Report: Nets talking three-way trade with Hornets and Thunder

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The Nets are reportedly in accelerated discussions with teams while trying to deal Brook Lopez, the center that has struggled with injuries in recent seasons, and has spent plenty of this one in new head coach Lionel Hollins’ dog house.

Lopez has talent (at least on the offensive end of the floor), but also has a price tag of more than $16 million in the form of a player option for next season. As such, a team needs to be a little bit desperate in order to consider dealing for his services — and the latest report says talks are ongoing involving one team which definitely qualifies.

From Chris Broussard of ESPN.com:

The Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder are involved in discussions about a three-way trade that would send Brooklyn playground legend Lance Stephenson to his hometown team, according to league sources.

Stephenson, who has been a poor fit since signing in Charlotte this past summer, would join the Nets, while Brooklyn center Brook Lopez would be moved to Oklahoma City. Charlotte would receive Jarrett Jack from Brooklyn and Jeremy Lamb from Oklahoma City, sources said.

Other pieces might be included to make the deal work financially.

After a slow start to the season thanks to injuries to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, OKC is currently on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs are concerned. While the injuries are more than a legitimate reason for that, the team hasn’t yet begun to come together now that its two stars are back, and has already made one risky deal by taking a chance on the much-maligned Dion Waiters, acquiring him from Cleveland in a three-team deal that also involved the New York Knicks.

This incarnation also involves Lance Stephenson going to Brooklyn, and Charlotte receiving spare parts.

The trade deadline is still a month away, so there isn’t any rush. But if Brooklyn continues to push, something should get done sooner rather than later — especially if a team like the Thunder feels as though it must make a strong move simply to have even the slightest chance at making the postseason.

There’s a mural in L.A. of Alex Caruso dunking over Harden, Leonard, Doncic

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It’s hard to overstate how popular Alex Caruso is in Los Angeles. Seriously. This isn’t just cult status popular, when he enters the game off the bench Staples Center explodes in cheers like LeBron James just fed Anthony Davis for an alley-oop.

Now Caruso has his own mural in Los Angeles.

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This is legit, it’s on the side of SportieLA, a clothing/apparel store on Melrose Ave. in the trendy heart of Los Angeles. Artist Gustavo Zermeño Jr. has done murals in the past for LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and other Los Angeles sports icons such as Vin Scully.

This one plays off a huge Caruso dunk from earlier this month when Dallas’ Maxi Kleber was the victim.

It’s good to be Alex Caruso in Los Angeles right now.

Kawhi Leonard just destroyed Boston’s Daniel Theis on dunk

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Daniel Theis‘ play as a rim protector is one of the reasons Boston has a top-10 defense this season. He has anchored the Celtics’ defense in the paint.

Kawhi Leonard is a two-time Finals MVP, and if he wants to go to the rim nobody is stopping him. Theis found out the hard way.

After the game, Leonard was asked about the dunk and he responded in about the most Kawhi way possible.

This was the first game Leonard and Paul George played together and they combined for 42 points, and they both made key play down the stretch of a 107-104 overtime win.

It took Luka Doncic 25 minutes to put together 35-point triple-double (VIDEO)

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DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 33 of his 35 points in the first half and had yet another triple-double to help the Dallas Mavericks rout the short-handed Golden State Warriors 142-94 on Wednesday night.

Doncic fell a point short of matching Dirk Nowitzki’s team record set Nov. 3, 2009, against Utah. In just 17 minutes, Doncic was 10 for 11 from the floor, making 6 of 7 3-pointers, and hit 7 of 8 free throws.

The second-year star from Slovenia had 22 points, five assists and five rebounds in the first quarter alone. He played only 25 minutes total, but still managed 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Doncic was coming off a 40-point triple-double Monday night against San Antonio, and has an NBA-best seven triple-doubles in 14 games this season.

The Mavericks never trailed and tied a franchise record with 22 3-pointers while sending Golden State to its worst loss since a 1973 playoff game.

The Warriors, who ended a seven-game losing streak by beating Memphis on Tuesday night, are an NBA-worst 3-13. Their five-year run of at the top of the NBA has collapsed under a weight of injuries, with Draymond Green out Wednesday because of right heel soreness.

With Green out, Golden State dressed only eight players, none of whom suited up for the team last season when it made the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive year.

Eric Paschall led the Warriors with 22 points.

Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 for Dallas. Kristaps Porzingis had 14 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth-straight double-double.

 

Bulls’ Otto Porter Jr out 2 weeks with bone bruise in foot

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls say forward Otto Porter Jr. has a bone bruise in his left foot and will be reassessed in two weeks.

The Bulls say a second MRI on Tuesday revealed the bruise, something “not apparent” on the first MRI.

“He had a second scan, and something showed up that didn’t show up on the first scan,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen told NBC Sports Chicago. “That’s tough, tough for him, feel bad for him. But we’ll treat him and move on.”

Chandler Hutchison had been filling in Porter’s spot in the rotation, but he is out indefinitely now with sore shins.

Porter, averaging 11.2 points in nine games, has been sidelined since he sprained his left foot at Atlanta on Nov. 6.

The Bulls were 4-10 with three straight losses heading into Wednesday’s game against Detroit.