Report: Bucks trade Gadzuric, Bell for Warriors' Maggette

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Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting that the Bucks and Warriors have agreed to a trade that will send Corey Maggette to the Bucks in exchange for Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell
This trade makes sense for both teams, albeit in different ways. For the Warriors, this was a cost-cutting move; Maggette is owed $11 Million in the 2012/13 season, and the Warriors have not had enough success to justify paying a player of Maggette’s caliber an eight-digit salary for three more seasons. 
Another reason this deal makes sense for the Warriors is that Brandon Wright and Anthony Randolph will both (hopefully) be coming back healthy next season. Both of them are power forwards, on their rookie contracts, and have shown tremendous promise when healthy. Maggette played most of his minutes at the 4 spot last season; paying him such a big salary to potentially block Randolph and Wright’s development makes little sense for the Warriors. Undrafted rookie Reggie Williams also came on strong for the Warriors at the end of last season, and Williams is only owed $762,195 next season. 
For the Bucks, this move effectively replaces John Salmons, who will be a free agent this summer. Maggette is far from a complete player, but he is a wing player who knows how to put the ball in the basket. Maggette was a bright spot for the Warriors last season, averaging 19.8 points per game and posting the highest PER of his career. 
Historically, Maggette has been a much more efficient scorer than Salmons; Maggette’s True Shooting was 61.5% last year, and his career TS% is 57.7%; Salmons’ TS% last season was 55.3%, and his career TS% is 54.8%. 
How Maggette will fit into Milwaukee’s offense is a question mark at this point. Maggette excels at getting the ball in isolation and driving to the basket, and few players in the NBA are better than Maggette at drawing contact. If Skiles uses Maggette to get opposing teams in the bonus early in quarters, he could make Andrew Bogut’s life significantly easier on the low block. 
Maggette’s downside is that he doesn’t play particularly well with others; he’s not nearly the outside shooter that Salmons was, and he doesn’t do much without the ball in his hands. If Maggette isn’t directly involved in the offense, it’s very possible that Jennings and Bogut might have less spacing when they run the pick-and-roll. 
Maggette’s salary and the holes in his game make this a risky trade for the Bucks. But with Salmons likely gone, Maggette coming off a great year, and the Bucks on the cusp of contention, it was probably a risk worth taking. 

Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs

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Joel Embiid remains a frustrated man.

He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.

Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said.  “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”

I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.

His second frustration came from the loss to the Cavaliers on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”

He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. Especially against a team going small — the Cavaliers start Kevin Love at center — Embiid should be fed down low.

Instead, look at his shot chart from Friday night.

Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.