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Rumor: Celtics offered ‘most of their best draft picks’ to Spurs for Kawhi Leonard

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The Celtics refused to include their top players in Kawhi Leonard trade talks.

But that didn’t mean Boston refused to make the Spurs a compelling offer.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

A all the reporting from this sort of trickled in, I think the Celtics offered most of their best draft picks. I don’t think the Celtics just offered, “You could have a bunch of our picks.” I think some of the picks they own – at least two of the picks, if not all of them – that they own from other teams, including the Kings, Grizzlies and Clippers, I think those were all in the deal.

In addition to all their own, the Celtics have three extra first-round picks:

  • Higher of the Kings’ and 76ers’ in 2019 – unless it’s No. 1, in which case Boston would get the lower of the two picks
  • Grizzlies’ top-eight-protected in 2019, top-six-protected in 2020 or unprotected in 2021
  • Clippers’ lottery-protected in 2019 and 2020 – though if not conveyed either of those years, it becomes the Clippers’ 2022 second-rounder

That Sacramento pick is a huge asset, and the Memphis pick is sneaky valuable.

Plus, the Celtics would have had to match Leonard’s salary. They really don’t have any bad contracts. Unless they planned to send a drastically overpaid Marcus Smart to San Antonio in a sign-and-trade, their offer must have also included positive-value players.

But San Antonio wanted to remain competitive. That’s what happens when a 69-year-old coach runs the front office. So, the Spurs prioritized landing a star for their star and got DeMar DeRozan. That’s their prerogative, and there’s certainly a logic to continuing to win with an elite coach like Popovich and a roster already built for the present.

On the other hand, sometimes external factors should supersede internal preferences. If the Celtics made a monster trade offer built around draft picks, maybe San Antonio should have taken it and pivoted into rebuilding. Competing in next year’s Western Conference will be hard enough even with DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Popovich.

Heck, taking the draft picks – if they carried more overall value than the Raptors’ package – and flipping them for veterans should have been considered.

Maybe the Spurs just felt Toronto’s offer carried more value, regardless. And even if San Antonio were dead set on remaining competitive no matter what draft picks were offered, that’s the team’s right.

But if you focus on winning immediately at the expense of the future, you better win immediately. Otherwise, there’s no payoff and returning to a high level becomes harder than it would have been.

Reports: Nick Nurse to become Canadian national team head coach

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Nick Nurse got the Toronto Raptors to their first ever NBA Finals appearance. The Raptors beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night. Already a budding Legend in Canada, it appears that Nurse is going to increase his sway in Ontario.

According to multiple reports, Nurse will become the head coach of the Canadian men’s national basketball team. He will also hold executive duties for that organization.

And the kicker? Nurse will also apparently have more involvement and interaction with Drake’s brand OVO.

Via Twitter:

Everything is coming up roses for Nurse. If he can eat some tape and figure out a way to slow down the Warriors the way he did with Antetokounmpo, he might just be able to give the two-time defending champions a run for their money.

Report: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert hospitalized after possible stroke

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Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has reportedly suffered a stroke but is resting comfortably in the care of medical professionals.

According to the Detroit News, Gilbert was hospitalized on Sunday morning after evidencing stroke-like symptoms. His current condition is not known, but his company released a statement saying his family was seeking privacy.

Via Detroit News:

“He received immediate medical attention and is currently recovering comfortably,” said a statement issued by the Quicken Loans family of companies following inquiries from The News. “Our collective thoughts and prayers are with Dan for a speedy recovery.”

Details of his diagnosis and prognosis were not released; the family requested privacy.

Gilbert, 57, is the founder of Quicken Loans and the majority owner of the Cavs. He was scheduled to speak on Wednesday at a conference on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan. It’s unclear if Gilbert will be keeping that appearance date as we don’t yet know the severity of his injuries.

The often-bombastic Cavaliers owner has made waves over the years, most recognizably with his Comic Sans letter. Recently, Gilbert said that he felt the Kyrie Irving trade was a winner for his team, and that Irving was likely to leave the Boston Celtics.

Gilbert has owned the Cavs since 2005.

Report: Raptors could get OG Anunoby back during Finals

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The Toronto Raptors are headed to the 2019 NBA Finals, and they are going to need every player on their roster if they want a chance at dethroning the Golden State Warriors.

Forward OG Anunoby has been out since early April after needing an emergency appendectomy. He has not played in the playoffs yet this season, but a new report says the Raptors may be hopeful he could return before the end of this final series.

Via Twitter:

Anunoby Is a useful second-year forward who plays hard on both ends of the floor. Toronto is going to have a hard time matching up with the Warriors defensively, whether Kevin Durant plays or not. Having Anunoby available would help Toronto be more switchable and more adept at taking on some of Golden State’s smaller lineups.

We don’t have a timetable for Anunoby’s potential return yet, but the way the Finals are spaced out (Game 1 is on Thursday, Game 2 is next Sunday) it could help get players healthy and ready.

That could be good news for Kawhi Leonard, who sat out several games this year simply to rest. Leonard has looked a little banged up through these playoffs, as has just about everyone else. The bad news for Toronto is that this time between games could also help the Warriors get Durant ready to play.

Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals is on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST in Canada.

Drake gave Nick Nurse another shoulder rub (VIDEO)

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People are already getting tired of Drake being a prominent figure in the storyline of the Toronto Raptors. They will have to just deal with it for now as Toronto is headed to the 2019 NBA Finals after beating the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.

That said, Drake is actually an ambassador for the Raptors. Some folks seem to forget that.

There was a dust-up during the Eastern Conference Finals about Drake having given Raptors coach Nick Nurse a shoulder rub during Game 4. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer thought that fans shouldn’t be interacting with members of the coaching staff or players, but the Raptors didn’t seem to think it was that big a deal.

After the Raptors won on Saturday, Drake embraced Nurse yet again, playing off of the initial kerfuffle.

Via Twitter:

Get ready to see more Drake than you’ve ever wanted.