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Monday, February 20, 2017



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Report: Kings owner thinks Buddy Hield has ‘Steph Curry potential’

Buddy Hield

Sacramento Kings ownership apparently has a very high opinion of Buddy Hield.

Many observers were underwhelmed when the Kings shipped DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans for Hield, a first-round pick, and two players who won’t be in Sacramento’s long-term plans. Apparently, Hield was key to the deal, with owner Vivek Ranadive comparing him to the league’s foremost sharpshooter.

Hield is probably not going to be Steph Curry. He might turn out to be a good NBA player, but Curry seems like a longshot to say the least. However, the Kings have been infatuated with Hield going all the way back to last year’s NBA Draft, and it seems as though that fixation never waned.

Report: Jets tampered with Darrelle Revis through private phones, secret meetings

Darrelle Revis

The Jets were fined $100,000 for tampering with Darrelle Revis two seasons ago after owner Woody Johnson said publicly that he would love to have Revis, who was still with the Patriots at the time, back in New York. Apparently Johnson’s comments were only a fraction of the violations committed by the team.

Johnson’s comments came in December 2014, roughly one month before Revis and the Patriots won the Super Bowl and nearly three months before the official start of free agency. According to a report from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Jets officials communicated with Revis about a deal at the Scouting Combine in late-February 2015. They allegedly used burner phones and had secret meetings with Revis to hammer out a deal before the start of free agency, which wasn’t until March 9. Here’s more:

Johnson’s words at that December press conference became the face of the tampering that ultimately prompted a $100,000 fine, but back-channel discussions with the Jets in February set the foundation for a Revis reunion.

Team officials in stealth mode communicated with Revis, Inc., through private cell phones and face-to-face covert meetings at the 2015 Scouting Combine rather than make calls from the team’s landlines at their Florham Park facility. No paper trails were a must.

Johnson, the driving force behind bringing back Revis to right a wrong in his mind, endorsed all of it.

Obviously, that would go far beyond Johnson’s seemingly innocent comment about wanting Revis back with the Jets. NFL investigators questioned Jets officials about possible tampering, and the only thing we ever heard about publicly was the punishment for what Johnson said.

If you remember, the Jets actually fired back at the Patriots a few weeks later by filing petty tampering charges of their own. You can read more about that here.

While plenty of teams bend the rules when it comes to tampering and the official start of free agency, the Jets got off easy — both with disciplinary action from the league and in the eyes of the public — if they were holding secret meetings with Revis and making sure to leave “no paper trails.” Let’s just say if it were Bill Belichick and the Patriots doing that, we likely would have heard a heck of a lot more about it.

John Calipari quickly shoots down any talk of him leaving to coach Pelicans

John Calipari

John Calipari has been the subject of so many NBA rumors that he’s going out of his way to try to shut them down before they even get started now.

After two of his former Kentucky players, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, were reunited with the New Orleans Pelicans, Calipari responded to a non-serious question about leaving Kentucky to coach New Orleans with a very serious answer.

“Not happening,” Calipari said Monday on the Dan Patrick Show, via Jon Hale of the Courier-Journal.

In fact, Calipari said his former players don’t want to see him in the NBA.

“I’ve held every player I coached back, if you ask them,” Calipari said. “I’d rather be in the situation I’m in to be help, to be a mentor, whatever they need me to be.”

Calipari does think Cousins and Davis can work together, but cautioned that it will probably take some time to come together.

“(Cousins) and Anthony are going to have to figure it out together, and it takes time,” Calipari said. “It’s just not gonna happen in a week. It just doesn’t. … They’re two players that want to win, that like each other.”

Calipari was often linked to Sacramento when Cousins was there. He doesn’t sound very interested in those links continuing.

Report: Carmelo Anthony prefers trade to Clippers or Lakers

With the NBA trade deadline just three days away, it appears highly unlikely that Carmelo Anthony will be traded. But if the New York Knicks do make a last-ditch effort to move the 32-year-old superstar, they may only bother calling two other teams.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported on Sunday that the odds are “heavily against” the Knicks trading Anthony by Thursday. Anthony has maintained that the team has not approached him about waiving his no-trade clause, and Berman’s sources say Carmelo would likely only consider accepting a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers or Lakers.

Knicks general manager Steve Mills was in New Orleans for the All-Star Game over the weekend, but he did not meet with Anthony to discuss any potential deals.

“Leave it like that,” Anthony said Sunday. “Things I’m dealing with, it’s good not to hear me in the media like that. This weekend was more about focusing on this weekend, having fun and getting away from that for a couple of days. I was in the moment just focusing on being here.”

Anthony has repeatedly said that he wants to stay in New York. A lot of that has to do with his family being comfortable there, and it would not be a surprise if marketing and his personal brand were also considerations. That would help explain why his preference is to go to L.A. if he leaves the Knicks.

It seems like Knicks president Phil Jackson is ready to move on from Carmelo, which became even more evident when the Zen Master sent this tweet. However, Anthony could wait to see if either Jackson or the Knicks will opt out of the contract they have with each other this offseason. Should Jackson part ways with the team, Anthony might have a better chance of sticking around.

Kings will reportedly waive Matt Barnes in wake of DeMarcus Cousins deal

Matt Barnes Grizzlies

The Sacramento Kings have made some big changes surrounding All-Star weekend, and Matt Barnes is reportedly about to become a part of them.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Kings are expected to waive Barnes in order to clear the roster space they need to complete the DeMarcus Cousins deal with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Cousins was traded to the Pelicans on Sunday night for guards Buddy Hield and Tyreke Evans in addition to two draft picks.

Barnes, 36, is in his second stint with the Kings. He is averaging 7.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while playing just over 25 minutes a night. Ironically, he recently offered some advice for Cousins about how the big man can change his reputation. The Pelicans obviously were not concerned about Cousins’ reputation, and Barnes is going to be out of a job because of it.

Report: Celtics focused on acquiring Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler Chicago Bulls

For some people, there was a bit of surprise that the Boston Celtics didn’t seem to be more active in the DeMarcus Cousins sweepstakes. Apparently, that’s because they have their eyes on a different superstar.

According to Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, the Celtics weren’t more involved because their focus is on trying to trade for Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler.

Butler and the Celtics have been linked for months. Recently, we heard there was a chance the two teams might rekindle trade talks, and it sounds as though they’ve done just that. Such is their focus that it may have cost them a realistic shot at acquiring Cousins.

Isaiah Thomas has funny reaction to DeMarcus Cousins trade

More than a few people are surprised with how little the Sacramento Kings got in return from the New Orleans Pelicans in the DeMarcus Cousins trade, and Isaiah Thomas is right there with those people.

Thomas, who was teammates with Cousins in Sacramento for three seasons before he was traded to the Boston Celtics, implied on Twitter that he believes the Kings were robbed.

The Kings got last year’s No. 6 overall pick Buddy Hield, veteran guard Tyreke Evans and a first-round and second-round draft pick for next season. Although he created plenty of headaches for his former team, Cousins is just 26 and is one of the best big men in the NBA. He is averaging 27.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game this season.

Thomas likely finds the trade even more humorous because the Kings received only a $7.2 million trade exception and the rights to 2013 second-round pick Alex Oriakhi when they traded Isaiah in a three-team deal a few years back.

Sacramento talked to a number of other teams about trading Cousins, so the Pelicans must have offered the best package.

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