Updated report: Philadelphia offered picks 3, 10, 32 to get No. 1 pick from Cleveland, may not be enough

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UPDATE 5:52 pm: Just how desperate were the Philadelphia 76ers to get the No. 1 pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers and select Andrew Wiggins? Desperate enough to meet the Cavaliers wild demands.

And that still likely is not enough.

We had told you the Sixers upped their offer. How high did that get? Dei Lynam at CSNPhilly.com said very high.

What have they offered? According to the league source, the Sixers have offered the third, 10th and 32nd picks to the Cavaliers for the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

That had been the Cavaliers reported asking price, and it still is not enough according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

I’d say that’s the end of the story, but this is the Cavaliers so surprises could still await us all.

2:22 pm: Andrew Wiggins would be a hand-in-glove fit with Michael Carter-Williams and the up-tempo offense of the Philadelphia 76ers. Get the most athletic guy in the draft out in the open court and turn him loose.

The Sixers want the top pick, they offered to trade their No. 3 pick and a quality veteran forward in Thaddeus Young. It wasn’t enough, the Cavaliers shrugged.

This is why you do that if you’re Cleveland — on the day of the draft the Sixers have “increased their offer,” reports Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com.

We don’t know what “increased” means exactly. It’s highly unlikely the Sixers would add their No. 10 pick to that mix, but they have five second round picks that could be thrown in the package. There also may be other assets on the roster or future picks that could be thrown in.

For the Cavaliers, it comes down to this: How highly do you rate Wiggins? If you think he is clear and away the best guy in this draft, take him and don’t look back. You have one cornerstone piece in Kyrie Irving, but to really win (and to keep him long term) you have to get another, roll the dice if you think Wiggins can develop into that guy under new coach David Blatt.

If you don’t rate him that highly, make the trade and take Joel Embiid or Dante Exum or whoever at No. 3 and don’t look back.

Predicting what the Cavaliers will do on draft night is next to impossible, as history has shown us.

But the Sixers are cranking up the pressure, they want Wiggins and the No. 1 pick.

James Harden reveals he’s playing through ankle injury

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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James Harden didn’t lead the Rockets in scoring in their Game 4 win over the Thunder yesterday.

He didn’t even rank second – or third.

Nene, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams each outscored Harden, who scored 16 points on 5-for-16 shooting, including 0-for-7 on 3-pointers.

What happened to the Houston star?

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Houston Rockets star guard James Harden said he has been hobbled by an ankle injury that occurred in Game 3 of this first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Harden made the revelation to ESPN’s Lisa Salters after the Rockets’ 113-109 Game 4 victory on Sunday afternoon.

“It was pretty tough; we don’t make excuses,” Harden said in a news conference when asked about his health. “We just try to go out there and get the job done. You build trust, and trust in your teammates all year long. When there’s moments like this, guys step up and they did tonight. We have another opportunity in a few days to go out there and win on our home court, and we’re going to have to get off to a really good start.”

Many players are grinding through injuries this time of year. Is Harden’s exceptionally bad? There’s no way of telling from the outside.

But he didn’t look quite right in Game 4, and if he’s hobbled, that opens the door slightly wider for Oklahoma City to come back from its 3-1 deficit.

Video Breakdown: Rockets launch Eric Gordon from 3-point range against Thunder in Game 4

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The Houston Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, 113-109, and now the series heads back to Texas with the Rockets in the lead, 3-1.

Houston and OKC played a weird game, with Nene scoring 28 points off the bench for the Rockets and serious mischief in the final moments. The end of the game included a purposely missed free throw by Steven Adams that allowed Russell Westbrook to grab a quick 3-pointer and a missed call when James Harden shoved Alex Abrines out of the way like an NFL tackle.

While the Rockets didn’t shoot a stellar percentage from 3-point range — just 31.5 percent — they still knocked down 11 buckets from deep. Part of that action was a play run for Sixth Man of the Year candidate Eric Gordon that included a little semi-Pistol action, and a stagger screen that allowed Gordon to work his way free.

I picked this play to go over this week because it exemplifies just how committed to the 3-point shot the Rockets are. Plus, Gordon ran around three screens just to get this one bucket, which is always fun to see.

Watch the full video breakdown above.

Jimmy Butler on Marcus Smart dustup: ‘He’s not about that life. So, he’s calming down’

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Marcus Smart and Jimmy Butler had to be separated during the Celtics’ Game 4 win over the Bulls after Smart pushed Butler, who was hounding him defensively in the backcourt.

Butler:

As far as the Marcus Smart situation goes, he’s a great actor. Acting tough, that’s what he does. But I don’t think he’s about that, and I’m the wrong guy to get in my face. So, he needs to take it somewhere else because I’m not the one for that.

Was that their first run-in? Butler:

That’s the first time. Last time, too. We’re not going to sit here and get in each other’s faces like that. Like I said, he’s not about that life. So, he’s calming down.

The Bulls, who’ve lost two straight to allow Boston to tie the series 2-2, is angling for any edge. Butler tried to intimidate Smart on the court, and the Chicago wing might actually rattle the too easily shakable Smart with his postgame comments.

The irony: Some might say Butler, who did come up hard, lost touch with his roots as he entered stardom. I don’t buy that, at least not majorly.

But even if both – or neither – are posturing to any degree, this will be a matchup to watch in Game 5.

Remembering former NBA official Jess Kersey, who passed away Saturday

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Jess Kersey, who officiated more than 2,200 NBA games, including being part of 19 NBA Finals, passed away over the weekend, losing his battle with cancer at age 76.

Kersey was a well-respected official who feared nothing. Maybe the most remembered image of Kersey is him trying to break up a fight between Mitch Kupchak and Hakeem Olajuwon, essentially trying to tackle Olajuwon with his head in Olajuwon’s chest and his arms wrapped around him. Kersey got in the middle of everything if that was what was required.

Our thoughts go out to the Kersey family for their loss.