Getty Images

Kyrie Irving found out about trade to Boston on set of Uncle Drew

2 Comments

The trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston a summer ago was one drawn-out affair — news leaked in late July Irving wanted a trade, a month later a deal was announced, then the extent of Isaiah Thomas‘ injury started to really reveal itself, the Cavaliers asked for more, and the entire process to finalize the trade more than a week. In what is usually the dead part of the NBA summer, there was serious drama.

Where did Kyrie Irving learn about the deal finally becoming official? On the set of “Uncle Drew” and he disrupted shooting with his celebration. Chris Forsberg of ESPN has a deep dive on how that trade went down.

The screams came first, followed by a couple of loud expletives. [“Uncle Drew” director Charles] Stone pivoted in the director’s chair and looked toward the commotion just in time to see Irving sprinting through a set of doors leading to the exterior of the Atlanta night club that the “Uncle Drew” crew had rented to film that night….

“All of a sudden I hear someone screaming, like a guy is just yelling and screaming. And then I see Kyrie run across the dance floor and down through the club and book it right out the door,” Stone said. “And I’m already numb from the grind of shooting. I just kinda looked at my [assistant director] and deadpanned, ‘What happened now?'”

“I left out of the club that we were shooting at and I had to decompress for a quick second and it was just an energy shift,” said Irving.

It’s worth reading the entire story. Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens and the Celtics brass talk about how painful it was for them to trade away Isaiah Thomas, who they loved, but they felt they had to because Irving could be the transcendent player they needed to become a contender. Irving opens up about his emotions, and his teammates talk about how excited they were with the trade.

This coming season, with Gordon Hayward back healthy (*knock on wood*) and Irving healthy for the playoffs, we can finally see the full impact of that trade. It is what makes the Celtics the team to beat in the East this season and could have Boston back in the NBA Finals.

WNBA suspends Riquna Williams 10 games for domestic violence

Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
1 Comment

NEW YORK (AP) The WNBA has suspended Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams 10 games for a domestic violence incident.

The WNBA handed down the suspension Tuesday. Williams was arrested on April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.

The league conducted its own investigation and consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence. Among other factors, the WNBA said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including the involvement of a gun.

The WNBA also will require Williams to participate in counseling.

Williams’ suspension will begin with Thursday’s game against the Dallas Wings.

Report: Bulls signing Luke Kornet for guaranteed $4.5M over two years

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Just three 7-footers have averaged 3.5 3-pointers per game and made 35% of them each of the last two seasons:

The Bulls will now have most of them.

Markkanen is Chicago’s top young player. Kornet will join him with the Bulls next season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’m a little surprised Kornet got more than his minimum ($3,383,360 over two years). But it’s worth taking a flier on him.

In addition to his outside shooting, Kornet has shown good timing as a shot-blocker in two seasons with the Knicks. The 24-year-old must get stronger and improve as a rebounder to play major minutes.

But the Bulls won’t have to press him into action. They also have Thaddeus Young, Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio as bigs.

Pistons claim Christian Wood off waivers

Cassy Athena/Getty Images
2 Comments

The Bucks waived Christian Wood late last season to ensure avoiding the luxury tax. The Pelicans claimed him. Wood had played well in limited minutes with the 76ers, Hornets and Bucks and in the NBA’s minor league since going undrafted in 2015.

New Orleans gave him his biggest opportunity yet. In 24 minutes per game over eight games, he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds.

But the Pelicans filled their roster for next season and waived Wood.

Detroit will take advantage.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has claimed forward/center Christian Wood off waivers.

Wood’s $1,645,357 minimum salary is unguaranteed until the regular season. So, Detroit could still waive him before the season. But it seems he’ll at least go to training camp and get a shot at a regular-season roster spot.

The Pelicans also could’ve kept him through the preseason then waived him before the regular season. They seemingly did him a favor of allowing him to get somewhere he has a realistic chance of sticking.

Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond will start in the frontcourt for the Pistons. Markieff Morris and Thon Maker appear to be first in line is backups.

But don’t be surprised if Wood earns playing time. At minimum, the 23-year-old should provide nice depth at both power forward and center.

The Pistons have also now acquired four members of last year’s Bucks – Tony Snell, Thon Maker, Tim Frazier and now Wood.

Knicks: Reggie Bullock has spine injury

Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images
1 Comment

Reggie Bullock had his agreed-upon salary cut by more than half with the Knicks. He’ll reportedly miss at least a month of the regular season.

All because of a mysterious health issue.

The Knicks have finally disclosed what’s happening.

Knicks release:

Reggie Bullock underwent successful surgery today at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for a cervical disc herniation. The team will plan to provide an update on his rehab and progress around the start of training camp.

Bullock is a good shooter from the wing. New York could use him. Many teams could use him.

But Bullock must get healthy first.

At this point, we probably shouldn’t expect much from him any time soon. The best indication: how eagerly his agent praised the Knicks for their handling of this situation. Again, Bullock settled for less than half his initially agreed-upon salary.