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Monday, June 17, 2019

Featured Stories

Kyle Lowry wears throwback Damon Stoudamire jersey to Raptors parade

The Toronto Raptors won their first ever championship this year, but Kyle Lowry wants to make sure fans don’t forget some of the players that put the franchise on the map prior to the title run.

The Raptors held their highly anticipated championship parade on Monday, and Kyle Lowry wore a throwback Damon Stoudamire jersey for it.

Stoudamire, who was teammates with Lowry for a brief time with the Memphis Grizzlies, was Toronto’s starting point from when the franchise was founded in 1995 to 1998. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in his first season and averaged 19.5 points and 8.7 assists per game in two-plus seasons with the Raptors before being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Most of the talk surrounding the Raptors has been about Kawhi Leonard and the unique ways fans are worshipping him, and that is certainly well deserved. However, you have to admire Lowry’s tribute to the first great point guard the team ever had.

Why date Anthony Davis trade is executed matters for Lakers

Anthony Davis wingspan

The Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans agreeing to a trade involving Anthony Davis is a big step, but there is still one extremely important detail that remains that will affect the Lakers’ ability to build the rest of their roster. That is the date the trade is executed.

The amount of salary cap space the Lakers will have available when free agency begins depends on the day the trade is executed, as well as whether Davis receives his trade bonus.

– If the trade is executed on July 6 and Davis receives his $4.1 million trade bonus, the Lakers would have $23.6 million in salary cap space
– If the trade is executed on July 6 and Davis waives his trade bonus, the Lakers would have $27.7 million in salary cap space
– If the trade is executed on July 30, the Lakers would have $32.5 million in cap space

The Lakers Review adds that if the Lakers trade Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga, they would free up additional cap space.

The reason for this difference in available cap space money — aside from Davis’ trade bonus — has to do with a cap hold due to the Lakers holding the No. 4 draft pick. Part of the salary cap space they have available is set aside to account for the signing of the No. 4 pick, which they’re planning to trade as terms of their deal with New Orleans.

As of now, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the date of the trade is expected to be July 6. That would impact the Lakers’ ability to sign a player to a max free agent deal.

The Lakers were said to be targeting Kemba Walker, but they might not be able to offer him the kind of money he could see elsewhere, especially from Charlotte. They may be best served trying to sign several players with the available money they have rather than locking up one major free agent given all the holes in their roster.

Fred VanVleet has awesome quote about what Raptors will do if Leonard leaves

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet knows as well as everyone else that Kawhi Leonard may leave Toronto this offseason, and he’s prepared for the possibility.

VanVleet said Sunday that he’ll have a simple solution if Leonard departs for another team: they’re just going to beat him.

It’s the best attitude VanVleet and his teammates could possibly take. Leonard may well leave, but it’s clear that the Raptors don’t want this to be a one-off either way. VanVleet played a key role in the Finals and can certainly score and come up big in key moments, as can many of his teammates, and he clearly has the attitude to match.

Padres pitcher was ejected for encouraging teammate

Padres logo

San Diego Padres lefty Matt Strahm was on the receiving end of one of the season’s more ridiculous ejections over the weekend.

Strahm was one of three Padres tossed from Saturday’s contest against the Colorado Rockies along with infielder Manny Machado and manager Andy Green. Strahm was not even in the game but was yelling from the top of the dugout steps.

Afterwards, Padres reporter Bob Scanlan revealed that Strahm was essentially ejected for shouting words of encouragement to teammate Phil Maton, who was on the mound at the time. Home plate umpire Bill Welke thought Strahm said, “Come on Bill!” when he was really yelling, “Come on Phil!”

It’s not quite the worst ejection we have seen in baseball this month, but it’s still a pretty unique way to get sent to the showers early.

Report: Kyrie Irving wants to play with Anthony Davis

Kyrie Irving

The trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday will have a ripple effect across the NBA, and one of the most interesting storylines to follow will be the potential impact it has on Kyrie Irving’s future. As of very recently, Irving reportedly expressed a desire to play with Davis.

David Aldridge of The Athletic reports that sources have told him “for months” that Irving wants to play with Davis. Of course, Davis is now teammates with LeBron James. The primary reason Irving forced his way out of Cleveland was that he was tired of being in LeBron’s shadow, but perhaps his mindset has changed after a tumultuous season with the Boston Celtics.

Irving’s top choice is said to be the Brooklyn Nets, but there has also been a lot of talk about him wanting to team up with Kevin Durant. With Durant expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season while rehabbing from a torn Achilles, it would not be a surprise if Irving adjusts his approach to free agency accordingly.

LeBron may have hinted on social media recently that he wants to play with Irving again, but it’s unclear if that feeling is mutual. A trio of LeBron, Irving and Davis would be tough for Western Conference teams to stop.

Patrick Beverley open to returning to Rockets

Patrick Beverley indicated a few months back that there is bad blood between him and the Rockets over the way his time in Houston came to an end, but that does not mean he is ruling out returning to the team.

Beverley, who is set to become a free agent this summer, was asked on Twitter over the weekend if he would consider playing for the Rockets again with rumors swirling that Chris Paul wants out of Houston. He said “anything could happen.”

Beverley told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt back in March that the word “pissed” comes to mind when he thinks about the Rockets. That likely has to do with them sending him to the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the Paul trade two years ago.

For what it’s worth, Beverley seems extremely proud about his time with the Clippers. His first choice would probably be re-signing with them, but it would be unwise to eliminate a potential suitor like Houston.

Magic Johnson congratulates Rob Pelinka on ‘great trade’

Magic Johnson

We have now officially entered a bizarro world for the Los Angeles Lakers.

A little over an hour after news broke that the Lakers reached agreement with the New Orleans Pelicans on a trade for Anthony Davis, Magic Johnson went on Twitter and sent his congratulations to Rob Pelinka on a “great trade.”

Johnson congratulating Pelinka is so bizarre on many levels.

First, this is Magic congratulating a guy he wanted to fire, which is so odd. Does that mean Magic thinks Pelinka went from being bad to good at his job in the span of two months?

Second, less than a month ago, Magic said Pelinka had betrayed him. And now he’s complimenting him like nothing happened. Again, supremely odd.

Third, Johnson resigned from the Lakers abruptly at the end of the season, seemingly because he had endured enough criticism over the team’s bad season and no longer wanted to be a part of it. By congratulating them now, it’s like he wants to be involved again now that things are going better.

Fourth, it almost seems like Magic is trying to claim some credit by getting his name involved in the trade. This is a deal the Lakers had been trying to make prior to last season’s trade deadline, but the Pelicans were an unwilling trade partner. Pelinka finally getting the deal done is like a completion of a move Magic had wanted to make, and it seems he wants that recognized.

There is never a shortage of drama when it comes to the Lakers and Magic Johnson.