Report: Marvin Williams, Hornets talking contract

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Josh McRoberts is headed to the Heat, leaving the Hornets without their starting power forward.

I’m bullish on No. 9 pick Noah Vonleh, and Cody Zeller is growing on me. But Zeller is entering just his second season, and Vonleh will be a rookie.

Charlotte, after a surprising playoff berth last season, wants to win now. Relying on such young players could subvert those efforts.

Enter Marvin Williams.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

the Charlotte Hornets are pursuing free agent Marvin Williams to take over the power forward slot, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Hornets and Williams have discussed parameters of a deal, but no agreement is imminent, sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Jazz still value Williams and haven’t given up hope of re-signing him, but his desire for contract security may exceed what Utah’s willing to pay, sources said.

The Hornets have more than enough cap room to sign Williams. There should be other concerns,though.

Williams could be the perimeter-oriented power forward who, like McRoberts did, fits best next to Al Jefferson. However –  though Williams matches McRoberts’ 3-point shooting – his passing falls well short of the man he might replace. If the Hornets sign Williams, they should expect to take a step back from McRoberts.

The other key consideration is whether Williams would interfere with Charlotte’s ability to grow long-term – by taking too many minutes from Vonleh and Zeller and/or eating into too much future cap space. In this market – especially with Utah interested in re-signing him – Williams can probably draw a sizable, multi-year offer.

He played collegiately at North Carolina, where Hornets owner Michael Jordan also played. Charlotte should be wary of making an impulse buy here.

But if Williams’ contract isn’t too large and Steve Clifford can still find minutes for Vonleh and Zeller, perhaps playing Williams some at small forward, sure, go for it. Williams could be an alright fit who makes the Hornets a little better now.

Russell Westbrook scores most points ever in triple-double, 57

AP Photo/John Raoux
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Russell Westbrook led a double-digit comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Been there done, that.

Westbrook hit a defining buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Been there done, that.

Westbrook posted a historic triple-double. Been there, done that.

All three in one game?

That’s a new level for Westbrook, who lifted the Thunder to a 114-106 win over the Magic tonight while posting an incredible stat line: 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

James Harden scored 53 in a triple-double just this season, and Westbrook has already one-upped that record.

This MVP race is one for the ages.

Russell Westbrook’s 3-pointer caps incredible Thunder comeback, send Magic game to OT (video)

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The Thunder trailed the Magic by 21 points in the second half and 14 points midway through the fourth quarter.

Russell Westbrook capped the incredible comeback with this 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.

This becoming the norm for Oklahoma City.

NBA: Timberwolves got away with key late foul in win over Pacers

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Paul George expressed extreme dismay after the Pacers’ loss to the Timberwolves last night — the latest cause for concern in Indiana with its biggest star just one season from free agency.

But perhaps George wouldn’t have sounded so disillusioned if that game featured correct officiating down the stretch.

Minnesota’s Kris Dunn got away with fouling Jeff Teague by disrupting the Pacers guard’s speed/quickness/balance rhythm with 21.6 seconds left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Dunn (MIN) makes contact to Teague’s (IND) arm that affects his SQBR and causes him to lose control of the ball.

Because the Timberwolves were in the penalty, a correct would’ve sent Teague — who’s making 86% of his free throws this season and 84% for his career — to the line. He would’ve had two attempts to build on Indiana’s two-point lead.

Instead, he forced an off-balance shot, which Minnesota rebounded. Ricky Rubio drew a shooting foul on a 3-pointer on the other end, and his three free throws lifted the Timberwolves to a 115-114 win.

The two-minute report featured a few other missed calls: George getting away with pushing off then Wiggins getting away with fouling George on a possession where George missed anyway, Andrew Wiggins getting away with a travel on a possession where Minnesota turned the ball over anyway. But those were effectively wash’s. Dunn’s uncalled foul was the one of consequence — especially if it contributes, even in a small way, to George’s exit from the Pacers.

Edmond Sumner declares for NBA draft despite torn ACL

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Edmond Sumner has grown about five inches since high school.

That has helped turn the 6-foot-5 Xavier point guard into an intriguing NBA prospect — but also seemingly contributed to physical complications. Sumner missed nearly all of his freshman year with knee tendinitis. Then, after a promising second season and start to his third, he tore his ACL in January.

Still, he’s entering the NBA draft.

Sumner:

Rick Broering of Musketeer Report:

Like with Duke’s Harry Giles, medical testing will be huge with Sumner. But at least Giles ended the season on the court. Sumner might not be healthy at all during the pre-draft process.

Sumner looked like a borderline first-round pick before the injury. This probably pushes him into the second round.

His long strides provide impressive speed and quickness, and he’s still shifty. Add quality court vision, and his ability to drive by defenders is even more valuable.

A 6-foot-8 wingspan and good lateral mobility also help make him a quality defender.

But it’s also concerning that so much of his positives could be undermined by his knee issues, especially considering his unreliable jumper. If Sumner can’t move like he did before getting hurt, I don’t see how he sticks in the NBA.

If Sumner’s knees check out, it’s worth rolling the dice on him and hoping his jumper develops. He might even be OK without shooting range, though that’d lower his ceiling considerably.

Again, though, the first thing is examining his knees.