Report: Suns, at last minute, dangled Eric Bledsoe in sign-and-trade for Kevin Love

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At one point, the Timberwolves reportedly preferred Klay Thompson to Andrew Wiggins as the centerpiece of a Kevin Love trade.

That was probably posturing, but who knows for certain? Maybe Glen Taylor and Flip Saunders actually desire a solid young guard – who’s about to become very highly paid – over Wiggins, the most recent No. 1 pick and a player with a huge amount of upside.

Just in case, the Suns checked.

Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

With just hours to go before a planned megadeal the would send Kevin Love to Cleveland, the Phoenix Suns reached out to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday to ask once more about the possibility of acquiring Love in a sign-and-trade for guard Eric Bledsoe, sources told ESPN.com.

The Cavaliers and Wolves have had an agreement in place on Love for weeks, and it remains intact, sources said.

The Minnesota-Cleveland-Philadelphia deal seems locked in and has for a while. I don’t know the terms of the agreement, but there’s obviously a difference between “We’ll make the trade Aug. 23” when Wiggins can be dealt and “We’ll make the trade Aug. 23 so long as we haven’t received a better offer by then.” So, there’s a chance the Timberwolves could have ethically taken Phoenix’s offer.

Either way, though, Bledsoe doesn’t move the needle. Wiggins, under contract for four more years at a third of the price, is much more valuable. He’s excellent return for Love, a player who could leave at the end of the year. Bledsoe, who likely who would have required a max contract to agree to the deal, just isn’t quite on the same level.

And the Suns probably knew that. So why make the offer?

It doesn’t hurt to try, and it helps show Bledsoe they’re working to find a solution for him.

It just doesn’t get Love.

Report: Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo staying in NBA draft

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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When De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk declared for the NBA draft, they jumped in with both feet, hiring agents.

A third Kentucky freshman, Bam Adebayo, took a more cautious approach – until now.

Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports:

Adebayo is a borderline first-round pick.

He’s a ferocious dunker. All his best skills – motor, explosiveness, physicality – come together to produce slams.

But Adebayo is an underwhelming shot-blocker and rebounder, and those same tools should translate. That speaks’ to his focus.

He has a center’s game. But at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-1.5 wingspan, does he have a center’s size? Adebayo can’t step away from the basket or handle the ball, so if he can’t bang with NBA centers, he’s in trouble.

NBA: James Harden should have been called for offensive foul late in Rockets’ Game 4 win over Thunder

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The Rockets were trying to protect a two-point lead as they inbounded with 7.8 seconds left in Game 4 against the Thunder on Sunday, and James Harden wanted the ball. So, the Houston star pushed off Alex Abrines.

The play still turned chaotic – Russell Westbrook tipping the inbound pass and Eric Gordon recovering the loose ball – but it never should have gotten that far. Harden should have been called for an offensive foul, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Harden (HOU) pushes off Abrines (OKC) to create space during the inbound.

A correct call would have given Oklahoma City the ball down two with 7.8 seconds left and a real chance to tie or take the lead.

Instead, the Thunder had to intentionally foul Gordon, who hit two free throws to effectively ice a 113-109 Rockets win. Houston now leads the first-round series, 3-1.

NBA: LeBron James got away with travelling before go-ahead 3-pointer in Cavaliers’ Game 4 win over Pacers

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The Cavaliers outscored the Pacers by just 16 points in their first-round series – tied for the narrowest margin ever in a four-game sweep. (The Warriors also outscored the Washington Bullets while sweeping the 1975 Finals.)

So, each Cleveland-Indiana game was close, including Sunday’s Game 4, which the Cavs won 106-102.

LeBron James hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 left to put the Cavaliers up 103-102, and they added a few free throws after intentional fouls to produce the final margin. But LeBron travelled with 1:14 left while making his move to get that 3-pointer, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

James (CLE) moves his pivot foot at the start of his dribble.

A correct call would’ve ended Cleveland’s possession and given Indiana the ball with a two-point lead. Instead, the Pacers had only one possession before they had to begin intentionally fouling.

Would Indiana have won if the travel were called? Probably, though the odds would have been only slightly better than a coin flip.

Would the Pacers have won the series if the travel were called? Probably not. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit, and even a Game 4 win was far from guaranteed with a travel call. But they might have at least felt better about not getting swept.

Raptors’ Norman Powell had a couple monster dunks Monday (VIDEO)

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“Give all praise to Norman Powell with his energy, his athleticism, his passion, just everything he brought to us this series.”

That was Kyle Lowry talking about what his Raptor Norman Powell, who put up a career playoff best 25 points in the Raptors’ Game 5 win. Powell played good defense on Khris Middleton and drained some deep threes to help Toronto pull away in this one. Lowry was so impressed after the game at a press conference he told the media to ask Powell questions, not him.

Oh, and Powell threw down some huge dunks, too. Just check out the video.