: Unhappy New Year for the Clippers

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, January 2:

AUTO RACING
R.I.P., Salt Walther. (AP)

BASEBALL
Winning the Cy Young Award was worth 10 million to David Price. (AP)

Miguel Tejada? Back in the majors? Really? (AP)

From the "Probably Never Going To Happen, But It Was Reported So We'll Pass It Along" file . . . (NBC's Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Tough times in Storrs. As the Big East collapses around them, UConn loses to Marquette. (AP)

If you're Iowa State, you really can't be happy that you had to rally to beat Yale. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
For the record, here are your winners in the Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Capital One Bowl and the Heart of Dallas (huh??) Bowl. (AP)

Northern Illinois shouldn't be too downcast over its 31-14 loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl. NIU took big strides in 2012, and the best may be yet to come. (CSN Chicago)

The state of Pennsylvania is bringing the NCAA to court over the stiff sanctions it slapped on Penn State over the Sandusky scandal. (AP)

GOLF
Is it already time for the golf season to start? (AP)

HOCKEY
Now they're trading "comprehensive" counterproposals. Better than nothing, which is what they've been doing for the last three weeks. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Come back quick, boys. Jordan Eberle's wasting his talents in the AHL. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Apropos of nothing (probably), many of the boys are coming back. (CSN Washington)

Alex Ovechkin and tennis' Maria Kirilenko are engaged. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
The Clippers, who didn't lose a game in the last five weeks of 2012, were probably sorry to see the old year depart. Because they sure didn't start the new year off very well. (AP)

For those of you scoring at home, this makes the Knicks 31-41 in games when Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are on the court together. Even though 'Melo scored 45 last night. (AP)

The Sixers beat the Lakers in L.A., which must have been sweet revenge for Andrew Bynum. Oh, wait . . . (CSN Philly)

Back in the 1960s, the AFL put the Houston Oilers in the Eastern Division. The present-day Rockets wish the NBA had that same skewed sense of geography. (CSN Houston)

PRO FOOTBALL
Well, that didn't take long. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Eagles, meanwhile, say they're going to take their time to find Andy Reid's replacement. (AP)

And one of the places they're looking is State College. (CSN Philly)

How "stupid" was the Bears' firing of Lovie Smith? Very, says Mike Ditka. (Pro Football Talk)

Yeah, well, if he'd made the playoffs once in a while, he'd probably still be on the job. (AP)

Jon Gruden was able to push a talented team over the top in Tampa Bay years ago. So, asks Jim Miller, why not Chicago? (CSN Chicago)

The Bills' search for a new coach is taking them to Arizona, a fertile ground for present and former Cardinals staff members. (AP)

No, no. Nick Saban says he's not leaving Alabama. Just like he wasn't leaving the Dolphins. Just like . . . (Pro Football Talk)

The Packers will have Charles Woodson back in the lineup when they host the Vikings Saturday night. (AP)

Forget the last four games. And the mixed metaphor. The Texans say they're "flipping the mentality" to get back to how they were playing when they were 11-1. (CSN Houston)

Here's five things they're going to need to change if they want that mentality to flip. (CSN Houston)

Chuck Pagano spent four years with the Ravens as secondary coach and defensive coordinator, and Bruce Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Steelers, who played Baltimore twice a year, from 2007-11. So do the Colts have an advantage in preparation for this weekend's game? Absolutely . . . and even Pagano admits it. (CSN Baltimore)

Um, 49ers? You think this guy's an upgrade? Can I show you a tape of last year's AFC Championship Game? (CSN Bay Area)

TENNIS
Maria Sharapova doesn't want to miss the Australian Open, so she and her injured collarbone withdraw from the Brisbane International. (AP)

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley

Zach Lowe’s most recent podcast is worth a listen, as it features plenty of talk about what the Celtics may or may not due ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. 

Lowe brought up the possibility of the Celtics top-1 or top-2-protecting Brooklyn’s first-round pick and including it in a deal for Butler. He surmises that the inclusion of the Brooklyn pick -- protected or not -- might not come until the final minutes. 

“Look, if Butler gets traded or if Paul George gets traded, that’s when it’s going to happen,” Marc Stein responded. “It’s going to happen in the last five to 10 minutes, so Boston has to make a decision, and let's see if they’re doing the math that they’ve had these assets for a while and it is time to do something bold and the time is now. Really, I think Boston will do it. The question is what will Chicago or Indiana do? And those are two hard reads.” 

Stein spoke to the Celtics’ lack of activity at certain points, but he said that if the C’s do fail to come away with a star player Thursday, it won’t be for lack of aggressiveness. 

MORE TRADE TALK

“I think the Celtics are taking criticism for waiting, and they’ve had all these assets they haven’t moved yet, but I think the record shows that Danny Ainge in general, in total, is very aggressive, not afraid to roll the dice, not afraid to make the aggressive move,” Stein said. “So I have less doubt about Boston saying, ‘Let’s just do it.’ I have far more questions about what Chicago and/or Indiana would do.” 

Lowe said that he imagines the Bulls would “think about” trading the C's Butler if Boston threw in the Nets’ pick unprotected, but added that Chicago would demand to also take two players out of Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. 

“I think that will be the offer and they’ll get there and Chicago will either have a moment where they say, ‘We walk away or we’ll do it.’ And Boston’s not going to throw in the other Nets pick,” Lowe said. “That’s just not going to happen.”

Rating the aforementioned foursome in terms of trade value, Lowe said that Crowder is the best piece because of his “ridiculously good” contract, followed by Brown, Smart and Bradley. 

Lowe added that he considers Bradley one of the “sneaky interesting pieces at this trade deadline” because his contract is up after next season, which is the same time that Isaiah Thomas’ contract expires. Lowe says that given the uncertainty of his future in Boston, he wouldn’t be overly surprised if Bradley is moved at the deadline. 

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, but would for George

Will the Celtics part with the right to Brooklyn’s 2017 first-round pick in order to get a star before Thursday’s trade deadline? 

MORE TRADE TALK

Citing a pair of NBA executives, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News wrote this week that Danny Ainge’s willingness to trade the pick should be in doubt.

Sola named Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Paul George as potential targets, adding that the C’s might include the latter.   

Wrote Isola: 

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers-free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

‘With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do,' said the executive. ‘He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

‘Everyone is talking about Butler to Boston but Danny and Larry Bird go way back. Paul George could be the sleeper.’

This season, the 26-year-old George is averaging 22.3 points 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game.