Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game 5

Report: Roy Hibbert’s camp ‘wouldn’t exactly oppose’ a trade from Pacers

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Roy Hibbert struggled mightily for the Pacers over the second half of the season, a decline in performance that saw him go scoreless four times during his team’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals that ended at the hands of the Heat in six games.

Hibbert also wasn’t fully accepting of the personal responsibility tied to his on-court failures, calling out teammates as being selfish while complaining about a lack of touches more than once.

Given the way this season spiraled overall, and for Hibbert in particular, it’s easy to believe that the Pacers may consider trying to trade their big man and rebuild the roster by going in a different direction. That wouldn’t be easy given his contract, but if Indiana were to shop Hibbert, he reportedly would be open to the possibility.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

There is said to be some thought on both sides — management and Hibbert’s — that a fresh start would be beneficial for everyone after the big man’s second-half woes.

Hibbert’s camp hasn’t outright asked for a trade, sources say, but word is that it wouldn’t exactly oppose one if the Pacers decide to actively shop their center.

Forgetting the fact that it doesn’t matter what Hibbert thinks (because the Pacers don’t need his permission to trade him), there are other complications that make dealing him problematic, at least during the offseason.

Not only does Hibbert have two years and $30 million remaining on his current contract, but the second year is a player option — meaning he can opt out of his deal following next season to become an unrestricted free agent.

Teams don’t give up real assets in exchange for one-year rentals, especially for guys like Hibbert who just came off of a season playing so far below the value on that contract. Now, if he bounces back next year and Indiana still wants out, they may find more willing trade partners before the midseason deadline. But despite Hibbert’s openness to the idea, it would appear he’ll be returning to the Pacers next season.

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.

DeMarre Carroll shoves Isaiah Thomas to ground on break, tempers flare

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Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll picked up a deserved flagrant for this foul.

With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.

Thomas got up and had words, as did Jae Crowder.

Carroll got a flagrant and a technical, Thomas and Crowder each picked up technicals for jumping in.

Seth Curry puts up career high 31 against Timberwolves (VIDEO)

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When Stephen Curry wore a headband through the All-Star Game last weekend, West coach Steve Kerr jokingly called him “Seth” all night.

Dallas’ Seth Curry came out of the week-long break playing like an All-Star. He dropped 31 on the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night, a career high for him. He hit 13-of-17 from the field, including three from beyond the arc, but did a lot of his damage in the midrange.

It wasn’t enough, the Timberwolves got a comfortable 97-84 win behind 27 points from Andrew Wiggins and 26 from Karl-Anthony Towns. Nerlens Noel was not yet with his new team in time to play for the Mavs in this game.

Spurs kick off rust from layoff to beat Clippers 105-97 in Chris Paul’s return

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard dunks during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points despite foul trouble and the San Antonio Spurs shook off the rust from a nine-day layoff to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-97 on Friday night for their third straight win.

Pau Gasol added 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in his return from a 15-game absence because of a fractured finger. LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dewayne Dedmon grabbed 12 rebounds.

Blake Griffin scored 29 points for the Clippers, who have dropped consecutive games to the league’s two winningest teams since the All-Star break ended. They lost by 10 points at Golden State a night earlier. The Spurs have the league’s second-best record at 44-13.

Chris Paul added 17 points in his return after missing five weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb.