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Andre Iguodala told Jordan Bell to “stop doing that stupid stuff” during parade

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No Warriors celebrated winning a title like Jordan Bell.

There was him drinking a lot of Hennessey, and when he ran out going into the crowd to get more, which by the end of the day left him in a state where standing over the air conditioner to cool down β€” in front of live cameras β€” seemed appropriate.

Andre Iguodala told Bell to stop doing stupid stuff β€” then took a shot at the University of Oregon (Bell’s alma mater). Via NBC Sports Bay Area.

“I told him to stop doing that stupid stuff, but he’s a rookie,” the 2015 Finals MVP said on KNBR 680. “He enjoyed himself. It was his first time….

“And obviously at Oregon, they don’t teach guys certain things. The Oregon guys aren’t used to being professional basketball players.

“Arizona, we just have a plethora of alumni who played professional basketball. We know how to enjoy success. You gotta give Jordan a pass.”

Jordan Bell, don’t stop being you. Whatever your grandfather older teammates tell you.

Lakers, Celtics betting favorites to land Kawhi Leonard

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Where will Kawhi Leonard play next season?

It’s THE question going around the NBA right now. Everybody wants in the bidding β€” Orlando and Sacramento have leaked they would make offers β€” but only a few teams have a real chance.

Of course, you can bet on this β€” legally in more and more states, but that’s a discussion for another day. Bookmakers get paid to understand both how this will shake out and how people will bet on it, so what odds are they posting?

From overseas online betting siteΒ Bovada.

LA Lakers 5/7
Boston Celtics 15/4
Philadelphia 76ers 5/1
San Antonio Spurs 5/1
Cleveland Cavaliers 10/1
LA Clippers 10/1

There are other sites as well putting up numbers.

The Lakers are the heavy favorite everywhere, with good reason. One, Leonard wants to go there. Second, they have the assets to put together an interesting trade offer (Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, the No. 25 pick this year, a future first, and Luol Deng to make the salaries work). Also, thier odds are lower because Lakers’ nation is huge and a lot of fans will bet on them because it’s what they want to happen. All that makes the Lakers not a good bet because you don’t get value on the pick. You have to risk a lot.

I think the Celtics β€” who can piece together several versions of offers to tempt the Spurs, and they have a ton of firsts coming up to deal β€” are a better value bet. So are the Spurs β€” San Antonio is not likely to move fast here. If they don’t get an offer they like, they’ll wait it out. The Boston offers will still be there, San Antonio would love to create a bidding war, and that could drag into next season (awkward though it would be).

Report: Jimmy Butler “had problems” with Andrew Wiggins last season

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The line of people frustrated with Andrew Wiggins not reaching his potential as a player β€” due to work ethic and an at times passive personality β€” is longer than the lines for the new Pixar rides at Disneyland this summer. It goes back to Bill Self and most of Jayhawk nation in Kansas, continues through Flip Saunders and Sam Mitchell, and goes right up to Tom Thibodeau and his unflinching glare.

Jimmy Butler has jumped in that line, too, reports Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.

Sources familiar with the situation told Sporting News that Butler is uncertain about playing with Wiggins β€” Butler had problems last season with Wiggins, his work ethic and his approach on the defensive end of the floor. Thibodeau has had similar problems with Wiggins in the past, too, and he had some hope that bringing a tough-minded veteran like Butler into the locker room would spur Wiggins to improve. It didn’t.

Not even close β€” Wiggins regressed. Butler and Wiggins play a similar position and style, in the face of that Wiggins ceded shots (nearly six fewer per game in similar minutes) and with that his efficiency dropped β€” he shot 33.1 percent from three and his true shooting percentage of 50.1 was well below the league average, as was his PER of 13.

Butler is right to be frustrated, but this may be who Wiggins is.

It matters because Butler is entering the last year of his contract, and while he’s technically extension eligible right now he makes a lot more money becoming a free agent then re-signing with the Timberwolves next summer. However, if he’s even more frustrated after next season, would he still re-sign? Might he bolt?

If your first thought was “well then just trade Wiggins” good luck with that. Wiggins $146.5 million extension he just signed last summer kicks in this summer and other teams have seen what Butler has seen. Not even his hometown team of Toronto is going to jump at Wiggins with that contract.

For a team that should be on the rise β€” the Timberwolves did win 16 more games than the season before and made the playoffs for the first time since 2004 β€” with elite players like Karl-Anthony Towns and Butler, there is a lot of turbulence around the franchise. Butler loves Thibodeau and his hard-driving style, Towns not so much. Thibodeau’s long-standing habit of riding his starters hard wears on guys β€” the Timberwolves starting five played more minutes than any five-man unit in the league (330 more than the third-place team, that’s almost seven full games worth) and three Timberwolves were in the top 15 in minutes played total.

Throw in the Wiggins dynamic, and this feels like a Minnesota team that could take another step forward next season, or implode. Whichever direction it goes, Wiggins will be one of the main reasons.

Most likely Kawhi Leonard trade destinations: L.A., Philly, Boston, and…

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Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio. So much so that he’s willing to leave about $31 million on the table (the difference between the supermax the Spurs could offer and what any other team could after a trade). It took a while but the Spurs know now, and San Antonio will explore the trade market. They are not necessarily going to be in a rush to do it, either. This is a pateint organization, the idea of Leonard starting next season as a Spur is certainly not out of the question.

Despite that, you can be sure 29 teams are lined up to try to trade for him β€” when healthy Leonard is a top-five NBA player, an MVP candidate who is a force on both ends of the floor, and already a Finals MVP.

However, with just one year left on his current contract, Leonard has leverage in this situation β€” if a team can’t re-sign him then he’s just a one-year rental, and teams aren’t going to want to pay the steep trade price to land him. Leonard’s camp will let teams know if they have a shot at re-signing him, and most will not. A couple of teams might be willing to roll the dice anyway (as Oklahoma City did with Paul George) betting they can win him over with a year to recruit him in house. But by and large, Leonard will have some say on where he lands.

Here are the teams at the top of the list to watch.

 
Lakers small icon The Los Angeles Lakers. This is where Leonard wants to go. While Leonard’s frustrations with the Spurs grew over the handling of his injury and his seeking a second opinion, his uncle/advisor had been in Kawhi’s ear about getting to a place like Los Angeles. There are none in the NBA bigger than the Lakers. Leonard and his camp were disappointed with the money offered in recent negotiations with the Jordan shoe brand (reportedly in the $4 million to $5 million range) and think a move to a larger market and bigger brand team changes the endorsement equation. (Not as much as Leonard thinks, he doesn’t do social media or go on Fallon/Kimmel, or all the other stuff that guys like Russell Westbrook or Damian Lillard have done to create a brand despite market size. Kawhi has to play the game to get that cash.)

This is the trade everyone will talk about. It can get done financially with the Lakers sending Luol Deng‘s bloated contract, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma (and maybe the No. 25 pick in Thursday’s draft). However, the Spurs don’t really want Ball and the circus that follows him, according to sources. It’s expected the Spurs would ask for Brandon Ingram and Kuzma as the young Lakers coming back, and the Spurs likely would have to throw in Bryn Forbes just to balance the books. Either way, it may require a third team to get the job done, the Spurs will not just want to take on bad contracts.

It’s a good deal for the Spurs. If the Lakers get desperate, would they try to throw in Ball too? That likely requires a third team (at least), but the Lakers should go all in β€” get Leonard in a trade and it’s far more likely the Lakers get LeBron James in free agency.

Another question to ponder: Will the Spurs willingly trade Leonard to Western Conference rival with the resources of the Lakers? Don’t bet on it, especially if the Celtics, Sixers, or others come in with strong offers. The Spurs want the best offer, they don’t care if Leonard chooses to take even less money to go to LA as a free agent in 2019 (the max from another team would be $139 over four years, another massive hit to the guaranteed money pocketbook). Popovich is not inclined to help the Lakers, they will have to beat the competition with the best offer.

The Spurs will listen and be interested in what the Lakers have to say. But there could be better offers from…

 
Celtics small icon The Boston Celtics. It had been reported the Celtics tried to make a trade offer for Leonard at the last trade deadline but were rebuffed (the Spurs have turned away all calls up to this point). For a rebuilding Spurs team, this could be the cleanest choice.

Boston could offer Jaylen Brown (although the Spurs may demand Jayson Tatum), this year’s No. 27 pick, next year’s Sacramento Kings pick (which is only No. 1 protected, and that team is still going to be young and bad), plus another future first rounder. The Celtics have a lot of picks they can send.

Or, Boston could offer Kyrie Irving and a first-round pick. This lineup works for Boston: Leonard, Gordon Hayward, Tatum, Brown, and Al Horford. The question with that offer for San Antonio is could it re-sign Irving, a free agent in 2019? Would the Spurs rather have Brown and all the picks? Also, Boston could, in theory, offer Gordon Hayward and a pick (although that one is far less likely to be put out there).

The Celtics don’t necessarily have to be convinced they could re-sign Leonard to roll the dice on a trade β€” this is a franchise, a coach, and a passionate city of hoops fans who would be willing to bet they could win him over. Danny Ainge doesn’t fear a good gamble, and this would be one β€” with Leonard and their other stars getting healthy the Celtics become a threat to Golden State (as much as any team is).

 
Sixers small icon The Philadelphia 76ers. Another team on the rise in the East, a team with max cap space so they would have some flexibility still, and this is a team that Leonard has been linked to in the past. With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid taking steps forward (and staying healthy *knocks on wood*) Leonard pushes this team firmly into contender status.

The trade would likely be Robert Covington, Markelle Fultz, and the No. 10 pick in this draft (the Lakers’ pick). Or, it could be Dario Saric, Fultz, Jerryd Bayless and the No. 10 pick. How tempting that would be to the Spurs depends on what they think of Fultz, his health, and his shot, as well as who they can draft at No. 10. It’s a good deal, and the Sixers could throw more picks to tempt the Spurs. However, is this offer better than what the Lakers or Celtics can put on the board?

 
Clippers small icon The Los Angeles Clippers. If Leonard really wants to be in Los Angeles, this is the other option (and being the face this team did a lot for Chris Paul‘s brand and endorsements, State Farm has paid him a mint).

The offer would not be quite as enticing as what the Lakers can put on the table but it’s interesting: Tobias Harris, Sam Decker and this year’s 12th or 13th pick. Or both but without Decker. That would send the Spurs a decent package, however, it’s all nice role players and not a star (it’s unlikely they draft one that late in the lottery, possible but not likely). Still, the Clippers will try to get in the mix, and they would stand a chance to keep him because of the city (especially if they pay this summer to keep DeAndre Jordan).

 
Knicks small icon The New York Knicks. Another team on this list because it’s a large market that Leonard has been linked to. Reportedly people around him like this idea, but it’s hard to see it working out. It’s also not known for sure if the Knicks could win over Leonard to re-sign, promising him a healthy Kristaps Porzingis. Eventually.

A trade of Tim Hardaway Jr., Frank Ntilikina, and this years No. 9 pick will get the Spurs to at least listen. (The Spurs are not taking on Joakim Noah or Enes Kanter‘s contracts, the Knicks are stuck with those.) Just hard to see that being enough, considering who they are up against.

 
Heat small icon Miami Heat. Another team whose name comes up β€” like Sacramento, which would love to get in the sweepstakes β€” where it seems unlikely they could re-sign Leonard so how much do they really want to offer? There are a few teams in this circumstance.

For the Heat, they could offer Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo
in a trade for Leonard and Patty Mills.

Maybe the Spurs have a little interest in the young players, but it’s likely not enough. Also, how much better does this make the Heat in the short term, and if they are just fighting to make the playoffs in the East is that going to entice Leonard to stay?

If and when the Spurs decide to trade Leonard β€” they are in no rush, this could drag out through the summer β€” they are going to get closer to market value for a superstar than most teams get. Much closer than the Kings did with DeMarcus Cousins, for example. There are a few teams that can make quality offers, and the Spurs will choose the best one β€” they don’t care where Leonard lands. Leonard’s leverage is where he will re-sign, but a team that trades for him can offer $49 million more and one more guaranteed year, that’s a lot of cabbage β€” not enough to keep Leonard in a place he doesn’t like or want to be, but if the team is winning and the experience is good… anything can happen.

This summer is going to be wild.

Dwight Howard calls day Stan Van Gundy threw him under bus “worst day of my life”

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It was one of the strangest, most unexpected coach/player media sessions ever.

Back in April 2012, the relationship between Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and star player Dwight Howard was strained (to put it kindly). Then one day before a game, Van Gundy drank his Diet Pepsi in a media session and told everyone Howard went to management and asked for the coach to be fired β€” then Howard walked into the session, not knowing what had been said, and gave Van Gundy a hug and said everything was fine. Awkward doesn’t begin to describe it.

On ESPN’s The Jump Thursday, Howard called it the “worst day of my life.”

“The first question is like ‘Dwight, they said you wanted to get Stan fired.’ I was like ‘Oh, my God,’ ” Howard recalled. “That was literally the worst day of my life. We had a game that night. And that was the worst game I ever played. Like, I could not hit the basket for nothing. And you would have thought — I don’t know what was going on that night, but it was the worst ever.

“So man, shout out to Stan, man. Shout out to Stan, man.”

Just more than a month later, Van Gundy was let go (after a first-round playoff loss to Indiana). The following season Howard was traded to the Lakers (which was another disaster as he came back too quickly from back surgery and was never right), then eventually jumped to Houston.

Howard said their relationship was never that bad, and whatever was wrong it has since been patched up. Van Gundy and Howard text and talk regularly, they both say.

Which is great, but it doesn’t make that April day in 2012 any less legendary.