Author: Brett Pollakoff

Mitch Kupchak

Lakers not planning on trading the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft


The Draft Lottery turned out better than expected for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Not only did the team get to keep its pick (which wouldn’t have happened had it landed outside the top five), but the ping pong balls bounced L.A.’s way, and they moved up to grab the No. 2 overall selection.

Conventional wisdom says that will translate into either Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns, whoever is passed over by the Timberwolves. But there is potentially another option, which could involve dealing the pick — either to trade down in exchange for additional assets, or to just give up on it entirely should a team come calling with a tempting enough package.

The plan for now, though, is to use the pick this season.

From Baxter Holmes of

In radio appearances Thursday, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak discussed the draft pick and what the Lakers might do with it, although he pointed out that it’s still early, that they’re still fielding calls from teams interested in the pick and that they still must work out and interview draft prospects in the coming weeks.

“It looks as though we’ll use our pick this year,” Kupchak said during a radio appearance with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd. …

“Let’s just say there was a team that had the fifth or sixth or seventh pick, and they wanted to go to No. 2,” Kupchak told SiriusXM NBA Radio. “In that area of the draft, just to move up two or three or four slots, normally, it’s hard to do. And the price that that team would pay would be high, because they’ve targeted a player that they really want. Obviously the other team would know that, and they would have to pay for that.”

The Lakers would be smart to keep the pick. There is almost no scenario where a trade would provide a quick fix to get the team back to contending for a title next season, and while there are very few sure things in terms of future franchise cornerstones available through the draft, the chance at getting a potential future All-Star on a rookie scale deal isn’t something a rebuilding franchise should be eager to pass up.

Kyrie Irving out for Game 2 vs. Hawks

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving missed shootaround on Friday and at the time was considered questionable for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Hawks.

He’s now been ruled out.

From Jason Lloyd of

Irving visited with Dr. James Andrews on Friday, the team said, and the tendonitis diagnosis was again confirmed. He is listed as questionable for Game 3 on Sunday in Cleveland.

Irving had eight days off between the Cavs’ first two series and six days off prior to facing the Hawks. It’s unclear at this point what another couple of days’ rest will mean.

“We’re evaluating as we go forward and hopeful we can get him back in there,” coach David Blatt said. He added that the Cavs’ 1-0 series lead had no impact on the decision to rest him.

Blatt said Friday morning if Irving said he could go then he would play, but he said prior to the game the decision was taken out of his hands and made by the medical staff.

Irving wasn’t great in Game 1, but the Cavaliers were able to get the win anyway thanks to a huge performance from J.R. Smith, solid front line play from Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov, and LeBron James doing what he does.

But Cleveland will need a healthy Irving in order to contend for a title, and at this point it’s unclear whether or not he can get back in time to help his team’s cause.

Disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy to appear in CNBC documentary

Image (1) donaghy-thumb-250x140-11779.jpg for post 2008

Tim Donaghy was an NBA referee who used inside information to bet on games.

That was the innocent explanation; the more damning one involved him making disingenuous calls that would influence games so that the bets he made would end up with favorable results.

Donaghy eventually served time in prison for his actions, but has remained in the gambling underworld ever since. He picks games professionally, and has attempted to remain in the spotlight to make a living off of his NBA excommunication.

This latest documentary from CNBC doesn’t appear to be any different. While we’ll have to wait until the entire thing debuts Thursday, May 28 at 10p ET/PT to see for sure, this teaser clip sure appears as though he’s simply giving us more of the same.

Warriors’ Andre Iguodala with monster dunk in first half of Game 2 vs. Rockets (VIDEO)

Andre Iguodala

The Warriors jumped out to an early double-digit lead in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Rockets, and the bench was able to get rolling as much as the starters were as the team got loose in transition.

Andre Iguodala threw down this impressive dunk on the break …


… which Stephen Curry enjoyed immensely while getting some rest on the sidelines.


Report: Kristaps Porzingis will draw ‘significant interest’ from Magic, Kings, Pistons in NBA Draft

Kristaps Porzingis

Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis was rumored to be worthy of the number one overall selection in this summer’s NBA Draft, and since then, has been projected to go with one of the top three picks.

While teams evaluating Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay will ultimately be the ones making the decision, should Porzingis fall out of the top four, there appear to be plenty of teams ready and waiting that would be more than happy to scoop him up.

From Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:

Sources: Kristaps Porzingis will draw significant interest from Orlando Magic (No. 5), Sacramento Kings (No. 6) and Detroit Pistons (No. 8).

When drafting this high on the board, and especially for the teams mentioned, this isn’t necessarily about an incoming prospect’s potential fit.

It’s almost always about getting the best player available, and the skill set Porzingis possesses makes him an intriguing selection really at any position once you get past the top two or three picks.

Porzingis is 7’1″, and averaged 10.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots in international play this past season, while knocking down 37.9 percent of his shots from three-point distance.