Paul To Heat Stalls

If sources are to be believed, then Chris Paul’s potential move to the Miami Heat is in serious jeopardy. At least for this season. The Oklahoma City Thunder, who just acquired the point guard in a deal that saw them exchange Russell Westbrook for him, are said to now be resigned to keeping him and having him play part, if not all, of the 2019-20 season for them.

NBA.com India

In fact, it is claimed that Paul feels it is best for him to do so. That’s because hardly any teams have cap space after the deal was made so late in free agency, making it very likely he will not be able to join another team until next summer.

Simmons Agrees Sixers Deal

It had been a long time coming, but it looks like the Philadelphia 76ers and guard Ben Simmons have reached a deal on the extension of his contract. The Australian, according to his agent, is set to sign on the dotted line for five more years and will receive $170 million for it. The team and player’s reps had been in talks dating back quite a while and needed to make a decision before October.

Sports Illustrated

But apparently GM Elton Brand, a former player in his own right, wanted to get the job done quickly and efficiently and has thus gotten it effectively out of the way so the his team can get to business on the court. Simmons, who averaged nearly 17 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists per game last season, will first be playing for his nation at this summer’s FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Davis Skipping US Camp

Anthony Davis, in a bid to concentrate on the upcoming NBA season with the Los Angeles Lakers, has decided to forgo attending the USA basketball training camp, according to sources.

Yahoo Sports

By doing so, it also means that the former Pelicans center will not be included in the FIBA Basketball World Cup team, either. It’s said that he would still like to be considered for a place in the 2020 Olympic team, however, so we will have to wait and see if this changes his standing in the coaching staff’s eyes.

Paul Switching Places With Westbrook

In the latest of what has been a long series of huge NBA offseason moves, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have shaken up the Western Conference. A trade, according to sources, was agreed on Thursday by the two parties and will see point guards Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook switch places. OKC will take Paul and two first round picks (in 2024 and 2026) while the Rockets will bring in Westbrook. The two teams will also be swapping their picks in the 2021 and 2025 drafts.

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The move is one that smacks of a bit of desperation for Houston, who had already seemed to have been out of options. This is the last one they had, and it’s a desperate one simply due to the fact that Westbrook and James Harden didn’t exactly have the best relationship in their Thunder days. However, they have gotten younger, gotten a player out in Paul that didn’t want to be there, and still have two stone cold killers that can put points. Paul, meanwhile, shows that OKC aren’t throwing in the towel just yet, though it’s hard to see how they plan to remain competitive.

Leonard On Three-Year Clips Deal

News of Kawhi Leonard’s deal to join the Los Angeles Clippers last week set off ripples inside the whole league. Not only was Leonard going back, but fellow California native Paul George would be joining him. More details of the deal came out on Wednesday, and according to sources, Leonard will be signed on for three years.

Sports Illustrated

The deal is worth $103.1 million in that stretch, a far cry from what he could have made guaranteed. However, it’s thought that the move is being made so that he and George can be free agents again come 2021, thus allowing the pair to make their next decision together. Both of them will undoubtedly, barring injuries, make a lot of money come that time and will have a great shot at landing titles in the mean time.

NBA Allowing Coaches To Challenge

For the first time in the history of the NBA, coaches will be allowed to make challenges, beginning in the 2019-20 season. The rule, which has been tested in the developmental G League for the past two years, will give coaches the chance to challenge one call over the course of a game and will be on trial for this coming season. This is only allowed once, even if you are successful with the challenge, and coaches are required to have and take a timeout in order to make the attempt.

Inquirer Sports

It can be used to try to overturn a number of calls, but it will not be able to be sued in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter because all potential out-of-bounds calls, goaltending, or interference calls will be automatically reviewed. This is progress for sure, though it is tough to see how it’s going to go right out of the gates.

Lakers Rebound From Disappointment

After the Clippers, reportedly, made the moves they did to shore up their team and keep the Los Angeles Lakers from building what they thought, apparently, would be a dynasty, the Lakers rebounded in a big way by signing DeMarcus Cousins on a one year $3.5 million contract. ‘Boogie’ played for the Golden State Warriors this past season, but his time in Oakland was marred by injuries. It’s a gamble, to say the least, but if it pays off, the Lakers will have the best, most potentially dominant front court in the league.

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They also have taken a slight gamble in bringing back point guard Rajon Rondo to the team. The temperamental former Celtic is said to be on a similarly low deal, worth around a million dollars less, than that of Cousins. If either man is able to regain his foothold, then they will surely open themselves up for a bigger contract down the line either in L.A. or elsewhere. While these seem like desperate moves, this is the way the Lakers had to go after missing out Kawhi Leonard to their crosstown rivals.

Zion Done With Summer League

Well, if you blinked you missed it. Zion Williamson, the first pick of the NBA Draft last month, has seen his time called on his summer league season already after it was announced that he had bruised his left knee in his debut game against former Duke teammate RJ Barrett and the Knicks.

The Ringer

The knock- it’s hard to call it an injury- is not thought to be major at all, but this move is definitely a precaution to keep him from any more possible harm.

Clippers To Land To MVP Candidates

One year ago, Paul George appeared to have been heading to Los Angeles, only he was going to be suiting up for the Lakers… well at least we thought. And a couple of weeks ago, we learned they were, apparently, trying to make a play for Kawhi Leonard, too. But, according to sources, the Lakers haven’t landed the duo. Instead, it is the other team in L.A. who was in the form of the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard, a free agent that has just led the Toronto Raptors to the NBA title nearly single-handedly, has decided to come back home and will join the Clippers, instantly making them a title contender. But he won’t be coming alone by the looks of it.

USA Today

Rather, George is coming in tow, with the Clippers pulling out all the stops to land one of the regular season MVP candidates in a stunning double move. The Oklahoma City Thunder will receive two players and an array of draft picks, some of which are protected and some that are unprotected, in exchange for George. What a way to respond to the potential of the Finals MVP’s rumored team-up with LeBron and Anthony Davis, huh?

Duke Gets Another Big Recruit

After losing stars Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish to the NBA Draft, all of which were taken in the first round, you wouldn’t blame the Duke Blue Devils for having an off year in 2019-20.

Bleacher Report

But that’s not their style, and Coach K isn’t going to allow that be considered ‘OK.’ Instead, they are making moves to make sure there is no swoon in form, doing so by landing the number four recruit in the nation Thursday in the form of Jalen Johnson. At 6-8, he’s thought to be the best small forward in his class, and will enter having averaged 17.0 points and just over nine rebounds in select ball this past season. Duke just never stops moving forward, do they?