Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks, Game 7

Report: Brandon Jennings won’t be traded

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As Thursday’s NBA trade deadline looms, there are certain players who can expect to hear conflicting reports as to what’s really going on with their status. Dwight Howard, based on his own actions, is certainly at the top of that list.

Brandon Jennings, however, wasn’t expecting to hear his name at all. But as several teams are at least in the talking stages of the deal-making process, Jennings’ name has indeed been a topic of conversation over the past couple of days.

A report from Sam Amick at SI.com on Monday quoted a rival executive in saying that Milwaukee has made Jennings available “for the right price.” Sounds too steep already, right? Then on Tuesday, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports said Jennings won’t be traded at all, citing a source close to the situation.

If Jennings was (or still is) on the trading block, it’s worth wondering whether his talk of “doing his homework on big-market teams” last month may have helped place them there. Reading the comments closely, they were actually innocuous. But for a team like Milwaukee that’s struggled to build anywhere close to a contender in more than a decade, maybe they have decided to play it as safe as possible, and not take any chances.

For his part, Jennings seemed a bit rattled by the initial report.

“Now that I hear my name being mentioned in possible shopping around and stuff like that, my mind is just all over the place right now,” he said. “But with a trade, there’s nothing you can possibly do about it. You won’t hear from the front office. Of course they wouldn’t tell you.

“The main thing is I’m still able to do what I love and that’s play basketball, at the end of the day. I have no negative thing about it; but my mind is just wandering now.”

Jennings will only have to worry about it for another couple of days before things are resolved one way or the other. Maybe the most recent report will put him at ease — at least until the next one surfaces.

DeMarcus Cousins says Mavericks’ rumored interest flatters him, but he loves Kings

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) receives a blow to the head from Dallas Mavericks' Dwight Powell as Cousins works to get to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.

Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:

So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?

“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”

“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”

“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”

Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.

And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.

Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?

LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)

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LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.

It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.

Kevin Love drips snot all over his face, maybe into his mouth (video)

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Cameras zoomed in on Kevin Love at the wrong moment:

Need a sensory cleanser? Enjoy this fantastic outlet pass from Kevin Love to LeBron James:

Derrick Rose out for Knicks-Cavaliers with back injury, getting MRI

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22:  Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks dribbles against the Portland Trail Blazers during their game at Madison Square Garden on November 22, 2016 in New York City.   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 Al Bello/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Rose is missing the New York Knicks’ game against Cleveland because of lower back pain.

Rose left the Knicks’ victory over Miami on Tuesday in the third quarter with back spasms. Coach Jeff Hornacek says Rose still felt sore on Wednesday when he came in and met with team doctors, so they sent him for an MRI exam to make sure there was no structural damage.

Rose is averaging 16.7 points and this is the first game he’s missed this season.

Brandon Jennings will start in Rose’s place.