The Post has learned that in talks with the Celtics, their defensive small forward Jae Crowder would be a major player of interest for Knicks president Phil Jackson. In fact, Jackson lamented not trading for Crowder when he was on the table in the 2014 trade talks with the Mavericks for Tyson Chandler. Crowder is an active, gritty defender who can shoot from 3-point range.
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Brian Robb: Full comments from @daldridgetnt on @NBATV on inclusion of Jae Crowder being a potential sticking point in Jimmy Butler negotiations
The Celtics have talked intermittently with the Clippers about Blake Griffin, per several league sources, but a deal is extremely unlikely. Griffin will be a free agent this summer, and Boston would probably need official permission to talk to him about his future — a concession Minnesota allowed Cleveland before the Kevin Love trade. The Clips would ask for a bounty, starting with Jae Crowder and one of the Avery Bradley/Marcus Smart duo, plus picks, per league sources.
There are rival executives who believe the Bulls and Celtics will rekindle trade talks centered on Jimmy Butler before the Feb. 23 deadline. The teams held serious talks in June, and the Celtics own the same assets — Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, the Nets’ first-round picks in 2017 and 2018 — the teams discussed then.
A. Sherrod Blakely: Not surprisingly, one of the loudest cheers when the #Celtics starters were introduced, was for @Jae Crowder. #allisforgiven #CelticsTalk
Scott Souza: #Celtics Jae Crowder: I love Boston. I don’t want to leave Boston … But stand by what I said that fans shouldn’t cheer opposition.
Chris Forsberg: Brad Stevens says Crowder wished he hadn’t expressed himself like he did. Says Crowder is “all in” on Boston.
Crowder then took things a step further, and according to CSNNE he even said he had no problem leaving Boston, and even retweeted a fan who asked him to return to the Dallas Mavericks.
With Sacramento in shambles once again, Lowe was asked by David Thorpe whether he believes the Celtics would be willing to offer Avery Bradley or Jae Crowder in a trade. “A year ago, six months ago, I would have said yes,” Lowe replied. “And what’s interesting to me — look, everyone knows the Celtics have the goods to make a real offer, although … maybe that Nets pick isn’t the golden ticket we thought it was going to be. We’ll see. I think the Nets will regress, long story short. So I think (Celtics president of basketball operations) Danny (Ainge) would gamble. I don’t think that is the majority view of the organization, including the coach. I don’t think Brad Stevens wants to touch DeMarcus Cousins with a 10-foot pole. And that carries a lot of weight there. Not only that, they just signed a center. And they think Al Horford is a center, and will play more center as pieces come and go in Boston. And so I don’t know what that does to Boston’s hunger to acquire a superstar big man who is going to be a locker room question mark.”
KC Johnson: Jae Crowder has been involved in the Bulls-Celtics talks, per a source.
The Magic eventually worked out a deal sending Harris to the Detroit Pistons. “He’s a good player that has opened a lot of eyes since he left Dallas,” a league executive whose franchise pursued a possible trade for Crowder this season, told CSNNE.com. “That contract, his talent … he’s not untradeable, but he’s about as close to being untradeable on that team.”
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April 25, 2017 | 8:11 am EDT Update
Lakers president Magic Johnson jokingly made his desire to have George in a purple and gold uniform known publicly during an interview last week with late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, laughing and winking about how he was well-versed on tampering and couldn’t recruit a player under contract with another team. And one of the league’s worst-kept secrets is that the Lakers have a strong appeal for George given their proximity to his hometown of Palmdale, Calif., and his affinity for Kobe Bryant, even though George actually grew up a fan of the Clippers.
Steve Kyler: There’s this perception (Blake Griffin) would want to go back to Oklahoma City, but I’ve talked to people around that and they find that so laughable. Like, “Look, it’s where he’s from, but he doesn’t want to play there.” It’s nothing against the city, it’s Blake has found an interesting and fulfilling life living in L.A.
Not so much Monday, when he took on a bigger role with Dennis Schroder’s three first-quarter fouls changing the tone. The Hawks went from down 27-18 to ahead 59-50 at halftime behind the spark provided by Calderon (10 points, five assists) and Kent Bazemore (16 points, seven assists) in a 111-101 victory in Game 4 to tie the series at 2. “I always think I’m going to be on the podium,” Calderon said after playing 20 minutes and making 4 of 9 shots, inlcuding two three-pointers.
Perhaps none of this should be surprising. Bryant is an avid Harry Potter and Star Wars fan. He shared with Jimmy Fallon that he frequently watches Disney’s “Stuck in the Middle” with his family. And he sang songs from “Moano” and “Beauty and the Beast” on Fallon’s show. That persona may not exactly match his Bryant’s on-court demeanor. But just like in his playing days, Bryant still remains devoted toward attention to detail and being theatrical.
April 25, 2017 | 6:19 am EDT Update
After the Portland Trail Blazers were swept by the Golden State Warriors on Monday, point guard Damian Lillard told ESPN he’s developed a newfound obsession with trying to take down the Warriors. “You have to be obsessed with that because you know that they’re so good that they’re going to be there,” Lillard said after a 128-103 loss in Game 4. “That’s who you’re going to have to get through to get to where you want to get to. That’s what it is.”
“They’re a championship team,” Lillard said. “Watching them and playing against them, it’s obvious. They’re very consistent, whether they’re up or down, they just continue to play. They continue to be who they are. They play loose. They play together. They have a great understanding of how to play the game. That’s hard to play against when you add that with the talent that they have.
The two-time All-Star is proud of the team’s push down the stretch of the regular season, but he’s not satisfied. “I wouldn’t say it was a successful year,” Lillard told ESPN. “We got tested and I think we answered the bell. I felt like we showed our true colors by the way we fought. But I wouldn’t say successful. I think it was growth. A year of growth for us.”