Jahlil Okafor vs. Karl-Anthony Towns? Lakers to face Timberwolves on Summer League’s opening day

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The NBA Draft is less than two weeks away, and just about every credible mock draft (including ours) has Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns going (in some order) to the Timberwolves and the Lakers with the top two selections.

If things go as expected, it could make for an exciting first day of Summer League action in Las Vegas.

Minnesota will face Los Angeles at 5:30 p.m. local time at the Thomas & Mack center on July 10, as part of a six-game slate on the event’s opening day.

Last summer, Andrew Wiggins faced Jabari Parker under similar circumstances. But the league didn’t anticipate the excitement that would surround the matchup, and scheduled it to take place in the much smaller Cox Pavilion, which created an incredibly fun atmosphere that had the building packed to capacity.

The full Las Vegas Summer League schedule is listed below.

NBA Summer League 2015 Game Schedule

All Times listed are PACIFIC

Friday, July 10

Cox Pavilion

3 p.m. – Milwaukee vs. New Orleans (Game 1)

5 p.m. – Atlanta vs. Denver (Game 3)
7 p.m. – D-League Select vs. Houston (Game 5)

Thomas & Mack

3:30 p.m. – Sacramento vs. Toronto (Game 2)

5:30 p.m. – Minnesota vs. L.A. Lakers (Game 4)
7:30 p.m. – Golden State vs. Cleveland (Game 6)

 

Saturday, July 11 

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – New Orleans vs. Dallas (Game 7)

3 p.m. – Washington vs. Phoenix (Game 9)

5 p.m. – Boston vs. Portland (Game 11)

7 p.m. – Brooklyn vs. Cleveland (Game 13) 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – New York vs. San Antonio (Game 8)

3:30 p.m. – Chicago vs. Minnesota (Game 10)

5:30 p.m. – L.A. Lakers vs. Philadelphia (Game 12)

7:30 p.m. – Miami vs. Utah (Game 14)

 

Sunday, July 12

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Washington vs. D-League Select (Game 15)

3 p.m. – Chicago vs. Toronto (Game 17)

5 p.m. – Sacramento vs. Denver (Game 19)

7 p.m. – Portland vs. Dallas (Game 21)

 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – Phoenix vs. Houston (Game 16)

3:30 p.m. – Milwaukee vs. San Antonio (Game 18)

5:30 p.m. – Golden State vs. Atlanta (Game 20)
7:30 p.m. – Philadelphia vs. Boston (Game 22)

 

Monday, July 13

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Cleveland vs. Milwaukee (Game 23)

3 p.m. – D-League Select vs. Atlanta (Game 25)

5 p.m. – Miami vs. Denver (Game 27)

7 p.m. – Toronto vs. Houston (Game 29)

 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – New Orleans vs. Brooklyn (Game 24)

3:30 p.m. – Golden State vs. Sacramento (Game 26)

5:30 p.m. – L.A. Lakers vs. New York (Game 28)

7:30 p.m. – Utah vs. Minnesota (Game 30)

 

Tuesday, July 14

Cox Pavilion

12 p.m. – Portland vs. San Antonio (Game 31)

2 p.m. – Brooklyn vs. Chicago (Game 33)
4 p.m. – Miami vs. Boston (Game 35)

 

Thomas & Mack

12:30 p.m. – Washington vs. Dallas (Game 32)

2:30 p.m. – New York vs. Philadelphia (Game 34)
4:30 p.m. – Phoenix vs. Utah (Game 36)

 

Wednesday, July 15

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – #24 Seed vs. #9 Seed (Game 37)

3 p.m. – #22 Seed vs. #11 Seed (Game 39)

5 p.m. – #20 Seed vs. #13 Seed (Game 41)

7 p.m. – #18 Seed vs. #15 Seed (Game 43)

 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – #23 Seed vs.  #10 Seed (Game 38)

3:30 p.m. – #21 Seed vs. #12 Seed (Game 40)

5:30 p.m. – #19 Seed vs. #14 Seed (Game 42)

7:30 p.m. – #17 Seed vs. #16 Seed (Game 44)

 

Thursday, July 16

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Winner of Game 37 vs. #8 Seed (Game 45)

3 p.m. – Winner of Game 39 vs. #6 Seed (Game 47)

5 p.m. – Winner of Game 41 vs. #4 Seed (Game 49)

7 p.m. – Winner of Game 43 vs. #2 Seed (Game 51)

 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 38 vs. #7 Seed (Game 46)

3:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 40 vs. #5 Seed (Game 48)

5:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 42 vs. #3 Seed (Game 50)

7:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 44 vs. #1 Seed (Game 52)

 

Friday, July 17

Cox Pavilion

1 p.m. – Game 37 Loser vs. Game 38 Loser (Game 53)

3 p.m. – Game 41 Loser vs. Game 42 Loser (Game 55)

5 p.m. – Game 45 Loser vs. Game 46 Loser (Game 57)

7 p.m. – Game 49 Loser vs. Game 50 Loser (Game 59)

 

Thomas & Mack

1:30 p.m. – Game 39 Loser vs. Game 40 Loser (Game 54)

3:30 p.m. – Game 43 Loser vs. Game 44 Loser (Game 56)

5:30 p.m. – Game 47 Loser vs. Game 48 Loser (Game 58)

7:30 p.m. – Game 51 Loser vs. Game 52 Loser (Game 60)

 

Saturday, July 18

Thomas & Mack

1 p.m. – Game 46 Winner vs. Game 51 Winner (Game 61)

3 p.m. – Game 47 Winner vs. Game 50 Winner (Game 62)

5 p.m. – Game 45 Winner vs. Game 52 Winner (Game 63)

7 p.m. – Game 48 Winner vs. Game 49 Winner (Game 64)

 

Sunday, July 19

Thomas & Mack

3 p.m. – Game 61 Winner vs. Game 62 Winner (Game 65)

5 p.m. – Game 63 Winner vs. Game 64 Winner (Game 66)

 

Monday, July 20

Thomas & Mack

6 p.m. – Game 65 Winner vs. Game 66 Winner (Game 67)

Frustrated Luka Doncic tears jersey (video)

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Luka Doncic has been showing his anger lately – kicking a ball into the stands and, last night, tearing his jersey entering halftime. At least that last outburst didn’t get him ejected.

Doncic got a fresh jersey for the second half and helped the Mavericks beat the Clippers, 106-98.

Three Things to Know: Grizzlies finally ready to hear Gasol, Conley trades, but is there a deal?

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Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.

1) Grizzlies finally ready to hear Marc Gasol, Mike Conley trades, but is there a deal to be had? Last July, there would have been trades to be made, but the Grizzlies wanted no part of it. Rumors circulated during the summer that the Memphis Grizzlies might finally decide it was time to move on from the “grit ’n grind” era and trade their stars, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, while their value was still fairly high. But then owner Robert Pera bought out two minority owners and with full control pushed back against a rebuild, saying he thought this team could win 50 games.

Not so much. The Grizzlies are 19-28, 14th in the West, and have gone 1-12 in their last 13. One of the fears of rebuilding was alienating the fan base of a smaller market, one that loved the grit ‘n grind era and filled the arena to see it. But the fans have already started to move on, the Grizzlies are bottom six in the league now in both attendance and percentage of the arena filled. The market already is unimpressed with the product.

Now the Grizzlies are ready to listen to trade offers for Gasol and Conley. They are ready to rebuild around the promising Jaren Jackson Jr.

However, finding an actual trade in 17 days — before the Feb. 7 deadline — is going to be very difficult. (And despite the fun you can have in the trade machine, it’s not going to be one big three-/four-team trade that moves them both, these will be separate deals.)

There is more urgency for the Grizzlies to trade Gasol, who can opt out of his $25.6 million contract for next season — but that deal also complicates trades for him. How much are teams going to give up for an expensive half-season rental who has shown declining skills this season (father time is starting to win the race, his defense has faded)?

The other challenge: What playoff team needs a center and is willing to trade to take on his $24.1 million salary this season? Not many.

Both Los Angeles teams — the Lakers and Clippers — would see an upgrade at the five with Gasol, and both are pushing to make the playoffs in the crowded West. However, both are more focused on next July and big players in free agency (or, any potential Anthony Davis trades), they can’t risk Gasol looking at the market and picking up his player option for next season, eating up their cap space and spoiling their plans.

Dallas would see Gasol as an upgrade over DeAndre Jordan if they want to make a playoff push, and Jordan is an expiring contract so both sides would not be stuck long term. But if Memphis is taking on Jordan they would want a serious sweetener — a young player or a pick — and why would Dallas give that up? To make a playoff push? With J.J. Barea out and the Mavericks four games out of the playoffs and fading, it’s hard to see a deal getting done.

After that, the options get uglier. Detroit might be willing to swap bigs and move Andre Drummond (thinking Gasol fits better with Blake Griffin), but if you’re Memphis why make that move unless you’re getting young players and picks back? And why would Detroit give those up? Miami, Washington, San Antonio, there are other teams that maybe could throw their hat in the ring, but again why would those teams give up good future assets for at best a mild upgrade now?

If Gasol opts into that $25.6 million next season — and he may — then he could be traded come the summer. At the deadline it’s harder, a deal only gets done if Memphis takes pennies on the dollar back.

Mike Conley will have a lot of interested parties, he is an All-Star level player (he’d make it in the East easy, but in the West probably falls short again), but his contract is bigger than Gasol’s. Conley makes $30.5 million this season and has $67 million the two seasons after that (the second is an early termination option, but Conley isn’t opting out of that money, so consider that $67 million fully guaranteed).

There are a number of teams that would see Conley as an upgrade and believe he is better than what they will find on the free agent market come July. One popular idea is Orlando throwing in the towel on Aaron Gordon and constructing a deal around him — Conley would be the point guard Orlando needs, but they would be going young up front with Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba and even Conley can lift those two only so far right now.

Conley would be a massive upgrade for Detroit at the point as well. Dallas could use him next to Luka Doncic. Conley would be a great fit in Milwaukee at the point (with Eric Bledsoe and maybe George Hill, plus a pick/player, coming back). Phoenix has been involved in every point guard discussion out there. Would Utah take him on and move on from Ricky Rubio? Indiana can be an interesting fit.

All of those Conley trades make more sense than the Gasol ones — and they are all the kinds of trades more likely to happen in July than against the pressure of the trade deadline.

Maybe a deal gets done. It’s more likely, however, that we get a lot of smoke before Feb. 7 but no fire until next summer.

2) Paul George, Russell Westbrook get more help than Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Thunder win. Damian Lillard was looking every bit the All-Star he will be with 34 points on 24 shots.

C.J. McCollum scored 21 of his 31 points in the third quarter and tied his career high with seven three-pointers. Jusuf Nurkic continued his hot run of play with 22 points.

But after that the Blazers got very little — no other player scored in double digits and there was just one other made three.

Oklahoma City’s stars stepped up big. Paul George had a game-high 36, and Russell Westbrook racked up another triple-double with 29 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds.

The Difference was five other Thunder players scored in double figures and the rest of the Thunder shot 7-of-13 from three. That was enough to get the Thunder a 123-114 win at home.

My favorite on the court move? Evan Turner scored over Russell Westbrook and went to the rock-the-baby taunt.

Westbrook was not impressed.

3) Gorgui Dieng and Devin Booker get ejected, try to meet in the hallway to finish “fight.” It was another NBA fight — a lot of posturing and jawing but no actual punches thrown — but it was one of the funniest of the season. Were Gorgui Dieng and Devin Booker really going to fight in the hallway?

Here are the close-ups.

There was going to be no fight, but I’ll take Dieng if there’s going to be money wagered on the outcome.

Also, Dieng had the best response to any of it.

Kenneth Faried says the Nets were not honest with him

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Kenneth Faried is no longer a member of the Brooklyn Nets. The burgeoning young squad apparently didn’t have regular playing time for Faried, and things escalated between the former Denver Nuggets forward and the front office as the season went on.

Faried is now a member of the Houston Rockets, and he has contributed some during his first game in Texas. Still, Faried harbors some ill feelings toward the Nets, and made it known where he stood in an interview with the New York Daily News.

In particular, Faried said he felt Brooklyn was dishonest.

Via NYDN:

“It’s very frustrating. A lot of, ‘We’re going to play you when injuries,’ and a lot of, ‘We’re going to play you when in this moment, that moment,’” Faried said Tuesday. “Just tell me when you’re going to play me or tell me if you don’t want to play me. Tell me if you want me here or not. Because I’m a real honest player, I’m going to give you my heart, give you my all. And I wear my emotions on sleeve. I’m not going to be happy if you keep lying to me and telling me false statements.”

Faried appears happy to be in Houston, and remarked in the NYDN story about how coach Mike D’Antoni already came out and told him what his role would be moving forward.

His advanced numbers are still similar to what you’d expect from a player in his 20s, and although he’s probably never going to be the defensive guy you need, Faried is a useful rebounder and offensive guy for the second unit.

I’m glad Faried is happier with another team.

Devin Booker tries to meet Gorgui Dieng in locker room after both get ejected (VIDEO)

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NBA players like to talk a big game about getting into fights with one another. It rarely actually happens, and when things get a little too heated sometimes we get a little extracurricular activity that helps us weave the tapestry that is the story of the NBA.

As the Minnesota Timberwolves took on the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, Gorgui Dieng and Devin Booker decided to have a little chat with one another. The two got into a jawing match after a play in the third quarter when Dieng elbowed Booker in the face.

Booker took exception to that and decided to start flapping his gums at Dieng. Both were ejected after official review, and as they exited to opposite sides of the floor, Booker appeared to make eye contact with Dieng and accept an offer to meet him in the concourse under the stands that lead to the locker rooms.

The Suns guard then had to be restrained from running at full speed to meet Dieng.

Via Twitter:

Devin Booker vs. Gorgui Dieng is the bitter rivalry you didn’t know you needed.