As the Cleveland Cavaliers continue figuring out how to handle Kyrie Irving’s recent trade request, the All-Star guard reportedly hopes to join the New York Knicks.According to ESPN’s Pablo Torre (via Clevis Murray of Def Pen Hoops), Irving “very badly” wants to play for the Knicks. Per ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Irving gave the Cavaliers a list of preferred trade destinations that includes the Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst noted Irving wholesale jerseys wants to be traded in part because he “wants to play in a situation where he can be more of a focal point” instead of playing the No. 2 guy behind LeBron James. The Knicks would afford Irving that opportunity. Carmelo Anthony is still a high-volume scorer, but he’s no longer a franchise cornerstone. Kristaps Porzingis has tremendous potential, but he’s just 21 years old and is still putting everything together. Irving would give the Knicks a franchise building block. He’s a four-time All-Star who scored a career-high 25.2 points per game last season. New York hasn’t made the postseason since the 2012-13 season and hasn’t won more than 37 games in each of the past four seasons.
Archive for November, 2016
NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis says a New Orleans Pelicans are “tired of losing” and have the roster to do something about it.That is, if they can find a new offensive scheme that suits their mixture of incumbent starters and recent acquisitions. “We can’t wait for the season to come and try to make some noise here in the loaded West,” Davis said Tuesday afternoon while promoting a youth camp he’ll host in early August. “We’re doing everything, whether it’s signing players, trading players … whatever it is to just try to make sure that we try to be a winning organization,” he added. “We have the tools right now to be successful. … Right now, I think we look good on paper. So we’ve just got to figure it out.” The Pelicans will likely need the right scheme, good chemistry and good health to contend in the Western Conference, which features defending champion Golden State as well as Houston, Oklahoma City and San Antonio. Davis is optimistic that could happen. He’s been working out this offseason with fellow All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins, and he fully endorsed the recent signing of veteran point guard Rajon Rondo. Davis said Rondo’s savvy play-making and defensive acumen will strengthen the New Orleans on both ends while also allowing Jrue Holiday to become more of a scoring threat from the shooting guard spot. When the Pelicans re-signed Holiday to a five-year, $126 million contract to open free agency, general manager Dell Demps and coach Alvin Gentry mentioned the possibility of playing Holiday off the ball more, and the acquisition of Rondo should allow that, Davis said. “When I first heard about Rondo, I thought it was a good situation for us,” Davis said. “He knows when to get guys involved, when to make that pass.” Davis said Rondo and Holiday also will be a formidable defensive tandem along the perimeter, meaning the Pelicans’ All-Star big men should have more chances to protect the rim and rebound. He said Rondo’s long arms and big hands help him disrupt drives and passes as well as rebound. “They’re going to give a lot of guards, this year, problems,” Davis said. “It’s always good when you can add a guy who knows how to play defense.” By the time Davis hosts his clinic for kids Aug. 7-8 at the University of New Orleans, he’ll have spent a considerable portion of the offseason working out with Cousins, who was acquired in a trade after last season’s All-Star game. As the fellow All-Stars prepare to enter their first full season together, Davis said Cousins is trying to adapt and further develop his game. Coaches and teammates have complemented Cousins this summer on how he looks after committing to a conditioning program than has helped him shed some weight and improve his endurance. “We know we’re going cheap jerseys China to be the big focal points on every team’s scouting report, so we just wanted to get together and work at it together and figure out the things we like to do,” Davis said. “He’s trying to adapt. He wants to win for sure and we didn’t have that much time last year. … He’s trying to do whatever the team asks him to do.” Davis said he’s supposed to meet with new assistant coach Chris Finch soon to start discussing the offensive scheme he envisions when New Orleans’ top two front-court stars are playing together. Finch could be a good fit because of his recent experience on Denver’s staff helping versatile young big men Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic play effectively as teammates. Davis said the Pelicans want to emulate “how they ran their offensive package with those two bigs who are very skilled.”
Andrew Wiggins is looking to get paid when his rookie deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves expires.The 22-year-old forward told Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver on Thursday that he feels he’s “definitely” worth a max contract and “nothing less.” Golliver noted a max salary for Wiggins could be worth $25.5 million in the first year and a total of $148 million over five years. Wiggins’ contract is part of the reason the Timberwolves needed to make their big outside expenditures this summer, when they had a lot of salary-cap flexibility. Minnesota was able to acquire Jimmy Butler and sign Jeff Teague without having to move a lot of pieces around. Starting next summer, that flexibility starts disappearing. Wiggins can be a restricted free agent in 2018, and Karl-Anthony Towns will hit restricted free agency in 2019. While he hasn’t made the impact some expected him to when he was coming out of college, Wiggins’ desire for a max salary is more than reasonable assuming he stays healthy in 2017-18. He averaged a career-high 23.6 points and shot a career-best 35.6 percent from beyond the arc last season. Wiggins struggled on the defensive end, though, with the Timberwolves allowing 5.6 more points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor, per NBA.com. Still, Otto Porter, who has a weaker overall resume than Wiggins, wholesale jerseys received a max offer sheet from the Brooklyn Nets that eclipsed $100 million earlier this offseason. Whether the offer comes from Minnesota or another team, Wiggins should have little trouble receiving a max contract when the time comes.
CHICAGO — Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker is pumping the positivity as he recovers from another torn ACL in his left knee, the second time he has suffered the injury in three seasons.“I feel great,” Parker told ESPN.com during a promotional appearance in Chicago on Thursday. “I tell myself every day I couldn’t be in a better situation because it’s going to make me a great man at the end of the day. It’s going to make me mentally tough and it’s going to help me for the future.” Parker, 22, initially tore his ACL in December 2014 and is in what cheap nba jerseys authentic figures to be a yearlong rehab process after reinjuring the knee in early February last season. He does not have a return date in mind. “As of right now, the way I treat my body, it doesn’t have a date,” he said. “I can give you a little piece of information: I’m not the average person with this injury. Obviously I had it once, but I’ve done stuff so far that’s exciting. But most importantly, I want to be able to jump as high, jump higher than I was, be faster than I was. That’s the only way I’ll play again.” Parker says the mental part of the rehabilitation is more difficult than the physical part. “It’s definitely mental,” he said. “Especially if it happens to you more than once. “But actually, me getting hurt the second time has helped me embrace [rehab and recovery] stronger than I did the first one. It gave me that mentality [of] I don’t give a f— no more. Excuse my language, but I just don’t. If it happens [again], it happens. But I’m not going to let that hold me back. And if it happens again, I’m just going to do the same stuff I was before.” Parker, the second overall pick in the 2014 draft, acknowledged that there was a brief moment when he couldn’t believe the injury occurred again. “For two seconds,” he said. “When I heard the news. When I read over my MRI with the doctor. Two seconds. After that, I was just like, get back to work.” Parker, who won four high school state titles at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, said he has taken some motivation from watching former NBA MVP and fellow Simeon alum Derrick Rose. The freshly minted Cleveland Cavaliers guard has made his way back from several serious knee injuries of his own. “He had a great year with the Knicks,” Parker said. “People who know basketball and appreciate him, they give him some type of respect, and that’s just what I want. I don’t have that career that I wanted so far, but what stands out is the respect that I’ll have from overcoming my obstacles.”
One of the primary reasons LeBron James‘ current teammate Kyrie Irving reportedly requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers is that he is tired of playing in James’ shadow.While James has been known as nothing but an exemplary teammate throughout his career, former Miami Heat teammate Mario Chalmers admitted that playing alongside him does come with its difficulties when he sat down with Sirius XM’s “Off the Dribble.” “It can be tough (playing with LeBron) sometimes just because he’s such a dominant player,” Chalmers said. “He’s the best player in the NBA, so it boils down to the coach. Is the coach going to get everybody else involved, or is he gonna let ‘Bron decide when he wants to cheap jerseys get everybody else involved? That’s one of the things we were going back-and-forth with [in] Miami. But as a teammate — he’s a great teammate. I’ve never had any problems (with him), even when we had that one argument on the court. At the end of the day, we’re still brothers. We were over that after it had already happened, and the media made it more than what it was. Still, Chalmers explained that he understands why Irving would feel overlooked because of James’ dominance. He did say, however, that he believes the personal rift between Irving and James is being overblown. “I can’t say he’s a bad teammate. He’s a great teammate, a great dude. And when you’re a guy like Kyrie, and you’re young and you’re ‘the man,’ I can see him wanting to be traded to be on his own team,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s as personal as what everybody is trying to make it seem.” Chalmers and James played together during all of James’ time in Miami and likely understands what it means to be a point guard in an offense led by James as well as anyone. While Irving and James’ situation may be completely different, this is certainly an interesting insight into what has become the most dramatic story of an already crazy NBA offseason.