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Report: Portland, Clippers have discussed DeAndre Jordan trade

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The Clippers have made their position clear: This is not a fire sale, owner Steve Ballmer is not looking to tank and bottom out, but if you come with a legit offer they will listen to trades for Lou Williams, DeAndre Jordan, and anyone else on the roster.

Portland has looked stuck in the second half of the West, making the playoffs but not a real threat to the elite of the conference, and they want to step up.

So Portland has called the Clippers and talked about a DeAndre Jordan trade, but nothing is currently close to happening, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

The Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers have discussed a trade involving L.A. center DeAndre Jordan but a formal offer was never made, according to NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The Clippers have been seeking a first-round draft pick, financial flexibility and young players in return for Jordan, according to the executives.

Jordan would be an upgrade at the five for Portland, providing a strong defensive presence in the paint, rebounding, and a pick-and-roll partner for Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Just don’t expect it to happen. It’s hard to see how this deal comes together, and a lot of other teams (Cleveland, Milwaukee, Miami, Orlando) have expressed some level of interest in Jordan.

Portland’s first question: Would Jordan agree to either opt into the last year of his deal or say he’d be predisposed to re-sign with the Portland? The Blazers don’t want to do this deal as a half-season rental, they would want to keep Jordan around. Executives with teams I’ve spoken to say Jordan almost certainly will pick up his option (although most think he should), and it’s not clear if DJ would want to stick around in Portland.

More importantly, it’s hard to make the numbers pencil out between Los Angeles and Portland. Jordan makes $22.6 million this season, and the Clippers don’t want to take back long-term salary in this trade (no deals that mess with the summer of 2019 in particular). The problem is all of Portland’s big-money players that could make this deal easy are still locked up for three or four years (Evan Turner or Meyers Leonard, for example). The teams could try to fashion a trade around Ed Davis, Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic but it would take multiple other players and picks to get it done, and then the Clippers would have t clear out roster spots or buy guys out. It’s not impossible to do, but it gets complex, and complex deals are far less likely to get done.

Jordan may well be on the move at the deadline, and Portland could use him, but this is a hard deal to put together.

Report: Mike Woodson close to joining Suns coaching staff

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The Phoenix Suns are bolstering their coaching staff. After spending most the 2017-18 season under interim head coach Jay Triano, Phoenix finally settled on Igor Kokoskov as their top man.

Now, it appears they’re adding some veteran talent to the front row.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Suns are in talks to bring former New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson in as Kokoskov’s right hand man. Meanwhile, ArizonaSports.com is reporting that the decision has already been made to hire Woodson.

Via Twitter:

Woodson, 60, was last on the bench with the Los Angeles Clippers from 2014-2018. He was head coach of the Knicks from 2012-2014, and helmed the Atlanta Hawks from 2004-2010.

This is a smart hire for the Suns, who have needed some legitimacy after firing Earl Watson just three games into the season this year. Phoenix has been in a bit of a freefall since letting Jeff Hornacek go in 2015. Indeed, despite for one outlying 48-win season in 2013-14, Phoenix hasn’t been a very good team in this decade.

With a solidified coaching staff and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, there’s hope yet for the Suns. Now, the question is who they take with that pick. Luka Doncic? Deandre Ayton? The draft continues to intrigue.

Andre Iguodala out for Game 4 Tuesday vs. Rockets

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“When we’re right, when we’re playing how we are supposed to play, Andre’s right in the middle of it. His defense and being smart, making good decisions. Andre is one of the guys who seems to set the tone for that for us.”

That’s Warriors coach Steve Kerr on Andre Iguodala

The Warriors are going to have to be without that tone Tuesday night, Iguodala will miss the game with a knee contusion.

This is a blow to the Warriors, who have started small with Iguodala through the first three games of this series. The Warriors have been 4.3 points per 100 possessions better with Iguodala on the court through the first three games of this series.

Expect Kevon Looney or Nick Young to start, with the rest of the minutes divided up between Shaun Livingston, Jordan Bell, and David West.

Whatever Kerr and the Warriors go with, expect James Harden and the Rockets to attack it.

 

WNBA team rehearses ring ceremony at practice of team it beat in Finals

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The NBA does petty very, very, very, very, very, very, very well.

The WNBA is trying to give the NBA a run for its money.

The Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks have met in the last two WNBA Finals, the Lynx winning last year and the Sparks winning the year before. Minnesota hosted Los Angeles in the season opener Sunday, and the Lynx unveiled their banner and presented players with rings.

Before that, while the Sparks were practicing in Minnesota, the Lynx played their video for the event.

Holly Rowe of ESPN:

The Sparks beat the Lynx on Sunday, but I don’t think that’s enough to override Minnesota’s power move.

Kobe Bryant on Kanye West’s comments: “What the hell are you talking about?”

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Kanye West, the President Trump backing hip-hop star, drew a lot of backlash for his comments on TMZ:

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You were there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.” 

Mentally, maybe in some cases. But more so physically, with guns and whips and attack dogs and a whole lot more weapons that were all on one side. Nobody chooses slavery.

Tuesday, Kobe Bryant surprised a group of about 300 high school students at WE RISE — a 10-day pop-up festival dedicated to sparking a movement for change in the mental health system — in Downtown Los Angeles. One of the students asked him about Kanye’s comments. Kobe is not down.

“I’m sure (I feel) the same way everybody else here in this room feels. What the hell are you talking about? I think that was my reaction as is everybody else’s reaction….

“The thing about our country is that you have the right to say whatever it is that you want to say…that’s the beautiful thing about living in a democracy. I think, for him, he’s one of these entertainers that’s always in a constant state of growth, he’s always challenging … himself, doing a lot of questioning internally himself…so I just take it for what it is and completely disagree.”

If I need to explain to you why Kobe is in the right here, you need to take a basic American history course again.

Good on Kobe for his comments. More importantly, good on Kobe for taking the time to promote mental health awareness.

“It’s easy for us as people to kind of ignore the emotional side of it,  especially when it comes to things that deal with negativity, things that deal with insecurity, things that deal with fear,” Kobe said. “It’s very easy to take the fear and just push it down, try to act like it doesn’t exist. The reason why it starts with imagination is because you first must imagine the life that you want to have. You must first imagine what it is you dream of becoming.”

Kobe did that, and now he’s got an Oscar. Oh, and a few basketball awards, too.