Thursday And-1 links: List of deals that have become official

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Here is our regular 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) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like they love going to Vegas for Summer League…

• Since the calendar flipped from Tuesday to Wednesday, a lot of the NBA deals that had been agreed to during the signing moratorium have become official with ink put to paper. We’ve been keeping tabs on them at PBT (as did Hoopshype), so here is a list of what we know so far (this list is likely missing a couple deals):

• Chris Paul signed with the Clippers for five-years, $107 million (he has a player option after four years).

• The Clippers also completed this three-team trade: Milwaukee signs then trades J.J. Redick to the Clippers; the Bucks get two second round picks (one from the Suns, one from the Clippers); then the Clippers trade Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Phoenix for Jared Dudley.

• The Clippers also signed Darren Collison to back up CP3 and re-signed Matt Barnes and Ryan Hollins.

• The Miami Heat re-signed Chris Andersen.

• The Pacers re-signed forward David West and signed backup point CJ Watson.

• Detroit signed free agent forward Josh Smith.

• San Antonio re-signed Manu Ginobili.

• In a three-team trade, Golden State acquired Andre Iguodala from Denver and Kevin Murphy from Utah; the Jazz got Brandon Rush,  Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and what they really wanted two first-round picks (2014 and 2017).

• Dallas signed Wayne Ellington and Israeli guard Gal Mekel.

• The Bulls signed Mike Dunleavy.

• Brooklyn re-signed Andray Blatche.

• Chicago re-signed Nazr Mohammed.

• The Washington Wizards signed draft picks Glen Rice Jr. and Otto Porter, plus inked deals with Eric Maynor, Martell Webster and Eric Maynor.

• The trade became official that sends Andrea Bargnani to New York for Quentin Richardson, Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and three second round picks.

• This three team Tyreke Evans trade went official: New Orleans sent  Terrel Harris and Robin Lopez to Portland, plus they sent Greivis Vasquez to Sacramento, for the draft rights to just drafted center Jeff Withey (Portland) and Evans (Sacramento).

• The Lakers re-signed Robert Sacre.

• The Knicks re-signed J.R. Smith and guard Pablo Prigioni.

• New Orleans (I’m partial to ‘Cans over Pellies if we are going to play with the new nickname) signed center Greg Stiemsma and re-signed  Al-Farouq Aminu.

•  The Trail Blazers inked Dorell Wright and just drafted Allen Crabbe.

• The Charlotte Bobcats signed free agent forward Al Jefferson. They also inked just signed draft pick Cody Zeller.

——

In some other news not with its own post on PBT:

• Nerlens Noel is going to wear No. 5 in Philly. Why? That’s how many teams passed over him in the draft.

• If you are wondering why the Noel trade is not official, Jrue Holiday (going to New Orleans) is on his honeymoon so he has not taken the team physical to make the trade official. We can cut him some slack on that one.

• In case you missed it, Ice Cube went on stage the night of Dwight Howard’s announcement and summed up the feelings of most Lakers fans pretty succinctly.

They are pretty pumped about Andre Iguodala in Golden State.

• Ty Lawson says the Nuggets are not going to take a step back next season.

• Tyreke Evans is good with being the sixth man in New Orleans.

• Former NBA player Duane Washington was sentenced to 60 days on a hit-and-run charge.

Larry Brown warns Sixers fans this rebuild is going to take a little time.

• Al Jefferson is excited about being in Charlotte, and not just because of the big paychecks.

• When the 1970 expansion draft came, the Cavaliers scouted it with NBA trading cards.

Golden State picked up the 2014-15 contract option for coach Mark Jackson.

• The NBA’s international outreach program Basketball without Borders this year will host camps for youth in Portugal, Argentina and South Africa, it was announced today by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

Kevin Durant keeps building up superstar accolades with second All-Star MVP

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CHARLOTTE – When Kevin Durant won All-Star MVP in 2012, he was asked whether he considered himself a star, a label he had resisted.

“I wouldn’t say that just yet,” Durant said. “Hopefully. Hopefully soon I can say that.”

The notion was silly then. Durant had already made two All-NBA first teams and finished second for MVP.

But that All-Star MVP started to change how Durant presented himself. He made another All-NBA first team, again finished second for MVP and led the Thunder to the NBA Finals that season.

“In 2012, I started to feel like I started to hit that elite level,” Durant said. “All that stuff in one year was pretty exciting to me.”

The hits have kept rolling since.

Durant has added an MVP, two titles and two Finals MVPs. Tonight, he claimed another All-Star MVP. The Warriors star scored 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting to lead LeBron James‘ team to a 178-164 win.

“I just keep trying to rack them up, I guess,” Durant said.

That’s seven years between his All-Star MVPs. Few players sustain that elite level – starring among stars – so long. Only LeBron James (12 years), Michael Jordan (10 years), Kobe Bryant (nine years), Oscar Robertson (eight years) have gone so long between their first and last All-Star MVPs.

Durant, 30, appears to have plenty left in the tank.

Of course, the impending question: Where? Durant can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and this weekend included plenty of speculation.

Tonight’s game gave Knicks fans reason to fanaticize. New York’s presumed targets with its double-max cap space, Durant and Kyrie Irving showed strong chemistry. Half Durant’s baskets were assisted by Irving, who sent five of his six assists to Durant (the other an alley-oop to former teammate LeBron).

Asked which of his All-Star teammates he best meshed with, Durant refused to name one.

“You don’t really have to do too much when you’re playing with so many great players,” Durant said. “You can do what you’re just best at.”

Team LeBron starts playing defense first, comes from 20 down to win All-Star Game

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Midway through the third quarter of Saturday’s All-Star Game, Team LeBron started to care.

Down 20 at one point early in the third, Team LeBron came out of a mid-quarter timeout with a different energy. The “bench” guys on the court started defending with the kind of relative intensity usually reserved for the final minutes of this exhibition (when it’s close), the players on the bench were standing and cheering like it was a playoff game, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal started knocking down everything, and the game just shifted. It culminated when Damian Lillard tied the game up with a 35-foot three.

Team LeBron kept up the momentum, owned the fourth as Durant went 3-of-3 from beyond the arc in the quarter, and Team LeBron got the win 178-164.

“It was our second unit that came in — Dame, Klay, Brad Beal, LaMarcus, Ben Simmons, KAT,” LeBron said after the game about what turned the momentum. “They came in and just changed the whole complexion of the game. We got stops, and, obviously, Dame and Klay caught fire from beyond the arc, and that allowed us to get back in the game.”

Durant was named MVP, a clear choice with his second-half play in particular.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 38 points and 11 rebounds, while Paul George showed anyone that hasn’t seen him this season how well he’s playing — MVP conversation level — on his way to 20.

This All-Star Game opened with the level of defensive intensity we have come to expect in All-Star Games. Which is to say none.

Well, except when Stephen Curry was guarding Klay Thompson.

The one guy who was intense from the start was Antetokounmpo, who scored the first six points for Team Giannis. He didn’t slow down on his way to 20 first-half points, plus he had one of the game’s great highlights on a bounce pass alley-oop from Curry.

Antetokounmpo wasn’t the only Buck hot to start, Khris Middleton entered the game midway through the first quarter and drained three shots from beyond the arc in a row. In the first nine minutes of the game, the Bucks were beating Team LeBron 28-27.

The favorite crowd moment of the first half was when future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki walked on the court and splashed a couple of threes.

Dwyane Wade was the other Commissioner addition to the game, which means for one last time we got Wade throwing the alley-oop to LeBron.

Curry struggled late, going 3-of-11 in the fourth, but he still got to rub it in Thompson’s face a little.

“It was good to see Steph knock that shot down over Klay, because Klay is always talking trash to him,” Durant said after the game.

Team Giannis was in control most of the first half and was up 13 (95-82) at the half, not that 13 points is much of a deficit in the All-Star Game. Not when one team started to care.

Stephen Curry gets four-point play after Klay Thompson foul, Curry does some taunting

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stephen Curry is enjoying going against Klay Thompson. Maybe a little too much.

In the first half, Curry was matched up on his Warriors’ backcourt mate and enjoyed that Thompson missed the shot.

Then in the fourth quarter, with the game tight, Curry drained the contested three and drew the and-1 on Thompson — and did a little taunting.

That’s some All-Star fun.

Stephen Curry bounces alley-oop way above rim, Giannis Antetokounmpo slams it down (video)

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CHARLOTTE – Stephen Curry bounced this so high!

I suppose it helps that Giannis Antetokounmpo has such ridiculous reach.