Report: Teams going after Carlos Boozer in last-ditched effort to lure LeBron

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NBA_boozer_usa.jpgThe LeBron James sweepstakes are not over.

Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade will be in Miami, and it is possible that James will join them (if Toronto will take on Michael Beasley’s contracts or if the big three are all willing to take a pay cut). But other teams are trying to provide an alternative.

That alternative is Carlos Boozer.

The Cavaliers, Bulls and Nets have all intensified negotiations with Boozer, according to Chad Ford. In large part that is to help lure LeBron to their cities.

If LeBron can’t go to Miami, he still wants to go to a place he can win (he’ll get the same max money at any city outside Cleveland). He has never had a true superstar running mate, such as a Pau Gasol for Kobe or the big three in Boston.

The New York Knicks can offer Amare Stoudemire. Not much else right now, but remember at the trade deadline last year LeBron was pushing Cleveland to trade for Stoudemire (they got Jamison instead).

The Bulls have Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, but with Carlos Boozer in the fold that is a team that would be a contender instantly in the East with LeBron. Even without LeBron Boozer makes that team much better.

Cleveland has won the most games in the East two years running and with Boozer alongside LeBron they would be a contender. However they would need a sign-and-trade to get him out of Utah, and they would bring Boozer back to a city where he has been reviled after leaving them at the alter for Utah five years ago.

The Nets also have a nice young core that looks better with Boozer, and with LeBron would set a new record for biggest single-season turnaround ever.

None of that may matter. But nobody knows what is in LeBron’s mind right now, and the speed at which things have changed this off-season means another change could come. Or maybe two.

Russell Westbrook scores most points ever in triple-double, 57

AP Photo/John Raoux
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Russell Westbrook led a double-digit comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Been there done, that.

Westbrook hit a defining buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Been there done, that.

Westbrook posted a historic triple-double. Been there, done that.

All three in one game?

That’s a new level for Westbrook, who lifted the Thunder to a 114-106 win over the Magic tonight while posting an incredible stat line: 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

James Harden scored 53 in a triple-double just this season, and Westbrook has already one-upped that record.

This MVP race is one for the ages.

Russell Westbrook’s 3-pointer caps incredible Thunder comeback, send Magic game to OT (video)

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The Thunder trailed the Magic by 21 points in the second half and 14 points midway through the fourth quarter.

Russell Westbrook capped the incredible comeback with this 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.

This becoming the norm for Oklahoma City.

NBA: Timberwolves got away with key late foul in win over Pacers

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Paul George expressed extreme dismay after the Pacers’ loss to the Timberwolves last night — the latest cause for concern in Indiana with its biggest star just one season from free agency.

But perhaps George wouldn’t have sounded so disillusioned if that game featured correct officiating down the stretch.

Minnesota’s Kris Dunn got away with fouling Jeff Teague by disrupting the Pacers guard’s speed/quickness/balance rhythm with 21.6 seconds left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Dunn (MIN) makes contact to Teague’s (IND) arm that affects his SQBR and causes him to lose control of the ball.

Because the Timberwolves were in the penalty, a correct would’ve sent Teague — who’s making 86% of his free throws this season and 84% for his career — to the line. He would’ve had two attempts to build on Indiana’s two-point lead.

Instead, he forced an off-balance shot, which Minnesota rebounded. Ricky Rubio drew a shooting foul on a 3-pointer on the other end, and his three free throws lifted the Timberwolves to a 115-114 win.

The two-minute report featured a few other missed calls: George getting away with pushing off then Wiggins getting away with fouling George on a possession where George missed anyway, Andrew Wiggins getting away with a travel on a possession where Minnesota turned the ball over anyway. But those were effectively wash’s. Dunn’s uncalled foul was the one of consequence — especially if it contributes, even in a small way, to George’s exit from the Pacers.

Edmond Sumner declares for NBA draft despite torn ACL

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Edmond Sumner has grown about five inches since high school.

That has helped turn the 6-foot-5 Xavier point guard into an intriguing NBA prospect — but also seemingly contributed to physical complications. Sumner missed nearly all of his freshman year with knee tendinitis. Then, after a promising second season and start to his third, he tore his ACL in January.

Still, he’s entering the NBA draft.

Sumner:

Rick Broering of Musketeer Report:

Like with Duke’s Harry Giles, medical testing will be huge with Sumner. But at least Giles ended the season on the court. Sumner might not be healthy at all during the pre-draft process.

Sumner looked like a borderline first-round pick before the injury. This probably pushes him into the second round.

His long strides provide impressive speed and quickness, and he’s still shifty. Add quality court vision, and his ability to drive by defenders is even more valuable.

A 6-foot-8 wingspan and good lateral mobility also help make him a quality defender.

But it’s also concerning that so much of his positives could be undermined by his knee issues, especially considering his unreliable jumper. If Sumner can’t move like he did before getting hurt, I don’t see how he sticks in the NBA.

If Sumner’s knees check out, it’s worth rolling the dice on him and hoping his jumper develops. He might even be OK without shooting range, though that’d lower his ceiling considerably.

Again, though, the first thing is examining his knees.