Portland Trail Blazers v Denver Nuggets

Blazers about to talk contract extension with Nicolas Batum

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Nicolas Batum is one of those players you leave the game talking about. You head into the Rose Garden in Portland thinking about LaMarcus Aldridge or Jamal Crawford, but when you leave the guy who jumps out at you is Batum.

Which is why the Blazers are about to talk contract extension with the fourth-year player, according to the Oregonian.

The Trail Blazers have taken the first step toward signing forward Nicolas Batum to a long-term contract extension, sending his representatives a formal letter of intention to discuss an extension….

The Blazers have until Jan. 25 to sign Batum to an extension or they will have to wait until June 30, when Batum would become a restricted free agent.

Both sides want to get this done — Batum loves Portland — so expect it to happen. Probably a three-year deal.

Batum is a fantastic wing defender who brings three-point range on his shot (and 12.4 points per game) last season. The French native has seen his game grow and is the kind of role player you see on good teams (which is why teams keep asking for him in trades).

DeMarcus Cousins pushes handsy Joakim Noah (video)

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Joakim Noah kept his hands on DeMarcus Cousins after getting called for a foul, and that – and/or the Kings heading toward their third straight loss – agitated Cousins into pushing the Knicks center.

Remember, Cousins and Noah have a history.

Aaron Gordon throws inbound pass off Marcus Morris’ back, scores (video)

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Aaron Gordon has backslid this season while playing out of his comfort zone at small forward, but there are still signs he’s progressing from great dunker toward great player – like this crafty inbounds pass off Marcus Morris‘ back.

Brandon Jennings sinks halfcourt shot after whistle (video)

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The NBA refuses to grant continuation when a player senses an intentional foul in the backcourt and launches a heave.

Fortunately, players continue to shoot anyway – which produced this fun Brandon Jennings non-basket.

Report: Kings forward Matt Barnes wanted for questioning after alleged New York nightclub fight

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Matt Barnes infamously fought then-Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating Barnes’ estranged wife, Gloria Govan. Barnes even bragged that violence is sometimes the answer.

His self-earned reputation won’t earn him the benefit of the doubt over an incident earlier today.

TMZ:

Sacramento Kings star Matt Barnes is wanted by NYPD for questioning after he allegedly choked a woman inside a nightclub early Monday morning — and TMZ Sports got video of him right after the incident.

Law enforcement sources tell us cops got a 911 call to Avenue Nightclub after midnight, reporting a man assaulting 2 women and another man. We’re told things got physical when Barnes allegedly choked one woman during an argument — and when 2 other people tried to intervene … he punched both of them.

In the video, Matt and a teammate — it appears to be DeMarcus Cousins — are talking about the fight. The teammate is clearly heard saying, “Matt hit the s*** out this ni***!”

Barnes was also arrested for domestic violence against Govan in 2011. But she said the incident was blown out of proportion, and the charges were dropped.

The Kings have already played at the Knicks and Nets, so Sacramento doesn’t return to New York this season.