Derrick Williams for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute trade agreed to in principle

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We have told you before that Minnesota was shopping around Derrick Williams, looking for a team that wanted to take a chance on his potential and was willing to give up a steadier veteran in return.

Hello Sacramento Kings.

The Timberwolves and Kings have agreed in principle to  a trade that would send Williams to Sacramento in exchange for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, according to multiple reports. This story was reported Marc Stein of ESPN. Those two can be traded for each other straight up, although it is possible other players or picks could end up part of the final package.

The only thing holding this up is Mbah a Moute passing a physical (he has knee issues), reports Marc Spears at Yahoo.

This trade has some logic for both sides, and not just reuniting UCLA teammates Kevin Love and Mbah a Moute.

Minnesota is in a win now mode and while statistically they have a Top 10 defense it has shown cracks in the past week. Mbah a Moute is still a strong man-on-man defender, someone the Timberwolves could lean on to get stops with the second unit and in specific matchups when they need him. He’s not going to bring much offense (although he seems to be back to his career averages after a rough last season). Mbah a Moute would have a much more defined role in Minnesota, which likely benefits him.

Williams, the former No. 2 pick, is an athletic tweener that put up decent numbers last season when Kevin Love was out (7.5 points and 8.1 rebounds a game), but now Love is back and there is no real fit for him. Williams is not a defender, doesn’t create good shots for himself and is not an efficient scorer in the Minnesota offense. With the Kings he could get a real chance, what he does with that remains to be seen.

Anthony Davis challenging Michael Jordan as best opening-game player on record

AP Photo/Michael Wyke
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Anthony Davis called himself the NBA’s best player.

He sure backed it up last night.

Davis posted a 32-16-8-3-3 to lead the Pelicans to a 19-point win over the Rockets, considered by many to be the NBA’s second-best team. The performance immediately vaults Davis to the forefront of any MVP discussions.

But for him, it was just par for the course. Davis has repeatedly dazzled in season openers. When 18-6-2-3 qualifies as the dud, you know Davis is doing something right.

Davis’ box scores in New Orleans’ first game each season:

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That makes Davis’ average season-opener game score 24.1, one of the best ever. Only Michael Jordan has a higher mark on record (since 1983, as far back as Basketball-Reference records go; minimum: three games).

Here are the leaders:

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Obviously, Davis cares more about how he finishes than starts. The Pelicans have made the playoffs only twice with him, getting swept in the first round in 2015 and falling in the second round last season.

But it should be clear by now: Davis comes to play as soon as the season tips.

PBT Extra: Boston can be team to dethrone Golden State Warriors

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I’ve heard it from friends. I’ve seen it on NBA Twitter. I’ve debated it with sports talk radio hosts.

“This NBA season is already decided, nobody has a chance against the Warriors.”

Not true.

Boston has a shot, as I get into in this PBT Extra.

Absolutely the Warriors are the odds-on favorites to win it all, if healthy they should three-peat. They were my pick. But I believe Boston has a legitimate shot to dethrone the Warriors — they have the wing athletes, the switchability on defense, the scoring, the versatility. A Boston/Golden State Finals is going six or seven games… if we get there. It’s just day two of a long season.

But I believe in Boston.

 

Boban Marjanovic dunks so hard (with his feet touching floor!), rim must be checked for levelness (video)

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The Nuggets had no answer for Boban Marjanovic.

Neither did L.A.’s rims.

The 7-foot-3, 290-pound Clippers center scored 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting with eight rebounds in 18 minutes. The Clippers outscored Denver by seven with Marjanovic on the floor, but got outscored by 16 otherwise in a 107-98 loss last night.

Marjanovic just doesn’t have the stamina to play huge minutes, though he caught an extra breather when officials stopped the game to check the levelness of a rim Marjanovic dunked on – with his feet still on the ground. Incredible!