Thursday And-1 links: Heat arena as homeless shelter?

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Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT).

Some politicians want to force Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena to house the homeless on non-game nights (that was part of the public financing plan). Feels like an election year, doesn’t it? And no, I’m not making an Eddy Curry joke here, that’s too easy.

Just as a note, Miami has gone 8-1 without Dwyane Wade. They expect to get him back Friday against the Knicks.

LeBron James is offering advice and trying to help out the Cavaliers rookies.

Dirk Nowitzki’s future is not in color commentating. But it is funny.

Dwight Howard is still using the Carmelo Anthony/LeBron James free agency playbook — when asked in any city if you would play there, say you certainly would consider it. Even Boston.

The Magic did not offer a contract extension to Ryan Anderson, who will be a restricted free agent next summer. Smart move. Yes, he’s playing at an All-Star level this season, but do you need a stretch four if you can’t keep Dwight Howard?

In this condensed season, home court advantage matters more than normal.

As they should have, the Bobcats picked up the fourth year option on Gerald Henderson. He’s having the best year of his career by far.

Also from the “as they should have” category, the Knicks picked up the option on Toney Douglas.

GM Darryl Morey talks about the Rockets future and more in a pretty frank Q&A.

Cleveland’s Omri Casspi had to get six stiches on his chin after taking an elbow in Cleveland’s win over New York Wednesday.

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis explains whey they fired Flip Saunders. Like the rest of us, he wasn’t seeing any progress.

Andray Blatche talks about his feelings of Saunders being fired. No, he doesn’t say it is his fault.

Unlikely, crazy playoff possibility — the Lakers or Clippers win the Pacific Division but do not have one of the best eight records in the West, then the division winner goes in as the four seed and the eight seed is out.

The Sixers’ Lavoy Allen (who played in town at Temple) talks with CSNPhilly.com.

The Kings Marcus Thornton is out for a couple weeks due to a hematoma (which is sort of a really bad bruise). That means more Jimmer Time in Sacramento, he gets the start for now.

The Lakers have sent Derrick Caracter to the D-League as he tries to return from injury.

Rumor: Patrick Beverley may meet with five teams before Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers want to bring Patrick Beverley back next season, his spark was at the heart of why this team made the playoffs and impressed with their potential.

First, however, the Clippers are going big game hunting for the likes of Kawhi Leonard and/or Kevin Durant (even with the Achilles injury). Beverley isn’t just going to sit around and wait for them, reports longtime NBA reporter Sean Deveney Tweeted.

The Bulls need a point guard and Beverley — a Chicago native — has said he is interested.

The Lakers also are reportedly big game hunting, but Beverley is the kind of guard they could use around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Phoenix and other teams have been mentioned.

Beverley is going to have options, but he loved his time with the Clippers last season, and that means something.

Pelicans reportedly pick up option year on coach Alvin Gentry

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David Griffin, the guy with the hammer in New Orleans, likes Alvin Gentry. They have a relationship that goes back to Phoenix, where Gentry was the coach and Griffin was in the front office (and was eventually GM).

Gentry also has a style of play — he wants to run and be up-tempo. That should fit very well with soon-to-be No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise the Griffin and the Pelicans want to keep Gentry around, as reported by Malika Andrews of ESPN.

This is another smart, stabilizing move by Griffin. The Pelicans want to build an athletic, fast-paced team and Gentry is the right coach for that style.  Maybe it doesn’t pan out, maybe the Pelicans ultimately need to go another direction with their coach, but right now this seems a good fit.

Report: Utah “frontrunner” to land Mike Conley Jr. if Memphis trades him this week

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Utah feels like it is close — a 50-win team two seasons in a row, an elite defense, an All-NBA center in Rudy Gobert and an elite shot creator in Donovan Michell. They look at the West next season, with a depleted Warriors team, and see an opening.

Yet when Utah fell to Houston 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs this year, it was reminded of what is keeping the team from being truly elite, and another shot creator and shooter is at the top of that list.

Enter Mike Conley Jr. He averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists per game last season, shot 36.4 percent from three, and plays strong defense. Conley would be an upgrade over Ricky Rubio at the spot.

The almost All-Star point guard out of Memphis is available via trade. He’s the kind of veteran floor general, shooter, and shot creator Utah could use. The Jazz and Grizzlies talked but couldn’t come to an agreement at the trade deadline, but the sides are talking again and conversations are “intensifying” in the run-up to the NBA Draft Thursday, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Grizzlies are intensifying talks to potentially move franchise cornerstone Mike Conley Jr., league sources told The Athletic. Memphis has been in conversations with the Jazz and Utah is a frontrunner to acquire Conley should the Grizzlies trade the point guard during draft week, league sources said.

What would be in a trade package? Certainly the No. 23 pick in this draft, plus some young players the Grizzlies like (maybe Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neal, and even someone like Jae Crowder. Reports say Derick Favors is not part of the discussion.

While anything can happen the week of the draft — and things change quickly — don’t be surprised if some version of this trade gets done.

Kawhi Leonard wins day with last laugh — his viral laugh — at end of speech

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Kawhi Leonard just won again.

He won his second NBA title leading the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first crown. He earned his second Finals MVP in the process.

Then on Monday he had the last laugh and won the Raptors’ championship parade in Toronto by ending his speech with his laugh, the same one that went viral at the start of the season.

Of course, what Leonard will do on July 1 was a cloud hanging over the parade, Leonard is a free agent this summer. Kyle Lowry at one point started a “five more years” chant during the parade, which is the maximum number of years Toronto can re-sign Leonard for.

Leonard, exactly as we all should have expected, dodged the question, while praising his time in Toronto.

Unfortunately, this was a parade marred by more serious concerns.