Clipper GM: Blake Griffin will forever be a Clipper

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We all keep doing it. We watch the Clippers do something like dismantle Minnesota Wednesday night, we see them beat the Lakers and Heat, we look at their franchise player in Blake Griffin, their young core of talented players, and we ask…

How are the Clippers going to screw this up?

The Clippers GM told ESPN Los Angeles they are not going to bungle this chance — Blake Griffin may be three-and-a-half years from free agency but he will forever be a Clipper.

“I can guarantee you he will only ever be a Clipper,” general manager Neil Olshey said of his prized rookie. “If [Oklahoma City Thunder general manager] Sam Presti arrived on Kevin Durant’s doorstep at midnight on July 1st with an extension, understand that Blake Griffin lives two blocks away from me in Manhattan Beach so it’s going to be a much shorter commute for me….”

“When it comes time for him to be a free agent, we won’t be losing,” Olshey said. “We’re not losing now. We’re 10 out of 14 now with our All-Star center [Chris Kaman] sitting around in a suit. The future looks pretty good. The only question will be, in two or three years with Blake, is how much more we’ll be winning.”

No, there are a lot of questions. Ones based on the Clippers history. Like, in three years will Olshey still have his job? Who will be coaching the team? Will Vinny Del Negro still be in court trying to get paid from his Clipper contract?

More importantly, will Donald Sterling have penny pinched and embarrassed Griffin to the point he wants to leave? Will things like the owner heckling the team’s point guard, or the owner bringing visitors into the team locker room while making inappropriate comments, finally be too much? Will Griffin, like Lamar Odom did years ago, come to the Clippers and beg them not to match an outside offer so he can leave?

I want to believe in the Clippers players wearing the uniform. We all do. But too many years of history of what name across the front of the uniform has meant, what ownership has done, make it impossible. Not to go all Missouri, but the Clippers have to show me. And not just with a good 25 games.

DeMarcus Cousins answers first several Kings-related questions same way (video)

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DeMarcus Cousins had a bitter exit from the Kings, but that won’t be the last they see of him.

Cousins’ Pelicans will host Sacramento tomorrow night.

Not that Cousins rushed to talk about the matchup.

Justin Verrier of ESPN:

Cousins is pretty funny when joking with the media, and his smile is contagious. Just listen to all the laughs Cousins generates as he goes through his shtick.

Bonus points to Cousins for eventually breaking down and providing real answers. Some of his relationships in Sacramento were clearly meaningful to him, and he wanted to acknowledge those — even if he’d prefer just to get past this awkward game and all the talk it invites.

Report: Sweet-shooting 7-footer Lauri Markkanen leaving Arizona for NBA draft

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Lauri Markkanen is 7-foot and made 42% of his 3-pointers this season.

That combination alone will have NBA teams drooling, and the Arizona freshman will capitalize.

Evan Daniels of Scout:

Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen is declaring for the NBA Draft and is expected to sign with an agent, multiple sources told Scout.

Markkanen seems pretty certain to get picked in the lottery, likely in the top 10.

Calling him a good shooter for his height undersells him. It’s not just he shoots so efficiently from deep, it’s that he can generate 3-pointers in so many ways — pick-and-pops, spot-ups, off off-ball screens and even running pick-and-rolls himself. Having the height to shoot over defenders is his most noticeable asset, but don’t undersell his mobility.

Markkanen also finishes well at the rim and offensively rebounds at extremely impressive clip for someone who spends so much time on the perimeter. Those interior skills instill belief he will eventually become a suitable defender.

There are a couple red flags. He’s old for a freshman, turning 20 before the draft. He leaves plenty to be desired defensively, especially due to his lack of strength.

But his size and shooting are tantalizing. That’s plenty for now.

Dwyane Wade wowed by jumping, around-the-back alley-oop pass in McDonald’s All-American Game (video)

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Watch for Collin Sexton in the 2018 NBA draft.

In the meantime, the Alabama commit had all eyes — include Dwyane Wade‘s — on him with this pass in the McDonald’s All-American Game last night.

Carmelo Anthony on shrinking role with Knicks: ‘I see the writing on the wall… I’m at peace with that’

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Carmelo Anthony scored just nine points on 12 shots in the Knicks loss to the Heat last night — well below his season averages of 22 points on 19 shots per game.

Anthony, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“I see the writing on the wall. I see what it is,” Anthony said late Wednesday night. “I see what they’re trying to do, and it’s just me accepting that. That’s what puts me at peace. Just knowing and understanding how things work. I’m at peace with that.”

Is Anthony talking about just the Knicks’ final dozen games of this season, when they’re clearly interesting in testing less-proven players? Or is he referring to his entire tenure in New York?

Anthony has said he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause if the Knicks want to rebuild, and they’ll reportedly try again to trade him this offseason. Perhaps, this is Anthony indicating he’s warming up to the idea of allowing a trade.

Anthony’s and Kristaps Porzingis‘ timelines are barely compatible, if at all. It’d make sense for the Knicks to go in a different direction.

Could Anthony be at peace with that?