The Michael Jordan-owned Hornets are going nowhere. Yet we advise you to track them at least through the Feb. 8 trade deadline because Charlotte will probably be forced to consider dealing Kemba Walker. If Walker stays, Jordan risks losing his best player without compensation in the summer of 2019 — or, perhaps worse, paying big bucks to hang on to him instead of starting an overdue tear-down of a pricey but mediocre roster.
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Chris Kroeger: Steve Clifford on Kemba trade rumors: “I’d be shocked if he didn’t want to be here. I mean…he’s building a house here right now… I’ve been around long enough to know you never say never, but I just can’t see a scenario where that plays out.” #Hornets #BuzzCity
So what if Charlotte traded Walker to begin to ease its financial burdens, as well as to jump-start a rebuild? Say, for example, Walker was shipped to his hometown New York Knicks, along with Williams, for rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina, Joakim Noah and New York’s 2018 first-round pick. That would save Charlotte about $4 million next season while giving it an intriguing young point guard to install as Walker’s successor. It would also help Charlotte’s first-round pick move into the top five in the lottery, giving the team a chance to land a star in a top-heavy draft, as well as another pick in the middle of the round.
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January 16, 2018 | 11:20 am EST Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA’s investigation into the Clippers-Rockets tomfoolery began late Monday night and continues into today, league sources tell ESPN. There will be no shortage of punished individuals.
Gordon hit up Craig’s in West Hollywood after the heated battle with the Clippers in which several Rockets players — including Chris Paul — reportedly tried to fight Clips players in the tunnel and locker room area after the game. Gordon told TMZ Sports he doesn’t expect any suspensions and really played the whole thing down as no big deal.
For the rest of the season, the Kings will not play at least two of the veterans – George Hill, Kosta Koufos, Garrett Temple, Carter or Randolph – coach Dave Joerger said. In some games, three veterans could sit. “It’s not an easy conversation,” Joerger said. “They’re very professional, they’re competitive. All of them are rotation players on a playoff team. So to ask those guys to step aside at different times is not enjoyable for me. They handled it well, they’ve been pros.”
Goran Dragic explained why there was such a look of concern of the faces of the Heat players as Tyler Johnson writhed on the court in pain Monday in Chicago. “I’ve never seen Tyler stay down like that,” Dragic said.
But to have the entire team race the length of the court as he stayed down was testimony to what this team thinks of Tyler. “Tyler’s one of those guys that you never know,” said James Johnson, who is as close to Tyler as any player on the team. “He could have had a broken leg, and he’d still be sitting here making sure we was all good, making sure that our spirits were still high. But it’s hard to read that guy.” “We’re all in the trenches together. And we all have respect for Tyler and we all love him. It don’t surprise me.”
Even as the Russian team faces up to being barred from next month’s Winter Games for doping offenses, audiences are flocking to see a movie about Soviet glory on the Olympic basketball court 46 years ago. “Going Vertical” tells the story of the Soviet Union team which won gold in 1972, becoming the first basketball team in history ever to beat the United States at the Olympics.