Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors - Game One

Reports: Paul Pierce wants two-year, $18 million or more contract. Nets still frontrunners.

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If you thought Paul Pierce was ready to take a little less to become a smaller cog on a contender, well… not so much.

Pierce, who will turn 37 before next season, wants a two-year deal that is going to pay him handsomely — at least $9 million a year — according to both Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports and Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

For that kind of money, the Nets are the most logical landing spot.

Pierce played 28 minutes a game and scored 13.5 points a game at an efficient .595 true shooting percentage. He can’t be a team’s primary scoring option anymore but he’s still got this crafty ability to get off his shot and he can hit from three or the midrange. He plays a smart game. As a third option he’s fantastic, so long as you can keep his minutes down.

But at $9 million a year… that’s steep. Buzz had been he’d want more than mid-level, however.

The Clippers were interested but can only offer the mid-level exception to Pierce the free agent. Sign-and-trade talks between the sides have broken down.

When the Carmelo Anthony/LeBron James free agency bottleneck breaks loose, a number of teams could call Pierce with interest including Portland, Memphis, Chicago, Dallas and Houston potentially in the mix.

Whether any of them would pay what he is reportedly asking is another question.

If Pierce bolts Brooklyn it is not likely Kevin Garnett returns for another campaign.

Hawks’ Mike Scott sent to D-League on rehab assignment

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks poses during media day on September 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott is expected to play at least two games in the NBA Development League as he comes back from a knee injury that kept him out of training camp and the first 18 games of the season.

Scott played 15 minutes for the Delaware 87ers in Tuesday night’s loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors. He scored four points on 2-of-7 shooting, missing all four of his attempts from 3-point range.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer says the D-League is the best way for Scott to get “meaningful, competitive minutes” after undergoing a non-surgical procedure on his left knee.

Scott has played three games for Atlanta since his return. In 28 minutes, he has two points on 1-of-9 attempts, to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.

Watch Kyle O’Quinn throw alley-oop to Carmelo Anthony

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Carmelo Anthony isn’t young anymore, but he had the bounce to go get this one.

These were your two best players for the Knicks in their win over Miami Tuesday. Kyle O'Quinn was forced into action earlier than expected when Joakim Noah went on a fouling spree in the third quarter, but O’Quinn played well in the role. ‘Melo dropped 35 on 27 shots — he’s not as efficient as he once was, but he can still get some buckets.

The Knicks picked up a needed win, because they play a back-to-back Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers and a ticked-off LeBron James (New York will pay the price for Phil Jackson’s “posse” comments with a motivated LeBron Wednesday).

Grizzlies’ Troy Williams hits falling, stumbling circus shot (VIDEO)

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Just like coach David Fizdale drew it up.

The shot of Tuesday night went to Troy Williams, the starting Memphis guard who didn’t have a great night in the Grizzlies win over the Sixers but did hit this stumbling, falling, one-handed shot.

By the way, the Grizzlies are now 4-1 since Mike Conley‘s injury with this win. Didn’t see that coming.

Zach Randolph receives standing ovation in first game back after mother’s passing

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Zach Randolph was away from the Memphis Grizzlies and its fans for seven games to deal with the passing of his mother, Mae. When he returned to the floor, something special was waiting for him.

During Z-Bo’s arrival against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, fans at FedEx Forum gave Randolph a standing ovation in support of his difficult time.

From ESPN NBA:

Randolph dropped 12 points, collected 14 rebounds, and added an assist as the Grizzlies beat the Sixers, 96-91, in a game that went down to the wire.

Teammates of Randolph — like Marc Gasol — were glad to have him back and let Randolph know he was being thought about during his absence.

Gasol even took to Twitter after the game in a heartwarming gesture: