Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Barton grabs a rebound against Los Angeles Lakers center Howard during second half of their NBA basketball game in Portland

Blazers’ Will Barton leaves Summer League game with a knee injury (VIDEO)


LAS VEGAS — Will Barton had an active first half for the Blazers in Summer League action on Sunday versus the Lakers, getting to the rim for a couple of highlight plays that included a reverse layup and a flying slam dunk.

In the third quarter, however, Barton suffered a knee injury and his afternoon was finished.

As you can see in the clip above, it didn’t look great — Barton was standing still and a player on the floor (Michael Snaer, if you must know) rolled onto the right knee, causing him to collapse.

Barton had to be helped off the court, and the injury was described officially as a right knee strain.

As far as the rest of the game went, Portland ended up getting blown out for the second straight contest, despite having one of the rosters most full of legitimate NBA players. Piling up 22 turnovers will do that to you, but on the bright side, C.J. McCollum once again had a relatively solid outing, and finished with 15 points and five assists.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.

PBT Extra bold prediction preview: Markieff Morris will be a happy Sun

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After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.

So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?

Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.

The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.

Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.