NBA rumors: Donovan Mitchell: Darius Garland deserves to be in the All-Star Game

NBA Central: “Darius Garland deserves to be in the All-Star Game.” 👀 – Donovan Mitchell #DariusGarland #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/vtkY2Eztc6

More on All-Star Selections

Marc J. Spears: Second ballot of NBA All-Star voting. Ja and Luka in a battle for second West guard spot with Klay nearby. Andrew Wiggins third in West forward voting. Trae, Zach and Harden fighting for second East guard spot. pic.twitter.com/RIDYE7R0Qt

http://twitter.com/MarcJSpears/status/1481688411731730432

http://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/1479151146409287690
Fred Katz: First returns of All-Star fan voting are in. Fan starters as of now… West: Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Paul George East: James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid Derrick Rose makes a cameo. 7th in guard voting. pic.twitter.com/u0dkH6ycJq
Evan Dammarell: I asked Garland about whether or not he's thinking about being an All-Star and he flatly responded that he's focused on what's ahead for the #Cavs and cares more about wins. "They can vote me in if they want. I don't really care. I'm more focused on winning with these guys."
Josh Lewenberg: Nurse on VanVleet's all-star candidacy: "We've gotta climb the standings some, I just think that's part of it, and if we do then he certainly will deserve it... We know what he brings. He brings winning and leadership, scoring, great defender. So he's gotta be in consideration."
Connor Letourneau: Stephen Curry: "I don't want to get ahead of myself, but No. 22 should be in Cleveland this year with the way he's hooping." This is the umpteenth time this week a Warrior has gone out of his way to lobby for Wiggins to get to the All-Star Game.
Drew Hill: Taylor Jenkins: “Ja Morant is absolutely deserving of being an All-Star this year. And we know he is driven by helping this team win.”
Myles Turner: I want to be an All-Star in this league. I think I have the talent. I think I’m capable of doing that. I want to continue to improve my numbers. Coming back as an All-Defensive snub and being a Defensive Player of the Year. I feel like I’m snubbed and haven’t gotten the credit I deserve in that department. I’ve led the league in blocks, and that looks good and all, but no All-Defensive Teams, not a lot of consideration for Defensive Player of the Year. That’s the type of stuff that individually I’m looking to get for myself.
Having logged career highs in points (19.6), and minutes (36.5) last season while posting a solid 6.3 assists, VanVleet has set his sights on every possible accolade an NBA player can receive. "I definitely would like to be an all-star," said VanVleet. "I want to win all the awards. I want to be All-Defensive ... Those are all goals that I have. The good thing for me is that I probably won't achieve any of those if we aren't a good team or a top team."
When the ballot for the 2022 NBA All-Star game is released, multiple sources have confirmed to The Post that Kyrie Irving is expected to be on it. That leaves open the possibility that the Nets star could make his first, last and only appearance of the season in the All-Star Game. It’s unlikely and seems crazy, which pretty much makes it par for the course with the way Irving’s year has gone.
After knocking down a turnaround jumper over swingman Reggie Bullock with 1:49 left in regulation that gave the Sixers a four-point lead, Harris decided to remind everybody how he's feeling about that perceived snub. "I'm an All-Star!" he was caught saying by the NBC Sports Philadelphia cameras. "That's for sure what I said," Harris said postgame. "For me, that's just reaffirming that to myself. I know the fans know that, but reaffirming that to them and to myself, especially making those big plays. I try to just find motivation in different areas. That's one of them."
"He was pissed off," Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons said, referencing Harris and his omission from the All-Star team. "He should have been an All-Star. You got a few guys -- myself and Joel on this team, and then Tobias, I think people just take for granted how talented he is. If he was on the team I don't want to take anything away from any other All-Stars but if he was on a different team, he's going to be putting up those numbers. It's clear he's able to do that. But obviously it went the way it went, but he is, no matter what. To us, he's an All-Star, he's one of those guys who can get it done, go get a bucket. He's a big time player."
“You might want to call back, the league’s trying to reach you,” Conley said was the text message he received. “So I hop up real quick and say I’ll be right back, and go back in the bathroom and call the number back. He’s like ‘Hey, Mike, I’ve got some good news, there’s a spot available in the 3-point contest and the All-Star Game. … If you’re available?’ I’m like shit, I am doing nothing, sitting here with my family.”
Jorge Sierra: Only four players made their All-Star debut at an older age than Mike Conley this season: Kyle Korver Anthony Mason Sam Cassell Nat Clifton pic.twitter.com/0uBMAabYp0
Joe Ingles: This is some of the best news I’ve ever heard. @Mike Conley is an all star.. he earned this. Always been underrated. Shouldn’t be the first but go enjoy this with your family ❤️
Donovan Mitchell: I SEE YOU @Mike Conley 👀👀👀🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/xtoLdE2GD7
What about Heat wing Jimmy Butler, Bucks wing Khris Middleton, Heat big Bam Adebayo, Hawks guard Trae Young or Bucks guard Jrue Holiday? Ethan Skolnick of Five Reasons Sports Network: "For those who were sort of questioning why Jimmy wasn’t named to the All-Star team when Durant went out and it was Sabonis, I can tell you that the NBA wanted to name him to the All-Star team." "You know basically what he made known to the NBA?" "He wasn’t going unless Bam was going."
Bobby Marks: The All-Star language is negotiable in the contract: starter, reserve or replacement player. Sabonis has all three Rudy Gobert would not receive his $1M bonus if he was selected as a replacement player.
Marc Stein: Indiana's Domantas Sabonis will replace Brooklyn's Kevin Durant as an East All-Star, sources say, but a decision has not yet been made on how to handle the East captaincy now that Durant is not playing.
Tim MacMahon: Mike Conley on not being an All-Star: "Man, it was tough. I really, really thought this was the year. I joked with the guys on the team that I blame them. We should have started the year 31-0. Maybe that would have given me a chance, but I don’t know what else to do."
Eric Walden: Mike Conley: "They obviously know it was a tough day for me, as well as something to celebrate for them. … Tonight, I honestly was just playing the way I’ve been playing, but with a little more motivation. It’s disappointing, but that’s how my career has been."
Michael Scotto: Marc Gasol on Mike Conley’s All-Star snub: “It’s always tough. I’ve been with him when he deserved to be an All-Star in Memphis many years. He’s always been deserving but not making it. I think this year it’s a little bit tougher because they have the best record in the league." pic.twitter.com/G7n2HBG9H9
Jim Eichenhofer: Brandon Ingram, after being asked how he views not being All-Star: "I took it as motivation. Of course, I've got to be self-aware, and say that if it was questioned, maybe I'm not doing enough. Maybe I need to get more wins. I'll be good enough to not have it questioned anymore."
“I was happy for some of the first time All-Stars in Zach LaVine, Julius Randle,” Shaw said. “He was a player that I coached in L.A. He has gotten better and better every year. I thought that maybe Damian Lillard should have gotten a starting nod. (I’m also happy for) Jaylen Brown, a guy that played at Cal, who I’m familiar with in the Bay area. For him to get an All-Star nod, I thought that maybe he should have gotten one last year.”
Eric Walden: Donovan Mitchell, on Mike Conley's exclusion from the ASG: "It's unfortunate that we don't play on national TV enough for people to see his impact. … I thought he would get in. Hopefully he still will as Anthony Davis' replacement. … He's definitely earned a spot."
Gina Mizell: Chris Paul when asked about how Devin Booker is feeling abt All-Star snub: "Book is gonna be fine. Mont said it this morning, and it's true for me too, I came here because of Book. You know what I mean? Don't make any mistake about that. I came to Phoenix because of Book." #Suns
Will Guillory: Zion on the significance of reaching the All-Star game so early in his career: "That goes back to thanking my coaches and my teammates. Those guys really trust me and they really put me in a position to showcase who I am. ... I just want to thank them for allowing me to be me."
Vucevic, now 30 years old, says he gained added confidence when Clifford became the Magic’s head coach. Right out of the gate, Clifford would tell him how talented he is and what he’s capable of accomplishing if he has the right mindset and approach. “He’s been huge in the steps I’ve been able to take in the last two-and-a-half seasons he’s been here,’ Vucevic said of Clifford’s role in his maturation. “Mainly the thing that he’s been able to help me with is my approach to the game, my mentality, my confidence. It’s something that as soon as he came here, the first time we met, the things he told me was ‘you’re one of the best big men in the NBA, you can be a multiple-time All-Star, there’s so much room for you to grow.’”
Assessing total career value is one way to answer the question of the best non-All-Star, but it’s not the only method. A “compiler” with a bunch of decent but unspectacular seasons can put together an impressive career without ever making a strong All-Star case in any one season. So we can also look at the list of non-All-Stars with the best peaks, defined for these purposes as their best five seasons. Using this peak method, Conley moves into third place on the list—and will probably jump up to second by the time this season finishes, as he’s on pace for one of the best campaigns of his career.
“To me, Khris is an All-Star. All-Star player. Not to disrespect any of the other players that made the team, they’re all having great, great seasons, but Khris is an All-Star. Bottom line, he’s an All-Star.” Unsurprisingly, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer felt the same way. “We feel like Khris is an All-Star,” Budenholzer said postgame. “We feel like he deserves it. The numbers and everything, his efficiency and what he does in a game on both ends of the court is very special.
Eventually, Zach LaVine, the star of the Chicago Bulls, was selected for the All-Star Game. The 25-year-old was asked what message he would tell his 19-year-old self. His response focused on the hard and its fruits. “Hard work doesn’t fail. It really doesn’t,” LaVine said. “Just keep your head down and keep grinding, regardless of the result or recognition or the outside perception. That’s not what you do it for. You do it for your family and you do it for yourself and that’s what I still do. I could care less what the perception and what people say about me. I hear it all but at the end of the day, I love basketball. I’d do this if I got paid zero dollars. I put in so much work for me and my family. I would do this till I die.”
Falling below .500 is as bad as it gets. Nobody is taking shots in the press yet or arguing on the floor. As bad as Tatum, Brown or Walker may be shooting on a given night, none of them have cut the brakes. “I don’t feel very much like an All-Star because we’re below .500 and I’ve got to do a better job of inspiring my teammates and getting guys going and learning and growing,” Brown said. “It’s not all about just scoring the ball. I’ve realized that. It’s about getting teammates involved and things like that. I’m learning and I’m growing in that process.”
“He’s playing with tremendous confidence,” Derrick Rose said. “His confidence is very high. Great leader for the team. Me just watching everything up close. He added the trey ball to his game, so he’s even more effective. He’s just balling right now. With the first group and whenever he’s in the second group, we’re trying to play through him and find him because he’s demanding the double team and that’s what we need from him. He makes the game a lot easier.”
While Booker was left out, Paul made it for the 11th time in his 16-year NBA career as he's averaging 16.6 points and 8.5 assists in his first season in Phoenix. "Probably the most bittersweet of them all cause Book is an all-star," said Chris Paul on TNT's Inside The NBA postgame show Tuesday night. "It's not taking away from any of the guys that were named all-stars, but our team, the Phoenix Suns, we go as Booker goes and we know that and he knows that."
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams was certain Devin Booker deserved to be an NBA All-Star again this year. "There's no doubt about it. No one can debate that Book's not an all-star," Williams said after Monday's game. "End of story. The impact on winning, the numbers and we have a few wins. So from my perspective, I don't think you'll find any coach in the league that would debate that he isn't an all-star. End of story."
“You saw a lot of guys make it for the first time, you saw a lot of guys that I’ve seen there over the years. It was disappointing not to see Devin Booker on there,.” said Lillard, had to sit out last year’s game due to injury and was replaced by Suns guard. “They’ve had a great season, obviously they blew us out last night, but they’ve been an up and down team over the years and this year they’ve taken off with Chris Paul. Obviously Chris Paul is who he is but I definitely think Devin Booker should have had a spot on that roster. To me, that’s out of control. Come on, that’s crazy.”
Eric Koreen: “I’m very disappointed,” Nurse says of VanVleet not making the All-Star Game. He takes nothing away from guys who made it, recognizes how deep talent is. “He’s played his guts out,” and has been a big reason for Raptors’ turn-around.
Keith Pompey: Torrel Harris on his client Tobias being an all-star snub: “An ALL-STAR is for players who are consistent and play each game at the highest level, with not taking off games. Tobias has helped lead his team to be in 1st place. It's very disappointing that Tobias was not selected.”
Tim MacMahon: The All-Star case for Rockets big man Christian Wood, as stated by agent @PensackSports :

http://twitter.com/espn_macmahon/status/1364389084433584128
Harrison Wind: Jamal Murray on not making the All-Star team: "Championship is the goal. Obviously, you find some milestones and you miss out on some. There’s a lot more to achieve this season than just being an All-Star."
Marla Ridenour: #Cavs @CollinSexton02 on not making @NBAAllStar: "It just showed me like, ‘All right, we’ve still got work to do, we’re not there yet.’ I can’t sulk, I can’t be upset about it. Things happen and things happen for a reason. That’s why it’s here in Cleveland next year.”
Mike Conley: Yessir!! Congrats to @spidadmitchell @rudygobert27 ! Hopefully many more to come!!
All that remains for Vucevic’s season — of course, in addition to leading the 11-18 team back into the playoff picture — is to return to the All-Star Game. It would be a vindication of sorts. It would prove, perhaps once and for all, that he is one of the sport’s best centers. “When you make it twice,” Vucevic said, “nobody can take that away from you. I think it would really put me at a much higher level.”
“When you compare his play from last year or two years ago, that’s just the key,” said Vucevic’s best friend on the Magic, swingman Evan Fournier. “He’s always been dominant down low when he catches the ball in the paint. His hook shots and his fadeaways and stuff, he’s always been very good at that. But this year, it’s just the quick 3 on top of the key. It’s a game-changer.”
"I love you so much and I'm so proud of the son and teammate that you are." Julius Randle's mom congratulated him on being a first time #NBAAllStar

http://twitter.com/YahooSports/status/1364396403447853058
Durant and Irving had been selected as starters, and Harden will head to Atlanta as a reserve, having just been edged out by Irving in the voting among Eastern Conference guards. But considering Harden’s stellar play since joining the Nets, he’s closer to being an MVP contender than he was to being an All-Star snub. “James, I mean, clearly an All-Star, all-world player has brought so much to our team: leadership, playmaking and scoring the ball,” Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said before Tuesday night’s official announcement on TNT. “He’s been outstanding. We’re grateful to have him.”
Michael Scotto: Chris Paul is the third player to be an All-Star on four different teams, joining Moses Malone and Shaquille O’Neal. CP3 leads the NBA in free throw percentage (.972), ranks sixth in assists per game (8.5) and 14th in win shares (3.7). Big reason why Suns are fourth in the West. pic.twitter.com/gVSf9KAhge
Sam Amick: Aaron Goodwin, agent to San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan, expresses frustration at his client's All-Star exclusion. DeRozan - 19.8 points, 6.9 assists, & five rebounds - has the Spurs 6th in the West "I'd love to see the coaches' votes. At some point, the winning has got to matter."
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May 18, 2022 | 1:01 am EDT Update

Nets GM: Team hasn't had conversations with Kyrie Irving yet about his contract

Talks between Irving, Marks and Nets owner Joe Tsai have yet to happen. “I look forward to [it],” Marks told YES Network. “We have not had a conversation yet. So I look forward to getting in a room with him and Joe and his team, and we will. We’ll see what it looks like for Kyrie moving forward here, and what he needs from us and so forth. “So, again, it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on what hypothetical could happen, because we don’t know. We haven’t had those conversations with Kyrie yet. But when they do, we’ll see if it’s the right fit for both sides.”
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If Irving opts out, he would be eligible for a four-year, $189.7 million extension or even a five-year, $245.6 million deal, with only the Nets able to offer him the fifth year. If he picks up his option, he could ink extensions of either three or four years, picking up in 2023-24, but that would require leaving more than $5 million on the table next season. The Nets should be expected to try to protect themselves, either with a shorter deal or baked-in incentives. Irving’s current four-year, $136 million deal contains a total of $4.3 million in incentives, per Spotrac, with $3 million of that so-called “unlikely bonuses.”

Heat take Game 1 from Celtics 118-107

Butler scored 27 of his 41 points in the second half, and a huge third quarter by the Heat carried them to a 118-107 win over the short-handed Boston Celtics 118-107 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night. “Jimmy Butler is an elite competitor,” Spoelstra said. “There’s a lot of guys in this league that are playing basketball. He’s competing to win. That’s a totally different thing and he does that as well as anybody in this league.”
2 hours ago via ESPN
Tyler Herro scored 18 and Gabe Vincent added 17 for the Heat, who outscored Boston 39-14 in the third quarter. Butler had 17 alone in the third, outscoring the Celtics by himself over those 12 minutes. Boston shot 2 for 15 in that third quarter. “We won three quarters other than that, but obviously that one is going to stand out,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. “We semi-bounced back in the fourth and started to play well again and matched their physicality, but 39-14 on 2-for-15 is tough to overcome.”
2 hours ago via ESPN
The Celtics became unglued in the third quarter of their Game 1 matchup against the Miami Heat and a lot of that was the team’s own doing according to head coach Ime Udoka. All season long, Udoka has prided himself on trying to make the Celtics be a team that doesn’t get caught up in battling with the officials. However, as the Celtics watched the Heat erupt for a 39-14 third quarter explosion, Udoka “We all got caught up in officiating a little bit in that quarter when they got physical,” Udoka admitted. “Instead of trying to make the right play, drive and kick, get to the basket, we were looking for fouls, and that led to some of those turnovers.”
Storyline: Officiating Complaints
“Got out-physicaled, got out-toughed,” Udoka said. “They looked like they came out in the second half and wanted to up their physicality and aggression on both ends, and they did that. I don’t think we obviously responded well on either end of the floor. We had eight of our 16 turnovers in that quarter, played in the crowd on offense, got sped up. And then defensively, offensive rebounds, getting muscled around in the post. Some poor fouls got them to the free throw line. “So, flipped very quickly and just lost our composure. We won three quarters other than that, but obviously that one is going to stand out. We semi-bounced back in the fourth and started to play well again and matched their physicality, but 39-14 on 2-for-15 is tough to overcome.”