We learned the All-Star starters last night:
But how close were the races? Whom did each voting contingent – fans, players and media – favor?
The NBA scores each player by his rank within position and conference in each category of voting – 50% of his rank in fan voting, 25% of his rank in player voting and 25% of his rank in media voting. Players who received no votes in a category were ranked one spot below the last vote-getter. Lowest score wins. The fan vote served as tiebreaker.
The full voting results, with each player’s category rank listed and his number of votes within that category in parentheses:
Eastern Conference guard
Eastern Conference frontcourt
Western Conference guard
Western Conference frontcourt
*Changed conferences during the voting period and therefore counted in his prior conference
The Wizards struck out on luring Nuggets president Tim Connelly.
Washington’s next choice?
Ben Standig of NBC Washington:
As for the rumor mill, one name stands out: Neil Olshey.
Numerous sources told NBC Sports Washington of the Wizards’ interest in Blazers President of Basketball Operations
Olshey has done a good job in Portland. He drafted Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum then built a winner around those two after LaMarcus Aldridge left. Trading for and re-signing Jusuf Nurkic to a reasonable contract looks great. Olshey also overpaid Evan Turner, Meyers Leonard, Allen Crabbe and Festus Ezeli, but many teams spent wildly in 2016. It was a weird summer.
The Wizards would do well to hire such a proven executive.
Would Olshey leave the Trail Blazers? Their ownership situation remains uncertain following the death of Paul Allen in October. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has demonstrated extreme loyalty to his executives.
Portland will also reportedly sign Damian Lillard to a super-max extension – a move that practically must be made, but one that carries massive downside risk. However, if he goes to Washington, Olshey would be trading uncertainty in Damian Lillard’s value on the super-max for certain negative value with John Wall on his super-max extension.
A couple years ago, Olshey signed his own extension through 2021. Maybe he’s ready to move on.
Or maybe he’s ready to use the Wizards as leverage for a raise.
New Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he wanted Jason Kidd because Kidd is a good coach.
Steve Popper of Newsday:
the person familiar with the Lakers process said something else: that Kidd was brought to Los Angeles to attract Giannis Antetokounmpo to the Lakers when he becomes a free agent in two years when the Bucks star could become an unrestricted free agent.
Things I believe:
1. This plan probably wouldn’t work. Not only does Antetokounmpo appear happy in Milwaukee, he has specifically said he could never see himself playing for Los Angeles. And though I believe Antetokounmpo respected Kidd while Kidd coached him, look at the Bucks now. They’re so much better under Mike Budenholzer. You think Antetokounmpo is itching to play for Kidd again after seeing the other side?
2. The Lakers might just try this wild plan anyway. Remember when they were waiting to hire a coach in 2014 so free agent LeBron James could pick? Aside from signing LeBron last year, who seemingly had his eye on Los Angeles for years and for reasons other than basketball, the Lakers have struck out on star free agents. The franchise is getting desperate.
3. People want to believe the Lakers would do something crazy like this, and that makes the rumor spread faster – whether or not it’s true. The Lakers, because of their stature, tactics and general manager have made many enemies around the league. Plenty of folks are enjoying piling on.
The Toronto Raptors are just one win away from their first ever NBA Finals appearance. Kawhi Leonard helped Toronto beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 105-99, on Thursday night in game 5. That gave the Raptors a 3-2 Series lead over the Bucs as they head back to Canada on Saturday.
Meanwhile, rapper Drake and a bunch of fans watched the victory over Giannis Antetokounmpo in the Jurassic Park outside of Scotiabank Arena. Elated with the win, Drake of course made statements to local television and to the crowd itself, saying the Raptors were “like a college team”.
Game 6 is on Saturday in Ontario at 5:30 p.m. PST.