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?

Russell Westbrook threw it down all over Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

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A rough night for the Thunder will not stop the Russell Westbrook highlights.

The Thunder had another poor game and fell to a Hornets. Westbrook tried to push the team back, but the Thunder defense that has kept them in games all season was not good enough against Charlotte, and the OKC offense was once again up and down.

Westbrook had 30 points on 22 shots on the night, and none of them were as impressive as this transition throwdown on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Jahlil Okafor excited about fresh start with Nets

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NEW YORK (AP) — Jahlil Okafor finally got the fresh start he wanted.

Okafor was the consensus No. 1 high school player in his class, won a national championship at Duke, and averaged 17.5 points and seven rebounds in his rookie campaign for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Then things changed drastically.

Okafor struggled with injuries and a logjam at his position in his second season.

“When I first got drafted there, we already had Nerlens (Noel) there, Joel (Embiid) was there, so we’re trying to have three starting centers on the same team,” Okafor said Monday at his introductory news conference with his new team, the Brooklyn Nets.

“It just never really was the right fit.”

The 76ers traded Okafor along with seldom-used guard Nik Stauskas and two draft picks to the Nets on Thursday. Philadelphia got forward Trevor Booker from Brooklyn.

Okafor also had off-court problems during his time in Philadelphia. He got a speeding ticket for driving 108 miles per hour and was suspended by the 76ers for two games after in an altercation outside of a Boston nightclub with a heckler.

“Speeding obviously is illegal,” Okafor said. “I know that’s not what you’re supposed to do. I guess you just learn how the page can turn on you and how everything can flip. I can’t really say I learned anything, because you know going in that’s not right. You just learn from your mistakes, but (it was) a tough thing that I went through, I got past, and I’m looking to better times now.”

Okafor, the third overall pick in the 2015 draft, joins D'Angelo Russell, the second overall pick in the same draft class, on the Nets.

“We’re just very excited to get on the court together,” Okafor said. “You never would’ve thought the number two and number three picks would be playing on the same team a few years after, but like I said, everything happens for a reason and I’m really excited.”

Russell also had problems on and off the court with the team that drafted him. He was criticized for recording a video of former Lakers teammate Nick Young that aired sordid details about Young’s private life. The Lakers gave up on Russell and drafted Lonzo Ball as his replacement.

“I feel like we’re similar in that we have a lot to prove,” Okafor said. “I know he’s working his (butt) off as well. Right now he’s rehabbing, trying to get back on the court. I think we both have a chip on our shoulder and we have a lot to prove. We’re definitely similar in that regard.”

Okafor understands he has areas to improve, mainly defense and rebounding.

“I’m not a perfect player,” Okafor said. “I’m 21. There are things that I need to work on, that I have worked on and that I’ll continue to work on.”

He’s excited about fulfilling his potential with a new team.

“I feel really motivated right now, but I’ve always been motivated,” Okafor said. “This is the first time where people are against me in a sense because I’ve always been the hyped-up guy. It’s something new for me to experience, so I’m glad that I am experiencing it.”

 

Report: Celtics’ Marcus Morris to miss “extended time” to let knee heal

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Marcus Morris missed the Celtics’ first eight games of the season in an effort to get healthy. Upon his return he’s been solid, first as a starter, then coming off the bench, but his left knee continued to be an issue.

Morris was out Sunday when the Celtics beat the Pistons, and he’s going to miss more time trying to get a troublesome left knee right, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

How much time is “extended time?” Probably at least a couple of weeks.

Morris has averaged 12.1 points and 5.5 rebounds a game this season, with a true shooting percentage of 52.5, which is right around the league average.

This could mean more run for rookie forwards Semi Ojeleye and Daniel Theis, both of whom have played well in limited minutes.

Tristan Thompson expected to return to Cavaliers Tuesday, come off bench

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson could play for the first time since Nov. 1 on Tuesday against Atlanta.

Thompson has been sidelined with a strained left calf. The team initially said Thompson would be out for up to four weeks, but he said Monday that timeline was inaccurate and that his injury was more serious. Thompson did not divulge any other details about the injury.

Coach Tyronn Lue says Thompson will not start when he returns, meaning Kevin Love will remain at center. Thompson says he’s fine with a reserve role and made it clear he’s willing to do whatever Lue needs.

The Cavaliers have won 14 of 15 and their defense has improved dramatically over the past month.

Thompson says he’ll have the same mindset on the floor as always and “just be myself. Being myself has worked out pretty well for me.”