Cavaliers Rumors: Danny Green Trade Reportedly Being Discussed with Spurs. With the Cleveland Cavaliers in search of ways to upgrade their roster, Danny Green of the San Antonio Spurs is reportedly on their radar. ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported Thursday the Cavs and Spurs have had discussions involving Green, but the Spurs currently have a high asking price. The Spurs continue to search for ways to clear cap space this offseason. Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News reported the team is exploring the trade market for LaMarcus Aldridge. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported the Spurs have strong interest in signing Chris Paul or Derrick Rose, if they can free up enough money to make a deal work. The Cavs have been linked to multiple high-profile players already this offseason, though Windhorst reported (h/t ESPN Cleveland) Thursday potential deals for Paul George of the Indiana Pacers or Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls are unlikely because neither team is interested in a deal centered around Kevin Love. Green has one more guaranteed year on his contract worth $10 million, per Spotrac. The 30-year-old, who started his career with the Cavaliers in 2009-10, averaged 7.3 points in 68 games last season and has hit 40 percent of his three-point attempts in eight NBA seasons.
Kings Trade Back to Draft Justin Jackson No. Less than three months after he led the North Carolina Tar Heels to a national title, Justin Jackson learned Thursday he'll suit up for the Sacramento Kings after he was selected 15th overall in the 2017 NBA draft. 15 and 20, and he will partner with No. 5 overall pick De'Aaron Fox in Sacramento. Twitter had this to say about the Kings' second first-round pick in the draft: Carolina Basketball Everything has led up to tonight. He's got the next Shawn Marion written all over him. Jackson and Fox are going to be very good. June 23, 2017 at 1:06:12 AM GMT Jackson was solid as a sophomore to the tune of 12.2 points per game for a UNC team that made a run to the national title game, but his stroke left something to be desired. However, Jackson made major strides as a junior when he tallied a career-best 18.3 points per game and drilled 37.0 percent of his threes during a standout campaign that boosted his draft stock in a big way, according to ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman: Jackson's long-range shooting chops were on display throughout the NCAA tournament, when he averaged 19.5 points per game en route to a national championship. He can really pass.
How he fits: Collins had been the top player available on most draft boards for quite a while. Justin Jackson, 6’8” Small Forward, North Carolina 22 years old The draft’s highest-rated junior, Jackson averaged 18.3 points a game last season, but more importantly he improved his long-distance shooting to the point where he shot 37 percent from 3-point range on 7.1 attempts after shooting 29.7 percent on 2.7 attempts a game in his freshman and sophomore years. Really good example of playing into a high draft spot. Malik Monk, 6’3” Shooting Guard, Kentucky 19 years old An old-fashioned shooting guard with highlight-reel leaping ability and an ability to score at will, Monk averaged 19.8 points a game. Quotable: “Yes, I feel comfortable playing point guard or shooting guard. How he fits: Ntilikina was not the top player available on every draft board, but his versatility as a player, and his openness to the Triangle offense made him a solid pick for the Knicks. A six-year veteran and three-time All-Star, Butler has scored 20 or more points a game in each of the last three seasons, and had one of his best overall seasons this past year, with averages of 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.9 steals a game. We’re both point guards. Marc Tracy: I watched Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum about three or four times last season, respectively with Kansas and Duke, and count me in the minority that would pick Tatum over Jackson. His decent height and long arms allow him to defend shooting guards and his playmaking is strong enough to make him a true point guard on offense.
Lonzo Ball makes case for LeBron James to join him on Lakers. Lonzo Ball is expecting to hear his name called on Friday (AEST) when the Los Angeles Lakers make the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, and is already trying to get LeBron James to join him. MORE: Phil Jackson says Knicks need big offer to deal 'unicorn' Kristaps Porzingis | The soon-to-be rookie made a free-agent recruiting pitch to James on Wednesday during an appearance on ESPN's "The Six." Ball was asked by SportsCenter co-host Michael Smith about the recent rumors that four-time MVP James may leave Cleveland for Los Angeles when he hits free agency in 2018. Pressed to make his pitch to James, Ball said: "Hey man, LeBron, I like to win, I know you like to win. I think our games could help each other out a lot. "Any time you want the ball, just let me know. It's gonna be there, you know." If Ball does go to the Lakers in the draft, then expect him to be part of a real pitch next season should James opt out of his deal with the Cavs.
NBA draft live coverage and analysis: Markelle Fultz No. 1, Lonzo Ball No. 2 and a Jimmy Butler trade
Philadelphia (From Brooklyn, via Boston) The pick: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington Analysis: When the 76ers traded up to get the top overall pick in this year’s draft, there was no doubt that Fultz was the player they coveted. Boston (from Sacramento, via Philadelphia) The pick: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke Analysis: This was where the intrigue began, with the Celtics — after trading down with Philadelphia — having to decide between a pair of small forwards in Tatum and Josh Jackson. Phoenix The pick: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas Analysis: The “it” player in this year’s draft was Jackson, the hyper-athletic forward from Kansas who seems to be coveted by half the league. And when he uses that same skill set on the other side of the ball, posting steal and block rates of more than three percent, Jackson is the ideal modern-day two-way player. Atlanta The pick: TBD Analysis: TBD What he brings: TBD Projection: John Collins, PF, Wake Forest 20. Sacramento (From Memphis via Denver and Cleveland and Portland) The pick: TBD Analysis: TBD What he brings: TBD Projection: Harry Giles, C, Duke 21. Los Angeles Lakers (From Boston, via Brooklyn) The pick: TBD Analysis: TBD What he brings: TBD Projection: Kyle Kuzma, PF, Utah 28. 1 pick in the NBA draft to the 76ers for their third overall pick plus a future first-rounder. – The Boston Celtics traded the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft to the 76ers for Philadelphia’s No.
Cubs' demotion of Kyle Schwarber to minors reinforces the cruel realities of baseball. In the latest example of "Baseball is a very hard sport even for those who are very good at it," the Cubs announced on Thursday that they were sending World Series hero Kyle Schwarber down to Triple A due to a terminal case of him being terrible this season. The 24-year-old has hit just .147 in 40 games since the start of May, and while that might be tolerable on a team that's firing on all cylinders, it's harder to hide with a Cubs squad that is only a game above .500 and 1 1/2 games out of first place in the National League Central. After all, he hit .246/.355/.487 with 16 home runs in 69 games after being called up in late 2015 and crushed some mighty homers in the playoffs, and he showed no rust in his Fall Classic cameo, reaching base 10 times in 20 plate appearances. Schwarber, meanwhile, moved all over the lineup as Maddon sought to get him going; at one point in late May, he settled on starting Schwarber only against righthanders. But there are a few numbers that suggest that Schwarber simply isn't making consistent hard contact. Add it all up, and you have a player whose batting average on balls in play has plummeted 100 points from his last full season and sits at a meager .193. Some of that can probably be blamed on defensive positioning: The lefty-swinging Schwarber has hit just .212 against the shift in 113 plate appearances this year, the worst mark of any player with 100 or more PAs in that situation. But the game of baseball is ruthless and difficult to figure out, even if you can smash a ball 450 feet or reach base at will in the World Series after not playing competitive ball for six months. And while Schwarber has talent enough that this Triple A stint will likely be brief, Vogt is proof enough that no matter how good you are, things can go from brilliant to brutal in the blink of an eye.
Jimmy Butler, Paul George Cavs Trades Reportedly off Due to Kevin Love Interest. It was reported Thursday that the Cleveland Cavaliers' attempts to trade for Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler or Indiana Pacers forward Paul George are unlikely to come to fruition. According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst (h/t ESPN Cleveland), the deals aren't going to materialize due to the Cavs' failure to sell the Bulls or Pacers on Kevin Love as a centerpiece of a potential trade. Per ESPN's Marc Stein, former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin made a strong push to acquire either Butler or George before he and the organization parted ways this week. Stein added that Cleveland has encountered obstacles in its attempts to land one of the star players, as Butler reportedly wants to lead the Bulls back to prominence, and George prefers to land with the Los Angeles Lakers. With the Cavaliers undoubtedly wanting to keep LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Love became the only big piece they could potentially offer in a blockbuster trade. The 28-year-old Love returned to the All-Star Game in 2016-17 after a two-year absence and put up strong numbers during the regular season with 19.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. His production dropped off a bit to 16.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest during the playoffs, and he was a non-factor at times in Cleveland's five-game series loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. In contrast, Butler is a 27-year-old, three-time All-Star coming off his best statistical season with 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game, while the 27-year-old George put up 23.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists on average. Love has three more years remaining on his contract, Butler can become a free agent after two, and George has the option to hit free agency next offseason.
Traina Thoughts: Mets completely lose their minds over stupid unwritten rule. The New York Mets are 31-40. However, that wasn't the case Wednesday night, when several New York players got all hot and bothered because Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig took -- and you won't even believe this -- a whopping 32 seconds to round the bases after a three-run homer in the fourth inning. According to reports, Mets catch Travis D'Arnaud, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, infielders Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores all spoke to Puig about his dastardly act. After the game, Flores said, "“I don’t think [Puig] knows what respect for the game is. Only in Major League Baseball can taking 32 seconds to round the bases be considered a form of disrespect. So if you have a certain number of career home runs, then the unwritten rule says that you can take longer to round the bases. The Mets acted as if Puig committed a felony when in reality he took a few extra seconds than they'd like for him to jog around the bases. Flynn drove Paul McCartney to the stage when the Beatles played Shea Stadium in 1965. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and/or liking on Facebook.