Tania Ganguli: Luke Walton says he knows the Lakers front office has his back. Doesn’t agree with LaVar Ball’s assessment that he’s lost the locker room. Luke and Lonzo have not talked about LaVar’s comments yet today.
November 16, 2018 | 11:24 am EST Update
“Do you see the Grizz trying to sign ZBO if he is bought out by Sacramento? Then retire at the end of the season.” Nothing has changed on this front since I last dismissed it. I continue to think a portion of the fan base hungers for it much more than the Grizzlies do. But it’s also worth noting that as long as Randolph is accepting of the status quo in Sacramento – and he seems to be – there’s no reason for the Kings to buy him out until after the trade deadline. They don’t have their draft pick this summer and really want to win this year. Randolph’s $11.7 million expiring contract could be a trade chip.
Serena Winters: Jimmy Butler making his home debut at The Center tonight. “I know its going to be a little bit crazy. I’m excited to get out there and play on, now, my home floor, in front of those home fans.” – Jimmy #Sixers
As part of its re-emergence in basketball culture, Converse has signed Washington Wizards wing Kelly Oubre Jr. to a multi-year footwear and apparel endorsement deal. The shoe deal will be the first of its kind in the NBA, with Oubre expected to wear Nike basketball sneakers on court, while headlining its Nike Inc. subsidiary brand Converse casually.
“Every game since my rookie year, I came in and just always wanted to look nice and always wanted to outdo myself,” said Oubre. “[Style isn’t] about anybody else, it’s about how you feel in what you’re wearing.” For the 22-year-old, whose rookie shoe deal with Adidas expired on Oct. 1, the sneaker free agency process saw him also receive interest and take pitches from Puma and New Balance. Converse, originally founded in 1908 with longtime roots in the NBA, presented a unique twist on the standard shoe deal. “It’s a different vibration when it comes to someone who is trying to reinvent themselves in something that they started,” said Oubre. “It’s not necessarily someone trying to come in and disrupt the game, or someone trying to step onto the scene as newcomers again. [Converse] started this, and it’s cool to be a part of something with the exclusivity to work with this company, start a partnership and a foundation.”
King wears The Trade like a scarlet letter. It’s the first line of his resume. It’s in the first paragraph of his Wikipedia page. Others involved in The Trade have moved on. Bobby Marks—King’s assistant GM—is a respected insider at ESPN. Frank Zanin, then the Nets director of player procurement, was scooped up as a pro scout with Oklahoma City. King left the Nets after the 2015-16 season. He has had little more than a whiff of NBA interest since. “I sensed that it was going to linger,” King told The Crossover. “It was going to be something that I have to overcome. I think a lot of people within the business that I talk to, they know what was going on. But the outside noise sometimes overshadows the inside noise.”
It’s overstating it to say the deal haunts King. But it’s close. He admits he revisits it in his mind routinely. He thinks about the number of picks he included, and what would have happened if he fought to take one of them off the table. He thinks about the swap rights, and what might have been had he said no. Said King, “I go back and forth all the time.” The timing bothers him the most. Boston and Brooklyn agreed to the deal early on draft night, and King and his team spent the rest of the evening convincing Garnett to commit to playing for them. “I should have said, ‘Give me a day to think about it, let’s talk in the morning,” King told The Crossover. “I should have regrouped everyone, and gone through it again. I should have told Danny, ‘Give me a day.’ I probably would have revamped it. I should have said, ‘Look, Danny, everything looks good. Let’s finish the draft and let’s talk in the morning.’ That’s one thing I would have done differently, for sure.”