NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES

In case you haven’t noticed, the Bulls’ roster is getting awfully crowded these days. Assuming restricted free agents Zach LaVine and David Nwaba return (which is likely), Fred Hoiberg’s rotation for the 2018-19 season is pretty much set.

The Bulls figure to start Robin Lopez, Lauri Markkanen and Justin Holiday up front, with LaVine and Kris Dunn in the backcourt. The second unit figures to have Wendell Carter Jr. at center, with Bobby Portis and Nwaba at the back-up forward spots and Cameron Payne and Denzel Valentine/Chandler Hutchison at guard. By Mark Schanowski

Jeanie Buss isn’t sure what this pivotal free-agency period holds for her team, but she wants to see the Los Angeles Lakers return to the postseason for the first time since 2012-13.

Speaking to reporters on Monday before the NBA Awards show in Santa Monica, the Lakers’ co-owner and governor expressed her confidence and “complete faith” in team president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka’s rebuild as the franchise heads into a long-awaited and potentially fortune-altering free agency.

“In the young core and the new guys that we’re adding, I have complete faith in our front office — no matter how they want to build the team, whether it’s through trades or free agency, trades or through the draft — that they’re going to build on the style of play that you saw throughout this year,” Buss said. “Coach Luke Walton has defined what it is to be Lakers basketball going forward and the style that we play. I just want to see continued growth, and I’d really like to be in the playoffs next season. So that’s what we’re trying to do.”

After believing he should have won Most Valuable Player last year but coming away empty-handed, James Harden chose not to prepare a speech in case he did not win MVP on Monday night.

So when the Houston Rockets guard capped off a spectacular season by walking away from the NBA Awards show with the game’s top individual honor, Harden was almost speechless at first.

“Wow. All glory to God man. All glory to God. Wow,” Harden said before rambling on like a stunned actor or actress delivering a surprise Oscar winning speech. By Ohm Youngmisuk

Dwane Casey was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year on Monday night for a season in which he led the Toronto Raptors to their best regular season, only to be fired after they were ousted for a third straight playoffs by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Casey, who has since been hired as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons, led Toronto to a team-record 59 wins this past season and the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but he lost his job after the Raptors were swept by the Cavs.

“Once you get fired, it’s not a good feeling when someone, after you have a franchise record [in wins] and then you still get let go, that’s the uneasy part,” Casey said. “Say, OK, something must be wrong with me. But the opportunity in Detroit has given me more enthusiasm, and I’m excited to get going again. Again, a lot of it goes with Tom Gores, the owner; he’s exciting and excited to get another chance in Detroit.” By ESPN

The biggest storyline going into free agency is where exactly is LeBron James going to land. One of the major players is the Houston Rockets, and although Rockets players are saying they don’t need to get him to compete for the NBA Finals, they are still all in trying to land the superstar.

It has been a couple weeks since Kawhi Leonard requested a trade from the San Antonio Spurs, and with every passing day the picture seems to get clearer about where he could end up.

The BetDSI Sportsbook released a future on where Leonard is going to end up, with a couple of surprising odds. The Boston Celtics come in with the best odds at +175, while the Philadelphia 76ers come in with the second-best odds at +285. By 

 

 

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