If the Dwight Howard trade comes down in the next 24 to 48 hours it is because of this — everybody had to move on with their “Plan B” if Howard wasn’t coming.
Nowhere is that more evident than Brooklyn.
The Nets have been Howard’s preferred destination and the franchise has spent the better part of a year trying to come up with deals to land him. The most recent was maybe the closest — a four-team deal that had 11 players plus four picks flying around. But that deal collapsed under its own weight when Cleveland pulled out.
Now the Nets face a choice, is it time to move on? Is it time to say Brook Lopez is their guy? Stephen Bondy laid it out at the New York Daily News.
If Lopez re-signs with the Nets and doesn’t agree to a sign and trade, it would kill any deal for Howard until at least Dec. 15 (when players can be traded after signing contracts in the offseason), or maybe forever (if Howard is dealt elsewhere).
So as the clock ticks on this never-ending saga — and while separate trade proposals involving the Rockets and Lakers were gaining traction — the Magic was being forced to take a harder look at their 7-foot question: is Lopez, a strong offensive player with a limited presence in the paint, worth taking the leap for?
Not at the max deal reportedly being discussed, if you ask me. Lopez can score around the basket and has a nice midrange touch — his offensive game has never been in question. But he doesn’t rebound well for his position and is not a shot-blocking help defender like the Nets need. He’s good, he’s just not a max guy, to me.
But the Nets are reportedly working to get insurance (Lopez missed much of last season with a foot issue) on a max deal. Once that offer goes on the table and he signs it, it may forever kill the Dwight Howard plan.
Joakim Noah hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since Feb. 4, and his season was all but ended when he had knee surgery at the end of February. It was a $72 million gamble that has not worked, and left New York with an anchor o a
Tomorrow it will be official he is done for the season, but not because of the Knicks or his injury.
During his recovery, Noah violated the NBA’s drug policy and will pay for a 20-game suspension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is prohibited under the outgoing Collective Bargaining Agreement, league sources said.
Noah, 32, is expected to serve 10 games of the suspension to finish out the 2016-17 regular season and 10 games to start the 2017-18 season, league sources said.
The National Basketball Players Association’s investigation concluded that Noah hadn’t “knowingly or willingly” violated the policy and cooperated fully with the league’s probe, league sources said.
Over-the-counter supplements could be something put in his regular workout recovery drinks that he was unaware of, although we are unsure of the details.
Traditionally, the player has to be healthy enough to play before the league starts the suspension. Noah has been out for more than a month, but if a league doctor says he is healthy enough to play the then the clock on the suspension can start. But that is interesting.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.
Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.
His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.
Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)