RARE ALL-STAR OCCURRENCE: Prior to this season, only seven players in league history received All-Star honors despite playing for teams that would go on to win under 20 percent of their games that campaign. Among them: 1952-53 Neil Johnston (12-57 Warriors), 1967-68 Don Kojis (15-67 Rockets), 1968-69 Gail Goodrich and Dick Van Arsdale (16-66 Suns), 1970-71 John Johnson (15-67 Cavs), 1972-73 John Block (9-73 Sixers) and 2007-08 Dwyane Wade (15-67 Heat). Which is what makes the fact that Trae Young was named an All-Star starter yesterday a bit historic, in its own way. Young’s Hawks this season are 11-34, a 24.4 percent win percentage, and the second-worst record in the NBA this year.
Even so, it’s hard to fault Young for Atlanta’s record considering the plethora of injuries that have impacted them this year. What’s more, with Young on the floor, the Hawks are so much better than when he sits, proving his ridiculous raw statistics – 29.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 8.6 assists on 44.7/37.3/83.9 shooting splits – are far from empty. Also, for what it’s worth, Young’s numbers outpace Wade’s for the year he made the All-Star Game while playing for a tanking Heat team, so there’s that to take into account, too.
Young wasn’t the only player to be named to his first All-Star roster yesterday. Dallas’ Luka Doncic and Toronto’s Pascal Siakam also received the distinction for the first time in their careers, with the latter beating out Jimmy Butler for the honor, who many thought could have been a frontcourt starter in the East this season.
Other fun first-time All-Star notes: Doncic became the youngest international player ever to be selected, and is the youngest All-Star starter since LeBron James back in 2005. Solid honors for the burgeoning Slovenian superstar.
LATEST TRADE SCUTTLE: Another day and another batch of trade rumors as we approach the 2020 deadline.
The frontcourt-needy Clippers have Thaddeus Young on their radar, according to multiple reports. For more on potential Los Angeles trade targets and candidates, as well as their biggest needs, click here.
Contenders are still holding out hope the Knicks reverse course on their decision to keep Marcus Morris this season.
CHOPPY WATERS: Things are a bit dicey for the Clippers behind the scenes at the moment, as the team is having trouble figuring out who their leader is due to the quiet natures of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Kawhi’s load management stuff has also reportedly caused some issues.
A NEW ROLE: Jae Crowder is used to suiting up for playoff-caliber teams, which might not the case this season as a member of the Grizzlies. Even so, he’s happy and bought into his role as a leader for the rebuilding, fun and young team in Memphis.
POPULAR OWNER SOUNDS OFF: Mark Cuban goes off on a variety of fascinating topics, including nearly trading for Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce, the sham of the Olympics and much more.
HEIGHTENED ACCURACY: NBA teams used to give favorable treatment to their players when they suited up at home and dished out passes that even remotely looked like assists. That trend has ended, though, as teams now are giving much more accurate assist numbers to their home players.
WILLING TO HELP: Zach LaVine wouldn’t mind having a say with the Bulls’ decision-making on the trade market. A lot of players would probably love to have that power, too.
A NEAR-TRADE: The Heat and Kings nearly agreed upon a trade that would have sent Trevor Ariza to Miami before Portland stepped in and acquired him. Ariza’s 3-and-D prowess would have helped the Heat out, especially with Justise Winslow injured.
AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENT: An NBA super-fan has gone to 29 out of the league’s 30 arenas, all within the last 30 days with just one more to go, in order to get on the Jumbotron at each stop. So far, his mission has been a success.
REBRANDING: The Knicks are hiring the same firm that helped make over the Nets, in order to get a makeover of their own. Maybe that will lead to players accepting boat-loads of cash to play for them.
DRAWING EYEBALLS: Zion’s debut pulled big-time ratings, which would explain how the Pelicans ended up with so many national TV games this year. The kid is going to be a big-time draw for the league.
CONTINUED BAD LUCK: The porous injury luck continues for the Sixers, who will now be without starting guard Josh Richardson for at least two-to-three weeks with a strained hamstring.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
Click here for the answer.
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