TRADE SZN STIRRING: You know trade season is about to pick up when Woj is getting his own half-hour ESPN specials to discuss the latest rumblings in the Association. Among the rumors discussed by Woj and Zach Lowe:
- Andre Iguodala is being monitored by both the Clippers and Lakers.
- The Cavs might actually be able to get a first-round pick for Kevin Love, and Phoenix and Portland are two potential suitors.
- A Chris Paul deal this season seems unlikely, due to the enormity of his contract.
- D’Angelo Russell might get traded, but if he does, it might not happen until the summer.
- The Nuggets want a bigger role for Michael Porter Jr., and they are trying to make room for their super prospect by shopping underrated 2-guard Malik Beasley.
Of course, ESPN isn’t the only outlet reporting trade rumors as the deadline approaches. According to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt, the Magic are monitoring DeMar DeRozan for a potential deal, which would be a savvy move for the Floridian franchise considering their need for perimeter scoring. Zillgitt also says Cavs veteran big man Tristan Thompson could be shopped, and if you saw him get into it with his coach John Beilein over the weekend, you understand why.
LET THE TRADES BEGIN: Yesterday, 123 players had their trade restrictions – stemming from them signing new contracts this past summer – lifted. Here is every single guy who can now be traded.
YESTERDAY IN THE ASSOCIATION: One team continues to roll while another continues to do the opposite of that.
🔥 The Lakers defeated the Hawks 101-96 to improve to 24-3 on the year. It wasn’t their most impressive victory, but the fact they refuse to lose on the road this season is insane in its own right. LeBron James finished the contest with 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists while Anthony Davis had 27 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks.
😲 The Pelicans lost their 12th game in a row on Sunday, falling 130-119 to the Orlando Magic… at home. Head coach Alvin Gentry’s job appears to be safe for now, but if the losing continues, it would be easy to foresee first-year GM David Griffin bringing in his own guy to lead New Orleans. Markelle Fultz threw down this nifty dunk in that same game.
WAITERS ISLAND EVACUATED: According to the Miami Herald, the Heat are exploring multiple scenarios to get Dion Waiters off their payroll, including a trade, a buyout and a contract voiding. We’ll go ahead and say it: Miami finding a taker for Waiters is extremely unlikely.
(NOT) HOT SEAT: The Bulls have been an abject disaster this season relative to expectations, placing a lot of heat on head coach Jim Boylen’s job security. Regardless, Chicago general manager Jim Paxson publicly endorsed his head coach on Saturday anyway.
A RETURN APPROACHING: Jusuf Nurkic says he’s 60 percent complete with rehab, and was seen doing more physical activity at practice recently. Portland, 10-16, desperately needs their big man to get healthy as soon as possible.
MIDRANGE KINGS: Derrick Rose talked to Detroit News about wanting to be like Kobe Bryant, who played 20 seasons and didn’t need a knockdown three-point stroke to dominate.
MID-RANGE KINGS: Derrick Rose talked to Detroit News about wanting to be like Kobe Bryant, who played 20 seasons and didn’t need a knockdown three-point stroke to dominate.
SWINGMAN RETURNS: Wilson Chandler made his return for the Nets yesterday after missing the first 25 games of the season due to testing positive for a banned substance. He played 19 minutes and scored seven points in a 109-89 Brooklyn victory over the Sixers.
⛹️ ESPN released a nice story on Chandler and how he spent the time he was suspended. He watched a lot of games from Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club in Manhattan.
MVP CANDIDATE GOES DOWN: Luka Doncic is set to miss at least two weeks with what the Mavs are calling a moderate ankle sprain.
BUCKS LOSE POINT GUARD: Bucks floor general Eric Bledsoe will also miss at least two weeks with a leg injury.
ATTEMPTED COMEBACK: Six-time All-Star Amare Stoudemire has left the Chinese CBA and returned to South Florida in hopes of making an NBA return.
FASCINATING JOURNEY: St. Thomas More is an all-boy boarding school with an enrollment of 125, located in Connecticut. Why are we telling you that? Because that tiny school somehow produced three NBA players, all of whom play on the Golden State Warriors this season. Crazy.
IMPRESSIVELY MEDIOCRE: Darius Garland is averaging 2.9 assists per game this season, which (somehow) is the highest assist average on the Cavaliers in 2019-20. If that holds, it’ll be the lowest assist average for a team leader in that stat since 1951.
ROCK ON, DUDE: Bill Walton teamed up with the Grateful Dead for a movie described as a “psychedelic sports adventure”. The film features clips of extreme skiing and surfing to the music of the Grateful Dead, with Walton narrating.
LEAGUE TURNING TO JAPAN: With the well-documented issues between the NBA and China this season, the NBA is turning to Japan, where the game of basketball is exploding in popularity, as its next key market. Rui Hachimura’s emergence this year has been huge for the NBA in Japan.
CLUTCH LIKE DADDY: LeBron James Jr., in a nationally televised game against his father’s alma mater, with his father in attendance, hit a game-winning layup and was named MVP of the contest over the weekend. It would be really cool if we got to see both James men in the NBA at the same time one day.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
Click here for the answer.
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