Gilbert Arenas, Jeff Teague

Baseline to Baseline recaps: The Magic need a little more practice together.

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What you missed while wondering what happens when architects play too much Tetris…

Dallas beating the Heat again — hey, have another team meeting! — is our game of the night.

Hawks 91, Magic 81: It’s going to take some time for the Magic to figure this all out. They started Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Brandon Bass and Dwight Howard, brining Gilbert Arenas off the bench. They looked like a team just thrown together, the Hawks looked like a team that has been together for a while.

One quick note on Arenas, who was 2-11 on the night: He is a player that falls into the Kobe Bryant corollary — the higher his shot attempts, usually the worse it is for the team because he is forcing shots. There seemed to be moments of that here. He and the Magic may well find a balance.

Wizards 108, Bobcats 75: The trade that sent Arenas out and brought Rashard Lewis in (Lewis did not play) seems to have energized the Wizards. Call it the Ewing Theory (as John Wall is still out and will be for at least another week) but there is something there.

Pacers 94, Hornets 93: When these two teams get together it is just going to be good. In this one there was 30 seconds left when David West’s old-school three pointer  put the Hornets up two, followed by a James Posey three to put the Pacers up one with 16 seconds left. Then there was Chris Paul recognizing the double and hitting West again for a jumper that put the Hornets back up by one with 3.9 left. There was Danny Granger getting a good look, his shot rimming out and Michael Dunleavy being there for the game-winning tip in as the clock expired. These teams should play more often.

Jazz 101, Cavaliers 90: Welcome back Raja Bell, we missed you. He had 19 and was 5 of 6 from three.

Spurs 118, Suns 110: 40 was the big number for the Spurs in this one. As in they scored 40 points in the third quarter alone to pull away. Or they dominated inside as evidenced by the fact the Spurs grabbed the offensive rebound on 40 percent of their missed shots.

Gary Neal scored 22 points off the bench for the Spurs. Jared Dudley started for the Suns and had 27.

Trail Blazers 106, Bucks 80: The Bucks search for offense may have gone from desperate to futile with the news Brandon Jennings is out. The Bucks shot 38 percent on the night and floundered despite a good game from John Salmons (23 on 8-of-13 shooting). LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 for the Blazers.

Rockets 119, Warriors 112: Defense be damned, these two teams combined to score 77 points in the fourth quarter alone. Monta Ellis made fantasy owners happy with 44 points on 15 of 20 shooting, but the Rockets were just deeper.

Clippers 113, Timberwolves 90: Yes, there were a couple of the obligatory Blake Griffin dunks in this one. But what really had to impress is that he drew the double team from the Wolves and he recognized it and hit the open man leading to seven assists. They guy is more than just an athlete, he’s a basketball player.

Report: Kings also ready to trade Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo, Ben McLemore

Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison, foreground, is hugged by teammate DeMarcus Cousins in the closing moments of the Kings 109-106 overtime win over the Golden State Warriors in an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. At right is Kings guard Arron Afflalo. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
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A driving force behind the Kings trading DeMarcus Cousins: Sacramento keeps its first-round pick in the loaded 2017 draft only if it lands in the top 10 (though the 76ers hold swap rights). Otherwise, the Kings’ pick conveys to the Bulls.

Sacramento, only a half game better than the NBA’s 10th-worst team, figures to drop into the keep-pick zone without Cousins, the team’s best player.

But the Kings can intensify a fall through the standings by trading supporting players like Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo and Ben McLemore.

Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports:

The Kings excised Cousins, and there are strong indications they are not done dealing, either. Sacramento is determined to restock the franchise with assets, and will be targeting rookie-deal players and draft picks in the coming days, sources told The Vertical. Free agents-to-be Ben McLemore and Darren Collison are available, sources said, as is Arron Afflalo, a solid bench scorer with a manageable contract.

Collison is the Kings’ starting point guard, and he’d be solid for a team seeking a rental. He’s making $5,229,454 in the final year of his contract. Trading a starter would certainly help Sacramento keep its pick in the top 10.

Afflalo ($1.5 million of $12.5 million guaranteed next year) and McLemore (who can be made a restricted free agent next summer) are producing far less. It’s less likely other teams covet them. At least keeping these two guards probably won’t lift the Kings too high in the standings.

Paul Pierce uses two phones at dunk contest, says props shouldn’t be allowed

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Paul Pierce — NBA veteran and emoji enthusiast — used not one but two smartphones to record the action during Saturday night’s underwhelming dunk contest. Why was Pierce doing this? Perhaps he wanted to have an extra copy of it because he doesn’t trust “the cloud”. Or maybe he’s doing some work as a social media manager on the sly. You know, getting a jump on that retirement thing.

Or maybe this is just something that Pierce really likes to do:

Whatever he’s doing, I’m not sure if he looks like a boss or like a goober doing it. I feel this accurately sums up Paul Pierce’s aesthetic.

Meanwhile, after Glenn Robinson III won the 2017 NBA Dunk Contest, Pierce had some thoughts that he expressed via Twitter.

Pierce may have a point. Jeremy Evans dunking over a painting of himself in 2013 immediately felt pretty ridiculous. But eliminating props entirely? I’m not so sure about that. How would they sell Kias then?

DeMarcus Cousins projects to miss out on at least $29.87 million due to trade

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 17:  DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings speaks with the media during media availability for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans on February 17, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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DeMarcus Cousins was all smiles the moment he appeared to find out about his trade, or at least trade rumors of going, from the Kings to the Pelicans.

But once he examines the deal closer, he might not like every aspect.

Cousins stands to miss out on a lot of money — about $30 million or more — due to this trade.

Because he made All-NBA teams the last two seasons, he was eligible to sign a designated-veteran-player contract extension this summer. As a matter of fact, he reportedly planned to do just that with Sacramento reportedly planning to offer it. That extension projected to be worth $209,090,000 over five years ($41,818,000 annually).

But, once officially dealt, Cousins will no longer be eligible for that super-max extension. It’s reserved for players still with their original team or who changed teams only via trade during their first four years.

This is Cousins’ seventh season, dropping his max starting salary in 2018 from 35% of the salary cap as a designated veteran player to 30%. That projects to be $179,220,000 over five years ($35,844,000 annually) if he re-signs.

It’d be even less if he leaves New Orleans, a projected $132,870,000 over four years ($33,217,500 annually).

Notice how small that difference is now between his incumbent team and other suitors. By rule, the Pelicans won’t hold nearly the same advantage in keeping him as the Kings would have. In other words, New Orleans faces greater risk of Cousins walking.

And there’s no guarantee Cousins gets the max. You saw how little the Pelicans traded for him. That speaks to his value around the league.

Just over a month ago, Cousins appeared content to take $209 million or so and stay in Sacramento. Now, his financial future is far more uncertain. But this much we know: His max possible salary on his next contract just got lowered.

Is this the moment DeMarcus Cousins found out he was traded? (video)

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 18:  DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings attends practice for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 18, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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NEW ORLEANS — DeMarcus Cousins was set to answer questions after the All-Star game, when a Kings public-relations official said, “All-Star questions first, please. All-Star-game questions.”

“What other questions we got?” Cousins asked, seemingly unaware of his trade to the Pelicans.

The PR person whispered in Cousins’ ear.

“Oh, really?” Cousins asked.

More whispering.

“It’s whatever,” Cousins said.

Then, asked about his All-Star experience, Cousins smiled big and said, “It was amazing, man. I enjoyed the city of New Orleans. I love it here in New Orleans.”