“One of the best players to ever play the game,’’…

“One of the best players to ever play the game,’’ Antetokounmpo said after the Bucks fell into a 3-2 hole by blowing a 17-point lead. “He’s the best player in the world right now. We got to beat him as a team and make him make tough shots. And hopefully he’s going to miss. If coach wants to double him, we’ll double him”
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July 27, 2021 | 1:07 pm EDT Update

Pelicans to pursue Kyle Lowry

However, the speculation is the Pels have the opposite plan in mind: That they want to pursue Toronto guard Kyle Lowry in free agency, and now have the ammunition to outbid anybody if need be. (Sources also tell The Athletic the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat will be major suitors for Lowry, with Dallas trying to clear more room to give itself a leg up).
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However, Memphis may not be done dealing. Sources tell The Athletic the Grizzlies are also discussing deals involving their surfeit of perimeter players. Additionally, Bledsoe is unlikely to be in Memphis’s plans and could be bought out or stretched; the latter would give Memphis $14 million in cap room, though it might overly complicate future seasons once Jaren Jackson, Jr. and Ja Morant have extensions on the books. (A perhaps more valid thought is once the deal is completed, Memphis could turn and swap Bledsoe and Jon Konchar to Sacramento for Buddy Hield.)
League sources say the Kings continue to be active in shopping this pick, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley in separate deals. A Sacramento shake-up seems inevitable, but keeping this choice provides a range of options. The Kings have a lot of interest in Franz Wagner, but they could also go with Sengun, who won Turkish league MVP at just 18 years old. He’s a low-post scorer with the touch to someday become a threat from 3. Passing is his best skill; pairing him with De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton could lead to exciting results.

Derrick Favors on the block

On Sunday, ESPN reported “the Jazz reportedly have some luxury tax concerns” and may look to move a veteran like Joe Ingles for a pick. The Action Network’s Matt Moore said the Jazz are “eager” to move Derrick Favors and would attach this pick to do so. League sources have told me the same. If Utah elects to retain this selection, or add another, Sharpe is a perfect target. He’s a tough big who could back up Rudy Gobert and provide some small-ball 5 potential with his versatility.
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It would be a surprise if the Pistons don’t keep this pick and draft Cunningham, but league sources say that Jalen Green had an outstanding workout with Detroit last week. The front office will mull trading down if teams keep making offers, but teams will have to pay a significant price to move up. Unless things quickly change in the next 48 hours, expect Cunningham to bring his versatile talents to the Motor City.
League sources don’t expect Davion Mitchell to be the selection here. Giddey is believed around the league to be one of the Warriors’ main targets, though Jonathan Kuminga and Keon Johnson, among others, are in the conversation. It’ll be interesting to see how the board falls if Giddey is indeed the pick, especially considering Memphis is reportedly into him at no. 10. For the Warriors, he could provide size and playmaking ability, valuable skills in an offense that shares the ball.