I doubt this trade happens, but it’s instructive on two fronts, so we’re going to talk about it.
The well-connected Marcus Thompson of The Athletic reported sources told him the Warriors and Bucks have discussed trading backup big man JaVale McGee to Milwaukee.
“Multiple sources confirmed the Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks have discussed a trade. Nothing is imminent, but the Bucks are on the market for a center and the Warriors are overstocked. The on-and-off conversations between the teams have included the Bucks inquiring about [Zaza] Pachulia and [JaVale] McGee. No doubt, they’ve asked about [Jordan] Bell but that conversation ended quickly.”
Jordan Bell, who started on Christmas Day, looks like a valuable rotation player and is still on his rookie contract, no way the Warriors move him right now.
We’ll see if this trade happens, but here’s what we can take away:
The Bucks are in the market for a center. This isn’t a surprise, the only question is which guy they land — the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan or someone farther down the pecking order. (The question with Jordan may be if the Bucks can re-sign him as he is a free agent next summer.) The Bucks are wisely doing their due diligence, calling every team that might have an available center — Brook Lopez with the Lakers, his brother Robin Lopez with the Bulls, the Knicks Willy Hernangomez, heck even Memphis’ Marc Gasol (who is not available right now). When you ask people around the league the team most active in talks right now and most likely to make a deadline trade, the Bucks are at the top of the list. Look for them to make some kind of move for a big man (ideally, a rim protector) at the deadline.
The Warriors have an overstocked frontcourt and may be willing to move McGee for relatively little. The same Athletic story says McGee is not happy with his shrinking role (Kevon Looney got McGee’s usual run on Christmas Day, and Bell is squeezing McGee’s minutes, too), plus the fact the Warriors didn’t pay the veteran McGee what he thought he was worth this summer. It will take a lot more to get Pachulia out of Golden State (more than any team will pay), but McGee is available for the right price. Not saying he gets moved, just something to watch.
Most of Los Angeles — and the vast majority of Lakers fans — are fired up that LeBron James is coming to Los Angeles. They see a return to glory for the franchise (well, once they get the rest of the roster right… sorry Lance Stephenson).
However, there is a segment — particularly the die-hard Kobe fans — who are having trouble assimilating to the new reality.
So when an artist did a LeBron James mural near Venice in Los Angeles recently — a really well-done tribute — it was quickly vandalized. Then eventually covered up.
This week another artist did another impressive LeBron/Lakers mural — this one with LeBron looking up at the Lakers’ legends — and once again, it was vandalized.
I’m not shocked by any of this, but it is depressing. If you’re vandalizing art, you are a cowardly buffoon.
There’s no way to really know the motivation behind the second attack, although the smart money is on it being the same as the first one — a few people think they are protecting the Lakers’ brand by not welcoming the best player on the planet to a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in five years. It’s incredibly flawed logic, but frankly flawed logic has become trendy in recent years, it can get you elected to all kinds of offices.
If you can’t embrace LeBron joining the team, I’m not sure how you could call yourself a Lakers fan. But to take that another step and deface a mural is another level of idiocy.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma City Thunder are trading reserve center Dakari Johnson to the Orlando Magic.
A person with knowledge of the details confirmed the move to The Associated Press on Friday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.
Yahoo Sports, which first reported the deal, said Oklahoma City will get guard Rodney Purvis in the deal. Purvis averaged 6.0 points and 1.7 rebounds in 16 appearances for the Magic last season. The Orlando Sentinel said the Thunder also sent cash to the Magic.
Johnson played 31 games last season for the Thunder with six starts. He averaged 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds per game. The 7-footer averaged 23.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in 10 games for the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s G-League affiliate, last season.
Five years ago, the Phoenix Suns had just drafted Alex Len at No. 5 overall and thought he would be the big man in the middle the team would build around. It didn’t work out that way, he never averaged double figures in either scoring or rebounding for a season. While Len has said he thought he was not used correctly, and there has been plenty of change and inconsistency in Phoenix, he never grabbed hold of the top job, either.
When the Suns drafted Deandre Ayton No. 1 last June, there was no chance they were bringing back Len next season. The unrestricted free agent is headed to Atlanta instead, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Free-agent center Alex Len has agreed to a two-year, $8.5 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Len received interest from several teams in recent days before finalizing an agreement with the Hawks on Saturday.
Len is not going to space the floor, 73 percent of his shots came at the rim last season, but he’s become an efficient finisher there. He is good as a roll man, will work off the ball, and can post guys up on offense. He’s also strong on the offensive glass and gets points via putbacks. His game is not that of a modern NBA center, but he’s become efficient at what he does.
Len is going to have to earn his minutes in the ATL, rebuilding team or not there is some quality along the front line. John Collins, who made the All-Rookie team last season and was one of the standouts of Summer League, will start up front, possibly at the four with Dewayne Dedmon at the five. The just-drafted Omari Spellman showed potential at Summer League and could be the backup four, which means Len gets the backup center minutes.
Len is getting his new chance on a team that can give him some run, we’ll see if a change of scenery is what he needed.
Player workout videos on Instagram are a lot like how your life (or, your parent’s life) appears on Facebook — everyone looks their best, is always having fun and doing something interesting, and the daily grime of life has been scrubbed away.
That said, Boston’s Gordon Hayward looks good — he seems to be moving very well — in this latest workout video he posted.
It’s a good sign to see Hayward moving like that in July, months before that reconstructed ankle needs to be put to the test on the NBA hardwood.
With Hayward and Kyrie Irving healthy, the Celtics start the season as the favorites in the East — but Toronto is a sudden, serious challenger if Kawhi Leonard is all the way back and healthy. Philadelphia is talented and in that mix as well if Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can take strides forward with their game.
The top of the East is going to be very interesting next season.