NBA superstars gathered on Saturday in Rhode Island to celebrate Dallas Mavericks’ Harrison Barnes tying the knot. But that was not the only highlight that evening.Before we delve into what happened at the event, recall days after the NBA Finals, LeBron James posted an Instagram video of himself doing some interesting moves during a workout. Whatever his intention was, people found it amusing and Saturday was no exception. Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry cheap jerseys China decided to poke fun at James’ dance moves with his own variation of the dance. A video posted by retired NBA player Brendan Haywood on Instagram shows Curry mimicking the dance with James’ teammate Kyrie Irving joining in on the fun with a message saying, “shots fired,” and the hashtag “kingwontlikethis.” Not sure if this clears things up from all the rumors circulating about the current state of James’ and Irving’s relationship, but this could be an indicator of it. Irving has asked to be traded but the Cleveland Cavaliers have not said if they would grant his request.
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It’s been a whirlwind of a summer, but there’s a late submission for the craziest move of the offseason: Kyrie Irving’s trade demand.The Cavaliers star has reportedly asked team brass to move him, stunning everyone from his teammates to outside observers. The relationship between Irving and the Cavs has grown so toxic that the team reportedly can’t even get him on the phone. With one of the NBA’s biggest stars on the trading block, there’s been no shortage of suitors. What team can’t use a superstar point guard in his prime? With that in mind, The Crossover asked its writers: Which team should trade for Kyrie? While most teams have already made their “big move” this summer, there’s plenty of teams with assets and point-guard needs to make a deal. Let’s take a look at five of the most plausible scenarios. The Earth, no matter cheap jerseys what shape it might be, will collapse in on itself if this completely insane but also completely perfect trade happens. The Celtics do this because Irving is younger than Thomas, because he’s more famous than Thomas, because he’s bigger than Thomas, because his offensive ceiling as The Man in a Brad Stevens system is higher than Thomas, and because he’s under contract for a year longer than Thomas. Danny Ainge would have an answer to skeptics suggesting he is too conservative in trade talks, he would sell high on Thomas and pass any potential injury issues to Cleveland, he would buy himself another year before needing to shell out true max money to his point guard, and he would theoretically ease the transition to his next generation core by preparing to build around Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and company. The Cavaliers do this because they need to maximize their short-term return to chase the 2018 title and appease LeBron James, Thomas is the only All-NBA level point guard who is marginally available, Crowder is a playoff-tested wing defender who could give quality minutes in a Finals match-up against Golden State, and the first-round pick is a chip to soften the blow if James and/or Thomas leave next summer. First-time GM Koby Altman could salvage Cleveland’s rocky summer by selling this deal as his organization’s best shot to keep up with Golden State, by giving James the creative and dependable secondary playmaker who he desperately needs if Irving exits, and by adding a hard-nosed veteran stopper to an aging bench that provided little during the 2017 Finals. The real winners, however, would be the thousands of Twitter uses who spent last season debating whether Irving or Thomas was better as this trade would immediately pay off with a series of must-see head-to-head match-ups and a possible Eastern Conference finals showdown. Thomas is entering a contract year with a shot at his first big payday. Irving is clearly thirsting for his own stage. Let’s make this happen and marvel at the insanity that will inevitably unfold. Or, Ainge can sit tight and play killjoy yet again. — Ben Golliver
CLEVELAND, Ohio — What was the Cleveland Cavaliers’ record when LeBron James and Kevin Love played together — and Kyrie Irving sat?I didn’t know the answer when that question first occurred to me. It’s 25-10. Even more significant, it’s 24-7 in the last two seasons. Irving was out for the first 10 weeks of the 2015-16 season, recovering from a fractured kneecap. The Cavs were 20-7 in those games. Mo Williams filled in at point guard. The record when James sat while Irving and Love played? It’s 3-13. This is not meant to simply trash Irving. He is an incredible scorer. He apparently doesn’t see it this way, but Irving is an incredible player when on the court with James. And Love is very, very good. Lost in all the debate and angst about Irving’s trade request is Love’s value. The 6-foot-10 power forward struggles against Golden State. The quick pace is a challenge for him. Here are Love’s stats for the five-game 2017 NBA Finals: 16 points per game, 11.2 rebounds, .388 from the field, .387 on 3-pointers. So let’s not pretend he was the second coming of Melvin Turpin or Ben Poquette in those games. In the regular season and against Eastern Conference playoff opponents, Love cheap jerseys nba is an All-Star. When Irving is out and he’s the second scoring option after James, Love tends to thrive. The 6-foot-10 Love averaged 19 points and 11.1 rebounds in the regular season. He made the All-Star team. Furthermore, he has shown a willingness to sacrifice and fit in with the Cavs. For all the talk about how Irving can’t fully bloom with the Cavs, he averaged 25 points a game. He led the team in shots. Coach Tyronn Lue labeled Irving “an attack guard” and basically allowed him to shoot anytime from anywhere. Love has had to adapt. He has done just that, to the best of his ability. That’s one reason fans should not despair when Irving is traded … and I expect that to happen. A Cavs team starting with James and Love remains the best in the Eastern Conference. THE JAMES RUMORS When in doubt, blame LeBron James. That seems to be what the Kyrie Irving camp is doing. Before ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith came out with the comments about Irving’s people blaming James for word of his trade request becoming public, I also heard that in NBA circles. A. I don’t think it’s true. B. No matter who leaked it, the fact is Irving and his agent met with Dan Gilbert. They made their trade demand, and gave the Cavs owner a list of four teams as preferred destinations. C. In other words, Irving wants out despite taking three trips to the Finals and leading the team in shots attempted per game. D. I heard James was upset by Irving’s request. I don’t blame him. It seems about 90 percent of the NBA wants to play with James because it’s a ticket the NBA Finals. That 90 percent knows how hard it is to reach the championship round. E. The other 10 percent are members of the Golden State Warriors and a few guys who don’t want the challenge and the pressure that comes with playing with James for an NBA title. F. For more than a week, Irving and his people have had chances to issue statements, denials … something. Instead, there has been nothing other than Irving mocking James in a video featuring the song “Coming Home.” That’s probably part of the strategy to be traded.
When you have a player as talented as Karl-Anthony Towns, it’s easy to look ahead.As the Timberwolves are working currently on an extension with Andrew Wiggins, owner Glen Taylor noted exactly what the franchise has in plan for Towns next summer. Via The Star Tribune: Taylor said that the Wolves’ plans involve extending Wiggins now and Karl-Anthony Towns next year. “We are talking to [Wiggins’] agent right now about extending him out another five years, so we can cheap nba jerseys do that,” Taylor said. “Karl, we won’t do that until next year. Wiggins, we want to sign him to a long-term contract, we want to keep him here, and we’re negotiating with his agent. But we just started that negotiation, and we have quite some time to get that done.” There was some speculation in recent weeks that Wiggins could be used as a trade chip if the organization had plans to go all-in in pursuit of Kyrie Irving. That does not seem to be an option now at all. Towns is widely considered to be inevitably one of the elite centers of the future, and he is already there in some respects. It makes the decision easier for the Timberwolves as Towns is also nearly guaranteed a max extension when his time comes next summer.
Q: I really, really fear trading Justise Winslow. I don’t think Kyrie Irving is that much better than Goran Dragic and the upgrade wouldn’t be worth the cost of losing Winslow. That’s not to say Kyrie is overrated because he is certainly a superstar and among the five best scorers in the NBA. I believe that Dragic is better than he gets credit for and I’m also really high on Winslow. I believe he has All-Star potential. He’s 21 with only one real season of play. Shooting is something that can be fixed with proper form and repetition. I believe in Winslow’s work ethic and our coaching staff enough to know that the shot will come. Real quick: Look at Draymond Green, as he is the heart of soul of one of the best teams ever, but he shot 30 percent from 3 this past season. The Cavs almost sagged into the paint when guarding him in the Finals, but he stayed on the floor because his defense, rebounding, playmaking and intangibles which are all things Justise can bring right now. Trading Winslow would be a mistake. — Kevin.A: And Draymond shot only 28 percent on 3-pointers in the NBA Finals and 35 percent from the floor during that series. So, yes, it can be about more than shooting. In fact, I like what Justise said last week about becoming a better finisher. I believe that it an offensive element that can compensate for an errant jumper. Is baseball, the ultimate prospects are five-tool players. Justise at the moment is a four-tool player, with his individual defense, team defense, playmaking and rebounding. That can take you far in the NBA, in the proper system. Just as Justise is still adjusting to the NBA game, so, too, must the staff come up with a game that accentuates his positives, as the Warriors have done with Draymond. Q: Somebody from the Mavericks saw something in Gian Clavell. If the Heat had signed him and could somehow develop an extra gear in his first step, he would be better than Tyler Johnson. Time will tell. One slipped away. — William. A: It might have looked like a case of one that got away, but the Heat clearly had plan when it came their development program, moving instead to Matt Williams Jr. and Derrick Walton Jr. These are intriguing times in the NBA, with the advent of the two-way contract and the $50,000 seeding of contracts wholesale nba jerseys for players to be directly assigned to developmental-league affiliates. You now are moving to a player at a rawer stage of their development, which means a far more disparate view of what eventually can emerge. It will be fascinating to see how such seed money will pay off across the league. Q: Don’t you find it ironic that the last two NBA collective bargaining agreements were put in place to create more parity in the league, yet in realty it has done the exact opposite? I don’t think a weapons race is parity. — Stuart. A: Which why the Cavaliers has practically become a petri dish for the future of super teams, and whether such chemistry can endure. For all the Warriors accomplished with Kevin Durant jumping aboard, it has only been one year with that mix. It will be interesting to see what will happen with Klay Thompson when he hits free agency in the 2019 offseason. Or, for that matter, how the James Harden-Chris Paul chemistry plays out in Houston, or what the injection of Gordon Hayward into Boston’s rotation does for the Celtics. In many ways, we’re still in the experimental phase with super teams, with even the Heat’s Big Three limited to two titles.