Anonymous GM: Our team isn’t good enough to win and we know it. So this season we want to develop and evaluate our young players, let them learn from their mistakes — and get us in position to grab a great player. The best way for us to do that is to lose a lot of games. This draft is loaded. There are potential All-Stars at the top, maybe even franchise changers. Sometimes my job is to understand the value of losing. I know that sounds crazy, but if you’re an NBA general manager like me, the last place you want to be is in the middle. There are only two outcomes there: Either make the playoffs and be first-round fodder for one of the premier teams or miss the playoffs and pick somewhere around 11th to 14th in the draft. Either way, the odds are that you stay in that middle range. It’s a recipe for disaster.
December 17, 2017 | 8:09 pm EST Update
Michael Grange: Vince Carter on the possibility of Raptors return: “It’ll happen, I’m sure. Somehow. Whether it’s one day or something. It will happen. It’s supposed to happen, I think.”
Josh Lewenberg: Carter said nothing’s changed for him as the boos have turned to cheers over the years. “I still love being (in Toronto). There’s nothing like it. It’s near and dear to me… At that time I felt it was just unfortunate that people didn’t know that and didn’t understand that”
Josh Lewenberg: Carter on why he chose Kings over chasing a ring: “I still want to play, I still want to compete, I still want to get out on the floor. That’s not guaranteed obviously on some of those elite teams and I’m just not ready for that”
With 16 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds, LeBron James has his third straight triple-double and sixth for the season. That ties his longest triple-double streak of his career. He had three straight from March 7-12, 2009 during his first MVP season.
If the opportunity presented itself, Donovan Mitchell is open to the idea of possibly competing in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest. It’s certainly not on his mind every day, as the Jazz are in the midst of a brutal road stretch, but All-Star Weekend is set for Feb. 16-18 in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. That’ll be here in no time. “It would be great, but I haven’t paid any attention to that whatsoever,” Mitchell said. “Not even the whole weekend. That’s not even been on my head at all.”
December 17, 2017 | 6:22 pm EST Update
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler’s sore back kept him out of most of practice Sunday and could keep him out of Monday’s game against Portland at Target Center. “He didn’t do much today,’’ Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said after Sunday’s short practice. “Just getting treatment. We’ll see how he is [Monday].” The Timberwolves officially listed Butler as questionable with back spasms.