NBA Rumor: Terrence Ross Trade?

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One of the teams most eager to move its first-rounder along for immediate help is the Pelicans, who have won two straight games as they’ve gotten Elfrid Payton and Nikola Mirotic back from injury but are still desperate for small forward help. A source told SN that the Pels made a pitch for small forward Kelly Oubre before Washington traded him to Phoenix, and New Orleans has continued to look for a starting-quality wing. The Pelicans have shown interest in Orlando small forward Terrence Ross, who has had a career year, but is a free agent this summer and uncertain to re-sign with the Magic.

The same deal the Raptors gave the Orlando Magic for Ibaka — swingman Terrence Ross and a first-round pick (the lesser of the Raptors’ own pick and a pick the Clippers have to convey from a previous deal) — the Bulls had been discussed for Gibson last season, sources tell CSNChicago.com. The exact parameters of such a deal this time around were vague but the Bulls were discussing a deal involving Gibson for a first-round pick with the Raptors. However, league sources tell CSNChicago.com that Ross wasn’t involved in these discussions.

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have acquired forward-centre Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic in exchange for forward-guard Terrence Ross and a future first-round draft pick. “Our organization is excited to add a player of this caliber to our team as we strive to reach the next level,” said Raptors President Masai Ujiri. “Serge Ibaka brings valuable postseason experience and elevates our talent level in many different areas. We thank Terrence for his dedication and service to the Raptors organization. He is a wonderful young man who has helped our team grow the last few seasons.”

“It’s been a challenge because what the league has done over the last few years has been dramatic in terms of the style of play and the sophisticated offenses that you are seeing now,’’ Magic coach Frank Vogel said of his team’s struggles in trying to adapt to 3-point-heavy, “small-ball’’ lineups. “You see the offensive numbers just sky-rocketing league-wide. I don’t think anyone in the Eastern Conference has a defensive rating under 102 (points per 100 possessions). That just wasn’t that way a year or two years ago and it’s largely about the spread lineups that you are seeing. So it has been tough to play two bigs,’’ Vogel continued. “That’s why we went to putting (Biyombo) solely as the back-up center.’’

The Raptors will send guard/forward Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round draft pick to the Magic, league sources said. Toronto owns two first-round picks in the draft – including the Clippers’ pick – and will send Orlando the lesser in value of the two choices, league sources said. Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri has long been intrigued with Ibaka, and made the deal with the expectation that the Raptors will be aggressive in working to re-sign Ibaka this summer, league sources said.

But Toronto has played hardball when it comes to acquiring power forward help. Caboclo does not figure to be part of any trade discussions, as he has been a project the team wants to complete itself. A source also said that Toronto has also long resisted the idea of trading sixth man Terrence Ross. The Raptors have been loath to mortgage the future entirely for players such as Gallinari, Gibson or Ibaka, all of whom can be free agents next summer (Gallinari has a player option worth $16 million, and could opt in for that final season).

Raptors interested in Nerlens Noel

The Raptors will need to move at least one big deal to have any hope of retaining both DeMar DeRozan and Biyombo, and teams will call about DeMarre Carroll. Toronto has already approached Philly about a deal sending out a rotation player — perhaps Terrence Ross, and other goodies — in exchange for Nerlens Noel, who could then assume Biyombo’s backup center role, according to league sources. The talks haven’t gained much traction yet.
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September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "There’s no room for players who do not want to get vaccinated"

“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
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Kyrie Irving following and liking conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines

Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs the seven-time All-Star’s family foundation and is one of the few people in his regular circle of advisors. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
Storyline: Coronavirus Vaccine

At least 50 NBA players yet to receive a single COVID-19 vaccine dose?

A spokeswoman for Irving declined to respond to a list of questions regarding his vaccination and playing status, and Irving did not immediately respond to a message from Rolling Stone. But as teams return to pre-season training camps next week, fifty to sixty NBA players have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, league sources tell RS. Most are considered merely reluctant skeptics. Some of the holdouts, however, amount to their own shadow roster of anti-vaxxers mounting a behind-the-scenes resistance to Covid protocols — and the truth.
Isaac considers un-vaxxed players to be vilified and bullied, and he thinks “it’s an injustice” to automatically make heroes out of vaccinated celebrities. He rejects the NBA’s proposal for a vaccine mandate and social distancing for players like him during team travel: “You can play on the same court. We can touch the same ball. We can bump chests. We can do all those things on the court. And then when it comes to being on the bus, we have to be in different parts of the bus? To me, it doesn’t seem logically consistent. “If you are vaccinated, in other places you still have to wear the mask regardless. It’s like, ‘OK, then what is the mask necessarily for?’” Isaac continues. “And if Kyrie says that from his position of his executive power in the NBPA, then kudos to him.”
Enes Kanter — the veteran center, devout Muslim and outspoken liberal — senses a creep of the religious right upon his workplace, which just happens to involve players like Isaac sweating all over him and yelling in his face: “If a guy’s not getting vaccinated because of his religion, I feel like we are in a time where the religion and science has to go to together,” he tells RS. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious guys — I’m like: ‘It saves people’s lives, so what is more important than that?’”
Storyline: Coronavirus Vaccine