Jon Krawczynski: Lot of questions about Rubio-Middleton talks tonight. Here’s what I was told at the time from multiple people… Bucks called several times that week trying to get Rubio. Each time they were told “Khris Middleton has to be involved to have talks.” And each time the Bucks said they wouldn’t part with Middleton. So that was the end of that.
After some initial talks, the Wolves told Milwaukee they would swap Ricky Rubio for Khris Middelton, and when the Bucks declined, Minnesota even discussed the possibility of tossing in a protected 2016 first-round pick, per league sources familiar with the matter. Other outlets have reported Milwaukee's interest in Rubio -- Jason Kidd seems to have a thing for rangy point guards with busted jumpers -- but Milwaukee never seriously entertained trading Middleton, sources say.
August 18, 2022 | 12:11 pm EDT Update
Brian Windhorst: I think Kyrie Irving is invested in being a Brooklyn Net next year. Obviously there was some turmoil with his contract extension not happening. He realizes his best path moving forward to get the contract he wants in Brooklyn or elsewhere is to have a very good season.
Windhorst: So from what I can gather, it appears he and the Nets are looking forward to meeting up in training camp. Whether Kevin Durant is there and his level of buy-in, that’s the big question. But right now, I think the Nets want to run this team back and they’re hoping Kevin Durant agrees. The way they’re conducting trade talks and the prices they are asking has teams out there thinking they don’t really want to trade Kevin Durant anyway. They want to bring this team back. We’ll see if Kevin Durant goes along with that in training camp.
Adrian Wojnarowski: For LeBron James, he looked at the free agency landsacpe next summer, who might have cap space, and there was nothing that interested him enough, I’m told, to keep that option open and go into the season on an expiring contract
On the heels of his second appearance in friendly action Wednesday, Giannis Antetokounmpo will not play against Georgia Thursday. In the latter stages of the training camp, Greece will conclude the 31st International Tournament Acropolis Aegean facing Turkey Friday. After being rested today, the Greek Freak is expected to be part of the final test before official games take over the schedule next week.
August 18, 2022 | 8:28 am EDT Update
After being traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Clippers last February, Powell proceeded to play three games before sustaining a left foot fracture. His recovery took weeks, which only allowed him to suit up in the team’s last four games including the Play-In tournament. The veteran admitted that it was a tough experience of not being able to have an on-court familiarization with his team in the previous campaign. “It’s kind of a tough hill to climb on, only playing for three games and then coming back for the playoffs, it’s tough,” Powell said, via David Yapkowitz of 213 Hoops. “I really didn’t get a full chance to show what I bring to the table, just a little bit of a spark there.”
Former Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter Freedom explained why the NBA is “really mad” as its hypocritical business ties to communist China are exposed Wednesday on “The Ingraham Angle.” KANTER FREEDOM: Everything the NBA does is either for money or a publicity stunt. It’s been like that for years, so I’m not really surprised. They could care less about the players, about the coaching staff and the fans as long as the league image is profitable.
Enes Kanter Freedom: And finally, they are really mad because someone finally from the inside who played 11 years in this league — [is] going out there and exposing them one by one. And that is unacceptable… What is unacceptable is how they can bow down to the biggest dictatorship out there in the world. So that hurt my heart. I was like, “You know what? Enough is enough. Someone has to call out this hypocrisy.” And I did it.
Vanessa Bryant’s ongoing civil trial against Los Angeles County has gotten so gory and gruesome at times that Bryant felt compelled to stay out of the courtroom during testimony three times in the first three days, including one time after she got up and left the room in distress. In one exchange, a witness described “pieces of flesh hanging from trees.”