Wasn't the Detroit jump-shooting power forward over there, the one who looks conspicuously like Antonio McDyess, traded to Denver earlier this season?
And if Miami dealt Shaun Livingston to Memphis last week, then why is his agent saying Livingston might continue his knee rehabilitation in South Florida?
Then there is Portland telling other teams that they can't sign Darius Miles, even though Miles doesn't play for the Blazers, hasn't been under contract to them for over six months and has since signed with two other teams.
If you didn't know better, you'd think NBA commissioner Bernie Madoff was running some type of scam here.
Something just doesn’t smell right, a situation seemingly as foul as a Barkley Breathalyzer.
No, we're not talking about the on-court product, which has been pretty darn entertaining and competitive, as the season reaches its midpoint.
And we're not talking about the officiating, with Tim Donaghy's calls now limited to how to spend his 19 cents-an-hour. The officiating review process has gotten better, if not totally transparent.
No, we're talking about arcane salary-cap rules that create a money trail so fishy that the average fan can't help but wonder if they are mere pawns in the process.
Take last week's trades that sent Livingston from the Heat to the Grizzlies, and Hassan Adams from the Raptors to the Clippers.
Before the ink had dried on those transactions, Livingston was released from Memphis and Adams was cut by Los Angeles.
Huh? Didn't the Grizzlies and Clippers give up future second-round selections for those players, as it said in the news releases?
Uh, no. Those draft picks were so protected, the picks will never change hands.
Instead, for a token cash payment, the Grizzlies and Clippers agreed to take on the players temporarily in order to allow the Heat and Raptors to dip below the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax on excessive payrolls.
In the real world, that's known as money laundering.
In the NBA, that's known as creative cap management.
Fine. No rules or laws were broken. Owners Michael Heisley and Donald Sterling made a few bucks after being so cheap in the first place that they had the salary-cap space to add the fringe players.
Heisley and Sterling like money, apparently more, based on their teams' recent records, than they like winning.
Yet if you’re a fan sitting in Memphis, with a team still lacking sufficient talent to compete in the Western Conference, how does it make you feel to know that your team's last two trades — for Steve Francis and Livingston — were merely transacted so the team could restock its petty-cash envelope?
It's sort of similar to Denver acquiring McDyess in the Chauncey Billups-Allen Iverson deal earlier this season, only to immediately arrange a tax-saving buyout that allowed McDyess to return a month later to Detroit.
PBT: Between Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph versus that of Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter, the Spurs-Grizzlies Western Conference finals series promises to be a battle of the bigs. But don't forget about that point guard matchup.
PBT: Lance Stephenson led Indiana with 25 points in a win that eliminated his hometown team. Stephenson and the Pacers will face the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.
Free agent class of 2010
A look at the many superstars that will be hitting the free agent market.
Video: NBA from NBC Sports
Grizzlies ready for 'running' Spurs
DPS: Lionel Hollins tells us how he plans to play against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals.
Latest from ProBasketballTalk
Thunder GM says team won’t amnesty Kendrick Perkins5 hr 51 min ago
Get your NBA cheer on
Check out some of the dancers from the NBA.