Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins Cavaliers jerseys ‘discontinued’ at NBA’s online store


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]

DeMarcus Cousins out for Kings vs. Warriors Saturday

DeMarcus Cousins, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams
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As if Golden State was not already a prohibitive favorite Saturday night.

DeMarcus Cousins, who has missed the last two games for Sacramento with a strained back and that will continue Saturday. Our old friend Bill Herenda tweeted it first.

Not only are the Kings 1-6 without Cousins, but they were also on their way to beating Charlotte Monday until Cousins had to leave the game.

Golden State will likely be without Harrison Barnes in this game after spraining his ankle in the last game. Expect Andre Iguodala to get the start, or if interim coach Luke Walton doesn’t want to mess with the bench rotation he could go with Brandon Rush.

Good news: Anthony Davis listed as probably vs. Utah Saturday

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Watching Anthony Davis fall to the court clutching his knee, not being able to put any pressure on his leg as he was helped to the locker room, it was frightening Friday night in Los Angeles.

It turns out it’s not that bad. After the game the injury was described as a “knee contusion” and not the serious damage that was feared. Saturday the Pelicans said Davis was good to go.

Whew. Nobody wants to see Davis miss time.

The Pelicans had won three in a row until they ran into the Clippers Friday night. Davis has played better of late — the New Orleans defense is 7.2 points per 100 better when he is on the court — and New Orleans has gotten better point guard play out of Ish Smith.

Stephen Curry abuses Sun’s Price with behind-the-back, pull-up three (VIDEO)

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That is just cruel.

An on-fire Warriors team dropped 44 on the Suns in the first quarter Saturday, and Curry had 19 of those points going 5-of-6 from three. The Suns’ had no defender who could begin to hang with him. Certainly not Ronnie Price, who came in off the bench and got abused for his efforts.

Curry finished with 41 points, never had to set foot on the court in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors improved to 17-0 on the season. Just another day at the office for them.

Philadelphia has dropped record 27 in a row dating back to last season

Brett Brown

We tend to think of record streaks having to be in one season, not broken up across two.

But if you can suspend that, the Philadelphia 76ers are now the owners of the longest losing streak in NBA — and major professional sports — history.

With their tough two-points loss to Houston Friday night, the Sixers have lost 27 in a row. The Sixers dropped their final 10 last season and with the loss to the Rockets are 0-17 to start this one.

That bests the 26-game losing streaks of the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and these same Sixers from 2013-14. Looking across sports, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 1976-1977 also lost 26 in a row, which when you consider the length of the NFL season is pretty embarrassing.

The Sixers struggles are born from a plan by GM Sam Hinkie (and approved by ownership) to get better long-term by being bad now and hoarding draft picks. It’s a strategy that can work if Hinkie nails the draft picks (the book is out on how Hinkie is doing on that front). And they are committed to it through at least this draft.

But don’t think for a second the players and coach are trying to lose.

If you have watched the Sixers play their last few games you know the players are trying hard to get that victory (and almost have a couple of times). The effort is there, they are just outmatched and lack the kind of presence at the end of games to execute under pressure (something a couple of quality, regularly-playing veterans might help, but that’s another discussion). They have the point differential of a team that should have a couple wins; they just haven’t been fortunate. It happens. Go ahead and blame management if you think this plan is an abomination. Just don’t question the desire or effort of the players or coaches, that is not in doubt.

The Sixers play at the Grizzlies Sunday, then have maybe their best shot at a win for a while when they host the Lakers on Tuesday.