Utah Jazz v New Jersey Nets

Nets’ GM: We’re moving on, keeping flexibility for new CBA

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Billy King seemed (and by some accounts was) stunned by Mikhail Prokhorov pulling the plug on the Carmelo Anthony trade talks. The strongest bargaining position is a willingness to walk away from the negotiating table — Prokhorov did that with gusto.

Maybe the Nets and Nuggets do talk again, but Nets GM Billy King went on WFAN in New York (via Sports Radio Interviews) Thursday morning and said they are done. They were not joking around. And he has heard from the Nuggets.

“I received a text from (Nuggets GM) Masai (Ujiri) late last night after the game and he just said basically that he enjoyed the experience. Sorry we couldn’t get anything done and good luck.”

So now what?

“I think going into this Collective Bargaining year not knowing what it’s going to be. You want to have as much flexibility and I think we have that. I think we’ll have 23 million in cap space, we have picks, and whenever the new CBA comes in, we’ll have the flexibility to make decision to better our ball club. Then the fact that we have a young Derrick Favors, Brook Lopez is really young, and the majority of our roster is really young and we’re going to add players to it. If you look at some teams and how they’ve been built through the draft, that’s how they’ve done it. Then they’ve added a player when they need be. You’ve got to get lucky in the draft but also you’ve got to add talent and sometimes young talent is the best way to go.”

After missing out on LeBron James and Chris Bosh, then not being able to lure Carmelo Anthony (at the very least he needed to be sold on the idea), are the Net too small market to ever draw a top-flight star?

“Not at all. Kevin Durant is a superstar and he’s in Oklahoma City, Reggie Miller was in Indiana, when Michael (Jordan) went to Chicago, the Chicago Bulls were a franchise where you could just walk on the street and get a ticket for. He turned it into that. Sometimes you develop your own star and I don’t foresee players looking at this and saying I don’t want to play in a billion dollar building in Brooklyn at the Barclay Center. I think they’re going to be saying they’re in the Barclay Center playing there and I want to be a part of that.”

DeMarcus Cousins says Mavericks’ rumored interest flatters him, but he loves Kings

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) receives a blow to the head from Dallas Mavericks' Dwight Powell as Cousins works to get to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.

Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:

So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?

“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”

“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”

“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”

Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.

And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.

Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?

LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)

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LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.

It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.

Kevin Love drips snot all over his face, maybe into his mouth (video)

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Cameras zoomed in on Kevin Love at the wrong moment:

Need a sensory cleanser? Enjoy this fantastic outlet pass from Kevin Love to LeBron James:

Derrick Rose out for Knicks-Cavaliers with back injury, getting MRI

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22:  Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks dribbles against the Portland Trail Blazers during their game at Madison Square Garden on November 22, 2016 in New York City.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Rose is missing the New York Knicks’ game against Cleveland because of lower back pain.

Rose left the Knicks’ victory over Miami on Tuesday in the third quarter with back spasms. Coach Jeff Hornacek says Rose still felt sore on Wednesday when he came in and met with team doctors, so they sent him for an MRI exam to make sure there was no structural damage.

Rose is averaging 16.7 points and this is the first game he’s missed this season.

Brandon Jennings will start in Rose’s place.