Did LeBron James leak Kyrie Irving’s trade request? Irving thinks so, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
But the question is more than can a team win a championship with a ball-dominant point guard like Westbrook? It’s a question that Chris Paul hasn’t been able to overcome and other guards like Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis could not overcome either.
So when someone says George staying with the Thunder is contingent upon winning, it’s far more than about winning 50 games.
Thunder beat writer Royce Young said Thursday on The Jump the odds for George to return to the Thunder are ‘not great’ if the team doesn’t win.
People close to Paul George have told me over and over again he wants to win, Young said.
For starters, he wouldn’t be the No. 1 option in two of his four proposed destinations. Nobody is unseating two-way star Kawhi Leonard, third behind only Westbrook (30.70) and Durant (27.68) with a player efficiency rating of 27.62, in San Antonio. Minnesota is building around 21-year-old Karl-Anthony Towns and his 25.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.
Furthermore, we’ve already seen this movie, and the ending is horrible. Unlike Bryant, prior to parting ways with O’Neal, Irving has already been the alpha dog for a franchise. As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft, he was tapped to lead the Cavs after James infamously decided to take his talents to South Beach in 2010. In the three seasons preceding James’ return to Cleveland (with Irving starring as leading scorer each year), the Cavs went a combined 78-152 and landed the top pick in the draft twice.
Here’s footage of Irving asking former teammate Mike Miller if a regular-season game against the Bulls in 2014 felt like a playoff game. (The game was played on Oct. 31, only the second game of the regular season.)
If someone wants Kyrie Irving in a trade this offseason, they’re likely going to have to give up the equivalent of what the Knicks gave up for Carmelo Anthony.
According to ESPN , the Cavaliers have received as many as 20 offers from teams interested in trading for the All-Star, but what the Cavs are asking for in return is far more than what teams are willing to give up.
The Cavaliers want a package that resembles the 2011 Denver Nuggets-New York Knicks deal for Carmelo Anthony — young players, win-now veterans and draft picks, league sources said. For new general manager Koby Altman, this is a textbook way to open trade discussions. But for now, most Irving suitors are using the Minnesota Timberwolves-Chicago Bulls trade model for Jimmy Butler, a scaled-down model of Melo’s rich return of assets.
Over his career, Beasley has averaged 12.6 points per game and 4.7 rebounds. He appeared in 81 games as a rookie for the Heat, scoring 13.9 points per game. That increased to 14.8 ppg the following year and an average of 19.2 over the 2010-11 season.
But the Heat traded him to the Timberwolves in 2011 amid off-court issues that continued in Minnesota with a possession citation during a traffic stop for speeding. Beasley has battled substance abuse his entire career, but has been fairly clean off the court since 2014.
After stints with the Timberwolves and Suns, he returned to the Heat in 2013 before joining the Rockets during the 2015-16 season and playing for the Bucks last season. Though the 28-year-old played sparingly for Milwaukee, he was an effective scorer and shot a career-best 41.9 percent from 3-point range.
His new deal, which will be for the veteran’s minimum, will give the Knicks a veteran scorer to mix with their young talent. Signing Beasley could open the door for the Knicks to finally move Carmelo Anthony, though no trade is imminent.
Suns point guard Brandon Knight is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season with a torn ACL, the team announced Tuesday.
The team did not release specifics on how the injury occurred, saying only that it happened last week while Knight was playing in his native South Florida. Suns team physician Dr. Tom Carter diagnosed the injury in Knight’s left knee. Knight will undergo surgery.
The 6-3 point guard averaged a career-low 11.0 points per game in his third full season in Phoenix. He made only five starts, following a campaign that saw him average a career-high 19.6 points per game.
Drafted eighth overall by the Pistons out of Kentucky in 2011, the Suns are Knight’s third NBA stop, following a two-year stint in Milwaukee.
Knight has been the subject of trade rumors in recent months, given his lack of playing time last season and his pricey contract; he’s still owed $44 million over the next three seasons.
If ever a player personified a city and a team, it was Anthony Mason. From his signature designer haircuts, to his hard-nosed, all-up-in-your-face brand of competitiveness, he embodied both style and substance. He spent five of his 13 NBA seasons with the Knicks, helping them win 270 regular season games. He played a pivotal role on the 1993-94 Knicks team, which reached the NBA Finals and lost in seven games to the Rockets. He earned Sixth Man of the Year honors the following season.
The Queens native was New York. He was the Knicks. He was hip-hop.
When he died in 2015 of a massive heart attack at 48 years old, one of the league’s most storied franchises lost a legend. Now his son, Anthony Mason Jr., is bringing the same energy his dad carried to the court to the non-profit sector and fashion industry. It’s become his life’s mission since the former St. John’s standout decided to step away from his own basketball career two years ago.
Draymond Green made his allegiance to Floyd Mayweather clear when he called out Conor McGregor early Sunday morning.
We rocking with Floyd bro not you … take that off bruh, Green wrote on Instagram, tagging McGregor.
Never one to back down from an altercation, McGregor snapped back in Green’s comments, saying the No. 23 jersey belonged to former Warrior C.J. Watson.
But it’s not there, and the inclusion of the rookie out of Kansas seems to be holding up the trade. Why don’t the Suns want to pull the trigger? It comes down to risk vs. reward for Phoenix and there’s a whole lot of risk involved here.
The immediate impact would be adding Irving, one of the premier offensive talents in the NBA, to pair with rising star Devin Booker. It would undoubtedly be one of the most explosive backcourts in the league, but how would Irving’s game impact Booker?
The event’s organizer said local police cited fire-code concerns in blocking the doors at the Cashman Center and setting up a barricade outside.
Peep how long the line is outside the gym for tonight’s LaMelo Ball vs Zion Williamson face-off in Las Vegas.
Former NBA players and ESPN analysts Stephen Jackson and Paul Pierce discussed Carroll’s comments with host Rachel Nichols on Wednesday’s edition of The Jump, and well, they had a lot to say. Pierce offered a simple response.
Kevin Durant has gone from world champion to world traveler this week, visiting India to help promote the NBA.
Friday, the Golden State Warriors star put his name in the Guinness Book of World Records by hosting the world’s largest basketball lesson in multiple venues, for 3,459 children.
Saturday, Durant visited the Taj Mahal, where one of the NBA’s wonders was definitely impressed by one of the New7Wonders of the World. Yet he still had the wits about him to do a perfect forced-perspective photo of him holding the shrine’s dome.
The tour of India has opened Durant’s eyes to the plight of many people in that nation.
A lot of people come to this Third World country, come through this neighborhood these people live modest, they live simple, but you see so many people who struggle here, Durant said.
This should be expected of a rudderless organization, which is what the Cavs are now. They’re still operating without a head at the top of the basketball wing of the org chart. That’s been the worst aspect of the Cavs’ offseason follies.
Last month, of course, Gilbert utterly bungled the handling of general manager David Griffin’s contract, refusing to budge on a new deal for the guy who had taken flak all year when things had gone wrong, managed to improve a roster with virtually no assets on hand and had overseen the team’s 2016 championship, the first in franchise history.
Of all the places for Gilbert to look for changes to make to his team, dumping Griffin should not even have been on the list.
Steven Adams, is that you?
The Thunder center has shaved off all his facial hair and teammate Enes Kanter revealed a picture of the new Adams on Twitter.
OK, now that the caveat is done with, we can say this: There is a lot to be excited about in this year’s rookie class coming out of Summer League play, far more than we’ve seen in recent Julys. Despite a minor ankle injury to No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, the top picks almost to a man comported themselves nicely. And the vaunted depth of the 2017 draft seemed to be validated by some stellar showings by lower picks.
Putting Irving in a lineup with Kristaps Porzinigis sounds intriguing, particularly when you consider Irving wants to be the focal point of the offense and escape LeBron James’ shadow. Assuming Porzingis stays and Carmelo Anthony is dealt, Irving would eat up a good portion of Anthony’s volume and score more efficiently.
In terms of touches last season, Derrick Rose (78.8), Porzingis (60.5) and Anthony (60.4) led the team. Rose is now on the Cavs, and Anthony would be gone in this scenario. Irving would likely see an increase from his touches last season with the Cavs (79.0) if he did get traded to the Knicks and find more opportunities to put on those spectacular dribbling displays fans love to see. Irving was actually most efficient scoring when taking seven dribbles or more, as FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring noted in his breakdown of Irving as a No. 1 option.
Still, the Knicks are the Knicks. New York has made the playoffs only four times since the 2001-02 season, and it’s been an organization full of dysfunction under James Dolan, most recently culminating with the firing of Phil Jackson. If Irving wants to head to NYC, that’s fine. He shouldn’t expect to reach the NBA Finals (or the first round) every season.
ESPN has a useful tool on its website called the NBA Trade Machine. It allows normal people to pretend to be a GM for a while and make trades around the league just to see if they would work, financially.
Of course the tool isn’t perfect. You can’t include draft picks, which can be essential in finalizing deals. Also, just because a trade can work doesn’t mean anyone in real life would actually agree to it. But the tool is fun to use, especially in moments of chaos like Friday afternoon.
The city that now adores him had given its loyalty to Gilbert back in 2010, in the wake of The Decision. Cleveland fans applauded Gilbert for saying out loud (in comic sans, of course) what was in their hearts.
James chose to go back to work for that man, in the city that embraced him.
Not that it turned out to be a bad tradeoff. James’ image is starkly different than it was seven years ago — pretty normal for anyone passing from his mid-20s to early-30s, in sports or anywhere else. Mission accomplished for the championship, his place in Cleveland lore and in its heart. Nothing Dan Gilbert says or does now can take that away.
But everybody had to hope the bill was not going to come. It’s here. The owner went owner again.
There should never have been so much as a crevice opening up for James to ever play anywhere else. Now, it’s too easy to see a door flung wide open. This time, nobody would blame him. They know better now.
After 31 NBA seasons and more than 2,000 regular season games, referee Danny Crawford is calling it a career.
Crawford announced his retirement Wednesday through the NBA Referees Twitter account.
Dan Crawford, one of the most accomplished referees in NBA history, is retiring.
Crawford had worked 23 consecutive NBA Finals, including the final game of his career in June as the Warriors beat the Cavaliers to clinch the NBA championship. How long has Crawford been around? In the first of those Finals, Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets knocked off Shaquille O’Neal and the Magic.
The veteran earned praise throughout the league for his work on the court. FanRagSports.com notes that in a 2015-16 survey asking NBA players to name the best referee, Crawford finished first by a wide margin. And following the announcement of Crawford’s retirement, NBA players checked in with their well wishes on social media.
For as much as Blake Griffin has already accomplished in his NBA career, we have yet to see him tap into his full potential for an entire season. It may not look that way when you consider he has led the Clippers in scoring each season since he’s been drafted — he’s also been their leader in usage rating in all but two seasons — but playing alongside Chris Paul has prevented Griffin from becoming the full-time point forward he seemed destined to be from the start.
Fortunately for Griffin, he has an opportunity to take over that role as he enters the first year of his $173 million extension. Not only is Paul now a member of the Rockets, the evolution of positionless basketball has paved the way for power forwards like him to be a team’s primary creator. While the Clippers acquired a pass-first point guard in Milos Teodosic this offseason to replace some of Paul’s production, it’s Griffin who will be expected to both facilitate and score in volume for them to compete with the best teams in the Western Conference.
Improved graphics are expected with every new release of a sports video game. However, where the efforts are directed can help determine whether those improvements make a real impact that consumers immediately recognize and find valuable.
Durant will earn $25 million for the upcoming season. To put that in perspective, it’s $1.5 million less than he earned in his first season with the Warriors, and it’s a staggering $9.5 million less than he was eligible to receive. Durant has a player option worth $26.25 million for the second year.
I wanted to keep the team together and I thought it was going to help the ownership bring all the guys back, Durant said. And on top of that, it’s my money. It’s my decision. I can do what the hell I want with it.
Durant admitted he’d seen other NBA stars accept salary cuts for the sake of their team in recent years, and it inspired him.
It wasn’t that I wanted the praise, Durant said. I’ve learned from Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki and how it has helped them over the years and I thought, if they did it, why can’t I? Why shouldn’t I sacrifice? People wanted the money to break us up and I didn’t want that to happen.
Tournament officials were given the official OK to play the game only moments before the scheduled tipoff, as fans, some of whom had waited hours, stood six and seven deep to see Williamson’s SC Supreme defeat the LaVar Ball-coached Big Baller team, 104-92.
LeBron James reportedly had planned to watch the showdown from courtside, but — according to ESPN, which cited an unidentified source — he didn’t get out of his vehicle after he arrived and talked with people connected to the tournament. He opted to avoid the situation, citing security concerns, ESPN’s source said.
Nashville knows a good party, but it’s never thrown one quite like this before.
Riding an unlikely run unseen in this newfound hockey town, the Predators will play for the Stanley Cup for the first time in the franchise’s 18 seasons after defeating the Ducks 6-3 Monday to win the Western Conference finals in six games.
Colton Sissons, a sparsely played role contributor thrust onto Nashville’s top line due to injuries, scored a hat trick, the first of his career. In the absence of Ryan Johansen, lost for the balance of the playoffs, the 23-year-old took over to center Filip Forsberg and Pontus Aberg and the three contributed four goals and combined for seven points.
An onslaught of injuries rendered Anaheim sitting ducks. Jonathan Bernier, starting in net for the first time in his playoff career in place of No. 1 goalie John Gibson, surrendered four goals on 16 shots. Top forward Rickard Rakell and Patrick Eaves didn’t make the trip to Nashville.
The deficiencies were exploited early on by an opportunistic Predators offense, which needed just three shots on net to open a 2-0 lead.
The Knights flipped the No. 24 overall pick to Winnipeg in exchange for the No. 13 overall pick and a third-rounder in 2019, allowing the Jets to keep 22-year-old forward Marko Dano and defenseman Tobias Enstrom. Thorburn is a pending unrestricted free agent.
Through his fair share of postseason struggles, Washington’s prized rental defenseman all but redeemed himself by scoring the biggest goal of the Caps’ season 3:13 into the extra frame for a 3-2 win. The power-play goal, a seeing-eye wrister from the point, throws the second-round series between the NHL’s top two teams into flux.