Markelle Fultz, Karl-Anthony Towns react to the Jimmy Butler trade
Consider now two on-court reactions to the Jimmy Butler trade from two players heavily affected by the proceedings.
First, we turn to Minnesota where Karl-Anthony Towns, tormented in the media and during at least one random practice session by Butler, played his first game since the trade on Monday. Towns finished with 25 points on 9-11 shooting with 21 rebounds and, uh, 10 turnovers. He also had one bizarre little quote about leadership. In all, pretty good.
Second, we look to Philadelphia, where Markelle Fultz likely played his last game of the near term as a starter -- we expect Butler to supplant him in the front five this week. Fultz is also the top candidate to be tormented by Butler based on history. (Jimmy Butler, what a guy!) Fultz shot 2-8 from the floor and had yet another absolutely bizarre moment with a terrible hitch on a free throw, later saying the ball slipped out. His (former) trainer took the opportunity to leak to reporters he’s no longer working with Fultz and they aren’t on speaking terms. In all, pretty bad.
Did we account for all of this extraneous impacts when grading the Butler trade? Should we have?
What’s next for the Timberwolves and Tom Thibodeau? Seerat Sohi on why Jimmy Butler and the Sixers need each other.
Poor, poor Caris LeVert. He was having a legitimate breakout season for the Nets and he suffered a very, very bad leg injury on Monday night. Hoping for a clean, quick recovery.
Really cool project by Nylon Calculus where you adjust your priorities (individual peak, longevity, rings, scoring, etc.) and it spits out an algorithmic Top 50 of All-Time. My top five goes Kareem, LeBron, MJ, Wilt and Duncan, which is pretty close to how I would have otherwise listed my top five (MJ, LeBron, Kareem, Duncan, Oscar).
What a win by the Clippers over the Warriors. Montrezl Harrell is real.
LOL LeBron almost lost it with his loony Lakers teammates already.
Carmelo Anthony has, by the numbers, been extraordinarily bad this season. I ask three questions whose answers will determine his basketball future, or whether he has one. Woj reports that Melo’s camp is looking at other team.
Alex Wong has a new podcast, and in the first episode he talks to the very funny Alex Chieng about all things NBA.
In a very good piece on DeMar DeRozan looking forward from San Antonio, Jonathan Abrams reports that the All-Star found out he was traded by the Raptors in a Jack in the Box, where he then stayed two hours processing the news.
Kyrie Irving being mysterious and conspiratorial in discussing his team’s struggles? He learned at the feet of the best.
Be excellent to each other.