Grizzlies vs Cavaliers odds, picks and predictions

Grizzlies vs. Cavaliers odds

Grizzlies odds +184
Cavaliers odds -220
over/under 223 (-110/-110)
time 7:30 PM ET
tv set TNT
odds fan duel.Stay up to date Click here for NBA odds

The Memphis Grizzlies are scheduled to play a non-conference matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

The Grizzlies are 32-19 after losing to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. The record is good enough for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, making Memphis a legitimate threat to the title.

The Cavaliers are also aiming to reach the NBA Finals, but are fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 31-22 record.

Here are the odds and predictions for the Memphis Grizzlies vs Cleveland Cavaliers matchup.

The Memphis Grizzlies are the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, but they’re not doing as well as their seed suggests.

For example, the Grizzlies played Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. In this game, he lost 122-112 as he went 38-22 in the fourth quarter. The loss was his sixth loss in the last seven games for Memphis.

During that seven-game period, Memphis struggled tremendously on the offensive side. In the 2022-23 season, the Grizzlies posted his offensive rating of 113.9, but that figure has dropped to his 108.4 over the past seven games. The main culprit was Memphis’ failure to establish an offensive presence on the perimeter. The Grizzlies, same he’s only shot 28.9% from 3 in seven games.

The absence of Stephen Adams also played a big part in the demise of the Grizzlies. Adams has missed the last four games the Grizzlies trailed by -34 points, and Memphis also saw his defensive rating rise to 113.5 from his 109.9 in the meantime.

January was an up-and-down month for Cleveland, and the final game against Miami was arguably the low point.

Against the Heat, the Cavaliers scored just 97 points, the fifth time they were held below 103 points in January. The biggest reason for the low offensive output in that game was the inability to shoot from deep or on the line. I did 6 of them.

However, these inefficiencies were far less common for Cleveland. I was one of the team.

Cleveland shot 49.1% from the floor in January, a percentage that ranked in the top 10 for the month. This made the Cavaliers record his offensive his rating of 115.7, a slight improvement from his 114.2 season rating.

Cleveland also played some great basketball on their home court in January, going 5-2 overall with a +7.2 net rating. That rating ranked him No. 6 in his NBA last month, and shows why the Cavaliers are considered the most likely contender in the East.

Grizzlies-Cavaliers Pick

Overall, two teams suffered heavy losses, but I think Cleveland is more likely to bounce back this time.

Adams’ absence is a significant issue and I think it will continue to be a major factor. Memphis is just 4-5 without Adams, and in those games he has posted a defensive his rating of 113.5 (according to StatMuse). This leaves Memphis vulnerable in the middle of the floor and could pose a problem against a Cavaliers team that is averaging 51.0 points per game in the paint.

Additionally, Cleveland has one of the best internal defenses in the league, with opponents scoring the third-lowest points per game (45.9) in the paint. It would already be difficult for Memphis to score on the inside, but removing Adams from the picture makes it even harder.

Back up the Cavaliers to cover the spread at home. I like the spread to 5.

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Pacers vs Lakers Live Stream Info, TV Channels: How to Watch NBA on TV, Stream Online

Who’s playing

Los Angeles @ Indiana

Current record: Los Angeles 24-28. Indiana 24-28

What you need to know

This Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to fill a hole in defense that allowed them 118.27 points per game. They will play the Indiana Pacers at 7 p.m. Thursday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Lakers strutting out after the win, and Indiana stumbles from the loss.

It may have taken overtime to get the job done, but in the end Los Angeles got what they wanted with a 129-123 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday. Los Angeles won with the backing of several key players. Small he had forward LeBron James up front and recorded a triple-double with 28 points, 11 assists and 10 boards. It was LBJ’s first triple-double of the season.

Meanwhile, Indiana lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 112-100 away. The silver lining for Indiana was the play of small forward Benedict Maturin, who had 27 points in addition to eight rebounds.

Without the buzzer beater, the Lakers are expected to be close. Those who play the odds have seen things come and go with Los Angeles going 25-25-2 against the spread.

At the team’s last meeting last November, Los Angeles and Indiana battled for the lead, but Los Angeles entered empty-handed after losing 116-115. Can Los Angeles avenge their defeat or is history destined to repeat itself?

Viewing method

  • when: Thursday at 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse — Indianapolis, Indiana
  • tv set: Barry Sports Midwest – Indiana
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try it for free. Geo restrictions may apply.)
  • follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket price: $50.50


According to the latest NBA odds, the Lakers are just 1.5 points favorite against the Pacers.

The oddsmakers were in line with this betting community as the game started as a 1.5 point spread and stayed there.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer models. Get your pick now.

Series history

Indiana has won 9 of its last 15 games against Los Angeles.

  • Nov. 28, 2022 – Indiana 116 vs. Los Angeles 115
  • 01/19/2022 – Indiana 111 vs Los Angeles 104
  • 11/24/2021 – Los Angeles 124 vs Indiana 116
  • 15/05/2021 – Los Angeles 122 vs. Indiana 115
  • 12 March 2021 – Los Angeles 105 vs Indiana 100
  • 08/08/2020 – Indiana 116 vs Los Angeles 111
  • December 17, 2019 – Indiana 105 vs. Los Angeles 102
  • Feb. 5, 2019 – Indiana 136 vs. Los Angeles 94
  • Nov. 29, 2018 – Los Angeles 104 vs. Indiana 96
  • March 19, 2018 – Indiana 110 vs Los Angeles 100
  • January 19, 2018 – Los Angeles 99 vs. Indiana 86
  • 01/20/2017 – Los Angeles 108 vs Indiana 96
  • Nov. 1, 2016 – Indiana 115 vs. Los Angeles 108
  • Feb. 8, 2016 – Indiana 89 vs. Los Angeles 87
  • Nov. 29, 2015 – Indiana 107 vs Los Angeles 103

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All-Star Reserve announced tonight on TNT (7 ET)

Ja Morant missed the start, but could he be nominated as an All-Star reserve?

14-man reserves for 2023 All-Star Game announced tonight (7 ET, TNT) Join the player pools of Team LeBron and Team Giannis. Thirty of his NBA coaches elect his 14 reserves, and in each conference he votes two guards, three frontcourt players, and his two players.

Last week, LeBron James was announced as a NBA All-Star for the 19th time, and Los Angeles Lakers stars tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most selections in league history. Leading the overall votes, James will captain the team for the All-Star Game in Salt Lake City on Feb. 19, with Eastern Conference voting leader Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks captaining the other side. .

For the first time, the NBA All-Star Draft will take place just before the game. Two Team His captains will draft Team His LeBron and Team His Giannis team rosters from among the players voted as starters and reserves in each conference. The draft will begin at 7:30 PM ET (TNT/TBS) on Sunday, February 19th.

2023 NBA All-Star

Eastern Conference Reserve

announced tonight

Western Conference Reserve

announced tonight

Eastern Conference Starter

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) *
  • Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
  • Jason Tatum (Boston Celtics)
  • Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets)

Western Conference Starter

  • LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) *
  • Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
  • Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans)
  • Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
  • Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)


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Submit a Sixers-Related NBA Trade Proposal

With the NBA’s trade deadline approaching, the Philadelphia 76ers probably won’t be as active as they used to be.

Part of the reason is the team’s limited assets, some of which were used to acquire the likes of James Harden and George Hill in previous deadlines. Some were later taken away, so there aren’t many left in the Sixers’ cupboard.

But we could be talking about a deal that will somehow affect the Sixers’ playoff rotation if the right deal is made. For example, are there any deals involving Mathis Cybull?

Part of the fun is playing a fake executive and coming up with deals. Submit your favorite fake Sixers-related deals in the comments section below.

I have only one request. If you want to suggest a deal, use one of the trading machines and make sure it’s legal and at least within reason (but not intentionally eccentric ). Fanspo is my favorite trade his machine, but ESPN works just as well.

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Knicks vs. Heat Predictions, Odds, Lines, Spreads, Start Times: 2023 NBA Picks, February’s 2 Best Bets from Proven Models

In the Eastern Conference battle, the New York Knicks (27-25) host the Miami Heat (29-23) on Thursday. New York is back on track and looking to finish the two-game slide. On January 31, the Lakers beat the Knicks 129-123 in overtime. Miami, on the other hand, have won 4 of their last 5 games. On January 31st, the Heat defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-97. New York has him 26-24-2 and Miami has him 20-29-3 against the spread this season.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET at Madison Square Garden, New York. The Caesars Sportsbook lists the Heat as his two-point favorite in the latest Heat vs. Knicks odds. Total Points Over/Under is set to 215.5. Before making any Heat vs. Knicks picks, you should check out NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer models.

The SportsLine projection model has simulated every NBA game 10,000 times and, over the past four seasons, has returned well over $10,000 to $100 players on the highest-rated NBA picks. The model entered Week 16 of the 2022-23 NBA season, returning nearly $2,300 with his impressive 49-23 roll in all of the NBA’s highest-rated picks this season. Anyone who follows it sees huge profits.

The model now has its sights set on the Heat vs. the Knicks, anchoring picks and NBA predictions. Visit SportsLine today to see our model recommendations. Here are the Heat vs. Knicks NBA betting lines and trends:

  • Heat vs. Knicks Spread: Heat -2
  • Heat vs. Knicks Over-Under: 215.5 points
  • Heat vs. Knicks moneyline: Miami -130, New York +110
  • MIA: The Heat are the team with a winning record of 7-2 ATS versus straights in their last nine games
  • NYK: Overs are 5-1 across Knicks best-six
  • Heat vs. Knicks Picks: Check SportsLine’s Picks

Featured games | | New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat

Why the Knicks Can Cover

Guard Jalen Brunson has a great campaign. Branson consistently breaks defenses with his scoring and facilitation abilities. Villanova’s products feature an excellent ball his handle and can be paired with his trusty jumper. Brunson is averaging 22.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. In the previous game, he recorded his 37 points and his 6 assists.

Guard RJ Barrett is a frontcourt athlete. Barrett has the ball control and strength to consistently attack lanes and finish on contact. The Duke product plays solid defense on the wing and can defend multiple positions, and the 22-year-old is averaging 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. On January 28, he recorded 24 points and 6 boards.

Reason why heat can cover

Forward Jimmy Butler has an exceptional two-way presence on the perimeter. Butler is fearless in his lane and has a knack for drawing contact. His six-time All-Star selection puts up a gritty defense all game and forces hard shots. Butler is averaging 22 points, 6 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. On January 29, he finished with 28 points and 7 boards.

Center Bum Adebayo is a power player who can bully opponents in the paint. Adebayo is a bruiser who has the strength to overwhelm his opponents due to his rebounding and easy looks at the rim. Kentucky’s product was an excellent jumper and a solid defender.Adebayo averaged 21.4 points and 10 rebounds per game. In his previous games, he had 18 points and 11 rebounds.

How to make a heat vs knicks pick

SportsLine’s model leans toward point totals, predicting the team to score 221 points combined. The model also shows that one side of the spread hits him more than 50% of the time. Model’s Picks are only available at SportsLine.

So who will win Heat vs. Knicks? And which side will hit well over 50% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you should jump on Please give me. Find everything from the models that crushed the NBA picks.

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Cavaliers vs. Grizzlies Predictions, Odds, Lines and Spreads: 2023 NBA Picks, February’s Two Best Bets from Proven Models

The NBA’s top teams will take part in a cross-conference matchup in Cleveland on Thursday. The Memphis Grizzlies (32-19) will battle the Cleveland Cavaliers (31-22) for a spotlight battle. Dylan Windler (ankle) is out from the Cavaliers. Stephen Adams (knee) will remain with the Grizzlies, but the rest of the injury report will come on his second night of the back-to-back, so it will be decided later.

Tip off is in Cleveland at 7:30 PM ET. The Caesars Sportsbook lists Cleveland as his favorite at home with 6 points, but the latest Grizzlies vs. Cavaliers odds show him over/under, or 223.5 total points he thinks Vegas will score. Before deciding on the Cavaliers vs. Grizzlies pick, check out his NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer models.

The SportsLine projection model has simulated every NBA game 10,000 times and, over the past four seasons, has returned well over $10,000 to $100 players on the highest-rated NBA picks. The model entered Week 16 of the 2022-23 NBA season, returning nearly $2,300 with his impressive 49-23 roll in all of the NBA’s highest-rated picks this season. Anyone who follows it sees huge profits.

The model now has its sights set on the Grizzlies vs. the Cavaliers, anchoring picks and NBA predictions. Visit SportsLine today to see our model recommendations. Here are the NBA odds and betting lines for Cavaliers vs Grizzlies.

  • Grizzlies vs. Cavaliers spread: Cavaliers -6
  • Grizzlies vs. Cavaliers Over/Under: 223.5 points
  • Grizzlies vs. Cavaliers moneyline: Cavaliers -250, Grizzlies +205
  • MEM: Grizzlies are 4-3 to the rest of the spread
  • CLE: Cavaliers are 17-9-1 to spread at home games
  • Grizzlies vs. Cavaliers Picks: Check SportsLine’s Picks

Featured games | | Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Why the Grizzlies Can Cover

Memphis is an excellent defensive team, with just 1.1 points per possession this season, ranking among the top three in the NBA for defensive ratings. The Grizzlies are #1 in field goal percentages allowed, and Memphis allows opponents only 51% of his 2-point attempts. Memphis is in the Top 8 in turnover creation, he has more than 15 takeaways per game, and the Grizzlies lead the league in blocks and steals per game. is approaching

Memphis is also elite in points allowed in the paint, and its offensive end is friendly to the Grizzlies. while securing well over 30% of offensive rebound opportunities. Memphis also sits in the top quartile of the league with his break points of 17+ fasts per game, while the Grizzlies manage the ball (14% turnover rate) and have 25+ frees per contest. It is producing slow attempts.

Why the Cavaliers Can Cover

Cleveland’s offense is solid, especially in the backcourt where Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland are averaging over 21 points per game with strong efficiency. However, the Cavaliers have made the most progress on defense and are his top two units in the NBA in terms of overall efficiency. Cleveland has allowed him less than 1.1 points per possession, while the Cavaliers lead the NBA in assists allowed (22.6 per game) and second-chance points allowed (12.0 per game). The Cavaliers are in the top five in 2 points he defends (52.4%) and free throw attempts allowed (22.4% per game).

Opponents can shoot just 46.6% from the field against Cleveland, and the Cavaliers are producing 15.0 takeaways per game and securing over 73% of their available defensive rebounds. Cleveland interior stars Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are also holding their opponents to just 45.9 points per game in the paint, and the Grizzlies have this season improved in field goal percentage, 3-point he percentage, and free throws on offense. Below average in percentage.

How to make a Cavaliers vs. Grizzlies pick

SportsLine’s model leans toward totals, predicting the team to score 227 points combined. The model also shows that one side of the spread is hit about 60% of the time. Picks are only available at SportsLine.

So who wins Cavaliers vs. Grizzlies? And which side of the spread hits almost 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine today to find out which side of the spread you should jump to. Please give me. Find all NBA picks from crushed models.

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LeBron James’ legacy will be more than NBA’s all-time leading scorer

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James Harden deserves to be selected for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game

After announcing the starters for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game last week, the league will reveal its 14-man reserves in Thursday’s 2023 edition. Inside the NBAPhiladelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid should be a Rock of choice after escaping the starting lineup, but he’s not the only Sixers player who deserves to make the team.

He missed about a month of action with a foot injury earlier this season, but Sixers guard James Harden should join Embiid for the All-Star Game in mid-February.

In 34 games this season, Harden is averaging 21.4 points on 44.9% shooting, 11.0 assists, 6.4 rebounds and 2.9 3-pointers in 36.7 minutes per game. He also hit a career-high 39.4% after making his season-high six 3-pointers in his 105-94 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday against the Sixers. I’m shooting from the deep of.

Harden hasn’t scored like he did in his prime with the Houston Rockets, but the Sixers don’t need him. They should be the main playmakers and secondary scorers behind Embiid, who leads the league with a career-high 33.5 points per game on a career-high 53.4% ​​shooting.

“this is, [to] “I decided to become a point guard,” Sixers head coach Doc Rivers told reporters in December while praising Harden. I can’t — or I’m not going to do it, and the fact that he’s willing to do it and run the team and organize us means a lot to us.”

Harden has averaged a He is one of only three players with at least 20 points and 10 assists. ). No other Sixers player averaged five assists per game.

Harden hasn’t played in 70% of Sixers games (he’s one game shy after Wednesday’s Magic win), so he’s not yet eligible for the NBA’s statistical leaderboards. However, if he does qualify, he will pass Halliburton for the league-leading assists.

Embiid is still the Sixers’ main offensive focus, but Harden is the best tablesetter he’s played. Harden has assisted 141 of his 426 maids baskets for Embiid this season, and with the rest of Embiid’s teammates combined, he has assisted 135 maids his baskets.

With Harden and Embiid on the court, the Sixers are averaging 122.2 points per 100 possessions, beating their opponents by 8.0 points per 100 possessions. With Harden playing without Embiid, the Sixers are only averaging 115.9 points per 100 possessions, beating their opponents by 1.5 points per 100.

The Sixers are averaging 118.5 points per 100 possessions with Harden on the court this season. They scored just 110.7 points per 100 possessions, and with Harden off the floor, they rank 27th overall in the league, trailing the San Antonio Spurs (110.4), Houston Rockets (109.1) and Charlotte. Hornets (109.0).

If Harden’s influence on the Sixers’ offense alone isn’t enough to make him an All-Star, advanced metrics also help back up his claim.

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets and Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers were named the Eastern Conference backcourt starters. So Harden is Halliburton, Boston Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown, Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland, Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, and Chicago Bulls swingman. A DeMar DeRozan and others will be competing for either one of two reserve backcourt spots or one of two wild spots. -card nod (can go to either guard or frontcourt player).

Among that sextet, Harden ranks second in PER, box plus/minus and value to substitute players, trailing only Halliburton in each. He’s his third in that group in total win percentage, but mostly because he has the least playing time of any team. 200 winning percentage per 48 minutes, he leads all of them. He also leads them all with a 61.9 true shooting percentage.

Harden has been downgraded as a relatively neutral defender this season, but stands out in the offensive all-in-one metrics. The 33-year-old ranks 11th in the Danks and Threes offensive estimates plus/minus, just halfway between Mitchell and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker. (Irving is his 13th.) Halliburton is the only Eastern his conference guard ahead of him.

Harden is also tied for 16th overall in offensive box plus/minus and 18th in offensive win shares. No other player has played less than 36 games in the top 20 of the latter metric.

“I’m not going to sit here and argue that I should be an All-Star,” Harden said. told reporters After winning Magic on Wednesday. “The numbers show it, our species shows it. It’s going to be 11 years in a row for me, so obviously it’s always an honor. You never take it for granted.” I don’t want to think about it.It means you are doing something right.You are the impact on the team and the game.If my name is called, great.If not,for the season There are bigger and better goals.

According to the FanDuel Sportsbook, the Sixers are now +1200 to win the Finals this year, trailing only six other teams. That’s probably what Harden meant when he mentioned “bigger, better goals.”

Still, he’s done enough in that time to deserve an All-Star Game spot.

All statistics are from, PBP Stats, glass cleaning Also basketball referenceAll payroll information via . spot rack Also Real GM. All odds FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Could O.G. Anunoby put a team over the top?: Vecenie’s trade deadline mailbag

The Athletic’s senior writer and NBA Draft expert Sam Vecenie is answering your questions ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Submitted questions have been edited for clarity and length. For Sam’s thoughts on Myles Turner’s new deal, the Suns’ future and more, check out Part I of this mailbag.

Could O.G. Anunoby really put a team like New Orleans or Memphis over the top and almost guarantee a championship? — @PeterJewett

In a conference as tightly packed as the West, I don’t think any move could “guarantee” a championship. But if the Raptors decide to put Anunoby on the market, he’s the biggest swing player who could impact the title race. And I believe the teams who would get the most out of an Anunoby acquisition — much like Milwaukee’s acquisition of Jrue Holiday in 2020 — are the ones closest to that title race.

Anunoby is the league’s most versatile defensive force on the perimeter. I use the word “versatile” purposely, given that there are so many important defensive roles and styles. Guys like Holiday defend guards better. Guys like Bam Adebayo are switchable in ball-screen actions and can force significant problems for offenses. Draymond Green is probably the best communicator and defensive leader. Jaren Jackson Jr. is probably the best overall force in help defense. But Anunoby is one of a handful league-wide who can slide across the positional spectrum in on-ball matchups and be impactful.

There is no one better at guarding big wing shot creators one-on-one. He’s enormous at 6-foot-8 with a near-7-foot-3 wingspan. He’s also turned into a tremendous team defender who uses his length to wreak havoc rotationally as well as force turnovers. Anunoby has the third best defensive EPM rating in the league. He’s top 20 in ESPN’s RPM metric defensively (seventh among wings). And those on-ball settings against the best big creators become even more magnified in the playoffs.

At 25 years old, I wouldn’t sleep on his offense either. He’s always been a good catch-and-shoot guy and has made 38 percent of his 1,041 3-point attempts since 2019-20. The numbers say he’s been stagnant since the 2020-21 season, averaging about 16 to 17 points per game, but there have been incremental improvements each season in the way he drives to the rim and how he’s started figuring out how to use his physicality and balance on that end. His footwork and handle in ball screens is better The significant thing holding him back at the moment is his pull-up shooting. He’s made just 96 of his 314 pull-up jumpers over the last two years, according to Synergy. Typically, it’s because his feet get a bit mixed up in his load-up, and it can lead to some trajectory inconsistency. He has clear touch, though, and he has the ability to get where he wants on the court, as you’ll see on this drive against Dejounte Murray. When he puts his shoulder into someone in one of these isolation situations, there’s really nothing a non-big defender can do.

If Anunoby averages 17 points, six rebounds and two assists while playing elite-level defense for the next five years, that’s worth multiple first-round picks, given that he’s on a bargain contract (the team acquiring him would get him for the rest of this year and have him locked in at $18.6 million next year). But if that ability to become an isolation wing scorer keeps improving, then his value goes through the roof, and we could see him become something like a 22-point per game player. It’s rare that wings this young, who are this good already and have a bit of tangible upside, hit the market.

Anunoby does have an injury history, however. Last year, he suffered a hip pointer and a fractured finger that forced him to miss time. He’s missed time with various calf injuries, wrist sprains, an eye contusion and an emergency appendectomy. Nothing has been serious in the NBA, but he did tear his ACL at Indiana and break his wrist in high school. There is some small consternation across the NBA about being the team that will be asked to shell out a significant nine-figure contract to him. All of this is why it makes more sense for a team with established stars to be the one to acquire him. And particularly, I think there is a real case this is the player Memphis has been waiting for to hit the market.



Inside Pass: What Shams is hearing about the Raptors and trade talks around the league

The Grizzlies are set with their backcourt of the future in Ja Morant and Desmond Bane. Jackson is locked into a sweetheart contract as one of the best young bigs in the NBA. The thing they’re still looking for is their bigger wing of the future who also fits this timeline of competitive 22- to 25-year-old stars. Anunoby fits the timeline and the need. Memphis is also well-positioned to go deep into the luxury tax moving forward. Owner Robert Pera is one of the richest owners in the NBA and has proven a willingness to spend large sums of money to acquire draft capital. I don’t think he’d have an issue paying Anunoby with this group.

Memphis has all of its own picks, plus a potentially valuable Warriors pick next year. It also has an interesting group of young players such as Ziaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Santi Aldama, Jake LaRavia and David Roddy. The Pelicans can make a similar case that Anunoby would be very valuable for them as a wing defender between Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, but I think the positional need could end up making Memphis a bit more viable. Could something like Williams, Danny Green and two unprotected first-rounders work for Anunoby? That’s pretty close to the price Milwaukee paid to get Holiday (essentially two future unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps), the deal I’m using most as a precedent for this one. Holiday was also a defense-first guy who profiles best as a No. 3 offensive option and was similarly more of a “put you over the top” guy who plays perfectly next to star players. He was a bit better at the time than Anunoby, but he was four years older and had just one year remaining on his contract when that deal got done as opposed to the two playoff runs that an acquiring team would get Anunoby for.

For this to make sense for Toronto, the Raptors would need to decide they want to take a step back and build a different style of roster around their two true building blocks, Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes. If the Raptors want that, cashing in now on Anunoby before you have to pay him makes some sense. He’s the guy on the roster they could get the most for, and the one whose value is probably a bit lessened by playing on a team that isn’t competing at the top of the league. Plus, paying him may limit your options in terms of acquiring guys who make sense around Siakam and Barnes.

I’m not saying I agree with this case, by the way. I would keep Anunoby if I were Toronto, unless the Raptors know something we don’t about his injury history. But that’s at least how you can rationalize moving him.

Should the Nuggets trade Bones (Hyland)? — @vamosvikingos

I’m not opposed to them moving Hyland necessarily — he’s a creative scoring guard with warts, and those guys aren’t untradable — but I don’t think he’s necessarily the problem with Denver’s bench units either. The Nuggets aren’t that deep. Bruce Brown is really the only guy off the bench for them whom I trust. Hyland has real defensive issues. Zeke Nnaji has been OK in spurts. There’s a chance Christian Braun gets there by the end of the year. But it would behoove the Nuggets to make some moves on the margins to help their depth.

Particularly, I’d look to upgrade two things. First, it would help the team to get a defensive-minded backup point guard or wing who plays unselfish basketball. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brown have to do a lot of work right now on the defensive end. The team is middle-of-the-pack on defense overall, but any one good defender leaving the court has a substantial negative impact, according to PBPStats’ data. Without KCP on the court, the Nuggets have a 118.5 defensive rating. Without Aaron Gordon, they’re at 117.3. Additionally, the team’s bench units have been a nightmare on defense. Lineups with Hyland on the court have an absurd 122.4 defensive rating. In part, that’s because he’s played about one-third of his minutes with DeAndre Jordan, who can’t play at the NBA level anymore on that end. Even lineups with Hyland and without Jordan give up 121.1 points per 100 possessions. Things have been better since Nnaji assumed the role, but it’s unclear if he’s the long-term answer. The second thing they should go out and acquire for a cheap price is a backup center. Someone like Mason Plumlee, who has experience in this system, would be a substantial upgrade. HoopsHype’s Mike Scotto recently mentioned the Nuggets showed interest in Naz Reid. Maybe they go after a buyout guy.

The Nuggets have every reason to go for it. They’re at the top of the West, and the buyer moves they need to make aren’t unrealistic. They also have what could be a potentially valuable trade exception from the Monté Morris trade to the Wizards last year. It’s worth $9.125 million, almost the perfect amount to go out and acquire an answer to one of these holes. Two issues, though: First, the team is deep in the tax, and any acquisition will cost a lot of cold, hard cash for ownership. Second, the team can only trade one future first-round pick, its 2029 first. The four first-round picks on rookie-scale deals on the roster (Hyland, Peyton Watson, Braun and Nnaji) could be valuable to some teams, but it does limit their flexibility.

Two names come to mind at that lead guard spot that potentially fit what Denver could use. The first is Washington’s Delon Wright. He was terrific as a backup last year in Atlanta, defended at a high level, moved the ball and knocked down timely shots. He has a deal for about $7.8 million this season and $8.2 million next season. But Washington is in a perpetual state of trying to win 38 games, so I’m not sure the Wizards will even look to move Wright.

The other is Alex Caruso, but it similarly feels like the Bulls have tried to pour water on Caruso as a potential trade chip. The Chicago Sun-Times talked to an organizational source who said, “Their asking price has been so astronomical that it all but confirmed … that Caruso is untouchable.” Why the Bulls, a team clearly not a contender, down a future draft pick, plus lost last week to the Hornets and the Tyrese Haliburton-less Pacers, would choose not to cash in on a guy who might be the most popular role player target on the market is beyond me. But that seems to be the reality a week ahead of the deadline.

Who should Oklahoma City target, if not this year, then next? A wing and a post? The third of a “big three”? — @ChrisAnstey13

A great question from a friend, 7-foot Australian legend Chris Anstey. I’ll just say this from the jump: I’m skeptical  Oklahoma City is going to be particularly active at the deadline — at least in terms of a move involving significant assets.

This is another front office that tends to do a very good job of keeping their dealings in-house, but I don’t see them as likely to make a consolidation move. The Thunder are relatively limited at the deadline by the immense amount of dead cap space they currently have occupying their sheet for players such as Kemba Walker, JaMychal Green, David Nwaba and others. Those deals worked out great for Oklahoma City in terms of procuring draft capital, but they create some real constraints. Because of that capital and because that dead cap space clears up this offseason, they’re going to be extremely well-positioned for a consolidation trade for a star down the road.

Having said that, allow me a bit of wiggle room to suggest something I see as entirely unlikely but is a move I would look into if I were in Sam Presti’s shoes. My favorite target for the Thunder right now is Atlanta forward John Collins. He’s only 25 years old, and he’s under contract for at least two more years. It’s exceedingly difficult right now to get a deal done for him because of the Thunder’s trade limitations, but he makes a world of sense for the team as a building block for the present and the future. Even with his downturn in play this season, I’m a big fan of Collins and think he fits ideally with this Thunder core.

John Collins (Alonzo Adams / USA Today)

Collins is one of the best pick-and-roll scoring bigs in the NBA. He’s a terrific rim-runner with great vertical pop and the ability to finish at an elite level. This season, Collins is making 70 percent of his shots at the rim. The problem is the Hawks are only generating four of those per game for him, a wildly low number, because Collins doesn’t fit in Atlanta anymore.

To space the floor properly, the team has to use Clint Capela as its primary pick-and-roll partner for Trae Young and Dejounte Murray because Capela isn’t a threat to score or pass outside of 5 feet. That results in a lot of possessions in which Collins is just kind of camping out. He’s only averaging 1.6 field goal attempts per game this year as a roller, and about one-third of those are pick-and-pop attempts, per Synergy. It’s what the team has to do, but it’s not the way to get the most out of Collins. And to be clear: Collins has been better with Young on the court throughout his career, but he’s not just a creation of Young, either. Since 2018-19 per PBP Stats, in minutes without Young on the court, Collins averages 29.5 points per 100 possessions on a 59.5 true shooting percentage. In minutes with Young, Collins averages 27.1 points on a 64.1 true shooting percentage. Get him with a guard who will feed him in ball screens, and Collins will thrive. But he’s proven he can be efficient and dangerous with lesser options too. You just need to put him in the right spot.

Enter Oklahoma City. With how the Thunder are building, Collins would be in a perfect situation. With players such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey to run ball screens with, he’d find easy shots. His one weakness as an offensive player — assuming you believe his shooting bounces back to its previous norms, where over the last three years he’s made 39 percent of his 531 attempts from 3 — is that he isn’t the best playmaker or passer. In Oklahoma City, he’d be surrounded by playmakers. The Thunder have made it their goal over the last few years to prioritize drafting guys with elite positional size, great feel for the game and terrific positional skill. Think Gilgeous-Alexander, Giddey, Ousmane Dieng, Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren. What they don’t really have is a tried-and-true play finisher at the rim in the frontcourt; Collins can be that guy. Last season, he was the league’s most efficient player as a roller among the 44 players league-wide with at least 100 possessions in that setting. The year prior, he was in the top 10, and in 2020-21, he actually led the league in points per game as a roller. This skill set didn’t just disappear. He just hasn’t been able to utilize it in Atlanta.

Additionally, Collins is the exact player I would want next to Holmgren. Their games complement each other well. Collins can be the roller out of ball screens, and Holmgren can space the floor as a shooter, lead the break in transition with his ballhandling ability and play in some high-low actions that get creative with Collins’ cutting ability. Additionally, Holmgren’s rim protection is exactly what Collins needs next to him, and Collins could manage some more physical matchups for Holmgren over stretches early in his career to reduce wear-and-tear. It’s hard to find guys like Holmgren who would bring out the best in Collins’ game.

How he fits in the future is what matters most for Oklahoma City, but I wouldn’t sleep on how he’d help in the present either, given that the Thunder are right in the Play-In Tournament mix. The Thunder are the worst defensive rebounding team in the NBA right now. Collins would come in and immediately give that a boost. He’d also really rebalance the team’s lineups, as OKC is regularly starting Kenrich Williams as a de-facto center. I love Williams’ game and adore him as a role-playing building block, but he gets a lot more use out of his skill set at the four. On top of that, Collins’ playoff experience and willingness to work would benefit the young Thunder core.

Functionally, unless the team was willing to move Lu Dort, this is tough to do at the deadline. I don’t see that happening, so I don’t see this happening right now. Also, I’m skeptical Oklahoma City will go down this road, given the team’s propensity to value ball skills and playmaking. But what if another deadline passes and Collins is still a member of the Hawks? And as The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported, the price tag on Collins does not seem unreasonable. If the team that gets him positions him properly, it’s likely theat franchise gets a good player at a discount. Plus, the team gets very flexible in terms of potential consolidation star trades starting this summer, and Collins could limit that a bit. But I don’t see Collins’ contract as a liability if he’s in the right situation, and Oklahoma City would almost be the perfect one to see him thrive.

Is there a player who isn’t getting a ton of buzz right now who could be moved and make a real difference for a contender? — @AndrewDBailey

Josh Hart is an interesting wing get for a contender if the Blazers look to shake things up. He has a strange contract where he makes about $13 million both this year and next year. But next year is essentially a mutual option. He has a player option that he has to make a decision on first; if he exercises it, the deal becomes non-guaranteed for the team that has him.

His style of play seems suited to the playoffs outside of one flaw. Hart has started for the Blazers this season, taking on tough defensive assignments on the wing and sometimes in the backcourt. He’s a fearless driver and slasher, shooting over 50 percent from the field in each of the last two seasons, and is a killer defensive rebounder who crashes the glass with reckless abandon and is willing to put his body on the line to get loose balls, providing a ton of energy and hustle.

But he passes up 3s all the time. It’s bizarre. He’s cut his 3-point volume in half, taking only two per game after averaging over four attempts over the course of his career prior to this season. This possession is a perfect encapsulation of who Hart has been this season. He gets an offensive rebound off a Lillard miss, finds Lillard cutting to the rim, then goes out to spot up and space the floor, gets the reversal from Simons and doesn’t shoot the open 3. He drives instead and gets swatted.

If I had the choice between Hart and someone like Jae Crowder — two wings on relatively similar salaries who are on deals that could be seen as expiring this year — I’d rather bet on Hart figuring out that he should shoot 3s again. Over the course of his career, he’s right around the 35 percent mark and has never been this averse to taking them before. What are the Blazers looking for to move Hart? That seems unclear. But all of the teams looking for tough wings who can defend, from Cleveland to Atlanta to Phoenix to Sacramento to everyone else, should at least make a call.

What do you think the Hornets can get for Mason Plumlee and Kelly Oubre? — @Al_Smoove

The Hornets should be looking to sell at the deadline to try to pick up as many assets as possible.

Plumlee has been underrated this season as an offensive player. His newfound left-handed midrange jumper has gotten the headlines, but he’s been an incredibly efficient finisher, a tough rebounder and has done his usual high-IQ playmaking out of the high-post and off dribble-handoffs. The problem is he’s on an expiring contract and has enough issues defending at the rim and in space that it’s likely an acquiring team won’t see him as an impact playoff player. I don’t think Charlotte would get much more than a couple of second-rounders for him. Having said that, I wonder if there is a conversation to be had between Charlotte and Plumlee around extending him for one more year at around the $8 million to $10 million mark before trading him.

Mark Williams has shown flashes, and I like him as a long-term defensive prospect, but Plumlee for one more year would provide insurance for the team in the middle and allow Williams time to keep developing. Plus, it’s not so onerous that you would hate it if he becomes a backup next year. He’d still be trade-eligible if something came along, and I don’t really see a 32-year-old center with defensive worries getting that much per year on the open market this offseason. It might be a situation that suits both parties. If they can’t come to that agreement or if the team can find a better insurance option for next season, I would move Plumlee for what I can get and be happy.

The Hornets’ run of bad luck continued with Oubre tearing a ligament in his left hand four weeks ago after his strong scoring run to start the season. Charlotte hasn’t updated his status in a while after initially stating he would miss four to six weeks. Most of Oubre’s value comes as a scorer, and I feel like it would be relatively difficult for any team to feel confident trading a first-rounder for him given that he’s on an expiring contract and is recovering from a torn ligament in his shooting hand. A deal with him is probably going to have to be on the more creative side if the Hornets want to return value for Oubre.

If Charlotte does decide to move on from Plumlee at the deadline, could a Knicks-Hornets deal involving Oubre for Isaiah Hartenstein and Reddish work? Hartenstein is signed for another season but isn’t a fit in New York’s offense after a breakout season last year with the Clippers. He’d fit much better in Charlotte as a passer and playmaker in on-ball actions with LaMelo Ball and would provide some insurance at the position at a cost that isn’t all that onerous next year ($8.2 million). The Hornets would also get to take the flier on Reddish and potentially allow him to get some of the playing time he desperately needs, as mentioned above. For the Knicks, they’d get off the Hartenstein contract for next season and also take a chance on a player with an expiring contract who could help them off the bench during a playoff run. That feels like a win-win.

(Top photo of O.G. Anunoby: Trevor Ruszkowski / USA Today)

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Pistons rookies Jaden Ivey and Jalen Durren continue to develop critical chemistry

Each pass recently thrown by Jaden Ivey seemed to find Jalen Duren’s hand before being dunked hard through the basket.

Whether the ball is going up, down, or through the crowd, both Pistons rookies were recently named participants in the Rising Star event at All-Star Weekend, and as the season progresses. It seems more and more connected. Their growing chemistry has led to easy buckets that can be hard to come by in Detroit.

Ivey has provided 27 assists in his last 4 matches, 12 (44%) of which have come from Duren. The rookie ball-handler has evolved as a playmaker in recent weeks. He’s getting more requests, so naturally he has more opportunities to interact with Duren.

But there is something about their partnership that cannot be quantified.

“They worked through the situation and worked together after practice,” Detroit head coach Dwayne Casey said of Ivy and Durren. “They’ve been trying to get each other into rhythm, feel each other, figure out where each other is going as far as pocket passes are concerned. Moved to unit, Cade (Cunningham) out, Corey (Joseph) out, (Ivy) last standing.

“He does an excellent job of reading and making simple plays, easy, obvious passes. He’s learning how to be a point guard. It wasn’t a point guard, and this is where it’s hard to learn how to play the point guard position.”

This first clip summarizes the progress both have made, and is arguably the best example of how much they’ve both come together when it comes to being patient and manipulating their defenses in unison.

No need to rush. Everything is perfectly timed. The most impressive thing is that after receiving the screen from Duren, Ivy here he is using three different gears. Ivey’s biggest offensive problem this season has been playing at a very high speed. On this play, it’s clear he’s starting to figure out how to diversify his pace. Ivey starts sprinting to create his first space, slowing down to give the impression of passing. He then does a crab dribble to allow Duren to run. Two months ago, Ivey might not have been able to make this play under such control.

As for Duren, his patience is tremendous here as well. After setting the screen, he takes his time making his way to the rim. It’s not until he sees both defenders Detroit put into pick-and-roll action locked on Ivy that he sprints to the basket. Durren had the ball in the early minutes.

Now the play is designed for Düren backcutting after setting up a screen for Bojan Bogdanovic. It’s not impromptu. It also gives Ivey two options in one. He can either play it safe and pass it to Bogdanović or trust Duren to have the ball ready when he cuts.

Both Ivey and Duren read the defense perfectly. The video he freezes at 2 seconds and you can see that Ivey already knows where to go with the ball. Pistons Wing’s Alec Burks empties into the opposite corner to ensure none of the Nets are in a hugely helpful position around the basket. provides all the space you need. Very good play design.

Ivey is not afraid that Duren is not ready to receive the pass. He knows Duren sees what he sees. Ivy prepares to throw the ball before Duren actually completes the screen. Duren turns her head quickly after making contact with the screen, making clean catches with perfect strides and easy layups.

This final clip is all about trust between two rookies who will likely give the Pistons an All-Rookie selection for the third year in a row.

First of all, kudos to Ivey for keeping his dribble alive despite some awkward defensive pressure from the backs. He could have easily picked up the dribble. Instead, keeping it alive allows him to give himself a better angle to complete a subtly difficult pass, and Ivey makes sure Brook Lopez has his head turned But after Rolling he must trust Duren to seal Drue Holiday.

Durren not only does a great job of cutting off the road to Holliday’s Pass, but he makes himself available to Ivy. The former immediately raises both hands and demands the ball as he steps into the paint.

Duren trusts Ivey to deliver, and Ivey trusts Duren to make the catch despite minimal space. Both have played important roles for the Pistons, and for three straight seasons he has had at least one All-Rookie selection, and there are likely multiple such picks for his second in that span. (2020-21 with Sadiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart).

Trust goes a long way, and the trust Ivey and Duren have shown in each other has seen both develop significantly in recent weeks.



NBA Trade Deadline Primer: Analysis of Proposed Pistons Trade

(Photo by Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey: Nic Antaya / Getty Images)

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