Author: Kurt Helin

Minnesota Timberwolves v Brooklyn Nets

Report: Cavaliers, Rockets both in talks to trade for Corey Brewer of Timberwolves

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Minnesota is a rebuilding team with some veteran players on it, ones contending teams could use, which made them putting guys on the trade block this season more than likely.

First up, Corey Brewer. That according to Marc Stein of ESPN, who described trade talks as “active.”

Sources told ESPN.com that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets have emerged as the most serious suitors for Brewer, whose arrival would be a notable boost for either team in terms of depth.

Minnesota is believed to be seeking future assets in exchange for Brewer as it tries to accelerate its rebuilding effort in the wake of trading star power forward Kevin Love to the Cavaliers in August. Both Cleveland and Houston possess a trade exception large enough to absorb Brewer’s $4.7 million salary, meaning that both teams would likely be able to acquire Brewer by merely surrendering future draft compensation and without giving up any key players.

Brewer also has a player option for $4.9 million next season, one he likely would pick up but that could become an issue.

Likely there will be other teams in this mix as it moves along.

Cleveland is looking for some wing depth, LeBron James is averaging 39 minutes a night and they would like to be able to get him a little more rest. Plus Brewer and Kevin Love formed a combo that got some easy buckets in Minnesota — nobody leaks out as the shot goes up more than Brewer and Love is the master of the long outlet pass.

Brewer in Houston would be another athlete to throw in their up-tempo attack, he could come in off the bench and just attack the rim, giving them depth to rest James Harden for stretches. Brewer struggles in halfcourt offenses, particularly more fluid ones like the Cavs run, and he’s not a three point shooter. He’s also a riverboat gambler on defense who makes some steals but often gets burned and would leave Dwight Howard a lot to clean up at the rim in Houston.

Something to watch, and expect this to be the first of multiple Timberwolves veterans to be traded this season.

Lance Stephenson slaps self in face during legendary flop (VINE)

Charlotte Hornets v Golden State Warriors
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Even on the Lance Stephenson scale, that is an epic flop.

It’s the opening minutes of the Bobcats eventual loss to the Warriors and Stephenson is trying to track Klay Thompson off a Harrison Barnes screen and in going so slaps himself in the face and falls to the ground (the contact with Barnes caused him to slap himself).

Stephenson got the call here and it was the right one — that is a moving screen by Barnes. But Born Ready exaggerated the contact to sell that. We know Stephenson isn’t afraid to flop to get the call. But this one made me laugh.

(Hat tip The Big Lead)

Why isn’t Joe Johnson a Knick? The cost of living in New York.

Chicago Bulls v Atlanta Hawks - Game Six
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Back in the summer of 2010 everyone was focused on LeBron James’ decision and Decision, but that was a deep free agent class.

The biggest contract that summer? Joe Johnson getting a staggering six-year, $123.7 million deal from the Hawks — he’s an All-Star level two-guard but that contract was too steep and the last couple years of that deal would be an anchor. The Hawks have since traded Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets.

But before the Hawks backed up the Brinks truck, Johnson was almost a Knick reunited with Mike D’Antoni. He was seriously considering it the star guard confirmed to the New York Post. Why did he stay in the ATL? Cost of living.

“Almost. Almost,” Johnson recalled of the Knicks’ contention. “The Knicks were the first team I met with….

“We all met and talked and they had a great presentation. It was impressive. You know what threw me off more than anything?” Johnson asked. “Obviously there was the money difference, but they said, ‘You needed a place in Westchester and you needed a place in the city.’ They said you would roughly spend like $5 million.

“I was like, ‘aw, no,’ as opposed to being in Atlanta where I was already established with a solid team that was getting better every year. And I didn’t have to buy nothing or make any changes, and we had the arena and the practice facility in one place. It took me roughly 20 minutes with traffic to get there. Oh no. So then I never even imagined being in New York.”

The Knicks practice facility (and that of the NHL’s Rangers) is outside the city in Tarrytown, about a 40 minute drive from Madison Square Garden (with no traffic). A lot of the players, but not all, have a home or apartment in White Plains or another city closer to the training facility and commute into the city for games.

Johnson was not down with that. Plus, how could he afford to have a shoe closet like this in NYC?

That said, once the Hawks put that max offer on the table, no way he was getting up and walking away from it.

Raptors Terrence Ross skies for one of best alley-oops this season (VIDEO)

Toronto Raptors vs Chicago Bulls
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The Toronto Raptors are off to an 8-2 start this season in part because they have athletes on the wings — DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross.

This is Ross showing off his skills making a ridiculous grab and dunk for the alley-oop in Toronto’s Saturday night win over the Jazz. What really makes this work is it is not a perfect pass from Kyle Lowry, Ross has to adjust and lean back a little to get the rock before slamming it home.

The Raptors are a fun team to watch.

Nuggets’ Gary Harris throws it down hard, his mom missed it (VIDEO)

Gary Harris
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Don’t take your eyes off Gary Harris — especially you, mom.

During the fourth quarter of a needed road win for the Nuggets, Harris got the ball out near half court, blew past his man, turned the corner and just threw it down over the late-rotating defender. It was a huge throwdown.

And apparently Harris’ mother was texting a friend or doing some people watching or something, but she wasn’t watching her son. She’s going to hear about that one.