TRADE SZN PICKING UP: Yesterday, we got our second trade of the 2019-20 season when the Hawks announced they were acquiring Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham from Minnesota in exchange for Allen Crabbe. It wasn’t a major move by any means, but it will give Atlanta a more-than-serviceable backup point guard for Trae Young, a spot in which they were sorely lacking. On the year, Teague is averaging 13.2 points and 6.1 assists per game; those marks will provide a huge upgrade to the Hawks’ weak reserve unit.
On the other side of things, Minnesota will receive a decent shooter on an expiring contract in Allen Crabbe, as well as roster flexibility, which Timberwolves GM Gersson Rosas says could help position his team better to acquire a high-level player. Judging by his comments, Minnesota isn’t done being active on the trade market.
And we know that to be true because, besides Rosas’ comments, Shams reported that the Timberwolves are about to intensify their hunt for Warriors All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell, who the team has coveted for a long time. Russell would give Minnesota the star power at point guard they haven’t had since Sam Cassell, and help quiet the whispers about Karl-Anthony Towns potentially not being too thrilled with the organization right now.
AND THERE’S MORE: There was much more trade scuttle yesterday, too.
🏀 The Rockets, Mavs and Sixers have expressed interest in Wolves wing Robert Covington, but he won’t come cheap, as his skill set, that of a 3-and-D wing, is extremely valuable in the modern NBA.
🏀 The Hawks and Pistons have shut down Andre Drummond trade talks, at least for now. As part of the rumored talks, Atlanta was reportedly willing to send Detroit a first-round pick for the All-Star center, so it’s a little surprising the Pistons didn’t take that offer and run.
🏀 Atlanta could pivot to Steven Adams as their big man trade target, who might not be as productive as Drummond, but would be a huge addition to the Hawks rotation anyway.
🏀 One veteran Cleveland reporter believes the Cavs have set the price tag on Tristan Thompson at one first-round pick.
LAST NIGHT IN THE ASSOCIATION: Brandon Ingram and Donovan Mitchell put on an absolute show last night, with the Pelicans swingman coming out on top, dropping 49 points on 25 field-goal attempts along with eight rebounds and six assists in what was a 138-132 New Orleans win. Mitchell was fantastic as well, pouring in 46 points and six rebounds, and helping keep Utah afloat all night. The future of the NBA is in good hands with these two guys.
DJ SHAQTUS: We spoke to Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal about what life as a DJ is like. He compares coming out to a hot crowd to suiting up for a Game 7 in the playoffs.
FRESH POD: Our own Alex Kennedy is joined by NBA player development specialist Haseeb Fasihi to talk about his career, including being hired by the Magic.
EMBIID OPENS UP: Sixers star Joel Embiid penned a beautiful piece for The Players’ Tribune, where he discusses nearly retiring from the NBA before playing a minute after tragically losing his 14-year-old brother, among other more NBA-centric topics. A must-read.
WRESTLING IN MILWAUKEE: Before every Bucks home game, Giannis, Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez perform WWE-style routines, with storylines and everything. They talked to ESPN about why they do that, not that anyone was complaining, since it makes for very entertaining video content.
NOT SO SUBTLE: After the Nets lost their most recent game to the Sixers, Kyrie Irving went off to the media, stating that it’s glaring the team has more work to do with their roster for them to become championship contenders. He then listed off the exact Nets players, himself and Kevin Durant included, who need help.
FINDING HAPPINESS: Retirement was rough for Brandon Roy, and it only got worse when he saw how well the Blazers were doing without him, as well as when he got divorced from his high-school sweetheart. He’s on the path to happiness now, though, as The Athletic details in this great piece.
A TRUE FREAK: 2019 No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson is a physical specimen to the point that Pelicans GM David Griffin says he’s fascinated by his young star, and that New Orleans has learned more from Williamson than they’ve taught him.
STEP BY STEP: It’s been an up-and-down season for Nuggets forward Michael Porter, but he’s taking it day by day and expressing gratitude for the progress he’s made since recovering from injury.
DRAFT WATCH: Elite draft prospect LaMelo Ball won’t play again this season, as he deals with a bone bruise in his foot. Ball, who averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists in the NBL this year, likely did enough to earn a high draft position, even in spite of the injury.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
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