Ty Lawson

Karl admits Lawson contract extension distracting Nuggets

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The good news is this distraction isn’t going to last very long. Probably.

There is a Wednesday deadline for when rookie contract extensions for the draft class of 2009 have to be agreed to.

Ty Lawson is one of those guys. Everyone expected the Nuggets to come to terms with the young point guard who seems built for running George Karl’s up-tempo offense. But as of yet, no deal and there are reports talks have stalled out. If no deal is reached, Lawson becomes a restricted free agent next summer (other teams can make offers but Denver can match them).

It’s become a distraction, Karl admitted to the Denver Post.

“It falls under the level of ‘distraction,’” Karl said Sunday.

“But that’s how our business is now. I respect both sides. I respect the organization trying to get something done and I’m sure they’re negotiating honestly and fairly. Hopefully they’ll come to an agreement.

“Ty is a point guard who is figuring out where he is in the marketplace. It’s business, and business is not the best energy for training camp. Basketball is the best energy for a training camp. But there is business in training camp going on all the time now in the NBA.”

The Nuggets open their season Wednesday in Philadelphia. By the end of that night the Nuggets will have locked up Lawson and the distraction will be gone.

That or they don’t reach a deal and this season every city Lawson can be asked “would you be willing to play next season in X?” Then the distraction lives on.

Kobe Bryant with spin move around LeBron James (VIDEO)

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The game itself went about how you’d expect one between a title contender and a high lottery team to go — the Cavaliers 120-111 win over the Lakers was never really in doubt.

But the fans in Cleveland wanted to see some vintage Kobe Bryant, and they got it late when he spun around LeBron James and hit the reverse lay-up.

LeBron had 29 points on the night, and Kyrie Irving had 35. Kobe finished with 17 and got a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Suns’ Markieff Morris, Archie Goodwin get in scuffle on the bench

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Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….

During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.

The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.

We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”

Kawhi Leonard drains game winner to beat Orlando (VIDEO)

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This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.

And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.

Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers shoulder dislocation, leaves game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.

Now this.

He went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game (the Pacers got the win).

You can see the injury above. In a scramble for a loose ball, the Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi falls on MKG’s arm, dislocating his shoulder.

We don’t know the severity of all this and if MKG is going to miss time beyond this game. But it isn’t good.