Report: Anthony Davis expected to put out word he’ll re-sign with only Lakers


Anthony Davis‘ agent, Rich Paul, said they haven’t given the Pelicans a list of preferred trade destinations.

But that might wind up just semantics.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

multiple league sources expect the agent and star to soon deliver word throughout the league that Davis’ preferred destination is the Lakers and he’ll become a rental player until 2020 with a trade anywhere else.

Davis hired someone best known as LeBron James‘ agent. There are other good agents. When you want to join LeBron’s team, you hire Paul. That wasn’t necessarily Davis’ only intention when hiring Paul. But it was clear the decision greased the skids of Davis to the Lakers.

Now, the Lakers must offer New Orleans a satisfactory trade. Some contenders will still value Davis – who can make two playoff runs before his contract expires – as a rental. A team could even trade for Davis to use this season then flip him before the 2020 trade deadline and recoup some assets.

The timing of Davis’ trade request is a transparent attempt to avoid Boston. The Celtics can’t deal for Davis and keep Kyrie Irving right now, because both are Designated Rookie Scale Players. Irving’s contract status will change in July, allowing Boston to make an intriguing offer for Davis then.

But will New Orleans wait? If the Celtics believe Davis is disinclined to re-sign in 2020, will they still make a monster offer? Either way, can the Pelicans still use the threat of Boston’s massive asset pool to extract better offers elsewhere?

The Lakers have their own compelling assets – including Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and all their own future first-round picks – to use in a Davis trade. For what it’s worth, all four of those players will remain under contract in July, too. The Lakers would prefer to have Davis for a playoff push this season, though.

Obviously, New Orleans won’t directly care to send Davis to his preferred destination. But if the Lakers know Davis will re-sign, that should push them to offer more in a trade. Likewise, if other teams believe Davis won’t re-sign, that should push them to offer less in a trade. So, Davis’ desires matter.

And it seems Davis likes Los Angeles as much as LeBron likes Davis there.

Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett out at least a week with right ankle sprain

R.J. Barrett
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NEW YORK (AP) New York Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett will miss at least a week with a sprained right ankle.

Barrett was hurt during the Knicks’ loss to Phoenix on Thursday. On Friday, he had X-rays, which were negative.

The Knicks announced afterward that Barrett will be re-evaluated in a week.

The No. 3 pick in the draft from Duke is averaging 14.1 points.

Heat: Justise Winslow out at least two more weeks

Justise Winslow
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MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat say Justise Winslow will miss at least two more weeks while recovering from a back injury.

Winslow has played only once since Dec. 4 and is slated to be out for at least the remainder of January. The team originally called Winslow’s injury a back strain, then updated the diagnosis to a bone bruise.

Winslow played off the bench in Miami’s win at Indiana on Jan. 8. The team said the back problems reappeared after that game. He has not played since.

Friday’s game in Oklahoma City is Miami’s 41st of the season and the 30th that Winslow has missed. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Heat this season.

Kevin Huerter’s 3-pointer gives Hawks first win in San Antonio in his lifetime (video)

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The Hawks beat the Spurs in San Antonio on Feb. 15, 1997.

The next year, Kevin Huerter was born.

Atlanta’s next win in San Antonio came Friday, when Huerter hit the game-winning 3-pointer in a 121-120 win.

The Hawks’ losing streak in San Antonio spanned Tim Duncan’s entire lengthy career – and continued a few seasons beyond that. The only reprieve came during the lockout-shortened 1999 season, when Atlanta didn’t visit San Antonio. So, the skid lasted 21 games.

Buddy Hield on Kings getting booed at home: ‘That’s how Sacramento fans are’

Kings guard Buddy Hield
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Buddy Hield is quite familiar with frustration amid the Kings’ disappointing season.

Sacramento fans showed theirs Wednesday, booing the Kings during their home loss to the Mavericks.

Buddy Hield, via James Ham of NBC Sports California:

“Everybody is frustrated, it’s not even them, we’re trying to figure it out too,” Buddy Hield said following the loss. “But it’s the home team and we get booed…we don’t agree with it, but they’re going to voice their opinion.

“I understand their frustration, but like I said, I’m going to keep shooting the ball,” Hield continued. “When I make a three they like me, when I don’t, they hate you. That’s how Sacramento fans are, man, so you’ve got to embrace it.”

Hield seemingly isn’t looking to pick a fight with fans. He made a point to empathize with their frustration.

But I don’t think he’s being fair, either.

Kings fans are far more loyal than swinging between love and hate depending whether or not a shot falls. They’re fed up after 13 – going on 14 – straight seasons missing the playoffs. This year has been particularly discouraging, as Sacramento has backtracked from fun and fast to sad and slow. Losing to Luka Doncica particular grievance – only adds to the irritation.

The Kings’ problems have spanned multiple owners, executives, coaches and players. So, booing this group isn’t totally fair, either. But this is who’s in front of the fans.

If this Sacramento team plays hard and together, fans will embrace it – and stick with it through thinner times.