Clippers’ GM on trade: ‘We obtained multiple draft assets today that will be important building blocks’

The L.A. Clippers have acquired forward Wilson Chandler, center Mike Muscala, guard Landry Shamet, two first round draft picks and two second round draft picks from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forward Tobias Harris, center Boban Marjanovic and forward Mike Scott, the team announced today.

“We are excited to welcome Wilson, Mike, and Landry to the L.A. Clippers. Wilson is a veteran player we have long respected for his toughness, versatility and leadership. His hard-nosed mentality will fit right in with the rest of this group,” said Frank. “Mike is a versatile big man who has the ability to shoot the ball and space the floor.”

Frank continued, “We have also admired Landry, a first round pick from Wichita State, since last year’s draft process. He has only justified expectations. Landry quickly earned a spot in the 76ers rotation and has been the most accurate three-point shooter in this year’s rookie class. In addition to Wilson, Mike, and Landry, we obtained multiple draft assets today that will be important building blocks as we continue to carry out our long-term plan — to construct a sustainable championship contender.”

Chandler, 31, appeared in 36 games for Philadelphia this season, averaging 6.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 26.4 minutes. He holds career averages of 13.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.9 minutes across 626 appearances in 12 NBA seasons with the 76ers, the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets. The 6’9”, 225-pound forward played two collegiate seasons at DePaul University before becoming a first round selection of the Knicks in 2007. He was named Michigan’s Mr. Basketball as a high school senior in 2005.

Muscala, 27, appeared in 47 games for Philadelphia this season, averaging 7.4 points and 4.3 rebounds in 22.1 minutes. He has appeared in 290 career games across six NBA seasons with Philadelphia and Atlanta, averaging 5.7 points and 3.3 rebounds, while shooting 47 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from three-point range and 84 percent from free-throw line in 15.9 minutes. The Bucknell alumnus was originally selected by Dallas with the No. 44 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft before being acquired by the Hawks in a draft night trade.

Shamet, 21, has appeared in 54 games, averaging 8.3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists, while shooting 40.4 percent from three-point range and 81.5 percent from the free-throw line in 20.5 minutes in his rookie campaign for Philadelphia. He currently leads all 76ers players with 20 games in double-figure scoring in a reserve role. A product of Wichita State University, he was a first round selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. The 6’5”, 188-pound guard originally hails from Kansas City, MO.

“I can’t say enough good things about Tobias Harris and the many ways he has impacted our organization. Since Tobias came to L.A. a year ago, he has been a model of professionalism, on the court and off,” said Frank. “He developed into an All-Star caliber player here, setting a standard with his work ethic and diligence. We are incredibly grateful for his contributions.

“In addition to Tobias, we will miss Boban, one of the most positive forces we have encountered in the NBA. Bobi lifted our locker room and was a game changer on the court. Like Boban, Mike Scott fit seamlessly into our team-first culture, and excelled in his role. We wish all three the best of luck in Philadelphia.”

Harris recorded career-high averages in points (20.9), rebounds (7.9), and assists (2.7) for the Clippers this season and was named Western Conference Player of the Month for October and November. Through eight NBA seasons with the Clippers, Pistons, Magic and Bucks, the 26-year-old holds career averages of 15.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.2 minutes. Harris played one collegiate season at the University of Tennessee and originally hails from New York, where he was named the state’s Mr. Basketball, USA Today All-USA and a McDonald’s All-American in 2010.

Marjanovic, 30, appeared in 36 games this season, averaging 6.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 10.7 minutes. The 7’3”, 290-pound center has appeared in 163 career games across four NBA seasons with Los Angeles, San Antonio and Detroit, holding career averages of 5.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 9.2 minutes. Prior to his NBA career, he spent time playing overseas in Serbia, Russia and Lithuania, where he was named to the All-EuroLeague First Team in 2015 and was a three-time Serbian League MVP (2013-15). He also won championships in the Serbian League, Lithuanian League, Adriatic League and Baltic League.

Scott, 30, appeared in 52 games in his lone season with the Clippers, averaging 4.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 14.4 minutes. He holds career averages of 7.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 15.8 minutes across seven NBA seasons with L.A., Washington and the Atlanta Hawks. A five-year player at the University of Virginia, Scott earned First-Team All-ACC honors in his senior season and is a Virginia native.

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76ers acquire Richardson, Preldžić, 2022 second-round pick from Raptors

Philadelphia 76ers acquired Malachi Richardson, Toronto’s 2022 second-round pick and the draft rights to Emir Preldžić in a trade with the Raptors for cash considerations, the team announced today,

Richardson has appeared in 22 NBA games for Toronto this season, in addition to 12 contests with the team’s G League affiliate, Raptors 905. Across his 12 G League games, Richardson has averaged 20.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 35.2 minutes.

In the midst of his third NBA season, Richardson was originally selected by Charlotte with the No. 22 overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft before being dealt to Sacramento. He’s appeared in 70 career NBA games (four starts) with Toronto and Sacramento, averaging 2.8 points per contest. In 41 G League games (36 starts) over three seasons with Raptors 905 and Reno, Richardson has tallied 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 30.1 minutes per game. A native of Trenton, New Jersey, he played one collegiate season at Syracuse before entering the draft, helping lead the Orange to the 2016 Final Four after drawing a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Preldžić was originally selected by Phoenix with the No. 57 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He has played professionally since 2003 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Turkey.

Lopez on Giannis winning MVP: ‘He should have a lot of people’s votes'(VIDEO)

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to fill up the stat sheet on a nightly basis, but unlike previous years, those numbers are translating to a lot more wins. Milwaukee currently has the best record in basketball(39-13), and Antetokounmpo has an excellent case for MVP.

Statistically, his numbers are great. “The Greek Freak” is 8th in point per game(26.7) and 6th in rebounds per game(12.6). While Houston’s James Harden(36.5 ppg) continues to put up great numbers, he is not having as much team success as Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Traditionally, the MVP goes to the best player on the best team, which means Antetokounmpo has a legitimate shot at being the league’s MVP, and according to Bucks C Brook Lopez, Giannis should get plenty of votes.

“He should have a lot of people’s votes,” Lopez recently told goforitradio.com. “He has been just a huge part of what we do, no question. He’s our leader in so many different ways.”

If the Bucks continue to play well, and Antetokounmpo continues to put up great numbers, he probably wins the award. Regarding the Bucks as championship contenders, they have a legit shot to make the NBA Finals, and while Milwaukee is playing well right now, Lopez expects them to be even better come playoff time.

“I think we will be a completely different team in May and June,” Lopez said. “We’re going to be a lot better team as well, so we’re just trying to keep improving each and every game.”

It’s hard to get better than 26 games over .500, but if the Bucks continue to improve, Giannis wins the MVP, and Milwaukee will be representing the East in the NBA Finals.

Listen to the complete interview with Lopez below:

Bridges, Smith Jr. headline 2019 Slam Dunk Contest

 Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges, Atlanta Hawks forward-center John Collins, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo and New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. will showcase their aerial artistry and leaping ability in the 2019 AT&T Slam Dunk on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The 34th Slam Dunk is part of State Farm® All-Star Saturday Night, which also features the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge and the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest.  All-Star Saturday Night will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio in the United States at 8 p.m. ET.  NBA All-Star 2019 will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages on their televisions, computers, mobile phones and tablets.

Two rookies (Bridges and Diallo) and two second-year NBA players (Collins and Smith) comprise the AT&T Slam Dunk field.  Here is a closer look at the participants:

Miles Bridges, Hornets:Competing in his home arena, the 6-7 forward is the Hornets’ first Slam Dunk participant since 2010 (Gerald Wallace).  Bridges, the 12thoverall pick in NBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm, has 12 double-digit scoring games this season.  He was a consensus 2017-18 Second Team All-American in his sophomore season at Michigan State.

  John Collins, Hawks:Collins leads Atlanta in scoring (19.6 ppg) and rebounding (10.0 rpg) and ranks ninth in the NBA in field goal percentage (58.4).  He earned a spot on the U.S. Team for MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars, which will be played on Friday, Feb. 15 during NBA All-Star 2019.  The 6-10 forward-center was named to the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie Second Team after averaging 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds last season.  A former Wake Forest star, Collins is Atlanta’s first Slam Dunk competitor since 2006 (Josh Smith).

Hamidou Diallo, Thunder:Diallo, a 6-5 guard, recorded a 44.5-inch maximum vertical jump at the 2017 NBA Draft Combine powered by Under Armour, the second-highest mark in event history.  The 45th overall pick in NBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm has appeared in 43 games as a rookie with Oklahoma City.  In his three starts, Diallo has averaged 8.7 points and shot 76.9 percent from the field.  He is the Thunder’s first Slam Dunk participant since 2011 (Serge Ibaka)

Dennis Smith Jr., Knicks: Smith returns to Slam Dunk after finishing third last season.  The 6-3 guard, who was acquired by New York in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 31, is averaging 12.8 points and 4.4 assists per game.  Last season, the Fayetteville, N.C., native averaged 15.2 points and 5.2 assists and joined Collins on the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie Second Team.  Smith is the Knicks’ first Slam Dunk competitor since 2013 (James White).

2019 AT&T Slam Dunk Rules

In the two-round event, participants can perform any dunk they choose.  The players have a maximum of three attempts to complete each dunk in both the first round and the final round.  Five judges score every dunk on a scale of 6 to 10, resulting in a high score of 50 and a low score of 30.

All four competitors get two dunks in the first round.  The two players with the highest combined score for their two dunks advance to the head-to-head final round.  The player with the highest combined score for his two dunks in the final round is crowned the champion.  Click here for a complete explanation of the rules.

Below is the lineup for the 2019 AT&T Slam Dunk and a list of previous winners.

2019 AT&T SLAM DUNK PARTICIPANTS
Player Team Pos. Ht. Wt.
Miles Bridges Charlotte Hornets F 6-7 225
John Collins Atlanta Hawks F-C 6-10 235
Hamidou Diallo

Dennis Smith Jr.

Oklahoma City Thunder

New York Knicks

G

G

6-5

6-3

198

195

 

AT&T SLAM DUNK WINNERS
 

1984 – Larry Nance, Phoenix

1985 – Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta

1986 – Spud Webb, Atlanta

1987 – Michael Jordan, Chicago

1988 – Michael Jordan, Chicago

1989 – Kenny Walker, New York

1990 – Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta

1991 – Dee Brown, Boston

1992 – Cedric Ceballos, Phoenix

1993 – Harold Miner, Miami

1994 – Isaiah Rider, Minnesota

 

1995 – Harold Miner, Miami

1996 – Brent Barry, LA Clippers

1997 – Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers

2000 – Vince Carter, Toronto

2001 – Desmond Mason, Seattle

2002 – Jason Richardson, Golden State

2003 – Jason Richardson, Golden State

2004 – Fred Jones, Indiana

2005 – Josh Smith, Atlanta

2006 – Nate Robinson, New York

2007 – Gerald Green, Boston

 

2008 – Dwight Howard, Orlando

2009 – Nate Robinson, New York

2010 – Nate Robinson, New York

2011 – Blake Griffin, LA Clippers

2012 – Jeremy Evans, Utah

2013 – Terrence Ross, Toronto

2014 – East (Paul George, Terrence Ross, John Wall)

2015 – Zach LaVine, Minnesota

2016 – Zach LaVine, Minnesota

2017 – Glenn Robinson III, Indiana

2018 – Donovan Mitchell, Utah

Blazers acquire Rodney Hood from Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guards Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin IV and two future second round draft picks from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for guard Rodney Hood. The two draft picks that Cleveland is receiving in the deal are Portland’s own 2021 and 2023 second round picks.

Stauskas (6-6, 205) has made 44 appearances for Portland this season, averaging 6.1 points in 15.3 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures on eight occasions, which includes a career-high tying 24 points (7-11 FG, 5-8 3FG, 5-5 FT) in 27 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 18. Over his five-year NBA career, Stauskas has played in 311 games (63 starts) for Sacramento, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Portland while averaging 6.9 points and 2.1 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per contest. The Ontario, Canada native played collegiately at the University of Michigan and was the No. 8 overall pick by Sacramento in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Baldwin (6-4, 200) has appeared in 16 games for the Trail Blazers this season, while also playing in six games with the Texas Legends of the NBA G League. With the Legends, Baldwin posted averages of 22.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 steals in 32.9 minutes per game. The third-year guard out of Vanderbilt has played in 56 career NBA games with Memphis and Portland, averaging 3.1 points in 10.3 minutes per game. He was originally selected as the 17th overall pick by the Grizzlies during the 2016 NBA Draft.

Hood (6-8, 206) played in 66 regular season games (56 starts) for Cleveland since being acquired by the Cavaliers on Feb. 8, 2018, averaging 11.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in 26.8 minutes per contest. He also appeared in 17 postseason games for Cleveland during the 2018 Playoffs.

Khris Middleton on improved Bucks: ‘Individually, each one of us is better than last year'(VIDEO)

The Milwaukee Bucks are playing some good basketball right now. They have the best record in the NBA and have won nine of their last ten games, including defeating the Wizards 131-115 on Saturday night in Washington D.C.

Last season, with head coach Jason Kidd, who was fired midseason, and Joe Prunty, the interim head coach for the rest of the 2017-18 season, the Bucks won 44 games. After 51 games, Milwaukee has won 38 games.  The big difference could be the addition of head coach Mike Budenholzer, who had a lot of success during his time with the Hawks, which included a 60-win season in 2015.

“Bud Ball” allows players to take a lot of three-point shots, and the Bucks do just that. Milwaukee is second in three-point shots attempted and made, and according to first-time All-Star Khris Middleton, “Bud Ball” is one of the reasons the Bucks have had a lot of success thus far this season.

“It’s a whole different style of play,” Middleton told goforitradio’s Paul Gant. “Space out on the perimeter, our defense is much better, our offensive efficiency is much better; individually, each one of us is much better than last year, so when you add all those things up, things change and it’s been going to wins.”

Also, it does not hurt that Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 26.6 ppg, 12.5 rpg,  5.8 apg, is having an MVP-caliber season for Milwaukee.

We caught up with Middleton after the Bucks’ victory over the Wizards on Saturday night. He discussed the team, the last ten games, the Bucks as championship contenders, “Bud Ball,” and how he will handle All-Star weekend.

Listen below:

Joel Embiid named Eastern Conference Player of the Month

The NBA announced today that Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid was named Kia NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for January. This is the first time Embiid has received the honor and he becomes the first 76er to win the award since Hall Famer Allen Iverson in April 2005. He joins Iverson (four times) along with Hall of Famers Charles Barkley (twice), Julius Erving (three) and Moses Malone (twice) as the only players in franchise history to receive the honor since its inception in 1979-80.

Embiid led the 76ers to an 11-4 month, including six wins over teams whose records are currently .500-or-better, four of which came on the road. The month saw Embiid average 29.2 points, 13.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.0 blocks per game, while shooting .488 from the field and .804 from the free-throw line.

Embiid matched his season high in points with 42, in addition to grabbing 18 rebounds, at Phoenix on Jan. 2, good for one of his Eastern Conference-best four games with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds. A week later (Jan. 9), he would put up 34 points and 14 rebounds in a 17-point victory over Washington, marking the team’s fourth straight win.

The Cameroon native then began a stretch from Jan. 15-23 where he recorded four 30-10 games across five contests. Two of these performances came against a pair of Western Conference teams who are a combined 17 games over .500 in Houston and San Antonio. Against the Rockets (Jan. 21), he had 32 points and 14 rebounds, while the 76ers’ matchup with the Spurs (Jan. 23) saw him lead all players in points (33) and rebounds (19).

Embiid wrapped up the month with 26 points and 20 rebounds on the road in a victory over Golden State that snapped Philadelphia’s 10-game losing streak to the Warriors and provided the team with its first win in Oakland since Dec. 31, 2011. At the end of January, the recently named All-Star starter had totaled 11 double-doubles (tied for the most in the East), with five of them including 30-plus points.

Overall, Embiid holds season averages of 27.2 points, 13.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.9 blocks in 33.4 minutes per game, while shooting .485 from the field and .802 from the free-throw line. He leads the NBA with 42 double-doubles this season and has the second-most 30-point games in the league with 22.

Ben Simmons selected to his first NBA All-Star game

The NBA announced today that Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers was named an Eastern Conference reserve for the 2019 All-Star Game in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s Simmons’ first career All-Star selection as he becomes the 32nd 76er to be named to an All-Star Game in franchise history.

Simmons will join teammate Joel Embiid as an Eastern Conference All-Star this season. The two become the first pair of 76er teammates selected to an All-Star Game since Hall of Famers Allen Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo were both selected in 2002.

This season, Simmons is averaging 16.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game while shooting .569 percent from the field. He ranks third in the NBA in assists per game and 13th in field-goal percentage, making him the only player in the league to rank in the top 15 in both categories.

The Australia native has recorded eight triple-doubles this season, good for first in the Eastern Conference and tied with Denver’s Nikola Jokić for second in the NBA behind only Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook. Simmons recently notched his 20th career triple-double in his 129th NBA game; the only player ever to reach the mark faster is Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, who did so in just 45 appearances.

Last week on Jan. 23, Simmons posted 21 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high-tying 15 assists in a 122-120 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Just 12 days prior, he tallied 23 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists against the Atlanta Hawks. Simmons is one of four players with multiple games of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists, joining All-Stars Bradley Beal (two), James Harden (two) and Westbrook (four).

The Louisiana State product holds career averages of 16.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game and was named the 2017-18 Kia Rookie of the Year last season.

The Eastern and Western Conference reserves for the 68th NBA All-Star Game were revealed tonight on TNT. Eastern Conference captain Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks and Western Conference captain LeBron James of the Lakers will pick the final teams for the 2019 All-Star Game on TNT in a special NBA All-Star Draft Show on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET. The captains will draft the eight remaining players from the starter pool in the First Round and then all 14 players from the reserve pool in the Second Round, making selections without regard to a player’s conference affiliation or position.

The 2019 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. ET at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. TNT and ESPN Radio will air the game live in the United States. NBA All-Star 2019 will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

The 14 reserves were chosen by the NBA’s 30 head coaches. The coaches voted for seven players in their respective conferences – two guards, three front court players and two additional players at either position group. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team.

LaMarcus Aldridge selected to NBA All-Star game

The NBA today announced that San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been selected by the Western Conference head coaches as a reserve in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.

Aldridge is set to make his seventh-career NBA All-Star appearance and his third as a member of the Silver and Black. He is one of only five players in the NBA to be selected to seven of the last eight NBA All-Star Games, along with Kevin Durant, James Harden, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.

In 52 games this season, Aldridge leads San Antonio with averages of 8.8 rebounds and 1.23 blocks while also posting 21.1 points and 2.6 assists while shooting a career-best .516 (433-839) from the floor and .847 (227-268) from the free throw line in 32.6 minutes. He is one of two players in the NBA averaging at least 21.0 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting over 50 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free throw line, along with Anthony Davis.

The University of Texas product has scored 20-plus points in 30 games this season, including a career-best 56 points vs. Oklahoma City on Jan. 10, and has notched 16 double-doubles. Aldridge is the only player in the NBA to record at least 17,000 points, 7,000 rebounds and 900 blocks since he was drafted in 2006

The 2019 All-Star Game marks the 21st consecutive season the Spurs have a player selected as an All-Star, the longest streak of any team since the ABA/NBA merger in 1976. The Silver and Black have been represented by at least one player in 40 of the 42 All-Star Games since San Antonio joined the NBA in 1976 – the most of any team in that span.

Joining Aldridge as Western Conference reserves are: Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Nikola Jokic (Denver), Damian Lillard (Portland), Klay Thompson (Golden State), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City).

The 68th NBA All-Star Game will be held at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. CST. TNT will televise the NBA All-Star Game for a 17th-consecutive year.