It’s far from a secret that the Timberwolves are heavily engaged in trade talks with the Cavaliers on a deal that would send Kevin Love to Cleveland to play alongside LeBron James.
Cleveland is reportedly the last team standing as a legitimate option for Minnesota, and any deal that lands Love would require the Cavaliers to send back this year’s number one overall pick in Andrew Wiggins, along with other assets like Anthony Bennett and a future draft pick to make things desirable enough for the Timberwolves to finally accept.
It wouldn’t be unreasonable, then, for the NBA to cease the sale of Cavaliers jerseys featuring Wiggins’ name and number, if it’s likely he’ll be traded before he ever gets to wear one in a regular season contest.
The NBA’s online store appears to have done exactly that.
A link to the page can be found here, which shows Wiggins’ jersey as having been “discontinued.” It’s noteworthy because there are plenty of jerseys available for other recently-drafted players, including Dante Exum, Julius Randle, and even the injured Joel Embiid. And, when you search for Wiggins on the store site, you are brought to a page that only shows customizable Cavaliers gear, with one t-shirt that shows Wiggins by name and number — though it’s likely that those similarly may never ship.
“This is a special event item. Orders containing this item will be shipped separately. This item will ship within 2-4 weeks after the player has officially signed his contract,” it says in red lettering on the product page.
This may seem like some nothing more than conspiracy theory nonsense, but it’s worth noting that Love pulled out of USA Basketball due to the trade reportedly being in the works, and Bennett was pulled from participating in a pro-am by his agent for likely the very same reason.
It could be that the league doesn’t want to be stuck having to deal with a bunch of refunds for sold jerseys that may become obsolete before they can be printed, and is taking the more cautious approach. But whether Wiggins ends up staying with the Cavaliers or leaving in trade before the season begins, fans will have to wait a while before they’re able to purchase one of his jerseys.
[via The Big Lead]
Is this disrespectful to the Lakers? Absolutely.
And I love it.
Chris Paul and the Clippers crushed their Los Angeles counterparts, 133-109, last night. The Clippers, who’ve won 13 of 14 in the series, have practically run out of ways to show up their crosstown rival on the court. If it now takes bench visitors, so be it.
This is the best late-blowout bench behavior since LeBron James led the Cavaliers in the water-bottle challenge in a December win over the Knicks. This would rank higher if Chris Jr. didn’t also joined the bench in the Clippers’ November win over the Mavericks, which is the pictured on this post.
You’ve probably heard of the top college point guards for the 2017 NBA draft: Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith Jr., De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. You might have even heard of French point guard prospect Frank Ntilikina.
Which point guard will be drafted next after those six?
One possibility: Oklahoma State’s Jawun Evans.
Evan Daniels of Scout:
Evans looks like a second-round pick, but a dearth of point guards projected into the latter half of the first round could boost his stock.
He’s ultra quick and ultra aggressive and led the nation’s top KenPom offense. Evans relentlessly attacks the rim, often while forcing transition opportunities. That gets defenses scrambled, creating kickout-passing lanes and offensive-rebound opportunities.
However, the 6-foot Evans doesn’t finish that well at the rim – creating a major question about how he’ll translate to the NBA. The bigger defenders in the paint might limit his kickout passes, too.
His size also presents major problems defensively, though a 6-foot-4 wingspan at least helps.
Evans is good enough on jumpers to keep defenses honest, and at Oklahoma State, he had to create so much for himself. It’d be interesting to see whether limiting his burden improves his efficiency or whether his helpfulness is limited to having the ball in his hands.
My guess is the latter, and I’m unconvinced he’s good enough to demand such a role in the NBA. But the possibility is strong enough that I’d be excited about rolling the dice on him in the second round.
The Timberwolves surprisingly led the Spurs by nine at halftime last night, which takes us to Shabazz Muhammad‘s mid-game interview.
We’re doing a great job on defense, Wiggs, myself, everybody. It’s a tough team, especially Kawhi and the guys. So, we’re doing a really good job and everybody’s collective – Collective Bargaining Agreement.
To be fair, I can’t even imagine what type of nonsense I’d spew in the midst of a taxing workout or a high-pressure situation – let alone something that qualifies as both.
Unfortunately for Muhammad, Minnesota eventually fell to San Antonio, 100-93. But hopefully, he can laugh at this moment. He should, at least.
hat tip: reddit user cjsplash
Wednesday a couple of forwards expected to go in the first round of June’s NBA draft said they plan on making the jump to the NBA.
As expected, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Cal’s Ivan Rabb made their decisions official.
Duke announced Tatum’s decision.
Tatum is expected to be a top-five pick, DraftExpress.com currently has him as the No. 4 pick. The 6’8″ wing can flat-out score the rock, which is why teams are intrigued, as Rob Dauster of NBC’s College Basketball Talk told us in a recent podcast. However, teams wonder if he can create shots for others and not just himself, and if he’s going to be a good defender at the NBA level. He has the physical tools to do be a good defender, but will he put in the work game in, game out?
Rabb is a 6’10” sophomore who has a great NBA build and athleticism to spare, but at the NBA level everyone is a great athlete. Rabb doesn’t have a great perimeter game and needs to develop one and be a consistent defensive force to be a difference maker (or have a lengthy career) at the NBA level. DraftExpress.com has him going 22nd in this draft, and his stock seems to have fallen over the course of the season.