Tony Allen

Report: Timberwolves, Grizzlies discussing Chase Budinger, Tony Allen trade

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The Memphis Grizzlies have a very stout defense but need more scoring punch, particularly outside shooting, if they are going to advance deep in the playoffs again (Courtney Lee has been a big boost here).

The Minnesota Timberwolves need more consistent defense if they have hopes of making a playoff  push (it’s not likely this season but next season it is a must) — and that defense has to be on the perimeter as the front line of Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic are locked in and not exactly rim protectors.

That has the Grizzlies and Timberwolves talking about a basically offense for defense trade, something reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Memphis Grizzlies are discussing a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves centered on forward Chase Budinger and guard J.J. Barea, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Memphis wants to include forward Tayshaun Prince into the package and the deal could be expanded to include guard Tony Allen, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Components of a proposed deal are still fluid.

Memphis has been furiously trying to unload Prince and the remaining $7.2 million (2013-’14) and $7.7 million (2014-’15) on his contract, league sources said.

I see how this trade works for Memphis — they unload the Prince contract and pick up an athletic swingman who can shoot in Budinger, plus Barea could make a nice backup point guard behind Mike Conley. Basically this makes the Memphis bench tougher to deal with.

But they would miss Tony Allen — “The Grindfather” is loved by the fan base and embodies the grit and grind style of the Grizzlies. The fans likely are ticked about this deal, but money is money.

Allen’s grinding style is exactly what Minnesota needs. Prince is also still a solid defender thanks to his length. The Timberwolves could roll out Prince, Allen and Ricky Rubio and be much better defensively on the perimeter than they are now.

Which is to say, there’s some logic to this trade. But we’ll see if the details can be worked out and if Minnesota really wants to take on that oversized Prince contract.

Kobe Bryant with spin move around LeBron James (VIDEO)

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The game itself went about how you’d expect one between a title contender and a high lottery team to go — the Cavaliers 120-111 win over the Lakers was never really in doubt.

But the fans in Cleveland wanted to see some vintage Kobe Bryant, and they got it late when he spun around LeBron James and hit the reverse lay-up.

LeBron had 29 points on the night, and Kyrie Irving had 35. Kobe finished with 17 and got a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Suns’ Markieff Morris, Archie Goodwin get in scuffle on the bench

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Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….

During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.

The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.

We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”

Kawhi Leonard drains game winner to beat Orlando (VIDEO)

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This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.

And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.

Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers shoulder dislocation, leaves game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.

Now this.

He went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game (the Pacers got the win).

You can see the injury above. In a scramble for a loose ball, the Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi falls on MKG’s arm, dislocating his shoulder.

We don’t know the severity of all this and if MKG is going to miss time beyond this game. But it isn’t good.