Gooden likely to receive buyout

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Drew Gooden was included in the Mavericks/Wizards trade to make the salaries work, but he may not end up playing basketball for Washington. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Gooden will “likely negotiate a buyout” with the Wizards. Wojnarowski reports that the Nuggets, Bucks, and Bobcats are the most likely suitors for Gooden, and that a return to the Mavericks is still in play. 

Gooden is capable of scoring in a variety of ways and has shown flashes of strong play, but the former #4 overall pick has never quite put all of his skills together. He’s never been a very efficient scorer at the NBA level, and his defense has been somewhat of an issue. Gooden’s greatest strength is his rebounding. Gooden has been effective on the boards, and is currently in the top-10 in rebound rate among power forwards. It makes sense that teams helmed by Larry Brown and Scott Skiles are looking at Gooden, as both coaches value the ability to control the boards. 
Gooden will never live up to his potential as a top-5 pick. However, he can still contribute to a quality team, and could be a nice discount pickup amidst all the big trade rumors. 

Joel Embiid having fun, will compete in three events All-Star Weekend

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LOS ANGELES — Joel Embiid is going to enjoy his weekend in Los Angeles. And his first All-Star Game.

Embiid played 9 minutes for the World in its dominating Rising Stars Challenge win (which is more than most people expected him to play). He’s scheduled to take part in the All-Star Saturday Skills Challenge, then is a starter on Team Steph in Sunday’s All-Star Game.

Like he always is, Embiid is just trying to enjoy himself.

“When I have fun, that means I’m dominating on the court, kicking someone’s ass, and I need that,” Embiid said Friday afternoon in Los Angeles. “Every time I have fun that’s what I do. One thing that I told myself when I came back (from injuries), just go out there and have fun because that’s another way for me to dominate the game. If I’m frustrated, usually it doesn’t go well. It can go both ways, but usually, it doesn’t go well.

“Social media, on the court, it’s all about having fun.”

When he returns to Philly, he’s got to focus on the fun of making sure the Sixers make the playoffs. But for a weekend, he’s soaking up the sun and fun in Los Angeles.

LeBron James responds to Laura Ingraham: #wewillnotshutupanddribble

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A month before the latest school shooting and mass killing in a Florida high school, Kevin Durant and LeBron James recorded a video for the Uninterrupted where they vented that president Donald Trump does not care about most people not does he try to unite them. That video dropped just after the school shooting, where the president took heat for his comments on the situation.

Taking a lazy intellectual path designed to fire up her base, Fox News host Laura Ingraham took the “stick to sports” argument to an  offensive level, saying LeBron and KD should “shut up and dribble.”

Jaylen Brown of the Celtics had already done an excellent job taking down Ingraham’s misguided attack, Durant had responded as well and called the comments ignorant and racist.

Now LeBron has responded on Instagram.

#wewillnotshutupanddribble

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron and Durant are citizens with the right to speak out, and they should.

Hopefully, this can be the end of this “controversy,” only because Ingraham isn’t worth it.

Team USA turned Rising Stars into dunking exhibition (VIDEO)

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Nobody tunes into the Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star Friday night to see a tight defensive shell and quick rotations to help the helper. We want the game’s great young players to entertain us with their skills.

Team USA may have gotten blown out in the game, but they put on a show — they were dunking everything. As you can see above.

The best dunk of the game? Had to be Donovan Mitchell‘s self alley-oop. Which a good sign heading into Saturday’s dunk contest.

I’m the one — Quavo named MVP of All-Star Friday Celebrity game (VIDEO)

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LOS ANGELES — Turns out, Quavo can ball a little.

The rapper/record producer dropped 19 points to lead Team Clippers to the win in the NBA’s All-Star Friday Celebrity Game.

Turns out Quavo was a high school quarterback who has a little athleticism, which separates him in this setting. But he had some skills too — he actually pulled off a Euro-step in transition to get the and-1 at one point.

Not that anyone tunes into this for the quality of basketball, it’s all about seeing the stars. Still, here are some highlights from the game, enjoy.