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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Basketball

Video: Lou Williams does dice celebration after big 3-pointer

Lou Williams

Lou Williams came out with a big game in the LA Clippers’ 133-130 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday and busted out his new celebration too.

Williams went 7/16 for 32 points with four threes, including one in the final 30 seconds to make it a 2-possession game. After making the three, Williams did his dice rolling celebration.

Williams brought out the dice roll back in November. All he said about it at the time was that he likes to shoot dice.

Kawhi Leonard had 39 points and the team is now 30-13 on the season. Montrezl Harrell added 24 points.

Report: Kings want to unload Dewayne Dedmon

Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings are looking to get rid of Dewayne Dedmon, according to a report.

Dedmon was viewed as a nice pickup by the Kings in free agency over the summer, but things have not worked out well for either party. The big man has hardly played this season and is only averaging 13.8 minutes per game.

Earlier this month, Dedmon was fined for publicly confirming he wanted a trade.

Knowing he doesn’t want to be in Sacramento, it’s no surprise that the Kings are looking to move him, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Dedmon is owed $13.3 million next season and a non-guaranteed $13.3 million the following season as part of the three-year, $40 million deal he signed.

Sacramento has been happy with Richaun Holmes at center, though he is currently out with a shoulder injury.

Report: Kent Bazemore not planning to pursue buyout from Kings

Kent Bazemore

Kent Bazemore is headed to a non-contending team, but he is in no hurry to jump ship.

On Saturday, the veteran was traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Sacramento Kings for Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swanigan, and Wenyen Gabriel. Also sent to the Kings were Anthony Tolliver and two second-round picks.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported that Bazemore has no plans to pursue a buyout from the Kings, as he has a great relationship with head coach Luke Walton and the Sacramento front office.

Bazemore, who had some overlap in the Los Angeles Lakers organization with Walton during the 2013-14 campaign, had been having a down year with 7.9 points per game on a career-low 34.7 percent from the field. He will also be a free agent after the season, which could help explain his mindset. Still though, Bazemore is joining a Kings team that certainly has some issues to solve.

Montrezl Harrell eyeing Hawks as free agent destination?

Montrezl Harrell

The LA Clippers may have an unlikely competitor for Montrezl Harrell’s services this summer.

Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reported this weekend that multiple executives believe the Atlanta Hawks could be a free agent destination for Harrell.

The Hawks may be dead last in the East this season at a smelly 10-32, but they have a budding young core led by guard Trae Young. They also figure to have plenty of cap space to accommodate the roughly $20 million-per-season payday that Pincus says Harrell is expected to command this summer.

For the 25-year-old Harrell, who is averaging 19.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season for the Clippers, it is an open question as to how he might be able to co-exist in Atlanta with John Collins, another undersized energy big. Still, Harrell is taking his impending free agency seriously, and an up-and-coming Hawks team with money to spend should not be discounted.

Tony Allen now a player development coach for Grizzlies’ G League team

Tony Allen

The Grindfather couldn’t stay away from the Memphis Grizzlies for long.

Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins revealed on Friday that team great Tony Allen is now working as a player development coach for the Memphis Hustle, the team’s G League affiliate, per Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian.

For Allen, who retired after the 2017-18 campaign, coaching for the Hustle is particularly fitting. The 38-year-old was well known for his hustle, especially on defense, during his seven years in Memphis, giving the team its backbone during the iconic “Grit and Grind” era.

Allen is forever ingrained in Grizzlies lore, so starting his coaching career with the organization as well feels only right.

Karl-Anthony Towns dismisses reports of his unhappiness with Wolves

Karl Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns sounds like he is here for the long haul in Minnesota.

Addressing reporters Friday after his first game in over a month, the Wolves star brushed aside reports of his alleged unhappiness with the team.

“I don’t go for all the s—,” Towns said, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “I just do my job, go home and I know what the real story is. There’s a reason those stories are made, because people need to sell papers, sell links and clicks, whatever the case may be.

“I’m here to be a Minnesota Timberwolf,” he went on. “Very fortunate I have a head coach like Ryan [Saunders], a president and friend like Gerss[on Rosas]. I’m not worried about all that nonsense. Whatever we have to deal with in house, we’ll deal with in house. This ain’t the circus like it used to be. This is something that’s gonna be done as a family. If we have a problem or anything, we’ll deal with it internally. We won’t have external forces adding anything.”

The two-time All-Star Towns missed the previous 15 games due to a knee injury followed by an illness. Minnesota promptly plummeted to ten games below .500 and now sit 13th in the West at 15-26.

Rumors were swirling last month about the 24-year-old’s supposed discontent with one particular heavyweight being linked to him. Towns did sign a five-year supermax extension with the Wolves before the start of last season though, and he still appears committed to the team for at least that long.

Davis Bertans credits pescatarian diet for helping him become top sharpshooter

Davis Bertans has risen to prominence seemingly overnight, and he thinks that his dietary habits deserve a lot of credit.

In a feature by Candace Buckner of The Washington Post this week, the Washington Wizards forward discussed cutting animal products and processed food out of his diet.

“After I cut it, my body was feeling so much better,” said Bertans. “I’m quicker, faster than everybody else in my position, and that’s what I try to use. I can run from one side to the other side. I’m probably covering more ground this way, sideways on the court, than up and down. It’s tough on defense. I’ve heard defenders complain to me in the game, ‘Can you stop for a second?’”

The 27-year-old Bertans had been vegan for the last several years but added fish to his diet last summer, in part because he says the NBA travel lifestyle can be difficult for a vegan. The Latvian native also believes he has become one of the league’s marquee sharpshooters by staying vigilant about his diet.

It is hard to argue with the results — after posting 6.2 points per game on 40.4 percent from deep in his first three NBA seasons, Bertans has skyrocketed to 15.3 points per game on 43.4 percent from deep despite taking over twice as many three-point attempts.

The former San Antonio Spur is drawing significant interest from contenders ahead of the February trade deadline, and if that interest materializes into a championship for Bertans this year, the pescatarian lifestyle may be to thank.