Reports: Portland shopping Crawford to Clippers, Bobcats

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Jamal Crawford and his up-tempo, shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later style has not meshed with the grind it out ways of Nate McMillan in Portland. It hasn’t been fun for him. What could possibly be worse.

Charlotte.

On the other hand, he could land with everyone’s new favorite team the Clippers.

There are a few different reports out there. Let’s take them in the order Crawford would prefer they land.

The Clippers have been in the market for a two guard since Chauncey Billups went down and they are talking to Portland about Crawford, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.

The Blazers and Clips are discussing a deal that would send Jamal Crawford to L.A. for Eric Bledsoe and Ryan Gomes, sources say.

Two questions here: 1) Does Crawford’s style, which has the ball in his hands a lot, really mesh with the Chris Paul-led Clippers? 2) If Crawford is just going to opt out at the end of the season as he has said, do the Clippers want to give up the promising Bledsoe for a rental? The answer to both those questions is… maybe. Depends on how desperate the Clippers are for help.

The other deal, reported by David Aldridge at NBA.com, has Crawford going to the Bobcats

So, now, according to a source, there’s a chance Crawford winds up with the Bobcats in a potential deal for guard D.J. Augustin. Augustin has played just fine this season, but he’s expendable now that Kemba Walker is there.

The Blazers are going to have to send something else out in this deal — a second round pick maybe, as they don’t have a first they can trade for a few years (they already traded away 2013 to Charlotte and can’t trade away firsts in consecutive years) — because this deal would actually be more expensive for the cost-conscious Bobcats.

This Augustin/Crawford trade might be the kind of deal where both sides are looking at other options — Portland is talking to Indiana as well — then at the last minute Wednesday or Thursday agree to terms and get it done. Just something to watch.

Jusuf Nurkic trolls Nuggets, tells former team to enjoy their summer (VIDEO)

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Jusuf Nurkic did not enjoy his time as a member of the Denver Nuggets. His trade to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Mason Plumlee was a welcome change of scenery.

On Tuesday night, Nurkic got to take on his old team with huge playoff implications at stake. Portland beat the Nuggets, 122-113, moving a game ahead of their rivals in the race for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and giving them the best tiebreaker between the two.

Nurkic was impressive, blasting his old squad with 33 points on 12-of-15 shooting, adding 16 rebounds, three blocks, and two assists.

Nurkic was interviewed in the arena after the game, and he was obviously happy he helped his team while also sticking it to Denver. Speaking with Portland reporter Brooke Olzendam, Nurkic took one last shot at the Nuggets, telling them to enjoy their summer.

Via Twitter:

Nurkic quite possibly sent the Nuggets packing for the year with the game at the Moda Center on Tuesday, so he might have been the guy who helped start their summer.

Still, that is ice cold.

James Johnson decimates Marcus Morris with huge one-handed dunk (VIDEO)

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Miami Heat forward James Johnson is one of the NBA’s best in-game dunkers. On Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons, he yammed down a huge one-handed slam that embarrassed Marcus Morris and drew gasps from the crowd at the Palace.

The play came midway through the fourth quarter with Johnson at the top of the key. After a quick pass over to him, Johnson gave a quick hesitation before driving to his left and past his defender.

With the quick step, Johnson’s only remaining opponent at the basket was Morris, who was unfortunate enough to find himself between the high-flying Heat and the rim.

This is what happened next:

Morris was whistled for a foul on the play.

Watch Hassan Whiteside beat the Pistons at the buzzer with tip-in (VIDEO)

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The Miami Heat took until the final moments on Tuesday night to beat the Detroit Pistons, but it was worth it. With just a handful of games left to play, the Heat need to stave off the Chicago Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Thanks to a tip at the buzzer by Hassan Whiteside, they’re one step closer to achieving that goal.

The play came with just seconds left in the fourth quarter. James Johnson missed a shot with six seconds to go, and the Heat grabbed the rebound. Goran Dragic then tried his hand, but he couldn’t get it to go, either.

That’s when Whiteside came back with a tip at the buzzer that ended the game.

Via Twitter:

Miami now sits at 36-38, a game above the Bulls for the No. 8 seed.

Whiteside, meanwhile, is never going to wash that hand again:

Kobe Bryant says LeBron James has earned the right to take a rest (VIDEO)

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Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was a pretty consistent player in the NBA. Save for his final injury-laden seasons and the lockout year of 2011-12, Bryant played in no fewer than 65 regular season games in a single season.

Coaches also had no reason or want to ask Bryant — a notorious worker — to sit out in order to rest. That wasn’t really on the menu, and Bryant knew that.

Speaking to ESPN’s First Take, Bryant said no coach really asked him to ever take a rest, “I’ve never been approached by a coach and asked to rest.”

Bryant remarked that he took queues from Michael Jordan during tough stretches of the season — back-to-backs or four games in five night scenarios — where he could switch his game up, floating from perimeter to post, in order to save energy during those matchups.

Bryant also said during the same interview that he understands the complexity of the modern game, and that players like LeBron James deserve to take a rest if they’ve earned it.

“LeBron has done so much for the game. He’s earned the opportunity to take a rest,” said Bryant.

The debate on this subject will continue, it seems.