The Magic have been much busier in the days leading up to the NBA’s trade deadline than they’d like to be, thanks to Dwight Howard’s uncertain future in Orlando and the many teams interested in offering a collection of less talented players in exchange for the league’s best big man. But he’s not the only player that teams are calling about.
The Timberwolves have been in talks with the Magic about a deal involving Jason Richardson, reports Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com, and Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld says the proposed deal would send Michael Beasley back to Orlando in return.
Minnesota has been looking to deal Beasley, likely due to the fact that the team’s frontcourt is overloaded with talent. Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, and rookie Derrick Williams are all producing, and the biggest weakness the Timberwolves have right now is a lack of consistent production from their wing players.
Richardson is aging, but he’s still proven to be a capable scorer. And clearly, he’d be a huge upgrade over the likes of Martell Webster, Wesley Johnson, and Wayne Ellington. There’s a slight salary cap concern here for Minnesota, if only because Richardson has two years left on his current deal, and a player option for a third year in the neighborhood of $6.6 million.
The dollars are by no means outrageous for a legitimate scoring threat of 15-20 points per game, but being locked in with him for the next three seasons might not be all that appealing from a flexibility standpoint.
As is the case with many of these reports this time of year, nothing is imminent. This is especially true in Orlando, where the team is not likely to do anything until right at the deadline, and only after weighing every last one of its options when it comes to what they want to do with Dwight Howard.
Russell Westbrook led a double-digit comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Been there done, that.
Westbrook hit a defining buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Been there done, that.
Westbrook posted a historic triple-double. Been there, done that.
All three in one game?
That’s a new level for Westbrook, who lifted the Thunder to a 114-106 win over the Magic tonight while posting an incredible stat line: 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
James Harden scored 53 in a triple-double just this season, and Westbrook has already one-upped that record.
This MVP race is one for the ages.
The Thunder trailed the Magic by 21 points in the second half and 14 points midway through the fourth quarter.
Russell Westbrook capped the incredible comeback with this 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.
This becoming the norm for Oklahoma City.
Paul George expressed extreme dismay after the Pacers’ loss to the Timberwolves last night — the latest cause for concern in Indiana with its biggest star just one season from free agency.
But perhaps George wouldn’t have sounded so disillusioned if that game featured correct officiating down the stretch.
Minnesota’s Kris Dunn got away with fouling Jeff Teague by disrupting the Pacers guard’s speed/quickness/balance rhythm with 21.6 seconds left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:
Dunn (MIN) makes contact to Teague’s (IND) arm that affects his SQBR and causes him to lose control of the ball.
Because the Timberwolves were in the penalty, a correct would’ve sent Teague — who’s making 86% of his free throws this season and 84% for his career — to the line. He would’ve had two attempts to build on Indiana’s two-point lead.
Instead, he forced an off-balance shot, which Minnesota rebounded. Ricky Rubio drew a shooting foul on a 3-pointer on the other end, and his three free throws lifted the Timberwolves to a 115-114 win.
The two-minute report featured a few other missed calls: George getting away with pushing off then Wiggins getting away with fouling George on a possession where George missed anyway, Andrew Wiggins getting away with a travel on a possession where Minnesota turned the ball over anyway. But those were effectively wash’s. Dunn’s uncalled foul was the one of consequence — especially if it contributes, even in a small way, to George’s exit from the Pacers.
Edmond Sumner has grown about five inches since high school.
That has helped turn the 6-foot-5 Xavier point guard into an intriguing NBA prospect — but also seemingly contributed to physical complications. Sumner missed nearly all of his freshman year with knee tendinitis. Then, after a promising second season and start to his third, he tore his ACL in January.
Still, he’s entering the NBA draft.
Rick Broering of Musketeer Report:
Like with Duke’s Harry Giles, medical testing will be huge with Sumner. But at least Giles ended the season on the court. Sumner might not be healthy at all during the pre-draft process.
Sumner looked like a borderline first-round pick before the injury. This probably pushes him into the second round.
His long strides provide impressive speed and quickness, and he’s still shifty. Add quality court vision, and his ability to drive by defenders is even more valuable.
A 6-foot-8 wingspan and good lateral mobility also help make him a quality defender.
But it’s also concerning that so much of his positives could be undermined by his knee issues, especially considering his unreliable jumper. If Sumner can’t move like he did before getting hurt, I don’t see how he sticks in the NBA.
If Sumner’s knees check out, it’s worth rolling the dice on him and hoping his jumper develops. He might even be OK without shooting range, though that’d lower his ceiling considerably.
Again, though, the first thing is examining his knees.