ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 22:  Solomon Hill #44 of the New Orleans Pelicans defends as Anthony Brown #21 steals the ball from Paul Millsap #4 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 22, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Report: Pelicans talking Paul Millsap trade

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With the Hawks trading Kyle Korver to the Cavaliers, the vultures are circling Atlanta to try nabbing Paul Millsap.

Reportedly interested:

  • Raptors
  • Nuggets
  • Kings
  • 76ers

Add the Pelicans to the list.

Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders:

This is the danger of having a general manager who feels the heat of his seat. Dell Demps is incentivized to make a big move to save his job, even if it’s not in New Orleans’ best interest (and this big move reeks of his potential successor, advisor Danny Ferry, who acquired Millsap in Atlanta).

The Pelicans are “just” two games out of playoff position, but that’s a bigger gap than it seems – especially because they’re 11th in the West at 14-23. So, not only would they have to play better, they’d have to hope multiple teams around them also continue to struggle.

Even Millsap wouldn’t turn the odds in their favor of a playoff win or maybe even reaching the postseason at all. Then, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Should New Orleans make such a deal? The biggest variables are unknown: What’s Millsap’s interest in re-signing, and how would the pick be protected?

Then, the mechanics of a trade get tricky. It would be difficult for the Pelicans to match Millsap’s $20,072,033 salary without including useful players. Tyreke Evans on an expiring contract is a logical starting point, but he alone isn’t enough. New Orleans would love to dump Omer Asik, but I doubt the Hawks want him. Would Atlanta take on long-term contracts for players like Solomon Hill, E'Twaun Moore and Langston Galloway?

Plus, the Pelicans would have to make the best offer, not just an acceptable one. Millsap is a valued commodity, and multiple teams are making pitches.

A Millsap-Anthony Davis pairing would be a lot of fun in Alvin Gentry’s system, but there are many more reasons a Pelicans-Millsap trade doesn’t get done than reasons it does. Still, it’s not impossible given the team’s motivations to make something happen.

Baron Davis figured out why Russell Westbrook isn’t starting All-Star Game: Russian hackers

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When the starters for next month’s All-Star Game in New Orleans were announced this week, there was a mini-uproar on Twitter because Russell Westbrook — the guy averaging a triple-double this season — wasn’t picked. It’s hard for me to get worked up over two-time MVP Stephen Curry getting the nod, but if you want someone to blame it was the fans’ call — they voted Curry first overall, James Harden second, Westbrook third. The players and media had Westbrook first, Harden second, but the tie is broken by the fan vote.

Enter Baron Davis with the timely joke.

We just need to tie in a Zaza Pachulia joke and it will be perfect.

Report: Bucks brought Jabari Parker off bench for discussing with media team’s meeting

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker, center, looks for an open teammate as he is surrounded by Miami Heat players during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Bucks 109-97. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Associated Press
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The Milwaukee Bucks had lost four in a row and had slid out of a playoff slot in the East. It’s not one end of the court — in their last five games, the Bucks had the second-worst defense and fourth-worst offense in the NBA. After that fourth loss, the team held a players’ only meeting, one where Jabari Parker reportedly ripped his teammates for a lack of togetherness.

In the postgame media sessions that followed, Parker told the press he confirmed there was a meeting and said he had been “thrashed” by his teammates for what he said.

It was that speaking to the media that got him benched for a game — as decided by his teammates — reports Chris Haynes of ESPN.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker did not start in Saturday’s road loss to the Miami Heat for violating a team rule that prohibits disclosing locker room discourse to the media, league sources told ESPN…

Parker’s teammates deliberated and decided the appropriate punishment for the violation was to bring him off the bench against the Heat, league sources told ESPN. It was the first time this season that he did not start.

The meeting and the benching didn’t help, the Bucks fell to the lowly Heat 109-97. (Team/players meetings are overrated in how often they help teams turn things around.)

The good news for the Bucks is that in a tight East they remain just a game out of the playoffs and three games out of the five seed. It’s going to be a tough week to turn that around with the Rockets, resurgent Sixers, Raptors, and Celtics on the schedule.

 

Denver’s Kenneth Faried gets up, blocks DeAndre Jordan dunk attempt (VIDEO)

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Without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in the lineup, the Clippers don’t have much going for them offensively. However, there is one thing: DeAndre Jordan can still run to the rim and dunk with authority.

Denver’s Kenneth Faried took that away Saturday.

Faried hustled back in transition, showed he still had some hops and swatted away a Jordan dunk attempt.

The Nuggets went on to win the game comfortably, 123-98, behind 19 points and 10 boards from Nikola Jokic.

Suns’ Devin Booker sinks three that defeats Knicks (VIDEO)

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The Knicks last three losses have come by a total of six points. The team is not good, a little banged up, and doesn’t play any defense, but New York also has just had a run of bad luck.

The latest example: Phoenix’s Devin Booker draining a three to knock off New York, 107-105. It was a mistake by Derrick Rose, who sagged down to the free throw line watching Eric Bledsoe with the ball coming off the pick, which led to the open pass. Also, notice that Booker set up three feet back of the three-point line — this is a trend a lot of teams and good shooters are following (watch a Rockets’ game) because it makes the closeout harder. Rose would have contested a shot at the arc, but Booker gets a clean look from where he spotted up, and drills it.

Carmelo Anthony got a shot to win it for the Knicks, but his rimmed out.