Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

One week before the season’s trade deadline, New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis shocked the basketball world when he requested a trade via his agent, Rich Paul. Although it seemed out of nowhere, the speculations were his camp would want to team him up with LeBron James, who is currently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Davis and James are both represented by Paul. The purple and gold were willing to gut their roster just to acquire AD from the Pels, but there were reports that Boston Celtics front office guru Danny Ainge called New Orleans management and told them to wait until this summer, as they will be willing to offer anyone on their roster as well.

Before that question is answered, let us first discuss an intriguing trade scenario that the Celtics and Pelicans could explore, as suggested by Ethan Krieger of PelicanDeFrief.com.

A three-team trade that also involves the Indiana Pacers.

So, who will get who?

Boston Celtics – Anthony Davis

New Orleans Pelicans – Jayson Tatum, Domantas Sabonis, draft picks, other assets.

Indiana Pacers – Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart

Why it makes sense for Boston?

Their main goal is of course, to acquire AD, which they will, at least in this scenario. They would become the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference this June. Davis, alongside Irving, will make Boston an inside-outside threat. Sure, they will give up three young assets, but they will get a generational talent in return.

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The next couple months around the NBA will be filled with teams attempting to dethrone Kevin Durant and the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors.

After that, it’s going to be all about free agency. Durant joins a stacked group of impending free agents that includes teammate Klay Thompson as well as All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard, among others.

It’s been widely speculated that Durant might leave Golden State for the bright lights of NYC— passing up on the opportunity to play in San Francisco’s brand new Chase Center in the process.

While Durant has not wanted to talk about his FA, he has seemingly dropped a few hints.

Here’s the latest example of that.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP was just featured on a video presented by his Thirty Five Ventures showing the forward driving around some of the iconic sights in San Francisco.

It’s his comments about the community that are rather interesting.

“I WAS WATCHING THIS JANIS JOPLIN DOCUMENTARY LAST YEAR, AND IT WAS TELLING ME HOW ROCK AND ROLL AND JUST THE HIPPIE MOVEMENT KIND OF STARTED HERE, RIGHT IN SAN FRANCISCO,” DURANT SAID IN THE VIDEO. “AND I WAS JUST LIKE, MAN. TO KNOW THAT MUCH CULTURE AND HISTORY IS IN THE SAME CITY THAT I’M ACTUALLY PLAYING AND LIVING IN, THAT MADE ME FEEL REAL PROUD TO BE A PART OF THIS COMMUNITY.”

Does that sound like a man that’s ready to leave a community he has embraced for nearly the past three years? We’re not too sure. Though, it’s cryptic messages like these that can play into a thought process. It’s also possible to read too much into this.

The funny thing here is that Durant and his Warriors don’t play in San Francisco quite yet. They are relocating from Oakland next season.

Only time will tell on this front. For now, Durant’s focus is on bringing a third consecutive NBA championship to the Bay Area. Whatever happens after that is anyone’s guess.

This is the ninth time a MSU player has received the honor

The Big Ten champion guard received the honors after posting a regular season with 19 points, 7.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game. He also logged at least 35 minutes in four of MSU’s last seven games of the season to clinch the Big Ten title despite missing Nick Ward and Josh Langford down the stretch.

Winston became the first Spartan in program history to win Big Ten Player of the Week five times in the same season. His most recent honors came after MSU beat Michigan the first time (because that happened twice, people forget that).

This is the ninth time the Big Ten Player of the Year honors go to a MSU student-athlete, who already leads the conference in most players to win that honor. He joins Scott Skiles (1986), Shawn Respert (1995), Mateen Cleaves (1998 and 1999), Mo Peterson (2000), Kalin Lucas (2009), Draymond Green (2012) and Denzel Valentine (2016).

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The Celtics have so many talented players.

Yet, they started Gordon Hayward – whose play clearly didn’t merit it – his first 15 games this season.

Boston went just 8-7 during those games. Its main starting lineup – Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford – scored only 91.1 points and got outscored by 3.9 points per 100 possessions during that span.

Why were the Celtics so invested in Hayward?

Several reasons:

He’s earning $31,214,295 this season and is due $66,887,775 the next two years. He was going to factor significantly into the team’s roster construction, regardless. There was plenty of financial pressure to get Hayward on track.

Hayward suffered a season-ending injury in Boston’s first game last season. He didn’t get healthy until shortly before the season. Hayward reaching full speed was always likely to require a rocky transition into gameplay at some point.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens coached Hayward at Butler. It always helps to have the coach so personally believe in you.

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN:

And then there’s the element of Boston, Massachusetts. They don’t just want a star. Of course, they’ll take any star that they can get, because their priority is winning. But everybody and their mother knows that particularly when it comes to Boston if we can have a white superstar, that would be even better. And they view Gordon Hayward as having that kind of potential.

So, all of those things considered, the players recognize this, were aware of this. And ultimately those who were compromised by having to be on a court with Gordon Hayward were sensitive to it.

Not because they don’t like him. Not because he’s not a good guy, because he is a good guy. It’s just that they know he hasn’t fully recovered 100 percent from his injury. So, he’s not the same as he used to be. They know he’s going to be a step slower. They know he’s going to be compromised. I have spoken to people in the league who literally have said, “Look, man, no disrespect to Gordon Hayward, nice guy, but he’s really, really compromised right now. He’s not the same guy that he was.” And they said, “We actually kind of feel sorry for him, because he is a nice guy, and we know he’s trying to come back from injury.”

Are there Celtics fans who’d prefer a white star? Yes.

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When the Bulls named Michael Reinsdorf chief operating officer and president in 2010, Jerry’s son vowed to be hands-on and accessible.

The former has been apparent over the last eight-plus years, and the latter is happening with more frequency. Michael Reinsdorf sat down with the Tribune for a lengthy interview on the eve of this season and did so again by phone Monday.

Over the course of 30 minutes, he touched on a wide variety of topics, including the futures of John Paxson, Gar Forman and Jim Boylen. Here’s a partial transcript of that conversation, edited for space and clarity:

Will John Paxson and Gar Forman be back next season?

Absolutely. We believe they’ve done a great job. I know that in this market, with some of our fans and some in the media, they look at it differently. That perplexes me. Let’s talk about them individually because that’s another thing I don’t understand — why they’re referred to as “GarPax” when they have different job responsibilities.

John, as our vice president of basketball operations, he took over in 2003 and orchestrated our first rebuild. He inherited a team and made a lot of different trades. He drafted Kirk Hinrich. We spent $3 million in a trade with Phoenix so we could draft Ben Gordon and Luol Deng in the same draft. He added Joakim Noah. We signed a top free agent in Ben Wallace in 2006. A lot of people forget he was the No. 1 free agent that year. And we ended up sweeping the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in the first round and played Detroit in a tight, six-game series. We were on our way.

The Lakers had a pretty devastating weekend. They blew a close game late against the Bucks and then lost another must-win game to the Suns, lowlighted by LeBron inbounding the ball off his own backboard. Luke Walton isn’t all to blame for the Lakers’ collapse — there’s plenty of blame to go around — but it’s increasingly clear a) that the Lakers are unlikely to make the playoffs, and b) Walton will be at least one of the scapegoats. Here are some replacements that make sense (a version of this list originally ran in February).

Jason Kidd

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In odds released by Bovada in February, Kidd was actually the betting favorite to be the Lakers’ head coach on opening day next season. A lot of times these odds can be taken with a grain of salt because they have low betting limits, but Kidd to the Lakers has been a subject of persistent chatter all season. Personally, watching the Bucks improve vastly after replacing Kidd, I think this would be a horrible idea. However, maybe the Lakers do it anyway?

Ty Lue

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When Lue replaced David Blatt in Cleveland, the Cavs won the title later that season. He has familiarity with the LeBron media frenzy, and won’t get bogged down by the media circus perpetually surrounding the Lakers. Lue played for the Lakers in his first three seasons in the NBA, from 1998-2001.

Mark Jackson

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Jackson had a 121-109 record in three years as coach of the Warriors, including 51-31 in his final season.