January 24, 2018, 1:55 am
It seems like we constantly say this, but is there ever a dull night in the NBA? The Clippers-Rockets mayhem seems like a season ago. We are 15 days away from the February 8 trade deadline, so the rumor mill is in full motion. Let’s check out the highlights of a jam-packed Tuesday in the NBA.
GEORGE HILL TO THE CAVS?
Leading the headlines as always, for better or for worse, are LeBron James‘ Cavaliers, who are 3-10 since their Christmas day rematch with the Warriors. NBA beat writers made it well-known that the Cavs gave heat to Kevin Love earlier this week, which has caused a lot of speculation. The snowball led to more discussions about a personnel change in the locker room, particularly on defense.
On Tuesday afternoon, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that the Cavs and Kings have had deep discussion about a trade for George Hill, claiming that the deal was “at the one-yard line.” Rumored to be sent back to the Kings were Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye, but the Kings would have to give back more players or make room somehow. The final details haven’t been worked out yet, which is probably what is holding up the move.
From a fantasy perspective, De’Aaron Fox needs to be owned in all formats. He is the lone beneficiary from such a move. Garrett Temple (34 points, five assists, four 3-pointers) went off on Tuesday night, but he can be largely ignored.
PASS THE DEJOUNTE
It seems like if you pick up any Murray these days, you’ve done well for yourself. In a subtle move on Sunday against the Pacers, Spurs coach Popovich started Dejounte Murray at point guard in a game where Tony Parker was healthy. Not so fast.
There has been a changing of the guard, so to speak, as Parker is officially taking a backseat as the starting point guard for the Spurs for the foreseeable future.
Murray was excellent on Tuesday, putting up a monster line of 19 points, 10 boards, three assists and seven steals in 30 minutes. He is a high energy guy who gets his hand on the ball on defense and repeatedly tips passes as well as crash the boards. Murray can be a solid source of rebounds and steals at your point guard position.
Speaking on Tuesday, Popovich said “Dejounte is a young talent and we need to find out exactly what we have there. So it is time.”
It is time indeed. Time for you to run, not walk, to scoop Murray off of your waiver wire. Enjoy.
WARRIORS WANT A KNICKS CENTER?
According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, the Warriors have expressed interest in a center from the Knicks rotation, likely Kyle O’Quinn. The Warriors took on the Knicks on Tuesday, but O’Quinn (calf) ironically sat out.
Noah has a virtually untradeable contract and Kanter has the looks of a solid player for the Knicks, so that leaves O’Quinn and Hernangomez. If KOQ is moved, Hernangomez becomes an intriguing add in deeper leagues. Stay tuned to any big moves between these two teams.
KINGS’ YOUTH MOVEMENT LEADS CHARGE OVER MAGIC
Amidst the aforementioned trade rumors, basketball was played on Tuesday. The Kings took down the Magic 105-99 with a Temple and a pair of twin towers down low.
We already discussed Temple’s big night (34 points, four 3-pointers), but the big boys were flexing their potential in the post. Willie Cauley-Stein was a force in the middle, shooting 9-for-18 from the field for 21 points with nine boards, four assists, one steal and five blocks in 32 minutes. The Kings have put a lot of time into freeing Willie, so he should be safe from any movement.
Skal Labissiere was terrific as well, scoring 10 points with nine boards, three assists and three blocks in 22 minutes. Skal was also included in rumors to Cleveland, along with Malachi Richardson (4-3-0-1-1 in 15 minutes) as reported by ESPN’s Adrain Wojnarowski on Tuesday. Stay tuned.
KUZMANIA: LAKERS UPSET CELTICS
The rivalry is alive and well. Down one point with six seconds left, the Celtics chose to let Marcus Smart take the game-winner as he heaved a 27-foot 3-pointer at the rim. You can guess how that turned out. The Lakers won it 108-107.
Smart wasn’t all bad for the C’s, as he finished with 22 points (7-for-13 FGs), two boards, eight assists, one steal and four 3-pointers in 33 minutes off the bench.
Kyrie Irving added 33 points (13-for-24 FGs), three boards, four assists and four 3-pointers in 38 minutes.
Leading the Lakers was rookie phenom Kyle Kuzma, who put on a highlight reel for 28 points (10-for-16 FGs), four rebounds, three assists and five 3-pointers in 26 minutes. He appears to be out of his slump. Hang on to the Kooz. Rookies only get better as the season progresses.
That will do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish!! As always, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Catch me on the Fantasy NBA Tonight ($) pod on Tuesday nights where we answer your questions and go over box scores. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors on our NEW account @HoopBallFantasy. Happy hump day!!