Report: Cavaliers also have interest in O.J. Mayo

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Does it feel to anyone else like somebody’s agent/manager/people are trying to pump up O.J. Mayo’s free agency options?

With the playoffs and draft coming up there tends not to be a lot of focus on free agents not named Howard or CP3 (and they aren’t likely moving on), yet now we have our second recent report about O.J. Mayo.

First it was the Timberwolves that reportedly had him on their radar. Now comes a report from the News-Herald that the Cavaliers may check him out, too.

The Cavs might kick the tires on Mayo, as well. He’s expected to opt out of his contract with Dallas. He shot a career-high 40.7 percent from the 3-point line this season. Mayo averaged 15.3 points on 12.5 shots.

My initial reaction is “it depends on how you use him.” If you can convince Mayo to be the instant-offense sixth man he could thrive in that role. Well, if he brought his energy and focus every night — that’s what drove Rick Carlisle crazy in Dallas.

Bottom line for Cleveland: Any guy that takes the ball out of Kyrie Irving’s hands to create for himself is a poor fit as a starter. The Cavs certainly need more talent around Irving, but just because they have $18 million in cap space doesn’t mean they should instantly spend it. As a fan, watching your team be patient sucks. But sometimes it’s the right play.

Warriors pose for photos with Jahlil Okafor’s dad’s ‘FREE JAH’ shirt

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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Jahlil Okafor‘s father has not been shy about speaking out on his son’s behalf. NBA players are advocating for the 76ers to grant Okafor, who’s out of the rotation and on an expiring contract, his desired trade or buyout.

When both join forces…

Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry appear to really enjoy Chukwudi Okafor’s shirt. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily calling on Philadelphia to do anything. But they hadn’t to know how it’d be perceived.

It’s easy to predict free agents will avoid the 76ers as a result of the Okafor situation, but few anticipate getting stuck similarly. Players overwhelmingly value money, winning, role and location. If Golden State’s stars are applying any external pressure, it shouldn’t really move Philadelphia more than anything that has already been said and done.

A couple of Lonzo Ball’s triple-double assists look dubious (video)

Harry How/Getty Images
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Lonzo Ball draws outsized attention because his father, LaVar Ball, lures onlookers and because the rookie plays for the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers.

So, when Lonzo gets a triple-double – like his 11-points, 16-rebound, 11-assists game against the Nuggets yesterday – it draws scrutiny.

Mo Dakhil of The Jump Ball:

The NBA defines an assist as a “pass that directly leads to a basket. … An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player’s pass led to the field goal being made.”

I wouldn’t describe either of those passing as leading directly to a basket. Ball’s teammates each hold the ball for a moment after receiving the pass then take two dribbles against set defenses.

But assists are subjective, and the Lakers aren’t alone in offering a home-court scorekeeping advantage.

Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice

So, criticize/laugh at the Lakers. But your favorite team probably manipulates assists in its favor, too.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.