Isaiah Thomas

Report: Sacramento Kings want to trade No. 8 pick

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The Sacramento Kings have their share of young players — DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore, Derrick Williams, Ray McCallum.

What they don’t really want is another, they would prefer a veteran that can help them climb into the playoffs in the West next season.

So you can have their No. 8 pick if you send them a veteran, ideally one who can defend on the perimeter and has a reliable outside shot. That’s what Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com reports.

The Kings put the No. 8 pick in the draft on the trade block immediately after the lottery Tuesday night, league sources told NBA.com, clearly looking to add at least one impact veteran in an attempt to push into the playoff conversation next season rather than wait for another rookie prospect to develop.

While several teams choosing in the top 10 on June 26 will be fielding trade offers as part of a deep draft with several intriguing prospects, the Kings have signaled they will take a proactive approach in hoping to make a deal.

It comes down to this: How quality a veteran will teams surrender to snap up for the players likely to be around at No. 8 — Doug McDermott, Aaron Gordon, James Young, international guys like Dario Saric?

Teams may well be interested in a deal for financial reasons — if they believe they can unload a more expensive veteran rotation player for a rotation player on a rookie contract, it makes sense. Under the current CBA rookie contracts are incredibly valuable for that reason. Don’t take my word for it, check out the graphs at fivethirtyeight.com (that’s not what the article is supposed to be about, but it makes my point).

These kind of trades often get done draft night — the team with the veteran has their eye on one specific player and waits to make sure he falls to them before pulling the trigger. The Kings draft him and Player X goes up on stage, shakes Adam Silver’s hand while wearing a Sacramento Kings hat, then finds out five minutes later he needs a different hat.

Just something to watch on draft night. This seems very plausible.

Dwight Howard pushes Al Horford, gets technical, later ejected for hanging on rim

Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard (8) drives past Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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It ended up working out for Atlanta — the Hawks went on a 22-11 run after Dwight Howard was ejected, then hung on for a comfortable win 114-98.

Still, Howard found a way to get tossed. He did it two separate technical fouls in the third quarter. The first came when he shoved Al Horford after the Celtic big fouled Howard under the basket (always a smart move rather than give up a dunk).

The next came a few minutes later when Howard slammed then pulled himself up like a pull-up on the rim, an automatic tech every time.

That’s technicals 10 and 11 on the season for Howard. He’s got some work to do to catch up with DeMarcus Cousins, but still he’s racked up a few.

It just didn’t matter on Monday, with Dennis Schroder leading the way with 21 points for the Hawks.

 

DeMar DeRozan drains game winner to cap 37-point night, Raptors beat Knicks 92-91

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With Kyle Lowry out until around the start of the playoffs, a lot is going to be asked of DeMar DeRozan. Monday night at Madison Square Garden, he delivered.

The Raptors needed a bucket as time ran down, not only got the ball to DeRozan but got the switch so Derrick Rose was guarding him, and that allowed the Raptors star to get to his spot, rise up and bury the midrange jumper for the win.

It capped off an impressive 37-point night for DeRozan — he’s going to need to do more of this in the coming weeks.

Kevin Hart rings bell before start of Sixers game vs. Warriors

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Golden State is in Philadelphia, and so are the celebrities.

Kevin Heart — a Philly native — was on hand and he got to ring the bell pregame (a Sixers tradition).

Having him on hand seems to help as the Sixers were hanging around through the middle of the third quarter with a team looking for its 50th win.

Bucks’ Michael Beasley has to be helped to locker room after apparently hyperextending knee

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 04:  Michael Beasley #9 of the Milwaukee Bucks in action against Mindaugas Kuzminskas #91 of the New York Knicks during their game at Madison Square Garden on January 4, 2017 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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Let’s just hope this is nothing too serious.

Michael Beasley was getting back up court to try and defend a LeBron James drive to the basket early in the clock Monday night when he took an awkward step and appears to hyperextend his knee. You can see the video above. He tried to leave the floor under his own power but had to be helped back to the locker room by teammates.

The team is calling it a sprain for now.

Beasley has been solid off the bench for the Bucks this season, averaging 9.7 points a game with a and with a PER of 17.6 (above the league average). They would miss him in the rotation as they try to make a playoff push if he has to miss any time.