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Cats in the NBA

Former Kentucky Players in the NBA

REPORT: Milwaukee Bucks interested in trading for Malik Monk

Could Malik Monk already be on his way out of Charlotte?

Milwaukee Bucks beat writer Gery Woelfel seems to think so.

In his post tonight on Woelfel’s Press Box, the award-winning analyst reported the Bucks had been in contact with the Hornets about the former Kentucky guard.

The Bucks have explored obtaining a shooting guard.

League sources said the Bucks had contacted the Hornets about rookie Malik Monk, the 11th overall pick in last June’s draft.

According to Woelfel, the Charlotte front office is trying to decide whether or not Monk is in their future plans, as they’re reportedly upset with his streaky shooting in his young career.

There is apparently a split in the Hornets’ hierarchy as to whether they should keep Monk or move him.

Monk’s best game of the season came against the Bucks on Nov. 1. He torched them for 25 points, connecting of five of eight treys.

Monk has played in just 36 of Charlotte’s 49 games this season, averaging 5.2 points, 1.3 assists, and just under one rebound per game. He’s shooting just 33% from the field and 34% from beyond the arc, and according to multiple reports, the Charlotte coaching staff has kept him on an extremely short leash.

After starting out the year scoring 10 or more points in five of 11 total games, things haven’t gone well for Monk.

The former Wildcat sharpshooter has scored just 51 total points in the past two months, and has earned a DNP-coaching decision in 11 of those games.

If he is moved to Milwaukee, he will be joining Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt, something Kentucky fans would certainly love to see.

Let’s hope Monk’s situation in Charlotte gets fixed sooner rather than later.

John Wall underwent surgery today and I’m a curse for the NBA Cats

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

John Wall underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure on his injured left knee today and reports say it will be another 6-8 weeks before he returns to basketball. The injury will keep him out of the upcoming NBA All-Star Game — he is the third member of LeBron James’ team to suffer an injury in the past week, along with DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Love — but the timeframe should have him back for a playoff run with the Wizards, which is nice.

But with Wall’s surgery and two-month recovery time, I’ve realized I am a curse to the former Wildcats in the NBA. You see, I very recently made arrangements to watch Wall and the Wizards in D.C. tomorrow night, only to read about his injury moments after planning to see the game. It’s the fourth such curse I’ve placed upon an NBA Cat, dating back to the time I flew all the way across the country to watch DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento, only to read about his one-game suspension for a technical foul while in the airport ready to take off. I still made the trip and still attended the game, but Cousins didn’t even go to the arena.

There is also the time I went to a Bulls-Hornets game in Chicago, when Michael Kidd-Gilchrist walked out in street clothes after tweaking an injury in practice the day before, which was unannounced before tip-off. Or the time I was in New Orleans for a bachelor party and planned to see Anthony Davis, but he had just been ruled out for the rest of the season with a left knee injury and a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

So, I think I’m done trying to go to NBA games now. If anyone has a suggestion for something to do in the D.C. or Baltimore area tomorrow night (probably Baltimore), let me know because I have no interest in the Wizards game now.

Good luck to John Wall on the rehab though.

DeMarcus Cousins will miss the remainder of the season as Anthony Davis takes over the Pelicans.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

What Boogie’s Injury Means for Anthony Davis and the Pelicans

DeMarcus Cousins will miss the remainder of the season as Anthony Davis takes over for the Pelicans. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

DeMarcus Cousins’ season-ending Achilles injury is a tragedy. Very few basketball players, very few student-athletes, very few students, in general, come through Kentucky and have the same type of effect on the environment that Cousins had.

He’s a fan favorite. He always will be, no matter how outsiders try to portray him. Cousins means more to the University of Kentucky than most people could ever dream of, and that’s why this injury is so hard to accept. He’s been unfairly belittled, criticized, and – at times – ignored throughout his entire NBA career. And right when he was beginning to prove everyone wrong, right when he was proving that yes, he is one of the best players in the league and the top center in the NBA and an All-Star starter, he had it all unfairly ripped away from him. What made it worse was how it happened. He didn’t clash knees, he didn’t take a hard fall to the floor, he simply landed the wrong way.

Cousins and Anthony Davis were a match made in heaven by the basketball gods. They complemented each other’s weaknesses and formed what was the most explosive, dangerous, and unorthodox frontcourt the NBA had ever seen. The New Orleans Pelicans are 27-23 on the season and lost their two games following the injury to Cousins. The team is now scrambling. No team can lose a top 15 player in the NBA and continue on the same path that New Orleans on. The Pelicans are trying desperately to fill a hole the size of their city and there’s nothing that can fit.

Not only do the Pelicans need to figure out to how to keep this season together, they have to plan for the future. A future that originally (and still does) included a Cousins/Davis frontcourt for the next five-plus seasons. Cousins will be an unrestricted free agent this coming summer with a giant question mark looming over his and the organization’s head.

Achilles injuries can end what were once wildly successful careers. Just look at former All-Star Elton Brand, who suffered the same injury when he was 28 and never saw the same type of production he had pre-injury. Brand is just one example of many – and there are plenty of examples of players who returned to full health – but it is a cause for concern considering how big Cousins is and the offensive load he burdens.

Cousins is set to receive a max deal this summer. The new type of “mega-max” deal that the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement allows (somewhere in the five year/$175 million range). Cousins deserves that money, he’s earned that money, and the Pelicans are probably the only team that will offer it to him.

Which may be the lonely silver lining in all of this. The Pelicans will more than likely offer Cousins the max and he’ll probably take it in a heartbeat. But odds are, Cousins won’t be courted by other teams like he should. Cousins’ deserves to be one of the most sought-after free agents this summer. He’ll still get calls from other teams, but no one will offer more than New Orleans will. The Pelicans should offer him the max and it’d be a good guess to say that Anthony Davis would gladly encourage it.

The question (well, two rather broad questions) still remains. What does this mean for the rest of the 2017-18 season and what does this mean for the seasons that follow?

Answering the latter is a bit easier, in theory. Cousins takes a year to recover back to full health, the Pelicans don’t rush anything and ultimately give him the max deal. This would keep Davis and Cousins in New Orleans for at least three more years following the current one (barring a trade that sends Davis elsewhere, which is still unlikely despite Cousins’ injury).

The more difficult question is what the Pelicans should do right now. Davis is once again their number one source of offense. He’s their only source of offense, to be frank. Not to discredit Jrue Holiday (who is playing at a high level) or even Darius Miller, but they aren’t even in the same stratosphere as Davis and Cousins.

The Pelicans nearly completed a deal that would have sent Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic to New Orleans in exchange for Omer Asik (who is owed a ton of money yet hardly plays) along with the real prize of a first-round pick. The deal would have provided Davis with a real scoring option. Mirotic is someone who can knock down six or seven threes a game and would stretch the floor for Davis, but the deal fell apart.

Instead, the Pelicans are back to where they were two seasons ago, but luckily with Davis still two or three years away from entering his prime (which should demonstrate how brilliant a 24-year old Anthony Davis has been and how much better he can still become). However, there will be some team slippage. There were was no logical way to defend both Cousins AND Davis at the same time. You couldn’t double one of them, you couldn’t double both, and you couldn’t guard them one-on-one. Now, all the focus is once again centered on Davis and the defensive gameplan just got a hell of a lot easier for opposing coaches.

The numbers speak for themselves. This season, when Cousins is off the court, Davis shoots 8.2 percent worse from the floor and 3.7 percent worse from three with a plus/minus of negative 0.2. With Cousins on the court, Davis’ plus/minus is a positive 3.2. Cousins helped pull the attention from Davis, allowing him much more offensive freedom. Now, the defenses will gravitate towards Davis like he’s a black hole.

The Pelicans have some tough decisions to make in the coming months and it’s hard to think that far ahead considering where the team currently sits in the Western Conference standings. All hope isn’t lost because they do have Anthony Davis, who will undoubtedly put up monster numbers for the rest of the season. The team won’t tank – not at this point in the season – and given Davis’ injury history, they don’t want to do anything that might put him in a dangerous position, either. The team needs to be extremely careful with the moves they make. Regardless of whether or not they make the playoffs, this season might go down as one they tuck away and try to forget.

Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan

Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

BBNBA: De’Aaron Fox wins battle of former Cats

Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

When you looked at the schedule a week ago, Kentucky fans could get excited about the possibility of seeing 8 former Cats in a game. While last night still featured 5, the hype was not there. De’Aaron Fox’s Sacramento Kings defeated the Cat-filled New Orleans Pelicans. Fox scored 15 points while matching up with Rajon Rondo. On the other side of the ball, Anthony Davis notched another double-double for his 29th of the season. It was also his 210th in his career, which is the most in Pelicans history.

In other BBNBA news, Enes Kanter brought down 20 rebounds and added 20 points to lead the Knicks to a victory over the Nets. Jamal Murray continued to play well as he scored 18 points in the Nuggets two-point loss against the Spurs.

Complete Stats

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Jodie Meeks102-96 W vs. OKC00-3 (0-2)21010-97
Enes Kanter111-95 W vs. BKN208-10205024+1130
Karl-Anthony Towns109-104 L vs. Tor114-7103000-429
De'Aaron Fox114-103 W vs. NO156-14 (1-3)64103+927
Skal LabissiereInactive for Game---------
Willie Cauley-SteinInactive for Game---------
Anthony Davis114-103 L vs. Sac236-16 (2-3)135164-1336
Rajon Rondo114-103 L vs. Sac21-4 (0-1)23202-1018
Darius Miller114-103 L vs. Sac103-6 (2-5)30001+429
De'Andre LigginsInactive for Game---------
Jamal Murray106-104 L vs. SA185-12 (3-6)61110-818
Trey Lyles106-104 L vs. SA73-10 (1-2)72011+225

What a pass from Rondo

Fox takes his turn

Have a day Enes!

Today’s Games

  • Grizzlies (Harrison) at Pacers (Poythress) 7pm
  • Lakers (Randle) at Magic- 7pm
  • Hornets (MKG and Monk) at Hawks- 7:30pm
  • 76ers at Nets- 7:30pm
  • Heat (Bam) at Cavaliers- 7:30pm
  • Knicks (Kanter) at Celtics- 8pm (ESPN)
  • Bulls at Trail Blazers- 10pm
  • Mavericks at Suns (Booker and Ulis) 10:30pm (ESPN)

DeMarcus Cousins thanks fans for love, prayers, and positive energy

DeMarcus Cousins thanks fans for love, prayers, and positive energy

DeMarcus Cousins has spoken for the first time since suffering a season-ending Achilles injury, and it came via a statement to his fans on social media. It reads:

No lie this shit sucks! I’ve never experienced an injury of this magnitude in my life, but with that being said nothing I’ve earned has ever come easy for me either! I’ve only gotten it the hard way and I don’t expect things to change for me now. I’m just built that way and I’ll overcome this as well and continue to prove. I want to thank everyone for all the love, prayers, and positive energy sent my way. You are greatly appreciated! I’m also asking my supporters to join me on this journey back to playing the game I love. See you soon… #TheResurgence

In related news, fans attending tonight’s game in Rupp Arena can sign one of many Get Well Soon cards for Cousins.

Good luck with #TheResurgence, Boogie.

John Wall is expected to miss up to two months after he undergoes knee surgery. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

BBNBA: Injury bug destroying everything in its path

John Wall is expected to miss up to two months after he undergoes knee surgery. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


The injuries are beginning to stack up. Not just throughout the entire NBA, but former Kentucky players have been feeling the battle of the strenuous regular season. We all know about DeMarcus Cousins’ unfortunate injury, but now things are just getting out of hand. Earlier Tuesday morning, it was reported by ESPN that Washington Wizards star point guard John Wall will miss up to two months to undergo knee surgery to help resolve an issue that he’s been dealing with all season. The Wizards are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, but the loss of their best player for an important two months could leave their playoff hopes looking dim.

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker missed his most recent game with a rib injury, however, the X-ray results came back negative. Booker is considered questionable for the Suns’ next game against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe played only two minutes of action on Monday after an ankle injury kept him from continuing. He has been dealing with the injury since last week and there is currently no information on if he will play in the Bucks next game on Thursday.

Now for some good news.

James Young is back in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers. He signed a two-way contract with the Sixers earlier this month and played his most minutes of the season on Monday with 19. He totaled five points, one rebound, and two assists.

Tyler Ulis had one of his best games of this season, scoring 13 points while dishing out seven assists and recording a season-high five steals.

Trey Lyles and Jamal Murray both scored in double-figures once again for the Denver Nuggets while Karl-Anthony Towns recorded another double-double in the Minnesota Timberwolves loss. Murray was clutch in the Nuggets efforts to take out the Boston Celtics but came up just short as the Celtics won 111-110.

Check out the rest of the stats below.


PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Trey Lyles (DEN)110-111 L vs. BOS207-10 (4-7)73011-1426
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)100-105 L @ ATL156-8 (1-2)133213-232
Jamal Murray (DEN)110-111 L vs. BOS145-11 (1-5)48102+838
Tyler Ulis (PHX)109-120 L @ MEM136-13 (1-3)17503-731
Andrew Harrison (MEM)120-109 W vs. PHX115-10 (1-2)56022-429
Michael-Kidd Gilchrist (CHA)96-105 L @ IND63-4 (0-0)41101-323
James Young (PHI)95-107 L @ MIL52-3 (1-2)12000-619
Bam Adebayo (MIA)95-88 W @ DAL21-3 (0-0)54112019
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)107-95 W vs. PHI21-1 (0-0)01000-42
Devin Booker (PHX)109-120 L @ MEMDNP-Rib Contusion----------------
Nerlens Noel (DAL)88-95 L vs. MIADNP-Thumb----------------
Alex Poythress (IND)105-96 W vs. CHADNP-CD----------------
Malik Monk (CHA)96-105 L @ INDDNP-CD----------------


Tonight in the NBA

7:00: Thunder (Patterson, Johnson) @ Wizards (Meeks)

7:30: Nets @ Knicks (Kanter)

7:30: Timberwolves (Karl-Anthony Towns) @ Raptors

8:00 (TNT): Cavaliers @ Pistons

8:00: Magic @ Rockets

8:00: Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere) @ Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Rondo, Liggins)

8:30: Nuggets (Murray, Lyles) @ Spurs

9:00: Warriors @ Jazz

10:30 (TNT): Trail Blazers @ Clippers

Player Game to watch

Tonight’s game to watch has to be the Sacramento Kings taking on the New Orleans Pelicans. Even without DeMarcus Cousins (which I’m still crying over), there will be seven former Wildcats on the combined rosters. The Pelicans dropped their first game without Cousins, losing a close one to the Los Angeles Clippers, but should still have optimism going forward. A win over the worst team in the league would at least get them their first win post-Boogie injury and still have them in a favorable position in the standings. But the real reason to watch has already been stated. There are SEVEN former Kentucky players in this game, and it should be eight.

Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan

John Wall to undergo knee procedure, will not play in All-Star Game

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Another former Cat will have to miss the NBA All-Star Game. According to Candace Buckner, John Wall will undergo a knee procedure tomorrow and will be out six weeks, meaning he will not participate in the All-Star festivities in Los Angeles next month.

Wall has been experiencing soreness in his knee after injuring it in early November. Yesterday, he went to Cleveland to meet with doctors and get an MRI, which revealed that the knee needs to get scoped. Wall is averaging 19.4 points, 9.3 assists, and 3.6 rebounds this season, but when he knee flares up, he’s noticeably slowed. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s procedure finally gets him back on track.

First Boogie, now Wall? Can someone go wrap Anthony Davis and Karl Towns in bubble wrap, please?

Dec 20, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) and center Dakari Johnson (44) react after a play against the Utah Jazz during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Dakari Johnson’s Journey to the NBA Brings Validation to a family that lives for basketball

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

New York Times writer Amos Barshad recently wrote a featured story on former Wildcat and current Thunder center Dakari Johnson telling the story of a basketball family from Brooklyn.

Johnson’s family has a storied basketball history beginning with his grandfather Jitu Weusi, a basketball and community legend from Bedford-Stuyvesant, who played at Long Island University.

Weusi had eight children including Makini Johnson, Dakari’s mother, who at 6’5 also played at Long Island University where she starred as a defensive minded center.

Johnson explains what sets his family apart from others, “A lot of my past teammates have people in their family who play, but my family, it’s high school, pro-am, college, uncles, aunts, cousins, daughters. Everything revolves around basketball.”

Johnson’s uncles and mom played a big role in molding him into the man he is today, “My uncles, they’d beat up on me,” he said. “That created the love because I wanted to compete. From my mom, what I learned was patience.”

Another influence for Dakari growing up was his older cousin, Micheal Murray, who played at Coppin State and now professionally in Spain. “He’s the one I was honestly trying to catch up to my whole life,” Johnson said.

The article has much more about Dakari’s NBA journey and is really worth the read, check it out here.


Nerlens Noel could be on his way out of Dallas before the Feb. 8 trade deadline. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

BBNBA: 3 hypothetical trades involving Kentucky players

Nerlens Noel could be on his way out of Dallas before the Feb. 8 trade deadline. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

The NBA trade deadline is already less than two weeks away. The deadline was moved up to Feb. 8 this season, which is prior to All-Star weekend and two weeks earlier than usual. The deadline has traditionally been after the All-Star break, but after the DeMarcus Cousins “mishap” last season (where he supposedly found out he was being traded from Sacramento to New Orleans RIGHT AFTER the All-Star game was over), the NBA decided to move it up. Does it have any overwhelming effect on the league? Not really, but it does push my second favorite day of the year closer than usual (number one is the first week of March Madness, which is essentially one continuous day).

The NBA trade deadline is an entire event now, thanks to social media and reporters such as Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN) and Shams Charania (Yahoo!)- who can both tell you what cereal you’ll have for breakfast before you’ve even entered your REM sleep. The deadline has become a neck-and-neck race that distinguishes who is a great reporter and who is a stalker that also just so happens to follows the NBA. I personally love every moment of it and there isn’t a day of the year I check my phone faster for notifications than the trade deadline.

What makes it even better? When the news involves Kentucky players.

Last season, we saw Cousins traded to the Pelicans, as previously mentioned, in exchange for a bunch of players and the 2017 first round draft pick that would ultimately land them De’Aaron Fox. Nerlens Noel was shipped to Dallas from Philadelphia and his name may even pop up once again as the rumor mill starts to really get going in the next week or so.

As of right now, we don’t have many hard indications that any Kentucky players might be traded before the deadline, but I can speculate on trades that could happen, trades that will likely never happen, and trades that I do just for fun/to get the blood boiling. I’ve got three in mind, so here they are.

A trade that could happen

The Sacramento Kings will trade Skal Labissiere to (insert name of literally any team)

The Sacramento Kings are in full-on rebuild mode. There’s no secret about that. Last season, they unloaded Boogie for two young players (and Tyreke Evans, who is ironically having an incredible comeback season after the Kings didn’t resign him, allowing the Memphis Grizzlies to scoop him up) along with two future picks. Skal Labissiere has had a solid sophomore season compared to his rookie campaign but isn’t seeing the minutes he probably should be on the worst team in the NBA.

The reason this trade could actually happen has to do with a few other components. According to ESPN, the Kings now backup point guard (replaced by De’Aaron Fox), George Hill, is now on the trading block. The rumor is the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to secure Hill in an effort to revamp their defense in the backcourt and hopefully slow down their current pitfall into a black hole of failure. If this trade were to go down, the Kings would reportedly receive Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye (and possibly a future pick), which means they would have to find a way to create a roster spot to bring on both players. Labissiere is one of the names that has popped up.

A potential Hill trade is far from a done deal, but it does indicate that the Kings are looking at a future that likely doesn’t include the Haitian big man. Labissiere has proven that he can contribute to an NBA team – especially after a nice start to the new year – and is also on an incredibly cheap rookie deal for two more seasons after this one.

Basically, Labissiere is a valuable asset for the Kings. Nobody is going to be breaking down the doors in Sacramento for Labissiere, offering Steph Curry/Kevin Durant/the city of San Fransico for him, but he does have value and practically every NBA team could afford him. It’s just a matter of who wants to make a deal for him. A deal that would likely include more than just a “Labissiere for player X straight up” type of deal.

Teams that could use a young, backup big man with the means to acquire him include (but isn’t limited to) the Washington Wizards, the Los Angeles Clippers, or the Detroit Pistons. All three have playoff aspirations and could benefit from a lengthy and spry Labissiere without having to give up much in return. The Wizards could work with a trade looking something like Labissiere and Frank Mason III to Washington in exchange for guard Tim Frazier (and maybe a second round pick?). A Pistons trade might look something like Labissiere and Malachi Richardson being traded to Detroit for Stanley Johnson.

There are a ton of possibilities for Labissiere, it’s just a matter of whether or not the Kings do indeed pull the trigger.

Trade that will never happen

John Wall will be traded to the Miami Heat

The Washington Wizards and John Wall recently agreed to a hefty contract extension for the now five-time (W)All-Star, but that shouldn’t stop the organization from potentially parting ways. Without getting into too much detail, the Wizards aren’t where they want to be right now. Wall is having a down year by his standards and the Wizards recent team meeting reportedly only made matters within the team worse (which is impressive, honestly). The Wizards are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, trailing the fourth-place Miami Heat by only one game. The Heat, on the other hand, are playing very impressive basketball with a so-so roster and an elite coach. They’re only one and a half games back of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the third spot.

A trade that involved Wall being moved for Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo (and probably a future pick) could make things interesting. The Wizards would get a backup center that they can move forward with while also bringing in a great point guard (who many think was snubbed for the All-Star game – however, I am not one of said individuals) with Dragic. Dragic is an excellent finisher, a better shooter than Wall, and also a gifted passer. He’s not as good as Wall overall, but he could fix areas that the Wizards sometimes struggle with (outside shooting).

Wall in Miami would unleash a whole different beast. With no Bradley Beal by his side, he’ll be the guy in South Beach. He has plenty of weapons around him such as Josh Richardson, Wayne Ellington, and Tyler Johnson along with rebounding machine Hassan Whiteside. Moving to Miami gets him away from head coach Scott Brooks and into a unique culture with Miami and their head coach Erik Spoelstra that could return Wall to a similar form of years past, if not an even better version.

Now, this trade likely won’t happen because it’s highly doubtful the Wizards would bite on it (unless a first round pick was possibly thrown in) and because of Wall’s 15 percent trade kicker, but it’s fun to dream. A Wall/Whiteside pick-and-roll would be an upgrade from an aging Marcin Gortat and endless shooters surrounding his elite passing ability has the potential to actually shake up the top of the East.

Trade that could happen

The Los Angeles Lakers trade Julius Randle to the Dallas Mavericks for Nerlens Noel

We’ve heard this before. Not too long ago, either. Back in December, it was revealed that the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks had some chit-chat about swapping Julius Randle for Nerlens Noel, although it ultimately amounted to nothing.

Noel has been out with a thumb injury since late November while Randle is starting for the Lakers and playing damn well. The Lakers finally giving Randle the clock he deserves could mean they want to keep him around for the long haul (especially since acquiring superstars such as LeBron James, Paul George, and now DeMarcus Cousins is looking less and less likely), but it could also mean the head coaching staff/front office are finally using common sense and playing their best player more minutes. Either way, Randle will be a free agent at the end of the season, so whoever does finish this season with him will more than likely offer him a fat ole payday.

Noel’s injury and apparent mutual discontent between himself and the Mavericks is setting up an inevitable breakup. Which is good, because this trade could actually end up making sense. Randle would go to a Dallas team in rebuild mode with a key piece already brought in (rookie Dennis Smith Jr.) and he’d probably get a $15 million-plus per year deal. Noel, on the other hand, could secure an eight-figure salary from the Lakers this offseason after his contract expires – if proven healthy. He would provide an interior presence that they can build their young team around. With Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma as their core, the Lakers will need a rim protector if they don’t bring back Brook Lopez.

In theory, this trade could happen. But the trades that go down before the deadline are usually ones that no one has heard or thought of yet.

Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan

Karl-Anthony Towns backs down Quincy Acy as the Timberwolves won 111-97.
(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

BBNBA: Wall sits and KAT hits the boards

Karl-Anthony Towns backs down Quincy Acy during the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-97 win over the Brooklyn Nets. 
(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)


Washington Wizards point guard John Wall had to sit out Saturday’s 25-point win against the Atlanta Hawks. Wall has been dealing with knee soreness the entire season and was forced to sit out due to the same issue. This is the 12th game this season that Wall has missed due to knee soreness. Wall hasn’t looked like his regular self this season and it’s obvious the knee issue is taking a toll on him physically. Whether or not the injury will need more serious attention either later this season or in the offseason is still yet to be seen, but it is something to monitor. The Wizards are 27-22 this season (5-6 without Wall) and sitting at fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Karl-Anthony Towns recorded 16 points and 19 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves rolled over the Brooklyn Nets 111-97. This was Towns’ 43rd double-double this season, which leads the NBA, and his 19 rebounds are tied for his second highest of the season. The Wolves are now 32-20 on the season, and their win on Saturday put an end to a two-game losing streak. The Wolves are now only a half-game back of the San Antonio Spurs for the third-best record in the Western Conference.

Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles combined for 28 points in the Denver Nuggets 91-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks while Bam Adebayo put up eight points and 12 rebounds in a 95-91 victory over the Miami Heat. Check out the rest of the stats below.


PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)111-97 W vs. BKN167-16 (0-4)191132+833
Jamal Murray (DEN)91-89 W vs. DAL156-15 (3-6)55006-430
Trey Lyles (DEN)91-89 W vs. DAL135-14 (2-6)101110-1426
Bam Adebayo (MIA)95-91 W vs. CHA84-6 (0-0)120111+1325
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)91-95 L @ MIA84-5 (0-0)60100+1426
Jodie Meeks (WAS) 129-104 W @ ATL83-6 (2-4)30100+119
Patrick Patterson (OKC)121-108 W @ DET52-5 (1-4)31100-1916
Malik Monk (CHA)91-95 L @ MIA00-4 (0-1)00000-107
John Wall (WAS)129-104 W @ ATLDNP-Knee----------------
Nerlens Noel (DAL)89-91 L @ DENDNP-Thumb----------------
Alex Poythress (IND)114-112 W vs. ORLDNP-CD----------------
Dakari Johnson (OKC)121-108 W @ DETDNP-CD----------------



Tonight in the NBA

3:30: Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Bulls

3:30 (NBATV): Suns (Booker, Ulis) @ Rockets

4:00: Clippers @ Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Rondo, Liggins)

6:00: Pistons @ Cavaliers

6:00: Lakers (Randle) @ Raptors

6:00 (ESPN): 76ers @ Thunder (Patterson, Johnson)

7:00: Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere) @ Spurs

Player to watch

Tonight’s player to watch is Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. The tragic news that broke late Friday which confirmed everyone’s worst fears has put the Pelicans in a tricky situation. With DeMarcus Cousins in the lineup, the Pelicans were playing their best team basketball in years. Now, they have to ride a hot streak – which includes winning seven of their last eight – without a top-15 player in the league. Luckily for the Pelicans, Davis is still an unstoppable force. Their Sunday night matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers in New Orleans is the first without Boogie, and the Pelicans will hopefully be looking to make a statement against a team fighting to creep back into the playoffs. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan will both play tonight for the Clippers, so it won’t be a picnic, but it’s not something Davis hasn’t had to deal with before. No more Boogie means the whole team has to step up, especially Darius Miller and Rajon Rondo, and the first game could be an indicator of what we might expect from this team for the rest of the season.

Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan

What will the Pelicans do without Cousins?

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Just when the New Orleans Pelicans looked to be figuring things out with their two All-Star big men, the worse thing happened.

Now the Pelicans are faced with a big question; Now what?

The Pelicans held their first practice without DeMarcus Cousins on Saturday and have started adjusting to life without Cousins.

The one thing that won’t change, the Pelicans’ goal to make the playoffs.

“It changes for everyone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t accomplish what we set out to do,” coach Alvin Gentry said after practice. “And that’s to be a playoff team.”

“We have to obviously realign some things and rethink some things that we’ve done and probably add a few things and take away a few things,” Gentry said. “We have to adjust and figure out how we can best work with what we have now.”

The rise of production from Jrue Holiday, E’Twaun Moore and Darius Miller keeps Anthony Davis optimistic.

“Everybody’s playing well,” Davis said. “We’ve just got to carry that over to the rest of the season. Of course, missing one of our main guys is tough, but it just means guys have got to step up.”

Miller finished with six 3-pointers off the bench in the Pelicans win against Houston on Friday.

David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images

Rajon Rondo also remains optimistic for one reason. They have of Davis on their team.

“There’s still only one Anthony Davis; no one can match that,” Rondo said. “We’ve got to continue to trust one another and it’s a team sport, so we’ll play team basketball.”

The Pelicans will look to add to their roster before the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline, but until then it will be a “next man up” mentality in New Orleans.

The Pelicans will host the Las Angeles Clippers today ag at 4:00 pm ET in their first game without Cousins.

[Anthony Davis, Pelicans recalibrate playoff push without Cousins]

BBNBA: Enes Kanter Owns Devin Booker

Christian Petersen | Getty Images

When two notorious trash talkers collide, sparks fly.  It doesn’t matter if they’re both former Kentucky Wildcats.

Last night Enes Kanter’s New York Knicks traveled to Phoenix to take on Devin Booker’s Suns.  Booker’s frustrating shooting night was made much worse when Kanter started chirping.  Booker had only 12 points on 4-of-12 field goals when Kanter got inside his head.  Already with a technical and a flagrant foul, when Kanter blocked Booker’s shot into the stands, D-Book could no longer contain his emotions.

Kanter’s Knicks won 107-85.  The Turkish forward had 20 points and 10 rebounds.  After the game he was still talking trash.

In other news from Wildcats around the NBA (that isn’t depressing injury news), Alex Poythress is back to doing Alex Poythress things. He also had two rebounds and an assist in nine minutes for the Indiana Pacers.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s solid scoring night helped him reach a new milestone. He had 19 points to surpass the 3,000 career points milestone.  MKG added 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals to the box score.

Here’s how the rest of the BBNBA fared on a Friday night that was overshadowed by Cousins’ season-ending injury.

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocks
DeMarcus Cousins115-113 W vs. HOU156-12 (0-2)131130
Anthony Davis115-113 W vs. HOU2710-22 (0-1)11505
Darius Miller115-113 W vs. HOU206-11 (6-10)3110
Rajon Rondo115-113 W vs. HOU00-1 (0-1)1610
DeAndre Liggins115-113 W vs. HOU83-3 (2-2)1210
Julius Randle108-103 W vs. CHI145-9 (0-1)6310
Andrew Harrison109-100 L vs. LAC124-9 (2-6)1300
Eric Bledsoe116-91 W vs. BRK145-16 (3-7)1420

Today on KSR: UK Travels to West Virginia and Boogie’s Bad Break

WVU Athletics

Cousins’ Injury isn’t Fair

The best season of DeMarcus Cousins’ career abruptly ended last night with less than ten seconds remaining in the game.

The injury to his left Achilles tendon comes just four days after Boogie made history by becoming just the fifth player to ever post 40/20/10.  After almost one complete year with Anthony Davis, New Orleans was finally clicking, ranked sixth in the West and poised to send the All-Star starter to the playoffs for the first time.

Cousins’ future is unclear.  It appeared that he would finish his best season of his career in the playoffs.  Now he’ll enter the free agent market in rehab.

He has a long time to decide his next move.  Until then, he has support from his peers and the entire Big Blue Nation.

Kentucky Opens as 8-Point Underdogs

The Cats will be underdogs when West Virginia pulls out all of the stops for the primetime College Gameday match-up.

  • 11:00 — College Gameday airs on ESPN live from Morgantown
  • 4:30 — The KSR Pregame Show begins on 630 WLAP
  • 7:15 — Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and Maria Taylor call the Cats and the Gators on ESPN

If you can’t hear Tom Leach and Mike Pratt on the UK Sports Network, you can listen on Sirius-81 and XM-81.

History with West Virginia

Kentucky leads the border state series 15-5.  Huggins’ record vs. UK is only 1-4, with the one win coming in that God forsaken 2010 Elite Eight.  Calipari exacted revenge by eliminating West Virginia from the NCAA Tournament in 2011 (71-63 in the second round) and in 2015 (78-39 in the Sweet 16).

The last time a Kentucky team traveled to West Virginia, Adolph Rupp was the head coach.  Tom Parker led the Cats in scoring with 24 points, Kent Hollenbeck had 23, Tom Payne and Mike Casey each chipped in 19 to take down the Mountaineers 106-100 on December 7, 1970.

This West Virginia team has lost three of their last four, a skid that started when Kansas handed them their first home loss of the season.  The Mountaineers have lost at home only five times in the last three seasons.

Cal Kicked it with Huggy

Prior to tonight’s tenuous tip-off, John Calipari and Bob Huggins spent the night raising money at a charity fish fry.  More than 2,000 people were in attendance.  Cal joked on Twitter, “He told me I was helping. He never asks LOL.”


The Big 12/SEC Challenge Schedule

Time Game Network
Noon Baylor at Florida ESPN
Noon Texas Tech at South Carolina ESPN2
2:00 Ole Miss at Texas ESPN2
2:00 Georgia at Kansas State ESPNU
2:15 Oklahoma at Alabama ESPN
4:00 TCU at Vanderbilt ESPN2
4:30 Texas A&M at Kansas ESPN
6:00 Oklahoma State at Arkansas ESPN2
7:00 Kentucky at West Virginia ESPN

The New UK Baseball Unis are Unbelievably Awesome

How do I get one?

Congrats to John Reecer

Last night the KSR contributing writer won first place for best sports column in a college publication from the Kentucky Press Association.  KSR has accomplished many things, but I believe Reecer is the first active publisher on this site to ever win an award for journalism.  Congrats!

DeMarcus Cousins tears Achilles, out for the season

DeMarcus Cousins tears Achilles, out for the season

Horrible news out of New Orleans tonight…

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, DeMarcus Cousins has suffered a torn Achilles, and will miss the rest of the season.

Here was the video of the injury:

Cousins was averaging 25.4 points, 13 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game this season.

The Pelicans were up to the sixth seed in the West at the time of the injury. Now, things are looking pretty rough for New Orleans’ postseason hopes.

Get back soon, Boogie…

Who’s Batman and who’s Robin? Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins decide who’s who with SLAM!

© Derick E. Hingle | USATSI

It’s no secret: DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis are a big deal in New Orleans.

After putting up historic numbers and breaking records throughout the year with the Pelicans, the former Wildcats are considered the most dynamic frontcourt duo in the NBA.

Earlier this week, Davis and Cousins were featured on the cover of SLAM! Magazine with this legendary cover:

As part of the feature, SLAM! interviewed the former Kentucky big men on their status as an elite duo and compared them to some of the other top dynamic duos in history.

Their job? Decide who was who.

Who was Batman and who was Robin? Will and Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Dory and Marlin from Finding Nemo?

Check out their hilarious responses below: