Losing causes friction in the locker room. Nine losses is a row is almost enough friction to start a fire.
For the second time in a day some of that friction around the New York Knicks bubbled to the surface — Metta World Peace and Kenyon Martin got in a heated argument Sunday during a workout before the Knicks game, reports Ian Begley at ESPNNewYork.com.
The two veteran forwards did not come to blows, but the back and forth was described as “intense” by one source with knowledge of the dust-up.
World Peace and Martin smoothed things over prior to the Knicks’ 103-99 loss to the Pelicans on Sunday night, sources with knowledge of the situation said.
We don’t have any idea what this one was about, but two veteran players like this should be able to move on.
We already told you that Iman Shumpert vented at Carmelo Anthony after a “miscommunication” on a defensive play. While caught on camera nobody is talking about that one, but Shumpert was already on the trade block so this could well just be a step toward the door for him.
All this really shows is that things are tense in New York, which we knew. There also is no great hope in sight — they need to get J.R. Smith right and Tyson Chandler back healthy. Do that, take some pressure off Carmelo Anthony and things can start to swing the other direction.
But in the short term, coach Mike Woodson has to be concerned he doesn’t become the scapegoat to relieve the pressure.
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.
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 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:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
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.