If traded before World Cup starts could Kevin Love still play for USA? Colangelo said it’s possible.

2 Comments

The soonest the Summer of Love could come to an end and Kevin Love would be traded is likely Aug. 23. (That assumes he is going to Cleveland in a deal for Andrew Wiggins, which is the prevailing belief among those around the league.) Wiggins signed his rookie contract and there is a 30-day moratorium on trading him once that happens.

The USA opens the FIBA World Cup Aug. 30 taking on Finland.

That’s a one-week gap. It’s not a likely scenario, Minnesota has been in no rush to make a deal, but if they do USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo said the door is open to a return. This year. Colangelo spoke with Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.

“Technically it is possible,” Colangelo said to CSNNW.com following Day 4 of Team USA training camp. “But I have to weigh all of the considerations if I were to look at that. Is it fair to the guys who are here putting in the time and effort? How do the teams think about that after the fact? I don’t know. We’ll see how it plays out.

“I know it’s an option. I know it’s possible that he could play, but we’ll see.”

Love really wanted to play — he and Kevin Durant committed to this a year ago, but he had no idea he’s still be in trade limbo come the end of August. Love can’t risk an injury that would blow up his trade value.

But he was in tears when he had to call and ask out, Colangelo told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“Team or teams, trade or no trade, he’s in a position where he had to say no and I respect that,” Colangelo told USA TODAY Sports. “I mean the guy almost cried on the phone when he told me he couldn’t play. He was really down. So can I be upset with him? No, of course not.”

The USA could certainly use Love in the front line rotation, playing some four and even some center.

That said, I have a better chance of taking over the “Thor” franchise from Chris Hemsworth than this does of becoming reality.

That is even if Love does get traded before the tournament starts — like Colangelo said, you’ve asked other guys to all go through this process, then to bump one for Love would be unfair.

Mike Krzyzewski has said all week he’s going to go with the guys that showed up and not worry about Love or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or the other guys not there. The group he’s got can win gold.

Love will be back in time for the Rio Olympics in a couple summers.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

Getty Images
5 Comments

During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

1 Comment

Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

2 Comments

Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

AP Photo/Nick Wass
Leave a comment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.