Report: Cavaliers trying to acquire other players to put in Kevin Love trade

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The deal reportedly on the table from Cleveland for Kevin Love is No. 1 picks Andrew Wiggins, last year’s No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett (who looked good at Summer League) plus one or two first round picks.

If that was enough the deal would be done. Minnesota is trying to leverage Cleveland with Chicago and maybe Golden State (although the Warriors are not playing along) to get as much as they can.

Cleveland is looking around the league to get more parts to put in a deal, specifically non-guaranteed contracts, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are pursuing trade components to include as part of a package with Minnesota to acquire All-Star forward Kevin Love, league sources told Yahoo Sports….

The Cavaliers are working to obtain non-guaranteed contracts that could be a part of a package for Love, allowing the Cavaliers to deliver players that could be released immediately upon completion of a deal, sources said. This would give Minnesota salary-cap relief as part of a trade.

Those other pieces are likely to add Kevin Martin to the deal. Minnesota has wanted to dump Martin and his salary (three years, $21.3 million left on his deal) in any Love deal, and frankly Martin could provide some shooting the Cavs could use. To balance that out the Cavs need some non-guaranteed contracts.

Cleveland is apparently confident that they are close and can land a deal. That is as much about the lack of other great options out there for Minnesota — Chicago wants in with a deal based around Taj Gibson, and Denver is still out there as the best of the bad options for Minnesota (and that deal will be there, no reason for Minnesota to rush and take any of them).

[MORE: Coach K would trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love with ‘not one second of hesitancy‘]

The other part of all this: Will Kevin Love opt in for Cleveland? It’s what Chris Paul did for the Clippers, it is not something Dwight Howard did for the Lakers. Yes, Love reportedly would want to stay with LeBron in Cleveland, but situations and attitudes can change and the Cavs would be wise to get that one extra year guaranteed (plus Love could become a free agent in 2016 when the max salary will skyrocket with the new TV deal).

Still, it feels like a deal with get done with the Cavaliers. Eventually.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?