Sacramento is very excited for the young man who John Salmons will be stealing shots from

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I’m starting to feel like Jimmer Fredette is the NBA equivalent of “Snakes on a Plane.” You either get it and think it’s completely awesome, or you don’t, and think it’s completely stupid.

Sacramento Kings fans? Well, they’re much like the Alamo Drafthouse Theater in Austin where I saw the opening of “Snakes on a Plane” alongside a stacked house of mostly drunk people, Quentin Tarantino, and Rosario Dawson (they were there, not like I was hanging out with them; also they were filming “Grindhouse” so Rosario looked pretty beat up and worn out). Basically, they scream at all the right parts and regardless of what the realities are of the film and its actual content, they could not be happier with what they’re experiencing.

From the Sacramento Bee:

The Jimmer jet officially touched down in Sacramento around 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, carrying Kings rookie Jimmer Fredette, and the scene at Sacramento International Airport was fit for a rock star of Bono’s ilk, not a smiling 22-year-old from upstate New York.

Welcome to the Jimmer Show.

A few hundred people crowded around baggage claim at Terminal A for a glimpse of the former BYU star, who was acquired by the Kings in the first round of Thursday’s NBA draft.

via Sacramento Kings fans turn out as Jimmer Fredette arrives – Sacramento Sports – Kings, 49ers, Raiders, High School Sports | Sacramento Bee.

It’s really great that so many people are backing a 6-2.5 “point guard” described as “more athletic than you think!” which is code for “not really athletic but saying he’s a slug is too far so we’ll say he’s athletic in an overreaction.” It’s also awesome that everyone is excited to see a score-first rookie who’s walking into a hornets nest of shoot-first guards in Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans, the newly acquired goldmine ( as in, he costs a fortune and you have to work to get your value back) John Salmons. The thrill is palpable.

In truth, though, maybe the Kings don’t need a playmaking, distributing point guard, and maybe Fredette’s shot-creating talents really will translate. One thing overlooked year after year by everyone, including us humble bloggers, is that there are a number of things in the NBA that happen which make no sense at all. Granted, most of them have to do with Ron Artest or the tattoo stylings of the Denver Nuggets, but the Mavericks won a championship with a 38-year-old point guard, Tyson Chandler who for years was considered a bust, and Shawn Marion who several members of the national media thought was dead. Weird stuff happens in this league.

Jimmermania actually turning out to be worth the price of admission isn’t the craziest idea ever. And for now at least, it’s got Sacramento excited about Kings basketball.

Report: Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns recruiting Kyrie Irving to Minnesota

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When Draymond Green and other members of the Warriors spent time recruiting Kevin Durant to come to Golden State it made sense — he was about to be a free agent who could make his own choices. Watching players such as C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard recruit Carmelo Anthony to Portland makes sense — ‘Melo has a no-trade clause so he needs to waive it to go anywhere, so recruiting makes sense.

This one makes less sense, but it is happening — Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns are recruiting Kyrie Irving to come play in Minnesota. Brian Windhorst of ESPN has the reporting.

League sources told ESPN that both Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns have been doing their part to recruit Irving on the idea of playing alongside them in Minnesota, and they’ve made it known to Wolves management that they want to add the Cavs star to the mix. Butler and Irving became tight in their time playing for USA Basketball together. Towns’ father, Karl Towns Sr., and Irving’s father, Drederick Irving, are connected through the basketball scene in northern New Jersey, where they both reside.

This could happen, but just about anything could happen the door is wide open with Irving to a lot of teams. That said, here are my two thoughts.

First, recruiting Irving is nice, but he has zero say in where he gets traded. Irving does not have a no-trade clause, he is not a free agent, he has two years left on his deal and the Cavaliers will/should send him to the team that gives them the best return. What Irving wants is irrelevant (although teams trying to get and keep him may take it into consideration).

Second, Minnesota could put together an interesting package, but there would be hurdles. It would likely involve one or both of Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague. Wiggins can be extended this summer, but that salary would not count toward the salary in this trade so someone such as Cole Aldrich would need to be thrown in (and it would take more than that, there would need to be picks). More likely, it would take Jeff Teague and his $19 million salary to get a deal done — except the Timberwolves signed him this summer so Teague cannot be traded until Dec. 15.

If the Cavaliers can’t find a deal they like this summer, they can step back and look at their options, then decide to wait out the market and bring Irving back to start the season. At that point, a deal with the Timberwolves makes more sense.

In the short term, Butler and KAT can recruit all they want.

Report: Kyrie Irving initially requested trade before draft – to Bulls

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Kyrie Irving reportedly asked Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert last week for a trade.

But that apparently wasn’t the first time Irving approached Cleveland about a trade this offseason.

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

Another league source said that Irving made his initial trade request before last month’s Draft, in hopes of being traded to Chicago and playing with All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler.

That’s around the time Irving reportedly told former Team USA teammates – who include Butler – that he might be interested in a trade and was keen on the Bulls. It seemed that was in preparation for LeBron James leaving in 2018, but Irving’s timeline might have been accelerated.

Irving and Butler are close, but the Cavs went the other way with that information – trying to line up a trade for Butler. Cleveland obviously didn’t pull of a deal, as Chicago dealt Butler to the Timberwolves.

Beyond Butler, the Bulls lacked the assets to trade for Irving. Yes, LeBron and Dwyane Wade are friends. No, Wade’s value is not anywhere remotely near Irving’s. And remember, without a no-trade clause and contracted for two more years before a player option, Irving has minimal leverage to pick his destination.

This report also negates the idea that Irving hurt the Cavaliers and his own likelihood of getting dealt by not requesting a trade before players like Chris Paul and Paul George were settled. Maybe Irving could have been more insistent earlier, but he at least gave a full offseason of notice that he was ready to move on.

AP source: Justin Zanik, David Morway join Jazz front office

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation says the Utah Jazz have reached agreements with Justin Zanik and David Morway to join the front office.

Zanik returns to the Jazz after serving as assistant general manager from 2012-16, the person told The Associated Press on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the decisions had not been formally announced.

Zanik, a former agent, had been hired as assistant general manager with the Milwaukee Bucks and was expected to succeed general manager John Hammond one day. Hammond was named GM of Orlando Magic in May and the Bucks eventually hired Jon Horst.

Morway was the Pacers’ GM from 2008-12 and Bucks assistant GM from 2013-15. He spent 13 years in the Indiana front office, starting as vice president of basketball administration.

ESPN first reported the agreements.

Former Gatorade executive auctioning off Michael Jordan memorabilia

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Remember the “Be Like Mike” Gatorade commercials back in the 1990s?

That was the brain child of Bill Schmidt, a now retired VP of Marketing of Gatorade. Over the years he formed a friendship with Michael Jordan, and in the process racked up a treasure trove of Jordan memorabilia — jerseys, game-worn shoes, even game-worn baseball cleats from Jordan’s time in the minors. Almost all of it signed.

Now it’s all being auctioned off, Schmidt told Sole Collector.

“I turn 70 at the end of the year and I’m in good health, knock on wood. If something happens to me, I don’t know what they are going to do with this stuff,” Schmidt told Sole Collector. “Somebody else can enjoy it. It would afford me the opportunity to take care of some other people and other causes as opposed to donating the shoes or whatever. They’ll probably benefit more from the financial side of things.”

Schmidt isn’t keeping the money he gets from the auction, he’s donating it to youth sports groups, a church, and other charities where he lives. And yes, he is keeping a couple of things for himself.

He is doing the auction through Steiner Sports, and you can view it here. It continues for another week. If you’ve got the money pick something up, at least it’s going to a good cause.