TRADE SZN HEATING UP: On Dec. 15, pretty much every player signed this past summer becomes eligible to be traded. As such, after a slow spell of trade rumors for the past few months, talks are about to heat up around the Association. In fact, scuttle around the league is already picking up, as The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor released an article discussing what he’s hearing from league executives as trade season approaches.
🚀 For starter’s, according to KOC, the Rockets have interest in Timberwolves swingman Robert Covington, a defensive expert shooting 36.9 percent from three this season. Covington would be a great fit there, as Houston could use a 3-and-D expert to put around James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
😲 Furthermore, per O’Connor, despite Portland adding Carmelo Anthony recently, the Blazers are also looking into acquiring Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari, who is averaging 18.3 points and shooting 40.3 percent from three this season. Gallinari’s addition, surrounding Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, would make Portland’s offense legitimately scary.
🏠 Finally, O’Connor reported that Kevin Love, who has sprung up a lot in trade rumors recently, would prefer a trade to Portland over anything else. Adding Love would move Anthony to bench, but could help the Blazers turn things around this season and begin a true playoff push.
LAST NIGHT IN THE ASSOCIATION: An embarrassing preemptive declaration and multiple sharpshooting performances headlined last night’s of NBA action.
😬 With under a minute remaining in Atlanta’s game against Miami, Trae Young found Alex Len open for a dunk to put the Hawks up by six. Young then decided it was good time to talk trash to the crowd, emphatically declaring the game over. Lo and behold, the game wasn’t quite over, as two threes helped the Heat tie game, forcing overtime, in which Miami then went on to score the first 16 points. The Heat eventually won the game 135-121. Jimmy Butler couldn’t resist needling Young on social media after the contest. Petty wars, indeed. For what it’s worth, Young was a good sport about it after the game, too.
🔥 Wizards forward Davis Bertans was on fire last night, scoring a career-high 32 points and shooting 8-for-12 from three in a 114-107 Washington loss against the Hornets. Bertans wasn’t the only sharpshooter to go off last night, either, as Heat swingman Duncan Robinson made 10-of-14 triples for Miami. Good night for the sharpshooting wings last night.
A DIFFERENT OUTCOME: According to a report from SNY, Carmelo Anthony’s last few years could have gone much differently if one Knicks official got his way. That unnamed official supposedly tried to get Anthony to rescind his trade request before he got shipped to the Thunder, but ultimately failed.
🤔 Another interesting tidbit from that article: Anthony had a couple of unreported suitors this offseason – the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers. Melo would have been an interesting fit on both teams, who both reside near the top of their conferences at the moment.
MASAI ON THE MOVE? According to SportsNet’s Michael Grange, the Raptors did not, contrary to reports, offer Masai Ujiri a contract extension this past summer, which could have subdued some of the recent noise about the elite executive having eyes for the Knicks. That could come back to bite them in the you-know-what.
PERFECT FIT: Pat Riley gives rare public comments, discussing his recruitment of Jimmy Butler, as well as why he thinks the four-time All-Star is such a good fit with the Heat. Also some interesting quotes from Butler in there.
FIXING WHAT WAS BROKEN: ESPN goes in-depth on how the Pelicans and Lonzo Ball are fixing his jump shot. Ball is shooting a career-high 34 percent from three this season.
LONG ARMS: We rank the players with the freakiest wingspan-to-height ratios. It should come as no surprise that Magic big man Mo Bamba checked in at No. 1.
LOYAL SUPERSTAR: Damian Lillard pens a wonderful piece for The Players’ Tribune talking about his childhood as well as his time in college, and how those two times in his life helped shape him into the loyal superstar he is now.
LAVINE DETERMINED: Despite some late-game flubs recently, Zach LaVine is determined to establish himself as a superstar, not a No. 2 or No. 3 option. An admirable mindset, but maybe if LaVine were more willing to do the dirty work of a secondary or tertiary option, he’d be a more impactful NBA player.
FIRST ROUNDER HEADED TO G LEAGUE: The Warriors are finally, mercifully, sending 2019’s No. 28 overall pick Jordan Poole down to the G League.
😱 He’s been one of the worst, if not the worst, big-minute players in the league this season, averaging 7.9 points in 24 minutes nightly in 2019-20, on horrific 25.8/24.6/85.7 shooting splits.
MOVE THE CAMERAMEN BACK: After being injured by falling into one, Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant wants the league to consider moving the under-the-basket cameramen back a few feet. Seems like a reasonable request, especially since Morant says their presence is affecting the way he attacks the basket. He can’t be the only player who feels that way, either.
LESS PHONE TIME: The Wizards are doing some interesting things with their young team in an attempt to get them to be on their phones less. Probably something all of us should consider doing, to be honest.
BUSINESSMAN KD: Kevin Durant and his manager Rich Kleiman talk to Forbes about KD’s business ventures and how life in Brooklyn is going.
BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP: Robert Covington and a young cancer survivor named Gio Toribio have formed a wonderful bond over the years, and The Undefeated interviewed both of them for this uplifting article.
INJURY STATUS: Otto Porter is out at least another month for the Bulls due to a foot injury. That won’t help one of this season’s most disappointing teams turn things around.
BUTLER REMEMBERED: Friends, trainers, coaches and players remember Rasual Butler, the 13-year NBA veteran who tragically passed away early last year.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
Click here for the answer.
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