There are so many NBA players both talking with and signing with overseas teams that we give it to you in roundup, bullet-point form. We’re bloggers, we can no more resist using bullet points than John Stewart can resist mocking Fox News.
• The first Chicago Bull is down, Rasual Butler has signed with Gran Canaria in Spain, according to our man Aggrey Sam at CSNChicago.com. Butler does have an opt-out clause to return to the NBA. Every Bulls fan that just read that shrugged with indifference. Still, for Butler, beautiful part of Spain, great people.
• Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins is in negotiations with multiple European teams. If he signs, I can guarantee you that Kings fans will do more than shrug with indifference. More like scream as if someone drove an SUV over their foot.
• Golden State’s enigmatic big man Andris Biedrins is apparently close to signing in Europe. Where depends on who you ask. As reported at CSNBayArea.com, teams in both Latvia and Turkey say he is coming. My best guess: Biedrins has figured out the secrets to human cloning.
• A personal favorite of mine to watch (especially at Summer League), Golden State’s Reggie Williams, has signed to play with Caja Laboral of Spain, Yahoo reports. He can return to the NBA with a $1 million buyout, which really means he is not coming back next season.
• One time No. 8 overall pick Joe Alexander’s has signed a one-year contract with Krasyne Kaylya Samara of the Russian League. He does not have an opt out clause.
• Spurs swingman Danny Green has signed to play in Slovenia. He does have an opt out clause.
The Lakers initially called LeBron James day-to-day with the groin injury he suffered on Christmas.
He missed more than five weeks.
Maybe he should have sat even longer.
Karen Joubert, via Complex Sports:
Maybe LeBron returned too soon. This injury allowed that, even if it put him at risk of reaggravation if not fully recovered.
Maybe LeBron just healed especially quickly. Even among world-class athletes, he is an elite athlete.
Maybe Joubert is exaggerating. People tend to do that with LeBron’s body.
There’s plenty of room for interpretation, but it sure looked like LeBron was still hobbled.
What does this mean for LeBron and the Lakers going forward?
The pessimistic spin: LeBron did lasting damage to his body by returning so soon. This (failed) attempt to get the Lakers into the playoffs this season will undermine him in the future.
The optimistic spin: LeBron has still been excellent these last few weeks. If he gets fully healthy during his longest offseason in 14 years, he should be even better next season.
Kyrie Irving spent his first six seasons with the Cavaliers. He developed into a star with them. He won a title with them, even hitting the championship-winning shot.
With Irving’s Celtics playing in Cleveland tomorrow, Irving reflected on his time there.
Jared Weiss of The Athletic:
Irving is so clearly over the Cavs.
He was probably over the Cavs even while playing for them.
The Lakers have had a rough season.
Last night went pretty well, though – especially for one fan.
The Lakers beat the Kings, and this fan swished a halfcourt shot to win $45,000.
The Lakers need more outside shooting. Maybe they could turn to some of their fans.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is undeniable.
Watch this video. He’s the only Bucks player in sight on the court. All five Cavaliers appear. Antetokounmpo dunks anyway.
He dribbles past Jordan Clarkson then through David Nwaba and Tristan Thompson. Nik Stauskas and Brandon Knight are shading close enough to narrow his potential path. None of it matters.
Antetokounmpo scores inside unlike anyone anyone we’ve ever seen.