As next week’s trade deadline rapidly approaches, it seems the uncertainty surrounding the potential blockbuster trade isn’t sitting well with certain players on the team.
Following the Lakers’ 115-101 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night in Oakland, several veteran members of the Lakers had an “emotionally charged” verbal confrontation with coach Luke Walton in the locker room, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
In the meeting, which was described to Charania as a “heated scene,” Walton “preached to players on playing unselfishly.” That’s when multiple players “snapped back.” Those involved were separated before it escalated further.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, McGee, Stephenson and Beasley were the focus of the “playing unselfishly” message, which they clearly didn’t take well.
NEW YORK — Mike Conley scored 25 points, Marc Gasol had 24 and Memphis beat New York to snap a nine-game road losing streak.
Conley added eight rebounds and seven assists after missing a game because of left knee soreness. Gasol also had nine rebounds. Kevin Knox scored 17 points for New York. The Knicks have lost 13 straight overall and 14 in a row at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony Davis wants out of New Orleans, and the Pelicans now must decide whether trade their franchise player before next Thursday’s deadline, or hold off for the potential of a better offer this summer. ESPN has reported that Davis would like to land alongside LeBron James in Los Angeles, but Davis told reporters that he did not specify a destination in his request to the Pelicans.
The Lakers have reportedly offered several trade packages to the Pelicans this week, but according to many analysts, the Celtics may have the best assets to offer to New Orleans this summer. Due to the “Rose rule,” Boston is restricted from trading for Davis until Kyrie Irving signs a new deal or is moved, but Irving is expected to opt out of his contract – and in a new twist, just walked back his pledge to re-sign with the Celtics.
If the Pelicans hold on to Davis for the rest of the season, the Celtics could potentially offer a package including Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and several draft picks, which might edge out the Lakers’ offer, even if Magic Johnson is willing to part with everyone except LeBron James. The uncertainty surrounding Irving could be a significant issue for the Celtics, though. Boston is won’t want to give away all of its assets in a trade for Davis if Davis won’t sign a long-term deal, and Davis might be unwilling to commit if the Celtics lose a superstar like Irving.
There’s also the question of whether Davis wants to spend a significant chunk of his career in Boston. That remains unknown, but Davis’ father, Anthony Davis Sr., ripped the organization when contacted by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
“From what I know, from sources have told me, the Pelicans are not interested. They’re not interested in any of it. They’re not interested in two first-round picks and all four young players. They don’t like the Lakers’ offer.”
Original Article: https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/02/nba-trade-rumors-anthony-davis
Warriors beat Lakers 115-101 as LeBron James sits out
OAKLAND, Calif. — Klay Thompson returned from a one-game absence with an illness to score 28 points and light up the Lakers for the second time in 13 days, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 115-101 victory Saturday night over a Los Angeles team again missing LeBron James.
Splash Brother Stephen Curry missed his first eight shots before a layup with 6:20 remaining and still wound up with 14 points, two days after going off for 41 in a loss to the 76ers when he hit 10 3-pointers. Andre Iguodala hit a go-ahead 3 in the final minute of the third, and two more early in the fourth as Golden State pulled away and finished with 17 points. DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and 10 rebounds in his second home game and seventh in all since coming back from a nearly yearlong recovery from surgery for a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Kevin Durant added 21 points and 11 of the Warriors’ 31 assists.
The Lakers hung tough without James just as they did here in a 127-101 victory Christmas night. They lost James in the third quarter of that game to a strained left groin. He returned from a 17-game absence Thursday night against the Clippers only to sit again Saturday.
James’ rest was for what coach Luke Walton called “load management.” The four-time MVP had been set for his second game back but woke up Friday “very sore” after playing 40 minutes in the 123-120 overtime win against the Clippers. He finished with 24 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists.
SPURS 113, PELICANS 108
SAN ANTONIO — LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 14 rebounds and San Antonio withstood another bat intrusion — with a nifty play from the team’s coyote mascot — and held off the depleted New Orleans.
The bat began hovering above the court three minutes into the game, causing officials to delay play. It was the second straight home game delayed by the winged intruders, with three bats buzzing the court Thursday night against Brooklyn.
An arena official walked onto the court with a net, but missed the bat on his first attempt. Almost on cue, the mascot charged onto the court dressed in a Batman costume with a net. He missed his first swipe at the bat, then dove near the scorer’s table and caught the bat in his net to huge cheers from Spurs players and fans. The worker placed the bat into a towel and took him from the court, with play resuming after a delay of only 1 1/2 minutes.
SALT LAKE CITY — James Harden had 43 points for his 26th straight game with at least 30 points in Houston’s victory over Utah.
Harden’s 30-point streak is the third-longest in NBA history, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain‘s runs of 65 and 31 games. Harden also had 12 rebounds, six steals, five assists and four blocks. He was 12 of 22 from the field, making 4 of 12 3-pointers, and made all 15 of his free throws.
Gerald Green added 25 points, and Kenneth Faried had 16 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out with 5:07 remaining. Houston snapped a two-game losing streak, holding the Jazz to 36 percent shooting and forcing 23 turnovers. Donovan Mitchell had 26 points and nine assists for Utah.
BUCKS 131, WIZARDS 115
WASHINGTON — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 37 points, making all of his season-high 17 free throws in a perfect night at the line for Milwaukee, and had 10 rebounds to help the NBA-leading Bucks rout Washington.
Two games ahead of Toronto for the Eastern Conference lead, the Bucks have won three straight, nine of 10 and 20 of 24.
The Bucks were 24 of 24 from the free-throw line. They had a 17-2 run late in the second quarter, led by 23 at halftime and 32 early in third quarter. Antetokounmpo scored seven of the last 10 points in big second-quarter run, including a thunderous slam over Jeff Greenthat led to a three-point play.
CLEVELAND — Rookie Luka Doncic matched his season high with 35 points and did a little bit of everything for Dallas, and Harrison Barnes scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to lead the undermanned Mavericks past Cleveland.
With a contingent of fans waving Slovenian flags to support Doncic, the 19-year-old showed why the Mavericks are so excited about their future. He added 11 rebounds, six assists and made a couple long 3-pointers that drew gasps from the Quicken Loans crowd.
Barnes finished with 17 points. The Mavericks played their second game since acquiring star Kristaps Porzingis from New York in a blockbuster trade. Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burkealso came in the deal, but are not eligible to play until their physicals are completed.
DETROIT — Lou Williams scored 16 Los Angeles points in a row during a torrid fourth-quarter stretch, and the Clippers overcame a 25-point deficit to beat Detroit.
The Clippers trailed by 25 in the second quarter and were down 83-60 in the third before storming back to tie it 89 in the fourth. It was 91-all before Williams scored every Los Angeles point during a decisive run that put the Clippers up 107-96.
Williams finished with 39 points. Detroit’s Blake Griffin had 24 points and 11 rebounds against his former team, and Reggie Jacksonadded 29 points for the Pistons.
KINGS 115, 76ERS 108
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Buddy Hield scored 34 points and set a career high for 3-pointers with seven, and Sacramento weathered a fourth-quarter flurry from Jimmy Butler to beat Philadelphia.
The Boston Celtics guard was seemingly the most popular player in Madison Square Garden on Friday night despite representing the road team. The fans even serenaded him with a “We Want Kyrie” chant during the game:
Irving can become a free agent this summer if he declines his $21.3 million player option for 2019-20, and it no longer seems like a guarantee he will re-sign with Boston.
“At the end of the day, I’m going to do what’s best for me and my career,” the All-Star said before Friday’s 113-99 victory, per Barbara Barker of Newsday.
Sam Amick of The Athletic also reported it’s possible the Knicks could sign both Kevin Durant and Irving this summer thanks to the newly created cap room from Thursday’s Kristaps Porzingis trade.
Although it’s a long time until July 1, when Irving will officially become a free agent, the Knicks fans have made their preference clear.
From the moment LeBron James started discussing his desire to play alongside Anthony Davis, the NBA was wary about possible tampering. That escalated this week when Davis publicly requested a trade, which resulted in a $50,000 fine.
Still, the entire ordeal has pointed to Davis ending up on the Lakers, and Charles Barkley would like NBA commissioner Adam Silver to step in and put a stop to any trade that would send the Pelicans big man to Los Angeles.
During Thursday’s Inside the NBA, Barkley pointed at Davis’ shared representation with LeBron (agent Rich Paul) and claimed that it was “collusion” to create a superteam with the Lakers.
“Adam Silver needs to block that trade. I don’t like what the Lakers are doing. I don’t think it’s right … It’s collusion, and you know it’s collusion. Let me tell you something, Rich Paul got mad at me when I said a month ago, ‘Oh, the fix is in. Anthony Davis is going to the Lakers.’ This was before all these rumors started. And he didn’t like me saying the fix was in. The fix has been in! I think Commissioner [Silver], who I like a lot, needs to come out and say, ‘Hey, we can trade Anthony Davis, but he cannot go to the Lakers. We cannot have players and agents colluding to stack superteams.”
While Barkley probably was mixing up collusion with tampering, the point was valid. Davis and his agent have seemingly leveraged the Pelicans to trade him to the Lakers, and it’s a practice that potentially undermines the competitive balance of the league.