Report: Warriors trade Cauley-Stein to Mavs for 2020 pick

The Warriors have started making moves, and Willie Cauley-Stein is the first to go

Ali Thanawalla | NBC SPORTS

The Warriors have started to make moves, and Willie Cauley-Stein is the first to go, as the center reportedly has been traded to the Mavericks.

The Warriors reportedly will acquire a 2020 second-round draft pick from Dallas for Cauley-Stein.

The trade of Cauley-Stein gives the Warriors salary cap space and roster flexibility, and the ability to convert one of their two-way players, Ky Bowman or Marquese Chriss, to a guaranteed contract.

With the Warriors out of the playoff race, it makes sense for them to trade some of their players for future assests. Cauley-Stein likely is just the first to go. Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III are the two other Warriors players that should be dealt before the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline.

Cauley-Stein signed a two-year, $4.46 million contract with the Warriors last offseason. The second year of the deal is a player option, so he could stick around Dallas next season.

Dallas was in need of a center after their starter, Dwight Powell, ruptured his Achilles tendon earlier this week.

In 41 games with the Warriors, Cauley-Stein averaged 7.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.

Now that Cauley-Stein is out of the picture, expect Chriss and Omari Spellman to see a majority of the time at center. Draymond Green could also slide over and pick up some minutes at the center spot.

Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, and Zion Williamson Wrecking Shit in His Debut

Jay Connor | THE ROOT

Zion Williamson is a force of nature, and for three agonizing months, millions of sports junkies throughout the world waited with bated breath for Coach K’s pride and joy to unleash a tsunami upon the NBA.

Williamson’s meniscus tear in the preseason derailed the entire league: TV ratings plummeted and his new squad, the New Orleans Pelicans, nearly careened into the bottom of the standings until a recent resurgence sparked renewed hope. And finally, on Wednesday night, Basketball Jesus emerged from his tomb and the only thing that could stop his reign of terror was his own coach, current bane of the universe, Alvin Gentry.

After a slow start, Zion unleashed a full-frontal assault on the San Antonio Spurs in the fourth quarter that looked something like this:

For three minutes and eight seconds, we bore witness to what can best be described as “tearing the Spurs a new asshole” as the 19-year-old phenom scored 17 consecutive points in one of the most insane displays of superhuman powers in recent memory. His opponents watched helplessly as our new Lord and Savior knocked down trey after trey with relative ease.

Yet with 5:23 remaining, and victory well-within the Pelicans grasp, Gentry did the unthinkable: He benched Zion.

No, seriously. I’m not making that up.

He. Benched. Zion.

Gentry had some explaining to do after his team inevitably lost by four points, and he pinned his decision to bench the nuclear weapon at his disposal on a minutes restriction.

“He couldn’t go back in the game, so don’t go there,” Gentry told reporters after the game. “Just because the medical people said that was it.”

Zion finished the game with 22 points, seven boards, and three assists in only 18 minutes of burn. And the Spurs aren’t stupid. They know they dodged a bullet.

“I’m glad he’s back,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s quite a package, both as a player and as a person.”

“He’s special, you know?” shooting guard DeMar DeRozan said. “Anybody who’s been following basketball the past few years seen the talent that he has, you know? Hope [he’s] able to stay healthy and be able to put it together. The sky’s the limit for him.”

As for Zion, he took the high road in discussing his coach’s decision.

“It’s very hard,” he said. “I’m 19. Honestly, in that moment, I’m not thinking about longevity. I’m thinking about winning the game. So it was very tough.”

Once that minutes restriction is lifted, the rest of the league might want to invest in some disaster insurance. Because it’s abundantly clear that the rookie phenom is about to wreak havoc for years to come.

LaVar Ball Wants All Three Of His Sons To Play For The Knicks With Head Coach Mark Jackson: “He’s Going To Do The Same Thing He Did In Golden State With My Boys.”

Nico Martinez | FADEAWAY WORLD

The extended silence from LaVar Ball has officially ended. In a chat with TMZ, the enthusiastic Ball father explained his dream for all three of his sons to don a New York Knicks jersey to form a tandem with Marc Jason akin to the infamous Golden State Warriors.

LaVar is known for his rather ambitious takes about the NBA, especially when they relate to any of his three sons Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo. He is on record as saying he wanted all three of his sons to play for the Lakers.

And now, following Zo’s trade from L.A., he has moved to the Knicks. He didn’t even stop there, though. He apparently wants Mark Jackson to coach his sons, maybe so they can one day become the next dynasty?

Weirdly enough, it’s actually more than possible that at least one of his boys ends up a Knick. With LaMelo lighting it up in the NBL, he is a projected lottery pick this summer. You can expect the Knicks to be somewhere up there, too, considering their abysmal season so far.

Did he just speak the future into existence?

Steph Curry shares his thoughts on Allen Iverson’s ‘top five’ comment

Drew Shiller | NBC SPORTS

At NBA All-Star weekend last year, Allen Iverson told Steph Curry that he’s in his “top five all day long.”

Since then, Iverson repeatedly has said that the Warriors’ superstar would be his point guard if he was assembling an all-time starting five.

“You know what’s funny — I have that saved on my phone,” Curry told Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes on the latest episode of “All the Smoke” on Showtime (the full show will air this Thursday). “It’s crazy. It’s crazy, right?

“I ain’t never had a big head. That dude who I picked up a lot of game and inspiration from — he’s now looking at my game …

“Some OGs, they don’t want to relinquish the praise. Same way we respect the OGs, we want it both ways. So when you do hear that, that means something.”

As Steph said after Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals: “Low-key, I’ve always wanted to be like Allen Iverson.”

It must be killing the three-time NBA champion to be sidelined with the broken left hand, especially on nights like Monday in Portland when he sat on the Warriors’ bench while Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard dropped 61 points in an overtime win over the Dubs.

Now is the perfect time to remind everybody that the two-time NBA MVP averaged 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists against the Blazers in the 2019 Western Conference Finals, all while shooting 47 percent overall and nearly 43 percent from deep.

It’s safe to assume that Iverson doesn’t forget about that, and neither should you.

Zion Williamson is about to show NBA fans something they’ve never seen before

Charles Curtis | USA TODAY SPORTS

Rejoice, NBA fans. It’s ZION WILLIAMSON DAY!

The No. 1 overall pick out of Duke will make his debut Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs at just the right time for the New Orleans Pelicans, a team that’s suddenly come together over the last month or so.

There are so many questions swirling about Williamson after his return from knee surgery, and so much speculation about what he’ll be able to do in the NBA.

I’ll add to it, with a prediction that’s probably not that nuts for those fans who watched him with the Blue Devils: he’s going to turn out to be something we’ve never seen before.

This is the Williamson who blew out his shoe while playing for Duke, likely because of the sheer force he put on his foot (and knee) while trying to pivot. It’s the Williamson who brings Shaquille O’Neal-like rim-shattering thunder when he dunks, who could prove critics wrong by hitting threes occasionally and make himself unguardable in the process. He’ll wow you with his underrated ball-handling skills for a man that size. And his otherworldly springiness will lead to surprise blocks and steals like this one:

Look at that speed! Look at that bounce!

And that SIZE! The Charles Barkley comparisons were somewhat apt, but Barkley didn’t seem this explosive above the rim. At 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, it’s shocking at how nimble and smooth he is. A reminder: there are two NBA players heavier than Williamson is, and they’re 7-foot-4 (Boban Marjanovic, 290 pounds) and 7-foot-5 (Tacko Fall, 311 pounds).

Yes, that’s led to all the concerns about his size and his knees, with the Pels saying his weight isn’t an issue, but now, New Orleans is helping him with his “kinetic chain” to take pressure off certain parts of his body. We’ve actually seen that before with Steph Curry and his ankles (that worked out well!), but you get the point. He’s the rarest of body types in the league.

How do you defend that? I keep coming back to this incredible preseason shot chart against the Chicago Bulls:

Is he going to keep getting hacked to go to the line, where he might struggle (he hit 64 percent from the charity stripe in his one year with Duke)? Or is that a bad idea because he’s strong enough to fight through some arms near the rim to give himself and-ones forever?

You get the point.

Maybe Williamson’s weight is a problem, or his penchant to explode from the floor too much for his body to take. But on the night of his debut, everything is possible, even in the limited time he’ll be on the court. Be prepared to see something you’ve never seen before, and marvel.

Kobe Bryant thinks these three WNBA players could play in the NBA ‘right now’

Gabriel Fernandez | CBS SPORTS

Former Lakers guard Kobe Bryant believes in the novel concept of elite players in a sport competing against one another in the same league. When Bryant was asked during a promotional interview with CNN whether he believed there was a future for his daughter in the NBA, he decided to take his answer one step further and say that the possibility of breaking the gender barrier could happen today–curiously, however, he never says “yes” to the question.

“I think there are a couple of players who could play in the NBA right now, honestly,” Bryant said. “There’s a lot of players with a lot of skill that could do it. Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Elena Delle Donne. There’s a lot of great players out there, so they could certainly keep up with them.”

If you buy into the ethos of the Mamba Mentality that Bryant has tried to cultivate for himself in the latter half of his playing career and retirement, it would make sense that he would name these three players. Taurasi is the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, the 2009 WNBA MVP, a nine-time All Star and a three-time champion. Moore was the league’s MVP in 2014, has won four titles and been an All Star six times. Delle Donne became the first-ever WNBA player to join the 50-40-90 club, is a six-time All Star, and a two-time MVP, the second of which came this past season where she won the first WNBA title of her career with the Washington Mystics–their first championship in franchise history. These players are all winners and statistical leaders in the sport, two traits that Bryant has had a well-documented obsession with.

‘Just Disrespectful’: LeBron James Responds to Someone Throwing Something at His Son During Game, Culprit Then Apologizes

Daryl Nelson | ATLANTA BLACK STAR

LeBron James recently responded to someone who threw something at his son Bronny James on Monday, as Bronny played in Springfield, Massachusetts, with his team Sierra Canyon.

James was also in Massachusetts on Monday since his Los Angeles Lakers faced the Boston Celtics later that night, so he was able to watch his son play.

A clip that recently surfaced shows Bronny taking out the ball on the sidelines, then suddenly something orange and flimsy hits him in the back.

Right away, the referee stopped the play and called an officer to remove the culprit. But that person wasn’t immediately identified and didn’t have to leave.

James said he didn’t see the object being thrown until later when viewing game video, but had something to say about it after the Lakers and Celtics game concluded.

“It’s just disrespectful, and it was a little kid too,” said James. “I don’t know how old that little kid was, so I don’t know if he learned that on his own, or if he learned it at home.”

“Whatever the case may be, it’s disrespectful,” added the NBA star. “I wonder how old that kid is if he is the age around Bronny’s age or Bryce’s age,” James said of two of his sons. I’d like to see them try that while they’re paying attention.”

Then on Tuesday, the person who threw the object came forward on video and apologized. The little kid said he threw an orange peel at Bronny because he wanted to get the 15-year-old’s attention.

The child also said he’s a huge Lakers fan, which is evident based on the Lakers pillowcase and comforter he had on his bed.

“I’m sorry @james family for what I did,” said the little boy. “I’m a huge fan and I was just trying to get Bronnys attention … I was calling out Bronnys name and just wanted him to see me. The security never threw me out, they never knew it was me, but my mom still took me home.”

“We knew I was wrong and it’s not a good thing to do,” added the young Lakers fan. “Believe me or not, I want to send out an apology to Bronny, because me and my family discussed it and knew it was the right thing to do.”

James hasn’t responded to the little kid yet, but on Monday he wrote a message to Bronny on Instagram.

LeBron James Says Only This Former NBA Player Is Able to Understand Basketball With His Level of ‘Clarity’

Daryl Nelson | ATLANTA BLACK STAR

If you’ve ever heard Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James break down the X’s and O’s of basketball, you probably noticed how high his IQ is surrounding the game.

The retired point guard and Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd has been known to have high basketball intelligence as well, which was displayed during his on-the-court play and being the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks.

That’s why it may come at no surprise that according to ESPN, James feels that Kidd is the only person who matches his level of basketball IQ.

“The Lakers felt strongly that the staff should be a collection of former head coaches whose experience could earn instant credibility with a veteran roster,” wrote ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz. 

“One of those primary assistants would be Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd, whom two sources have independently said James regards as the only person alive who sees the game of basketball with his level of clarity.”

As it stands, the Frank Vogel-led Lakers are in first place in the Western Conference, with the Denver Nuggets in second place, four games behind.

James is averaging 25.4 points per game, 7.7 rebounds and 10.9 assists. Between James, the newly acquired Anthony DavisJaVale McGeeDanny Green and a deep bench, some might say the team is a shoo-in for the NBA Finals.

So far James hasn’t confirmed what the ESPN writer wrote about him and Kidd, neither on his Instagram or Twitter pages.

Kidd retired from the NBA in June of 2013 after playing for the Dallas Mavericks, the Phoenix Suns, the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks, which is the last NBA team he played for.

Sources: Lakers among contenders interested in acquiring Derrick Rose

Chris Haynes | Yahoo Sports

The Los Angeles LakersPhiladelphia 76ers and multiple teams with championship aspirations have expressed interest in trading for Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Clippers have checked in on Rose as well, but it was more of a common exploratory talk, sources said.

The Lakers and Sixers are in search of point guard assistance for the stretch run, sources said.

Rose, 31, is garnering considerable interest that wasn’t there when he was a free agent last summer. He has been the Pistons’ most consistent offensive weapon this season and his play has thrust him into consideration for the All-Star Game, which takes place in his hometown of Chicago next month.

With the rash of injuries the Pistons have endured and Rose playing well, the veteran guard last week asked for an extended role with more minutes, sources said.

Rose scored 21 points on 8-of-21 shooting Monday in a loss to the Washington Wizards.

Entering the game, Rose was averaging 18.3 points and 5.9 assists on 50.3 percent shooting in 25.8 minutes per game this season.

Rose is happy with the Pistons and isn’t looking to be traded, sources said, but the decision is beyond his control. He has one more year at $7.6 million remaining on his contract.

Detroit could opt to retool and restructure around Rose in the short term for a playoff push. The Pistons are currently three games back of the eighth-seeded Brooklyn Nets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Pistons are sellers as the Feb. 6 trade deadline approaches, and that could result in the front office staying pat or undergoing drastic changes.