Report: Lakers in talks to trade No. 7 pick for Klay Thompson, as part of deal that would send Kevin Love to Warriors

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The Lakers may indeed be getting involved in the Kevin Love trade talks, but not in the way that fans in Los Angeles had initially hoped.

The latest report has L.A. dangling the number seven pick in the upcoming draft in exchange for Klay Thompson, with that pick then being flipped to the Timberwolves as Love would theoretically end up with the Warriors.

The Lakers seem ready, but the Warriors and Timberwolves, somewhat understandably, have their reservations.

From Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

The Lakers have been in discussions to acquire Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson for the seventh pick in next week’s draft, The Times has learned.

The deal would be part of a larger three-way trade that sends Minnesota All-Star power forward Kevin Love to the Warriors. The Lakers are interested but the deal has been put on hold because of a difference in opinion within the Warriors’ organization whether or not to keep Thompson while trying to obtain Love.

The Warriors, however, are trying to keep their high-scoring backcourt tandem of Thompson and Stephen Curry together, while acquiring Love at the same time.

From Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News:

A few hours ago an NBA source insisted to me that the Warriors flat-out will not agree to any of the proposals Minnesota is currently suggesting in the Kevin Love discussions. …

The first stumbling block: The Warriors are making it clear to everyone in the league, including Minnesota president Flip Saunders, that they very much do not want to part with Klay Thompson, the key part of any Minnesota demand.

Minnesota isn’t necessarily in any rush to trade Love, and the franchise will want to make sure it gets some reasonable assets in return for dealing its best player. But it’s unclear if Thompson is even desirable for the Timberwolves, because if he continues to play at his current level, he’ll be in line for a monster contract when he hits restricted free agency the season after next, and Minnesota would surely need to add additional pieces in order to compete out West.

For the Lakers, grabbing Thompson makes a bit more sense.

L.A. has only three players signed to guaranteed contracts for next season in Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre — not exactly the kind of Big Three that wins you championships. The Lakers are also a franchise that isn’t interested in a patient rebuild, and would rather add proven star-level talent now to try to begin their rise back to respectability.

Things are complicated by the fact that the seven pick may or may not yield a franchise cornerstone. This is certainly expected to be a deeper draft than usual, but unless someone like Joel Embiid drops significantly, there’s no sure-fire choice to be made that would guarantee either future or immediate success.

The Lakers trading the pick for an established talent would make a lot of sense. But considering that the Warriors aren’t eager to part with Thompson, even in a deal that would net them Kevin Love, they may have to shop it somewhere else.

Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah to be suspended 20 games for violating league drug policy

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Joakim Noah hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since Feb. 4, and his season was all but ended when he had knee surgery at the end of February. Last summer, Phil Jackson took a $72 million gamble on an aging Noah that has not worked at all, and left New York with an anchor of a contract for three more seasons after this one.

Tomorrow it will be official Noah is done for this season, but not because of the Knicks or his injury.

During his recovery, Noah violated the NBA’s drug policy and will pay for a 20-game suspension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is prohibited under the outgoing Collective Bargaining Agreement, league sources said.

Noah, 32, is expected to serve 10 games of the suspension to finish out the 2016-17 regular season and 10 games to start the 2017-18 season, league sources said.

The National Basketball Players Association’s investigation concluded that Noah hadn’t “knowingly or willingly” violated the policy and cooperated fully with the league’s probe, league sources said.

According to reports, this is not a substance banned in the new CBA that kicks in July 1, but was covered in the previous CBA. Over-the-counter supplements could be something put in his regular workout recovery drinks that he was unaware of, although we are unsure of the details.

Traditionally, the player has to be healthy enough to play before the league starts the suspension. Noah has been out for more than a month, but if a league doctor says he is healthy enough to play the then the clock on the suspension can start. The 10 games this season is no big deal for the Knicks, he wasn’t going to play anyway, but the 10 at the start of next season could sting (depending on how they plan to use him).

 

 

Devin Booker drops 70 points for Suns in loss to Celtics (VIDEO)

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.

Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.

His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.

Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)