Al Jefferson

Report: Spurs frontrunners to trade for Al Jefferson

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It is widely expected the Utah Jazz are going to trade one of their two big men before the trade deadline — Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are both in the last year of their contracts and they are not both coming back.

The Spurs are in the lead to land Jefferson, reports long-time hoops writer Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com.

The San Antonio Spurs are the front-runners to land Al Jefferson in a trade with the Utah Jazz – and they are frontrunners like Secretariat was in the 1973 Belmont Stakes….

“Those teams are practically incestuous, they are on such good terms internally,” one NBA source told me Wednesday.

With Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors on the bench, the Jazz don’t lose that much by shipping out Jefferson, and it’s not like the Jazz are title contenders anyway. What they could use is a point guard and Sheridan notes Patty Mills is on the Spurs roster.

The question is what other parts move to make this work — Tiago Splitter and Stephen Jackson are possibles. Also, do the Spurs plan to keep Jefferson around, re-signing him this summer?

Deals have a way of falling apart, and with these two teams there are not a lot of leaks, but don’t be shocked that if out of the blue in the next couple weeks a deal between these two appears “out of nowhere.”

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.