Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Report: Pelicans knew for some time Anthony Davis trade request was coming

6 Comments

Anthony Davis explained Kevin Garnett’s loyalty to the Timberwolves as somewhat of a cautionary tale. Davis called the Pelicans losing DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondotough.” Davis fired his prior agent and hired Rich Paul, who’s best known as agent of Lakers superstar LeBron James. Davis said he wants to play for a title contender “every year. Not every other year. Not every few years. Every year.” Davis said, “I got to play almost perfect every night to give us a chance to win.” Davis put out word the extra money in a super-max contract didn’t matter to him.

New Orleans is 22-28 and 13th in the Western Conference – yet another underwhelming season despite having a superstar big man.

So, Davis’ trade request shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone paying attention. That apparently includes the Pelicans.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

I know they have feared this coming for some time. I don’t believe they were blindsided. I think, within that organization, there was a lot of sentiment that this was inevitable, that it could very well happen before the trade deadline.

The trade deadline is nine days away. That’s not much time to solicit, evaluate, negotiate, re-solicit, re-evaluate, re-negotiate, re-re… Davis trade offers.

But the Pelicans should be prepared. They apparently saw this coming, and if they weren’t ready, that’s on them.

This is not to say New Orleans must trade Davis by next week’s trade deadline. The best offer might come next summer, when the Celtics can realistically trade for Anthony. Right now, they can’t trade for him while keeping Kyrie Irving, because they’re both designated rookie scale players.

Everyone knows that Boston offer is coming, though. The threat could improve offers the Pelicans get now, especially from teams that want Davis for the 2019 playoffs.

The NBA is investigating Davis’ trade request. He clearly put the Pelicans in a tough spot. But he didn’t put them in an unfairly tough spot. They saw the writing on the wall, and it’s up to them to handle it.

Report: Luke Walton sued for sexual assault

Getty Images
2 Comments

Luke Walton is being sued by a female reporter claiming sexual assault from a hotel room incident that dates back to before he was hired as the Lakers’ head coach (he was recently let go from that position and is currently the coach of the Sacramento Kings).

Kelli Tennant was writing a book and wanted Walton to write the forward, according to a lawsuit obtained by TMZ. The two had a business relationship and she agreed to meet him in a Santa Monica hotel to discuss him writing the forward to the book, according to the report. We’ll let TMZ take it from there:

In the suit, Tennant says when she arrived at Walton’s hotel, he convinced her to come up to his room so they could discuss the book. She claims when they got up to his room, Walton suddenly pinned her to the bed, placing his hips and legs over her body.

In the docs, Tennant claims Walton then began forcing kisses on her neck, face and chest. She claims she screamed for him to stop and tried to free herself, but he held her down, groped her breasts and groin, and rubbed his erection on her leg.

She says he eventually relented and let her get up from the bed, but as she was walking towards the door to leave he grabbed her from behind and again forced his body up against hers.

The lawsuit goes on to say Walton and her would interact after that, because of her job, and he would give her exaggerated hugs, kisses, and would make lewd comments to her.

Walton took over coaching the Lakers for the 2016-17 season, while the TMZ initial story said the incident happened before he was the coach, other reports have it happening in May of 2017 (after the end of his first season).

Walton has yet to comment on the lawsuit. The Kings and Lakers also have not commented.

NBA fines Brooklyn part-owner Joe Tsai for Tweet backing his GM challenging referees

Getty Images
2 Comments

I just hope he can afford this.

Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks was suspended and fined by the league for breaking a taboo and going into the officials’ locker room after the Nets’ Game 4 loss at home to challenge the referees. Marks — along with pretty much every Nets’ fan — was livid about how Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid has been officiated in the series.

Brooklyn minority owner (for now) and alternate governor Joe Tsai Tweeted this about Marks.

The NBA has fined Tsai $35,000 for “making public statements detrimental to the NBA.”

Tsai is the second-largest shareholder of online shopping powerhouse Alibaba and is worth an estimated $10.2 billion. He owns 49 percent of the Nets.

Virginia’s Kyle Guy staying in NBA draft, not returning to Virginia

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Virginia is going to lose three starters from its national championship team. De'Andre Hunter is a likely top-7 pick that a lot of teams think can be a good “3&D” NBA player. Ty Jerome is a bubble first-round pick expected to stay in the draft. Mamadi Diakite also has his name in the mix.

Now it’s official, Kyle Guy says he is keeping his name in the mix.

Guy had 24 points in the title game against Texas Tech and was named the NCAA tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for leading the Cavaliers to a title.

What he brings is shooting — he hit 42.6 percent from three this past season. He moves well off the ball and can catch-and-shoot, skills that NBA teams want. However, while he was a playmaker in college his handles and passing need work to be NBA ready, according to scouts. There also are concerns about his athleticism at the next level, and with that how well he can defend.

Guy is likely a second-round pick if taken at all, but he’s all in and going to take his shot while at the hight of his college career.

Hawks’ Lloyd Pierce replaces Pacers’ Nate McMillan as Team USA assistant coach

Harry How/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is taking over Team USA, and he has assistant coaches for the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympics:

  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr
  • Pacers coach Nate McMillan
  • Villanova coach Jay Wright
  • Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce

USA Basketball release:

Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce was named to the USA Basketball Men’s National Team coaching staff today. Pierce replaces Indiana Pacers head coach Nate [McMillan] who withdrew because of scheduling conflicts.

This is a pretty big honor for Pierce, who just completed his first season as an NBA head coach. He guided Atlanta to only a 29-53 record.

But the young Hawks, especially Trae Young, improved throughout the season. Atlanta pushed the pace, hoisted 3s and defended aggressively (though not well). An identity is forming.

Though it’s far too early to say much about Pierce’s head-coaching acumen, he acquitted himself well in his first year.

Working with Team USA could even help Pierce ingratiate himself with stars. This could eventually pay off for the Hawks in free agency.