Jason Kidd is gone in Brooklyn.
With him out will Paul Pierce be?
The Clippers are banking on it. The Clips need help at the three (Jared Dudley did not work out as planned last season) and they are targeting Pierce, something reported by multiple outlets. Here is Marc Stein of ESPN for an example.
A reminder of the obvious point, Pierce played for Clippers coach Doc Rivers in Boston and they won a title together. Doc has been big on getting guys that played for him or well against him in the past.
The Clippers don’t need a lot of point production out of the three, they just need someone who can space the floor from three (Pierce hit 37.3 percent from beyond the arc last year) and is enough of an offensive threat that you hesitate to double off him to get to Blake Griffin or Chris Paul. Pierce is still that, even though he will turn 37 before the start of next season. The Clippers are a deep team (and Doc Rivers practices less than any coach in the league) so there wouldn’t be excessive wear and tear on Pierce, his minutes could be limited.
The Clippers were not alone in expressing interest in Pierce on the first night of free agency. Other teams that reportedly reached out to Pierce include the Trail Blazers, Grizzlies, Bulls, Mavericks and Rockets, according to multiple reports.
What about Brooklyn? They apparently want to see what the market is for Pierce then decide if they want to match or beat that offer. The Nets have Pierce’s Bird rights so they can go over the cap to match (well, they are already way over the cap).
What Pierce decides is expected to play a big role in whether Kevin Garnett returns to the Nets next season or decides to hang up his sneakers and leave the game.
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. It was a $72 million gamble that has not worked, and left New York with an anchor o a
Tomorrow it will be official he is done for the 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.
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. But that is interesting.
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.
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 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.
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.)