Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Clippers

Report: Nets contacted Celtics to inquire about Kevin Garnett

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In the wake of Doc Rivers leaving the Celtics to coach the Clippers, and with Boston GM Danny Ainge non-committal on the futures of both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett with the franchise, it’s only natural that other teams would begin to come calling to check on the availability of the Celtics’ aging stars.

The Brooklyn Nets were apparently first in line, and made the requisite call to the Celtics to inquire about Garnett’s availability.

From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

A future Hall of Famer might become available, so Billy King did his due diligence and made the call.

Multiple sources told the Daily News that the Nets GM inquired about Kevin Garnett’s desire to join Deron Williams in Brooklyn, but King didn’t get an answer while uncertainty surrounds the Celtics.

But it’s no surprise King inquired about Garnett, a 15-time All-Star and former MVP. The Nets not only desire a reliable starting power forward, they could use a vocal and respected leader. Garnett fits the mold.

The call was likely made not to immediately secure Garnett’s services, but to gauge his interest in joining the Brooklyn franchise.

Garnett is one of the very few players in the league to hold a no-trade clause as part of his contract, and he has previously been unwilling to waive it for any team outside of Los Angeles.

If the Celtics choose to bring Pierce and Garnett back for one more season, it’s unlikely that KG would be interested in playing anywhere else. But if Pierce is dealt, anything is on the table where Garnett is concerned, and finishing his career with a playoff team may instantly become more appealing than playing for a lottery team, or choosing retirement a year or two earlier than expected.

Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)

Gordon Hayward (20), del Jazz de Utah, intenta un enceste ante Thon Maker (7) y Michael Beasley (9), de los Bucks de Milwaukee, en el duelo del viernes 24 de febrero de 2017, en Milwaukee. (AP Foto/Benny Sieu)
AP Foto/Benny Sieu
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Are we obligated to call Gordon Hayward “deceptively athletic”?

The Bucks have something special in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and they think they have something special in Thon Maker.

But Hayward jammed all over those two in the Jazz’s 109-95 win last night.

First, he got Antetokounmpo:

Then, he got Maker:

Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Jose Calderon #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a called foul during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on November 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.

As was expected, the Lakers are now talking about buying out the Spanish national and letting him head to a playoff team for a stretch run, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….

Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.

Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.

Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.

Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.

There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.