Clippers and Raptors also discussing trade involving Andrea Bargnani

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UPDATE 6:51 p.m.: The Knicks and the Raptors have agreed on a trade that will send Andrea Bargnani to New York.

11:30 a.m. The Raptors became the latest team to engage the Clippers in trade talks for the young and dynamic Eric Bledsoe, but L.A. might not be interested in dealing him for what Toronto has to offer.

And with Doc Rivers now in the fold running basketball operations, he might want some time to evaluate Bledsoe further before trading him at all.

The talks between the two teams may not be completely fruitless, as the Clippers reportedly have some interest in Andrea Bargnani — just not at the asking price of Bledsoe.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

So one possible outcome to the Clippers-Raptors talks, sources said, is a smaller trade headlined by Bargnani going to L.A. in exchange for Caron Butler, enabling the Clippers to save Bledsoe for a bigger trade — or, perhaps, keeping him if Rivers holds firm.

The Clippers would be the first team actually interested in taking Bargnani off of Toronto’s hands, who has two years and $23 million left on his contract. But Bargnani has some value as a big man who can step out and shoot it, as long as he can stay on the floor — he’s been limited to just 66 total games over the last two seasons due to injury.

The Raptors would likely jump at the chance to rid themselves of Bargnani’s contract, even if Bledsoe is taken off the table. The team has been haunted by taking him with the number one overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, and dealing him would help new GM Masai Ujiri give the franchise a much-needed fresh start.

Watch Hassan Whiteside beat the Pistons at the buzzer with tip-in (VIDEO)

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The Miami Heat took until the final moments on Tuesday night to beat the Detroit Pistons, but it was worth it. With just a handful of games left to play, the Heat need to stave off the Chicago Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Thanks to a tip at the buzzer by Hassan Whiteside, they’re one step closer to achieving that goal.

The play came with just seconds left in the fourth quarter. James Johnson missed a shot with six seconds to go, and the Heat grabbed the rebound. Goran Dragic then tried his hand, but he couldn’t get it to go, either.

That’s when Whiteside came back with a tip at the buzzer that ended the game.

Via Twitter:

Miami now sits at 36-38, a game above the Bulls for the No. 8 seed.

Whiteside, meanwhile, is never going to wash that hand again:

Kobe Bryant says LeBron James has earned the right to take a rest (VIDEO)

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Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was a pretty consistent player in the NBA. Save for his final injury-laden seasons and the lockout year of 2011-12, Bryant played in no fewer than 65 regular season games in a single season.

Coaches also had no reason or want to ask Bryant — a notorious worker — to sit out in order to rest. That wasn’t really on the menu, and Bryant knew that.

Speaking to ESPN’s First Take, Bryant said no coach really asked him to ever take a rest, “I’ve never been approached by a coach and asked to rest.”

Bryant remarked that he took queues from Michael Jordan during tough stretches of the season — back-to-backs or four games in five night scenarios — where he could switch his game up, floating from perimeter to post, in order to save energy during those matchups.

Bryant also said during the same interview that he understands the complexity of the modern game, and that players like LeBron James deserve to take a rest if they’ve earned it.

“LeBron has done so much for the game. He’s earned the opportunity to take a rest,” said Bryant.

The debate on this subject will continue, it seems.

Phil Jackson’s reaction to Kristaps Porzingis getting turned upside down feels about right

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New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis is the future of the franchise, so any time he’s upended and nearly lands on his noggin it’s a cause for concern. To say the least.

That’s what happened on Monday night, as Porzingis got turned upside down during a play near the basket during a game against the Detroit Pistons.

Porzingis was OK on the play, and Detroit big man Andre Drummond did his best to help catch him so nothing too scary happened.

Still, Knicks president Phil Jackson had a pretty hilarious reaction to the whole thing. I guess that’s what happens when you watch your basketball life flash before your eyes.

Porzingis was unhurt and played a full 37 minutes. New York beat Detroit, 109-95.

Jimmy Butler won’t pick LeBron over Durant as toughest matchup in NBA, and for good reason

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Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler is a smart dude. He’s spent years of offseason work turning himself into a max-level player, and that shows he knows not only how to work but how to attack the game of basketball.

He’s also smart enough to know he shouldn’t go poking the bear when it comes to two future Hall of Fame players in LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

When asked whether the Cleveland Cavaliers star or the Golden State Warriors scorer was the toughest matchup in the NBA, Butler made sure he wasn’t adding any kind of blackboard material to rile up either player.

Via Twitter:

The best way to defend LeBron or Durant: don’t make them angry.

Smart move, Jimmy.