Video report: Knicks willing to trade Stoudemire to rent Howard

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The Knicks have opened talks that would send Amare Stoudemire to Orlando in a swap to rent Dwight Howard, reports Donny Marshall — former NBA player and current CSNNE reporter — on NBC SportsTalk Thursday. In the video above the talk of the trade starts at the 3:30 mark.

There are a whole lot of questions around this one. Starting with, the Knicks are not one of the teams on Howard’s list where he said he would sign an extension (Nets, Lakers, Mavericks and Magic). If they get him, the Knicks would essentially risk just renting him because Howard could opt out at the end of the season and leave with the Knicks getting no compensation. Clearly, if they got him they think they could get him to change his mind and sign long term.

Thing is the Knicks already have a good center — they just signed Tyson Chandler to a four-year, $58 million deal. Is the plan to ship Chandler out, too? Trade him to Orlando for the Hedo Turkoglu deal? Because the cost of keeping Howard (who will get a new max deal) and Chandler would put the Knicks way into the new, increasingly stiff luxury tax.

Would the Knicks really ship out Stoudemire, the guy who came in to inspire the fan base after the Knicks missed on LeBron James? That just seems cold.

This report comes just after we heard the Warriors are aggressively going after Howard as a rental.

Two things. First, if and when the Magic do decide to seriously entertain offers for Howard there will be bids from 29 other teams. He’s the best center walking the planet, a franchise anchor, you’d be foolish not to at least take a shot.

Second, if I were the Magic and were trying to get better offers out of the Nets and Lakers, I would be leaking all kinds of “hey, team X wants to give us all this just to rent Howard” rumors in an effort to drive up the price. I have no doubt Marshall heard this from a reliable source, I’m just saying this plays into the Magic’s hands. When you hear NBA rumors, think about who benefits from having that information public, it gives everything a different perspective.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.