Associated Press

Nick Young eager to help champion Warriors in any role

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Nick Young passed up a shot, and then another, uncharacteristic of the charismatic guard with a sweet stroke.

That’s when he heard from Andre Iguodala. And Steve Kerr.

Just shoot it.

Regardless of how large his role or his number of minutes on the loaded NBA champions, the Warriors want Young looking to score whenever he sees a chance he likes.

“We had to remind him, like, `Listen man, you’ve gotta shoot, be you,”‘ Iguodala said. “Shaun Livingston and myself are going to put him in a position where he won’t have to worry about where his shots are going to come from or if he’s going to be able to get as many attempts as he would like. We’re going to make life a lot easier for him and we’re going to make basketball fun for him, too.”

That’s already clear, given Young’s big grin and playful nature his first few days on the job.

Kerr took a turn getting on him, and Young is already used to a full-court press from the reigning NBA champions: His new coach, Finals MVP Kevin Durant and Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green all went to Los Angeles to take “Swaggy P” to lunch and recruit him to Northern California.

Young called their efforts “very persuasive,” and he’s still appreciative.

“They took me out on the town a little bit. I like to go out a little bit,” he said. “They just knew me. They just get me.”

Now, they all are eager for him to get comfortable – and fast. The Warriors open the preseason schedule at home Saturday against Denver before a trip to China to face the Timberwolves twice, Oct. 5 and 8.

“I’ve been saying the same thing to Nick, `Shoot it, shoot it, shoot it,”‘ Kerr said. “The whole thing for any of our new guys is to understand that we want the first good shot we can find. If we don’t have a good shot, try to get a great shot but let’s keep the ball moving but be aggressive and find that balance. I don’t want Nick out there thinking. He’s one of the best shooters in the league and he should let it fly every time he’s open. And then as he gets more comfortable with the guys he’ll understand where those opportunities will come, when to move the ball on and when to shoot it.”

Young played for former Warriors top assistant Luke Walton last season with the Lakers, so he got a bit of a glimpse at how Golden State might operate with its music-filled practices and focus on fun.

The 32-year-old Young in June declined the player option in his contract for this season with Los Angeles that would have paid him more than $5.6 million. He had said in April that it was “60/40” he would leave the Lakers in hopes of joining a playoff team.

Then a free agent, Young received a $5.2 million, one-year contract in July.

Hard to beat the star-studded defending champs featuring Durant and Stephen Curry – even if Young is finding his way initially.

“The more I get used to the plays, the more the shots will be open. I’m just in everybody’s way right now,” he said, then laughed while adding: “I was with Draymond and Steph a little bit today, I found myself passing a little bit more than normal. It felt good. I’m all about getting some assists.”

He averaged 13.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 60 games for the Lakers. He will provide the Warriors with the kind of depth Kerr loves to have as he regularly mixes and matches rotations.

Young is ready to do whatever is needed for the Warriors and Kerr, who rotates lineups often.

“Nick’s going to fit in great,” Iguodala said. “The thing with our team is that guys come in from different places and they don’t want to try to disrupt any of the flow. I saw it the first day. He didn’t want to disrupt the flow, but we encouraged him to shoot, we encouraged him to be aggressive, just have good intentions. I know Nick and JaVale (McGee) knows Nick and we know he’s a great person, he’s a funny guy. If you’re a good guy, a naturally good person, like to play basketball, you’ll fit in perfect.”

 

Cavaliers reportedly talking trade sending Kyle Korver to Sixers

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Philadelphia struck out going big game hunting this off-season — LeBron James, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard all ended up elsewhere. The Sixers decided to trade for Wilson Chandler (absorbing him into their cap space) and re-signed J.J. Redick, but they have continued to look for the right trade.

That could involve adding Kyle Korver.

From Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

According to a league source, the team has had discussions about trading Jerryd Bayless to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyle Korver.

That move would enable the Sixers to bring back a fan favorite who’s one of the league’s top three-point shooters.  He would be an upgrade from former Sixer Marco Belinelli, who signed as a free agent  with the San Antonio Spurs earlier this month.

This trade is still in the talking phase.

That this was leaked means an agent of one of the teams involved wants to see the deal done and hopes leaking it puts enough pressure on one or both sides to get it done.

For the Sixers it makes sense on the court, they get out of a contract in Bayless they have tried to trade for a year, and they bring in a sharpshooter who can fit within their system and add bench scoring.

For the Cavaliers, they have to be getting a pick or picks of some kind back in this trade (probably a second round or multiple second-round picks, of which the Sixers have several besides their own in the next couple of drafts).

Something to watch as we head into the weekend, to see if this deal can get done.

Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t believe in the NBA 2K cover curse

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Milwaukee Bucks superstar at Giannis Antetokounmpo will bless this year’s cover of NBA 2K19. It’s a big deal for the Greek Freak, who has come a long way since be a heralded prospect after being drafted in 2013.

Antetokounmpo is also apparently aware of the noted curse from the 2K franchise. That is, that former players who have been on the cover in years past have notoriously ended up in different jerseys shortly after getting selected for the honor.

LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George, and Kevin Durant all left their respective teams shortly after being featured on the cover.

Antetokounmpo signed a contract extension in 2016 that runs through the 2020-2021 season. Unless something goes horribly wrong, there’s no reason to think that he will be gone anytime soon.

But is the cover curse real? People certainly seem to think the Madden one is.

Lakers fan paints another LeBron James mural in Los Angeles (PHOTO)

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There was already one LeBron James mural in Los Angeles. Several people decided to attack it with paint, ruining a nice gesture by a local artist in Venice and proving how annoying (presumed) Kobe Bryant fans can be.

Now, there is another mural in LA and this time it paid a little more attention to former Lakers legends. Hopefully this time around the subject matter will help stave off would-be vandals.

Via Twitter:

This LeBron piece was done by another Venice muralist, Gustavo Zermeño Jr., who posted photos of his work. In it, LeBron is seen looking up at Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

No doubt that should satisfy some Lakers purists around the area, at least enough to keep them from throwing white paint all over it and ruining and impressive piece of artwork that took the artist a long time to create.

Lakers fan should just be happy that LeBron is in their state.

Clippers sign free agent Luc Mbah a Moute for second stint

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LOS ANGELES — Luc Mbah a Moute is back with the Los Angeles Clippers, signing a free-agent deal.

The 31-year-old forward averaged 7.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.18 steals in 61 games for Houston last season.

Mbah a Moute played two seasons for the Clippers from 2015-17, averaging 4.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 155 games, including 137 starts.

He was selected 37th overall by Milwaukee in 2008 after three seasons at UCLA. Besides the Clippers and Rockets, Mbah a Moute has played 10 seasons with Milwaukee, Sacramento, Minnesota and Philadelphia.

Terms of the deal announced Thursday were not announced.