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Report: Clippers have contacted Grizzlies about Tony Allen sign-and-trade

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The Clippers went outside Doc Rivers’ comfort zone by getting Danilo Gallinari, who neither played for nor against the president/coach in a playoff series.

But the Clippers might be returning to hold habits with Tony Allen, who played for Rivers on the Celtics’ 2008 championship team.

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

Allen – a dogged defender, even at age 35 – would join the Clippers’ hodgepodge of players trying to keep the team competitive around Blake Griffin and without Chris Paul. Allen would be a nice defensive-minded alternative to Lou Williams at shooting guard, though it seems Doc Rivers likes Austin Rivers in that role.

The question is how Allen would get to L.A.

Receiving Gallinari in a sign-and-trade hard-capped the Clippers, but they still have about $8.7 million in wiggle room beyond just rounding out the roster with minimum players. L.A. has the mid-level exception and a $7,273,631 trade exception at its disposal.

The $8,406,000 mid-level exception would likely be more than enough for Allen, but there are advantages to getting him in a sign-and-trade. Namely, it would allow the Clippers to use the mid-level exception on someone else in addition.

The Clippers might like to unload salary if acquiring Allen, but there’s no reason for that to be done with with the Grizzlies rather than any other team. That $7,273,631 trade exception would probably do the trick in a sign-and-trade. Considering how much Allen has meant to the franchise, Memphis – ready to move on – might just sign-and-trade him into the Clippers’ trade exception just to gain its own trade exception and nothing more.

Allen would have to sign a three-year-deal to be signed-and-traded, but only the first year must be guaranteed. He probably wouldn’t mind the Clippers controlling his future at a reasonable salary, especially because he might not have bigger multi-year-guarantee alternatives from other teams at his age.

Elfrid Payton slams chasedown block on LeBron James (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is usually the guy handing out chasedown blocks. He’s famous for them, and has carted out his signature move in the biggest moments of his career.

He’s also not used to having his own shots blocked from behind, and certainly not by opposing point guards.

Enter Elfrid Payton.

During a play halfway through the first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, LeBron was on a drive to the hole with Elfrid trailing far behind.

Thanks to a pinch by two Magic defenders, LeBron had to try and use brute force a bit deeper in the paint than he wanted to.

That allowed Payton — running at full speed — to catch up and pin The King on the glass.

Cleveland still got the best of the Magic, as Isaiah Thomas hit a clutch free throw to win the game with 11 seconds left, 104-103.

All-Star Joel Embiid doesn’t need Rihanna: “On to the next one”

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For about as long as we can remember, Joel Embiid has famously thirsted after Rihanna on Twitter. Fans have tried to boost his standing with the singer, but it apparently that has not been enough.

In 2014, Embiid mentioned on social media that a “famous girl” — presumably Rihanna — told him to “Come back when you’re an All-Star.”

Well, today is that day.

Embiid is a starter out of the Eastern Conference, and on Thursday night he had his chance to speak to Rihanna (or whomever) via national TV on TNT.

Did Embiid decide to reach out to this famous person? Apparently he’s off it.

Via Twitter:

This is like that scene from Private Parts when Howard Stern hits No. 1 and he tells Paul Giamatti’s character to get lost.

Embiid had the chance to curve Rihanna (or whomever) and took it. Long live The Process.

Here are the weirdest NBA All-Star voting results for 2018

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NBA All-Star voting is over, and now we have the results. The starters are in, and what’s left is for us to wait until they announce the teams after they are picked in double secret ceremony.

Of course, the NBA did release the full voting results via their PR website this week, and as such there are some head scratchers. My boy Patrick Redford over at Deadspin did an excellent job rounding up some of the players who got exactly one (1) vote from other players.

The gag here is that these guys presumably voted for themselves.

Of course, what I found most interesting was actually the guys who got multiple votes from their compatriots without being All-Star caliber players.

My favorite list of player-voted non-All-Stars includes: Michael Beasley (4), Gordon Hayward (2), Boban Marjanovic (2), Jahlil Okafor (4), Quincy Acy (2), Tyler Zeller (4), T.J. McConnell (2), Elfrid Payton (2), Zaza Pachulia (3), Taj Gibson (6), Zach Randolph (5), Maurice Harkless (2), Deyonta Davis (3), Lonzo Ball (9), Mike Conley (3).

There’s a whole smattering of guys in there who either didn’t play enough, aren’t stars, are injured, or who aren’t very good.

That multiple players took time to vote for these guys really speaks to the frivolity of the NBA All-Star Game. At least outside of player contract incentives.

Bring on February!

LeBron James throws behind-the-back, nutmeg pass for assist (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is one of the best passers the NBA has ever seen, but even this is too hard to believe.

During Thursday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron through a ridiculous behind-the-back pass that nutmegged Orlando’s Aaron Gordon.

The result of the play was a bucket for Dwyane Wade.

Via Twitter:

I mean, that’s just … insane.