Boston Celtics v Houston Rockets

Report: Wherever Asik is traded it won’t be to New Orleans, Milwaukee

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The Houston Rockets are set to trade valuable big man Omer Asik and want to get it done by next Thursday (the reason is anyone they get in a trade by then can be flipped again at the trading deadline, after that date they have the player for the rest of the season).

Houston would love to get a good stretch four to pair with Dwight Howard, which has led to speculation about a deal with New Orleans for Ryan Anderson or Milwaukee for Ersan Ilyasova.

Not going to happen, reports Sam Amick at the USA Today.

Yet while the New Orleans Pelicans (i.e. forward Ryan Anderson) and Milwaukee Bucks (i.e. forward Ersan Ilyasova) have also been tied to the Asik situation, two people with knowledge of both team’s dealings said they are no longer in the mix. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks. Things could change, of course, but it appears both teams have bowed out for now.

We’ve been telling you for a while New Orleans is not interested in moving Anderson — not for Asik, not for Zach Randolph (another rumor), not for anyone. The fact is they have Anderson under contract for two more years at $17 million total, which is a great deal for them. Also, the Pelicans are +12.2 per 48 when Anderson and Anthony Davis are paired on the court. They want to keep them together for a while and see how that works.

Amick backed that up.

A person with knowledge of the Grizzlies’ dealings said they haven’t had any conversations with New Orleans about a Randolph-for-Anderson swap, and a person with knowledge of the Pelicans’ dealings said the same.

At this point the Bucks need to embrace being bad to get good — that was not the plan before the season started but it should be now.

DeMarcus Cousins says Mavericks’ rumored interest flatters him, but he loves Kings

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) receives a blow to the head from Dallas Mavericks' Dwight Powell as Cousins works to get to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.

Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:

So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?

“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”

“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”

“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”

Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.

And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.

Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?

LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)

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LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.

It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.

Kevin Love drips snot all over his face, maybe into his mouth (video)

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Cameras zoomed in on Kevin Love at the wrong moment:

Need a sensory cleanser? Enjoy this fantastic outlet pass from Kevin Love to LeBron James:

Derrick Rose out for Knicks-Cavaliers with back injury, getting MRI

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22:  Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks dribbles against the Portland Trail Blazers during their game at Madison Square Garden on November 22, 2016 in New York City.   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 Al Bello/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Rose is missing the New York Knicks’ game against Cleveland because of lower back pain.

Rose left the Knicks’ victory over Miami on Tuesday in the third quarter with back spasms. Coach Jeff Hornacek says Rose still felt sore on Wednesday when he came in and met with team doctors, so they sent him for an MRI exam to make sure there was no structural damage.

Rose is averaging 16.7 points and this is the first game he’s missed this season.

Brandon Jennings will start in Rose’s place.