The Blazers’ interest in trading at least one of those picks to acquire Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant has been one of the worst-kept secrets in NBA circles. “That was a big deal to them,” said a Western Conference official. “The expectation was certainly, ‘Once we get this pick, we’ll turn it into someone. We’ll overpay to get someone.’” Grant seemed to be at the top of their list. He and Lillard have a relationship dating back to their days with Team USA, and they share an interest in playing together once again, sources said.
July 6, 2022 | 7:48 pm EDT Update
Dane Moore: Tim Connelly said Rudy Gobert had “no shortage of suitors” and that the Wolves had a “pretty good sense of the market” it would take to land him. But Connelly also said Utah was “maybe the biggest competitor” — because “this was not a fire-sale” for the Jazz.
Dane Moore: Tim Connelly when asked why it was a priority to keep Jaden McDaniels out of the Rudy Gobert trade: “He’s a near perfect fit… We think Jaden can be an All-League defensive player. And we just got the best defensive player in the world. So that gets you pretty excited.”
In 2014, Steve Ballmer created an early version of USAFacts, a website that set out to answer his own questions about the way American government works — and doesn’t work. Eight years on, USAFacts is a nonprofit group that now produces an annual report on the state of the country, stuffed with slickly produced figures and charts on trends in living standards, firearm-related deaths, inflation’s effect on wage growth, states that are weathering the pandemic the best and much, much more.
When we spoke, Ballmer had just returned from a whirlwind day of briefings on Capitol Hill, where he met with the House Select Committee on Modernization and the Problem Solvers Caucus, as well as Representative Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, and Representative Kevin McCarthy, the chamber’s top Republican. He also sat down with Denice Ross, the chief data scientist in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. On the Senate side, he briefed around 25 senators — all of them Democrats, despite his best efforts to assemble a bipartisan audience.
If Ballmer ruled the world, he would require politicians to document their agreement on a common set of facts. That alone, he thinks, would work wonders. “Every elected official should have to read some summary and sign and say, ‘Yes, this is the basis of which I believe.’”
July 6, 2022 | 7:03 pm EDT Update
Christopher Hine: Rudy Gobert on what he noticed different with the Timberwolves last season, and why he felt this could be a good fit for him: “Their will to win was different, their culture and the way they were approaching the games, I felt like something had changed.”