Deron Williams signs with new agent, Jeff Schwartz

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It’s been a year of changes for Deron Williams. He had a baby girl, he got traded from the Jazz to the Nets, he had wrist surgery; it was a whirlwind year. And now another change has come. Williams has signed with a new agent, Jeff Schwartz. It’s almost as big of a deal for who he didn’t sign with as who he did.

Williams was rumored to be leaning towards Leon Rose. You know, that Leon Rose, part architect of The Decision, CAA representative, member of that shadowy collective that everyone hates that includes the Miami Big 3. Williams being under CAA threatened to resurrect nightmares of the 2010 free agency period with both Williams and Chris Paul under their belt.

Instead, Williams has chosen Schwartz, who already has a diverse and intriguing collection of clients, including Blake Griffin, Paul Pierce, Tyson Chandler, Lamar Odom, Kevin Love, Kemba Walker, and of course, Ricky Davis. But there’s one other star that raises an eyebrow in the selection of Schwartz: Jason Kidd. Kidd and Williams have grown tight through USA Basketball, where Kidd mentored Williams in tricks to become a veteran point guard. It’s also the third current or former Maverick in Schwartz’ stable.

After Game 4 of the Finals, a baseball-hat clad Deron Williams quietly slipped into the locker room while most of the media was preoccupied with the press conference room, and hugged and shook hands with various members of the Mavericks, spending the most time with Jason Kidd.

Now, before you go bonkers on how massively incomplete and rumor-monger-esque this seems, throttle down a bit. Williams is from Dallas, he lives in Dallas. Popping into a locker room to see an old friend during his Finals run is nothing of note. Not like he was hanging out with Cuban getting liquored up in advance of the 2012 free agency period a year away. Additionally, Schwartz also represents three current or former Timberwolves (Love, Al Jefferson, and Mike Beasley) and two Pistons (Chris Wilcox and Charlie Villanueva). And Williams sure isn’t winding up either one of those places. It’s just anecdotal information.

However, it is a coup for Schwartz, who will get the fun of soliciting offers in 2012 (presuming Williams opts out), with a great number of teams clearing space to make a run for him, including the team looking to sign him to an extension to avoid looking like complete idiots, the Nets.

Kings troll Stephen Curry with moon landing video during player introductions

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Well played Sacramento.

Golden State came to town Friday night and during player introductions the Kings ran a video on their jumbotron of the moon landing to troll Stephen Curry.

Curry this past week said on a podcast that he didn’t think we landed on the moon, later saying it was obviously a joke but he would take NASA up on their offer of a tour of their lunar labs.

Curry can laugh at himself and gave the Kings and “A for effort” with the video.

Reports: New deal, Suns trade Trevor Ariza to Wizards for Austin Rivers, Kelly Oubre (no third team)

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Brooks who? Turns out Phoenix and Washington didn’t need a third team involved to get a trade done.

Phoenix gets a point guard, and the Wizards get a veteran presence in a trade that is straight up between the two: Trevor Ariza heads to Washington while Austin Rivers, Kelly Oubre are going to Phoenix, a story broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The struggling Wizards get a veteran presence in their locker room — something the team where players don’t like each other and it shows on the court could use. Plus, Ariza brings a solid wing defensive and three-point shooting presence to the team (although he has struggled this season).

Phoenix has desperately needed a point guard and now they got a rotation level one in Rivers, plus the young Kelly Oubre fits better on the Suns’ timeline — with Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and the rest — than the veteran Ariza.

Giannis Antetokounmpo matches career high with 44 against Cavaliers (VIDEO)

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo played as if he had a point to prove.

The Milwaukee star rebounded from his worst game of the season to match his career high with 44 points and the Bucks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-102 on Friday night despite missing two starters.

Two nights after being held to a season-low 12 points in a loss to Indiana, he was 14 of 19 from the field, made 16 of 21 foul shots, and had 14 rebounds and eight assists.

“You’ve got to put that game in the past,” Antetokounmpo said. “You put it in the past and move forward.”

Khris Middleton, the Bucks’ second leading scorer, was out with a sprained right finger. Malcolm Brogdon, fourth on the team in scoring, didn’t play because of a sore left hamstring.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer wasn’t surprised Antetokounmpo took over with his team short-handed.

“Obviously, a monster game for Giannis,” he said. “We kind of rode him pretty hard tonight. He was ultra-aggressive. He’s a competitor. He wants to be great.”

Asked what a team can do to slow down Antetokounmpo, Cavaliers coach Larry Drew said, “There’s not an answer to that. He’s a terrific player. He’s elevated his game over the years. He can hurt you in so many different ways.”

Not only was Antetokounmpo coming off a subpar game, Wednesday’s 113-97 loss was Milwaukee’s largest margin of the season.

Antetokounmpo made an instant impression after Milwaukee won the opening tip when he dunked on Osman on a set play in the halfcourt offense. He ended the half by finding Pat Connaughton for a 3-pointer.

Antetokounmpo, who had his 20th double-double of the season, admitted he was aware of his numbers.

“At some point in the game, you realize you’re scored a lot, so you look up at the scoreboard, but usually I don’t even look at it,” he said.

The Bucks never trailed and held off a late Cleveland spurt. The Cavaliers cut the lead to five midway through the fourth quarter on Cedi Osman‘s 3-pointer, but Antetokounmpo had a three-point play and an assist on Brook Lopez‘s basket that beat the shot clock, pushing the lead to 111-99.

Lopez scored 19 points and Eric Bledsoe had 16 for the Bucks, who have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points, and Larry Nance Jr. had 14 for Cleveland. Rookie point guard Collin Sexton had five points after scoring in double figures in 18 straight games.

Cleveland played its second game without Tristan Thompson, who could be out for a month with a sprained left foot.

Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union aiding student seeking reinstatement to school

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PLANTATION, Fla. (AP) — Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are backing attorney Benjamin Crump in an effort to help an expelled student and family friend get back into high school.

Wade and Union released a statement Thursday supporting senior Cyrus Nance, who was a basketball player in his first year at American Heritage High until he was expelled last month after a verbal altercation with a coach of another team at the school.

Crump says “every fact in this case points to discrimination.” Nance would like to return to school.

Zaire Wade, the oldest son of the longtime Miami Heat star, also plays at the school. Nance is friends with Zaire Wade and the Wade family.

Crump says the school has refused to release Nance’s transcript until his mother signs a non-disclosure agreement and pays a fee. Wade and Union say they will stand by Nance until he and his mother “get the transparent due process” that they seek.

School officials, citing privacy concerns, did not directly respond to the allegations.