January 18, 2021 | 11:11 am EST Update
People around the league wonder what Rockets general manager Rafael Stone will do next following the Harden blockbuster. As I reported last week, Victor Oladipo, an impending free agent, has eyes for Miami. Could the Heat, or another team looking to contend—such as the Nuggets or Celtics—try to acquire him? And how about P.J. Tucker? Numerous teams have already inquired about the stout versatile defender, and league sources say Houston is currently demanding three second-round draft picks for the upcoming unrestricted free agent.
But don’t be surprised if there are more trades on the horizon for the Nets. According to Brian Windhorst, one such player who could be on the move is 23-year-old combo guard Landry Shamet (via ESPN): “I don’t know what sort of trade value that they have left on their roster. I talked to two different teams that the Nets offered Landry Shamet to in the last week, attempting to get a first-round pick. They were trying to keep Jarrett Allen, as you can imagine. So to get the fourth first-round pick, they were trying to find a team that would give them anything and so they shopped Landry Shamet pretty hard, from what I understand.”
Brooklyn acquired Shamet from the Clippers as part of a three-teamtrade that occurred on the night of the 2020 NBA draft. The sharpshooter projected as an ideal fit for the Nets considering how many open looks he would get on the floor alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Shamet is a shooting specialist who does not provide a ton of extra value as a playmaker or on defense. But he is currently averaging a career-worst 5.4 points per game. Similarly, his three-pointers per game (1.1) and three-point percentage (30.6 percent) are both the lowest marks of his career. Meanwhile, he is down from 27.4 minutes per game last season to just 17.6 minutes per game so far in 2020-21.
The Sixers missed out on Harden. There’s no other way around it. Harden would have given them what they lack in a superstar perimeter shot-creator. But the price was undeniably high. League sources say the Rockets demanded Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, and three first-round picks from the Sixers in return for Harden. You can’t blame Morey for refusing to go all in when there’s long-term risk in adding a 31-year-old who has only two guaranteed seasons left on his deal. There also could be other options available eventually from losing teams, such as Washington’s Bradley Beal or Chicago’s Zach LaVine.
However, Houston’s demand says something more about the value of Simmons around the league. And that could impact Philadelphia’s hopes of acquiring a player who can fill its void. Every team executive recognizes Simmons is one of the league’s best defenders and a dynamic open-floor playmaker. Perhaps in a different situation, he could fill a role resembling Giannis Antetokounmpo’s. But Simmons also has plenty of skeptics who see his inability to shoot as a fatal flaw.
They were completely unprepared for the news Raman delivered — that she was joining the Grizzlies as an assistant coach. “At first we were like, ‘Grizzlies? What college is that?’” Kylie Gallagher, a senior forward, recalled. Raman quickly clarified that she was headed to the N.B.A.’s Memphis Grizzlies, then worked off prepared notes — she knew she would be emotional — as she thanked her players and her staff, and offered more details about the unexpected opportunity that had come her way. “Oh, they were shocked,” Raman, 46, said in a recent interview. “But those players are a part of me, and my experiences with them has made me the coach I am now.”
Maybe, if everything breaks right, sports leagues somehow muddle through this bleak winter, hanging on tight until players—and the rest of us—are finally all vaccinated. Until we reach the end of that tunnel. “Obviously we want sports, and we want activities that provide leisure and fun,” says Vespignani. “And I understand that for professional players—especially to play in an arena where there is no audience, to stay in a bubble aside from the family—it’s difficult. But these are difficulties we’re all facing in different ways. Children do not go to school. We work from home. So we all need to cope with that for a few more months and be very strict with the rules.
Following the success of the organization’s Swarm The Polls initiative around the 2020 elections, Hornets Sports & Entertainment (HSE) today officially launched its Social Justice Platform, which includes elements related to economic mobility and racial equity, in addition to voting. As part of the launch, the organization unveiled a website at hornets.com/social-justice-platform that will include information on HSE’s initiatives, as well as links to external resources and organizations. “We are pleased to unveil our full Social Justice Platform as we look to make a meaningful impact in the areas of economic mobility, racial equity and voting,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “We are glad to use our voice to raise awareness and provide support around topics that are so important to our community. While social justice is not a new focus for our organization, we are excited about continuing to be more intentional about how we position our efforts.”