Thursday And-1 links: Heat looking at Harrellson, Birdman

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Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like James T. Kirk loves green women.

• The Miami Heat need some depth up front. On Thursday former Knick and Rocket Josh Harrellson worked out for the Heat on Thursday. Chris Andersen also has let the Heat know he is interested in a deal. Any deal would be for the league minimum as that is all the Heat can offer this far over the cap. There also will not be a lot of minutes — Miami is going small ball with Chris Bosh at the five and likely playing Udonis Haslem there as well. But they want some size on the bench besides Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman.

• Lakers fans, watch this video from BBallBreakdown.com (love their work) of how your offense will look with Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol… then stop drooling. This is going to be a very good offensive team once they find their groove. For them (as it was in the last title runs) the question is will they defend well enough?

• Lakers fans, Kobe Bryant turned 34 Thursday. SLAM celebrated by picking out his 34 best dunks.

• Who were the most unlikely 50-point scorers in a game in NBA history? Here’s a pretty good list. I didn’t remember Tony Delk doing that at all.

• Here’s a link to a video of Jeff Green talking about his return to Boston.

• Wizards fans looking for a detailed scouting report on Martell Webster, here you go.

• Former Raptors head man Jay Triano is getting the job as the head man of the Canadian national team.

• Royce White is a writer. But the Rocket doesn’t write about basketball.

• Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren is on the Sixers radar as they keep looking for a new general manager for next season.

• Rodrigue Beaubois is working out with boxing this offseason.

• Who wouldn’t want a Manu Ginobili bobblehead?

• Maya Moore is leading the WNBA in jersey sales this year. She’s a star.

• Jumaine Jones signed to play with Bnei Herzliya in Israel.

• I loved this poll on RealGM of what NBA writers would make good GMs. First, happy not to be on it. Second, Jason Givony of DraftExpress.com with ESPN’s Larry Coon as the capologist might not be bad (Sebastian Pruiti will be a scout for them), but the rest of these guys… not moves a smart owner makes. With no offense intended to Woj.

• ESPN’s Bill Simmons should not be a GM, but he might be part of the ESPN pregame show (NBA Countdown) next year. And that could work.

Dunker Max Pearce throws down another impressive one (VIDEO)

Via _maxw3ll_ on Instagram
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These are the kinds of dunks that make me ask, should the NBA allow pro dunkers in the All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest. Some years you get the great Zach LaVine shows, but other years it’s down. NBA players need to focus on their game, not highlight dunks.

Guys like Max Pearce on the other hand…

Here is his latest.

But head to his Instagram page and you get to see a lot of dunks like this.

Stay creative 👍🏽 #Flynance 🏆

A post shared by Max Pearce (@_maxw3ll_) on

Warriors sign power forward Georges Niang to training camp contract

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The Golden State roster is locked in with 15 guaranteed contracts set for next season. We know what their opening day roster is going to look like (and it looks like a champion).

But the Warriors need extra bodies for training camp, so enter Georges Niang, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Niang was drafted in the second round, 50th overall, out of Iowa State in 2016, by Indiana. He played just 93 minutes total with the Pacers last season, he didn’t get much of a chance to impress in Summer League, and they moved on waiving him in July. Niang put up numbers in college, but there were questions about if he was athletic enough for the next level.

Staying in the G-League (formerly D-League) keeps him close to his NBA dream. If it doesn’t work out, in future years he can make a good paycheck overseas, but for now he chases the dream.

Report: Knicks not interested in trading Kristaps Porzingis for Kyrie Irving

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With uncertainty around LeBron James‘ future in Cleveland — and good luck finding anyone around the league who thinks he is staying; LeBron’s options are open, but the sense is he has one foot out the door — the Cavaliers are prioritizing getting a young star to rebuild around back in any Kyrie Irving trade.

At the top of the Cavaliers’ wish list: Kristaps Porzingis.

Except the Knicks have no interest in this trade, reports Steven Marcus and Mike Rose of Newsday.

The Knicks don’t appear interested in trading Kristaps Porzingis, including a possible deal for Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, according to a league source…

“[Knicks president] Steve Mills and [Knicks general manager] Scott Perry on the record were very clear that Kristaps was part of the future,’’ the source said in reference to comments made last month by both executives. “In all the discussions since then — there were other rumors before that Cleveland would want Kristaps — and it didn’t seem that [the Knicks] were interested at all in a conversation.’’

Nor should the Knicks give him up — even if they could dump the anchor Joakim Noah contract in the process.

Irving is a sure thing, an elite scorer and All-Star who averaged 25.2 points and 5.8 assists a game last season and shot better than 40 percent from three. Irving, entering his seventh season, can do more to help a team win next season than Porzingis. He can get more buckets.

But Porzingis could be better — and will be better suited to build a contender around — in the future. Entering just his third season and with the triangle gone, and maybe the shadow of Carmelo Anthony, too, Porzingis should become the focal point of the Knicks next season, and we can see what he will do. KP scored 18.1 points and grabbed 7.2 rebounds a game last season, shot 35.7 percent from three, and while still learning he brings more defense than Irving. Porzingis is a 7’3″ “unicorn” — there isn’t another player like him — and for many years he could be the future of the Knicks. He has the work ethic, he’s shown flashes, they just need to give him a real chance.

Also, the Knicks need to work starting this fall to mend the relationship that Phil Jackson tried to poison.

Bottom line, Irving is good, but the Knicks could build a contender around Porzingis if they handle it right. Not sure they can do that around Irving, and he is older. No way you make that trade if you’re the Knicks. That’s obvious… which is one reason Jackson needed to go.

 

Watch the best ball fakes from the past NBA season

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While we grind through the slow part of the NBA offseason — when even Kyrie Irving trade rumors come with “when we get close to the start of training camp” qualifiers — we continue to get our hoops fix from the best highlights of last season.

Like the top 10 ball fakes, as compiled by NBA.com.

You knew Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving would be on the list, but nice appearance and moves by Ricky Rubio and D'Angelo Russell, too.