March 3, 2021 | 5:50 am EST Update
Kevin O’Connor: I’ve heard two other teams that could be connected to JJ (Redick) and a potential trade and that’s Denver, and Dallas.
Rival scouts and executives believe the Lakers are looking for upgrades in their frontcourt. Obviously, Cleveland’s Andre Drummond would be high on their wish list if bought out. Rival executives have wondered if the Lakers could either try to add Sacramento’s Hassan Whiteside or maybe even reunite with JaVale McGee if the former Laker gets bought out and becomes a free agent.
It’ll be a buyout. This is a given. It’ll be a buyout at some point. When they get to that stage, and he’s a free agent, he’s still a guy who is a really smart player, who has become a really great playmaker late in his career, a great passer out of the post and on the perimeter, who can still get by some guys, can knock down a jumper and has a little bit of range. So I think he can be a useful player—a rotation guy. But not a starter on a good team, likely a bench guy. And we can talk about possible destinations, but I think there are a few times that could use him.
“It’s situational,’’ Thibodeau said of Rivers. “He’s got to keep working.’’ Rivers seemed to anger Thibodeau last week when he raised the prospect several times of being traded at any moment. When asked if Rivers has an injury, Thibodeau confirmed he has “an ankle issue.’’ Nevertheless, Rivers has not been put on the injury report.
With New York on track for its first winning season and playoff appearance since the 2012-2013 season, a lot of teams and players around the league have taken notice. In fact, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed on his podcast that he believes an All-Star caliber player would demand a trade to the Knicks within the next 12 months. While Windhorst declined to name a specific All-Star player, he added that he has guesses about which players could potentially be lured to play in the Big Apple. He cited several reasons as to why players would want to play for the Knicks, from its status as one of the league’s biggest markets, the team’s collection of draft picks, and sizeable cap space that could be used to sign more players.
As James Harden prepares to face his former team for the first time since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, the superstar guard reflected on his eight-year tenure with the Houston Rockets and said that when he enters Houston’s Toyota Center on Wednesday night (7:30 ET on ESPN), he hopes to be “received with love.” “The love and the appreciation that I’ve given to that city and that I still give to that city, I’m hoping that the favor can be returned,” Harden told ESPN in a wide-ranging interview.
“I feel like I’m a part of the community,” Harden said. “Me now being in Brooklyn, it hasn’t changed the way I feel about that city and everything it’s done for me. So whether it’s trying to feed as many people as I can, get water, as much water as I can to the people that need it.”