Jimmy Butler is a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, at least until the team finds a suitable trade partner. It seems the talks between the Wolves and the Miami Heat have gone dormant, and there isn’t an openly-interested party in sight.
Meanwhile, Butler is attending practices and is expected to play in the first game of the year for Minnesota against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. As the team looks for trade partners, the question remains what will happen with head coach Tom Thibodeau. Things have quickly gone south under his watch, and many are calling for his firing from the outside.
In a conversation with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which Taylor owns, Taylor said that Thibodeau’s job is safe.
Thibodeau has three years left on a five-year contract worth about $40 million. Is he coaching for his job?
“No, no, the only thing now is that we are starting to play games and I am asking him to concentrate on coaching,” Taylor said. “GM Scott Layden will help to see if any trades are available.”
Is Taylor still happy he hired Thibodeau in April 2016?
“Yes, yes, he is a good coach and I have faith in him,” he said.
Meanwhile Taylor says that he’s not thinking about selling the team, and that they will try to grit themselves through from here on out.
It’s a tougher Western Conference this year, and it was already up in the air whether the Timberwolves were going to be a playoff team. Now, it seems as though they are destined to miss the postseason yet again after making it last year.
It can be annoying when you can’t complete a simple task sometimes. For example, like when you are trying to put your shoe on and it just won’t work, for whatever reason. Did you suddenly forget how? Why aren’t your fingers working? Did your foot get fatter? A million dumb questions run through your mind at times like these.
That’s apparently what happened to Miami Heat wing Josh Richardson on Sunday as he took on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Halfway through the fourth quarter, Richardson felt that he was fouled on an attempt at the rim. He didn’t get the call, and needed to adjust his shoe in the meantime. When Los Angeles took possession of the ball — and with Richardson still without his shoe — the University of Tennessee product took an aggressive foul on LeBron James.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra then subbed Richardson out as he continued to try to put on his shoe. Frustrated that he couldn’t get it on, Richardson then hucked the shoe into the stands.
That move got Richardson a ejected from the game, and rightly so.
Who throws a shoe, honestly?
LA beat Miami, 113-97.
Would you want to get yelled at by Rajon Rondo? Pretty much in any circumstance, most people would say no. Especially if they were Rondo’s teammate.
That’s not the case for Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball.
Speaking to ESPN this week, Ball said that Rondo had been pivotal in his development this season, and that he actually enjoyed and encouraged Rondo to antagonize him during practices.
“Yeah, he’ll try to get into me,” Ball said. “Just stuff to try to get me going. He talks a bunch of trash in practice all the time, which makes me pretty mad.”
“I told him, my whole life I [respond to] getting yelled at [by the coach] so that is how I respond … if you see stuff, just yell at me. I tune into it. That is how he tries to help me out.”
Ball went on to say that Rondo was, “The best leader that I’ve ever played with” outside of LeBron James.
Rondo has been famously divisive during his time in the league, perhaps getting on the nerves of some veterans but acting as a favorite among younger players in places like Chicago.
Advanced statistics don’t support the idea that Ball has taken a big leap this year, and if anything he has perhaps trended downward as he’s tried to get into a better rhythm with LeBron and this funky Lakers team that’s been built around him.
However, many believe that Ball has the underpinnings to be a solid player and a consistent starter moving forward in his career. If he can glean any positive traits from Rondo in the meantime, all the better.
Carmelo Anthony is still a member of the Houston Rockets, but for how long?
Houston is trying to find a way to offload the aging superstar, with no apparent buyers ready to step up to the plate. Meanwhile, the NBA community-at-large has being agog with potential landing spots for Carmelo.
The most popular and obvious spot for Anthony to land is with the Los Angeles Lakers, a team made up of a veritable who’s who of former stars from the past decade-and-a-half of NBA basketball.
For their part, the Lakers don’t appear interested externally, and they don’t have a roster spot for him right now anyway. When LeBron James was asked about the potential of adding his Banana Boat friend, he even intimated as much.
I have no idea to be honest, that’s not a question to ask me. Right now, we have 15 rosters spots right? We don’t have a roster spot open right now so that’s not a question for myself.
Of course LeBron is being facetious in saying that he doesn’t have say over roster changes. His entire career has been dogged by his sometimes undue influence in either trading for or getting his buddies re-signed to his team.
Still, Los Angeles does seem like the only realistic landing spot for Anthony at this time. One could see a situation in which LeBron, much as he has tried to resist, getting fed up with LA’s middling play as the trade deadline approaches and forcing some kind of Anthony addition.
But for now, Carmelo remains a Houston Rocket and the Lakers don’t have a roster spot open. That’s the story, and they are sticking to it.
The confidence of Markelle Fultz continues to be a question, not just for Philadelphia 76ers fans but for NBA heads around the league wondering just when the former No. 1 overall pick will get back to his old college self.
Fultz continues to struggle in the oddest ways. The sophomore guard was seen double clutching a free throw attempt recently, which apparently led to another new routine at the charity stripe.
In his latest change is one where Fultz does a little juggle of the ball back and forth before quickly moving into a shooting motion. It took many by surprise on social media, and reporters naturally asked Fultz about it.
For his part, Fultz said that he’s not going to change the routine because it appears to be working for him.
Hey, whatever gives this kid confidence at this time is something that works.