Dan Feldman

After Grizzlies ‘disrespected’ Thunder with late 3s, Andre Roberson wants payback

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The Grizzlies enjoyed garbage time of their 34-point win over the Thunder a couple weeks ago, shooting 7-for-7 on 3-pointers – six by Troy Daniels and one by James Ennis – in the final few minutes.

Oklahoma City didn’t enjoy it quite so much, and Andre Roberson is leading the fun police.

Roberson, via Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman:

“I would usually say it’s one of those games we throw out,” Thunder forward Andre Roberson said Tuesday. “But at the end of that game I felt like we got disrespected in a way. Them launching 3s at the end, I didn’t take that too kindly. We remember that. We bring it up in film. We’re gonna come out tomorrow aggressive and try to get after it.”

Don’t like it? Stop it. Daniels is a 3-point specialist who got hot and had fun with it, as did Memphis’ key players on the bench. Their excitement wasn’t necessarily directed at the Thunder.

But players find reasons to motivate themselves, and maybe that will benefit Roberson when the teams meet again tonight.

How do I know this is faux outrage? Russell Westbrook – who’d already been ejected – is also getting worked up.

Westbrook, via Dawson:

“I was in the shower,” Westbrook said after Wednesday’s shootaround. “I wasn’t watching the rest of that damn game. I was in the shower. But I definitely seen the film, and I’m with Dre. If Dre feels disrespected, I’m disrespected right along with him.”

The Thunder are pulling together and working themselves into a frenzy, which could help them on the court. And if it does, it won’t matter that this started with their inability to defend 3-pointers late in a blowout loss. But that doesn’t make this a crusade I want to get behind.

John Wall: Denzel Valentine’s celebration ‘woke up a monster’ (video)

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Bulls rookie Denzel Valentine hit a 3-pointer that gave him a career 19 points and Chicago a seven-point fourth-quarter lead over the Wizards, and he celebrated fairly demonstratively.

Teammate Taj Gibson didn’t appear to like that.

Washington guard John Wall really didn’t like it.

Wall, via J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

“I play with a lot of emotion just like him. I understand where he’s coming from,” said Wall, who had game highs of 26 points and 14 assists, including the game-winning jumper, for the Wizards to get them over .500 for the first time since November 2015. “I just said, ‘Don’t celebrate this early.  You’re a rookie. You haven’t earned those stripes yet.’ I told him, ‘That’s how you feel? You woke up a monster.’ I just went on a scoring spree.”

From there, Valentine shot 0-for-3. John Wall went 3-for-6, including hitting the game-winning jumper.

We never would have heard of Wall’s offense if he didn’t respond with strong play in a Washington win. But he did, so he can strut a bit.

Knicks’ Kyle O’Quinn fined for ‘striking and pushing’ Anthony Davis

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The Knicks are still dealing with the fallout from Monday.

Obviously, Derrick Rose is handling the most. But Kyle O'Quinn – who was ejected for flagrantly fouling Anthony Davis – is also receiving consequences.

NBA release:

New York Knicks center/forward Kyle O’Quinn has been fined $25,000 for striking and pushing New Orleans Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis from behind, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which O’Quinn was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 1:16 remaining in the third quarter of the Knicks’ 110-96 loss to the Pelicans on Jan. 9 at Madison Square Garden.

I thought a flagrant 2 call was overkill. A fine on top of it seems especially excessive.

Report: Lakers were interested in trading for Hawks’ Paul Millsap

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 04:  Julius Randle #30 of the Los Angeles Lakers strips the ball from Paul Millsap #4 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on December 4, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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The Hawks reportedly told Paul Millsap over the summer they wouldn’t trade him. A few days ago they were reportedly actively talking about dealing him. Then, they reportedly took him off the market.

The point? Atlanta keeps wavering on its Millsap stance, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he emerges again as a trade candidate before the trade deadline. Removing him from the market could just be a leverage ploy.

So, it’s worth monitoring the teams interested in him. We know about the Raptors, Nuggets, Kings, 76ers and Pelicans – and now the Lakers.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Millsap can be a free agent this summer, and multiple teams – including Denver, Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers – had an interest in making a deal for him, sources said.

What would the Lakers trade for Millsap? The Hawks reportedly wanted a substantial first-round pick, but the Lakers can’t guarantee conveying one until 2021. The Lakers have plenty of intriguing young players, but dealing them for a player on an expiring contract would probably be a mistake (though Julius Randle would be somewhat superfluous in the short term with Millsap).

On the other hand, the Lakers are hardly immune from mistakes. They could delude themselves that being just two games from playoff position warrants accelerating their timeline – especially given Jim Buss’ pledge.

I’m inclined to give the Lakers the benefit of the doubt: They’re interested because Millsap is a good player, and who wouldn’t be interested in a good player? That doesn’t mean they came close to matching Atlanta’s lofty asking price.

This leak benefits the Hawks, who want to demand maximum return if they make Millsap available – which can be accomplished by emphasizing the number of suitors. It also benefits the Lakers, who want to appease impatient fans who are looking for a quicker fix.

But that doesn’t mean a Millsap-to-Lakers trade will happen. Those are just reasons for either or both sides to insinuate it might.

Still, it’s worth monitoring the Lakers’ Millsap interest as the trade deadline – and free agency – approach. Even if Atlanta never makes Millsap available in a trade, this could indicate the Lakers’ desire to sign him next summer.

Report: Hawks shopping Tim Hardaway Jr. for second-round picks

Atlanta Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) leaves the court after the Hawks defeated the San Antonio Spurs 114-112 in overtime in an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
AP Photo/John Amis
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The Hawks have already traded Kyle Korver. Taking Paul Millsap off the market won’t end those rumors. It’s only a matter of time until Thabo Sefolosha garners more interest.

Also on the block in Atlanta?

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Zach Lowe of ESPN on The Lowe Post:

They’re already shopping Tim Hardaway for second-round picks, because they don’t want to pay him.

Hardaway will be a restricted free agent next summer, and in league short on quality wings, he could land a substantial contract. If the Hawks don’t want to pay it, better to trade him now and get something for him.

The catch is finding a team so eager to sign Hardaway, it deals a pick to get his Bird and matching rights now.

Teams that could use another wing this season are probably the place to start, and there are plenty of those. Hardaway is a solid, though not great, 3-point shooter. His defense has been better in Atlanta than it was with the Knicks, but he hasn’t continued last season’s improvement on that end. Overall, he could help plenty of teams.

At a certain point, the Hawks might just prefer giving rookies Taurean Prince and DeAndre’ Bembry more minutes to develop. At that point, a Hardaway trade makes even more sense.