For the teams looking to add Irving, locking him in before camp opens gives the acquiring team the best chance to fill in their roster around a ramped-up plan that includes Irving. League sources continue to label the Suns as the team with the right assets to obtain Irving, but they remain reluctant to include rookie Josh Jackson or third-year stud Devin Booker in any conversation. Jackson became trade eligible last week and recently joked at the Panini rookie photo shoot that he’d heard the rumors, but if it were going to happen, it would have happened by now.
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He was first asked if he was renting in Cleveland. “I think if that was going to happen, it would’ve happened by now,” Jackson said.
“A little talking to my agent, not really checking social media, because that’t not the way to go. People just say whatever. I handled it the same way I tried to handle Draft Night. Coming in, I didn’t know what was going to happen, I still don’t know what is going to happen. I’m going to make the most of whatever situation I’m presented with. If I’m traded to China, whatever, I’m gonna come out, I’m gonna be happy, just try to make the best of it.
Did the Suns keep you in the loop of what was going on? Jackson: “I was kind of in the dark a little bit. But I got a feeling that the trade wasn’t going to happen.”
Jackson also added that no one in the Suns specifically told him the trade was not going to happen. But Jackson seemed fine with this since the deal never really got to the point of really being possible so that the Suns would need to reassure him like that.
Phoenix Suns Guard Josh Jackson on being involved in Kyrie Irving trade rumors
Phoenix reportedly doesn’t want to trade Josh Jackson, and a source said the Suns told Devin Booker he would not be traded — which would seem to put a serious hamper in this potential trade. “If that deal (Bledsoe, Miami first rounder, and Jackson) for Irving was there, it’d be done by now,” a league source with knowledge of the Cavs’ thinking told cleveland.com.
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August 18, 2017 | 8:42 am EDT Update
NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum made it pretty clear in a letter to sports commission president and CEO David Gilbert on July 19: If construction on the proposed Quicken Loans Arena transformation project doesn’t begin by Sept. 15, Cleveland won’t be considered to host the 2020 or ’21 NBA All-Star Game. Last week, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Cleveland City Council Clerk Pat Britt must accept the petitions submitted by a coalition that opposes tax dollars being used to fund half of the cost of the proposed $140 million upgrade. The next step is determining whether the referendum will be placed on the November ballot, or if it will be part of a special election early in 2018, which would cost Cleveland taxpayers another $763,600.
A Cavs source told Crain’s that the organization hasn’t heard anything official from the league, but the source wasn’t certain that they would, since Tatum’s letter was “very clear.” The sports commission’s Mulhall told us the same. “As you saw, the letter was pretty direct,” he said.
Wanda Durant trailed her son Thursday from her own convertible Corvette, waving and shouting out to friends on the sidewalk and beaming all the way. This is a community that doesn’t care where Durant plays, only that he represents them well in whichever uniform he chooses. Durant proved strong enough to handle the barbs and will soon own a ring for his perseverance. “It was difficult to see, to hear,” Wanda Durant told The Vertical about the negativity her son had to endure in the past year. “And I still read the stuff on social media. It’s crazy. But I didn’t have the immediate notion to protect him, because he’s a man. He made a decision and that reaction came with the decision. So it was a part of him solidifying who he is as a man, to take the ridicule, to accept it and deal with it and move on from it. I didn’t like it as his mom. There were times I rebutted some of it – quite nicely, I think, honestly. But I didn’t want to protect him. He stood up and you have to show them who you are.”
On Thursday, he used his time within miles of the White House to twice blast Donald Trump. First telling TMZ, “We don’t [expletive] with him,” and expounding on those comments to ESPN. “Kevin has always allowed his personality and his game to speak for him,” Wanda Durant told The Vertical. “He’s a little more vocal now than he was then, but that’s not surprising, either, because he was very vocal at home, as a kid, where he was comfortable, in close quarters.”
August 18, 2017 | 6:38 am EDT Update
So now it’s mid-August and Muhammad — a 24-year-old who can score and should still be improving — remains a free agent and shows up on a lot of those “best remaining NBA free agent” lists. If he was hoping to cash in this offseason, that prospect seems far less likely by the day. Muhammad might be in a spot soon where he has to take a short-term “prove-it” deal in hopes of improving his leverage the next time he’s a free agent. That makes a tweet last night from another new Wolves signee — guard Jamal Crawford — pretty interesting. In it, he implores Muhammad to “c’mon back home,” presumably meaning back to the Timberwolves.