Rumored Lakers trade of Odom for Iguodala dead

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UPDATE June 23, 2:43 pm: While this trade burned up twitter and message boards, it appears to be dead in the water.

Both Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Ken Berger at CBS are saying it’s done. While the two sides talked it may never have been all that serious.

The other thing to remember: All teams are hesitant to make big money trades until they see the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. You may see smaller draft-day deals, but don’t hold your breath on blockbusters.

June 22, 8:12 pm: At this point, it seems like the big pre-draft trade rumors are starting to combine with one another, but this latest batch of rumors from Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick makes some sense:

The 76ers are continuing to explore trade options for Andre Iguodala, and league sources said that a deal with the Lakers involving Lamar Odom has been discussed recently.

While it’s unclear whether the deal has real potential or is still alive, it’s yet another sign that the Sixers are determined to land an impact player while improving their salary-cap situation in any trade for their second-leading scorer and top defender. Iguodala is owed a combined $44 million for the next three seasons (including $13.5 million next season), while Odom is set to make $8.9 million next season in the final guaranteed year of his contract…

…Iguodala is in play for Minnesota as well, according to a rival general manager who called the possibility of the Sixers acquiring the No. 2 pick in a package for their 27-year-old swingman “definitely real.” The Timberwolves have been seeking a high-level veteran in exchange for the second selection in Thursday’s draft and other pieces.

Iguodala would give the Lakers more youth on the wing, and would effectively replace the aging Ron Artest, who had a disappointing season last year. Iguodala may have less offensive upside than Derrick Williams does, and would cost a whole lot more, but he’s one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, which could make him worth the #2 pick for the defensively-challenged Timberwolves. He’s also a true small forward, unlike Williams, who is more of a power forward and would overlap with All-Star forward Kevin Love.

Of all the rumors I’ve heard surrounding Iguodala and the #2 pick, these are the ones that seem to make the most sense. We’ll see if the move actually happens soon enough.

Utah’s Donovan Mitchell wins throwback Dunk Contest with Vince Carter tribute

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LOS ANGELES — The 2018 Dunk Contest went retro.

And it worked.

The throwbacks started with Cleveland’s Larry Nance Jr. going quick-change to pay tribute to his father, the 1984 winner of the Dunk Contest.

Nance later had the best dunk of the night, but it wasn’t enough in the face of Utah’s Donovan Mitchell‘s strong and consistent night highlight by his throwback dunk — donning a Vince Carter Toronto dinosaur jersey and doing VC’s famed 360 dunk — which got Mitchell the 48 points he needed to hold-off Nance and win the contest. It was over.

“Growing up I was a big dunker,” Mitchell said. “I wasn’t really much of a basketball player. I just dunked and played defense, and I watched a lot of Vince’s videos. I’ve been seeing what he’s been doing all year at his age, which is incredible.

“So I figured, you know, at my size if I was able to get it, it would be a great dunk and a way to finish it, you know. And actually, funny story is I haven’t made that dunk in like half a year. I tried it in practice the past two days and tried it this morning, didn’t make it. Tried it last night, didn’t make it… But to be able to make it was why I was so excited.”

Earlier in the night, Mitchell had done another tribute worn a Darrell Griffith jersey — Utah’s Dr. Dunkenstien, who went to Louisville like Mitchell — for an off-the-side-of-the-backboard jumping over Kevin Hart dunk.

“You know, just knowing your history, I think, is the biggest thing,” Mitchell said of the throwbacks. “Just understanding where this game originated, I guess the OGs of the game, I guess you would call it. But just understanding. Even if it’s just dunking. Whether it’s dunking in the NBA in general, Darrell Griffith, we went to the same school in college. I know Darrell very well. Both got drafted by the Jazz, and he was an incredible player. To be able to pay homage to him meant a lot to me.”

For my money, Nance had the dunk of the night, his first in the Finals, a double off-the-backboard throwdown that you had to see on replay to get (it wasn’t as evident in the building what he had done until it was re-shown on the big screen).

It was a fun contest all night long.

Mitchell (the leader in the Rookie of the Year race) started it off brilliantly — he brought out a second backboard, and did a self-alley-oop off one to the other.

Larry Nance Jr. did his tribute to his father with his first dunk, and on his second one came from behind the backboard, going around the world, and threw it down hard. That got him into the Finals.

Oladipo missed all three of his dunks in the first round, which almost doomed his night. He, however, did a dunk wearing the Black Panther mask for his second dunk, which impressed.

Mitchell said he wanted to beat Dennis Smith Jr. because the Mavericks’ point guard had beaten him in dunk contests for years. Smith had one monster dunk, when he went between the legs and threw it down hard and got the full 50. It just wasn’t enough to get Smith to the Finals.

Nance started off the final round by bringing out his father again to throw an alley-oop to a windmill. Mitchell responded with a self-alley-oop to a windmill that was flat-out wicked. That got Mitchell a 50-46 lead after one round of the Finals.

Then Mitchell went to Vince Carter and “it was over.”

Larry Nance Jr. throws alley-oop to himself, throws alley-oop to himself (video)

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LOS ANGELES — Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. immediately motioned for the replay to be shown of this dunk. It was necessary to properly appreciate it.

Best dunk of the night.

Donovan Mitchell won the dunk contest, though.

Larry Nance Jr. plays tribute to father — rock-the-cradle dunk in Suns uniform

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LOS ANGELES — Back in 1984, high-flying Larry Nance Sr. won the first NBA All-Star Dunk Contest with this set of dunks — most famously a rock-the-cradle move.

Larry Nance Jr. came into the 2018 Dunk Contest and went nostalgic — all the way back to the Suns’ throwback uniform and the same dunk.

That and a good second dunk got him into the Dunk Contest finals. In that round, Nance Sr. threw an alley-oop to his son for the windmill.

Donovan Mitchell throws alley-oop to himself – off second backboard (video)

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LOS ANGELES – Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell set a high standard with the first slam of the 2018 dunk contest.

Very creative. Very well-executed.

Looks like all that preparation paid off.