Tyson Chandler

Rumor: Trail Blazers mulling trade for Suns C Tyson Chandler


The Portland Trail Blazers need a defensive-minded center. Badly. That’s why Neil Olshey & Company are weighing their options when it comes to a trade for Phoenix Suns big man Tyson Chandler, according to a report from ESPN.

Chandler, 34, still has two years after this season left on the 4-year, $52 million deal he signed with Phoenix back in 2015.

While he would be an addition to Portland’s weary front line, Chandler has slowed the team’s activity in the past on seeking a trade as recently as last summer.

The Blazers, meanwhile, seem to have rebounded a bit defensively as of late. Portland changed their defensive scheme, with more active defense from their big men and with infrequent double-teams thrown in against major post threats like DeMarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Al-Farouq Aminu‘s presence in the lineup has also been felt, as the defensive-minded power forward has rejoined the team after missing significant time with two separate injuries.

Portland has been one of the more disappointing teams this season, one that many picked to finish anywhere from 4-6 in the Western Conference before the season began. Riding an unexpected wave to a second-round exit in 2015-16, many felt the Blazers would improve as they returned the most minutes in the NBA this year.

However, many of the team’s signings have not worked out. Evan Turner has been slow to adapt on both offense and defense, and RFA Allen Crabbe has backslid, perhaps due to his relegation with the addition of Turner.

The Blazers’ big man problems were supposed to be craftily managed with the addition of Festus Ezeli, who signed a cheap, 2-year contract that was team-friendly. However, Ezeli has yet to see the court for the Blazers and likely won’t this year — or ever — as he is considering season-ending surgery to repair his ailing left knee.

At publish time, Portland has clawed its way back to the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, but their playoff lives are dependent on seeing the second-half improvement we saw from them last season.

Chandler might be an excellent addition, but it would mean giving up an asset of equal contract value with one of Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard, or Evan Turner heading to Phoenix. And while the Blazers could trade their own pick or Cleveland’s 2017 first rounder, taking a big gamble on a 34-year-old center with a very young team doesn’t feel like it’s up Olshey’s alley.

The big question is what Phoenix sees ahead for themselves, and what they are looking to get in return for Chandler. It’s not clear what the market is for the Suns center at the moment, and if it’s a leveraging of Portland’s long-term big men and picks in exchange for an aging post like Chandler, that might be the most prudent route for all involved.

Blazers C Meyers Leonard dunks on Celtics’ Mickey twice in five minutes (VIDEO)

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Portland Trail Blazers big man Meyers Leonard is an athletic young guy who has made a name for himself as a fade man off the pick-and-roll. But against the Boston Celtics on Saturday, Leonard decided to roll to the hoop instead, and it sort of worked out.

Unless you’re Jordan Mickey, in which case it didn’t.

The first poster dunk came during the final minute of the first quarter in Boston, where the Blazers were running a sideline out of bounds play.

Via Twitter:

The second came at 9:51 in the second quarter, with Leonard again rolling to the rack on a play with Allen Crabbe. Mickey again wound up as the help man, and again found himself on the wrong end of a highlight reel.

We’ll just forgive that off arm for now.

Jabari Parker held out of Bucks lineup vs. Heat for breaking team rule

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MIAMI (AP) Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker is out of the starting lineup for the first time this season Saturday night at Miami after breaking a team rule.

Parker will play coming off the bench, coach Jason Kidd said.

Kidd declined to elaborate on the move, which came after the Bucks held a long players-only meeting following a loss Friday at Orlando. The meeting got heated at times, and Parker said he wasn’t well received when he expressed his point of view.

Parker has scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games. He was replaced in the lineup by rookie Thon Maker, making his first career start.

Gregg Popovich on Trump: “Can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth” (VIDEO)


Today across the country many hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets as part of the Women’s March to protest Donald Trump, his misogyny as demonstrated in prior comments made about women, and policies he’s promised to put in place to weaken women’s health including defunding Planned Parenthood and gutting the Affordable Care Act. Gregg Popovich, no stranger to speaking his mind about Trump, was asked about the marches today and how he felt about the former reality TV star’s first hours in office.

Popovich responded for around four minutes, spanning a wide breadth of topics including Trump’s maturity level, respect for the presidential office, and Trump’s cabinet members waffling on implied meaning when he insulted a handicapped reporter in November of 2015.

Via Cleveland.com:

I wish that he was more — had the ability to be mature enough to do something that really is inclusive rather than just talking and saying ‘I’m going to include everybody.” He could talk to the groups that he disrespected and maligned during the primary and really make somebody believe it, but so far we’ve got a point where you really can’t believe anything that comes of his mouth.

Popovich also expressed his frustration with Trump’s insecurities, referencing his need to discuss the size of the inauguration crowd from Friday — reported widely by major news outlets in both text and video/photographic evidence — as far smaller than Barack Obama’s in 2009.

“I’d just feel better if somebody was in that position that showed the maturity, psychological, and emotional level of somebody that was his age,” said Popovich, adding, “It’s hard to be respectful of someone when we all have kids and we’re watching him be misogynistic and xenophobic and racist, and make fun of handicap people.”

It’s an interesting period in American history to be sure. Things are at such a fever pitch after Trump’s election that whether people like it or not — and no doubt many won’t like Popovich’s comments or this article about it — the lines between diversion and real life, including politics, has begun to blur.

It’s great to see that coaches and players in the NBA are able to speak their minds about topics openly like this, perhaps surprisingly so when you consider the amount of money involved for the league and teams.

If you’d like to read the full comments you can do so here:

Ricky Rubio will miss Nuggets game for personal reasons

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Ricky Rubio has left the Minnesota Timberwolves for personal reasons and will miss at least the next game on Sunday against Denver.

Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau says he expects Rubio to get back into town late Sunday and rejoin the team for practice on Monday.

Rubio did not play in the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night because of tightness in his left hip. Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones filled in admirably, helping the Wolves defeat the Clippers, 104-101.

Rubio has been the subject of trade rumors for much of the season, with the belief that Thibodeau would prefer a point guard who shoots better from the perimeter. In his previous five full games, Rubio was averaging 13.2 points and 14.0 assists.