Kurt Helin

Milwaukee Bucks v Miami Heat

Michael Beasley named Chinese League MVP

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There is almost no good defense played in the Chinese Basketball Association — which makes it pretty much ideal for someone like Michael Beasley.

Beasley averaged 31.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game, plus shot better than 40 percent from three leading the Shandong Golden Stars back to the playoffs (where they were swept out in the first round by the Guangdong Southern Tigers). Beasley was named to the Chinese League All-Star team and for the second straight year won the MVP of that game.

In a couple of weeks, his contract will be up and Beasley can return to an NBA team for the stretch run and the playoffs. There are reportedly multiple teams interested.

It should be noted the Chinese Basketball Association has dual MVPs, one for a foreign player (won by Beasley), and one for a domestic player. Former NBA player Yi Jianlian was named the Chinese MVP.

Report: Chandler Parsons may consider return to Orlando this summer

Chandler Parsons
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Chandler Parsons is going to opt out of the $16 million he can make next season as a Maverick and become an unrestricted free agent. He’d be foolish not to. First, he’s going to get a raise from $16 million considering the massive spike in the salary cap, how well Parsons has played of late, and the thin market for top free agents this summer. Second, he can lock up that higher sum for four years at least, rather than just one.

The only question is, can the Dallas Mavericks re-sign Parsons?

The franchise is concerned that Orlando and other teams could become players in the Parsons’ sweepstakes, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.

Don’t assume Parsons will automatically re-sign with the Mavs this summer after he opts out of the final season of his three-year, $46 million contract — which is a virtual certainty with the salary cap soaring — despite owner Mark Cuban’s making it clear he is committed to keeping Parsons as a foundation piece…

Those close to the situation consider his hometown Magic to be the biggest threat to steal Parsons from the Mavs. With its pre-deadline dealing, Orlando cleared enough cap space to sign two players to max contracts. Sources anticipate that the Magic will aggressively pursue Parsons….

The list of teams interested in Parsons will be long, with sources expecting the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets and Magic to be among Parsons’ suitors. If Durant leaves Oklahoma City, add the Thunder to the list, with a potential reunion with Parsons’ coach at Florida, Billy Donovan.

Parsons’ camp says in this article and will say this summer it’s about the fit and the opportunity. We all know it’s about the money, but if he draws multiple max contract offers (a real possibility), then other factors come into play.

Dallas is going to recruit him (which is a nice change for Parsons, who has become a go-to recruiter during the summer). Orlando’s draw is they will have a nice young core of players and the cap space for two max free agents — Al Horford is rumored to be their top target. Add Horford and Parsons to Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Evan Fournier, and that’s a fascinating team out East.

The bottom line is Parsons will have options outside Dallas.

As expected, Kyrie Irving blows off report he wants out of Cleveland

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 03:  Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers brings the ball up the court during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 3, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  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 Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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You knew this was coming.

The minute a report surfaced Monday — from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on First Take — that Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland, you knew he would deny the rumor. He did that to Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, with more of a dismissal of the idea than an outright denial.

“There’s nothing to really address,” Irving said. “Obviously there’s going to be some misunderstandings, it’s part of being on a team. For me, as a maturing young player in this league, I know what we have and the opportunity we have in order to be something special. My communication is open with all of my teammates, just knowing what’s going on and how I feel about things….

“For me, all that other stuff, what everyone is going to say, they’re going to pick one player and it’s going to change every single week,” Irving said. “When they think that we’re down and out, they’re going to choose one player. For me, it has no effect on my life or what’s going on. It’s all about winning and winning a championship for Cleveland.”

Two quick thoughts. First, it’s not easy for Irving or anyone else to play next to LeBron James. He can be demanding, he can dominate the ball, and he’s going to push players he believes can be elite. Not that any of those things are bad, but it doesn’t make it easy to play with LeBron. No doubt LeBron and Irving have clashed at times, probably more than we realize.

Second, it’s all moot. Irving is in the first year of a five-year contract extension, and he is a cornerstone of the franchise — he’s not going anywhere. LeBron isn’t going anywhere. Those two need to figure out how to get along. And Irving does need to work on sharing the ball more getting teammates set up.

Can we all just move on… until the Kevin Love trade rumors kick up again this summer.

Watch Bucks’ Jabari Parker drop career-high 36 on Houston

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It was a good night for the Bucks. Khris Middleton scored 30 points, while Giannis Antetokounmpo playing the point forward role had 18 points, 17 rebounds, and 11 assists (plus four steals).

But leading the way was Jabari Parker, who had a career-high 36 points. You can see his buckets above.

Behind their young trio, Milwaukee beat Houston 128-121.

Update: Nuggets’ Danilo Gallinari has two torn ligaments in right ankle

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We knew that Denver forward Danilo Gallinari was going to miss time due to a sprained ankle, likely being out for seven games after injuring it over the weekend.

Now we know the severity of it — it has two torn ligaments in his right ankle, the team announced Tuesday.

He’s going to be out a month, according to Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. That would bring him back with just a couple weeks left in the season, so don’t be shocked if Denver just shuts him down for the remainder of the campaign.

The Nuggets will miss his offense while he’s out, he averaged 19.5 points a game and is shooting 36.4 percent from three. He is a key part of Denver’s offense, which is 4.1 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the court (however his defensive numbers often balance that out).

Denver has been coming together, playing better ball as a team in the past few weeks. There’s a lot to like with the talent on this roster. Mike Malone is establishing a culture there that is starting to take root. One that could be a foundation for winning down the line. And unlike Sacramento, this time Malone will get to see it through.