Kurt Helin

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Four

Report: Kevin Love to meet with Lakers later in week

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For a guy who repeatedly said he was committed to the Cavaliers and wanted to stay with Cleveland, it’s an interesting development that he has started to flirt with other teams.

Kevin Love is going to meet with the Lakers this week, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.

The Lakers have always been the front-runner to land Kevin Love if he bolts Cleveland. He has ties in Los Angeles and went to college there. However, Los Angeles is not the only team looking to get its foot in the door with Love.

Love is a perennial All-Star and one of the elite offensive power forwards in the game, able to score inside and drain the three. Plus he is a beast on the boards and the best outlet passer in the game. He would fit in anywhere.

Like a guy flirting at a bar with a pretty woman, this doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere. Love and the Lakers (and maybe others) are just talking.

But Love said he was committed to the Cavaliers. This flirtation could be the first step to something more.

Kobe Bryant, Jeanie Buss will be in Lakers pitch meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge

2015 BET Experience - Genius Talks Presented By AT&T
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The Lakers are bringing out the big guns — and we don’t just mean the effort to clear out a cap space and go after a couple max contract stars.

The Lakers are bringing their biggest names into the room for their meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge just after free agency starts — including Kobe Bryant. From Sam Amick of the USA Today.

According to a person with knowledge of the Lakers’ situation, Bryant is expected to be part of the meeting with Aldridge on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The meeting with the big man who is widely expected not to re-sign with the Portland Trail Blazers is also expected to include Lakers president and governor Jeanie Buss, general manager Mitch Kupchak, assistant general manager Glenn Carraro, coach Byron Scott, senior vice president of finance Tim Harris, vice president of public relations John Black, as well as representatives from Time Warner Cable and AEG.

Lakers fans, before you celebrate this, remember Kobe was in the room before. His saying he was staying a few more years and his presence seemed to derail an already fragile meeting with Dwight Howard two years ago. Last year Kobe was not in the room, but then he and Carmelo Anthony spoke later and both questioned if their games would would really blend well. (They were right by the way, that would have been a ball-stopping mess.) His presence in the room is no guarantee — not everybody loves him.

But Kobe is being active in free agency this year, he has already called DeAndre Jordan to lobby him.

The Lakers are one of the front runners for Aldridge and could land other top free agents, and they have a reputation for making good pitches. But there is nothing quite as random and unpredictable as NBA free agency.

Stephen Curry with one-handed, 180, off-the-bounce dunk — here is the video evidence

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Five
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Stephen Curry was at the Under Armour’s SC30 Select Camp — he is by far Under Armour’s biggest NBA star — and it turns out he can do a little more than knock down threes.

I didn’t know he had that in him.

So now do we start the Stephen Curry for the Dunk Contest campaign?

(Hat tip Eye on Basketball)

Report: Wizards “increasingly optimistic” they can retain Paul Pierce

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards-Game Six
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The Los Angeles Clippers want their shot and believe they have a chance. The Celtics and a handful of other teams would like the chance for a sit down.

But in the end, Paul Pierce may well remain a Washington Wizard.

Pierce has officially opted out and become a free agent, but the Wizards like their chances, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Pierce can still help a team, despite turning 38 next season. He has a crafty, veteran game that ages well — he averaged 11.9 points a game and shot 38.9 percent from three last season. He’s still relatively efficient on offense, but he’s more of a concern on the other end of the court.

The Wizards had success last season, particularly in the playoffs, with Pierce at the four. The Clippers have Blake Griffin at the four and would use Pierce more at the three, which has not been as kind to him in recent seasons. That and the fact he likes John Wall and Bradley Beal plays in the Wizards favor as well. As for the Clippers, that is a different team if DeAndre Jordan chooses to return home to Texas.

Pierce likely isn’t going to make a snap decision, which is fine as the Wizards may feel like time is on their side.

Reports: Warriors, Hornets both interested in Marco Belinelli

belinelli
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Marco Belinelli was a vintage San Antonio Spurs pick up — a guy with one elite skill, so the Spurs asked him to do basically that and nothing else. Just shoot the rock, Marco. He did that well  — 71 percent of his shots last season came from 16 feet out or farther, and he shot 37.4 percent from three. It was 43 percent from deep the year before that.

However, the Spurs are moving on (they have some cap space to clear out if they are going to chase LaMarcus Aldridge). With a lot of shooters on the market this year, Belinelli may come with a very reasonable deal.

What teams are lined up to try and land Belinelli? One team that loves shooters and one that needs some.

First up, the Golden State Warriors (via Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports).

Golden State loves them some shooters and Warriors GM Bob Myers would be happy to add another guy who has knocked down threes on a big stage.

In the other side, Charlotte needs shooters, and they want some.

Belinelli is not going to go off the board that quickly, teams will be hunting bigger game to open free agency. But when the dust settles you can bet it will be more than these two teams making a call on Belinelli. He will have options.