Good morning, folks. The NBA trade deadline is at 3 p.m. EST later on Thursday. Let’s talk NBA.
“The moment you give up, is the moment you let someone else win” — Kobe Bryant
KAT is not a happy camper
Welp, the Minnesota Timberwolves lost again on Wednesday night, but you could have guessed that. This loss was special, though. Minnesota was hosting the Atlanta Hawks – the third-worst team in the NBA by percentage – and coming off a day of rest. Robert Covington, the team’s best perimeter defender, had just been shipped to the Houston Rockets (the same trade that sent Clint Capela to the Hawks, although he was not yet with the team). Heavy roster turnover for Minnesota ahead of the trade deadline on Thursday has been long expected. With all that in mind, the Wolves came out and laid a stinker, falling to the Hawks, 121-107.
Karl-Anthony Towns posted 21 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 7-15 from the field and had to plenty to say before the Wolves 13th (!) straight loss. According to Towns, Covington was his “best friend” on the team.
“It was difficult,” Towns said, according to The Star Tribune. “… I’ve been part of so much change here in Minnesota, I’m kind of desensitized to it. Obviously, there’s ones that hurt a little bit more. Zach [LaVine] hurt a lot, Cov is up there. So the last 24 hours, I haven’t slept much. I think I fell asleep [Tuesday] at like 5:30, 6 a.m.”
It’s no secret that Towns has been an advocate for Minnesota to sign/trade for his buddy D’Angelo Russell out in Golden State, but those talks have fallen apart over recent days. The Wolves received Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, Evan Turner, and Jarred Vanderbilt in the four-team trade. Turner is best served as a backup point guard and even though Beasley and Hernangomez are solid young prospects, they’ll both be restricted free agents this summer. And as much as I like Vanderbilt, the odds of him finding consistent playing time are low (although higher than when he was in Denver). The only valuable piece that Minnesota got in return was a 2020 first-round draft pick, which doesn’t exactly help a team trying to satisfy it’s star player right now.
“I’ve been losing for a long time,” Towns continued. “I’m not trying to do that anymore. Every possession means a lot. You obviously see my patience running low with a lot of things, so there’s no excuses, we’ve got to get it done.”
I’ll remind everyone again, Towns hasn’t won a game since Nov. 27.
Miami is going all in and I am here for it. The Heat have reportedly agreed to acquire Andre Iguodala in a trade from the Memphis Grizzlies, signing him to a two-year, $30 million extension in the process. While all of the details have yet to be released, Justise Winslow is also expected to be in the package sent to Memphis.
Memphis has agreed to a deal to send Andre Iguodala to Miami, league source tells ESPN. Iguodala agreed to trade and has agreed to a two-year, $30M extension with Miami.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2020
A few other Memphis players, such as Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill, were held out from Thursday night’s game, potentially as pieces to make the trade work. But the mysterious fun doesn’t stop there. Miami is also trying to add sharpshooter Danilo Gallinari from the OKC Thunder in a three-way deal.
Miami, Memphis and Oklahoma City are working on an elaborate three-team deal that would land the Heat both Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari, league sources tell ESPN. Talks are ongoing and could extend into Thursday, sources said.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2020
There has been talk that Miami refuses to add Tyler Herro in any potential trade package but if they can add both Iggy and Gallo while signing both to contract extensions and keeping cap flexibility in the summer of 2021 WITHOUT trading Herro, that is a badass move by Pat Riley. While bringing Iguodala on board for $15 million per year is a hefty (like, really hefty) price tag for a declining 36-year old, the second-year being a team-option makes it reasonable. Gallinari is still an expert shooter who is making 41 percent of his seven three-point attempts per game. Miami is already really good with Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler leading the way. They’ve just been missing a couple of pieces. These might be the two that can put them over the top. But who knows, the entire deal could fall apart by the time I finish this post. That’s the beauty (and tragedy) of the trade season.
- Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets earned a massive road win over the Utah Jazz, 98-95, as they played with just a seven-man rotation. With several players offloaded in the aforementioned trade, Denver was down to a tight lineup with two guys off the bench who had hardly played at all this season. But Murray led the Nuggets with 31 points on 12-26 shooting and a 4-9 mark from deep. Nikola Jokic became just the 10th player in NBA history to record at least 30 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists (he finished with 30/21/10).
- The Oklahoma City Thunder narrowly escaped an upset bid from the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning 109-103. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went for 23 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists while shooting 9-17 from the floor. Nerlens Noel registered six points and three rebounds while Hamidou Diallo did not appear for the Thunder. Ever since Lu Dort started to burst onto the scene on a two-way contract for the Thunder, he’s been stealing some of the minutes originally meant for Diallo. But this was the first time that Diallo failed to find the court at all since Dort’s arrival. Dort played 16 minutes against the Cavs.
- Much like Denver, the Phoenix Suns were playing severely short-handed against the Detroit Pistons. The Suns ran with just an eight-man rotation and four of the team’s starters played at least 41 minutes, including Devin Booker. The former ‘Cat added 22 points, four rebounds, and seven assists in Phoenix’s 116-108 loss. The Suns have now lost four straight and five out of its last six. They’re missing FIVE rotational pieces to various injuries. That many injuries makes it impossible to win.
- We’ll end the recap with the Miami Heat taking a surprising 128-111 loss to the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers. Bam Adebayo posted 22 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists while shooting 9-15 from the field. Tyler Herro was held out with ankle soreness; the rookie sat out two games earlier in January due to a minor ankle problem. The Clippers drilled a franchise-record 24 triples and overcame a 12-point first-half deficit to easily run over the Heat in the final two quarters. The Clippers have won nine out of its last 11 games.
Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||98-95 W @ UTA||31||12-26 (4-9)||2||4||0||1||3||+5||42|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||109-103 W vs. OKC||23||9-17 (2-5)||10||3||2||2||2||-2||39|
|Devin Booker (PHX)||108-116 L @ DET||22||8-16 (2-6)||4||7||0||0||3||-4||41|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||111-128 L @ LAC||22||9-15 (0-0)||11||6||2||0||2||-15||39|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||120-127 L vs. ATL||21||7-15 (2-6)||11||1||2||1||4||-4||38|
|Enes Kanter (BOS)||116-100 W vs. ORL||7||3-5 (0-0)||8||2||1||1||1||-2||25|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||109-103 W vs. OKC||6||3-5 (0-0)||3||1||0||1||1||+4||18|
|Willie Cauley-Stein (DAL)||107-121 L vs. MEM||4||2-2 (0-0)||3||0||0||2||1||-16||12|
|Tyler Herro (MIA)||111-128 L @ LAC||DNP-Ankle||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||109-103 W vs. OKC||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Brandon Knight (CLE)||103-109 L @ KOC||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Patrick Patterson (LAC)||128-111 W vs. MIA||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:30: Magic @ Knicks (Knox, Randle)
8:00: Pelicans (Miller-out) @ Bulls
8:00 (TNT): 76ers @ Bucks (Bledsoe)
10:00: Spurs (Johnson, Lyles) @ Trail Blazers (Gabriel, Labissere-out)
10:30 (TNT): Rockets @ Lakers (Davis, Rondo)