Once it became clear that no team had leapfrogged the L…

Once it became clear that no team had leapfrogged the Lakers on Tuesday night — guaranteeing that the Lakers would keep the pick, which would have been sent to Philadelphia if it had fallen out of the top three — the first stages of a Ball-Laker union were underway. That union could yet be derailed by goings-on between now and draft day, including the potential for a Lakers trade. But for now, this pairing carries the odor of inevitability. In fact, some executives around the league have been concerned about their ability to get Ball in for a workout between now and the draft in June. With the Lakers keeping their pick, front offices with the potential to land in the top three have been bracing themselves for the possibility that Ball will simply refuse to work out for any team other than the Lakers.
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December 15, 2017 | 5:04 am EST Update
James finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to move into a tie with Larry Bird for sixth place on the career triple-doubles list. James also put the Lakers away in the final minutes with a dunk and short runner, leading Cleveland to its 10th straight home win. For Ball, his first on-court encounter with James was eye-opening. “Watching him doesn’t do him justice,” Ball said. “He has that size, that speed. I’d say he’s the best player in the world right now.”
Out of the early-season rotation — watching Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert and others get their chance first — Calderon has shown why the Cavs were so dogged in their offseason pursuit. “He’s an oldie but goodie,” Kevin Love said. “Whether he’s playing five minutes or 35 minutes, he’s going to be Jose and go out there and knock down shots, play with a lot of poise. He’s been great for us. “He’s really getting us off to good starts and making big plays, getting us in our sets and being super scrappy, picking up full court on the defensive end. He’s just done a really, really good job for us and he had a great game tonight.”
Calderon scored a season-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 5-of-8 from 3-point range to go with six of the team’s 32 assists. That kind of game would typically earn him a meeting with the media. But when the locker room finally opened following the Cavaliers’ 121-112 win against the young Los Angeles Lakers, Calderon was already gone. “That’s typical Jose,” one team member said with a laugh.
Dribbling an oval ball whose general shape isn’t much of a departure from an American football isn’t easy, but Simmons bounces the Sherrin against the hardwood with the same ease as when he dribbles a regulation, 22-ounce Spalding. He holds the ball over his thigh, kicks it with his right foot, repeats the sequence with his left. He demonstrates the art of the hand pass, punching the ball underhand in Embiid’s direction, volleyball-style, as if he were a teammate advancing downfield. His positioning on the ball is perfect, his hand passes sharp. When Embiid sends him errant kicks and passes his way, Simmons gobbles them up.
21 mins ago via ESPN
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