Report: ‘No legs’ to trade talks between Pistons and Kings involving Josh Smith

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The small-market, historically-terrible Sacramento Kings can only realistically add talent to improve the roster in one of two ways.

They can either draft it (which hasn’t worked out all that well), or they can trade for players of questionable talent with unfavorable contract situations in hopes that they see a career resurgence with the Kings.

That last part did work out in Sacramento’s favor, when they dealt for Rudy Gay last season — an inefficient scorer who seemed to find his way with the Kings, and opted in for the final year of his contract (for $19.3 million) to play there for at least one more season.

Sacramento has had its eyes on a similar reclamation project in Josh Smith, but it appears as though the interest there in getting a deal done is one-sided for now.

From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press (via Matt Watson at Detroit Bad Boys):

The Sacramento Kings made another run at Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith during this week’s league meetings in Las Vegas, but they were rebuffed again.

A person with firsthand knowledge of the situation confirmed ESPN’s Marc Stein’s report that the Kings were interested in Smith. Another source said Thursday morning that there are “no legs” to the report — suggesting that nothing was imminent. …

The Kings believed that the Pistons would get rid of Smith without seeking valuable assets in return, but the Pistons have been adamant that that’s not the case, and they are prepared to bring him back for his second season in Detroit.

Sacramento was looking to send nothing of value in return for Smith, which almost seems fair when considering he’s guaranteed $40.5 million over the next three seasons.

But there’s a new regime in Detroit with Stan Van Gundy acting as head coach and president of basketball operations, and he obviously wants to see if he can properly utilize Smith’s talents before shipping him out in exchange for nothing more than financial flexibility.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)