Report: Nuggets offer Faried, Chandler and to acquire Afflalo to trade for Kevin Love

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We told you earlier today that Denver was in on the bidding for Kevin Love, a surprise new entrant in the bidding mix with Golden State, Chicago, Boston and likely a few others. The more interesting part is that the Timberwolves were looking for players, not just picks.

What players would Denver offer?

A couple of their own players and one belonging to the Orlando Magic, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

Kenneth Faried makes sense in this deal, he is a quality young player but one Denver has been hesitant to give a large new contract to. Wilson Chandler… balances out salary and is a solid role player.

But making a trade to acquire Arron Afflalo is a new twist. Afflalo is a quality two guard who shot 42.7 percent from three last season, can put the ball on the floor and create, and is still a quality defender. He led the Magic in scoring last year but what he really needs to be is not a No. 1 option but a second or third option on a very good team. I can get why the Timberwolves would want him, he would fit well next to Ricky Rubio in the backcourt.

Still, Love has not said he would re-sign or even opt in for the Nuggets, they would be taking a risk.

[RELATED: Why Boston’s offer for Kevin Love fell short]

Which is why someone may leak them as more as leverage than as them actually being in the mix.

There are a lot of rumors floating around, from ridiculous Cleveland rumors (sorry, I just do not buy them, don’t match what I hear) to just about countless others.

Between now and the draft in just more than a week a lot more rumors are coming and a lot more changes in that order (if that is even accurate). It’s going to be a wild week (and at the end of it the Timberwolves could decide to hold off and make the trade later this summer if they don’t).

[MORE: Latest news, rumors on Kevin Love]

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.