Shabazz Muhammad

Report: Hawks trying to trade into top five, maybe for Shabazz Muhammad


Sometimes, we hear what type of move a team wants to make. Sometimes, we even hear about potential trade partners for that team. Sometimes, we hear which player a team wants to draft.

Here’s a juicy rumor that combines all three. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

The Atlanta Hawks are dangling their two first-round picks for a trade in hopes of moving up in Thursday’s NBA draft, possibly as high as the top five, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.

Atlanta has had trade conversations with at least one team picking in the top five, a source said.

The Hawks also are intrigued by UCLA small forward Shabazz Muhammad, a source said.

It’s difficult to see those three sentences as part of the same plan, at least part of a plan that will happen.

The Hawks have the No. 17 and No. 18 picks in the first-round, and those alone shouldn’t net a top-five pick. Though many critics have panned this draft as weak, there’s a consensus top six building: Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter, Anthony Bennett and Victor Oladipo. A team in picking fourth to sixth – as of right now, Charlotte, Phoenix and New Orleans – is in a good spot to get a valuable prospect. A team in that range should command more than the No. 17 and No. 18 picks, an area where the better prospects likely already thinned out.

And trading into the top five to get Muhammad seems like overkill. The Kings, who hold the No. 7 pick, reportedly like him, but it’s difficult to see him go any higher than that.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.