Dallas Mavericks v Denver Nuggets, Game 2

The other Carmelo Anthony trade wild card: Mark Cuban

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There’s a lot of reasons we like Mark Cuban. He’s smart. He’s not afraid to buck the system. He’s accessible. He’s reasonably forthcoming (certainly in comparison to most owners).

And he’s unpredictable.

That unpredictability is one reason people don’t think the Mavericks are out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. The Mavericks need a wing scorer, ‘Melo is an elite wing scorer, and Cuban has said he would bring “Melo in extension or no.

Alan Hahn at Newsday says that Cuban and the Mavericks could still derail Anthony’s train to New York.

At this point, a source with knowledge of the situation said the biggest — and perhaps last — remaining threat to the Knicks could be the Dallas Mavericks.

Though Mark Cuban hinted recently that he would be willing to trade for a superstar without an extension, the source said Anthony would be amenable to signing an extension with the Mavs, who are already a championship contender and yet have a huge hole at small forward after the injury to Caron Butler.

“The only way Melo doesn’t come to New York is if [Mark] Cuban makes a play,” that source said.

The main issue, however, is that Dallas has even less to offer the Nuggets than the Knicks. The Mavs are searching for a third team to help them, with Roddy Beaubois, who has just returned from injury, as bait. But a source with knowledge of the Mavericks’ thinking said he’d “be shocked if [Carmelo] came” to Dallas, but did say Cuban is unpredictable. But Beaubois, the source said, has been deemed untouchable.

Ahh, the little problem of parts to make the trade work. If I were the Nuggets brass and I could get Beaubois, I’d have to think about it. Yes, they already have Ty Lawson but Beaubois could be the more dynamic player, and either way one of them becomes a nice trade chip. Of course, if Beaubois is untouchable then there is nobody else on that roster I want to rebuild around.

Just something else to watch.

Lou Williams hits halfcourt buzzer-beater (video)

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Yeah, the Lakers lost to the Rockets, 134-95, Wednesday. But consider how lopsided that margin would’ve been without Lou Williams‘ halfcourt buzzer-beater.

And if this headline looks familiar, it is.

LeBron James, Cavaliers do water-bottle challenge on bench during blowout win over Knicks (video)

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, and Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson entertain themselves by flipping a water bottle trying to get it to land on it's flat bottom during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 126-94, and most starters left the game for the bench at the end of the fourth quarter. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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LeBron James did his part – scoring 25 points (on just 10 shots!), dishing seven assists and grabbing six rebounds – to give the Cavaliers an insurmountable lead over the Knicks through three quarters. So, he didn’t even play in the fourth quarter.

As Cleveland put the finishing touches on its 126-94 win, boredom set it. LeBron and a few of his teammates tried to flip a water bottle and have it land upright on the floor. LeBron even dove onto the court to pull the bottle back in after an errant flip!

No, Phil Jackson should not have used the word “posse” to describe LeBron’s business associates and friends. But this is the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen – and I love it.

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.