Anthony Davis

Southwest Notes: Parker, Pelicans, Selden, Mavs

Tony Parker spoke about his role on the Spurs with Jabari Young of, saying he’s “blessed” to still have fun playing the game.

“Guys have worse (injuries); you know? Knees, Achilles, stuff like that,” Parker said. “I’ve been playing for 16 years. All season long for the Spurs, and then all summer internationally. And the way I play, with speed and going into the trees (the paint), getting hit so many times and going to the ground so many times, I feel very blessed to still be out there.”

Parker realizes his limitations at 34 years old, unable to fill the stat sheet the way he did in 2008/09, when he averaged 22 PPG with 6.9 APG. Nevertheless, Parker occupies an important spot in Gregg Popovich‘s rotation, and will be relied upon as San Antonio continues its march toward the postseason.

“It obviously helps if I play well,” said Parker. “I love it. I think the evolution in anybody’s career is, as you get older, you have to adjust to who is the main guys on your team. Try to be a factor just like Manu (Ginobili) did. Just like Timmy (Duncan] did. I just try and do the same thing.”

More from around the Southwest…

  • Having now won four of their last five, the Pelicans are starting to gel offensively, William Guillory of writes. The Pels have reason for optimism following their winning stretch, but must keep up their pace with only 12 games left in the regular season. “When all three of us are playing well like that, we’re tough to beat,” said Anthony Davis, referring to himself, DeMarcus Cousins, and Jrue Holiday. “Guys are stepping up and making big plays, especially at the right time. Guys are doing things that we need them to do. I just feel like we’re gelling and clicking at the right time.”
  • Grizzlies coach David Fizdale told Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal that Memphis’ signing of Wayne Selden was a result of Chandler Parsons‘ season-ending injury. Selden, who had most recently received NBA minutes with the Pelicans, was signed to a multiyear contract.
  • While there’s no “magic wand” to fix the Mavericks‘ problems, there are adjustments Rick Carlisle can make, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas News writes. “Philly’s a team you can learn from,” Carlisle said of Dallas’ recent blowout loss to the Sixers. “They win their games on sheer persistence and hard play. And that’s what’s gotten us wins when we’ve been successful over the last two months. We took a pretty significant step back last night. We watched film. We saw the nightmare of last night. It’s pretty clear we’ve got to adjust our disposition. And we’ve got to move the ball better.”

Pelicans Notes: Cousins, Davis, Crawford

The Pelicans‘ “new-look” roster is struggling, Justin Verrier of ESPN writes. While the blockbuster trade for DeMarcus Cousins brought peak national interest, the Pels currently sit 4.5 games behind Denver for the eighth seed. Anthony Davis had no answers for the team’s recent shortcomings.

“I don’t know the reason. We’re just not making shots,” Davis said. “Guys are in the gym every day practicing those shots and making those shots. But it’s not disrupting everything else we’re doing. Of course, it helps when we make them. Whoever’s shooting, if they’re open, we tell them to keep shooting. That’s the only way it’s going to help our offense.”

The team’s period of adjustment with Boogie and AD has been “jarring,” despite the modest resources the team gave up to acquire Cousins.

More from NOLA…

  • With Cousins by his side, Davis could cement his role as basketball’s greatest rising star, Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report writes. “He [Davis] turns 24 Saturday, more aware than ever that the only way to make that leap from hypothetical franchise player to historic one is via winning,” Ding writes. “His positivity regarding the Pelicans franchise despite poor personnel work by management and the uninspired hiring of Alvin Gentry has now been rewarded with Cousins’ arrival, so the window for excuses is starting to close.”
  • Jordan Crawford, who scored 19 points in his team debut Wednesday, discussed his NBA return with William Guillory of “(Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry) said he was going to play me and I was surprised he threw me in so early,” Crawford said. “I just wanted to be aggressive and play my game. I worked towards it–getting back. It feels good just to continue the process.”
  • Cousins was fined $50K for “two instances of inappropriate language directed toward fans,” Justin Verrier of ESPN writes. Cousins was caught on tape in each instance, following match-ups with the Jazz and Lakers. Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers took issue with Boogie’s fine, tweeting “Boogie got fined 50k ? For saying something back to a fan? Smh I done had some wild stuff said to me out there…. That’s a lot of bread.” (Twitter link)

Southwest Notes: Parsons, Noel, Cousins, Davis

Chandler Parsons played in back-to-back games for the first time since signing with the Grizzlies this summer, writes Tim MacMahon of The action came Friday and Saturday against his two former teams, the Mavericks and Rockets, and although he didn’t put up great numbers, Memphis was encouraged to have him on the court. Parsons has battled through a string of injuries since joining the Grizzlies on a four-year, $94MM deal last summer, appearing in just 32 games so far and averaging less than 20 minutes per night. “Look, I signed a four-year deal. I didn’t sign a one-year deal,” Parsons said. “The team expectations for me are to go very slow. It’s going to be a long process.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Nerlens Noel may be claiming the Mavericks‘ starting center spot sooner than expected, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Noel made his first start Friday since joining the team and responded with 15 points and 17 rebounds in a win over the Grizzlies. “He did a good job, very active,” Carlisle said of his new big man. “It’s very difficult to outrebound this team and when you got a guy getting 17, that’s a big part of that. He did a very good job.”
  • Many thought the Pelicans were a sure thing to grab the final playoff spot after acquiring DeMarcus Cousins, but they’re running out of time to make a postseason push, notes Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune. New Orleans was two and a half games behind Denver for the eighth spot in the West when it traded for Cousins on February 25th. Since then, the Pelicans are 1-4, with the only victory coming in a game where Cousins was suspended. They have fallen to 24-38, which puts them in 13th place, four games in back of the Nuggets. “It’s still a work in progress,” Cousins said after Friday’s loss to the Spurs.
  • Cousins has adapted quickly to life in New Orleans, according to Justin Verrier of He and Anthony Davis had a minus-11.9 net rating while sharing the court heading into Friday’s game, but individually they have the highest player efficiency ratings in the league since the All-Star break. Despite the struggles, Cousins has found no trouble settling into his new home. “He definitely embraced it all,” Davis said of Cousins’ experience on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans. “He kept telling me he was happy to be here.”

And-Ones: Cavs, Bogut, Barnes, Holiday

The Cavs won’t make a decision on Larry Sanders until after the trade deadline, Dave McMenamin of passes along (ESPN Now link). Cleveland is also keeping an eye on the Andrew Bogut situation. The Cavs would like to bring the center aboard and they’re expected to be in the mix for him.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Several teams have expressed interest in Matt Barnes, Ramona Shelburne of tweets. Sources tell Shelburne that he’s waiting until after the trade deadline to make a decision.
  • Jarrett Jack will audition for the Pelicans, Marc Stein of tweets. New Orleans is pursuing backcourt help after trading away several players in the DeMarcus Cousins deal.
  • Point guard and pending free agent Jrue Holiday said the Pelicans “see me as a part of [the future],” the team tweets. The organization is calling Holiday, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis their version of a Big Three.
  • Mike Bibby and Ricky Davis will be the co-captains of the Ghost Ballers, the fourth official team in the new 3-on-3 league, according to a press release on
  • Thunder center Enes Kanter returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing arm surgery, Royce Young of reports. It’s uncertain whether Kanter, who suffered a broken arm punching a chair on the bench on January 26th, will return to action on Friday against the Lakers.
  • Former Rockets center Yao Ming, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year, has been appointed as president of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to an report. He gave up ownership of the league’s Shanghai Sharks in order to take over his new role.

Chris Crouse contributed to this post

Anthony Davis Lobbying Jrue Holiday To Re-Sign With Pelicans

Anthony Davis reiterated this week that he has no plans to leave the Pelicans, and now that he’s settling in for a long-term stay in New Orleans, the former No. 1 overall pick is working on making sure one of his most talented teammates sticks around in a while. As ESPN’s Marc Stein writes, Davis said on Thursday that he intends to be “very involved” in trying to persuade Jrue Holiday to re-sign with the Pelicans this summer.

“I’m doing that right now,” Davis said. “I talk to Jrue all the time. He’ll make his own decisions, but of course we like him here. … We need him to continue to play well and then, at the end of the season, hopefully he decides to re-sign with us.”

Although the Pelicans have had a disappointing season overall, they’ve played much better when Holiday has been in the lineup, going 21-21 with him and 2-13 without him. A .500 record for the season would put New Orleans in playoff position in the Western Conference, but currently the club is vying with a handful of teams for the No. 8 seed.

Unlike Davis, who is under team control through at least the 2019/20 season, Holiday will have the opportunity to hit the open market this July, and could decide to join a new team at that point. While it’s a little early to identify a list of potential suitors for the veteran point guard, the Sixers are believed to be interested in reacquiring him, and Philadelphia should have a good chunk of cap room available in the offseason. Our list of 2017 free agents by position features several intriguing point guards, though marquee players like Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, and Kyle Lowry are considered very unlikely to change teams.

Holiday, 26, is enjoying one of this best seasons as a pro in 2016/17, shooting a career-high 46.8% from the field and 39.3% from three-point range. He’s also averaging 16.3 PPG, 7.5 APG, and 1.6 SPG in 42 games.

Anthony Davis: ‘I Don’t Plan On Leaving’ Pelicans

It has been another disappointing season so far for the Pelicans, who remain in the hunt for the No. 8 seed in the West but are currently just 22-34, 12th in the conference. Still, despite the fact that the team appears headed for its fourth losing season in five years since drafting Anthony Davis, the former No. 1 pick told reporters on Tuesday that he has no desire to leave New Orleans.

“I don’t plan on leaving, so make sure you write that down,” Davis said when asked about trade speculation, per Jeff Duncan of The New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Davis’ stance, which he has expressed in the past, doesn’t come as a real shock. He’s in the first year of a long-term contract, which means he won’t be eligible for free agency until at least 2020, and the Pelicans have never expressed any desire to move him. If a star player wants a change of scenery, he could put pressure on his team by privately or publicly expressing his dissatisfaction, but Davis hasn’t done that. He suggested on Tuesday’s conference call that he remains confident in New Orleans’ ability to contend.

“We’ve got to find a way to keep fighting,” Davis said. “We have a team that is able to compete for the playoffs. We showed that a couple of times this year (in January wins against the Cavaliers and Spurs). We feel we are just as good as any other team in this league. We just need to find a way to stay a little more healthy and be a little more consistent.”

Even though they’re currently 12 games below .500, the Pelicans appear to be prepared to buy, rather than sell, at next week’s trade deadline. Recent reports have indicated that they’re eyeing players like Jahlil Okafor and Brook Lopez as they dangle their 2018 first-round pick in search of a center to complement Davis in the frontcourt. For his part, Davis says he’s not lobbying the team to make a move.

“That’s up to the front office,” Davis said. “Whatever the front office tries to do, they come to me and ask me my opinion. But right now I’m just trying to help the team win and do my job.”

Kennedy’s Latest: Suns, Collison, Thunder, Pacers

The Suns would like to package their young players and draft picks in order to bring a star to Phoenix, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype writes. Executives around the league tell Kennedy that they expect the Suns to continue their rebuild and trade away some of their veterans should they not be able to land a star player.

Here’s more from Kennedy’s piece:

  • The Kings have made several players available, including Darren Collison. The point guard, who will be a free agent after the season, has seen an expanded role on the team since Rudy Gay injured his Achilles, as I wrote in this week’s Fantasy Hoops.
  • It’s unclear whether the Thunder will be buyers or sellers at the deadline, but they are expected to be active. “They will do something, one way or the other. They won’t stand pat,” one anonymous GM told Kennedy.
  • The Pacers are willing to trade anyone on the roster with the exception being Paul George, Kennedy reports.
  • The Carmelo Anthony-to-Cleveland trade talks were “overblown,” Kennedy adds. The Cavs are still looking for outside help, as they are reportedly in trade discussions with several teams.
  • Anthony Davis isn’t going anywhere and Jrue Holiday is unlikely to be traded, but anyone else on the Pelicans‘ roster is on the table in trade talks, according to Kennedy.
  • Serge Ibaka was traded to the Raptors earlier today and a source tells Kennedy that Toronto was his preferred destination.

Westbrook Tops Snub List Among All-Star Starters

Triple-double machine Russell Westbrook, the league’s leading scorer, will not be among the Western Conference starters for next month’s All-Star Game in New Orleans. The league’s Twitter feed unveiled the starters for each conference, and the Thunder superstar lost out in the balloting to Stephen Curry and James Harden (Twitter links).

As’s Rachel Nichols points out, the fan voting counts for 50%, while the players’ votes weigh in at 25%, as does the media vote under the revised system. According to NBC’s Kurt Helin, Westbrook missed out because the fans had him third among Western Conference guards behind Curry and Harden.

Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant will comprise the starting frontcourt for the West.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler and LeBron James were selected as the frontcourt starters for the Eastern Conference. DeMar DeRozan and Kyrie Irving were chosen as the starting backcourt.

It’s a breakthrough for Antetokounmpo, who will be making his first All-Star appearance. Arguably the biggest snub on the Eastern Conference side was Celtics point man Isaiah Thomas, the fourth-leading scorer in the league and the conference’s top scorer.

Do you think Westbrook should have garnered a starting spot ahead of Curry or Harden? Besides Westbrook, which other player has the biggest beef about failing to land a starting spot in the league’s annual showcase event? Take to the comments section to share your thoughts.

Lowe’s Latest: Barnes, Howard, Evans

Zach Lowe of examines the Pelicans‘ roster building strategy and cautions that the team doesn’t have much time to build a championship roster around Anthony Davis in his latest piece. It’s is packed full of noteworthy trade rumors and tidbits, including the story we passed along earlier today about how the Sixers will take a “hard look” at Jrue Holiday in free agency.

Here are more highlights from the piece:

  • The Pelicans considered making a sizable offer to Harrison Barnes in free agency before deciding to spend their available cap space on multiple players, sources tell Lowe. The scribe adds that Barnes would have considered New Orleans had the team contacted him.
  • The Hawks and Pelicans had exploratory talks about a Dwight Howard deal a couple weeks ago, but that was before Atlanta pulled all of its players off the trade market. Lowe notes that it’s unclear how interested New Orleans was in the deal and adds that there was not unanimous support to acquire Howard within the organization.
  • If the Pelicans decide to shake up the front office at the end of the season, Danny Ferry, who is currently serving in an advisory role with the team, is not likely to take over GM duties, sources tell Lowe.
  • Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday will both be free agents this offseason and Lowe notes that it will be hard for the Pelicans to keep both. The scribe adds that retaining Holiday remains New Orleans’ higher priority.

And-Ones: Davis, Harris, Blair, Bentil

Anthony Davis left today’s game versus the Pacers after injuring his right hip and left thumb. The X-rays he received on both areas came back negative, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Davis hurt his left hip last week against the Knicks, which forced him to miss the ensuing contest against the Nets. The Pelicans won’t play again until Wednesday, so the team will have a couple of days to evaluate Davis’ latest ailment. The big man has only missed three games this season, though he missed parts of six other contests because of various injuries.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Gary Harris injured his right ankle today and he’s not expected to play on Tuesday when the Nuggets take on the Lakers, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post relays. Injuries have prevented Harris from suiting up in 21 of the team’s 38 games this season.
  • The Texas Legends, the D-League affiliate of the Mavs, have acquired DeJuan Blair, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back (Twitter link). Blair played for the Wizards last season before the team traded him to the Suns in the Markieff Morris deal. Phoenix waived the power forward just days after the trade.
  • Ben Bentil has rejoined the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League, Reichert reports (Twitter link). Bentil played for the Mad Ants earlier in the season before taking a deal in China.
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