Hawks’ Trae Young diagnosed with lateral left ankle sprain

Trae Young, who left last night’s loss to the Knicks due to a sprained left ankle, was diagnosed with a lateral left ankle sprain, the team announced on Thursday.

Young had an MRI on Thursday, which confirmed the injury after an X-ray taken at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night came back negative.

According to the team, Young will be listed as out for tomorrow’s game vs. Miami and Sunday vs. Milwaukee, and his status will be updated as appropriate.

Young, the Hawks leading scorer, is averaging 25.3 points, 9.6 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game. 

At 32-27, Atlanta is the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Redick on Doncic, Porzingis: ‘They’re both the proverbial unicorn’

The Dallas Mavericks(25-21) continue their five-game road trip on Friday night when they travel to New York to face the Knicks(24-24). Dallas is currently 2-1 on this trip, including a 113-108 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night. 

In that game, Luka Doncic was red-hot. The two-time All-Star led the Mavericks with 36 points (11-15 FG, 7-11 3FG), eight rebounds, and five assists in 35 minutes for his 15th 30-5-5 game of the season.

Currently, the Mavericks are 25-21 and are the seventh-seed in the Western Conference. Seeds 7-10 will battle it out in the play-in games, so if Dallas wants to avoid that, they have to get the sixth spot, which is occupied by the Blazers, who have a 3.5 game lead on the Mavericks.

Kristaps Porzingis makes another return to New York City, and he’s playing well. Porzingis is averaging 24.8 points (.469 FG%), 11.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.0 blocks per game over his last four games, including 19 points and eight rebounds against Boston. 

The 25-year-old Porzingis, selected by the Knicks with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, spent three seasons in the “Big Apple” and became an All-Star in 2018. Ultimately, the 7-3 star, who tore his ACL in 2018, wanted out of New York and was traded to Dallas with Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first-round picks. 

While things did not work out for Porzingis in NYC, he does miss the city.

 “I miss the city; I miss this place,” Porzingis said via Zoom on Thursday. “A lot of great memories. Every time I come back, it’s special. A lot of people here still recognize me and show me love and support. It’s always good to come back.”

It should be interesting to see how Porzingis plays tonight against New York. Last season, in two matchups against the Knicks, both losses, Porzingis averaged 24.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.0 blocks per game, which is his highest career scoring average against any team. 

Dallas finishes their five-game road trip on Saturday night in Washington against the Wizards.

Notes:

JJ Redick met with the Dallas media for the first time on Thursday. Redick and Nicolo Melli were acquired by the Mavs from New Orleans before the trade deadline.

Redick appeared in 31 games this season for New Orleans, averaging 8.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists. The 36-year-old Redick, who is out with a right heel injury, wanted to be traded to an East Coast team. However, he’s excited to play with Doncic and Porzingis.

“Well, they’re great players,” he said. “I’m very excited to play with them. In a sense, they’re both the proverbial unicorn. There’s not many people at seven-foot-three that can do what KP does, and Luka is as good as anybody in the league at creating his own shot and creating for other people. I’ve been very fortunate to play with some great players in my career, and those two guys are going to be at top of the list for sure.”

Clippers’ Frank: ‘Marcus(Morris) is a player we’ve admired for a long time’

The L.A. Clippers have acquired forward Marcus Morris Sr. from the New York Knicks and guard Isaiah Thomas from the Washington Wizards in a three-team trade, it was announced today.

As part of the trade, L.A. will send to New York forward Maurice Harkless, a 2020 first round pick, a protected 2021 first round swap option, and Detroit’s 2021 second round pick. The Clippers will send guard Jerome Robinson to Washington.

“Marcus is a player we’ve admired for a long time,” said Frank.  “He is an established scorer, elite shooter, and imposing defender.  We are excited to add his experience and toughness to our team.”

Added Frank, “Moe is a true professional who played a key role for our team this season. We wish him the best in New York. Jerome is a talented young player and we will be rooting for him as he continues his career in Washington.”

Morris Sr., 30, appeared in 43 games for the Knicks this season and is averaging career-highs in points (19.6), three-pointers made (2.7) and three-point field goal percentage (43.9). In his ninth NBA season he is also averaging 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 32.3 minutes. The Philadelphia native holds career averages of 12.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 26.9 minutes across 588 appearances with the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics and New York. The 6’8”, 218-pound forward played three collegiate seasons at the University of Kansas, where he was named Big 12 Player of the Year as a Junior in 2011, before being selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets.

Harkless, 26, appeared in 50 games for the Clippers this season, averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 22.8 minutes. He holds career averages of 7.2 points and 3.7 rebounds in 23.0 minutes with the Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers and Clippers. Harkless played one collegiate season at St. John’s University, where he was named Big East Rookie of the Year in 2012 and averaged 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds in 36.1 minutes.

Thomas, 30, appeared in 40 games for the Wizards this season, averaging 12.2 points and 3.7 assists in 23.1 minutes. The Tacoma native holds career averages of 18.1 points and 5.0 assists in 28.9 minutes over 525 games with seven NBA teams. The 5’9”, 185-pound guard played three collegiate seasons at the University of Washington, where he was named to the 2010-11 All-Pac 12 first team before being drafted by the Kings with the 60th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Robinson, 22, was selected by L.A. with the 13th pick in the 2018 Draft and has appeared in 75 games for the team. In his two seasons with the Clippers, he has averaged 3.1 points and 1.3 rebounds in 10.6 minutes. A three-year player at Boston College, Robinson earned First Team All-ACC honors as a junior in 2018.

Spurs sign Trey Lyles

The San Antonio Spurs have signed F Trey Lyles, the team announced today.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a two-year deal.

Originally, Marcus Morris and the Spurs reportedly had agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the Spurs, but Morris had a change of heart, and the Spurs signed Lyles. According to ESPN, Morris is expected to sign with the New York Knicks.

Lyles, 6-10/235, appeared in 64 games for the Denver Nuggets last season averaging 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 17.5 minutes. In two seasons with the Nuggets, he averaged 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 18.3 minutes. Appearing in 288 total contests, Lyles holds career averages of 7.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 17.5 minutes.

The former University of Kentucky Wildcat was a first round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft (12th overall) by the Utah Jazz. Lyles spent his first two seasons with the Jazz before being sent to Denver on draft night in 2017. While with Utah, Lyles was selected to the 2016 and 2017 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend.

Mavericks sign Kristaps Porzingis to multi-year extension

 The Dallas Mavericks and forward/center Kristaps Porzingis have agreed to extension, the team announced today.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, it’s a five-year, $158 million maximum contract, which gives him a player option in the final season in 2023.

Porzingis, 23, was originally acquired by the Mavericks on January 31, 2019 along with guards Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke, in exchange for guard Dennis Smith Jr., center DeAndre Jordan, guard/forward Wesley Matthews and two future first-round draft picks.

He holds career averages of 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 31.0 minutes per game in 186 games (185 starts). He averaged a career-high 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and a career-high 2.4 blocks in 48 games (all starts) for the Knicks during the 2017-18 season en route to being named a 2018 NBA All-Star. Porzingis suffered a torn left ACL against Milwaukee on Feb. 6, 2018, ending his 2017-18 campaign and he has not seen game action since the injury.

The former fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft appeared in 72 games (all starts) for the Knicks as a rookie in 2015-16, averaging 14.3 points, a career-high 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 28.4 minutes on his way to being named to the 2016 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

A native of Liepaja, Latvia, Porzingis began his professional career with Spain’s Cajasol Seville. He was a two-time recipient of the ACB All-Young Players Team (2014, 2015) and was also named a EuroCup Rising Star in 2015.

Giants’ Jones on the possibility of Zion Williamson coming to NY: ‘That would be a cool deal’

The NBA Draft Lottery is May 14, and at this point, teams are salivating at the opportunity to take former Duke star, Zion Williamson, and based on what we have seen during his time at Duke, Williamson has the potential to be the next big thing.

The Knicks, Suns, and Cavaliers have the best opportunity to get Williamson. All three teams have a 14% chance to get the number one overall pick. Wherever he goes, Williamson is going to be box office. He easily was the most popular player in college basketball last season.

One guy who would love for Williamson to go to New York is the newest Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who played his college ball at Duke and was the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

“I have gotten to know him a little bit,” Jones said on Friday after Giants Rookie Minicamp. “We talked a little bit about that actually this week. That would be a cool deal. We will see what happens. He is a special guy.”

If Williamson goes to the Knicks, man, that would give that city and franchise a big boost, and quite frankly, it’s probably good for the NBA. I always believe that the Knicks being right is great for the NBA, and Williamson to New York could help the Knicks become relevant again. Plus, if all goes well, Jones and Williamson could be the new faces of New York City sports, which would be a great thing for fans in the “Big Apple.”

Kenny Smith on Fizdale to NYK: ‘They made the right choice, but not the best choice’

The New York Knicks have struggled mightily over past few years. This team has not made the playoffs in five years and has not won an NBA title in 45 years.

Now, with the hiring of former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, the Knicks hope to get back to being one of the premier franchises in the NBA.

One guy who was in the running for the Knicks head coaching job was New York native and TNT NBA analyst Kenny Smith. While Smith thinks the Knicks made the right decision in hiring Fizdale, Smith believes he was the better choice:

“I think they made the right choice. He’s a great coach; he’s going to do a good job, but maybe not the best choice. I’m the best choice,” Smith told TMZ Sports. “They made the right choice, but not the best choice.”

Smith, 53, has no coaching experience, so for the former two-time NBA champion to be considered for the Knicks job was a big deal:

“There’s only a handful of jobs in the world, and you’re a finalist for one them in the world. That means your one of the top candidates in the world,” Smith explained.

Smith does expect to get an NBA head coaching job at some point.

Fizdale is well respected around the league, so maybe he is the right guy for the job, but only time will tell if Fizdale was the best guy for the job.

Knicks’ Porzingis out for the season with a torn ACL in left knee

Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, the team announced on Tuesday night.

Porzingis hurt his knee after dunking the ball against the Bucks on Tuesday night.

Porzingis, 22, is averaging 22 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 2.4 BPG this season with the Knicks.

Big blow for the Knicks and a big blow for the NBA.

 

Stephen A. Smith is not happy with Carmelo Anthony being rank 64th in NBA by ESPN

Each year ESPN releases their list of the 100 best players in the NBA, and after this season, you have to question whether this list is even legitimate.

Somehow, some way ESPN said the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony was the 64th best player in the league. They said guys like Lonzo Ball, Danny Green, and Robert Covington, to name a few, are better than Melo. How is that possible?

Here is how Melo responded via Twitter on Monday:

Today, ESPN’s own Stephen A. Smith expressed his disgust for the list:

 

Charles Oakley on Lamar Odom to the BIG3: ‘I don’t want him on my team’

Former NBA star Lamar Odom might be returning to basketball. Not the NBA, but the BIG3. Odom is said to be interested in the 3-on-3 league. The founder of the BIG3 Ice Cube is interested in Odom, but would like for him to be in “shape.”  Odom, 37, last played in the NBA in 2013. 

Former NBA great Charles Oakley is not very interested in Odom to the BIG3.

Oakley, who is a player/coach for the Killer 3’s, was asked by TMZ Sports if he would want Odom on his team.

Here was Oak’s response:

“No, I don’t like him like that,” Oakley said. “In life, sometimes you only get but one chance. He had three or four chances. I mean he can play; he’s a talented guy. I don’t want him on my team.”

Oakley talked about his issue with Odom in this interview on The Dan Le Batard Show back in 2014:

Here is Oakley’s interview with TMZ Sports: