Kurt Helin

Josh Harris
Associated Press

Sixers deny report owner wants to sell team, buy in NFL

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Here’s what made me add a few grains of salt to the Forbes’ story that Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris was considering selling the Sixers to get in on the ground floor of an NFL team in London. Which I guess they have talked about having by 2022, but it’s taken the NFL two decades to get a team into the United States’ second largest market (Los Angeles), and they are going to London within seven years?

Still, that report gained a little traction in the media, so as you would expect the Sixers issued a denial on Thursday night before their team took on the Bulls. Here it is, via CSNPhilly.com, with additional comments from Harris.

“[The Forbes story] is inaccurate. Josh has said repeatedly that he hopes to own the Sixers for many, many years and keep it in the family for many, many years,” Preston said. “He loves owning the team and the [story] is inaccurate and not true.”

Harris said as much during his media session with the local press during training camp at Stockton University. Regarding his future ownership, Harris said: “I expect to happily be involved with the Sixers for many, many years. There are no plans to sell [the team]. Our ultimate goal has not changed and that’s to bring an NBA championship to Philly.”

If Harris or any of the NBA owners with the means wanted to jump from the NBA to the NFL (or do both, ala Paul Allen), I would get that as a business decision. The NFL is a money-printing machine and the 800-pound gorilla of professional sports in America.

But London? Come on now. There’s a better chance of the Barclays Premiere League putting a team in New York than there is America shipping out its favorite sport.

 

Report: Bucks make lightly-used big Miles Plumlee available via trade

Miles Plumlee, Marreese Speights
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With Greg Monroe and John Henson at the five, rim-running Miles Plumlee has been squeezed out of the rotation in Milwaukee. He’s only gotten in 15 games, averaging 6.3 minutes a game when he does, and when he has seen the court he hasn’t impressed.

But he could be a viable backup center in another location, so the Bucks are putting him on the market, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Plumlee is a strong rebounder, and he runs the floor hard. That’s about it. He’s limited offensively outside three feet. Advanced stats don’t love him, and the fact that the past two seasons his minutes and chances have nose-dived means it’s not just the numbers that haven’t been impressed.

However, teams looking for a backup big center — Detroit, Houston, and there are plenty of others — may see what the asking price will be. With Plumlee entering restricted free agency next summer, the market for him will be limited. But for the Bucks, even a second round pick may be worth it.

Carmelo Anthony wants Knicks to get back to playing fast

Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant
Associated Press
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The first 10 games of this season, the Knicks averaged 98.7 possessions per game, which is about the middle of the pack in the NBA this season. The last 10 games they have slowed down to 95.8  possessions per game, a bottom five pace.

Carmelo Anthony isn’t happy about it. With the Knicks having lost three in a row heading into Sacramento Thursday, ‘Melo said he wanted to pick up the pace again, as he told Ian Begley of ESPN.

After a recent home loss, Anthony told teammates that the Knicks needed to play faster in an effort to get easier baskets in transition, sources say.

“He felt like they were stuck in the half court too much,” one source said Thursday.

The last few games the Knicks have played a little faster but still lost. The bigger issue than pace has been the Knicks’ defense is giving up 7.3 points more per possession than their season average. The Knicks aren’t getting stops. They also aren’t forcing turnovers and are giving up too many offensive rebounds, things that make it hard to run.

Carmelo being frustrated is an annual part of the Knicks’ season, if anything this season it came a little later than normal. The question is what he and the Knicks will do about it other than complain.

 

 

Rumor: Clippers testing market for Jamal Crawford. Again.

Associated Press
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For the past year, Jamal Crawford‘s name has come up whenever Clippers’ trade rumors would come up, mostly because he was the only viable trade option they had. But no deal ever tempted Doc Rivers enough to pull the trigger.

Now with the Clippers at 13-9 and there being questions about their ability to challenge Golden State or San Antonio with the roster the way it is, the Clippers are looking at their options. And according to Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops and the AP, that means Crawford is back on the market.

This follows the news that Doc Rivers also called around about the value of Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson.

Testing the market is what all GMs are doing right now, especially heading up to Dec. 15 when the trading season really opens because guys signed this summer can be moved. The problem with getting value for Crawford is that he is struggling — he is shooting 39 percent overall and 33 percent from three this season. He’s looked more like a volume shooter than and efficient scorer off the bench (which isn’t new, just exaggerated this year).

The question is, can they get a small forward they can plug-and-play? That’s the most glaring need, they are currently starting Luc Mbah a Moute, finding Stephenson works better with the second unit (and with the ball in his hands). How much they can get for the guys they are offering remains to be seen.

PBT Podcast: Talking Pacers with Candace Buckner

Taj Gibson, George Hill, Paul George, Solomon Hill
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There are few better stories in the NBA this young season than Paul George and the Indiana Pacers.

And there is nobody better to discuss them with than Candace Buckner of the Indy Star, so that’s exactly what we did for this latest PBT Podcast.

Nobody was sure how good George would be — he made a comeback last year and had to be carried off the court again. The Pacers were switching more to small ball and George wasn’t happy about being a four. There were a lot of questions. But the Pacers are 12-8, solidly in the playoff mix, and the answers so far have been more positive than negative.

In this Podcast Candace and I talk about what happened against the Warriors, the Pacers’ defensive issues of late, George’s comeback, Myles Turner, and what the Pacers may be looking for in a trade.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.