Tag: Phoenix Suns

NBA Trade Rumors: Will the Mavs trade Dennis Smith Jr.?

On Monday January 14th 2018, it was rumored in the basketball world that the Dallas Mavericks have been interested in trading away their starting point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who was their 9th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft.

Since arriving to the league back in September of 2017, Smith had made quite a name for himself in his rookie season averaging 15.2 ppg, 5.2 apg, and 3.8 rpg. In his 2ndand current season in the NBA, Smith went a little downhill in each three categories of his stats. It may be due to the fact that the Mavericks had traded for their new future star, Luka Doncic, during the 2018 draft.

In many eyes of Mavericks fans around the world, Doncic has been the player that was expected out of Dennis Smith Jr. Luka is currently averaging 20.3 ppg, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.1 assists and is a soon to be NBA All-Star.

Luka is listed at 6 feet and 7 inches tall that can play any position from point guard through small forward. He was also put to start at the power forward position for Dallas earlier this season. So if the Mavericks do plan on trading away Smith, Luka can be the next starting point guard, depending on who they get in return.

When this news was first reported, two teams in the NBA have sparked interest in trading for the young point guard. Adrian Wojnarowski originally reported that the two teams that are interested in Smith are the Phoenix Suns and the Orlando Magic, which both teams are in need for a promising young and rising point guard.

A couple of days after this news broke out, it is now being reported by John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 that the Phoenix Suns have “no interest” in a trade for Dennis Smith Jr.

The Suns are a team that is in need for a point guard and it is quite odd for them not to be interested in a point guard with a bright future ahead of him. Smith Jr. can be the missing piece to the Suns starting lineup and hopefully get the team a couple of more wins and get Devin Booker to stay in Phoenix.

This leaves the Orlando Magic and other NBA teams to have a chance on getting DSJ. The Magic is the only team in the NBA that has been struggling with filling in that point guard spot in their lineup within the past couple of seasons. Yes, Phoenix does too but they may have a shot on drafting Murray State PG Ja Morant in this upcoming draft.

The current starting point guard for the Magic is D.J. Augustin who is currently averaging 11.4 points, 4.8 assists, and 2.2 rebounds per game. They’ve had many point guards in the past that did not workout with them. Without giving Augustin up for DSJ, the Magic can use his veteran presence as their 6th man and help develop Smith Jr for his future.

The trade deadline is currently three weeks away and who knows what teams will be interested and where Dennis Smith Jr. will end up. This also leads the question on everyone’s mind right now which is, “Will Dennis Smith Jr. get traded at all?”

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Are The Brooklyn Nets Future Championship Contenders?

The Brooklyn Nets currently sit at the 9th seed in the Eastern Conference, winning 8 of their last 10 games and are 16-19 on the season. The Nets are quietly sneaking up into playoff contention in the east.

The Nets had impressive wins over the 76ers, Raptors, and the Lakers in their 10 game stretch. The play of D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Jarrett Allen have been key to the Nets’ success.

“I still think the defense can be better,” said Kenny Atkinson, Nets Head Coach. “we are in an “ok” place, not a “great” place.”

The Nets currently rank 19th in team defense per game. They are falling below average in this category. This has been a weak spot for the Nets all season as they haven’t figured it out defensively yet.

Their bench production has also been something to take note of, including the impressive play by their 2018 2nd round pick, Rodions Kurucs, who is averaging 10 Points and 3.4 rebounds in the month of December.

“We play like a team, we support each other, we got each other’s back,” said Kurucs after defeating the Phoenix Suns on Sunday afternoon, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. “We are helping each other, we are pushing each other.”

The Nets have been turning heads as they’re not far from being in the playoffs. Right now, they are currently behind the Detroit Pistons for the 8th seed. But if the Nets keep up their level of play, they may surprise everyone and grab the 6th seed.

The Nets are only a couple of years away from being true championship contenders, and it may come as a surprise due to their lack of draft picks and activity in the free agency.

Through the years, they were able to draft diamond in the rough players. After trading multiple draft picks for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett back in 2013, they quietly were able to build a team of quality hard-working players during the aftermath of that trade.

The Nets traded their franchise center in Brook Lopez for a young and promising guard in D’Angelo Russell. They drafted Caris Levert, Rodions Kurucs, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Jarrett Allen. They all proved to be productive players on the team.

The Nets are still missing something, and that is a franchise player. The Nets need a go-to scorer to compliment D’Angelo Russell and Caris Levert. Luckily, the Nets will have their draft pick this year as well as money to spend in the 2019 NBA Free Agency.

With names such as Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Demarcus Cousins, Kawhi Leonard, and Kevin Durant testing the free agency waters, the Nets wouldn’t look like a bad option if they are able to contend in the east this year.

The development of D’Angelo Russell is crucial to the Nets’ future. Right now, he isn’t a consistent scorer to be a franchise player. He is still extremely young, 22 Years old, so he will have more time to develop.

Russell is averaging 17.5 points and 6.3 assists while shooting 41% from the field and 36% from 3pt land. These are promising numbers from Russell, but if he wants to take that leap to stardom, he is going to have to be a consistent scorer in the league.

Celtics Lose Second Straight & Lose Baynes in the Process

After picking up eight consecutive victories the Boston Celtics have now lost two in a row and last night’s loss came against the Phoenix Suns, who hold the worst record in the western conference. Boston’s 111-103 loss came with a huge blow as they lost their backup center Aron Baynes indefinitely due to a broken hand suffered in the first quarter.

Injuries piling up for Boston

For Brad Stevens and the Celtics it seems like they’ve came across this issue before as the injuries continue to pile up. The C’s are already without Al Horford who has missed six games with a sore left knee and Marcus Morris is also sidelined with a sore right knee. Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown are also finding their way back into the rotation after missing a couple of games due to injury.

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With their starting and back-up centers out the Celtics were ripped apart in the paint by the young Suns. They lost the rebound battle 56-37 and gave up 20 second-chance points in the process. Phoenix on the other hand finished with 21 offensive rebounds, rookie Deandre Ayton finished with 23 points and 18 rebounds, Devin Booker dropped 25 points and T.J Warren chipped in with 21 points. 

Theis and Williams Need to Step-up at the Five Position

After Baynes went down Daniel Theis started in his place and might fill in the five position in the starting line-up going forward, but rookie Robert Williams will be seeing an increase in minutes with these injuries. On the court Williams and Irving seem to be building chemistry as they connected on two alley-oop plays during the game. “It’s the next-man up mentality, always,” Williams said. “Gotta be ready.” Irving has praised the rookie on his energy once he’s on the court, “I’ve played with a quite a few bigs. I had Timofey Mozgov. I had Tristan (Thompson) in Cleveland, when I was in college I had Mason and Miles Plumlee,” Irving said.

“Having a consistent lob threat at the rim where you can throw it around the rim and he can go get it, you can see how easy it is for me and Rob. Going in, people are stepping up on me, and he’s always a threat at the rim for offensive rebounds and lobs, so I love playing with Rob.”

Trade Recap: Ariza to Washington, Oubre to Phoenix

Yesterday around 10 PM eastern time we got the news that Trevor Ariza was finally leaving Phoenix, heading back to the Capitol for his second stint as a Washington Wizard.

It took just 28 minutes for Adrian Wojnarowski to reveal the full details of the trade. Memphis was involved as well, as a third team in the deal. With Ariza heading to Washington, Kelly Oubre would go to the Grizzlies, and Austin Rivers, along with Grizzlies role players Wayne Selden and Dillon Brooks, would join the Phoenix Suns.

Wait, never mind. That’s not right.

With Ariza heading to Washington, Kelly Oubre would go to the Grizzlies, and Austin Rivers, along with Grizzlies role players Wayne Selden and MarShon Brooks, would join the Phoenix Suns.

Woj must’ve messed up for once or something.

Or maybe the NBA’s just a soap opera full of hilarious idiots, like it has been all year.

See, the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies never once talked to each other as this trade was being figured out. James Jones never talked to Chris Wallace and Robert Sarver never talked to Robert Pera. I don’t know how, considering an NBA trade generally takes weeks of contact between front offices and general managers and scouts, but somehow this deal was thrown together so quickly that the two teams never talked directly and instead used Washington as a go-between the whole time.

The Suns wanted Dillon Brooks. The Wizards told the Grizzlies the Suns wanted Brooks. They presumably forgot to include the “Dillon” part of Dillon Brooks, because the Grizzlies then tried to send MarShon Brooks to Phoenix.

The Grizzlies refused to part with Dillon. The Suns refused to bring in MarShon instead of Dillon.

No trade.

The Lakers tried to get involved again. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope wasn’t enough for Phoenix. Josh Hart was too much for the Lakers to be willing to give up. In the end it didn’t matter anyways, because Robert Sarver refused to let James Jones and the rest of the front office do a deal with the Lakers at all because he’s upset about how the Lakers acquired Tyson Chandler from them.

So, back to Washington, they simplified the deal and sent Oubre and Rivers to Phoenix for Ariza.

Losing Oubre in this trade makes this an interesting decision on the part of the Wizards. Even though it feels like he’s been in the league forever, he’s still only 23, and having improved every year of his career so far, it feels like he could have a major role in the league for years to come.

Coach Brooks has been openly been critical of him though throughout his time at Washington, particularly about his inconsistent effort on defense.

In Phoenix, he has a chance to take Ariza’s spot in the starting five and steal potential minutes away from Josh Jackson, who’s driven Suns fans crazy with his backwards development from last season. On a team that’s not especially focused on winning, he’ll get lots more opportunities offensively than he was on a panicking Washington team that can’t seem to get things to work despite the presence of two all-star caliber players.

It’s odd that the Wizards are making this move too frankly. It seems unlikely that they’ll be able to recover to any real extent this season, and Ariza’s only an upgrade over Oubre in the short term. Yes, he’s an expiring large contract, but so was Rivers.

He is a well-known veteran leader who already has a relationship with John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter, from his first stint at the team. That locker room presence is something that matters more than people realize, which the Wizards currently don’t have to any extent. He’s matured a lot from when his main role was intentionally injuring opponents.

Austin Rivers didn’t have the best of times in Washington. It was a situation that, frankly, was never going to work out for him. There’s too many other different guards and it’s far too different of a system from what he’s succeeded in before. I don’t know how they ever thought it was going to work.

Considering Elie Okobo and De’Anthony Melton are their only point guards right now, there’s a good chance we’ll see Rivers and Devin Booker on the floor together in the backcourt. As the season slides further away from them, he’ll almost certainly be given extended playing time down the stretch once tank season begins.

Now we wait for the notice that the Suns actually wanted to acquire Doc Rivers instead.

The Next International Basketball Star: Meet Sekou Doumbouya

The NBA has already been accustomed to witnessing great French basketball talents such as Tony Parker, Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Boris Diaw, and Nicolas Batum. But when the 2019 Draft hits in June, the NBA may witness another great French talent in Sekou Doumbouya.

At 6’9 230 pounds, Sekou’s athleticism is the first thing that jumps out when watching him play. His ability to defend multiple positions, drive, post up and use crafty moves to get by his opponents make him a very promising young basketball talent. Sekou is an explosive athlete who at times can even help protect the rim, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds to start a fast break.

He is currently 17 years old and will turn 18 in late December. His youth will give him time to grow more in height and length. Sekou is really fast with a good frame for a forward. His frame will give him the ability to defend multiple positions in the NBA.

 

Sekou has almost a Lebron-like aggressive mentality when driving to the basket. He can slash up a defense and uses crafty moves to finish around the basket.

With all his athletic abilities, Sekou is a streaky jump shooter as when playing with Poitiers Basket 86 in the 2017-2018 season, he shot 29% from 3 point range through 28 games. He isn’t the best shooter, but his shooting mechanics look smooth and fundamental. Sekou must look to improve on his shooting consistency.

Sekou isn’t the best defender and tends to get lost on that end at times. Sekou has the length and shows the ability to be a top-tier defender but he will have to polish some of his defensive mistakes to reach that level.

Sekou is a lottery-level talent as his upside will be appealing to NBA Teams. It will be interesting to see what team drafts him, he is likely to a #4 pick – #9 pick in the draft.

NBA: Celtics point guard Terry Rozier shuts down rumors about playing time

Celtics point guard Terry Rozier spoke out on Thursday about the rumors surrounding his unhappiness with his playing time,

“I woke up to news just like y’all woke up to news. I don’t know where it came from. I’m happy to be in this position I’m at, playing on a team that’s mentioned to have a chance to be in a championship. So I’m not worried about what’s being said,” said Rozier.

Over the summer Rozier was on ESPN’s “The Jump” saying he expected Kyrie Irving to be the starting point guard to begin the season. Rozier also stated that the team will make it work because they all have one goal and that’s to hang another banner at TD Garden.

Decrease in Minutes and Production

On Wednesday, Bill Simmons of The Ringer reported that Terry Rozier is unhappy with his playing time with the Celtics and may soon be traded. The 24-year-old point guard is currently playing 22 minutes off the bench with Kyrie Irving reinstated as the starting point guard.

This season off the bench Rozier is averaging 7.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists, as opposed to last season where he averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds during the playoffs with Irving out with a knee injury. Rozier was eight on the team in minutes played per game and it’s clear his production and role have diminished because of the return of both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Danny Angie Denies Rumors about Team Monitoring Rozier

Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported that seven teams are currently monitoring the situation occurring in Boston. Of the seven teams the Phoenix Suns, who are desperately in need of a point guard are aggressively pursuing Rozier.

Boston General Manager, Danny Angie, denied the rumors surrounding Rozier on The Sports Hub saying Rozier has not vented about playing time to him, saying he feels Rozier would “come to me and talk to me or Brad and that hasn’t happened.” Angie has also said that no teams have contacted him about Rozier since the start of the season and knows nothing about seven teams monitoring him.

Rozier agreed with Angie’s statement, “What Danny said makes sense, because he knows me. I know I would not say something like that,” said Rozier

The Celtics continue their west coast road time against the team who “monitoring” Rozier aggressively as they visit the Suns in Phoenix Thursday night.

Free NBA Picks for February 10th, 2018

Last night we saw the Celts fall behind after coming back from 20+ failing to cover their spread taking the L. We saw 2 of our picks succeed as the Jazz beat the Hornets by 12. The Rockets did as they were supposed too and beat the Nuggets by 26.

6-3-1 over the past 3 days. 3 picks here tonight

Wizards -6.0 vs the Chicago Bulls

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The once red hot Wizards travel into Chicago on a 6-4 run the past 10. The Bulls are 2-8 the last ten, posting a 12-14 home record. The Wizards lost a close one to the East’s best team in OT. They could be tired tonight, but the Wizards have been playing better without the focus of John Wall. I think they could be gassed, but they are too talented to not cover against a young-injury riddled Chicago Bulls team. I see the Wizards winning by 6 or 7. Take the points if you can. I don’t think it will be a blowout, it should be a close one.

The Wizards won by 4 the last time they both played, under different circumstances of course.

Warriors -11.0 vs the San Antonio Spurs

Golden State Warriors Memphis Grizzlies game at Oracle Arena in Oakland

The Warriors are at home as they face the injury riddled San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors are 20-7 at home this year. The Spurs are 13-15 on the road. The last time these two met, the Warriors won by 22.

The Spurs will be missing Tony Parker and DeJounte Murray, going against the Warriors amazing starting lineup. Without Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs will be exposed to all sorts of  misery as I can see Dub Nation going 15+ over the Spurs. Roll with the best team in the NBA.

Lakers +2.0 vs the Dallas Mavericks

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The Lakers ride into Dallas on a 4 game winning streak. The Lakers are 8-2 the last 10 games. The Mavs are 2-8 the last 10. Despite the trades, I believe the Lakers should have enough fire power to beat a Dallas team which can be streaky at times. If the Mavs hit their shots early, they hit the shots throughout the game.

The Lakers should win this won by 5 or 6. If the Mavs play terrible it could be worse. The Lakers could also lose by 2 or 3. Which also covers the spread. Take the points here as well, it should be a close game.

 

good-luck