Andrew Wiggins says he hasn’t been told anything by Cavaliers, he’s not worried about rumors

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LAS VEGAS — The rumors have been swirling and conflicting — either Andrew Wiggins has been offered to Minnesota in a trade for Kevin Love, or he hasn’t been put in any deals. LeBron James apparently has called Love up and pitched coming to Cleveland to the All-Star power forward.

Andrew Wiggins said he’s just trying to keep his head down, below the radar on all this.

“I let my agent and my support system handle that, I just love playing the game of basketball and I know the NBA is a business,” Wiggins said Friday night after his Cavaliers had played their last game in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Is all of this distracting, especially with family and friends asking him about it?

“Not at all,” Wiggins said. “If it’s someone important, family or friends, you kind of tell them what you know. But if it’s not, it’s mostly in one ear and out the other.”

But is he worried?

“No. I just play basketball man wherever I go.”

He added that the Cavaliers have not told him personally anything.

“I just know what you know, I just see what you see on TV,” Wiggins said.

Of course, Wiggins would love to play next to LeBron, but they haven’t spoken — Wiggins said he’s been busy, LeBron has been busy and he has not tried to reach out to him.

“It would be great for me,” Wiggins said of playing next to LeBron. “I could really learn and pick his brain, and see what it takes to get to his level.”

Wiggins said he is excited about the idea of LeBron returning to Cleveland.

“It’s been crazy, but it’s all positive stuff you know,” Wiggins said. “LeBron comes back, nothing negative about that at all, best player in the world coming to your team, it’s just a great feeling, the organization is on the rise right now.”

Wiggins did not play in the Cavaliers’ final Summer League game with the team saying he had put in a lot of work and they had seen enough of him over the course of the Las Vegas Summer League. They also sat Anthony Bennett for this final game.

“I showed people how quickly my skill set has developed and transitioned to the NBA, and how the NBA operates,” Wiggins said. “You know, more one-on-one stuff in space, and that’s where I showed my growth…

“It’s been a great experience getting to play against great talent, loving the chemistry of the team and getting to know my teammates… getting a feel for the coach, him getting a feel for me and how we operate on the court.”

The Cavaliers were happy with what they saw, with Cleveland coach David Blatt saying he liked how coachable Wiggins was.

“I was looking at Wig’s performances,” Cavaliers said. “Guy was in double figures every game, he rebounded, he defended, he went to the foul line, he played with intensity on both ends of the court. I thought for a rookie, for a guy with a lot on his shoulders as the first pick in the draft, for a 19 year old, I thought he played extremely well. We’re real happy with what he did.”

The question remains will this Summer League be the only time Wiggins puts on a Cavaliers uniform?

76ers: Joel Embiid doubtful for Game 3 against Heat

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MIAMI (AP) — Joel Embiid remains listed as doubtful by Philadelphia for Game 3 of the 76ers’ Eastern Conference playoff series at Miami on Thursday night.

Embiid was on the floor with the 76ers for their morning shootaround practice, but coach Brett Brown says there’s no change in the All-Star center’s status.

Embiid has missed Philadelphia’s last 10 games while recovering from a concussion and surgery that repaired a fractural orbital bone around his left eye. He’s no longer in the NBA’s concussion protocol.

He took to social media after the 76ers lost Game 2 of this series to the Heat, saying he’s tired of being “babied.”

Embiid has averaged 22.9 points and 11 rebounds in 63 games for the 76ers during the regular season.

Rumor: Lakers, Kawhi Leonard share mutual interest

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The Spurs seem like they won’t trade Kawhi Leonard.

That won’t stop teams from trying.

There’s a clear disconnect between Leonard and San Antonio. Even the potential of a player as good as Leonard becoming available has teams salivating.

The Clippers are reportedly assembling a trade offer for the L.A. native. Los Angeles’ other team – the Lakers – are also apparently expected to factor prominently.

Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

“I think they go in hard for Leonard once the season is over and once the dust settles in San Antonio,” one executive told Sporting News. “(Leonard) wants to go to LA. There probably won’t be public demands on that, but he has leverage. He is going to be a free agent (in 2019). He’s an LA guy and he can just let teams know he won’t re-sign next year with anyone but the Lakers.”

But make no mistake, the Lakers are the favorite here.

“I would say that’s the most likely thing,” another general manager told Sporting News. “He’s going to be their target any way you look at it, this summer or next summer. There’s not many other ways to explain what’s been going on with that situation other than him trying to get out of San Antonio.”

Of course, every team wants Leonard. He’s an elite two-way player when healthy. But teams will go to differing lengths to pursue him. If the Lakers will “go hard for Leonard,” that means something beyond just desiring him.

Under Magic Johnson, the Lakers have made no secret of their plan to acquire stars. That has largely been centered on 2018 free agents, but with that well drying up, talk has turned to 2019 free agents. If the Lakers can get a top 2019 free agent – Leonard – sooner, why wouldn’t they?

One reason is the cost. Trading with San Antonio would require dealing at least some combination of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. Signing Leonard outright in 2019 would be simpler.

But a trade is the only surefire way of getting Leonard. If the Lakers don’t trade for him, another team could. With promising young players and cap space, the Lakers have the tools to make an intriguing offer for Leonard.

Or, more likely, the Spurs could keep him. Their relationship isn’t necessarily beyond repair, and they can offer him a super-max contract extension this summer.

They might not offer it. Even if they do, he might not take it. If he doesn’t, he could pledge to re-sign with only certain teams – like the Lakers – and steer trade talks that way. You can see how the thinking develops:

Leonard might be unhappy in San Antonio. He grew up in Southern California. Therefore, he’ll engineer his way to the Lakers?

Maybe, and maybe these anonymous executives know something to that effect. But this mostly sounds lazily speculative.

PBT Extra: Disciplined Celtics highlight bad habits of Milwaukee Bucks

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Giannis Antetokounmpo has been every bit the top five NBA player in the postseason — 32.5 points per game on 63.2 percent shooting, plus with 11 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.

Yet the Bucks are down 0-2 to Boston.

The Celtics have had a strong series from Al Horford and Terry Rozier, but the real difference is in the discipline this team has shown all season — Boston knows who it is. Clearly, Milwaukee does not. They turn the ball over too much and make too many mistakes.

I get into all of that in this PBT Extra, and I wonder if that’s something the Bucks can really turn around mid-playoffs.

Ettore Messina to coach Spurs in Game 3 following death of Gregg Popovich’s wife

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin, died yesterday.

That sad news was felt throughout the NBA, and it obviously affects San Antonio most closely. That includes for tonight’s Game 3 against the Warriors.

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:

Ettore Messina was a longtime head coach in Europe. The Spurs lead assistant also took over for a few regular-season games Popovich missed. So, making – rather than advising – coaching decisions won’t be a brand new challenge to Messina.

But down 2-0 to defending-champion Golden State is a tough place to make an NBA playoff debut.

On the bright side, there will be no pressure. Not only has San Antonio been outclassed the first two games of the series, focus is rightly on the Popovich family. A win would be a pleasant surprise and help Messina – who’s up for the Hornets job – in his pursuit of a head-coaching position. A loss would be quickly forgotten with more important matters at hand.

To that end, hopefully the time away allows Popovich the space he needs to grieve. That matters far more than a basketball game.