Wojnarowski: Worldwide Wes trying to sell LeBron, CP3 as package deal

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LeBron_Chris Paul.jpg

Well, this is certainly interesting. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, NBA man of mystery William Wesley has been going around telling teams that if they manage to pull off a trade for Chris Paul this off-season, their chances of signing LeBron James will dramatically increase
Of course, one needs not be an NBA man of mystery to know this; of course featuring one of the three best point guards in the NBA would dramatically increase any team’s chances of landing James. 
Hornets general manager Jeff Bower reportedly has no interest in trading Paul, who still has two years left on his contract. But with the Hornets in a dire cap situation, owner George Shinn looking to cut costs, and Darren Collison emerging as a serviceable replacement for Paul, there is a feeling around the league that the Hornets could part with Paul if a team makes them a monster offer. 
The offer would likely have to give the Hornets significant upgrades at two positions, one All-Star or future All-Star caliber player, and help the Hornets’ cap situation out, but this is a chance to grab a player with a real chance at being one of the best point guards ever. 
James and Paul are very close friends, and the idea of them playing together is a powerful one. However, Wesley’s gambit is a bit too transparent to see this working out. My apologies for having watched some of Season 3 of The Wire last night, but Wesley is playing rain-maker here. Wesley is “generating interest” in Chris Paul. If Chris Paul is available, of course there’s going to be significant interest in Chris Paul. If a team has Chris Paul and the cap space to sign LeBron, of course they would become the prohibitive favorites to sign LeBron. 
Whether those things will actually happen is as unpredictable and unstoppable as whether or not the rain will come. What Wesley is trying to do is set things up so that if the rain does come and a team trades for Paul, Wesley can take credit for it happening in order to entice Paul to sign with his company. 
LeBron and Chris Paul playing together is certainly a fascinating possibility to dream about, but I don’t realistically see it happening. And if it does happen, it certainly won’t be because William Wesley opened teams’ eyes to the fact that Chris Paul is very good and LeBron James would like to play with him. 

Kristaps Porzingis grew up a Kobe fan. Still is one.


When you hear player comparisons for Knicks rookie, the most common is Dirk Nowitzki — a European big with ridiculous shooting range and potential to embarrass anyone.

So did he grow up idolizing Dirk? Not so much.

Rather, like many of his generation, he grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant, he told Mike Francesa of WFAN.

“My favorite player growing up was Kobe. The Lakers were my team and I still love him.”

There is an entire generation of NBA players — and just fans — who would say the same thing.

In the interview, Porzingis laments his missed shots and turnovers, he thinks he can be a lot better. That is exactly what you want out of a rookie. It’s a huge adjustment playing at the NBA level, the speed of the game and IQ is a leap from Europe (or college). Recognizing the challenge is part of it.

There’s a lot to like in Porzingis. He could be special (we don’t know yet, we see only the potential). But idolizing Kobe — and if you understand the work he put in, the passion for the game — can be a good start.

(Hat tip NBA reddit)

Warriors’ interim coach Luke Walton’s car stolen

Luke Walton
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If you’re looking for a “when are things going to go wrong for the Warriors” moment, we have one for you. But it may not be what you had hoped for.

Warriors’ interim head coach Luke Walton — the guy on the sidelines for the 15 (soon to be 16) game winning streak — had his car stolen during a crime spree, reports NBCBayArea.com.

One of the cars stolen during an Oakland Hills crime spree belongs to Golden State Warriors coach Luke Walton, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said late Monday.

Walton’s Mercedes Benz was stolen Tuesday by two suspects, who police believe are also responsible for a violent attack on a 75-year-old woman outside her home on Thursday. The suspects also took the woman’s car during the attack, according to police.

Yikes. That’s serious.

I’m sure Steve Kerr has like 14 cars, he can loan one to Walton.

Pacers guard George Hill returns Tuesday against Wizards

Paul George, Marcus Morris
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Pacers guard George Hill returned to the lineup Tuesday night against Washington after missing three games with an upper respiratory infection.

Hill is averaging 14 points and just under 37 minutes in 10 games this season. He was on the bench in case of emergency in Saturday’s victory over Milwaukee.

Coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday Hill’s infection had improved “to the point where he’s fine to play,” but would keep an eye out for fatigue after an 11-day layoff.

Hassan Whiteside on intentional fouls: “It’s not working, so keep fouling me”

Hassan Whiteside

Remember how Adam Silver was preaching that the league didn’t want to change the intentional foul rule — the hack-a-Shaq strategy — because it was really about two players (DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard) and a handful of others now and then. The fact that it’s not basketball didn’t matter.

Well, it’s not just two — Miami’s Hassan Whiteside has gotten the treatment this season. He’s a 53.4 percent free throw shooter this season.

And he says bring it on. From Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post:

“I’m enjoying this,” he said. “Foul me so I can get a double-double and we can win. It’s not working, so keep fouling me.”

He’s even smart at not getting fouled.

Whiteside also is liking that teams are looking at their options against the best defense in the NBA — yes, Miami at 94 points allowed per 100 possessions, is the best defense in the NBA right now — and deciding to attack Whiteside.

“There’s teams that’s out there that say ‘Stay away from Hassan,’ and there’s teams that say, ‘We don’t care if Hassan’s down there. Attack Hassan.’ I love them teams that do that. God bless them coaches. I love them teams.”

Whiteside is not as great a defender as the block totals would indicate — if he doesn’t see a block in it, his rotations can be a bit slow. One scout recently called him a selfish defender to me recently, suggesting he is in it for the numbers, not the sacrifices needed for an elite defense. True or not, the Heat have an elite defense and Whiteside is at the heart of it.

And if the strategy is to try to exploit him, Whiteside plans to make people pay.