Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors

Warriors willing to trade Monta Ellis, but only for superstar

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In an annual tradition like Meryl Streep getting an Oscar nomination, the Monta Ellis trade rumors have started to swirl.

Golden State likes Monta Ellis for all the same reasons you covet him for your team — there are few better pure scorers in the league. At the end of the day, putting ball in the hole wins games. He can do that.

Golden State will consider trading him for one of the games elite superstars, but short of that you’re out of luck. And superstars are not exactly involved in the offers the Warriors got around the last draft, such as this one from the Timberwolves, reports Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News.

According to multiple league sources, the two teams had a loose outline of a proposal–neither team had agreed to anything, but this was the basic heart of the talks:

* Minnesota was willing to talk about a package involving F Michael Beasley and C Nikola Pekovic in return for Ellis.

The sources say the Warriors didn’t flat out say no to Minnesota, but wanted more.

* The GSWs apparently asked to expand the deal to include the Timberwolves’ No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, which was 2nd overall and turned out to be Derrick Williams.

No deal. This is sort of like the Lakers with Pau Gasol — sure, they’ll move him if Chris Paul is coming back but not if it’s Derrick Williams, or even Carlos Boozer. Basically, you’re not going to rip them off.

The Warriors need some roster changes — turns out just the presence of Mark Jackson does not transform talent — but they have something of value in Ellis. And they know it. If you want him you’re going to have to blow them away.

Boston’s Marcus Smart gets flopping warning from NBA

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 17:  Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second quarter of the preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on October 17, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Boston’s Marcus Smart is one of the league’s more notorious floppers.

He was at it again Monday night against the Houston Rockets — and the league called him on it and gave him a warning.

It happened on the game’s final play — you were probably focused elsewhere, wondering how Al Horford could miss the game-winning layup. But watch Smart as he gets in position for the rebound on that shot.

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The referees didn’t buy it then.

This warning is barely a slap on the wrist. If — in his case, when — Smart gets caught a second time this season he will get a $5,000 fine from the league. Smart is making $3.6 million this season.

Happy birthday Larry Bird. We celebrate with some highlights.

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Larry Bird — the Celtics legend, three-time NBA champion, three-time MVP, 10-time All-NBA — turns 60 on Wednesday.

We celebrate by looking back at his 60-point game March 12, 1985, against the Hawks (video above, and yes that game was played in New Orleans).

Want more Larry the Legend highlights? We got you covered.

Hawks’ Mike Scott sent to D-League on rehab assignment

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks poses during media day on September 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott is expected to play at least two games in the NBA Development League as he comes back from a knee injury that kept him out of training camp and the first 18 games of the season.

Scott played 15 minutes for the Delaware 87ers in Tuesday night’s loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors. He scored four points on 2-of-7 shooting, missing all four of his attempts from 3-point range.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer says the D-League is the best way for Scott to get “meaningful, competitive minutes” after undergoing a non-surgical procedure on his left knee.

Scott has played three games for Atlanta since his return. In 28 minutes, he has two points on 1-of-9 attempts, to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.

Watch Kyle O’Quinn throw alley-oop to Carmelo Anthony

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Carmelo Anthony isn’t young anymore, but he had the bounce to go get this one.

These were your two best players for the Knicks in their win over Miami Tuesday. Kyle O'Quinn was forced into action earlier than expected when Joakim Noah went on a fouling spree in the third quarter, but O’Quinn played well in the role. ‘Melo dropped 35 on 27 shots — he’s not as efficient as he once was, but he can still get some buckets.

The Knicks picked up a needed win, because they play a back-to-back Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers and a ticked-off LeBron James (New York will pay the price for Phil Jackson’s “posse” comments with a motivated LeBron Wednesday).