For the fifth time in six games, on Monday night coach Erik Spoelstra left Hassan Whiteside on the bench in the fourth quarter, opting for a lineup with Bam Adebayo at the five and Kelly Olynyk at the four. Whiteside was not happy, and with less than a minute to go in the game he went straight to the locker room.
At practice Wednesday, Whiteside told the media he had to go to the bathroom and that’s why he left early.
Does anyone actually believe this?
Whiteside has been frustrated and complained when he’s not the big on the floor at the end of games. Which is understandable, he wants to compete. Spoelstra, however, believes in the smaller lineups and how well Adebayo plays, and he prefers a team that can space the floor with more modern style. That’s not Whiteside.
Going back to last summer, Miami tested the trade market for Whiteside but found it was going to take a lot of sweeteners to get a team to take on his $25.4 million this season with a player option (one he will undoubtedly pick up) at $27.1 million for next season. Maybe this summer the market will be different. For now, Whiteside is going to have to learn to deal with being on the bench more when games are close late.
The Lakers reportedly didn’t negotiate the Anthony Davis trade date with the Pelicans – an important consideration. That apparently left it in New Orleans’ hands, and the Pelicans flipping the No. 4 pick to the Hawks means the Davis trade will be completed the first allowable day.
Sam Amick of The Athletic:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Lakers now project to have about $24 million in cap room.
Maybe they can get more by including other players in the trade, but that would make the deal even costlier for the Lakers. Davis could also waive his trade kicker, but first, they’d need to ask him. He might refuse.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka apparently agreed to put his team into this situation. But it’s hard to believe he fully understood the implications when he did.
Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
The NBA Draft saw the trade of the No. 4 pick — twice — plus the No. 6 and 11 picks before the New Orleans Pelicans were even on the clock for the No. 1 pick. Listening to the buzz around the league, expect a lot more first-round trades, especially when we get into the 20s. It’s going to be a crazy night.
We will be on top of it all night long.
Here is a breakdown of every pick, every trade — complete with analysis of how that player fits (or doesn’t) with his new surroundings.
No. 1. New Orleans Pelicans:
The top of the draft has become clear:
1. Pelicans: Zion Williamson
2. Grizzlies: Ja Morant
3. Knicks: R.J. Barrett
4. Hawks: De'Andre Hunter
What will the Cavaliers do at No. 5?
Marc Stein of The New York Times:
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
Those follow-up reports emerged quickly and from multiple reporters. The Cavaliers apparently want to make it very clear they’re open to trading the pick.
For good reason.
My highest-rated prospects available are both point guards: Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland and North Carolina’s Coby White. Cleveland already has Collin Sexton, last year’s lottery pick, at point guard.
I generally favor drafting the best prospect available then figuring it out. Sexton isn’t good enough to justify deviating from that.
But this situation demands the Cavs explore trading the pick – or Sexton. Cleveland shouldn’t just blindly walk into a conundrum.
Still, it seems if the Cavaliers don’t find a trade, they’ll make the smart move and draft Garland.
New Minnesota president Gersson Rosas has a reputation around the league: He’s aggressive. He learned in Houston to go hard after what he wants.
Rosas wanted to move up in this draft, and he found a partner, the Phoenix Suns. The Timberwolves will draft sixth after a trade with the Suns for the 11th pick and Dario Saric. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news.
This trade can work out for Minnesota, depending upon who they draft and develop.
Who will the Timberwolves pick at six? Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and R.J. Barrett will be off the board for sure. The Hawks, who just traded for the No. 4 pick, are expected to take De'Andre Hunter out of Virginia. Cleveland at No. 5 now is the breaking point of the draft but reports are they like Darius Garland out of Vanderbilt, unless they trade down from this spot. That makes Jarrett Culver the likely Timberwolves pick at six. Coby White, the North Carolina point guard, is another option.
For Phoenix, Saric can be a good fit at the four if they acquire a good ball-sharing point guard this summer.
Saric gives the Suns a sharpshooter to help space the floor. The Suns starting lineup now has Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre Jr., Saric, Deandre Ayton, and they are expected to chase a veteran point guard in free agency. That has some potential.