The Cleveland Cavaliers seem to have no plans to trade the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick, even as Brooklyn has exceeded expectations, thus dinging the value of the pick, according to Sean Deveney of SportingNews. The Cavaliers obtained this draft pick as part of the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston. Following from Sporting News:“They would be open to a deal by all indications,” one general manager told Sporting News. “But they’re not talking about that pick. That’s the Plan B for the LeBron stuff and from what I know, they don’t want to budge on it.”“The LeBron stuff” is, of course, the decision star forward LeBron James will make this summer, when he hits free agency. Cleveland will be central to two enormous decisions in the offseason, beginning with what James decides to do, but including whether the Cavs agree to pay guard Isaiah Thomas, currently rehabbing a hip injury, the max salary he will seek.As for the possibility of dealing the pick, one league executive raised the notion that the Cavaliers’ reticence is a smokescreen, hoping to drive up the value of the pick by declaring it untouchable and betting that, eventually, the Nets will slide back in the standings and the pick will land in the top five. But the trade deadline is just six weeks away.“The only way they trade that would be a transformational player, someone who can help them win a championship,” one executive said. “I don’t think there is necessarily a player like that out there, at least not what’s been talked about so far. But you’re not going to deal away your chance at a top player in this draft for the right to lose to the Warriors again.”Source:
The Los Angeles Lakers now have in Brandon Ingram a promising player who seems to have finally found his rhythm in the NBA. After a decent rookie season, the former No. 2 overall draft pick has been doing a good job so far this season as he's averaging 16.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. The former Duke forward talked to HoopsHype's Alex Kennedy about several topics, including the relationship he has built with his coach Luke Walton and his new teammate Lonzo Ball. "Chemistry-wise, we’re really good," Ingram said on his relationship with Luke Walton. "Everybody gets along. Me and Coach Walton have a really good relationship. I can always go to him, even to talk about things that I don’t like. We’ve developed a relationship where we can always talk about the different things that we’re seeing on the floor. We discuss how we can get better [as a team] and how I can get better individually. "Our chemistry has been really good and I think it’s going to keep getting better as we figure out each other’s game," Ingram said on his relationship with Lonzo Ball. "Sometimes, we have plays where I just tell him where I want to be on the floor and he’ll get me the ball just like that. Our chemistry off the floor is really good too. He’s going to be a really good player." When asked about the players he studies and tries to learn from, Ingram mentioned Giannis Antetokounmpo's ability to go to the rim, Kevin Durant's pull-up jumper, and Shaun Livingston's post work and ability to shoot over guys. "My goal is just to get better every single night. I think if you set goals to be the best in the present time, then the future will handle itself. I think, as a team, it’s the same way. We just need to get better every single night – knowing that this is a process, but trying to be impatient with it. Go in every single day, be the best that you can be and live with the results." Source:
For the first time in his career, Lonzo Ball played against his “idol” LeBron James who finished with a triple double in Cavaliers’ win against Lakers. The two had also a chat at the end of the game but they did not reveal the topic of the talks. Per ESPN, "Watching him doesn't do him justice," Ball said after his 13-point, 11-assist, 8-rebound night. "It's very hard to stop him with that size, that speed. That's why I say he's the best player in the world right now, and it's hard to deal with. Source:
Tim Hardaway jr of the Knicks doesn’t know yet when he will return to action. The guard is out since two weeks but he is expected to remain sidelined at least till Christmas. Per NY Post, Knicks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. indicated his absence will last past the Christmas season. “This is serious,” Hardaway Jr. said. “I’m going to take everything slow. This is a serious injury.” Hardaway declined to say whether it was a stress fracture. “I’m not going to rush it,” Hardaway said. “I’m going to wait until I’m 100 percent mentally ready to go. If it was the playoffs, I’d be out there right now. But you got to be smart and do what’s best for you. I trust the team. They’re playing hard, playing smart.” Source:
The greatest shooter in the world, Steph Curry, and a 2-time NBA MVP is looking set to bag another MVP trophy this season. Steph Curry is an amazing shooter, currently leading as the fastest NBA player to reach a total of 2,000 3-points made in history. Apart from that, Steph is the engine that runs the Warriors’ squad and Steve Kerr seems to agree with all that. Steph Curry has yet again placed himself as the favorite candidate to win the MVP trophy this year. Having been crowned as the only unanimous MVP in the NBA in the 2015/2016 season, he is still making great plays for his teammates. Some of the reasons that suggest Steph will be 2018 NBA MVP include: Steve Kerr seems to agree The Warriors’ head coach was quoted saying that Steph Curry is the best and greatest offensive player to have ever set his foot in an NBA court.
Whenever Steph is in the line-up, the whole team gets into the mood of the game and move with the right attitude of winning. When Durant was signed by the Warriors, Steph Curry was able to step aside to allow his transition into the team. By the time they made it to the playoffs, Curry and Durant had the best chemistry which lead to an NBA championship. Play no deposit slots UK in the best casinos with no download required. Select from the top reviewed online casinos to play a wide range of slots. Steph proved to be the best offensive player during the preseason Curry was all business in the 2017 preseason games. He dropped 40 points against the Wolves in Shanghai and scored 18 points in just 19 minutes of the first half against the Sacramento Kings. This shows how much work Curry has put between the time after the 2016 playoffs and the start of the preseason. Last year, he was suffering and recovering from an injury and during the regular season, Steph had to lay low for Durant. This season, Steph is all in and thus at a better place to win the 2018 NBA MVP. Steph Curry’s last season’s playoff was impressive The 2016 NBA playoff was a highlight-reel for Steph Curry. He was able to put up huge numbers that he has never done before. Steph recorded an average of 28.1 points, 6.7 assists, 6.2 rebound and 2 steals. It with such stats that makes Curry a credible MVP candidate come 2018. Even Steve Kerr admitted that the world is yet to see the best of Steph Curry. Go to vogueplay.com/uk/ and find top casinos that offer amazing bonuses and popular games. Play in casinos that offer top software brands and great customer service. Steph Curry Curry may be favored to win this season among the voters Many star players in the NBA moved from one team to the next. This season, the Warriors have not signed a star player in their squad which could play well for Steph Curry for MVP, in terms of being favored by the voters. This is because, in the past, the voters seemed to be biased against star players who move to a super team.
Jahlil Okafor has yet to appear with the Nets but he is trying to work hard to be ready for the moment he will call on the court. Per Brooklyn Nets, It's been a year since he's had consistent playing time, but appreciates the patient approach the Nets staff is taking towards getting him acclimated with the team. The former No. 3 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft explained that it’s on him to show that he’s ready to contribute. “Just preparing as hard as I can, working as hard as I can, so I know when my time comes, I’ve prepared in every way,” Okafor explained on Wednesday after practice. “It’s kind of a mental thing, you feel good about yourself. You feel good about the work you put in. Hopefully, that translates to the floor.” For Okafor, the feeling is mutual. “I feel like I got drafted all over again,” he said. “They’re really invested in me. That just makes me feel wanted, it makes me feel a part of this team.” Source:
Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis left the game against the Nets in the third quarter with a knee soreness. Per ESPN, Porzingis says he doesn't believe the knee injury is serious but added that he wouldn't know anything definitive until undergoing further testing Friday. "I felt my knee buckle a little bit and I felt a little pain there. So it's more about being cautious," Porzingis said. "I had a little shock pain there and that's it. I honestly don't have any information about what's going on there, but hopefully it's not too serious." Porzingis initially twisted his left knee in the first half when he received the ball in the post. He played through some discomfort later in the half but said he felt instability in the knee in the third quarter, so he removed himself from the game. "I just ran up and down a few times and I felt it wasn't right," he said. "... I felt that I don't have the strength that I want to have. It just didn't feel right." Source:
Dirk Nowitzki will play next season too. The German forward of the Mavericks feels great and intends to play also in 2018-2019. Per Dallas News, “I’m not going to say 100 percent I’ll be back -- but it’s looking like it,” Nowitzki said after the Mavericks had a morning walk-through at the Olympic Club in downtown San Francisco. “I feel fine so far. I’ve played every game. I’d love to play all 82. That would be amazing at [age] 39. We’ll see how the body feels. But so far, it’s been fine.” Source:
Milwaukee Bucks forward Mirza Teletovic will be sidelined as a result of pulmonary emboli in both lungs. Teletovic’s condition was discovered when consulting with Bucks team physicians after he experienced unusual fatigue earlier this week. Following a 10-day rest period, Teletovic will begin his supervised rehabilitation program and updates on his condition will be provided when appropriate. Teletovic, 32, has missed the last 16 games, including 10 after successful arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee on Nov. 21. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York under the supervision of Bucks team physician Dr. William Raasch. In 10 games this season, Teletovic is averaging 7.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 15.9 minutes per game while shooting 46.7 percent from 3-point range. Source:
According to FanRag Sports, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Shabazz Muhammad believed a strong year plus a crazy flow of free-agency money would lead to him commanding as much as $20 million per season in his next deal. But severely misreading the market led to Muhammad deciding between trying to join the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year deal or coming back to the Wolves. He decided to return to Minnesota on a one-year, $1.58 million contract with player option for Year 2. Source:
The Santa Cruz Warriors have waived guard Raven Lee, the team announced. The rookie out of Eastern Michigan played five games for the Warriors, averaging 2.4 points in 8.3 minutes. Source:
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has declined to speak to the media before the game versus the Los Angeles Lakers, which will tip off tonight at 8.00 pm ET. Why? "Draw your own conclusions," a Cavs' spokesman told Cleveland.com. But with all the recent rumors on him possibly joining the Lakers next summer, it sounds like LeBron declined to speak to the reporters because he doesn't want to comment on any possible questions about those rumors. Source:
The MRI on right shoulder of Houston Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute revealed no significant issues, and there's optimism that he could return within two-to-three weeks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Source:
NEW YORK – NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon will tip off with an early voting period exclusively on the NBA App and NBA.com beginning Thursday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. ET. Voting via all other channels, including Amazon Alexa for the first time, will launch on Monday, Dec. 25 at 11 a.m. ET before five Christmas Day matchups across ESPN, ABC and TNT. Additionally, new for this season, five “2-for-1 Days” will allow fans to have their votes count twice on Dec. 31, Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 12 and Jan. 15 when voting through the NBA App and NBA.com, along with Sina Weibo and Tencent in China. All “2-for-1 Days” will be designated 12 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. ET. TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 18 during TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by Autotrader at 6 p.m. ET, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith. The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET. The team rosters for NBA All-Star Game 2018 in Los Angeles will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET. The 67th All-Star Game will be played at Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on TNT. Source:
The Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Miami Heat's NBA G League affiliate team claimed NBA veteran Alonzo Gee off waivers, as reported by Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days. Gee, a 30-year-old with 8-year pro experience, last played in the NBA in January, 2017 with the Denver Nuggets. Source:
Former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant talked to LakersNation about several topics, including the way the media behave with LaVar Ball. "I don’t miss the unfortunate behavior that a lot of media outlets have to participate in, which is like the down in the weeds type of questions in journalism, like dealing with stuff that seems to be big news topics that people want to hear about, be it LaVar (Ball), be it all this sort of other stuff. I don’t miss that portion of it, you know what I’m saying? Like this person said this, and this person said that, and therefore we can create this issue, and then make it something that people will now read… I don’t miss that part of it." Source:
The NBA G League announced a partnership to stream games on Twitch, the world’s leading social video service and community for gamers with 15 million daily active users, beginning Dec. 15. During the 2017-18 regular season, basketball fans can expect up to six NBA G League games to stream live on Twitch each week at twitch.tv/nbagleague. After each live broadcast, these games will be available on demand. The partnership will feature several technological innovations, like the “co-stream” — which would allow them to, among other things, show the feed of the game while talking about it, much like a regular play-by-play of a game. Others watching the stream can then comment on the broadcast as it is going on. Fans will also be allowed to access stats for players or teams from both the game and the entire G League season. Source:
NBA G League
UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois and Director of Athletics Judy Rose, today, announced that third-year head men's basketball coach Mark Price has been released from his contract, effective immediately. "Mark and (his wife) Laura have dedicated time and energy to strengthen our men's basketball program," Dubois said. "It's always difficult to part ways with such very fine people." "We appreciate all that coach Price has done for our program," said Rose. "His background and knowledge were assets to our young players and we appreciate him sharing his talents with our team. This was a difficult decision, especially as we make plans to open conference play, but we do feel it is in the best interest of our basketball program." Charlotte assistant coach Houston Fancher, who has 12 years of head coaching experience, will serve as interim head coach. In his two-plus seasons with the 49ers, Price has a 30-42 record, including a 16-20 mark in Conference USA play. Price joined the 49ers in 2015-16 and compiled a 14-19 record that included a 9-9 mark in league play. Last year, Charlotte went 13-17 with a 7-11 league record. This year, Charlotte is 3-6 and has not started league play. Source:
Clint Capela thinks the Rockets can beat the Warriors this season. Per Bleacher Report: When I ask Doc what the Clippers, home to so many ex-Rockets thanks to the Paul trade, can do when they face Houston at the Toyota Center in 11 days, he says flatly: “No one’s slowed them down yet. I don’t know if anyone will.” But is a new-look Capela enough to help Harden and Paul topple the Warriors? “We have to keep the advantage on them, by leading the Western Conference,” Capela says. “It’s going to be key for us to have home-court advantage in the playoffs. To go over there [to Oakland] is obviously hard. That advantage is going to be key for us.” Yeah, but will you beat them? “I expect to beat them,” Capela says. If their confidence stays this high, Capela may not be the only voice in Houston who believes that. Source:
Joel Embiid confirmed his social media leadership last night when Karl-Anthony Towns tried to fight him on an Instagram post. Towns was complaining that the caption used by Embiid on his post was as trash as the quality of the picture. But Embiid had the last word, saying that the quality of the picture was still better than Towns defense. OUCH!
Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics, who has suffered a season ending injury after five minutes of his first game with Boston jersey, is out of the walking boot. Hayward is still unlikely to return this season.
The Phoenix Suns are planning to sign Isaiah Canaan. The point guard comes from Northern Arizona Suns where he scored 18 points in the only game played.
Sources: The Suns plan to sign guard Isaiah Canaan of G League's Northern Arizona under injury hardship exception, with Devin Booker among four players sidelined two weeks or more.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 13, 2017
Marc Gasol told Zach Lowe of ESPN that he will never ask Grizzlies to be traded. Gasol is due $24.1 million due in 18-19 and $25.6 million on a player option in 19-20. Per ESPN (via RealGM), "I have a responsibility to this city," Gasol said. "I'm not gonna quit, no matter what." Gasol was asked whether that would stay the same if the Grizzlies fell 30 games under .500. "I would want to see how we got there -- what the process is," Gasol said. "But as long as [owner] Robert [Pera] wants me here, my teammates want me here, they think I'm part of the solution -- and not part of the problem -- that's all I need." If the Grizzlies approach him with a trade, however, Gasol would accept it. "If they think it is best, I would do anything for this franchise," Gasol said. Source:
Seth Curry of the Mavericks has yet to play this season. And he doesn’t look he is close to returning to action. Per Dallas News, there is no timetable. He suffered a stress reaction in his left leg in the preseason and now has missed more than two months. And he's not sure how much longer he's looking at. "Not really," Curry said before Tuesday's game. "It's the same thing. I'm just trying to wait it out and see if it's going to heal or not. I've just got to give it some time. It's like a couple week by couple week situation. It's a tricky situation." And if it doesn't heal? "There's a chance, yeah," he said of the possibility of surgery at some point. "The path I'm on right now, the MRI shows it's gotten a little better. But there's a chance (he could need a procedure). It's a tricky situation and hard for me to say. It's very frustrating. Recovery-wise, I get out there and work out and feel OK, and it'll bother me the next day." Source:
Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy was not happy at all after the loss to the Nuggets 103-84.
#Pistons SVG ????????????????: "We didn’t do anything tonight -- we didn’t compete, we didn’t play well and we didn’t bring any energy to the game. That’s on me as a coach."I’ve got to find the answers. I’m not running from the responsibility -- this is on me. I.. pic.twitter.com/TqQkdejCXW
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) 13 dicembre 2017
LeBron James tied his career high in assists in Cavaliers win to the Hawks: 17. James' 17 assists accounted for 42 points for the Cavs on Tuesday, with eight of his passes leading to 3s. Per ESPN, James tied a career high with 17 assists and the Cavs hit a season-high 20 3-pointers while setting a new franchise record by hitting 10 3s or more for the 17th straight game. "They put in the work first of all," James said of his teammates who combined to go 18-for-35 from 3 (he went 2-for-3 himself). "Individuals who make the shots on the 17 assists that I had, they put in the work. My job is when I have two on the ball or I see a guy running or I see a guy open, just try to put it in his pocket. I know how my teammates like the ball. I know if my teammates, each individual, if they like laces or no laces or laces out or whatever the case may be. I just try to make them comfortable for when they catch the ball all they've got to do is let it go either from the paint, from the perimeter and we live with the results." Source:
The Spurs lost to the Mavericks but coach Gregg Popovich was happy for Kawhi Leonard’s season debut. Leonard scored 13 points in 16 minutes in loss. Per ESPN, "I thought he was wonderful," Popovich said. "He's trying to get some rust off and that kind of thing. Obviously, he's confident. He's a heck of a player, and it was really frustrating for him to just start getting loose and have to come off the court." Source:
The Los Angeles Lakers had a private meeting with LaVar Ball, as reported by ESPN. LaVar has coach Luke Walton this season more than one time and the Lakers asked him to tone down his criticism to help create a more positive atmosphere around his son. Per ESPN, “LaVar Ball confirmed the meeting took place, telling ESPN, "It was the best thing, man. Everybody's going to try to make it an ego thing, like I'm trying to tell them what to do or they're trying to tell me to tone it down. It's not about that. It's about coming together and to get a solution to this problem. "It may sound crazy to other people, but I really just want the best for Lonzo, and the best for Lonzo is going to be what's best for the organization. Because if everybody winning, we good." "I'm going to say whatever I want to say, however I want to say it," Ball said. "And they said, 'LaVar, come and talk to us first.' So that's fine too. "But I am going to say, to plant a seed, 'Let's look for this now.' They may not want to hear that, but it's going to be successful if you listen to what I'm saying on that fact that I know what it takes for my son to run like this." Source:
The Northern Arizona Suns announced Tuesday that they have acquired Derrick Jones Jr. as a returning player. Jones is back with the NAZ Suns where he played 30 total games over the last two seasons on assignment from their NBA affiliate, the Phoenix Suns. The Suns waived Jones on Dec. 7. Jones is expected to be available for tonight’s game against the Santa Cruz Warriors. In a related move, Northern Arizona has waived forward Tidjan Keita. The Suns’ roster is at 13 players. Jones became a free agent after going unclaimed by an NBA team through the 48-hour waiver period. He then signed into the NBA G League, and because he had played at least 10 games on assignment with the NAZ Suns, they had the first right of refusal in bringing him back. Jones had been assigned to the Northern Arizona Suns five times this season, averaging 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 11 games (seven starts) this year for NAZ. In his NAZ Suns career, the 20-year-old has averaged 14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 30.4 minutes per game across 30 contests (24 starts). He was assigned to the NAZ Suns 11 times during his stint with Phoenix. Keita did not make an appearance in a game for Northern Arizona due to a right foot injury. Source:
Northern Arizona Suns
Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Cedi Osman talked to Basketball Insiders about his transition from European basketball to the NBA. "It’s different rules and stuff and a different type of basketball," Osman said. "In international, it’s like more slow, but here it’s like always up and down, a lot of fast breaks. Actually that’s the kind of basketball that I like. When I was playing overseas, I was also running a lot, up and down. I was that guy who was bringing the energy, so it was not hard for me to adjust to this basketball." The Turkish swingman said the coaching staff helped him improve and adjust to the NBA. "There’s a couple defensive plays that’ll be different. There’s also defensive three seconds. That was a bit of adjusting for me because in Europe you can always stay in the paint no matter what. There’s no defensive three seconds. Here it’s different, so it was a little bit hard for me to adjust in the beginning, but now I don’t have any problems and coaches are really helping me a lot." Source:
The Agua Caliente Clippers claimed Isaiah Canaan off waivers and immediately traded him to the Northern Arizona Suns in exchange for a 2018 G League first-round pick. In a related move, the Suns waived forward Malik Dime. Canaan, a four-year NBA veteran guard, was waived by the Houston Rockets October 24 after one regular-season game. Canaan is expected to be available for tonight’s game against the Santa Cruz Warriors. Source:
Northern Arizona Suns, Agua Caliente Clippers
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said he thinks that being a star will make him hated by fans at some point of his career. "People love you at the beginning," Embiid explained to ESPN. "But at some point they're gonna start hating you. LeBron. Russell Westbrook. All the superstars. Even Steph. He's so likable. He does nothing wrong, but some people still hate him. It just comes with the nature of it. I've seen it. I feel like I'm about to go through it. I think it's coming. People always want something new." Source:
Washington Wizards star John Wall is expected to make his return this Wednesday at home versus the Memphis Grizzlies, per David Aldridge of NBA.com. Wall has been out for the last three weeks with a knee injury. Source:
San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard is set to make his season debut tonight vs. Mavericks. Leonard is out since Game 1 of the playoff series against the Warriors of last season. Leonard missed the first part of the year with a quadriceps thendinopaty. Source:
The Thunder are one of the most disappointing teams this season. The Thunder are under the .500 record and last night lost against the Hornets. Per ESPN, "For the talent that we have, obviously this is not where we want to be," Thunder forward Paul George said. "But we're going to remain optimistic, though, about the future and what we can do. Once we can find a way to really do it night in and night out, it's no panic mode, but we have to start playing better. It's getting to a point where we can't allow ourselves to be at this point. We can say we're going to figure it out, we can say all that. But at some point it's gotta stop." Source:
Danilo Gallinari is injured again. The Italian forward of the Clippers miss last night’s game with another glute injury. Il Gallo already missed 13 games with a left glute strain. But after two games on the court, he went down again. Per ESPN, Power forward Danilo Gallinari, who missed 13 games with a glute injury and returned to action this past Wednesday, will miss Monday night's game against the Toronto Raptors due to what coach Doc Rivers says is a new glute injury suffered in Gallinari's second game back Saturday against the Washington Wizards. "He's out for probably a good couple of games," said Rivers. “I guess he took a pretty hard fall in the fourth quarter," Rivers added of Gallinari. "I honestly never saw it, then I got a call after the game about it, and then you go and look, and it was a pretty good fall." Source:
Cody Zeller of the Hornets will undergo knee surgery. The player is expected to miss six weeks of action.
Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee on Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN. He's expected to miss six weeks.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 11, 2017
Matt Barnes announced his retirement on Instagram.
The forward is 37 and won the NBA title last June with the Warriors. Barnes has played 929 games in the NBA averaging 8.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists per contest.
The Lakers will have space to sign two max contract during next free agency. But they might save money for the 2019 free agent class. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Chris Paul and DeMarcus Cousins headline the 2018 class, while Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard are in the 2019 class. Per Lakers Nation, “I feel really good about it. Now, we have cap space for probably two max guys, but that’s not to say we’ll use both of them. We want to if we can, but we have a Plan A and we have Plan B. Say we only get one of those guys, then we’ll make a decision on not to use the cap space. We can do that and save it for the class that’s coming the next year. We’re not going to give money away just because we have the cap space. I’m not about that. If the guy can’t really take our team to another level, and we see what Kyrie Irving has done for the Boston Celtics. Put him with that young talent the Celtics have, and they’ve taken off. We feel the same thing can happen for the Lakers. If we get the right free agent, that guy can take our young talent to a whole ‘nother level.” Source:
Crutches did not stop Enes Kanter from playing against the Hawks. Per NY Post, Enes Kanter showed up for the Knicks game with the Hawks on Sunday on crutches. So naturally, he started. “If you’re going to make the playoffs, you’re going to make some sacrifices,” said Kanter, who was feeling the effects of getting kneed in the hip Saturday in Chicago — an injury that left him on crutches for two days. “I was in pain but [the doctors] just literally said, ‘Hey, if you want to play, we’re not going to say don’t play.’ ￼ ￼ “They just say, ‘OK, it’s your decision.’ ” Source:
Lonzo Ball gave an advice to Lonzo Ball and other Lakers youngsters as Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle.
Per USA Today (via Spectrum SportsNet’s “Connected With”): “He needs to get better now,” Bryant said, before adding that fellow youngsters like Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle must have the same mentality if the Purple and Gold are going to improve. “We never thought, ‘Okay we’re gonna win four years from now,’” Kobe explained. “We really thought, ‘This is our year. We’re gonna get this done. We’re gonna push, push, push, push, push, get better now.’ And in the process of having that kind of impatience, you develop. If you’re just patiently going about it, you’ll never get there. For players, it’s a kind of patient impatience.” Bryant went so far as to compare this year’s Lakers, with all their unproven young talent, to his rookie squad, when he, Shaquille O’Neal, Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones were expected to contend for a title, despite having “never won anything.” “This team here is not a contending team. They haven’t won anything,” he said. “It’s the same damn thing. So patience has to be required. That day will come. These young players will grow, and then everybody will look up and marvel at the amount of talent that we have.”Source:
Victor Oladipo is the favorite for the Most Improved Player of the Yea Award. At least for now. The guard led the Pacers to an overtime win against the Nuggets and finished with his career high 47 points. Oladipo added 7 rebounds and 6 assists and show with 15 for 28 from the field, 6 for 12 from three and 11 for 13 from the line.
LaVar Ball attacked once again Lakers head coach Luke Walton. Per Clutchpoints, had an appearance on Tai Lopez’s YouTube channel, where he made yet another set of stingy commentaries on Lakers head coach Luke Walton.
“Here’s what everybody is saying: The kids are young. OK, I want the young kids. You give me a bunch of young pros, and my record would be better than this on the fact that I’m 50-something years old and I know the game. But if you got a guy who’s 38, maybe he’s not experienced enough. Maybe stop talking about the players are so young, and maybe it’s the coaching experience that’s young. Yeah, nobody wants to say that but I say it because I’m 50 years old and I know the game. You give me those guys and I guarantee you they’ll be in a much better position than this, because you’re not playing the guys or you’re not getting the best out of a lot of people.” Source:
Jeff Hornacek was not happy for the Knicks' loss to the Bulls last night. Per NY Post, The Knicks fell behind by 13 points in the first quarter — and that’s all Hornacek cared about. “First of all, that’s worthless,” Hornacek said of the late rally. “The game was lost way in the beginning. That team had travel issues. We come out at the start not ready to play and let them get out to a big lead. There’s no excuse for that. We talked about that — to hit them hard at the beginning of the game. Instead, we were floating out there.” Source:
As reported by ESPN, Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington was helped off the court by two teammates after he crashed into the stands alongside the Cleveland Cavaliers' bench with 1:08 remaining in the fourth quarter Saturday night. Covington was diving to save a loose ball. Sixers coach Brett Brown did not provide an update on Covington's injury. Asked if Covington would play Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans, Brown said, "I can't assume anything, but it would seem like he's a no-go." Source:
According to Sam Amick of USA Today, there is strong belief that the Houston Rockets will have a legitimate shot at landing four-time MVP LeBron James when he'll become an unrestricted free agent this summer. However, the Rockets would have to think very carefully about how they could find a way to offer James a convincing contract and at the same time keep Chris Paul, who'll be a free agent as well. Following from USA Today: "As for how Houston could find a way to give max salary contracts starting at $35 million annually to both James (who has a player option worth $35.3 million for next season) and Paul (who will be a free agent) without the necessary cap space, Morey would indeed have to become a salary cap gymnast. The NBA salary cap is expected to be $101 million next season, and the Rockets are, well, capped out. But Morey is one of the league’s renowned risk takers, the kind of relentless executive who might already have hypothetical trades lined up for players like Ryan Anderson and others who would have to go for the Rockets to be able to sign one of the greatest players of all time in James. It’s also seen as possible that, like Kevin Durant did last summer with the Warriors, Paul could take less money to make James’ salary fit."Source:
The Los Angeles Lakers got their second consecutive win as they defeated the Charlotte Hornets 110-99 at the Spectrum Center. Rookie Kyle Kuzma talked about his team's offensive gameplan and said they used Dwight Howard as one of the Hornets' defensive weaknesses. “We ran the same play every single time,” Kuzma said. “Dwight is not really a great pick and roll defender, so we tried to attack that weakness of their defense and it went well for us.” Kuzma finished the game with 12 points and 14 rebounds and shot 6 out of 11 from the field coming off the bench. Source:
Los Angeles Times
UPDATE 10:48 PM - NBA G League President Malcolm Turner has confirmed in a press conference that the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend will include a game between the Mexican NT and a squad of NBA G League All-Stars. The NBA plans to add a new event to the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend's program: there will be a game between the Mexican NT and a squad of NBA G League All-Stars on February 18th in Los Angeles.
Hearing that the NBA has another international treat in store for All-Star Weekend: A squad of @nbagleague All-Stars playing host to the Mexican national team
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) 9 dicembre 2017
The NBA G League's All-Star squad will be coached by Jeff Van Gundy and will represent the United States in February's FIBA World Cup qualifiers window.
I’m told Jeff Van Gundy will coach the squad of @nbagleague All-Stars on Feb. 18 against Mexico’s NT in Los Angeles. That team will then represent @usabasketball in its two late February @FIBAWC qualifiers
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) 9 dicembre 2017
New York Knicks General Manager Scott Perry said he doesn't plan on buying out Joakim Noah, feeling that the French center is playing an important role as a veteran for the team. “I like having same veteran people around to help a young team,” Perry said in a wide-ranging interview Satuday at United Center when asked directly about Noah. “His veteran experience is very helpful to have in the locker room." Source:
New York Post
The Philadelphia 76ers will play without T.J. McConnell, Joel Embiid and most likely Dario Saric tonight versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. T.J. McConnell is out with a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder. Joel Embiid is not with the team in Ohio due to not being cleared to play on back-to-back nights. The center will, however, play in Sunday’s game against the Pelicans in New Orleans. Dario Saric is listed as 'questionable' with left eye laceration and a right eye corneal abrasion. Source:
The Philadelphia 76ers announced that rookie Markelle Fultz will have his readiness to play in approximately three weeks. Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, is out with a shoulder injury.
Dion Waiters said that he doesn’t like coming off the bench. He is a starter in the NBA. Per Palm Beach Post, Although the Heat haven’t indicated they want Dion Waiters coming off the bench, the idea has been raised by fans since he came to Miami more than a year ago.
But Waiters has a message for those who think the team would be better off if he were on the bench at the start of the game: “I’m a starter in this league, man, that’s who I am. We’re going to nip that in the bud right now. I’m not coming off no bench.”
Waiters, 25, has played both roles in his career, starting 110-of-289 games with Cleveland and Oklahoma City before coming to Miami. But Waiters admitted he is not comfortable as a reserve.
“I never liked the role,” he said before the Heat’s practice Friday in Mexico City. “I just had to accept it.” Source:
Palm Beach Post
Manu Ginobili hit the game winner against the Celtics. And after the game he commented his shot.
Manu on his game-winner: “I just saw the replay and Horford contested great. I just gave it a little more air, shot it higher and it went in. I got a little lucky because it’s not my usual shot. I had to shoot it higher.”
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) 9 dicembre 2017
Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced the team hired Greg Buckner as an assistant coach on Grizzlies interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff’s staff. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.
Buckner joins the Grizzlies with five years of coaching experience (2011-16) with the Houston Rockets, where he served alongside Bickerstaff for two seasons as an assistant coach (2014-16) following three seasons as a player development coach (2011-14).
Selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round (53rd overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft, Buckner appeared in 570 career games (117 starts) and averaged 5.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists with the Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies. Regarded as an outstanding defensive player, Buckner helped his teams reach the postseason in six of his 10 NBA seasons. His playing career also included a stint with the Grand Rapids Hoops (1998-99) of the Continental Basketball Association.
As a collegian at Clemson University, Buckner became the first Tiger to ever lead his team in scoring in four straight years (1994-98) and guided the program to three NCAA Tournament bids. The Hopkinsville, Kentucky native started all 122 games of his career without missing a single contest, setting the school record for consecutive starts. Inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005, Buckner remains the lone Tiger to ever win the ACC Rookie of the Year Award (1994-95).
Fans who want to support the Memphis Grizzlies and purchase 2017/18 Season Tickets, can do so now by calling (901) 888-HOOP or going online to grizzlies.com. For more information on the Grizzlies, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow on Twitter (@memgrizz). Source:
DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant were ejected during the Warriors-Pelicans match at the Smoothie King Center on Monday after an altercation, but the Pelicans' center apparently wasn't done even after the ejection. As reported by Scott Cacciola, Cousins was storming down the hallway looking for Durant, who was making his way off the court after his ejection and toward the locker room. Security officers quickly diverted Durant to a small corridor as several others slowed Cousins's progress.
Apparently after Demarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant were ejected after barking at each other during the GSW/NOP game Boogie stormed down the hallway near the locker rooms in search of KD and had to be restrained. h/t: @ScottCacciolapic.twitter.com/sQz9297HC2
— Warriors Talk (@JaeAzizi) 8 dicembre 2017
San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is now targeting his return on Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Michael C. Wright. He has yet to play this season with a quad injury. Source:
Adrian Wojnarowski, Michael C. Wright
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Derrick Rose said that the reported $80 million remaining on his Adidas contract, which he was in jeopardy of losing should he have decided to walk away from the NBA for good, was not his motivating factor in his return. "Man, I don't care about -- not to be rude -- I don't care about no f---ing money," Rose said. "It's not about that. I've saved up enough money. It's not about that. If I wanted to leave, I would have left. Like I said, coming back here, starting with rehab, that's my first step. Keeping it simple and just giving my team support and then I'll see what I see off the court." Source:
The Phoenix Suns have signed forward Danuel House. House, a 6-7, 220-pound wing, has averaged 17.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 15 games with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League this season. The versatile swingman scored a season-high 33 points against the Texas Legends on Nov. 29, and recorded 29 points, 16 rebounds and five assists at the Reno Bighorns on Nov. 25. He is the third Gatorade call-up in the NBA this season. In 2016-17, House spent the majority of the season with the Washington Wizards, making his NBA debut and lone appearance of the season vs. Cleveland on Nov. 11. House averaged 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists in seven games while on G League assignment with the Delaware 87ers last season. The 24-year-old went undrafted in 2016 following a four-year career that began at the University of Houston and concluded as an AP Honorable Mention All-American at Texas A&M University. House averaged 14.1 points for his four-year career, with a career-best 15.6 points per game as a senior at Texas A&M in 2015-16. On March 20, 2016, House scored 22 points in the final 5:14 of regulation and two overtimes to lead the Aggies to the biggest last-minute comeback in NCAA Division I history, erasing a 12-point deficit with 44 seconds remaining to beat the University of Northern Iowa in the second round of the NCAA tournament. A native of Houston, House was a standout prep player at Hightower High School in Missouri City, Texas prior to his collegiate career. The Suns’ roster now stands at 17 players. Source:
The Atlanta Hawks plan to sign undrafted rookie Tyler Cavanaugh to a full NBA contract, per Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cavanaugh is currently signed to a two-way contract, which allows him to spend a maximum of 45 days on the Hawks roster. Cavanaugh will reach that limit in about two weeks, at which point the Hawks plan to sign him to a full NBA contract. The Hawks have cleared a roster spot for Cavanaugh by waiving Nicolas Brussino. Source:
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that center Alexis Ajinca underwent successful surgery on his right patellar tendon yesterday in Chicago, IL. The typical timetable to return to play for this type of injury is 4-6 months. Source:
New Orleans Pelicans
Derrick Rose said that he may undergo ankle surgery. Rose, speaking with media for the first time since his return, acknowledged that he has a bone spur in his left ankle
Derrick Rose, speaking to the media for the first time since his return to the Cavs, revealed he has a bone spur in his left ankle and acknowledged that a procedure may be necessary if his rehab does not take.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 8, 2017
Evan Fournier of the Orlando Magic will miss at least the next two games, against Nuggets and Magic. Per Orlando Sentinel, an MRI has confirmed that Orlando Magic swingman Evan Fournier sprained his right ankle, a team official said. Although no one has disclosed the severity of the sprain, it seems likely the Magic will be without their second-leading scorer for the foreseeable future. Source:
76ers rookie Markelle Fultz is feeling way better, president Bryan Colangelo said. Per NBC Sports, “Surface level, I would say that he's progressing well,” Colangelo said Thursday night. “He continues to focus on the PT and strength and conditioning aspect of the return. The good news is the soreness is completely gone and the muscle imbalance is gone.” It's also about getting in basketball condition and reworking a lot of those mechanisms, muscular and otherwise. So it's encouraging to see what we've seen. There still is no timeline on his return. But we anticipate that the end is near and he is doing really well." Source:
During Lakers win in Philadelphia, LaVar Ball provoked 76ers fans waiving his arms and telling the fans of the home team to keep boing him from his box suite where he and his family sat. The 76ers fans booed Lonzo Ball for the entire game. Per ESPN, "Lonzo loves to be booed," said LaVar, who insists he was doing it to fire up his son. "The best wins is at somebody else's house," Ball said. "When you go into someone else's house and jump on their couch and leave, it feels good." After the game LaVar met with Joel Embiid who said about Lonzo’s father: “He’s definitely fun and full of energy”.
Markelle Fultz spent one week in Lexington receiving “physical therapy for soreness and scapular muscle imbalance with Dr. Ben Kibler, Medical Director of the Shoulder Center of Kentucky at the Lexington Clinic,” according to Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia. Per Yahoo Sports, It’s been nearly six weeks since the Sixers shut down the malfunctioning Fultz, and nearly two weeks since a medical update that said Fultz’s situation is improving, that he’d “begin progressing toward full basketball activities” and would be “re-evaluated in approximately two to three weeks.” Source:
John Wall is close to returning to action. The point guard of the Wizards could make his comeback next week. Per Washington Post, John Wall has progressed to participating in half-court shooting and running drills with team staffers, but will not return to the end of the West Coast portion of the Washington Wizards’ five-game road trip. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Wall, who received platelet-rich plasma and viscosupplementation injections in his left knee on Nov. 25, could make his return to the lineup by the middle of next week. Source:
Lakers' Lonzo Ball and 76ers' Ben Simmons had a great duel in Philadelphia in Los Angeles' win to the 76ers. Lonzo Ball finished with: 10 points 8 rebounds 8 assists 4 blocks 3 steals Ben Simmons ended with a triple double: 12 points 13 rebounds 15 assists
Hornets center Cody Zeller has suffered a torn medial meniscus in his left knee. The injury occurred with 49 seconds left in the third quarter of the Hornets game against Golden State on Dec. 6. Zeller will be listed as out indefinitely as he explores treatment options and updates on his status will be provided when available. Zeller has appeared in 19 games and is averaging 7.2 points and 5.5 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game. In 298 career games with Charlotte, he has averaged 8.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Source:
Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today that the team has acquired forward Trevor Booker from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for center Jahlil Okafor, guard Nik Stauskas and a 2019 second-round pick. “Trevor Booker has been a solid and competitive two-way contributor at every NBA stop. Trevor’s abilities should complement our style of play and his experience should add to our bench depth with playoff contention in mind,” said Colangelo. “Jahlil and Nik are both quality young men with talent that should keep them productive in this league a long time. We hope they find more opportunity in Brooklyn this season and thank them for their contributions over the past few years.” Booker, a 6-foot-10 forward, is in the midst of his eighth NBA season. He has appeared in 482 games (160 starts) with Brooklyn, Utah and Washington and holds career averages of 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in 21.0 minutes per game. His average of 10.1 points per game in 2017-18 represents a career-best. Since signing with Brooklyn in the 2016 offseason, Booker has played in 89 games (48 starts) and produced 10.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 24.1 minutes per contest. Before joining the Nets, he’d held career averages of 6.5 points and 5.2 rebounds through his first six NBA seasons. Booker was originally selected by Washington with the 23rd pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, following four standout seasons at Clemson. As a senior, he was named All-ACC First Team. Okafor appeared in 105 games (81 starts) with the Sixers and posted averages of 14.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 26.2 minutes per game while shooting .510 from the field. He was originally selected by Philadelphia with the third overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft and was named NBA All-Rookie First Team after his debut campaign. Okafor played one season at Duke before entering the NBA Draft. Stauskas was acquired by the 76ers on July 9, 2015 in a trade with Sacramento. In 159 games (62 starts) with Philadelphia, he averaged 8.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 25.4 minutes per game while shooting .347 from three-point range. For his career, Stauskas has appeared in 232 games (63 starts) with Philadelphia and Sacramento. The Canadian was originally selected by the Kings with the eighth overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft after two seasons at Michigan. The 2019 second-round pick was originally acquired on Oct. 27, 2014 in a trade with New York. Source: