AP

Mike Conley, Marc Gasol lead Grizzlies past Suns, 130-112

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Mike Conley scored 29 points and Marc Gasol added 28 while making all five of his 3-point shots to lead the Memphis Grizzlies past the Phoenix Suns, 130-112 on Tuesday night.

Zach Randolph finished with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Tony Allen had 11 points as Memphis shot 56 percent, including 12 of 25 from outside the arc. The 130 points were a season high for Memphis, which won its second straight.

Conley was 10 of 19 from the field. Gasol shot 10 of 16 and Randolph was 10 of 15 as Memphis shot a season-best percentage from the field.

Eric Bledsoe had 20 points for the Suns, while TJ Warren finished with 17 and Alex Len had 12. Devin Booker, the Suns’ second-leading scorer at 21.1 points a game, was limited to nine points on 3 of 11 from the floor.

Phoenix lost its third straight and 13th in the last 16.

After a close first half, Gasol converted his fourth straight 3-pointer of the game to provide Memphis its largest lead at that point, 72-66 early in the third. Both teams were still shooting in the vicinity of 55 percent.

Memphis would use 11 points from Gasol in the third to grab the first double-digit lead of the game late in the quarter before carrying a 93-85 lead into the fourth.

The Grizzlies broke the game open with the first seven points of the final period, eventually extending the lead to 19 points on Conley’s 3-pointer near the midway point.

In a testy first half that led to the ejection of veteran Vince Carter in the first quarter, both teams shot better than 50 percent and the Suns carried a 56-55 lead into the break.

Carter received a pair of technicals after a scuffle involving members of both teams and the Suns built an early nine-point lead. Memphis made several runs at the advantage, but could never build a lead of more than three points.

Phoenix led at the half despite 14 points from Gasol and 13 from Conley.

TIP-INS

Suns: Bledsoe has reached double figures in 46 straight games, dating to Nov. 19. .The Suns are 2-12 their last 14 meetings with Memphis. .It was the first time Booker did not reach double figures since scoring eight points against the San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 28.

Grizzlies: Memphis played its first home game since Feb. 15, before the All-Star break. .Memphis made 12 3-pointers, marking the 29th time this season the Grizzlies have made at least 10 from outside the arc. .Memphis scored 38 points in the third quarter, matching the most points in a quarter this season. .Memphis’ previous high for points this season was 128 against Golden State on Jan. 6. .The previous high this season for field goal percentage was 53.9 percent against Houston on Jan. 13.

NO CHANGE RIGHT NOW

Some have wondered if the Grizzlies would tweak their starting lineup to put slumping forward Chandler Parsons in a different role. Coach David Fizdale is not ready tinker with the lineup just yet. “As we go down the stretch,” he said, “I’m going to make sure I look at everything to give us the best chance to win moving forward and going into the playoffs. Nothing is going to happen right now, but I’m definitely evaluating everything.”

AND AGAIN

For the second consecutive game between the teams, there was an altercation, this time between Carter and Booker in the first quarter. Carter flicked an arm out at Booker after a foul was called on the Suns guard, and Booker hit the floor hard. There was an exchange of words and after review, Carter was given a pair of techs, sending him to the locker room. The last time the teams faced each other on Feb. 8, the closing minute included a ruckus that started with trash talking between Memphis reserve Troy Daniels and Booker. Six players received technicals and three were ejected, including Daniels. Later, Len was given a one-game suspension by the league for leaving the bench area.

UP NEXT

Suns: Open a season-high, five-game homestand on Thursday against the Charlotte Hornets.

Grizzlies: Travel to Dallas on Friday to face the Mavericks.

Minnesota’s Wiggins considers contract deal without agent

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Wiggins says he feels good about a max contract offer that is sitting in front of him with the Minnesota Timberwolves. But he’s in no rush to get it signed.

Wiggins says he is going over the five-year, $148 million offer from the Wolves deliberately to make sure everything is where he wants it before he signs. He is being extra careful because he is operating without an agent after parting ways with Bill Duffy and BDA Sports in August.

Wiggins says he has only positive things to say about Duffy. But he made the decision “from a business point of view.” He says he is leaning on parents, who were both high-profile athletes.

He says he appreciates the level of commitment the Timberwolves have shown and wants to be in Minnesota for the long term.

 

Report: Carmelo Anthony adds Cavaliers, Thunder to list of teams where he will accept trade

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Carmelo Anthony wants most of all to be traded to Houston (and he has leverage thanks to the no-trade clause Phil Jackson/James Dolan gave him). However, to make the deal work the Rockets needed to unload the three-year, $60 million contract of Ryan Anderson — which the Knicks do not want, and neither did any third team without a couple high first-round picks as a sweetener. Also, the Knicks wanted quality you assets back the Rockets didn’t have (or would part with), so the deal was dead. Anthony tried to wait it out, but nothing happened, and at this point the Knicks expect ‘Melo in camp Monday.

In the face of that, Anthony has expanded his list of teams where he will waive his no-trade clause to include the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder, according to multiple reports.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was first with the news about the Cavs.

Carmelo Anthony, a 10-time NBA All-Star, has delivered the New York Knicks an expanded list of teams — including the Cleveland Cavaliers — with which he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause, league sources told ESPN.

After the Knicks insisted that they were unable to make a deal with the Houston Rockets, his primary trade destination, Anthony and his representatives honored New York’s request and furnished at least two more teams within the past 10 days, league sources told ESPN.

ESPN’s Ian Begley filled in the details.

Cleveland was on the initial list of teams Anthony gave the Knicks (teams he would waive his no-trade for) but the Knicks wanted Kevin Love and Cleveland shot that down (that was before the Kyrie Irving deal, now Cleveland is even less likely to make that trade). The Cavaliers don’t have a lot of young talent on their roster, and that’s what the Knicks will want back in a deal, picks and players who are on Kristaps Porzingis‘ career arc.

If Cleveland was willing to throw the 2018 Brooklyn Nets pick in the trade it would get done quickly, but I have been told (before this news) Cleveland would not part with that pick, they see it as “LeBron leaves” insurance.

You can bet LeBron James is pushing to get Anthony on the Cavs. Adding him and Dwyane Wade — when Wade is bought out by the Bulls (eventually) — would move the Cavaliers a little closer to the Warriors, although both Wade and ‘Melo are bad defensive matchups against Golden State.

Oklahoma City would likely use Enes Kanter in any trade because his $17 million salary helps balance the money. However, the Thunder are like the Cavs in that this is not a roster with much young talent that the Knicks would want. Guys like Doug McDermott and Kyle Singler are not going to cut it.

It could take a third team to get a deal done with either the Cavaliers or Thunder.

While there had been rumors Portland was still trying to get in — that’s a team with multiple ways to make that trade if they are willing to send Zach Collins and picks to New York — multiple reports out of New York say the Blazers are not one of the teams on Anthony’s list, something first reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Anthony may well get moved before the start of the season now, but not likely before training camp opens for the Knicks Monday. So that awkward set of questions still gets to take place.

 

We have a (very minor) trade: Troy Daniels to Suns for pick

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Memphis had more than the max 15 guaranteed contracts on the books, and the cost of unloading one of those turns out to be a second-round pick.

Troy Daniels, who is owed $6.7 million over the next two years, has been traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Phoenix Suns, a story broken by Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports and since confirmed by the teams themselves. As part of the deal, the teams swap 2018 second round picks (however the Phoenix pick going to Memphis is top 55 protected, meaning it doesn’t move unless the Suns are a top five team ext season). Basically, Memphis has three second-round picks in 2018 and Phoenix gets the middle one as the sweetener for taking on the contract.

This trade is really about Memphis clearing a roster spot and some salary space, and Phoenix being willing to take it on for a second round pick.

Interestingly, Daniels and Suns star Devin Booker got in a little war of words at the end of a game last season.

The Suns consulted with Booker about that before pulling the trigger on the deal.

Pat Riley raves about Dwyane Wade, but avoids all contract talk

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MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade is under contract with the Chicago Bulls, meaning other NBA clubs cannot openly talk about possibly signing him until he is a free agent. As such, Miami Heat President Pat Riley was cautious Friday when asked about Wade’s future.

Wade spent his first 13 seasons in Miami before leaving in the summer of 2016 and going to the Bulls, his hometown team. But Chicago appears in full rebuilding mode after trading All-Star forward Jimmy Butler – someone Wade was close with – to Minnesota this offseason. And since Wade is in the last year of a deal that will pay him nearly $24 million this season, buyout speculation has been rampant for months.

If Wade gets a buyout, he’d be free to join any team.

“I feel great about our relationship that we had over the 13 years,” Riley said. “And anything that happens from a personnel standpoint down the road, or any opportunities that are there, we’re always going to approach that. But right now he’s under contract. He’s under contract with Chicago and I wish him the very best.”

Some Heat players, including longtime close friend Udonis Haslem, have made clear that if Wade becomes a free agent they would definitely want him to consider a return.

“He knows how I feel,” Haslem said this month.

Riley – and every other NBA executive – has to be much more guarded. But Riley made no secret of the affinity he still has for Wade, even raving about his wife, actress Gabrielle Union.

“She was stunning at the Emmys,” Riley said. “And to see him sitting in the seat next to her at the Emmys, I said `Man, we both have come a long way.”‘

The Bulls hold their media day Monday, with camp opening Tuesday. Wade spent at least part of this week in Miami, where he kept his home, and worked out at least once at the University of Miami .

Bulls President John Paxson told CSN Chicago on Thursday he and general manager Gar Forman sat down with Wade when the season ended, and plan to do so again when he returns to Chicago in the coming days.

“We were honest with him. We told him, that we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Paxson said. “At that time we were not shopping Jimmy. But we also said all along that if a deal would come along that would allow us to rebuild, we’d have to look at it. We’ve said that to everybody. So with that said, Dwyane’s under contract. He has been a professional through and through. We want to talk to him when he comes in town, and we will.”

Wade is Miami’s franchise leader in several categories, starred on all three of the Heat championship teams and has kept close ties with several people within the organization since his departure. He was the MVP of the 2006 NBA Finals.

“Probably one of the greatest series that any player has ever had in a Finals,” Riley said.