Rumor: Lakers “enamored” with Lonzo Ball

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The Lakers first need to hope they even have a pick in this NBA Draft — Los Angeles has a 15.6 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick, but also a 53.1 percent chance of losing their pick all-together (they have the third best odds in the lottery, but if anyone jumps them and their pick falls to fourth or worse it reverts to the Sixers, the final remnant of the Steve Nash trade).

If the Lakers have a top three pick, they need to take the best player available — they have a nice young core but are nowhere near a talent level on the roster where they can afford to take a lesser player based on fit (frankly, the best teams don’t do that anyway).

That said, the Lakers’ new management is rumored to want star power and that may lead them to Lonzo Ball, reports Chad Ford of ESPN.

The Lakers appear to be enamored with Ball, a local product who could add star power to a team desperately in search of it. But they’ll likely have to land in the top two to get him.

This is exactly what Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, wants. Lonzo, a Los Angeles area native, has said he wants to be a Laker. So the feeling is mutual.

Ford says most teams have Washington point guard Markelle Fultz at the top of their board, followed by Ball, then Josh Jackson of Kansas third. What I have heard is nearly every team has Fultz first, but Jackson is right there with Ball for some teams (because Jackson is a better defender).

If the draft order stays the way it is now, with Boston (via Brooklyn) going first, then Phoenix, the two point guards do likely come off the board — Boston needs to think beyond the next few years with Isaiah Thomas (who will eventually fade), and the same with the Suns and Eric Bledsoe (the Suns would draft a PG then trade Bledsoe for more young players or picks). If the Lakers ended up with Jackson their fans should be thrilled — he’s the best defender near the top of the board and the Lakers had the worst defense in the NBA last season. A good perimeter defender would be a huge need.

But this is Magic Johnson and the Lakers, and that means star power wins out. And in Los Angeles, that is Ball. If they can get him.

Watch Stephen Curry make fun of Klay Thompson’s 360 dunk fail in China

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By now we have all seen Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson brick that dunk attempt in China, right?

Here is the link to the video if you haven’t seen it.

Well, teammate Stephen Curry was also in China this week and decided to do a little mocking of Thompson’s missed dunk for the crowd.

It was all in good fun, and of course we all know about the Warriors team culture. Glad that Curry and Thompson can jab at each other like this.

Pistons sign Luis Montero to two-way contract

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Pistons have signed Luis Montero to a two-way contract.

The team announced the deal Monday. The 6-foot-7 Montero played 49 games last season for the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Reno Bighorns of the NBA G League. He played in 12 NBA games with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2015-16, averaging 1.2 points, 0.3 rebounds and 0.1 assists.

NBA teams are allowed two two-way players on their roster at any time, in addition to the 15-man, regular-season roster.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

LeBron James reportedly so frustrated with Kyrie Irving he is “tempted to beat his ass”

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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” as he spelled out on his radio show, (those sources 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.

And yes, I know it’s Smith and we should take what he says with a full box of Morton’s Kosher Salt, but he illustrates a point:

Right now, the fight between Kyrie and LeBron 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.

Timberwolves put out “0 for 30” video featuring Dave Chappelle missing a lot of jumpers

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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.

Via Twitter:

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.