For a couple days you’ve been reading about a potential Jerryd Bayless swap for Courtney Lee, with the Thunder jumping in to offload Ryan Gomes.
Now it’s official, it has been announced by the teams. Here is who gets what:
Memphis Grizzlies: Lee plus a 2016 second round pick from Boston.
Boston Celtics: Bayless and Gomes (they are expected to waive Gomes before the end of Tuesday).
Oklahoma City Thunder: A conditional second round pick from Memphis in 2017.
Of course, the real question is why does this work for everyone.
For the Celtics, they save money in future years of Lee’s contract (he is owed $11 million for two seasons after this one) plus some this season on Gomes’s deal. They also get a ball handling guard who can create shots and may be a better fit for them while Rajon Rondo remains out. But really this was a talent downgrade and move to save money and gain flexibility, they aren’t trying to get better right now and win the division.
For the Grizzlies Lee is a good fit with what they need — shooting plus solid defense. He is knocking down 44 percent of his attempts from three this season on Memphis desperately needs shooting (especially with Quincy Pondexter lost for the season).
For Oklahoma City, the free up some money and a roster spot losing Gomes, likely in preparation for another move.
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.