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Sunday, June 26, 2016

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Brandon Ingram skinny memes are downright cruel

Brandon Ingram suit

The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Brandon Ingram with the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft Thursday night, and one of the first things people noticed was how slender the former Duke star is.

Naturally, the very mean people of the internet hopped on the meme train. Here are some of the funnier ones (sorry, Brandon):

Can you name another super-scrawny dude who was the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft? I can — his name is Kevin Durant.

Of course, Ingram was immediately asked by reporters if he is concerned that he is undersized for the NBA. He had a great response.

“It got me here today,” he said. “I was the No. 2 pick.”

It’s hard to argue with that. Keep your head up, Brandon. We’ve seen much worse memes in recent weeks.

President Obama wants JR Smith to put a shirt on

jr-smith-shirtless

J.R. Smith took his shirt off while the Cleveland Cavaliers were celebrating their Game 7 win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night, and it seems like he has been shirtless since. President Barack Obama would like that to change.

Obama placed a congratulatory phone call to Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue on Thursday, and the Commander in Chief ended it by asking Lue to have Smith put a shirt on.

“Tell J.R. and everybody to put a shirt on, though,” Obama joked. “You can’t just be walking around without a shirt all week. Now (Iman) Shumpert’s taking off his shirt, come on man. But I guess if you’re built like that, you know…”

After Smith went viral for celebrating with no shirt on, he continued to embrace the trend by riding through the streets of Cleveland half-naked. You can see some footage from the victory parade here.

You can’t blame Smith for being excited, but he may have to get fully dressed now. That’s an order that comes directly from the top.

DeMarcus Cousins did not seem thrilled with Kings’ draft pick

DeMarcus Cousins

It’s safe to say that DeMarcus Cousins wasn’t feeling the Sacramento Kings’ first-round draft pick on Thursday night.

After the Kings got Georgios Papagiannis (via the Suns), Cousins sent the following tweet:

Does he want out of Sacramento? Did he think they would address other positions? Is he upset to see them take an 18-year-old developmental project? The answer is probably yes across the board. Sorry, Boogie.

Ivica Zubac may be biggest Lakers fan ever

Ivica Zubac

The Los Angeles Lakers made Crotian center Ivica Zubac the happiest player on draft day.

Zubac, whom the team selected with the No. 32 overall pick in the draft, is as big of a Lakers fan as you could imagine.

Zubac says he got up at 4 a.m. to watch Kobe’s final game. He also says he became a Lakers fan because some of the guys he looked up to were Kobe fans, and he became one too.

Though Zubac, 19, won’t be able to play with his idol, at least he can aspire to one day put on the purple and gold for real.

Lil B will lift curse if Kevin Durant goes to Knicks

Kevin Durant

The New York Knicks just received their greatest possible free agency pitch for Kevin Durant.

Rapper Lil B aka “The BasedGod” said on Twitter Thursday night that he would lift the curse off Durant if the free agent comes to the Knicks:

Lil B has developed a reputation for putting hexes on certain NBA players. He has had a widely publicized feud with James Harden, whom he accused of stealing his “cooking dance,” resulting in the rapper putting a curse on the Rockets star.

Lil B has also had a long-running feud with Durant that began in 2011 when KD said he didn’t understand the reason for the rapper’s popularity. Lil B, who is from the Bay Area, took credit for cursing Durant during the playoffs, resulting in the Thunder blowing their 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals to the Golden State Warriors.

The Knicks may have thought that acquiring Derrick Rose would have strengthened their pitch to Durant, but this news from Lil B has to go to the top of the slideshow presentation.

JJ Watt unveils signature Reebok shoe

JJ-Watt-expecting-father

It’s been an eventful week for J.J. Watt. Tuesday, he called out Pro Football Talk for what Watt perceived as “saltiness.” On Thursday, Watt unveiled his first signature shoe.

Allen Iverson, Yao Ming, and Shaquille O’Neal have had signature shoes with Reebok in the past. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year now joins them. Watt posted a couple of photos of his new kicks on his Instagram account.

A photo posted by JJ Watt (@justinjames99) on

A photo posted by JJ Watt (@justinjames99) on

When asked about price and date of availability, Watt said they will retail for $99 and be in stores July 15.

Stephen Curry recently had his new signature shoes from Under Armour roundly criticized. Time will tell if opinions of Watt’s shoes are generally favorable or not, but this man has already weighed in with his thoughts.

Thunder likely expected Serge Ibaka to leave in free agency

Serge Ibaka

Oklahoma City’s decision to trade Serge Ibaka on draft day was a shocker, but the surprising move is starting to make some sense.

The Thunder traded Ibaka, who has been with the team since 2008, to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and Ersan Ilyasova.

Though bringing in Oladipo and Sabonis, with Ilyasova as a throw-in, may be good for the team long-term, it’s a risky move because it could sour free agent Kevin Durant and free agent-to-be Russell Westbrook on the team. So why would GM Sam Presti and Co. make the move? Because Ibaka was going to be a free agent after next season, and they may have expected him to leave:

Believing he would leave, the Thunder probably thought they might as well get some serious compensation for him now rather than lose him for nothing. It’s a Belichick-like strategy of sustaining long-term success.

The question is whether or not this will influence Durant’s decision to remain with the team. For what it’s worth, the move was apparently made independent of Durant’s free agency.

The loss of Ibaka likely means we will see more of Steven Adams and Enes Kanter, who proved last season to be valuable pieces. Adams is only 22 and played like one of the best bigs in the playoffs, so he has a lot of room to improve and be a centerpiece on the team. Kanter is also young at 24 and could see some improvement.

Maybe the Thunder have improved their lineup, but that is contingent upon one key thing: whether or not Durant stays. They better hope this doesn’t push him out the door, but rather that it helps encourage him to stay. He apparently considers Oladipo a friend and was very complimentary of him once:

Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis to Thunder in Serge Ibaka trade

Serge Ibaka

The Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder delivered one of the biggest blockbusters on draft day, as they agreed to a large deal that sends Serge Ibaka to the Magic for three players.

The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the Magic are sending Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and draft pick Domantas Sabonis to Oklahoma City in exchange for Ibaka.

There were rumors earlier on Thursday that the Thunder were making Ibaka available in trades.

Ibaka, 27 in September, will be a free agent after next season, which makes the move somewhat risky for the Magic. But if he shines in Orlando playing without Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant for the first time in his career, he could end up signing a long-term deal with them and becoming a franchise player.

This move is also risky for the Thunder. Not only are they breaking up a core that has led them to success the past several seasons, but they are also doing so at a critical time for their franchise. Kevin Durant is a free agent and his decision to remain with OKC could be influenced by this trade. Westbrook will also be a free agent after next season.

Are the Thunder doing this to increase their chances of retaining Durant and Westbrook? Or is this protection in case they lose one or both players? Or maybe they just made the deal to get some strong value in return for Ibaka, likely knowing they wouldn’t be able to keep him beyond next season:

Oladipo should slide into the shooting guard spot for OKC and give them a really nice option. The former No. 2 overall pick in the draft averaged 16 points per game last season. His addition likely means the Thunder will not match offer sheets for Dion Waiters this offseason.

Jimmy Butler trade rumors running wild on draft day

Jimmy Butler Bulls

Many thought it was crazy talk that the Chicago Bulls might trade two stars in two days, but the notion of them dealing Jimmy Butler is not so absurd after all.

There has been tons of chatter Thursday about the Bulls making Jimmy Butler available or about other teams trying to pry him away.

First there was a report that the Bulls had interest in trading Butler to the Lakers for the No. 2 overall pick, which became Brandon Ingram.

Then there was a rumor that the Celtics were making the No. 3 overall pick, which they used on Jaylen Brown, available via a trade, and that they wanted Butler from the Bulls:

KC Johnson also said that Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley were names involved in the trade talks.

The latest Jimmy Butler trade rumor involves talk that the Timberwolves (run by former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau) want Butler.

The Bulls made it clear they are ready for changes when they dealt Derrick Rose to the Knicks on Wednesday. Trading away Butler would signal a full-on rebuild for the team.

Ricky Rubio likely to be traded by Timberwolves

Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio’s future in Minnesota is likely coming to an end.

The Timberwolves have a new regime in charge and drafted point guard Kris Dunn fifth overall on Thursday. Though there is no guarantee that they will keep Dunn, it sounds like they will be cutting Rubio loose soon.

Minnesota’s new head coach is Tom Thibodeau, who puts strong emphasis on good defense. Even though Rubio averages over two steals per game, maybe Thibodeau doesn’t see him as the kind of defensive point guard he wants.

Another issue with Rubio is that the longtime Minnesota point guard has never shot better than 38.1 percent from the field. That’s not a good enough number in a day when a point guard in your own conference like Steph Curry is shooting 45.4 percent on 3-pointers!

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