Blake Griffin says he is happy to be with Pistons

Like you, like me, like everybody, Blake Griffin wants to be wanted. The Pistons appear to want Griffin. That they traded for him is a good indication of this. After you contemplate our impressive detective work, read the Detroit News report below:

After a couple days to think about the trade and his new fit in Detroit, Griffin kept it positive, focusing on the opportunity with the Pistons. With such a mega-contract, Griffin didn’t negotiate a no-trade clause, which left him open to a trade.

“I want to play for an organization that wants me to play there — and clearly this is an organization that wants me to play here,” Griffin said. “The stuff with the no-trade clause, it was something that was brought up, but not something we went about, obviously.

“This is where I want to be. This is the place that wants me and that’s the type of organization that I want to play for. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a place that wasn’t working.”

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Joakim Noah future with Knicks uncertain

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The Knicks (22-28) have the 10th best record in the Eastern conference through Monday’s games. Their success this season has been limited, but the team is focused more on the future than the present. Veteran center Joakim Noah appears to mostly be part of the team’s past. He’s played in just seven games this season, getting just 5.7 minutes per outing of court time. And it’s unclear when he’ll be utilized again. For the latest, here’s the NY Post:

Exiled Knicks center Joakim Noah will not be with the team Wednesday in Boston, according to coach Jeff Hornacek, and indications are he may not be back with the team until after the Feb. 8 trade deadline.

The Post reported the Knicks have ramped up their trade efforts to see if they can find a taker for Noah’s contract — perhaps in a larger deal. To date, they only have had interest from teams wanting their 2018 first-round pick attached.

The Knicks had believed Noah could rejoin the team Thursday in Milwaukee, but that is now unlikely.

In fact, there’s a growing sense — if they are unable to make a trade — to not bring Noah back at all.

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Lonzo Ball not returning from injury just yet

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The Lakers (19-30) have been without point guard Lonzo Ball (10.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 7.1 apg) recently, and that’ll continue for a bit longer as the talented rookie isn’t ready to return from injury just yet. Here’s the OC Register reporting:

Lonzo Ball will miss his eighth consecutive game Wednesday after doing little during the team’s practice on Tuesday.

“Basketball-wise, you are looking at it,” Walton said, while Ball shot on a hoop at the far end of the court. “He started shooting toward the end of practice. He was in the weight room doing some rehab stuff.

Walton said Ball has started to work on lateral movement with the team’s trainers, but that he is early in that process.

“He’s got to start with them (the trainers),” Walton said, “but nothing to the extent of what it would take to be able to play basketball, move laterally and change direction, full speed, hit somebody, those type of drills. He has not done that. He is slowly doing that in a controlled setting.”

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LeBron James reacts to Blake Griffin trade

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LeBron James had an interesting reaction to the news that the Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Pistons. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:

Cavaliers star LeBron James said he was shocked when he woke up from a nap Monday to learn that the Los Angeles Clippers had traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons.

Griffin, a five-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA selection, signed a five-year, $171 million contract with the Clippers last summer and had been the face of the franchise.

“I was like, a little bit in shock when I first saw it. But it’s a business. As unfortunate as it looks, I know the business so it is what it is,” James said before shootaround Tuesday for the Cavs game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.

Asked why he thought it was unfortunate, James said, “Because he spent his last nine years there. He signed a multi-year deal there this summer, so that’s unfortunate. But that’s the business side of it. It works both sides, though.”

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Blake Griffin traded to Pistons


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The Clippers are shaking up the entire foundation and future of their franchise, by reportedly agreeing to trade Blake Griffin to the Pistons. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

They acquired All-Star forward Blake Griffins from the Los Angeles Clippers for a package of players and draft picks, according to various reports.

The Pistons sent foward Tobias Harris, guarfd Avery Bradley, center Bob Marjanovic and a first- and second-round draft pick to the Clippers, ESPN reports. The Clippers also sent Brice Johnson and Willie Reed to Detroit.

According to ESPN, protections on Detroit’s 2018 first-round pick include 1-4 in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and unprotected in 2021.

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Fred VanVleet playing well for Raptors



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The Raptors (33-15) have the second best record in the Eastern conference and have raised their overall both-ends-of-floor play this season. They’ve stumbled a bit recently, winning just five of their last 10 games, but overall are having an excellent season. They’ve also enjoyed solid play off the bench from guard Fred VanVleet, who in 18.0 minutes per game is putting up 7.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per outing. Here’s the Toronto Star with more on his play:

Undrafted out of Wichita State after four years with the Shockers, a kid who made the most of a Summer League internship in 2016 to make the Raptors’ 15-man roster last season, VanVleet has become an indispensible cog on a 33-15 team — its backup point guard, which allows Delon Wright to harass bigger defenders as a shooting guard, a 40 per cent three-point shooter, and maybe the toughest guy on the team.

“That kid gets hit every time he goes in there . . . he hits the floor, gets up, gets back in the play. He’s not down there while the play’s going back,” Casey said of the 23-year-old native of Rockford, Ill., who missed practice Monday after the birth of his child.

“He’s an important part of what we do just because of his toughness. Size to him is nothing. He goes in there and challenges people.”

It is VanVleet’s fearlessness that impresses his teammates; they see a smallish guard not afraid to challenge big men at the rim, often ending with VanVleet crashing to the floor.

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Andre Roberson out for rest of season

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The Thunder, who this season have relied primarily on defense to get their wins, will be without their main defensive stopper at the guard/forward spot, Andre Roberson, for the remainder of the season. Here’s the Norman Transcript reporting:

Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard Andre Roberson underwent successful knee surgery Sunday, the team announced. The Thunder expect him to miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season.

Roberson ruptured his left patellar tendon during the third quarter of Saturday’s 121-108 win over the Detroit Pistons. The injury occurred when he planted his left leg awkwardly while trying to jump for an alley-oop from Russell Westbrook. Instead of receiving the ball and finishing the play, he flipped in the air and landed hard on his backside. After a few minutes on the ground with trainers and teammates around him, Roberson left the court on a stretcher.

The Thunder’s defensive stopper missed eight games because of left patellar tendinitis from Dec. 31 to Jan. 17. Rookie wing Terrance Ferguson started in his place during seven of those. Ferguson started once again Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers. Roberson also received plasma injections in his knee during the offseason.

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Paul George replaces DeMarcus Cousins on 2018 NBA All-Star team

DeMarcus Cousins has suffered a nasty injury that will end his season.

He’s on the Pelicans, a Western conference team.

So, his replacement on the Team LeBron 2018 NBA All-Star team has to be from the West as well.

Adam Silver has made his decision. It’ll be OKC Thunder forward Paul George.

For more info, read this: Paul George named NBA All-Star game injury replacement for DeMarcus Cousins

Agent Henry Thomas has died

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel with some very sad news:

Henry Thomas, arguably the most impactful player agent in the Miami Heat’s 30 seasons, died Saturday in Chicago, with Heat forward Udonis Haslem and former Heat guard Dwyane Wade among those who left their teams to travel to Chicago amid Thomas’ failing health.

Thomas, 64, represented Wade, Haslem, Chris Bosh, Tim Hardaway and several other Heat players, a particularly strong influence with the organization since the arrival of Pat Riley as Heat president in 1995.

The Heat paid tribute with a moment of silence before Saturday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Thomas’ negotiations with the Heat included a unique conditioning-based contract for Hardaway that included regular weigh-ins after the two sides reached an impasse and then several concessions from Wade over the years to accommodate the contracts of other Heat players.

Thomas was a particularly influential presence in the Heat’s formation of the Big Three championship core in 2010, representing both Bosh and Wade at the time, while also part of the agency that represented LeBron James.

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And here’s with more:

Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dwyane Wade stepped away from the team, missing Friday’s win against the Indiana Pacers, to mourn the death of his agent Henry Thomas — a man Wade viewed as a “father figure,” according to sources close to him.

Wade wrote a heartfelt Instagram message about Thomas on Saturday, complete with a picture of the two shortly after Wade was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2003.

“I’m writing this letter to you as I cry both tears of SADNESS and tears of JOY,” Wade said. “I know — i know — I can hear your voice saying, ‘Come on my man. You got this!’ I can picture your face and feel your hugs in so so many moments in my life. Whether it’s you hugging me and saying how proud you are of me or congrats on winning a NBA championship or you hugging me and saying everything’s gonna be alright — we will get thru this. I can’t thank you enough for these last 15 years.”

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