Ridiculous rumors: No, Kyrie’s not going to New York in two years; Kevin Martin not mad at OKC

25 Comments

One of the first words of advice I got from a boss when we started ProBasketballTalk was to write about what people are talking about. Even if they are talking about something stupid.

Which brings us to two stories working their way around the Web Monday: The idea that Kyrie Irving could bolt for New York in a couple years, and that Kevin Martin took a shot at Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Both are just steaming piles of uncastrated male cow manure.

Let’s start with Irving, because that is the worse of the two. The Cavaliers are off to a 2-2 start, now this shows up from Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News (via Eye On Basketball):

Is Cleveland, which is building around Irving with a young team and perhaps Andrew Bynum — if his knees manage to hold up — headed for another round of heartbreak? There’s long been talk that Irving, a West Orange, N.J., product, wants to come home and play for the Knicks.

The earliest he can leave Cleveland is July 2016, after playing this season and the next two seasons for the Cavs. It’s down the road, but it’s not very difficult to imagine a scenario with Irving ending up in the Garden.

No. Not going to happen. Not in 2016 anyway. That’s not a pipe dream, that’s a Twin Peaks run-it-in-reverse dream.

Kyrie Irving is on his rookie deal and next summer he will get a max contract extension offer from the Cavaliers — and he will sign it. If you’ve followed the NBA over the years you know that the first chance a rookie gets at a max contract extension he takes it because that is “set your family up for generations” money and you don’t risk walking away from that. Before you compare Irving to LeBron James remember LeBron signed an extension after his rookie deal (with an out after three years, which he used).

But let’s play the game of New York exceptionalism and say Irving does care about being a Knick. Well, he would have to play the next two seasons at his rookie salary rate — leaving a lot of money on the table — to get out. That would be two seasons of potential injury (and he has some history there) without the guarantee of a huge payday at the end of it. If it sounds rare, it’s more than that — no elite NBA guy on a rookie deal has ever done it. None. Zero.

Not going to happen.

Now lets move on to Kevin Martin, who made an innocuous comment.

Some have construed that as some kind of shot at Oklahoma City.

No. First off Martin plays with the guy leading the NBA in scoring (at least going into Monday night) in Kevin Love. Second, ever since he left OKC he has nothing but positive things to say about the team and experience. He’s been the model of the diplomatic former teammate.

Martin played on other teams as well; he knows what it’s like to be on a team that’s not fun, now he’s having fun. That’s it. No dig at Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook (the latter being the guy that holds the ball).

Nothing to see here, just move along.

Dwyane Wade sinks halfcourt buzzer-beater (video)

Leave a comment

Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)

So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.

Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.

Jonas Valanciunas hits game-winning free throw, spoils James Harden’s 57-point night (video)

Leave a comment

The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.

But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.

Report: Suns exploring signing Jimmer Fredette

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
2 Comments

Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.

He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.

John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:

Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.

Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.

But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.

The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.

It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.

Marcus Smart shoves down Joel Embiid from behind, gets ejected (video)

7 Comments

Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.

After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.

Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.

Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.