Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent Luis Scola is finalizing a one-year, nearly $3M deal with the Toronto Raptors, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
February 13, 2016 | 10:10 pm EST Update
Not even Golden State’s Draymond Green wouldn’t predict a winner. Who won? The guy President Obama said has a sweeter shot than Golden State’s Steph Curry: Warriors guard Klay Thompson. Thompson finished with 27 points in the championship round, ahead of Curry (23 points) and Phoenix Suns rookie Devin Booker (16 points).
The Minnesota Timberwolves rookie center beat Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas to win the Skills Challenge on Saturday night, further validating the evolution of the big man from a plodding post player to a playmaking force. In the first year that frontcourt players were allowed to compete against the guards in the event that puts a premium on ball-handling, passing and perimeter shooting, Towns beat Golden State’s Draymond Green and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins in the big men side of the bracket before edging Thomas in the finals. “I’m glad I was able to help the bigs come out with this trophy,” said Towns, the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft. “This is bigger than me. This is for all the bigs out there, with the game changing the way it is, to show that bigs can stand up with guards and skillwise.”
With his ability to handle the ball, shoot the 3 and make the extra pass, Towns is the epitome of the improving big man. But heading into the competition, there were doubts that the big fellas could keep up with the small fries. Even Towns’ teammate, point guard Ricky Rubio, joked last week that he had no chance. “I like proving people wrong, so I’m glad I was able to make a lot of people wrong,” Towns said. “I was able to make critics wrong, Vegas wrong, Ricky Rubio wrong. So I’m just so ecstatic right now.”
The Indiana Pacers, led by Rick Fuson, its chief operations officer, want the All-Star Game. Fuson, along with other representatives from the Pacers, the Indiana Sports Corp. and Visit Indy, wanted to see the festivities associated with the All-Star Game in person to examine why Toronto was selected and how Indianapolis can become a viable hosting option for the NBA. After Sunday’s game, Fuson and the rest of the group – including Ryan Vaughn, president of Indiana Sports Corp., and Leonard Hoops, president and CEO of Visit Indy – will discuss what they believe would make for a successful bid.
A league official confirmed Saturday that the Indianapolis delegation is in Toronto to observe how that city is operating the many events with the NBA. The official also said that 2019 is the earliest year for which the Pacers could make a bid. Fuson said it’s unclear if the Pacers will bid for 2019 or for a subsequent year. What is clear is that several people with knowledge of the Pacers’ trip this weekend believe the team will submit a bid in the next few months. “We’ve talked about it for a number of years,” Fuson said in a telephone interview Friday. “It’s just the right time now.”
That’s right: An NBA All-Star, one of the game’s best players, could not beat Kevin Hart in a shooting competition. We will never stop hearing about this. Hart is on every other commercial — including one, naturally, with Green right after this exhibition — and he is seemingly ominpresent on our television screens. The result was so surprising that a scripted bit after the competition — Green hoisting a trophy the size of Hart and pinning a runner-up ribbon on the comedian — fell flat when they tried to force it after the upset.
February 13, 2016 | 9:05 pm EST Update
Don’t think the Timberwolves haven’t tried to peddle Kevin Martin before Thursday’s deadline. Problem is there’s no market for the 33-year-old shooting guard whose salary this season is $7.1 million, fourth-highest on the team.