Knicks ready to celebrate 50 wins

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The Knicks are 46-26, and though a 4-6 finish to the season probably wouldn’t please them, they’re acting like it would be come with some positives. Ian Begley of ESPN:

On the white board in a back corner of the Knicks’ locker room, “50” was written in blue marker, big enough for everyone to see.

Under the number was the word “goal” — written in big blue letters.

Rasheed Wallace wanted his teammates to know it after the win.

So he sent the message by writing it on the white board during the Knicks’ win over the Celtics game.

“We came in here and that was up there,” Steve Novak said. “Once we were in the huddle and broke (Wallace) kind of stopped everybody and said, ‘Hey, the 50’s up there’ and he explained it. He’s right.”

This is a big deal for the Knicks franchise, which hasn’t won 50 games in 13 years. Since the Knicks went 50-32 in 1999-2000, 24 different teams have won 50 games.

But I don’t get why this such a big deal for the Knicks players. Of the 15 players on their roster, 12 have played for a 50-game winner before. Only rookies Chris Copeland and Pablo Prigioni and second-year pro Iman Shumpert haven’t.

I’m sure the Knicks view 50 wins as one goal of many, but this just stinks of a team celebrating because it knows it’s not capable earning bigger victories down the road.

PBT Extra: One last mock draft of NBA lottery

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DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).

After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.

Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.

Report: Dewayne Dedmon opts in for $6.3 million with Hawks

AP Photo/Todd Kirkland
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The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.

And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.

He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.

Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.

If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.

Nick Young says ‘everybody needs to do cocaine,’ later insists he was joking

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
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Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.

Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.

Young, via TMZ:

“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”

Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:

Chill. You know I was just joking

A post shared by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on

Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.

Report: 76ers trade No. 39 pick to Lakers

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.

Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.

So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.

Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.