Gerald Wallace sounds uncomfortable in Boston, like guy wanting trade

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Every time Gerald Wallace opens his mouth, it sounds to me like a guy bucking for a trade. He is trying to grease the skids out of town. It started in the preseason with his attempts at “leadership.”

However, with his contract, he may have no choice but to suck it up for a while.

Wallace was taken out of the starting rotation by coach Brad Stevens for Wednesday night’s game in Utah, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

But Wallace’s unhappiness goes back much father than that. Wallace’s latest comment was about his role in Boston and how he feels out of place, something he explained to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

“It’s hard,” Wallace said. “It’s like starting from scratch zero with this team and trying to figure out what direction they’re headed in and what pieces they’re going to put together. For me, I’ve already been through that situation. I was on an expansion team in Charlotte. I’ve established myself. To have to start all over on a team that’s starting from scratch is very difficult.”

Honestly, I get where Wallace is at here. He’s 31, been in the league 13 years now and has only seen the second round of the playoffs once (2003 with the Kings). He’s gotten paid, now he wants to win not be on a team that’s rebuilding, and not be with a college coach finding his way in the NBA as well. He wants to get moved to a team where he feels the games will matter this season. I appreciate that.

But he has two years and $20.2 million on his contract after this season — combine that with the new luxury tax and what Wallace brings to the table (9.2 points a game on 39.7 percent shooting last season with a PER of 11.6) and it will be tough to move him. It can be done, but Boston might have to throw in a sweetener of some kind. Which rebuilding teams are loath to do.

Wallace needs to be quiet. He doesn’t have the gravitas or style to pull off the Kevin Garnett style of leadership. He needs to lead by example, play well enough that a team will want to take on his contract, then hope for the best.

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.