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Follow Live: Latest NBA trades, rumors all in one place as deadline nears

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The NBA’s trade deadline is at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday (Feb. 18), and that means a tsunami of rumors will wash over twitter. And in that maybe a few trades will happen (maybe more than a few trades, who knows?). We understand you’re a busy person with a life and a job/school to tend to and don’t have time just to sit around and follow trade rumors all day (well, unless you go to Arizona State). So we’ve compiled them all in one place, which will be updated as news breaks, and we will link to PBT’s longer stories on some of this news.

• 3:21 PM ET: There was a good one that just beat the trade deadline: The Clippers have traded Lance Stephenson to the Memphis Grizzlies for Jeff Green, a trade broken by Zach Lowe and Marc Stein of ESPN. I like this trade for the Clippers in that Green is erratic but that’s better than Stephenson, who had fallen out of Rivers’ rotation. This is an upgrade for the Clippers (does not vault them to contender, but an upgrade), but it came at a price. The Grizzlies take on the enigmatic Stephenson — who also has moments of strong play — plus they get a protected first-round pick from the Clippers (heavily protected 2019 first round pick). That’s a good haul for the Grizzlies.

• 3:10 PM ET:  We have one of those late trades — Kirk Hinrich is going from Chicago to Atlanta for a second round pick.

• 3:02 PM ET: The big names did not move: Dwight Howard is still with the Rockets, who were also unable to move Ty Lawson. Ryan Anderson is still with the Pelicans. Al Horford and Jeff Teague are still Rockets.

• 3:00 PM ET: The trade deadline has passed, although a few deals will still trickle in (they don’t get announced immediately).

• 2:44 PM ET: The Phoenix Suns have traded disgruntled power forward Markieff Morris to the Washington Wizards, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports. The Wizards want to get more athletic and add shooting to play better off John Wall, and good Morris does that. However disgruntled Morris is not a help, the Wizards are rolling the dice. But after a 23-28 start that has them three games out of the playoffs, they need to roll the dice. Phoenix got a good haul back: The serviceable Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair, and a protected 2016 first round pick (protected top nine).

• 2:29 PM ET: If you’re looking for a deal that does go down in the final half-hour, keep an eye on Ben McLemore out of Sacramento. They want to make a roster upgrade and a playoff push and he is their best asset to dangle. The Bulls were in the mix among other, but Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says Dallas has moved into the discussions for McLemore.

• 2:22 PM ET: We have another minor deal, the Miami Heat have traded Brian Roberts to the Portland Trail Blazers for a second round pick. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports broke the news. Why did the teams do this? For Miami, this move (combined with others earlier in the day) gets them below the luxury tax line, saving $6 million. For Portland, they had a lot of cap space, now they are up to the salary floor, and in getting there they stockpiled picks. Neil Olshey in Portland remains one of the smartest GMs out there.

• 2:18 PM ET: Things have gotten quiet on the trade front, and part of the reason is a lot of executives are on their way to Oklahoma City for the memorial for Monty Williams’ beloved wife, Ramona Shelburne notes. Which is far more important.

• 2:10 PM ET: If there was one thing I was certain would happen at the deadline, it was Toronto getting an upgrade at the power forward spot (sorry Luis Scola). Nothing yet. They are offering the Knicks’ first round pick this season (which is the worse pick of the Nuggets or Knicks) and Patrick Patterson. That’s not a bad package, but nobody’s biting, according to Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.

• 1:56 PM ET: With just more than an hour to go until the trade deadline, a lot of deals seem to be falling apart. The Knicks had talked to the Timberwolves about Kevin Martin but that deal collapsed, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. Also, Minnesota and Milwaukee resumed Ricky Rubio trade talks, but nothing has come of them, reports Stein.

• 1:51 PM ET: With Channing Frye going to Cleveland, that is one less suitor for Ryan Anderson in New Orleans. With a good chance they lose him in free agency most expected the Pelicans to deal Anderson, but he could be around through the end of the season in the Big Easy.

• 1:45 PM ET: Randy Foye to Oklahoma City is a done deal, and now we have the details. Denver will get point guard D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak and two second-round picks. The Nuggets will try to flip Novak before the deadline.

• 1:40 PM ET: As had been rumored for a while, the Atlanta Hawks have shut down talks on Jeff Teague. They are going to stand pat with Teague and Al Horford, try to re-sign Horford this summer and re-consider trading one of their key point guards during the summer.

• 12:58 PM ET: Oklahoma City may be getting some help at the two guard that they desperately need. The Thuder are in “advanced talks” with Denver for Randy Foye. That would be a solid upgrade for OKC, considering Dion Waiters and Andre Roberson get the minutes now.

• 12:55 PM ET: Looking for a little point guard depth, the Chicago Bulls are talking to the Orlando about a trade for Shabazz Napier. This would be a pretty minor deal. Adrian Wojnarowski had the news.

• 12:50 PM ET: The Cleveland Cavaliers are acquiring Channing Frye from Orlando in a three-team deal that will ultimately send long-time Cav big man Anderson Varejao to Portland. Sam Amick of the USA Today broke the story. A lot of details still to follow in this one — Portland is going to have to get a heck of a sweetener to use their free cap space on Varejao — but the details are still coming. Remember the Clippers were in the front of the line for Channing Frye, but decided today to pull out of the deal (that could mean Lance Stephenson is headed elsewhere, although the buzz is the Clippers stand pat).

• 12:30 PM ET: The deal is done — Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton are headed to Detroit, in exchange the Rockets get little used (and with back issues) Joel Anthony and a protected 2016 first round pick. Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news. I like that move for Detroit, Stan Van Gundy has had a fantastic trade deadline. The Rockets free up salary cap space — they are now $1.2 million below the hard cap they brought on themselves — and have a roster spot, plus get a pick (it is top eight protected, which makes it highly unlikely the Pistons pick does not go to the Rockets this June).

• 12:16 PM ET: The Pistons have proposed a Joel Anthony for Donatas Motiejunas trade with the Rockets, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. No way the Rockets do that straight up, so there are going to have to be other picks/players to sweeten the deal. The Pistons have coveted Motiejunas for a while, he is the kind of stretch four needed next to Andre Drummond in Stan Van Gundy’s system.

• 12:12 PM ET: A number of teams are calling the Nuggets about solid veteran guard Randy Foye, the Nuggets are listening but may not move him (unless they get an offer they genuinely like).

• 12:05 PM ET: We have a trade! Not a big one, not a thrilling one, but a trade. The Miami Heat have moved Jarnell Stokes to the New Orleans Pelicans, something first reported by Zach Lowe of ESPN. Stokes, a 6’9 power forward/center, has bounced between Memphis and Miami this season and has played a total of 18 minutes for these teams. He’s not a game-changer for the Pelicans, who also are getting $700,000 in cash in this trade. Why do the Heat do it? Because it saves them nearly $3 million in luxury tax.

• 11:50 ET: The Jazz still would like an upgrade or some depth at the point, now that they are out of the Lawson talks (see the next note below), so they are looking at other options. One of them as a fallback is Shelvin Mack, the rarely used third point guard of the Atlanta Hawks.

• 11:28 ET: The Rockets trading Ty Lawson to the Jazz deal appears to be DOA, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The Jazz were hesitant from the start about Lawson, will look for another point guard to bring in, Trey Burke is still on the trade block. Houston is having trouble finding takers for Lawson or Dwight Howard, even at reduced prices. Also, the Rockets do not plan to buy Lawson out.

• 11:25 ET: Atlanta tested the trade market for current All-Star Al Horford and former All-Star Jeff Teague, but the asking price was ridiculously high, as percieved by other teams. The Hawks never backed off much from that asking price (particularly for Horford). Now as the deadline nears, the Hawks are telling teams no deal, they are keeping the team together. The Hawks want to re-sign Horford this summer and stand a good chance of landing him.

• 11:12 ET: And already teams are calling brand new Nets GM Sean Marks to see if he wants to move Thaddeus Young, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Not a shock, the Raptors and a few other teams are interested in Young.

• 11:01 ET: The Kevin Love to Boston in three-way trade that includes Ryan Anderson to Cleveland idea is not totally dead yet. It may take Miracle Max to save it, the Cavs are very hesitant to move Love as they are in a win-now place and need an upgrade, not a lateral move (and Anderson is not an upgrade, there needs to be more) but the talks are not dead.

• 10:24 ET: Interesting note on the Ty Lawson to Utah rumors via the well-connected Steve Kyler of BasketballInsiders.com: When Lawson dropped the guarantee on the final year of his contract to facilitate his trade to Houston, there was a gentlemen’s agreement that the Rockets would let Lawson become a free agent regardless of how he plays. Utah is not bound by that and if Lawson plays well for them may want to keep him for that next season. Lawson would like the cash that comes with free agency. It may not change the deal, but it’s an interesting wrinkle. Basically, Utah doesn’t want Lawson unless Lawson wants to be there, and in the past Lawson has publicly slammed Utah as “boring.”

• 10:20 ET: The Brooklyn Nets have hired Sean Marks away from the San Antonio front office to be their General Manager. Yes, the guy owner Mikhail Prokhorov said he didn’t know less than 24 hours ago. The Nets had to back up the Brinks truck, but they got their man. Marks could be a fantastic GM in Brooklyn — if Prokhorov and company give him space and let him do his job. This is not going to be quick rebuild, can the Russians be patient?

• 10:07 ET: Boston wants to add a true No. 1 option to their rotation, but they are not giving up their numerous assets for rentals of free agents to be Dwight Howard or Al Horford (according to Adrian Wojnarowski). The issue with Howard is about re-signing him — who wants to pay him a max over multiple years? — and with Horford the Hawks have not backed off requests for the moon.

• 10:02 ET: The Phoenix Suns are considering trading Mirza Teletovic to the Milwaukee Bucks.

• 10:00 ET: The Suns and Toronto are still talking about a potential P.J. Tucker trade. Expect the Raptors to make some kind of move today to bring in an upgrade at the power forward spot, Luis Scola isn’t cutting it. The Suns would like the Raptors to take Markieff Morris, the Raptors have no interest in him. Phoenix continues to shop Morris.

• RUMORS, TRADES LEADING INTO DEADLINE DAY

• The Sacramento Kings have made a strong push to land Pau Gasol in a trade with Chicago (because Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive wants to make the playoffs this year, and his constant meddling has always helped with that… oh, wait). The proposal on the table is Gasol and Tony Snell Sacramento for Kosta Koufos, Ben McLemore and a lessening of restrictions on a pick the Sixers owe the Bulls for the 2016 draft. For his part, Gasol wants to stay with the Bulls. The Kings also fired an assistant coach and close confidant of George Karl’s on Wednesday.

The Cleveland Cavaliers would like a stretch four, are talking to New Orleans about Ryan Anderson and Orlando about Channing Frye.

The Rockets and Jazz are in serious talks about a deal that would send struggling point guard Ty Lawson to Utah. Because Lawson’s contract is unguaranteed for next season, this is a low-risk gamble for the Jazz, who would send Trey Burke back as the centerpiece.

• The Bucks are not trading Greg Monroe. Michael Carter-Williams, on the other hand, still may be available (even though he’s been told he’s not being moved).

• Doc Rivers said the Clippers are not trading Blake Griffin. (At least not at the deadline, but that could be revisited this summer. The Clippers certainly listened to offers to gauge Griffin’s value in the marketplace.)

• Memphis sent Courtney Lee to the Charlotte Hornets in a three-team deal that also included the Miami Heat.

• Detroit acquired Tobias Harris in a trade that sent Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova to Orlando. I love this move long-term for the Pistons, and it is a good deal for Orlando as well if Scott Skiles has moved on from Harris.

Birthday boy Karl-Anthony Towns giving Timberwolves even more reason to celebrate

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Tom Thibodeau is gone. Jimmy Butler is gone. Karl-Anthony Towns has taken greater ownership with the Timberwolves.

Towns organizes team-building activities like Topgolf and a halloween party. Towns gives the pump-up speech before each game. Towns communicates more on the floor.

That’s why, Towns said, he didn’t even realize his birthday was approaching until his parents recently reminded him.

“I get caught up in work,” Towns said.

Whether or not Towns actually needed the reminder, let alone for such a flattering reason, his birthday – which is today – got him reflecting. He felt old.

So, Towns mentioned to Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders that his birthday was around the corner. Saunders had the opposite realization: Towns is turning 24 today. Just 24!

“He’s still young,” Saunders said. “As a coach, that gets me excited.”

Towns is one of the NBA’s special talents – a proven star with room to improve. Picking up the momentum he built last season, Towns appears to be really coming into his own this year.

The center is posting his usual impressive numbers (25.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game), but his new attitude has stolen the show. He fought Joel Embiid and went face-to-face with Rudy Gay.

Don’t let the antics completely overshadow an impressive basketball story, though. Towns has led Minnesota to a surprising 7-4 start by revamping his game. Most of his shots are coming from beyond the arc, and his 4.2 assists per game are a career high.

By creating spacing and keeping the ball moving, Towns is contributing to a style that lifts all the Timberwolves. Perhaps, nobody has benefited more than Andrew Wiggins, who’s fitting right into this modern look.

The transformation is only the latest chapter for Towns, whose reputation has fluctuated significantly throughout his five-year career. This might explain why he already feels so old:

Minnesota drafted Towns No. 1 in 2015, and he won Rookie of the Year. In the 2016 and 2017 NBA general-manager survey, a plurality of voting executives picked Towns as the player they’d most like to start a team with. In the 2017 survey, Towns also received the most votes for league’s best center (even while getting a couple votes as league’s best power forward).

On paper, Towns delivered. He made his first All-Star and All-NBA teams the following season. He also reached the playoffs for the first time.

But Thibodeau and Butler butted heads with Towns, who never showed the hard edge those former Bulls tried to coax from him. After trading Butler, Minnesota went right back to losing.

In the 2018 and 2019 surveys, no general manager picked Towns to start a team with. Only a few picked him as best center.

Now, the landscape has shifted again. Anthony Davis spends a lot of time at power forward. Joel Embiid doesn’t stay as healthy. Nikola Jokic has fallen way off.

Towns is the early frontrunner for All-NBA first-team center.

“Everybody takes big steps in their growth at different times,” Saunders said, “and I think we’re seeing that from Karl.”

Towns can’t take anything for granted, and neither can the Timberwolves. But he at least has a good chance for vindication after his preseason playoff talk.

The way Towns has implemented more 3-point shooting into his game is particularly impressive. His 9.0 attempts per game lead NBA bigs, and he’s converting more than 40%. But floating on the perimeter was once a sign Towns was being too passive. Now, Towns is finding the right balance between spotting up beyond the arc and playing aggressively.

That’s in part his own mentality changing, in part his teammates’ mentality changing. Gone are the days when Towns could be an afterthought outside the paint.

“The ball is always going to find KAT,” Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie said. “He’s the center of our offense.”

Towns’ defensive intensity still comes and goes. He still must prove himself in the playoffs, and that usually requires trials and tribulations he hasn’t yet experienced.

But at age 24, Towns is finally/already showing something special.

DeAndre’ Bembry gets ejected for taunting Ricky Rubio, continued talking (video)

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The Hawks are rapidly changing. General manager Travis Schlenk took over just two years ago and has already turned over nearly the entire roster. Only DeAndre’ Bembry remains as an inherited player.

It’s not an easy situation for Bembry, who’s headed toward free agency next summer. He’s playing for a team with a lead executive who never chose him. Bembry can’t count on any team investing in him.

That’s the context in which Bembry got ejected from Atlanta’s loss to the Suns last night. He blocked Ricky Rubio‘s shot, taunted the Phoenix guard, got a technical foul, kept talking and got another technical foul.

The ejection seems pretty weak, but Bembry left himself vulnerable to the techs.

Hawks rookie Cameron Reddish also got ejected for multiple flagrant fouls.

Eric Bledsoe apparently bothered Bulls with post-buzzer dunk (video)

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Eric Bledsoe doesn’t care about the rules – written or unwritten.

As the buzzer sounded in the Bucks’ 124-115 win over the Bulls yesterday, Bledsoe dunked then hung on the rim. The basket came after time expired and didn’t count.

Bulls forward Thaddeus Young and coach Jim Boylen confronted Bledsoe on the court:

Young, via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago:

“We all know what it is,” Young said. “They had the game won. There are some things you just don’t do at the end of games just out of common courtesy. We’ll move on. It is what it is. It happened. We just have to be ready when we play them in four or five days. We gotta be ready to get a win.”

“That’s with any team that cares about the morals and principles of the game,” Young said. “If we did that and the score was the opposite, they’d say the same thing. It is what it is. We just gotta be ready in four or five days. We gotta get a win. That’s the only way we can follow it back up now.”

Usually, I’d say: If you don’t like it, stop it. But that doesn’t really apply for a post-game dunk. There’s no defense after the buzzer.

Still, I’m not outraged by Bledsoe’s dunk. I bet, aside from Bulls partisans, most people aren’t (though plenty could work themselves into a tizzy if they desire). Some of Chicago’s bitterness probably stemmed from losing and allowing Bledsoe to score 31 points on 12-of-12 shooting inside the arc.

If the Bulls want to use this as motivation, more power to them. They should. Young, whose professionalism appears exemplary, is an ideal messenger.

But Boylen, who wouldn’t comment on this to the media, can’t claim the moral high ground.

Magic reveal orange uniforms

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It’s already difficult enough to flip on an NBA game and quickly determine which team is which. The home team could be wearing any color, so the same is true of road teams. Each team has had so many alternate jerseys in recent years. It’s disorienting.

Now, the Magic – whose primary colors have always been and remain blue, black, white and gray – might be wearing orange?

At least Orlando, because of the fruit (and, I guess, if you want to stretch it, sunshine), has a real connection to orange. That’s why these are the “orange uniforms,” even though they’re mostly gray.

I just beg of the powers that be: Please don’t have the Magic wear these against the Suns. I’ll never figure out which team is which.