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Agent: Anthony Davis hasn’t given Pelicans list of preferred trade destinations

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Anthony Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans. His agent, Rich Paul, said the superstar wants to be dealt to a team that “allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship.”

Which teams qualify?

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

Not giving the Pelicans a list is about controlling the narrative. Right now, Davis can paint himself as still loyal to New Orleans. He’ll continue to play hard, and he was just honest and open about his intentions. If he gave the Pelicans a list of preferred destinations, that would be seen as too demanding in his exit.

The big question: Will Davis tell certain teams whether he will or won’t re-sign in 2020 free agency. That knowledge should greatly affect how much teams offer New Orleans in a trade. It’d put the Pelicans in the same de facto position as if they had a preference list directly from Davis, but it’d give him more plausible deniability to be the good guy.

Really, the timing of his trade request already speaks volumes. If he wanted to join the Celtics, he would have waited until the offseason to request a trade. Boston can’t trade for Davis without moving Kyrie Irving until Irving’s current contract expires July 1, because they’re both designated rookie scale players. New Orleans could still trade Davis to the Celtics, but this is a major indicator he doesn’t want to join Boston.

Davis hired LeBron James‘ agent. LeBron openly recruited Davis to Los Angeles. There are a lot of hints Davis wants to join the Lakers.

Ultimately, Davis can get wherever he wants in 2020 free agency. If he must spend the rest of this season and next season elsewhere first, so be it. But if he joins his long-term team via trade first, he could make more money.

Davis’ max re-signing in 2020 projects to be about $205 million over five years (about $41 million annually). If he leaves his prior team that summer, his max projects to be about $152 million over four years (about $38 million annually).

Money isn’t everything to Davis. Rejecting a super-max extension from the Pelicans – which projects to be worth about $240 million over five years (about $48 million annually) – proves that. But he’d likely rather have more money than less. He’d also likely rather join his next long-term team sooner than later.

We’ll see how aggressive he gets about engineering that. So far, he’s presenting a more-passive approach.

Patty Mills hits game-winner in Spurs’ NBA-record fourth straight OT game (video)

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pioneered resting players.

But San Antonio has played an NBA-record four straight overtime games, meaning the Spurs have had to play an extra 25 minutes.

Popovich, via ESPN:

“It’s awful,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

At least Patty Mills spared San Antonio a sixth overtime period in these four games. After DeMar DeRozan missed a free throw, Mills hit the game-winner in a 121-119 victory over the Suns yesterday.

And at least the Spurs are mostly winning these longer games. In this span, San Antonio beat the Rockets in double overtime, beat the Kings, lost to the Cavaliers and now beat the Suns. I’d also argue the Cleveland result was worth it.

 

Report: Luka Doncic might return to Mavericks within a couple weeks

Luka Doncic
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Luka Doncic sprained his ankle during the Mavericks’ loss to the Heat yesterday.

Whether this timeline constitutes good news or bad news depends on your perspective.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Doncic’s injury is a blow not just to Dallas, but the NBA. He’s one of the league’s brightest stars. In the next eight days, the Mavericks make their only appearances of the season in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Toronto.

Though Doncic has played like an MVP candidate, the Mavericks also boast considerable depth. They’ve outscored opponents by 8.0 points per 100 possessions without Doncic.

Those non-Doncic lineups will be thrust into more difficult situations now. That net rating will likely drop, especially against a tough upcoming schedule. Dallas might have been in line for some losses, even with Doncic. So, don’t overreact to that.

But the Mavericks can remain at least competitive without their best player.

Bucks’ Eric Bledsoe out two weeks due to right fibula avulsion fracture

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The Milwaukee Bucks keep right on rolling, they won their 18th straight on Saturday night, cruising past the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now they’re going to have to keep this winning streak going without point guard Eric Bledsoe.

Bledsoe will miss at least two weeks with a right fibula avulsion fracture, the team announced Saturday. The injury happened Friday night in a win against Memphis.

An avulsion fracture is where a strain to ligament pulls a little bit of bone off where the two connect. It sounds worse than it is medically, and while it hurts rest is usually the only treatment needed.

Bledsoe is averaging 15 points and 5.7 assists per game for the Bucks, shooting 34.4 percent from three, playing solid defense, and providing another ball handler and shot creator next to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee has been +4.1 points per 100 possessions this season with Bledsoe on the court.

George Hill, who has had a strong season for Milwaukee off the bench, will step into the starting role for now.

The injury comes at a rough time as the Buck hit a tougher part of the schedule this week, facing Dallas (which may be without Luka Doncic) and the Lakers on Thursday.

Hornets’ rookie P.J. Washington out weeks with fractured little finger

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In what has been a disappointing rookie class so far, Charlotte appears to have a steal drafting P.J. Washington at No. 12. The power forward out of Kentucky has started every game for the Hornets this season and is loving the spacing in the NBA game, scoring efficiently in the paint while shooting 40.6 percent from beyond the arc on 3.4 attempts per game, plus is averaging 5.3 rebounds a game.

Now the Hornets are going to be without him, likely for a couple of weeks, due to a fractured fifth finger on his right hand (pinkie). He suffered it in the fourth quarter against Chicago Friday night.

While the Hornets officially only list him as out for Sunday against the Pacers, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports he’s going to be out through Christmas, which would mean at least five games.

Usually this would mean more minutes for Marvin Williams, but he is out with a sore right knee. Most likely, coach James Borego slides an undersized Miles Bridges over to the four — which had been the preseason plan until Washington surprised everyone — but he has a variety of small-ball players who likely will get a little run there.

The 12-16 Hornets are hanging around the playoff picture, just 1.5 games out of the eight seed (Orlando).