Remember three years ago, when Kobe Bryant demanded to be traded from the Lakers, the team went through the motions of shopping him around and found a decent offer from the Chicago Bulls? That deal didn’t go through in part because the Bulls would not put Luol Deng into the package.
Oh, how times have changed.
Now Deng and the No. 17 pick are being offered to the Clippers for the No. 8 pick, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Why would the Bulls do it? To free up cap space to bring in a major free agent or two. It’s always about free agency with the Bulls.
Deng is due to make $11.3 million this season and is locked in for three years and $39 million beyond that. Plus the No. 17 pick will make $1.3 million this next season. Al-Farouq Aminu, the small forward likely to go at No.8, would command $2.1 million. Bottom line, the Bulls have $10.5 million off their roster (another $6 million or so and they could sign two max free agents).
The real question is do the Clippers want Deng. They need a dynamic wing player and Deng could be that guy. When he wants to be. But usually Deng is pretty happy to launch long jumpers (more than six attempts per game from 16 feet out to the arc last season) and not really rebound much. He is inconsistent — he is fully capable of putting up 20 efficient points and using his length to lock down players on the wing one night, then shooting 7 for 22 the next night and not seem into it on defense. When he drives the basket good things happen, but did we mention the love of the long two?
The Clippers staff needs to determine if Deng is $10.5 million better than the very athletic Aminu. Probably not. But who knows what the Clippers will think on any given situation.
Andre Drummond had a breakaway on Sunday against the Boston Celtics. Fans in Detroit should have been in for a treat from their franchise center — a former NBA Dunk Contest participant — but instead they got something worth of Shaqtin’ A Fool.
Unfortunately for Drummond, the result of the one man fastbreak was a blown dunk, a ball that went sky high, and a sheepish look from the Pistons center.
The Dallas Mavericks traded Andrew Bogut to the Philadelphia 76ers at the deadline for big man Nerlens Noel. Bogut, 32, was never expected to stay in Philly and he should be bought out soon.
There has been some speculation about what contender Bogut might be looking to join, or which might come calling. Due to CBA rules, Bogut could feasibly re-join the Golden State Warriors. Instead, it appears Bogut is expected to head the other direction and sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Bogut would be Cleveland’s second center on the roster alongside Tristan Thompson, who slid over to the 5 full-time this season. The Australian big man would also be the second former Maverick to join the Cavaliers, as PG Deron Williams reportedly intends to sign with Cleveland as well.
Bogut has been less effective in limited minutes this season than he has in years past. While Bogut is still a good passer and rebounder, he has not been as productive on offense than prior seasons. That could largely be due to Dallas’ poor start, or because of nagging injuries. He suffered calf, knee, and hamstring injuries this season with Dallas, and it will still be a gamble for Cleveland to rely upon Bogut for a playoff run.
However, the Cavaliers could simply rest Bogut extensively, integrate him into their system, and have him ready for a second championship push through the Eastern Conference.
We’re still waiting for the move to be made official, but it appears as though LeBron James & Co. are bolstering themselves for the postseason.
Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic was whistled for a foul on Sunday night while trying to grab a rebound over PJ Tucker. That came as a surprise to Nurkic, who had actually lost two teeth on the play and went to point out that fact to officials.
The play came midway through the fourth quarter, with Tucker underneath the basket and Nurkic standing behind him in the paint. Toronto’s Patrick Patterson missed a long 3-pointer, leading to a battle for the ball down low.
Nurkic was called for a push in the back as the two went up, but Tucker threw his arm and hit Nurkic on the left side of his face. That knocked out two of Nurkic’s teeth:
The Blazers big man recovered his teeth — which were false and part of a dental implant called a bridge — and handed them to Portland head trainer Geoff Clark.
But have no fear: just a few hours after the Blazers lost to the Raptors, 112-106, Nurkic had his teeth put back in by a dentist.
Future NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett was known during his playing days for his exceptional conditioning. The athletic power forward was in a full sweat by tip-off, and constantly talking on both offense and defense.
So how did he do it?
According to JJ Redick, Garnett used to sing while running as a method of normalizing talking during a game. The practice was apparently modeled after Beyonce’s ability to dance and sing at the same time.
“One time I saw her working out, and she was doing her dances and she was singing while she was doing her dancing,” Garnett said to Redick. “So then I’m thinking to myself, maybe I should run and sing at the same time. So in the offseason, I would go to Malibu and I would go down to the beach, and when I run on the beach I would be like ‘Lalala lalala lalala,’ while I’m running. So then, when I get on the court and I’m getting back on defense and I’m talking on defense, I don’t get tired.”
That’s ingenious, and the kind of clever tactics you’d expect to come from a HOFer like Garnett.