As for the Milwaukee prospect, sources say Bogdanovic had a number of concerns about that situation even before word spread that there would be a league investigation into the matter. But as of now, it’s that unwelcome development that appears to have been the proverbial nail in the coffin on a deal: If you’re a 28-year-old small forward with a robust free agency market, and you think there’s even a remote chance that the NBA might void whatever sign-and-trade deal ultimately put you in a Bucks jersey, then there’s just no way you take that risk. Oh, by the way, the Bucks’ choice to waive Ilyasova on Wednesday meant they lost a player whose salary was crucial to the construction of the original deal (his $7 million would have been guaranteed on Friday otherwise).
March 3, 2021 | 2:57 pm EST Update
Marc Stein: World roster for the Rising Stars game — which will NOT be played this year — as the NBA announced via @nba_topshot: Precious Achiuwa, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Deni Avdija, RJ Barrett, Facundo Campazzo, Brandon Clarke, Luguentz Dort, Rui Hachimura, Theo Maledon, Mychal Mulder.
Marc Stein: U.S. Rising Stars roster as the NBA announced via @nba_topshot: LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Tyler Herro, De’Andre Hunter, Keldon Johnson, Ja Morant, Michael Porter Jr., Zion Williamson, James Wiseman.
The Rockets, remember, could have traded Harden to the 76ers for Ben Simmons, but rumblings persist that Tilman Fertitta, Houston’s owner, pushed for the Nets’ deal built heavily on draft compensation in part because he could not bear to send Harden to Philadelphia, where Morey landed after their frosty parting. Amid the Nets’ surge to No. 1 in the N.B.A. in offensive efficiency (117.9 points per 100 possessions) and the Knicks’ unforeseen rise to No. 4 in the cushier Eastern Conference, I hope you haven’t missed last month’s other major development in the East: Simmons has responded to the sting of bracing himself for a trade to Texas with the best two-way basketball of his life.
Of late, teams have essentially built a wall in the paint to try to block his relentless attacks on the rim. The strategy has only created more opportunities for Zion’s teammates. His assists-per-game averages have steadily climbed, from 1.0 in December to 2.8 in January to 4.5 in February as he resurrects his days as a high school point guard and facilitator. “Playing with Z is amazing,” Pelicans backup center Willy Hernangomez said. “He just makes it easy. He’s just an animal or beast. Zion has been dominant.”
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic has been downgraded to doubtful for Wednesday night’s home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to low back tightness. A source told ESPN that Doncic is still expected to play in Sunday’s All-Star Game even if he sits out Wednesday, which is the Mavs’ final game before the break.
The Detroit Pistons announced plans today to place a limited number of tickets on sale beginning when the club plays the Toronto Raptors on March 17 at Little Caesars Arena. Working under direction of state and local government health professionals and guidelines, up to 750 fans will be allowed to attend upcoming games in this initial phase. Tickets will go on sale Thursday morning, March 4 at 10:00 a.m.
Roy Parry: The Orlando Magic Youth Foundation has reached its $1 million fundraising goal after a $700,000 contribution from Magic ownership — the DeVos family — and began its first wave of grants for 2021 on Wednesday.