Glen Davis has chosen his old coach over his old teammate.
Well, that’s not the whole story. It appears Davis will choose the Los Angeles Clippers as his next destination, a spot where he moves to a team on the cusp of contending (how close is up for debate) where they are in desperate need of quality big men off the bench.
His move clears the way for Jason Collins to sign later on Sunday with the Nets, making him the first openly gay player in one of the big four American team sports.
Davis has been bought out by the Orlando Magic and is expected to clear waivers at 5 p.m. Eastern, at which time he becomes a free agent. A few teams were targeting him, including the Brooklyn Nets who are led by former Davis teammate in Boston Kevin Garnett. KG was the guy making the pitch.
But Davis is heading West, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (and confirmed by multiple other reports).
This shouldn’t be a shock. Davis had said playing time and quality of team would be the deciding factors. The Clippers have a very good starting front line of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, but after that they turn to Ryan Hollins for depth. Davis will instantly become the third best big on the Clippers — he averaged 12 points and 6.3 rebounds a game with Orlando, and Davis is a solid big — and he will get about as much run as he can handle. As for contending, the Clippers are flawed but much closer to the elite in the West than the Nets are to the elite in the East.
Brooklyn worked out Jason Collins before but put their pursuit of him on hold when Davis was bought out. If — and apparently now when — Davis chooses Los Angeles the Nets may go ahead and sign Collins to a 10-day contact.
This would make Collins the Nets’ choice. That will make news outside the Nets locker room. Inside it, this is an organization that Collins has played for before and liked him; plus Collins played in Boston with Garnett and Paul Pierce and KG in particular was unhappy when Collins was moved from there. Collins will fit in just fine, like the professional he is.
The Raptors promoted Jeff Weltman, still working under Masai Ujiri, to general manager last year.
That paid off for Toronto when the Magic hired Weltman as their new president.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
The Magic have their own and the Lakers’ second-round picks next year. Even the lower of those two selections could be somewhat value.
In other words, Weltman’s already-difficult job is getting even harder simply by Orlando hiring him.
LeBron James has discussed chasing Michael Jordan’s “ghost,” motivating himself by trying surpass Jordan as the greatest player in NBA history.
Just 27 points behind Jordan for the all-time playoff scoring lead – a record he could break in Cavaliers-Celtics Game 5 tonight – LeBron is again discussing that pursuit.
LeBron, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“It’s just a personal goal of mine,” James said Thursday before Cavs shootaround in preparation of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics. “It has nothing to do with passing the rings, passing the points, passing MVPs. It’s just my personal goal to keep me motivated — that’s all.”
“You guys are going to have the conversations about who is greatest of all time and things of that nature,” James said. “It doesn’t matter to me. At the end of the day, it’s so funny that the conversation is always talked about in the NBA about who is the greatest but it’s never talked about in the NFL about who is the greatest quarterback. It’s just like: [Dan] Marino, [John] Elway, [Peyton] Manning and [Tom] Brady. All great quarterbacks, you know — and it should be the same for us.
Jordan or LeBron? Save your hot takes. LeBron just burnt them all.
The greatest quarterback of all time is never debated? Claiming that is now the hottest take in the entire realm of the Jordan-LeBron debate.
BOSTON (AP) — Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says that Kyrie Irving‘s left ankle is feeling “good” in advance of Cleveland’s Game 5 matchup Thursday night with the Celtics.
Irving was moving around and putting up shots during the Cavs’ morning shootaround.
The All-Star rolled his ankle in the third quarter of Game 4 when he stepped on Terry Rozier‘s foot. Irving was able to stay on the floor and finish the game, scoring a career playoff-high 42 points.
Cleveland leads Boston 3-1 and can wrap up its third straight Eastern Conference title Thursday night.
Several Celtics are also fighting injuries as they try to stave off elimination.
Jaylen Brown is listed as questionable with a right hip pointer. Jae Crowder is probable with a left groin strain, and Amir Johnson is probable with a right shoulder sprain.
LaVar Ball said his son, highly touted draft prospect Lonzo Ball, would work out for only the Lakers.
You thought he was bluffing?
Celtics president Danny Ainge, whose team holds the No. 1 pick, on 98.5 the Sports Hub:
We just tried to get him in for a workout, and they politely said no.
It’s not ideal.
Listen, we’ve drafted guys that wouldn’t come in for workouts before. I mean, it’s not the end of the world. We’ve watched them play a ton. We have a lot of information on them.
Good for Ball. Professional sports teams already hold inordinate power over players entering the workforce. In no other industry are top young employees assigned to a particular company, the worst-performing companies typically getting priority, with no ability to bargain with competitors.
Ball wants to play for the Lakers, who offer proximity to his family and hold the No. 2 pick. He can’t force Boston to pass on him or Los Angeles to pick him. But he can influence decision-making.
It seemed likely the Celtics would draft Markelle Fultz, and though they could still pick Ball, him declining a workout with Boston makes that only less likely. The Lakers will probably draft Ball, but this plan carries risk. If they pass, he could fall once he gets to teams less familiar with him.
Still, Ball deserves to decide for himself how to manage his career – especially in such a closed job market. Not working out for the Celtics is probably his best path to getting where he wans to go.