Report: Kidd jilts Mavericks at altar, agrees to deal with Knicks


Mark Cuban’s “tear it down to build it back up” plan has worked out about as well as Napoleon invading Russia so far. No Deron Williams. No Steve Nash. No Dwight Howard (yet, at least). Jason Terry leaves for Boston.

And now Jason Kidd, who the Mavs said they were near a deal with, has jilted them at the altar and will instead sign a multi-year deal with the Knicks, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

With the Mavericks confident that they were closing in Thursday on a verbal agreement on a three-year deal with Kidd worth $9 million, sources told that Kidd — after all-day deliberations with both teams — has decided instead to leave Dallas to join the Knicks for a similar deal.

Sources briefed on the matter told that Kidd was ultimately swayed to take the Knicks’ offer to come to New York and take on the challenge of trying to help the Knicks move into the Eastern Conference and also mentor fans darling’ Jeremy Lin.

Everyone may want to steer clear of Mark Cuban for the next 48 hours or so. At least. Just for your own protection.

Not sure where this leaves Raymond Felton, who reportedly was going to New York also. Probably out in the cold, looking for another team to join. The Knicks don’t need Kidd, Felton an Jeremy Lin. And Lin is maybe the most secure of all of them.

For New York, this is a decent if not thrilling signing. Kidd gives the Knicks a solid point guard who can space the floor with threes and doesn’t need to dominate the ball. Which is good, because the offense runs through Carmelo Anthony.

Kidd is entering his 19th NBA season and will go down as one of the game’s best point guards. But he is not that guy anymore at age 39. Last season Kidd gave the Mavericks 28 minutes with 6.2 points and 5.5 assists per game, and his play was solid if not his old spectacular self. He also missed 18 regular season games due to injury.

Giannis Antetokounmpo to tell his story on 60 Minutes this week (preview clip)

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Giannis Antetokounmpo grew up hocking wares — clothes, sunglasses, whatever — on the streets of Athens, Greece. He easily could still be living there, the tallest salesman in a poor part of a country with high unemployment and real challenges.

Instead, he is a multimillionaire living comfortably in the United States, and is one of the 10 best basketball players in the world — and still improving. In a few years we may well be saying he is the best player on the planet.

Antetokounmpo will be telling his story on the legendary television news magazine 60 Minutes this week, and the show released a clip. Check it out.

This is the best missed free throw to game winner you will ever see

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We’ve all seen this situation before at every level of basketball: A team down three points gets fouled in the final seconds and has two free throws, so the shooter aims to make the first free throw then miss the second and create a rebound he or a teammate can grab then throw back in to tie the game. It works about as often as an NFL Hail Mary — either the shooter makes the shot anyway or the defense gets the board — but what other choice is there?

Nobody has ever pulled it off as well as Paulinho Boracini of the Brazilian league team Cearense.

Intentional or not (and I lean not), he banked the second free throw off the rim toward the corner, ran it down himself and hit the game-winning three.

Damn. That’s impressive.

(If Boracini and Cearense sound familiar, you win the award for “watching too much Knicks preseason basketball” because they played New York in a 2015 exhibition.)

Giannis Antetokounmpo doubtful with ankle injury for Bulls game

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MILWAUKEE (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks say Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful for Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls with a sprained right ankle.

The All-Star forward got hurt in the second quarter of a 127-120 loss on Wednesday to the Los Angeles Clippers when he appeared to trip over teammate Shabazz Muhammad under the Bucks’ basket.

Antetokounmpo is fourth in the league in scoring at 27.3 points a game.


Anfernee Simons declares for NBA draft straight out of high school (kind of)

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Anfernee Simons spent the last year playing high school basketball. But because he did so as a fifth-year prep after technically graduating from high school last year and turns 19 in June, he’s eligible for the NBA draft.

Following a path taken by Thon Maker and considered by Jonathan Isaac, Simons – as expected – is turning pro.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN:

Anfernee Simons will forgo his collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2018 NBA draft, he informed ESPN.

Simons informed ESPN that he will sign with agent Bobby Petriella of Rosenhaus Sports Representation

Simons looks like a mid-first-rounder, though his range is quite wide considering how large of a jump he’s making. Teams can learn relatively more about him in workouts and interviews.

A 6-foot-4 shooting guard who specializes in scoring, Simons is quick on his feet with a quick release off the dribble – with range from beyond the 3-point arc to an impressive floater game. Those floaters will be important, because Simons isn’t nearly strong enough for the NBA. He’s also a lackluster passer, though because of physicality concerns, no team will count on Simons to run an offense anytime soon, anyway. He’ll have time to develop as a distributor.

By signing with agents, Simons loses his college eligibility. Drew Rosenhaus, a big-name football agent, isn’t certified with the National Basketball Players Association. Petriella’s only NBA client has been Diamond Stone, a 2016 second-rounder who’s out of the league. They’re all in this bold venture together now.

As the NBA considers changing its draft rules for young prospects, Simons will be an interesting case study. He obviously meets the draft-eligibility requirements in the one-and-done era, but he’s also jumping from prep-school competition to the NBA. The league’s strength and nutrition programs should serve him well. His overall development could influence the wider debate.