KAT TO GOLDEN STATE? The big fish many had pegged as Golden State’s top target is reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who hits free agency in 2021. But according to The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss, the Warriors also have their eye on another elite big man, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns.
Towns has been injured recently, but for the season, he’s putting up monstrous averages of 26.5 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists nightly. Despite that, however, the Timberwolves are struggling yet again to make noise in the West, as has been the case for a long time (besides that one impressive Jimmy Butler year). Minnesota is 12-20 in 2019-20, and have the league’s eighth-worst net rating at -3.3. And unless Towns is able to return from injury soon, the team risks falling even further out of the Western Conference playoff race.
So who’s to say Towns won’t get fed up at some point and demand a trade? Sure, he may love it in Minnesota now, but nobody wants to play in a perennial losing situation. Even so, the Timberwolves are under no obligation to trade Towns, who’s under contract through 2023-24, so Golden State’s dream of landing the elite big man is probably all for naught.
LAST NIGHT IN THE ASSOCIATION: Behind 28 points from Garrison Matthews (yes, that’s a real NBA player), the Wizards upset the Heat, who were playing their third game in four nights, by a score of 123-105. Out West, Phoenix scored a big road win over the Blazers thanks to 29 points from Kelly Oubre and 33 out of Devin Booker.
TOP DOG FROM EACH TEAM: With the decade coming to a close, we pick the best player from each team for the 2010s. We went with Kevin Durant for the Thunder, which surely won’t cause any sort of reaction from the Oklahoma City fanbase.
TRADE DEMAND UNDER FIRE: Kings big man Dewayne Dedmon hasn’t been shy to discuss the fact that he wants out of Sacramento. He even went so far as to tell the Sacramento Bee that he wants to be traded somewhere he’ll get to play, where his talents will be appreciated.
Well, being so public with trade demands is frowned upon in the NBA, so the league is investigating whether to fine the veteran center for his comments. Judging by how quickly Anthony Davis was fined for his public trade request last season, though, Dedmon should expect a letter from the NBA pretty soon.
AGENT SWITCH: Just the season after signing a huge contract extension with the Pacers, Myles Turner has switched representation, joining Bill Duffy and BDA Sports Management. Pretty odd timing there.
DOWN FOR THE COUNT: Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley is set to miss a few games due to a right wrist sprain, per Woj.
ROYAL BIRTHDAY: In honor of LeBron James’ birthday yesterday, ESPN dropped a cool piece where they ask a bunch of his associates, including Chris Paul and Draymond Green, for some of their favorite LeBron memories or anecdotes.
THERE’S STILL BEEF: Jared Dudley did an in-depth interview with The Athletic, where they asked him a bunch of intense questions and he promised to be as forthright as possible. Spoiler alert: Dudley still doesn’t like Blake Griffin, who he once nearly got into a scuffle with in a game.
BACK TO HIS OLD SELF: Since David Fizdale was replaced by Mike Miller as Knicks head coach, Julius Randle has finally started to look like the player New York wanted to sign over the summer, averaging 22.6 points and 9.6 rebounds on 47.9/36.4/77.6 shooting splits in that stretch.
Randle gives Miller a lot of credit for his resurgence, as well as an improved level of confidence.
THIBS UPDATE: Tom Thibodeau still wants to coach in the NBA, which should come as a surprise to no one. There’s a lot of fun anecdotes in that piece, including a recap of what Thibs has been up to lately. Apparently, he’s been relaxing a lot, and even took a 10-day vacation in Miami. Live it up, Thibs.
BFFS: Despite it not even being half a season since he joined the Heat, Jimmy Butler already considers Goran Dragic one of his all-time favorite teammates.
MPJ HYPE: At one point a few years ago, Michael Porter Jr. was considered the top prospect for the 2018 draft class. After an injury forced him to fall all the way to the last pick of the lottery that year, the Nuggets might have landed themselves a steal with Porter, whose upside is enormous.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
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