Report: Kings try to trade for Pau Gasol, who would like to stay, re-sign in Chicago

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Reports continue to circulate that the Chicago Bulls are talking to teams about Pau Gasol. How actively depends on which report you listen to, it varies from “aggressively” to saying the Bulls want to be blown away any offer, or they hang up the phone. Gasol is 35 and will opt out this summer and become a free agent — the Bulls would be stupid not to test the market for him.

The Sacramento Kings — a team that fired their assistant coach Wednesday and are making a hard push to add talent so they can make a playoff push — are trying to barge to the front of the line, according to Chris Mannix and Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The Bulls have discussed deals with multiple NBA teams on Gasol, but one discussion lingered on Wednesday, league sources told The Vertical’s Wojnarowski and Chris Mannix: Gasol and Tony Snell to the Sacramento Kings for Kosta Koufos, Ben McLemore and a lowering of the lottery protections on the 2016 first-round pick that Sacramento owes the Bulls.

How low on those lottery protections is an interesting question, but that’s a lot for the Bulls to give up for what they get in return. The Kings are a desperate organization under owner Vivek Ranadive, who wants to end the franchise’s nine-year playoff drought, franchise stability be damned.

As for Gasol himself, he doesn’t want to leave Chicago — in fact, he hopes to re-sign their this summer, Wojnarowski says.

Six-time All-Star center Pau Gasol holds significant interest in signing a contract extension with the Chicago Bulls this summer and has strongly resisted the idea of a trade that would turn him into a two-month rental, league sources told The Vertical….

Gasol, 35, plans to decline the player option on the $7.4 million owed to him in 2016-17, but has significant interest in signing a new deal to remain with the Bulls, league sources said.

Just like the trade rumors, there are plenty of different rumors about What Gasol will do this summer.

Of course, it will come down to money this July. It’s always about the money. But there are other factors in play. Gasol wants to be in a cosmopolitan city, he wants to win, but at the end of the day money talks. That said, he paired with his brother along the front line would make for some interesting times in Memphis. I just wouldn’t expect it to happen.

D’Angelo Russell says weather played ‘major part’ in picking Warriors over Timberwolves

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D'Angelo Russell wants to play with Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns’ Timberwolves were reportedly interested in Russell last summer.

Why did Russell join the Warriors instead of Minnesota?

Russell, via Chris Hine of the Minneapolis StarTribune:

“I thought the opportunity here was amazing … ” Russell said after Warriors shootaround Friday. “It was definitely something I was considering very strongly. But then when this opportunity came, the weather is way better, so that helped me.”

“I did my first winter in New York and that was tough,” Russell said. “So to get the opportunity to go somewhere where it’s warm again, I think that played a major part in my plan.”

I don’t blame him one bit.

Russell grew up in Kentucky then finished high school in Florida. He spent his first couple NBA seasons with the Lakers.

He also played collegiately at Ohio State and a a couple years for the Nets. In other words, he spent enough time in cold-weather locations to know how miserable they can be.

This is an issue that will always hinder teams like the Timberwolves. It doesn’t mean they can’t attract free agents. It’s just a disadvantage.

There will always be players who don’t have multiple max offers. Minnesota can separate itself with money, playing time and other considerations.

But good for Russell for playing himself out of that group and earning a max contract in the Bay Area.

Kyrie Irving (shoulder) out for Nets-Pacers

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Kyrie Irving missed the Nets’ win over the Bulls on Saturday.

He’s not healthy enough to play the Pacers tonight.

Nets public relations:

Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement) is OUT.

Brooklyn (5-7) lags behinds Indiana (7-6) in the Eastern Conference’s middle morass. The Nets must try to catch up in the playoff race without their best player.

But it’s a long season. Brooklyn has plenty of time to gain ground. Spencer Dinwiddie is capable in relief, and the unselfish Nets can create ball movement while Dinwiddie rests.

I’m more concerned about next week. A segment of Brooklyn’s schedule:

  • Nov. 24 at Knicks
  • Nov. 25 at Cavaliers
  • Nov. 27 at Celtics

That’s the team Irving spurned in free agency, the team Irving requested a trade from and the team Irving just left after pledging to re-sign. Those are juicy matchups. Hopefully, Irving is healthy enough to play in all three.

Ray Allen says he would’ve returned to Celtics if they signed Kevin Durant in 2016

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Ray Allen left the Celtics on bad terms in 2012. He finished his career with the Heat in 2014.

But Allen apparently could have come back with Boston in 2016… if Kevin Durant signed there first.

Allen, via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston:

“I had a conversation with (Ainge) and I told him this was my last-ditch effort. I would’ve went back,” Allen said on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” radio show.

“This was when Kevin Durant was a free agent. He was thinking about going to Boston. And I said, ‘Hey, if you guys land Kevin, I would certainly look at lacing them back up one more time and try to make something good happen here in Boston.’ “

This is a fascinating “what if?” – for the Celtics on the court and for Allen’s legacy in Boston.

But it also probably didn’t come close to happening. Durant said his top two choices in 2016 free agency were the Warriors and Thunder. Even Allen himself said he never neared a comeback.

Still, it’s interesting – after all the animosity – Allen even spoke to Celtics president Danny Ainge about returning.

European coach berates his players: ‘You’re good guys. F— you’ (video)

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Remember Luigi Datome? He spent a couple seasons with the Pistons and Celtics.

He makes an appearance in this wild video featuring Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic (warning: profanity):

A partial transcript the best I could muster:

YOU’RE GOOD GUYS. IN YOUR EYES, YOU’RE GOOD GUYS. F— YOU, EVERYBODY! F— YOU, OK!

F— YOU, GIGI DATOME. OK? SHAME ON YOU. AND YOU…

Festivus isn’t for another month, but someone is already ready for the airing of grievances.