Boston reportedly not a “top target” for Davis, but would that matter?

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It’s obvious that Anthony Davis‘ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, is trying to push his client to the Lakers.

For one thing, why else would he leak it that he told the Pelicans Davis will not re-sign and wants to be traded? Paul could have said that to the Pelicans, kept it quiet, and let them work the market into the summer. However, leaking it now puts pressure on the Pelicans — is Davis going to get booed at home games? — and gives the Lakers and other teams a window to get a deal done before the Celtics can really get involved (the CBA prevents them from being active in this trade until July 1 because they traded for Kyrie Irving and teams can’t trade to have two players with max rookie contract extensions at the same time).

Then comes this report from the well-connected Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Regarding team preferences, Boston is not a top target for Davis, sources said. There’s a growing belief of uncertainty that Kyrie Irving will re-sign with Boston, sources said, even though he vowed to do so at the beginning of the season.

I will say that “uncertainty” and rumors of a parting of the ways between Irving and Boston are all over the league. There’s nothing concrete, but a lot of teams think that could be the direction things go this July when Irving opts out and becomes a free agent. Even though Irving did say he would re-sign in Boston.

This looks like part of a push from Davis’ camp to get the 25-year-old big man to Los Angeles.

Will it be enough is another question.

The Pelicans do not have an obligation to trade Davis where he wants to go, they have to get the best deal for their franchise that they can. If Davis were traded to Boston he could walk after a season, but he’d be leaving a lot of money on the table (if Davis signs short-term contracts wherever he is traded he can get close to the $240 million New Orleans can offer).

Sources I spoke to said the Pelicans are not feeling rushed to get a deal done (others, including Haynes, have reported the same thing). Maybe an offer comes in that blows them away and they take it, but they can wait this out until after the draft (see who gets the No. 1 pick and the rights to Zion Williamson) and after July 1, when Boston and its trove of assets (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, draft picks) can get in the mix.

What it really comes down to is this: How much do the Pelicans value Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma? Is there a future All-Star in that group? Opinions around the league are divided, there are still fans of Ball and Ingram in front offices, who seem them guys who can develop into second or, more likely, third options on a very good team. Kuzma is loved as a scorer. But there are a lot of front office people who think none of them are ever an All-Star. Throw in the fact Ball is out for at least another month with a sprained ankle, and it seems unlikely the Pelicans will pull the trigger on that deal without waiting out other options.

But the Pelicans have done plenty of unpredictable things. Nobody knows how this is going to play out.

Report: Raptors could get OG Anunoby back during Finals

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The Toronto Raptors are headed to the 2019 NBA Finals, and they are going to need every player on their roster if they want a chance at dethroning the Golden State Warriors.

Forward OG Anunoby has been out since early April after needing an emergency appendectomy. He has not played in the playoffs yet this season, but a new report says the Raptors may be hopeful he could return before the end of this final series.

Via Twitter:

Anunoby Is a useful second-year forward who plays hard on both ends of the floor. Toronto is going to have a hard time matching up with the Warriors defensively, whether Kevin Durant plays or not. Having Anunoby available would help Toronto be more switchable and more adept at taking on some of Golden State’s smaller lineups.

We don’t have a timetable for Anunoby’s potential return yet, but the way the Finals are spaced out (Game 1 is on Thursday, Game 2 is next Sunday) it could help get players healthy and ready.

That could be good news for Kawhi Leonard, who sat out several games this year simply to rest. Leonard has looked a little banged up through these playoffs, as has just about everyone else. The bad news for Toronto is that this time between games could also help the Warriors get Durant ready to play.

Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals is on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST in Canada.

Drake gave Nick Nurse another shoulder rub (VIDEO)

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People are already getting tired of Drake being a prominent figure in the storyline of the Toronto Raptors. They will have to just deal with it for now as Toronto is headed to the 2019 NBA Finals after beating the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.

That said, Drake is actually an ambassador for the Raptors. Some folks seem to forget that.

There was a dust-up during the Eastern Conference Finals about Drake having given Raptors coach Nick Nurse a shoulder rub during Game 4. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer thought that fans shouldn’t be interacting with members of the coaching staff or players, but the Raptors didn’t seem to think it was that big a deal.

After the Raptors won on Saturday, Drake embraced Nurse yet again, playing off of the initial kerfuffle.

Via Twitter:

Get ready to see more Drake than you’ve ever wanted.

Watch Raptors fans celebrate Finals berth in streets of Toronto (VIDEO)

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The Toronto Raptors are headed to their first NBA Finals in franchise history. Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night in Game 6 to send them home and push Toronto into the final series of the year against the Golden State Warriors.

Raptors fans, who have been perennially disappointed by teams who were just good enough, naturally found themselves celebrating in the streets of Ontario. Videos of cars honking and people walking through the avenues surfaced on social media, with the whole thing looking like a big party.

Via Twitter:

The Raptors aren’t the most talented team in the Eastern Conference, but they did have the best player in the entire playoffs this season in Leonard. Coach Nick Nurse figured out a way to stop the Bucks by collapsing on Antetokounmpo, and Milwaukee’s shooters went cold at just the wrong time. The rest of the Raptors bench finally gave Leonard some support, and Toronto was able to mount a comeback in the series to push themselves into the NBA finals.

For that, both Toronto and the Raptors fans deserve to be overjoyed with what’s happening right now.

Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals will be on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST in Toronto.

Bucks fans greet team, Giannis Antetokounmpo at Milwaukee airport (VIDEO)

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The Milwaukee Bucks season is over. Giannis Antetokounmpo and his supporting cast couldn’t get things done in Game 6 on Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors in Canada. Now it’s Kawhi Leonard who is heading to the 2019 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

This season was a magical one for Milwaukee, one in which they took the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference and likely have the league’s MVP in Antetokounmpo.

As you might expect, Bucks fans are happy about that fact, and showed up to the Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport to greet their returning team.

Via Twitter:

It has to be nice for athletes to get this kind of treatment. Although some may want to just go home and languish in their defeat, the unwavering support of fanatics has to take the bite out of the sting, even if just a little bit.