Back in 2014, the Bulls front office of John Paxson and Gar Forman traded two picks to the Denver Nuggets — picks that became Gary Harris and Josef Nurkic — to move up in the draft so they could pick Doug McDermott.
Thursday, the Bulls all but admitted that was a mistake.
Chicago traded McDermott and Taj Gibson to Oklahoma City for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Anthony Morrow, as reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports.
This is a good trade for Oklahoma City, especially while Enis Kanter remains sidelined. Gibson, in particular, gives them a rock-solid power forward out of the old school. Gibson can score inside and help Steven Adams, he can crash the boards, and while he’s not what he once was on that end he’s a solid defender.
Gibson is also a free agent this summer, and the Bulls were not going to pay the market value. Oklahoma City may, but Gibson will have options.
McDermott can shoot the three, hitting 37.6 percent this season, but that’s about all he brings to the table. Maybe that’s all the Thunder need. McDermott doesn’t create his own shot and he’s a big defensive liability. Maybe he can spread the floor a little for the Thunder, hang out at the arc waiting for a Russell Westbrook drive and dish, but he’s not doing much else.
Chicago gets a player with a lot of potential in Cameron Payne, he could be the point guard of the future there next to Jimmy Butler. That’s the best player on their end in this deal. But Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow are nice players who don’t actually move the needle.
This trade by the Bulls echoes their moves over the summer bringing in Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo — what exactly is the plan? Payne could be part of the future, but are the Bulls a team rebuilding around Butler? It remains difficult to see what the vision is in Chicago. Which has to frustrate Butler.
Anyone else getting weary of the spin wars between the Kyrie Irving and LeBron James camps?
Irving thinks LeBron and his camp leaked the trade report and are trying to drag his good name through the mud. LeBron — the man who led the way in teaching other players they should take control of their destiny and where they play — is angry that a player took control of his how destiny and is about to leave him high and dry. Right now both sides are trying to control the story — does Irving really envy Damian Lillard and John Wall‘s roles over his own, or is that spin? — while fans come up with trade proposals. (No, a Kyrie for Carmelo Anthony trade is not happening.)
About the only thing that is clear is that this relationship is beyond repair. As evidence, we bring you the latest bit of spin, this from Stephen A. Smith’s sources, which are almost certainly are in the LeBron camp.
The full quote was: “If Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted to beat his ass.”
I imagine if they were face-to-face right now it would look like every other NBA “fight” — they would push each other then make sure other guys jumped between them and held them apart so they could jaw but not actually have to throw a punch.
Right now, the fight between them is the sides trying to control the narrative.
No doubt LeBron is frustrated, he is in the legacy building part of his career and the Cavaliers were the consensus best team in the East with a shot at a ring next season. No Kyrie — almost no matter who Cleveland gets back in a trade — means the Cavs take a step back (while the Warriors and every other team in contention got better). LeBron feels hurt and a little betrayed and is spinning that.
Irving is within his rights to ask out. There are certainly a variety of reasons he wants out, but at the top of the list is he wanted to control his own destiny before LeBron left next summer (probably) and Kyrie was left as the star on a team built to go around LeBron. Not that Cleveland did anything wrong, that is exactly the kind of team the Cavaliers should have built, LeBron will go down as an All-Time top 5 player, and this team brought Cleveland its first ring in 54 years. That doesn’t mean Irving can’t read the writing on the wall and want out.
For now, the drama will not stop between these two — nor will the spinning.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are doing some work on their home arena, the Target Center, and it just so happens they had a special brick layer that got them started in 2013.
That extra helper was none other than comedian Dave Chappelle.
The team released a video on their social media platforms this week featuring Chappelle taking a bunch of jumpers on their floor in 2013. With a shot form somewhere between Shawn Marion and Stephen Curry, Chappelle wasn’t exactly a long range gunner.
I mean, it seems a little ridiculous to put up a video of the guy from four years ago hitting bricks and equating that to helping you remodel your home arena, but I feel like Chappelle can probably take it.
Either way, good work by the social team over in Minnesota.
Last summer, just before going to camp for the Rio Olympics, Draymond Green got into some kind of altercation with Michigan State University football Jermaine Edmondson. Green allegedly slapped him during this. Green was arrested, but the prosecutors had better things to deal with, so Green’s charges were reduced to a noise violation, where Green had to pay a $500 fine and $60 restitution fee. Because it was a civil infraction, there is no “guilty” or “not guilty” plea entered. And that was the end of it.
Or so we thought.
According to Marc Spears of ESPN, a civil suit is about to stem from this.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, facing a civil lawsuit believed to be tied to an incident last July in which he allegedly slapped a former Michigan State football player, is confident things “will be resolved soon.”…
The expectation from Green’s camp is that the lawsuit is in response to a sequence of events last July that culminated in Green allegedly slapping then-Spartan player Jermaine Edmondson. The alleged slap followed a verbal dispute outside an East Lansing bar in the early morning of July 10, 2016, and was preceded by an encounter two nights earlier allegedly involving Edmondson, his girlfriend, Green and two of the NBA star’s associates.
I’m not going to speculate on the validity of the claim, or the motive for the suit, I was not hanging out in a Lansing bar last July and I am not in the plaintiff’s head.
I can say, as someone who spent years as a young reporter covering courts and police, these kinds of cases are tough for the plaintiff to prove his/her case and get paid. While in a civil case the standard to reach drops to “a preponderance of the evidence,” the plaintiff has to prove damages. The fact prosecutors wanted nothing to do with the case usually is a sign it’s a difficult case to make.
Larry Nance Jr. is now a professional athlete for the Los Angeles Lakers, but back in 2003 Nance was just a 10-year-old kid with a dream of playing in the NBA.
During that time, Nance was apparently a pen pal with a U.S. soldier named Bianca Snow. Snow recently posted old letters from Nance to social media that shows the interaction between the two.
It’s pretty cool to see a moment in time like this.
The letters read as follows (transcription via SB Nation):
March 19, 2003
Dear U.S. Soldier,
My name is Larry Nance. I have 1 sister, 1 brother that annoy me all the time. My dad played in the NBA.
Thank you for fighting for us in the war. You must be brave and miss your family.
I hope you get home soon and see your family soon. Good luck.
Dear U.S. Soldier is the war almost over? Where is Saddam? How are you? I’m fine. Thank you for writing back. Where are you?
Are you good at basketball? I like the Lakers too they are wining there series with the Timberwolves. Who is your favorite player? Mine is Shaq. Who do you want to get LeBron James? I want the Cavs to get LeBron, that is because my dad played for the Cavs. His number is retired in the Gund Arena.
And again Thank you!!
Nance saw the post on social media and responded to Snow, inviting her to a future game.
Pretty neat stuff.