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Monday, November 19, 2018


Report: Grizzlies nearing deal with Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah appears to be ready to find a new home.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Memphis Grizzlies are in talks to sign Noah, who has been available since being waived by the New York Knicks on Oct. 13.

The Grizzlies are off to a 10-5 start, so Noah will at least be able to join a team that has some ambition of making something of their season. Still, at this stage of his career, he’s little more than a depth option, and that’s likely the role he’ll be asked to play in Memphis as long as the deal is completed.

Wizards reportedly willing to trade John Wall, Bradley Beal

John Wall

The Washington Wizards are off to a terrible start this season, and the team’s front office may not be willing to be patient to see if things will turn around.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Wizards are giving teams the impression that they are open to trading any player on their roster, including John Wall and Bradley Beal. Washington would reportedly prefer to build around its All-Star backcourt, but the belief is that the current roster may no longer be able to coexist.

Wojnarowski adds that the Wizards had previously chosen not to include Wall and Beal in trade discussions involving star players like Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, but the team’s 5-11 start has the front office reconsidering. Another possibility would be to shop Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre in an attempt to bring in a third star, but the Wizards have not seen much interest in those players on the trade market.

Beal is three years younger than Wall, who will be owed $42 million per year for four years starting next season. Wall also has a 15 percent trade kicker in his deal, so he may be tougher to trade than Beal.

A fresh start could make sense for Wall if things keep trending in the direction they have been heading, as he recently had to defend himself against criticism that he parties too much. However, it seems like the return for Beal could be more significant if the Wizards are looking to rebuild.

The Wizards fell at home to the Portland Trail Blazers 119-109 on Sunday, and head coach Scott Brooks unloaded on the team for a lack of effort.

Report: LeBron told Cavs not to trade Kyrie Irving, especially to Celtics

Kyrie Irving

The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to fight their way back to the NBA Finals last year even after trading Kyrie Irving, but it sounds like LeBron James never thought they had a real chance at winning a title after the star point guard was dealt.

In a recent interview with Joe Vardon of The Athletic, James reflected on the Irving deal and described it as “the beginning of the end” in Cleveland.

“Everyone knows that when Kyrie got traded it was the beginning of the end for everything,” he said. “It’s not a secret.”

James may not have begged Irving to stay in Cleveland, but it sounds like he did what he could to prevent the trade from happening. According to Vardon, multiple sources who witnessed the conversation say LeBron told Cavs GM Koby Altman in a phone call on Aug.22, 2017, not to trade Irving — specifically not to the Boston Celtics. That was minutes before news broke that Kyrie was on the move.

It’s clear that James believes Altman was following the orders of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

“You realize at that point in time, take nothing from Koby, because Koby (was just named GM), but at that point in time, you realize that Koby’s not the only one running the team, as (former GM David Griffin) had done, and that’s why Griff was let go pretty much,” he said.

Cavs officials told Vardon that LeBron was never given any indication that Irving would not be traded, and they noted that they asked LeBron if he would sign long-term if they did not trade Irving and he refused to commit.

LeBron’s presence is one of the main reasons Irving wanted out of Cleveland, but James must have felt he could remedy the situation with Kyrie having two years left on his contract. If you want to know how Cavs players aside from James felt about the trade, this quote should sum it up for you. Once that deal was made, the Cavs no longer had the missing piece needed to compete with the Warriors. LeBron is more comfortable admitting that now that the next chapter of his career is well underway.

LeBron James opens up about last time he may face Dwyane Wade

LeBron James

Sunday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat was supposed to be one of the last times LeBron James and Dwyane Wade shared an NBA court together, but life had other plans for Wade. Now, the close friends and former teammates have only one opportunity left.

Wade missed the Lakers’ 113-97 at Miami because he, ironically, had to be in California for the birth of his daughter. LeBron ended up scoring a season-high 51 points, but he was still very disappointed that he couldn’t do battle with Wade.

“It sucks. I can’t even lie to you guys,” James said, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I have never lied to you guys, obviously. I mean we all know the reason why he is not here.”

The Lakers won’t make another trip to Miami this season, but the Heat will travel to the Staples Center for a rematch on Dec. 10. LeBron is crossing his fingers that the timing works out for him to face Wade one last time.

“To know that we only had two more games against each other, and one of them isn’t going to happen, it sucked a little bit,” he added. “Hopefully we are both in uniform when Miami comes to L.A. and we can finish this off the right way.”

It’s unclear how much of an impact Wade would have made for the Heat defensively, but perhaps he could have helped hold James under 50 points. That will almost certainly be the only time in LeBron’s career that he is disappointed after a convincing win in which he drops 51.

Scott Brooks rips ’embarrassing’ Wizards

Scott Brooks

Scott Brooks did not have kind words for his Washington Wizards after the team’s latest loss.

The Wizards fell at home to the Portland Trail Blazers 119-109 on Sunday. They dug themselves a big hole in the first quarter and went into halftime down 62-41. It wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter that Washington made it a respectable 10-point margin.

After the game, Brooks ripped his starters for their lack of effort. He called their start to the game “embarrassing.”

This has been the theme for the Wizards all season. They started off 2-9 before winning three in a row, but now they’ve dropped two straight to become 5-11. Their defense is the second-worst in the league, which had their owner even taking shots at them.

Luke Walton had to tell Rajon Rondo to shut up

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo was so into coaching the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night that Luke Walton had to tell him to zip it.

Rondo is out 4-5 weeks recovering from surgery to repair a broken hand. While he’s out, he’s tried to stay involved with the team by acting as if he’s a coach. He was holding a clipboard, huddling with the coaches during timeouts, and standing up during the game.

The Lakers’ real coach, Walton, only allowed Rondo to be part of the coaches’ huddles if he kept quiet. Rondo confirmed that, saying he was told to shut up.

At least Rondo didn’t throw any towels at the coaches.

Rondo has always seemed like a heady player, so it’s no surprise he’d want to be involved with the team in a coaching capacity. Perhaps this is a prelude to what’s to come after he retires.

Watch: Josh Richardson ejected after throwing shoe into stands

Josh Richardson

Josh Richardson was ejected from Sunday’s Miami Heat-Los Angeles Lakers game following a moment of frustration.

During the fourth quarter, Richardson hit the floor after a dunk attempt. After a foul at the other end, Richardson was motioned to the bench by Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. While attempting to put his shoe back on, Richardson changed his mind and threw it into the crowd.

Who throws a shoe? Honestly.

You’d be surprised to know it’s somewhat of a common move in sports.

Prior to the ejection, Richardson had 17 points and six rebounds.