In case you missed any of this past week’s biggest stories from around the NBA, we’ve got you covered with our Week in Review. Listed below are some of the most noteworthy stories from the last seven days.
The Sixers acquired Jimmy Butler in a blockbuster trade with the Timberwolves. In a ground-shaking move to make the Eastern Conference Finals this season and beyond, Philadelphia added another All-Star level talent to team up with the dynamic duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The Sixers also acquired Justin Patton in the deal while giving up two starters — Robert Covington and Dario Saric — along with Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round pick. The Sixers now look like the Celtics’ biggest threat in the conference and put themselves in position to sign the impending free agent to a long-term contract. Meanwhile, Minnesota rids itself of the Butler drama and gets two solid players in return.
The Sixers lost rookie guard Zhaire Smith for the remainder of the season. Complications due to an allergic reaction have sidelined Smith indefinitely. He underwent surgery during the summer to repair a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his left foot and was originally scheduled to return sometime next month. Smith suffered the allergic reaction while recovering from the surgery. Philadelphia first-round picks have been snakebit in recent years. Simmons and Embiid had their first season delayed by injuries and Markelle Fultz‘s rookie season was marred by a shoulder injury and shooting issues.
The Lakers signed veteran center Tyson Chandler after he reached a buyout with the Suns and cleared waivers. The Lakers were seeking a solid backup to JaVale McGee and added another veteran free agent in Chandler, whose playing time diminished with the Suns after they drafted Deandre Ayton. Chandler, 36, played 23 minutes and grabbed eight rebounds in his first game with his latest team.
The Cavaliers worked out a new contract with coach Larry Drew. Drew wanted some security after replacing Tyronn Lue and the front office obliged. Drew will coach the team for the remainder of the season and will receive a buyout if the organization decides to go in another direction next season.
Lakers president Magic Johnson declared that he has no plans to fire head coach Luke Walton. After word leaked that Johnson had admonished his head coach over a variety of issues, the Hall of Famer made a point of saying he wasn’t looking to make a coaching change. Expectations have naturally risen since LeBron James decided to join the franchise and Walton will remain on shaky ground, regardless of Johnson’s vote of confidence, as long as the team struggles to develop into a playoff contender.
Here are 10 more notable NBA headlines from the last week:
- The Celtics downplayed a report that backup point guard Terry Rozier is unhappy with his role.
- The NBA and players’ union reached an agreement to televise the All-Star draft.
- The Thunder received a scare when Russell Westbrook had to exit Monday’s game against New Orleans with an injury. Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing more than a left ankle sprain.
- After getting off to a slow start, the Rockets brought assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik out of retirement to improve the team’s defense.
- The chances of Kawhi Leonard playing for the Lakers may be diminishing, according to a report.
- Lamar Odom said he plans to join the BIG3 League next season.
- Elite prospect Jalen Lecque, who is in his fifth year of high school, announced he might enter the 2019 draft.
- The Cavaliers signed guard Andrew Harrison to a two-way contract.
- Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis and coach David Fizdale tried to clear up confusion over whether Porzingis is able to run yet in his recovery from knee injury.
- Warriors star guard Stephen Curry suffered an adductor strain that will keep him out of at least one game.