Report: Cavaliers efforts to trade for Kevin Love dead; Dan Gilbert says Cavs unified on top pick

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I’d say the Kevin Love and LeBron James come to the Cleveland Cavaliers dream is dead, but frankly it was never alive save for in the minds of the delusional.

We’ll leave the LeBron half alone for now (he’s not leaving Miami anyway) and focus on Love — the Cavaliers have made a push to trade for him. At the heart of their offer was the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, the chance for Minnesota to get a very good to potential foundational piece player and jump-start the rebuilding process. Except Minnesota has generally asked for established young players — Klay Thompson, Taj Gibson, Bradley Beal — and more importantly Kevin Love doesn’t want to be in Cleveland. At all.

So the Cavaliers talks are dead according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Cleveland’s pursuit of Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love – which included a package centered on the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft – has sputtered because of Love’s warning that he’d never sign an extension with the Cavaliers, league sources told Yahoo Sports…

Cleveland was eager to build with Love and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and hoped that the pairing could’ve become an incentive for LeBron James to seriously consider a return to the Cavaliers in free agency, sources said. Through Love’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, Cleveland was warned that Love would opt out of his contract in 2015 and never consider the Cavaliers’ offer of a long-term maximum contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Now the question becomes what do the Cavaliers do with the No. 1 pick?

Reports surfaced recently (via Chad Ford at ESPN) that the Cavaliers front office was divided on the Jabari Parker/Andrew Wiggins question. Some wanted Parker, the more NBA-ready player right now, because he could help more next season and get the Cavaliers out of the lottery. Other people want to take Wiggins, the guy with the freakish athleticism that could lead to him being a foundational player for a franchise.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert took to twitter to refute there is a split.

I’ll ignore the whole “why does an owner care what Chad Ford says anyway?” angle of this thing. Although that is a valid question.

Rather my advice to Gilbert is this — if you don’t want people reporting these things shore up the leaks in your organization. Say what you will of Chad Ford’s opinions, or what Adrian Wojnarowski writes, neither just makes up reports. Both have connections.

Certain organizations are leaky, some are not — notice that when the Spurs make a move it seems to come out of left field? Notice how right before the Lakers made a huge trade for Pau Gasol there was no serious discussion of that deal? There are other teams in this camp.

Maybe the Cavaliers are talking out of both sides of their mouth in the run up to the draft as a smoke screen, but based on the organizational history I’m not sold.

Wild night in L.A.: Lonzo Ball has triple-double; Nuggets coach, Nikola Jokic ejected

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lonzo Ball had his second career triple-double and Julius Randle scored 24 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 127-109 victory over the short-handed Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.

Ball had 11 points, a career-high 16 rebounds and 11 assists in the 20-year-old rookie’s first triple-double in front of his hometown fans at Staples Center.

Brook Lopez scored 21 points and Jordan Clarkson added 18 for the Lakers, who surged to a 24-point lead in the first half and easily won for just the second time in seven games.

Denver coach Mike Malone and top scorer Nikola Jokic were ejected in the second quarter after Malone stepped onto the court during play to argue a no-call on a play by Jokic around the basket. Malone furiously confronted referee Rodney Mott, who swiftly ejected the coach and his best player when Jokic joined in the argument.

Forward Paul Millsap also left with a sprained left wrist in the second quarter of a miserable night at Staples Center for the Nuggets, who lost for just the second time in six games.

Ball and Magic Johnson are the only Lakers with multiple triple-doubles in their rookie seasons. Johnson had seven, and his new point guard has two in his first 17 games.

Randle added seven points and five assists in a stellar game off the bench.

 

LeBron James on Colin Kaepernick: “He’s been blackballed”

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LeBron James has never been shy about speaking his mind, this season even more so it seems. That’s why it made sense that sooner or later, The King of the NBA would weigh in on an issue that has captivated the sports community: kneeling, national anthem protests, and Colin Kaepernick.

Speaking at Cass Technical High School in Detroit on Sunday, LeBron said that he though Kaepernick’s absence from an NFL roster was the result of clear action by teams to blackball the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.

James, speaking not only from the perspective of the most influential current NBA player on the planet but as an NFL fan, said that he felt Kaepernick was better than most backups.

Via ESPN:

“I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing. I do know that. Just watching, he’s an NFL player. He’s an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he’s been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that.”

“The only reason I could say he’s not on a team is because the way he took a knee,” James said. “That’s the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks — first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks — that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let’s just be honest.”

James, along with players like Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose, has previously helped lead the way in the NBA when it’s come to social activism and high-level activism.

The NBA does have a rule about standing for the national anthem, and commissioner Adam Silver said before the season started the league would handle any infractions as they came.

Meanwhile, guys like Stan Van Gundy have also come out and called guys like Kaepernick “patriots”.

LeBron said that if he owned an NFL team that he would sign Kaepernick. Perhaps that will happen sooner rather than later?

Here’s the best highlights from the Celtics’ 15-game winning streak (VIDEO)

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The Boston Celtics are on a roll, the likes of which not even the faithful fans at the TD Garden would have predicted.

After dropping their first two games of the season — and losing Gordon Hayward for the season due to a gruesome leg injury — the Celtics have ripped off 15 straight victories. They sit at 15-2 on the year, including signature wins over the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors, and defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

Boston’s effort has been lauded as the combination of a quick meshing of the roster in the absence of Hayward (and Isaiah Thomas) as well as the drafting skill of Danny Ainge and the coaching prowess of Brad Stevens.

Indeed, Stevens is an early frontrunner heading into the beginning of the holiday season for Coach of the Year.

Meanwhile, Boston has a few highlights to their name. Lucky for us, the NBA has put some of the best video clips together during their fall run.

Watch the full video above.

Blake Griffin gets Flagrant 1 for kicking Jae Crowder in the crotch (VIDEO)

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Blake Griffin almost got away with it.

During Friday’s matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Griffin gave Cavs forward Jae Crowder an unhelpful knee to the groin during a post isolation.

Griffin wasn’t whistled for anything on the play, and in fact Crowder was assessed a foul after Griffin made his move to the basket.

Now, the NBA has given Griffin a Flagrant 1 for unnecessary contact.

Via Twitter:

Video of the incident can be viewed above the article here, but it’s pretty egregious and indeed the Cavaliers announcers even suggested at the time that it might warrant a flagrant.

Looks like the NBA agreed.

Cleveland beat LA, 118-113, in OT.