There’s a small window at the start of next week where we could see a little flurry of trades.
On Dec. 15 everyone who signed a contract this summer becomes eligible to be traded. Anyone traded before Dec. 19 can be traded again at the trading deadline (after that you are stuck with the player through the end of the season).
Which leads to this interesting tweet last night from David Aldridge of NBA.com and TNT.
The Rockets have been looking to trade Omer Asik for a power forward that could pair well with Howard — although frankly Terrence Jones seems to be that guy. The Rockets’ starting lineup with Jones has been the best five-man unit in the NBA (minimum 150 minutes). Of course, it didn’t work out that way Thursday night as that lineup was -15 in a loss to the Trail Blazers, but in general it’s been good.
Varejao is interesting. When healthy — and that has been an issue the past few seasons — he is very strong on the glass, plays well on offense out of the high post and he’s a good defender. He’s not a stretch four, but he could provide depth both at the four (next to Howard at times) and he can play some backup center when needed.
Varejao is a name to watch, but it’s the dates next week when you can expect something to happen.
The Los Angeles Clippers had a rough go of things against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Up by 18 with more than five minutes to go, LA blew their lead and were left to watch as the Kings sealed the game late.
The final possession for Sacramento came on a missed corner 3-pointer by Clippers guard Jamal Crawford. The Kings got the outlet pass out on the rebound, but Ben McLemore took it to the rack and missed. That’s when Willie Cauley-Stein stepped in, cleaned up the board, and put the game-winning shot home with less than two seconds left.
Los Angeles lost in spectacular fashion, and became the only team this season to lose given their game situation.
Here’s a compilation the NBA put together of Sacramento’s epic comeback:
Meanwhile, Chris Paul called it the worst regular season loss of his career.
The Clippers peaked too soon. Like, the first 20 games of the season too soon.
Russell Westbrook had yet another triple-double on Sunday. The Oklahoma City Thunder star notched 13 assists in the loss to the Houston Rockets, 137-125, and one of them came on a nifty pass to teammate Victor Oladipo.
The play happened with the Thunder on the fastbreak early in the third quarter. Westbrook was moving from left-to-right across the middle of the floor with the ball while Oladipo streaked down the right wing.
With the Rockets defense collapsing, Westbrook reached halfcourt and fired a bounce pass that sliced through the opposition.
Oladipo finished with the clean dunk.
Still not sure it beats this one, but I think we’ll have to compare once the season comes to a close.
The race between James Harden and Russell Westbrook for the 2017 NBA MVP has narrowed to a two-man race toward the end of the season. The Oklahoma City Thunder star is averaging at triple-double this year, and the Houston Rockets guard is doing things nobody has ever done on a basketball court before.
It’s a tough decision to decide between them, so much so that even former Los Angeles Lakers great and 2008 NBA MVP Kobe Bryant can’t do it.
Speaking on ESPN on Sunday, Bryant said he thought the league might have to just bite the bullet on Westbrook vs. Harden.
“We might see our first co-MVPs this year,” said Bryant.
That would be a huge step for the league, but I’m not entirely sure they would do it. There have been co-NBA All-Star Game MVPs in years past, but never league MVP.
Still, can you decide between Russ and Harden? The Mamba can’t.
Houston Rockets center Nene is from Brazil, but on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder the South American native went full euro.
On a fastbreak possession, Nene took on Thunder big man Enes Kanter near the rim and absolutely shook him with a nasty eurostep.
The play was so good that it forced Oklahoma City to call a timeout as James Harden and the rest of the Rockets bench met Nene on the court to celebrate.