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Report: Pelicans discussing contract with Jahlil Okafor

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Jahlil Okafor is only three years removed from being the No. 3 overall pick. He’s only two years removed from making the All-Rookie first team. He’s only one year removed from players around the league rallying to get him on the court.

But Okafor has been reduced to trying out for teams during free agency and just trying to get into training camp somewhere.

Maybe New Orleans.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

The Pelicans reportedly tried to trade for Okafor two seasons ago, and the 76ers even sat Okafor in advance of a potential deal. But some saw Philadelphia as just bluffing to drum up interest.

Either way, the price would likely be cheap for New Orleans now – a barely guaranteed, or maybe even completely unguaranteed, deal.

Okafor is just 22, but he has been so bad. His defensive struggles get most of the attention. He’s slow and ground-bound, limiting him in space and as a rim-protector. But he has also been an offensive minus, not scoring efficiently enough in the low post to make up for his null floor-spacing and passing.

The Pelicans could take a flier. Anthony Davis likes to play power forward, and perhaps a hodgepodge of Julius Randle, Emeka Okafor, Cheick Diallo, Alexis Ajinca and Jahlil Okafor allow Davis to do that more often. But maybe New Orleans decides Randle, Emeka Okafor, Diallo and Ajinca are enough.

Phoenix council postpones vote on Suns arena renovation

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PHOENIX (AP) — The City Council has postponed a vote on a proposed $230 million renovation of the Talking Stick Resort Arena that would keep the Suns in downtown Phoenix.

The council agreed unanimously Wednesday to postpone a decision until Jan. 23 so residents can attend five public meetings to be held around Phoenix to discuss the project.

Suns owner Robert Sarver reportedly threatened to move the franchise to Seattle or Las Vegas if not given enough public funding.

Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley says the organization looks forward to the public discussions and to answering any questions about the proposed renovation.

The deal would revamp the nearly 30-year-old arena, the oldest in the NBA that is not currently being renovated.

The Suns agreed to a 40-year lease in 1992, but the deal included a provision for the team to opt out at 30 years.

Final minute of Celtics-Wizards featured five-possession, 10-point, no-stoppage stretch (video)

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Crunch time of a close NBA game is awesome.

It’s exponentially better when nobody calls timeout.

The Celtics and Wizards finished with a flourish tonight, Boston coming out ahead in a frenetic final minute. The last minute included two Kyrie Irving 3-pointers (one tightly contested, one extremely deep) and a sharp drive by John Wall (who had just returned to the game from an injury).

After a flow-killing foul in the final few seconds, the Celtics won, 130-25.

More games should be like this.

Jeremy Lamb hits game-winner despite Bismack Biyombo, others Hornets prematurely running on court to celebrate

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The Hornets sure were excited for Jeremy Lamb‘s game-winner against the Pistons tonight.

Too excited.

After Lamb hit a jumper to put Charlotte up two with 0.3 seconds left, several Hornets ran onto the court. Bismack Biyombo was nearly at halfcourt as Detroit tried to inbound! He was so far onto the court, I’m not even sure officials noticed him when dinging Malik Monk – closer to the bench –for the violation.

Ashley Holder:

The Pistons made a technical free throw to cut their deficit to one, but they still had to inbound from under their own basket. Their desperation pass was intercepted, and Charlotte held on for a 108-107 win.

Several Hornets were certainly relieved.

Crazily enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.

Suns’ T.J. Warren fined $15k for inappropriate language toward official following ejection (video)

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Everyone on the Suns seems frustrated.

In Phoenix’s loss to the Clippers on Monday, T.J. Warren got ejected. And his outburst will cost him extra.

NBA release:

Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a game official following his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

This wasn’t a lengthy exchange. Warren didn’t linger on the court complaining. He must have said something extremely harsh to warrant two technical fouls and a fine that quickly.

(Despite confusion, the foul preceding the ejection was called on Deandre Ayton, not Warren.)