Ricky Rubio had a part in Kevin Martin being traded to Houston?

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Okay, this is a little complicated, so try and keep up. Sam Amick for the Sacramento Bee has a fascinating piece that was originally published here, then pulled, then reposted somewhere else, then yanked again, and finally blogged here. We’ll start at the beginning, last summer when the Kings were going through the draft process.

  1. Ricky Rubio is represented by Agent Dan Fegan, who of course wants to get the most money and best situation for his client. Naturally, a lot of pressure would be applied to those teams dealing with Fegan regarding Rubio to make Rubio happy.
  2. This pressure may have put off Kings’ GM Geoff Petrie, helping him to draft Tyreke Evans, who is, quite simply, awesome. Petrie likely thought Evans was the better prospect anyway, but Fegan may have pushed him a little further in the other direction.
  3. While Evans is destroying the league this season, Kevin Martin is hurt, and signs with… you guessed it, Fegan.
  4. Then when Martin comes back, he faces the reality that not only is this Tyreke Evans’ team (and you can tell from how teammates react to Evans- and the fact that he dominates in every aspect of the game for stretches, ask the Knicks.), but that the Kings aren’t headed to the playoffs.
  5. Martin becomes unhappy, and naturally, his agent works to help his client out.
  6. So now Petrie is dealing with an agent he’s not particularly fond of after the Rubio negotiations this summer, representing a malcontent small guard who’s career hasn’t exactly thundered in win after win.
  7. Martin is traded for Carl Landry and a boatload of cap space

So Ricky Rubio, the scrawny point guard who teased with going to the league this year, then left the Timberwolves hanging like it was prom night, may have indirectly had a part in Kevin Martin being traded to the Rockets.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. 

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.