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Report: Anthony Davis doesn’t want to play for hometown Bulls

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Anthony Davis is reportedly expected to inform teams he’ll re-sign with only the Lakers. His message will be that if the Pelicans keep him or trade him elsewhere, he’ll leave in 2020 free agency.

Of course, Paul George said something similar. Then, he got traded to the Thunder, fell for Oklahoma City and re-signed.

In a copycat league, that precedent will have plenty of teams considering trading for Davis and hoping for the best. Those teams must assess the odds Davis re-signs with them.

The Bulls have young players – like Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Zach LaVine – who might impress New Orleans. Chicago has all its future first-round picks, including a high one in this year’s draft. The Bulls could also acquire Davis then have the cap space to sign a second star. And Davis is a Chicago native.

But…

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

One of the worst kept secrets in the league is that Anthony Davis does not want to play in Chicago, his hometown.

Unless Anthony Davis has had a major change of heart since I was last informed, he does not desire to play in his hometown.

Bulls fans might want to pin this on Gar Forman and John Paxson. Or maybe it’s the fault of notoriously cheap ownership. I don’t know precisely why Davis wants to avoid Chicago.

But it could simply be the team’s location.

Many players think they want to play for their hometown team then loathe the experience. Those pressures and distractions aren’t for everyone. Maybe Davis just has that self-awareness without going through the experience first.

Whatever his reason, we should probably slide the Bulls even further down the list of potential Davis destinations.

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.