Kerry Kittles on the Brooklyn Nets’ chances of winning a title without Kyrie Irving in the fold currently… “No. They need Kyrie. They DEFINITELY need Kyrie. I just think that it puts too much pressure on those two guys. I think in this era nowadays, you need three stars. You definitely need three high caliber players that can control the game with the ball in their hands. We saw what happened last year with the injuries across the League; the game is so fast now, you know? Injuries are always going to play a role in today’s game unfortunately and Kyrie definitely has to come back to help this team get to the championship and have a chance of winning it. Without him, if they can make the Eastern Conference Finals, that would be a great season. I don’t care what happens in the regular season. They DEFINITELY need Kyrie in the postseason.”
January 21, 2022 | 6:14 pm EST Update
That 2027 first is clearly the most valuable trade asset that the Lakers currently possess. The Lakers have tried, with no luck yet, to package that pick with Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn in an attempt to acquire Jerami Grant from Detroit.
Marc Stein on Lakers: They obviously would love to make some kind of upgrade. As somebody put it to me this week, the Lakers are not a stay-the-course team when things are going bad. They want to make changes. But look, we all know the reality, they’ve got limited assets. They’ve got THT, they’ve got Nunn, they’ve got a draft pick that’s five years away. That’s really that. That’s really all they can do. So, will they try to do something? I’m sure they will.
Marc Stein on Ben Simmons: When I talk to executives with other teams, it just comes up so much so often, that these rival executives think that Daryl’s real goal here is to wait till the offseason and try to do a sign and trade for James Harden. Now, that would be super complicated, because it would hard cap the Sixers and they would definitely have to shed much more salary. Much more salary than just Ben here. So the mathematics of a Harden sign and trade, even if Harden is like ‘I want to go to Philly’, even if that happened, that would be difficult.
January 21, 2022 | 5:25 pm EST Update
Anthony Slater: Andrew Wiggins is questionable tonight vs Rockets with left foot soreness. Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala already out, resting on the second night of a back-to-back. Steph Curry, as expected, will play.
StatMuse: Devin Booker is shooting 62.5% in the clutch, 45.5% from three. Chris Paul is +64 in the clutch, the highest +/- in the NBA. The Suns are 15-3 in clutch games this season. pic.twitter.com/Q8I2L62LwK