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Bucks’ Jrue Holiday becomes extension eligible on Friday

Jrue Holiday will become eligible for a four-year, $134.9 million extension with the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, reports Marc Stein of the New York Times.

The Bucks acquired Holiday before the start of the season, sending out a significant haul of future draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans. Former Sixers guard is averaging 16.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 5.4 apg with the Bucks.

Phoenix Suns waive Damian Jones

The Phoenix Suns are waiving Damian Jones, reports The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Former Warriors draft pick appeared in 14 games this season with the Suns, averaging 6.7 minutes per game.

Brooklyn Nets to waive three players

Brooklyn Nets are waiving three players: Noah Vonleh, Iman Shumpert and Andre Roberson.

The Nets keep roster flexibility to take on players in trades or the buyout/free agent market.

Mike Conley says he wants to stay “long-term” with Utah Jazz

Veteran guard Mike Conley will be a free agent this summer but signs are pointing toward him re-signing with the Utah Jazz.

“Utah’s got me,” Conley said to The Athletic. “I was talking about this to my wife recently. We love it here. I don’t think I can go anywhere else that plays the way we play. We’ll see this offseason, because when that time comes there will definitely be a lot of chatter. But, from where I sit right now, this team is so unique, in the way we play. And everyone has bought into what we want to do on both ends of the floor”.

Source: The Athletic.

Houston Rockets reportedly to release DeMarcus Cousins

Houston Rockets are releasing DeMarcus Cousins as reported by Shams Charania.

Rockets guaranteed Cousins’ $2.3M salary for the season last week.

Lakers to waive Quinn Cook

The Los Angeles Lakers are waiving Quinn Cook.
The departure of the two-time NBA champion will give Lakers two open roster spots.

Hornets’ Gordon Hayward leaves game after re-aggravating a previous right hand injury

In loss to the Utah Jazz, the Charlotte Hornets also lost Gordon Hayward to a right hand injury.

The forward re-aggravated a previous right hand injury and did not return to the game in 4th quarter.

Wizards’ Bradley Beal reportedly won’t be available at the next trade deadline

The Washington Wizards are unlikely to trade Bradley Beal at the upcoming trade deadline.

Per The Ringer, What the Celtics can do right now is limited. Unless something changes between now and the deadline, Bradley Beal won’t be available. All indications are that he and the front office will wait until the offseason to sort out their future. And even if Beal did become available before the deadline, the Celtics probably wouldn’t be able to make the most competitive offer.

Karl-Anthony Towns wants to win with Timberwolves: I want to build my legacy here

Karl-Anthony Towns doesn’t intend to leave the Timberwolves.
The big man wants to stay and build a legacy and a winning culture in Minneapolis.

“If you want to build a legacy, we gotta win. I want to build my legacy here. I want to win with the Wolves and gonna do everything I possibly can to step-by-step, brick-by-brick building something and a culture here that’s gonna stand for a long time” Towns said, as reported by Jon Krawczynski.

Bucks reportedly interested in PJ Tucker

The Milwaukee Bucks are interested in PJ Tucker but the trade possibilities for the franchise are limited with an empty asset cupboard.

Per The Ringer, Executives around the league view DiVincenzo as the most valuable asset the Bucks have, ahead of first-round pick swaps in 2021 and 2023, and five second-round picks through 2027. They don’t have much to offer. League sources told me in November that the Bucks were in pursuit of P.J. Tucker from the Rockets. Their interest remains unchanged today. Tucker would absolutely help. He remains a stout defender who could thrive in small-ball lineups next to Giannis. Tucker turns 36 in May and will be a free agent this offseason, but the trade possibilities are limited with an empty asset cupboard.

Lakers reportedly among teams interested in DeMarcus Cousins

According to Kevin O’Connor, the Los Angeles Lakers will be among the teams to pursue DeMarcus Cousins.

Yesterday Shams Charania revealed that the Houston Rockets are planning to part ways with the former Kentucky big man.

Cousins played 25 games for the Rockets, with averages of 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 assist, shooting 37% from the field, 33% from beyond the arc and 74% from the foul line.

DeMarcus Cousins to leave Rockets

DeMarcus Cousins will not continue the season with the Houston Rockets. The contract of the big man recently became guaranteed but the Rockets have decided to go smaller and younger in the front putt and to use more Christian Wood when he will be back from injury.
For this reason, Cousins will become free agent and look for new opportunities.

The news was reported by Shams Charania.

Knicks reportedly interested in Bradley Beal

The New York Knicks are reportedly interested in Wizards All Star Bradley Beal, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. The Knicks would be willing to trade some of their assets in order to acquire a star player.

New York, in fact, has $15M in cap space to use before the trade deadline and 5 1st round picks over the next three seasons.

NBA close to releasing remaining part of Regular Season schedule

The NBA is expected to share a draft of its second half schedule as early as this weekend and likely by next week, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe. The league released only the first half of the schedule before the start of the season to have flexibility to make up postponed games in the second half.

Several teams, including the Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies, Spurs and Hornets, have had multiple games postponed due to lacking the required eight required healthy and available players. League officials are not currently contemplating moving back the start of the playoffs as they want to conclude The Finals before the start of the Olympics on July 23.

Source: ESPN.

Bjelica isn’t concerned with trade rumors: I don’t need to prove anything to anybody

Sacramento King forward Nemanja Bjelica talks with the media after his 25-points game in the home loss against the Miami Heat.

“I don’t need to prove anything to anybody,” Bjelica said. “Like I said, I really don’t know anything about rumors about trades. That’s normal part of our life. This is my sixth year in the league, so everybody knows me as a player.

“To be honest with you, I work my a– off…That’s what everybody’s supposed to do when you’re out of the rotation or you don’t play or you play less”.

 

The serbian forward, who will be a Free Agent after this season, is averaging over 8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assist per game.

Source: Sacramento Bee.

Isaiah Thomas says he’s playing with Team USA to show NBA teams he’s back to 100%

It’s been one year since Isaiah Thomas last played in the NBA with the Washington Wizards. Now, the two-time All-Star is ready to suit up for USA Basketball in the upcoming FIBA AmeriCup qualifying window. He wants to use this opportunity to show that he’s ready to make his return to the NBA.

“My ultimate goal is to play in the NBA as soon as possible,” Thomas, 32, told The Associated Press. “This allows me to compete against other professionals, represent my country at the same time — which is an honor and a privilege — and ultimately show NBA teams that I’m back to myself and I’m 100% healthy. That’s why I chose to come here. When Team USA brought it to me, it was a no-brainer.”

Source: Associated Press.

Kings’ Metu out with wrist fracture. Coach Walton said it was a “dangerous play” by Valanciunas

Sacramento Kings forward Chimezie Metu will miss several weeks of action due to a fractured wrist.

And Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton got mat at Jonas Valanciunas saying that Metu got injured because of a dangerous play of the Lithuanian big man of the Grizzlies.

Per Sactownroyalty, The play in question happened with 3:18 left in the game, with the Kings trailing 118-105. Nemanja Bjelica had the ball near the free-throw line and found a cutting Metu, who dunked it over Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas.

Metu put his legs on Valanciunas, and the Lithuanian wasn’t happy. Valanciunas reacted by yanking Metu’s leg, who fell awkwardly to the ground, breaking the fall with his hand, which resulted in the wrist injury.

“That was a dangerous play,” Walton said. “He hooked him by the leg and tried to throw him down, so I didn’t understand how that is not, in what today’s NBA is, is not even considered a flagrant foul. I don’t see how that’s a basketball play.”

Valanciunas was given a technical foul for the play, but officials told Walton that they didn’t believe it was excessive. Memphis superstar Ja Morant says Valanciunas had a right to be upset with Metu.

“(Metu) went a little overboard,” Morant said. “He got the dunk; probably was excited. I felt like he wrapped his legs around (Valanciunas) and that’s a little disrespectful to a man. I don’t blame JV at all.”

Blazers’ CJ McCollum out at least two more weeks

Portland guard CJ McCollum, who suffered a left mid-foot fracture on January 16 against the Atlanta Hawks, continues to progress in his return to action, it was announced today by Trail Blazers president of basketball operations, Neil Olshey.

McCollum, who was examined today by team medical personnel, will no longer be required to wear a walking boot and will advance to the next stage of his rehabilitation. He will be reevaluated again in two weeks. Further updates will be provided as appropriate.

McCollum averaged 26.7 points (47.3% FG, 44.1% 3-PT, 84.4% FT), 3.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists through 13 games with Portland prior to the injury.

Source: Portland Trail Blazers.