DeMarcus Cousins to rejoin Kings, be fined for fracas

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UPDATE 8:17 pm: The amount of the fine was one game’s salary for Cousins (about $41,000), according to Sam Amick at FanHouse. So, the Kings say it wasn’t a suspension, but he sat out one game and was docked one game’s pay. Hmmm. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….

4:43 pm: Contrary to the first reports after the altercation, DeMarcus Cousins has not been suspended from the Kings for any length of time and will rejoin the team in Oklahoma City after missing one game for his role in a team locker room fight. ‘

He will also pay a “significant” fine (the Kings later amended their statement to say “appropriate fine,” so take that how you wish) the team announced via press release. (Sam Amick reported this first on twitter).

The altercation happened after the Kings lost a two-game to the Thunder Thursday. Donte Green inbounded the ball on the final play and threw it to Tyreke Evans, who went and did a very Tyreke thing dibbling before taking a contested three that missed. Cousins wanted the ball inside to earn the tie.

As they walked off the court Cousins told Green what he thought of his decision, and Green would not back down, the two had words in the locker room and Cousins punched and had to be restrained by teammates according to reports.

Cousins issued the standard apologetic statement on Monday.

“I wish to apologize to my teammates, the Kings organization and Kings’ fans for my role in an unfortunate altercation. I accept full responsibility for my actions and know that I must keep raising my standard of professionalism to be my best.”

Also in that press release:

“There is no place in the NBA for violence, either on or off the court,” said Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. “Upon investigating the events of Saturday night, we feel it is necessary to impose a significant fine related to DeMarcus’ behavior. We will now move forward together. We do not intend to give up on DeMarcus’ talent or potential. We look forward to watching his continued improvement and development, which has been significant since the beginning of the season.”

Cousins is a beast on the court and already a diva and problem off it. And you have to ask, if Cousins is this kind of walking locker room drama as a rookie, what happens when he’s been in the league a few more years and feels confident about his place.

The Kings have a host of issues. Cousins is one. Tyreke Evans shot selection certainly is one. The fact coach Paul Westphal can’t get either one of them to fall in line for him is another. And that’s just the part of the iceberg we can see above the waterline.

The Kings are taking some pretty strong steps with Cousins, but that may not be enough.

Nets’ Jeremy Lin: ‘We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says’

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The Nets went 20-62 then traded their best player (Brook Lopez) for a worse player (D'Angelo Russell). Brooklyn’s biggest free-agent signing this summer (Otto Porter) plays for the Wizards. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are nice developmental pieces but hardly seem on the verge of breakthroughs.

Still, Nets guard Jeremy Lin expects big things next season.

He set expectations in an Instagram Live video (hat tip: AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today):

We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.

The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.

But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.

Not that Lin cares what I say.

Check out Top 10 blocks from Summer League (VIDEO)

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When you think of Summer League basketball, sharp defensive rotations is not the first thing that comes to mind. Defense, in general, tends to be an after thought.

But there were some great blocks.

Here are the top 10 blocks from the Las Vegas Summer League. Enjoy the flashes of defense from Vegas.

 

Memphis Grizzlies sign former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.

Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.

 

Report: Even after Kyrie Irving requests trade, Carmelo Anthony still focused on Rockets, not Cavaliers

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Carmelo Anthony was reportedly willing to waive his no-trade clause for the Rockets or Cavaliers. Cleveland never seemed overly interested, but Houston was. Anthony became set on the Rockets, even reportedly expecting a trade to Houston.

Then, Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Cavs.

That has thrown everything for a loop. Maybe Cleveland is more keen on trading for Anthony now? The Knicks are reportedly interested in trading Anthony and draft picks for Irving.

But any deal still depends on Anthony’s approval, and it’s now unclear he’d still grant that for the Cavaliers.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

However, a source close to Anthony said late Friday that the All Star forward is focused on getting a deal done with Houston.

Consider this another indication LeBron James will leave Cleveland next summer. Of course, Anthony might have other reasons for preferring Houston. But when reading tea leaves on LeBron’s future, this is a clue.

I doubt LeBron has completely decided his plan, and he hasn’t even necessarily shared his thinking with Anthony, a close friend. Remember, LeBron edited his coming-home essay while on a flight with an unknowing Dwyane Wade, another close friend. But it was one thing for LeBron to strand Wade in Miami, a desirable city where Wade was happy even before LeBron arrived. It’d be something else entirely for LeBron to ditch Anthony in Cleveland. If LeBron is considering leaving, maybe he’d tell Anthony to stay clear.

Anthony could also be operating without hearing directly from LeBron. But if LeBron’s friend believes LeBron might leave, that’d still say something (though obviously not as much).

Back to the possibility that Anthony prefers the Rockets for other reasons. What happens if New York and Cleveland agree to a trade? Does Anthony still hold out for his top choice? Or does he relent and accept what was once his second choice? For now, it seems as if he’s still angling for Houston and will cross other bridges if he reaches them.