LOVE ON THE BLOCK? On Friday, Woj reported that the Cavs are finally willing to entertain trade offers for the lone All-Star on their depleted roster, Kevin Love. On the year, Love is averaging 16.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game on 44.0/37.1/88.2 shooting splits. What’s more, according to Synergy, Love ranks as an excellent scorer out of the pick-and-roll and in isolation opportunities.
That’s all to say: Even despite his age (31) and enormous contract (four years, $120.4 million), if Love is on the trade block, contenders will come calling, as the five-time All-Star can still contribute and produce at a high level.
🔮 There are a few franchises that immediately come to mind as potential Love suitors, primarily teams on the second (or third) tiers of their respective conferences in need of scoring and rebounding. We broke down four such situations here.
CAVS REVOLT: Another Cleveland note: Various anonymous Cavs players went to The Athletic to complain about their first-year head coach John Beilein and his old-school, collegiate style of coaching. They did not hold back.
LAST NIGHT IN THE ASSOCIATION: The Lakers continue to roll and the Heat refuse to lose at home.
🔥 The Lakers are 21-3 after destroying the Timberwolves 142-125. Since losing to the Mavs last Sunday, Los Angeles is 4-0, averaging 126 points per game over those four outings and holding a plus-84 point-differential. Against Minnesota, Anthony Davis exploded for 50 points while LeBron James contributed 32 points and 13 assists. In the process, James and Davis became the first pair of Lakers teammates to combine for 70-plus points in consecutive games since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal back in 2003. That’s solid company for L.A.’s new super duo.
👶 Miami rookie Tyler Herro had his best game as a pro, scoring 27 points and hitting five three-pointers to help lead the Heat to a 110-105 victory against Chicago. In what was a tight contest late, Herro scored 16 of Miami’s last 18 points, 11 of those coming in overtime, and hit the eventual go-ahead triple with under a minute remaining. Miami is now 10-0 at home.
GENTRY ON THE HOT SEAT? The Pelicans have been one of this season’s biggest disappointments. Even despite the injury to Zion, New Orleans was not expected to be at 6-17 with the league’s seventh-worst net rating (-7.0) through the campaign’s quarter mark.
🤔 Regardless, according to The Athletic, head coach Alvin Gentry is safe for the time being, though that could change quickly if the Pelicans continue to look so futile.
SILVER STAYING OUT OF IT: During a radio spot with New York media, Adam Silver said he would not intervene with anything related to the Knicks because it wouldn’t be fair to the other 29 teams.
A BIT LATE: Literal days after firing David Fizdale, the Knicks finally released a statement thanking Fizdale for his time with the team. Mind you, New York had already played a game by the time the press release came out. Never change, James Dolan.
THE NEXT SCAPEGOAT: Speaking of that Knicks’ job opening, although that head coaching gig may not be the most desirable in the NBA, there’s only 30 of those so of course there’s going to be candidates willing to jump on that grenade. We take a look at some of them.
🏥 On a related note, coaching in the NBA is not good for health.
ALL-STAR SET TO RETURN? Just a month after breaking his left hand, Gordon Hayward says he might be able to return tonight, when the Celtics face the Cavs. Impressive turnaround considering the original prognosis had him out at least six weeks.
SHARPSHOOTER: Wizards forward Davis Bertans has always been an elite shooter, but thanks to new wrinkles in his game implemented by his coach, Scott Brooks, he’s reached another level this season.
LIFE ON THE ROAD: We spoke with beat writers covering typically lousy NBA franchises to see what that’s like. Drama can make great copy.
CONFIDENT DWIGHT: Lakers big man Dwight Howard reportedly requested his contract with the Lakers be non-guaranteed, just so he could prove how committed to the team he was.
ENOUGH WHINING: Luka Doncic is becoming notorious for complaining to officials after missed calls, and he admits he needs to tone it down moving forward. Pretty mature of him to realize, especially considering he said all this after a missed call in favor of the Kings cost Dallas a close game yesterday.
🔢 In that same contest vs. Sacramento, Luka Doncic broke Michael Jordan’s record for most consecutive games with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Doncic is now at 19 straight such games.
DRAFT WATCH: Potential No. 1 overall pick for 2020 LaMelo Ball will miss a month of the NBL season due to a foot injury. Luckily, Ball should have the chance to return this campaign and continue to make his case for being next year’s top prospect, unless he decides to shut things down and solely prepare for the draft.
KICKS MASTER: Salvador Amezcua, a very popular sneaker artist who works with Luka Doncic, Karl-Anthony Towns and Donovan Mitchell, among many others, discusses how he forged his path to reach the top of the game.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
Click here for the answer.
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