LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus  Camby

LaMarcus Aldridge good with being at heart of rebuild

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A lot of teams don’t like to use the “R” word — rebuild — because they fear it will scare off ticket buyers. Which strikes me as thinking your fans are shallow or stupid — fans of a team want hope, and they will come pay to see and cheer on young players so long as they see a future developing.

Whether the Trail Blazers want to admit it or not, they are rebuilding. They will have a lot of cap space and a couple first round draft picks this year as the roster is re-shaped in the post Greg Oden/Brandon Roy era.

But the Blazers do already have a star — LaMarcus Aldridge. One of the best young power forwards in the game. An All-Star. And those kinds of players often do not want to ride out a rebuild.

But Aldridge is good with it, he tells CSNNW.com.

“I don’t think I’ve reached my prime yet,” LaMarcus Aldridge said. “So, if we get a good group of rookies in this draft, they’ll be able to gain some experience in the next couple of years and we’ll be a force a couple of years from now….

“You don’t reach your prime until you’re about 28 or 29,” Aldridge said. “I’m 26 so I got a few more years until then. If we bring in the right guys, we’ll be very good down the road.”

My guess is Blazers fans — a loyal and knowledgeable fan base — feel the same way. Changes had to be made, it was time to move on no matter how much Roy is loved.

The Blazers have a chance here. All they really need is a GM with the vision, a coach who can coach it and smart moves. That includes ownership staying out of the way of the basketball people. All that is what should make Blazers fans nervous, not simply the idea of a rebuild.

Andre Drummond hits buzzer-beating heave from beyond halfcourt (VIDEO)

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 27:  Andre Drummond #0 of the Detroit Pistons reacts in the final seconds of their 106-94 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on October 27, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading andor using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Andre Drummond is a terrible free-throw shooter…except, apparently, when he’s shooting from the other free-throw line. Monday night against the Raptors, Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to five at the end of the third quarter with this three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer:

Now, if only he could work on his accuracy from his own free-throw line.

Joe Johnson banks in three to give Nets win over Nuggets (VIDEO)

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03:  Joe Johnson #7 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles against the Indiana Pacers during their game at the Barclays Center on February 3, 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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Not a lot has gone right for the Nets this season, but an impressive clutch shot by seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson gave them their 14th win of the season on Monday. With time expiring, Johnson banked in a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 105-104 over Denver and secure the victory:

Johnson had 12 points on the night.

Report: Kings plan to fire George Karl in coming days

SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 09:  Head coach George Karl of the Sacramento Kings stands on the side of the court during their game against the Golden State Warriors at Sleep Train Arena on January 9, 2016 in Sacramento, California.  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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.

Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:

The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.

The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.

Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:

Sports Illustrated‘s Jake Fischer further reported that only three players indeed showed up on Monday morning:

That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.

Karl-Anthony Towns fakes out Luke Babbitt with spin move (VIDEO)

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 09:  Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after hitting a basket against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 9, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Since he came into the league, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ offensive footwork has been unusually advanced for a rookie. He showed off his impressive moves again on Monday night, getting to the basket around Luke Babbitt with this spin: