Riley talked to Wade about trades

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nba_wade1_250.jpgThe Miami Heat made some very public plays around the trade deadline, trying to land Amar’e Stoudemire or Carlos Boozer to be the inside to Dwyane Wade’s outside. (Sure, Wade is more of a slash to the inside guy, but you know what we’re saying.)

Those attempts were more about this summer than this season. The Heat are one of several teams fighting for the last few playoff spots in the East (currently they are seventh), but even if they landed one of the big names the Heat are not a rounded enough squad yet and were destined to be bounced in the first round.

The moves — and their very public nature — were about showing Wade how serious the Heat are. “See Dwyane, we tried ever so hard, but the other teams just were not nice. Please do sign a new deal here and we will try again this summer.”

Along those same lines, Heat President Pat Riley told Joe Rose of WQAM in Miami that Wade has been consulted on deals.

Yes I think that the landscape of the NBA has changed. I coached Earvin (Johnson) and Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) and was around Jerry West and I knew what his relationship was like with his great players. I am sure at that time I knew for a fact that Jerry would talk with Magic and Kareem and find out about these guys and what they will need and what is this player like. I think it goes on in all sports. We have a very ultra competitive superstar, I mean ultra competitive. A fierce competitor and he wants to win. He is no different than myself, no different than Mickey (Arison), and this is what the franchise has been built on. Those kinds of players. So we want to add the kinds of players that are going to compliment Dwyane, Udonis, Beasley and Mario Chalmers and the picks that we make in the first round this year and hope that he is not just going to be pleased with him, but he is going to say I got more guys to go to battle with. He gets consulted, maybe not on a daily basis but on certain guys because I know he knows them.”

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek: “We can use some more defensive players”

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For all the flipping between the triangle and a more modern offense, despite ball stopping by Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks offense is 17th in the NBA for the season. Not good, but the middle of the pack, right around Oklahoma City, Miami, and Memphis — all playoff teams (or potential ones in Miami’s case).

The reason the Knicks season ends in seven games is their defense — 25th in the NBA. Put the triangle in (and get players who fit the system) or don’t, but that’s not the end of the court where the Knicks need to improve. And while system matters on defense, the fact of the matter the Knicks roster is loaded with poor and/or indifferent individual defenders.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek emphasized all this speaking to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

“I think if you look at our defense this year, we can use some more defensive players,” Hornacek said. “[Management] will look at that. [General manager] Steve [Mills] and [president] Phil [Jackson] and those guys will look at whatever can help us out. We know we need some help there.”

Admitting you have a problem is the first step. Now comes the time for action.

The Knicks are going to have a Top 10 draft pick (currently sixth) plus max-player money in free agency. Also, they are looking to move Anthony this summer (he has a no-trade clause so he will have to agree to it). All of which is to say they have a chance to reshape this roster into one that will have more of a defensive focus. Or any defensive focus for that matter.

It will be interesting to see if the Knicks target more defensive minded free agents this summer, ones who might fit the triangle offense such as Thabo Sefolosha, or to a lesser extent Tony Allen. It’s going to be a fascinating summer in New York.

Master P says Pelicans should hire him as assistant coach: ‘I’m serious’

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Did you know Master P had two NBA contracts?

Percy Miller was with the Hornets before the 1999 season and the Raptors before the 1999-00 season. But he was cut in the preseason both times.

These were mostly publicity stunts. Still, the rapper could actually play a bit. NBA quality? He long insisted yes, though his music career provided a convenient and lucrative excuse for sidetracking his basketball ambitions.

Yet, now, the New Orleans native says he wants back in the NBA with the Pelicans — in a different role.

Master P, via TMZ:

I think they need me to be an assistant coach.

I’m serious about coaching.

I don’t think he’s actually serious.

But if he is, would it be a good idea? Probably not. The Pelicans have real issues integrating Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, and they need devoted coaches, not passing entertainers, to solve this.

Would it be fun? Heck yeah.

Pistons’ D-League team wins on buzzer-beater unlike any you’ve ever seen (video)

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Sending an inbound pass through the rim is, of course, a turnover.

But sending an inbound pass off the rim to a teammate who converts the shot? Sure, that counts.

Ray McCallum and Ramon Harris gave the Pistons-affiliated Grand Rapids Drive a win over the Pacers-affiliated Fort Wayne Mad Ants on a play the D-League amusingly dubbed a “put-back.”

Duke’s Harry Giles, once a potential No. 1 pick, declares for NBA draft

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About a year ago, Harry Giles looked like he could be the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft.

But multiple knee injuries have added up and contributed to a lackluster freshman year at Duke, especially considering Giles started the season late due to his latest knee surgery.

Where does this leave him with the NBA?

We’ll find out.

Duke release:

Duke freshman forward Harry Giles has announced that he will enter his name in the 2017 NBA Draft.

At his best, Giles is an athletic power forward who plays with skill and energy. But we didn’t see much, if any, of that player during 11.5 minutes per game in just 26 contests at Duke.

Medical testing will define everything for Giles. He’s projected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round, but that’s a wide range with so much uncertainty about his knees.

Helping Giles: Joel Embiid‘s success after entering the NBA with major red flags about his health. Even though Embiid is again injured, he was so good while on the court for the 76ers. That’s a favorable recent comparison for Giles.