WATCH: DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Kenneth Faried pull off the rare triple flop


Flopping is the scourge of the NBA, and while the league has instituted a toothless policy in order to try to shame players into stopping, it’s still as prevalent as ever.

And occasionally, we see multiple players attempt to fool the officials this way on the very same play.

Derek Fisher and Kevin Martin once completed a double flop, which seemed difficult enough to coordinate. The Kings and the Nuggets went a step further on Monday, however, when DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Kenneth Faried all flailed away simultaneously for what appeared to be no good reason.

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[via SB Nation]

Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin fined for emulating former Timberwolves guard Sam Cassell


(via @cjzero)

Late in Saturday’s Timberwolves-Bulls game, Kevin Martin pulled up for a 3-pointer in the final couple minutes that gave Minnesota the lead.

It was the type of shot that takes cojones – and Martin wanted ensure everyone knew it.

But the Timberwolves eventually took the loss, and Martin took a fine as the NBA continues its crusade against the Sam Cassell dance.

NBA release:

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin has been fined $15,000 for making an obscene gesture during the Timberwolves’ 106-105 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, Nov. 1, at Target Center, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.


Martin’s actions occurred with 1:37 remaining in the fourth quarter of the game.

Can’t players on Minnesota, where Cassell spent his best individual season, get an exemption?

Byron Scott on vetoed Chris Paul-Lakers trade: “Sometimes you want to say, ‘Damn it, David Stern’”


Byron Scott was coaching the Cavaliers when New Orleans agreed to trade Chris Paul to the Lakers for Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic and a first-round pick (that became Royce White).

And Scott was coaching the Cavaliers when David Stern vetoed the trade.

But Scott, a lifelong Lakers fan who now coaches the team, reacted and is still reacting like Lakers fans everywhere.

Scott, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

“Yeah, sometimes you want to say, ‘Damn it, David Stern,'” Scott said before his team faced Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Friday.

“Yeah, you think about it. When they made the trade before David hexed it, I was like, ‘Wow That’s going to be fantastic.'”

At the time of the vetoed trade, Stern was both NBA commissioner and New Orleans’ acting controlling owner. Despite claiming he vetoed the trade in his capacity as owner, Stern probably couldn’t have completely separated his responsibilities.

The problem wasn’t Stern vetoing the trade, a decision justifiable – at the time, at least – on basketball terms. The problem was Stern putting himself in position where his conflict of interest was so glaring.

But Lakers fans don’t want to hear about that. They just want Chris Paul. Count Scott, who coached Paul in New Orleans, among that group.

If trade went through, maybe Scott would be coaching a better version of the Lakers right now – or maybe he wouldn’t be coaching his favorite team at all. Mike Brown could still be in the lead chair.

Five top candidates for NBA Rookie of the Year


Eight of the last nine NBA Rookie of the Year winners have fit the same mold: A player on a bad team where the coach puts the ball in his hands and asks him to make plays and put up numbers. Michael Carter-Williams did it last year, Damian Lillard the season before that, Kyrie Irving the season before that and so on (Blake Griffin being the exception).

This season we may see another exception — the guys in the best position to win are a lot of big men who play inside.

Here are the five most likely players to win the Rookie of the Year Award.

1. Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia 76ers. Consider the Blake Griffin effect — an entire season to work out, add muscle, improve your game, and an entire year to watch the NBA game up close and learn. Griffin admitted it was an advantage for him, Noel has that advantage now. Add to that the fact Noel was the most impressive player I saw in limited minutes at Summer League in Las Vegas and you have a real candidate. Noel is on a bad team and going to get plenty of shots, plus the runs the floor well on a team that will play at one of the fastest paces in the league. Noel could put up both impressive numbers and a lot of highlights. That said he’s not been great in the preseason and has battled through some minor physical issues.

2. Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks. This is the guy 75 percent of general managers picked to win the award (and more than a third think he will be the best player in five years from this class). Parker entered the draft with the most mature offensive game of anyone in the lottery (he can score in a variety of ways and has a nice first step), now he goes to a young Bucks team that is going to give him the rock a lot. In the preseason that has meant some impressive nights (21 and 11 against the Timberwolves, for example). I don’t know about five years from now, but I think he will have an impressive rookie season on a Bucks team that will be very entertaining.

3. Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves. Wiggins is the No. 1 overall pick, a heralded pick, a freak athlete, a guy who has shown a nice midrange game, and he seems to learn quickly. There’s a lot to like, and he’s going to put up some decent numbers as well as some real highlight dunks. The question in Minnesota is how much run does Flip Saunders give Wiggins, that team has solid veterans on the wing like Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer. Ricky Rubio is going to throw Wiggins some sweet lobs but Rubio is going to have the ball in his hands most of the time. Wiggins’ personality is to fit in with teammates, not just take charge all the time. Combine all of that and I wonder if he’s really going to get enough touches to win the award.

4. Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers. He’s going to come off the bench behind Carlos Boozer in Los Angeles, but the Lakers bench is going to be more fun to watch than the starters most of the time anyway. Randle should get a lot of touches on what will not be a good team, but will veteran-friendly coach Byron Scott really let the kid loose. Randle has been up and down in the preseason. Kobe Bryant says Randle could win it if he would just %$(*#% listen to him and not blow it.

5. Bojan Bogdanovic, Brooklyn Nets. The guy can shoot the rock and Lionel Hollins likes guys that can shoot the rock, he may well start and certainly will get plenty of burn in Brooklyn. That said, with his years of international experience, I’m not sure voters will want to vote for him as a rookie, plus with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez on that team there just are not a lot of touches left.

Honorable mentions:

• Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics. I put him here because one GM gave him one vote in the GM survey, and him winning is about as likely as any of the other dark horses. Smart can defend but his offensive game is a work in progress, and he’d going to spend most of the season behind Rajon Rondo anyway (unless Rondo is traded).
• Doug McDermott, Chicago Bulls. A lot of fans like him, and I like his game and fit with the Bulls, but he’s just not going to get enough run — if you think Thibodeau is going to lean heavy on a rookie I’m not sure what Thibs you’ve been watching.
• T.J. Warren, Phoenix Suns. If you’re looking for a rookie who can score, Warren is your man. He showed it in Summer League and preseason, he’s strong in transition and the Suns like to run.

Report: Timberwolves shopping Chase Budinger, Pistons and Rockets interested


The Minnesota Timberwolves made a lot of moves this summer — most notably trading Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett — and they might not be done. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Flip Saunders is shopping veteran forward Chase Budinger and at least a couple of teams have shown interest.

Among talks with several teams, the Detroit Pistons andHouston Rockets have shown an interest, league sources said.

Houston is reluctant to take on the $5 million player option on Budinger’s deal in 2015-16, as are the Pistons, sources said. Nevertheless, the Pistons are taking a long look at Budinger and considering the possibility of making a deal. No trade is considered imminent for Budinger.

The Pistons are a team that would make sense for Budinger. Recent injuries to Jodie Meeks and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have left them thin on the perimeter, and Budinger is a good shooter who would make a fine replacement. It’s not a surprise that the Rockets are looking at him, either: they drafted him in 2009 and in his last season with Houston, he shot 40.2 percent from three-point range.

The biggest drawback for a team looking at trading for Budinger is his health. Since signing with the Timberwolves as a free agent in 2012, he’s dealt with several knee injuries. He missed 59 games in 2012-13 and 41 games last season. With Wiggins and fellow rookie Zach LaVine on the roster, and veterans Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer also figuring to get major minutes, Budinger is simply the odd man out in Minnesota.

Given his health, the Timberwolves can’t expect to get much more than cap relief and maybe a second-round pick for Budinger, but he could be a good buy-low candidate for a playoff team looking to add shooting.