Did Cavaliers latest move pave the way for Kevin Love trade?

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Did Cavaliers latest move pave the way for Kevin Love trade?

Kevin Love's days in Cleveland seem numbered. 

After calling out his GM, being fined, sitting out, showing frustrations outwardly on the court, failing to play defense when he is on the court... there's no love in Cleveland, which sure seems to be leading to no Love in Cleveland. 

In recent weeks, the Cavaliers appear to be preparing for the day Love, who is in the first year of his four-year contract extension that pays him $120 million, will be traded. 

In order to make that deal, though, Cleveland will likely have to take more in than they will send out. Meaning, multiple players will likely come in a deal to balance the money Love commands. 

Monday, Cleveland signed guard Levi Randolph to a Two-Way contract and waived forwards Alfonzo McKinnie and Tyler Cook. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers traded Jordan Clarkson to the Utah Jazz in December in return for Donte Exum and two second-round draft picks.

To sum up that deal: Cleveland sent 14.6 points per game Utah for $3.8 million in cap relief and some picks.

Cleveland now has two open roster spots, leaving many to speculate that a deal could be coming soon. 

Those in pursuit of Love have to be salivating.  

Could Portland be one of those suitors?

They currently have a boatload of expiring contracts and are looking to turn their injury-riddled season around. This might be the jolt they need. 

Time will tell.

Damian Lillard suggests NCAA Tournament format if NBA play resumes

Damian Lillard suggests NCAA Tournament format if NBA play resumes

With so much up in the air right now, Trail Blazers All-Star point guard is all for experimenting if the NBA is able to resume its 2019-20 season.

Even an NCAA single-elimination tournament?? 

Maybe.

This past December, reports surfaced that “play-in tournaments” to decide the final two playoff teams in both the Western and Eastern Conference was an idea that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was tossing around.

Earlier in the season, the NBA sent out a proposal to teams for a possible 78-game regular season, along with an in-season tournament for all teams, plus, a possible play-in tournament and more.

And that was well before anyone knew the league would be on a hiatus due to a global pandemic.

The Trail Blazers held a video press conference Tuesday afternoon, where Lillard explored the idea of a play-in tournament.

When the season does come back, I feel like it’s only right that teams get a chance to make a playoff push, like ourselves, give us a chance to get in. Or, some type of tournament style where it’s fair… It’s obviously gonna be a different situation than it has ever been, so maybe they should do something that has never been done. Or something that is going to make this year very unique like it already has been. – Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard

Lillard also mentioned he hasn’t heard anything about when or if the NBA is going to restart, but he added, “It’s kind of starting to feel like postseason, like the season is over. So, we’ll see.”

[RELATED]: Damian Lillard would not be a fan of starting NBA seasons later than usual

The proposed ‘play-in tournament’ from the NBA back in December called for the regular season to end on a Saturday, exactly one week before the start of the playoffs; as opposed to ending it on Wednesday which has been the case for years.

The top six teams in each conference would be secured to make the playoffs, while teams in the seventh through 10th spots would play against each other like so:  

The No. 7 and No. 8 teams would play and then that winner would clinch the No. 7 playoff seed. The teams holding the ninth and 10th-place spots would also play. The winner of that game would play the loser of the No. 7 and No. 8 game to determine the No. 8 playoff seed.

From there, the first two rounds of the playoffs would be played as usual.

Lillard is all for some type of play-in tournament for this season, because, as we all know, he wants to make sure his team has a shot at making the playoffs.

But, he is also not opposed to experimenting even more than just a play-in tourney.

 “They should do something like the NCAA tournament with every team. Single-game elimination, all the way up until maybe the Conference Finals or something like that, and then it's a three-game series, just so we don’t got to start the season off track next year,” Lillard said.

The five-time All-Star truly believes the time to really experiment is now.

“They could get creative. If there was any time for them to get super creative and people will be tuned in and excited about it with everything that’s going on, I think this is the time.” 

Damian Lillard would not be a fan of starting NBA seasons later than usual

Damian Lillard would not be a fan of starting NBA seasons later than usual

There are many ideas about when, or even if, this NBA season will finish and then, when the next season would start.

There has been talk of this season resuming sometime around June and playoffs pushing into August, which could theoretically mean a late start to next season.

It’s even rumored that Commissioner Adam Silver has always wanted to push the season’s start to Christmas Day, thus avoiding direct competition with the majority of the football season. That would mean the upcoming 2020-21 season could be used as a test for such a plan.

But don’t count the Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard among those who would like to start next season late. In a video conference with media Tuesday, Lillard said that he is against moving the season and believes most other NBA players would be, too.

“I don’t think so,” Lillard said. “I just don’t see it. I mean, the season starts when it starts now, then February all-star weekend, getting toward the end of the season in April and then getting into the playoffs. You get that early June Finals and then you get to go off into your summer.”

And a lot of players want their extended time off to be in the summer, not the fall and winter.

 “You get to enjoy real-time summer,” Lillard said. “Our break is into the summer and then you get to come back as summer is leaving. I think that’s been perfect.”

Silver would likely need the players association to go along with a major change like this one -- something the players might do in an emergency situation like this year just to get this season completed … but as for a permanent change?

“It’s been perfect for us,” Lillard said. “So, for that to change and for things to be pushed back, I’m definitely not a fan of that and I don’t see many guys being a fan of that.”

Damian Lillard contributed $100,000 to help Moda Center employees

Damian Lillard contributed $100,000 to help Moda Center employees

On March 17th, the Trail Blazers announced a plan to assist the employees at Moda Center. 

“To assist game night employees impacted by the NBA’s postponement, Jody Allen and the Portland Trail Blazers are committing more than $1.4 million towards COVID-19 relief effort. This includes paying part-time Rose Quarter employees for nine postponed Trail Blazers games.”

On Tuesday, Damian Lillard revealed during a video press conference that $100,000 of that came from him. 

Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo was one of the first to announce on social media that he has pledged $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff in order to aid in offsetting costs related to employees’ loss of earnings. While, Kevin Love also donated 

$100,000 through the Kevin Love fund to support the arena staff employees in Cleveland.

It’s bigger than basketball! And during this tough time I want to help the people that make my life, my family’s lives and my teammates lives easier. Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together! -- Giannis Antetokounmpo wrote on his Twitter

The NBA announced earlier in March that it launched the "NBA Together" campaign to contribute and raise more than $50 million to support people impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

It's a coordinated effort between the NBA, WNBA, G League and NBA 2K League, with more than $30 million already committed by the leagues, teams and athletes.

The program features four pillars—Know the Facts, Acts of Caring, Expand Your Community and NBA Together Live—to help increase knowledge about the coronavirus and help those affected by the disease.

"The phrase 'bigger than basketball' is often used when discussing the efforts of a player or team to make a positive impact in their community," the release said. "The response to this global pandemic is the epitome of 'bigger than basketball' as the NBA looks to do its part to help people across the globe come together and work through these tough times."

Hassan Whiteside to play in NBA 2k players only tournament

Hassan Whiteside to play in NBA 2k players only tournament

It was announced late Monday that the NBA would be partnering with 2k Sports to hold a special players-only NBA 2k Tournament

Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, DeMarcus Cousins, and Andre Drummond were the first names announced, but we had no idea who the other 12 would be. 

Here in Rip City, speculation started that Hassan Whiteside could be among the entrants. 

Those with an eye on social media may have noticed what Whiteside said about the tournament on Instagram.

Still, nothing was official... until now.

The Boardroom announced the full list or participants on Tuesday, confirming our suspicions - Whiteside is in!

As the No.3 three seed, the Blazers center will have a first-round matchup against No.14 Pat Beverley.

It's well-known in the Blazers locker room that Whiteside is a big fan of NBA 2k. In fact, he often boasts about beating Gary Trent Jr.

Whiteside knows 2k so well, that he even imitates it in real life.

View this post on Instagram

That LAG spike🥴😂 #nba2k

A post shared by Hassan Whiteside (@hassanwhiteside) on

Other entrants include Derrick Jones Jr., Trae Young, Harrison Barnes, Rui Hachimura, Devin Booker, Michael Porter Jr., Zach Lavine, DeAndre Ayton, Montrezl Harrell, and Domantas Sabonis.

The tournament will air on ESPN, but the details of the event are still being finalized. 

CJ McCollum and all of Rip City react AGAIN to Trail Blazers Game 7 win over Nuggets

CJ McCollum and all of Rip City react AGAIN to Trail Blazers Game 7 win over Nuggets

All the emotions resurfaced for this classic game.

Game 7 of last year’s playoffs between the Trail Blazers and Nuggets had a little bit of everything!

And as all the postseason feelings came rushing back, it was fun to relive this comeback win with Rip City Faithful. 

Heading into the final game of the series, here is how things played out:

Game 1 Mon. April 29 DENVER 121, Portland 113

Game 2 Wed. May 1 Portland 97, DENVER 90

Game 3 Fri. May 3 PORTLAND 140, Denver 137 (4OT)

Game 4 Sun. May 5 Denver 116, PORTLAND 112

Game 5 Tue. May 7 DENVER 124, Portland 98

Game 6 Thurs. May 9 PORTLAND 119, Denver 108

The win in Denver was in big thanks to CJ McCollum, who posted 37 points and nine rebounds to lead the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 19 years.

McCollum got it done on both ends too.

We can’t forget about that chase-down swat!

The Trail Blazers shooting guard’s crucial chase-down block on Jamal Murray in crunch time helped turn the tide as the Blazers beat the Nuggets 100-96.

McCollum hit the Blazers first three pointer of the game about four minutes into the second quarter. Portland started the game 0-for-10 from deep.

He was the only Blazer scoring at ease early on.

During tonight's replay of the game, The Trail Blazers shooting guard was live-tweeting the second half on the Trail Blazers’ Twitter, because as CJ put it: “The first half was a snoozefest.”

McCollum’s second half play-by-play was as fantastic as his play in Game 7.

The pull-up jumper to put the Blazers up three with just under 12 seconds remaining in the game was just what McCollum wanted – he got to his spot.

AND... McCollum was out there spitting the truth on Twitter as well:

Plus, he broke the news that he and his fiancée Elise are officially adopting their puppy that they have been fostering for the last week. 

It’s really no surprise this series went to seven games. Denver won the regular season series against Portland in 2018-19, 3-1. All four games were decided by single digits.

And even though it was the CJ McCollum takeover game, Evan Turner was also clutch down the stretch.  ET came up big from the free throw line in the final seconds, while scoring 10 of his 14 points for the game in the fourth quarter.

Turner was fresh after not playing that much in the series, but was given extra minutes after Rodney Hood went out with a knee injury.  

 

ET had scored just four points in the first six games of the series before his clutch Game 7 performance.

What a night it was! To be heading to the team’s first WCF appearance in 19 years was a pretty overwhelming feeling for all of Portland, but especially for the leader of Rip City, Damian Lillard.

There really were so many great memories from that night. And Meyers Leonard even reminded us what the celebration was like in the locker room.

It was also a nice chance to trash talk Denver Nuggets fans once again:

Now, here’s to hoping the NBA resumes and the Trail Blazers are given the chance to get back to the playoffs.

Damian Lillard and his mom bring us the content we need right now

Damian Lillard and his mom bring us the content we need right now

Technology is a wonderful thing.

It allows us to be entertained and stay connected on the daily, but has never been as useful as it has in the past few weeks. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of people into self-isolation and social distancing. No big get-togethers. No big family parties.

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, he's just like the rest of us - stuck in his house going stir crazy.

And just like us, he turned to technology to entertain himself. In doing so, he entertained all of us.

Lillard was on Instagram Live having a chat with his mom. 

Lillard, at the request of his mom, played some E-40 and the two started an impromptu karaoke session.

It was wholesome, sweet, and funny all wrapped into one. 

In these tough times, we have to find joy wherever we can. 

On Monday, Lillard and his mom made it easy for all of us. 

Hear it all in the video above, and be sure to put it on repeat. 

FULL FEATURE: Jusuf Nurkic-- Not done yet

FULL FEATURE: Jusuf Nurkic-- Not done yet

Now that we are nearly three weeks in of the NBA suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Trail Blazers fans have been eager to find out how their favorite Blazer players are doing.

Our Trail Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes caught up with Jusuf Nurkic to find that out and get his thoughts on many of the current happenings in the NBA world.

For one, Nurkic is in favor of play-in tournament for the playoffs should the NBA resume play.

The Trail Blazers center also discussed why his targeted date of Mar. 15 against the Houston Rockets was a “perfect” game for him to make his debut.  

And, we didn’t let Nurkic get off the hook that easy. We finally found out if he knew that referee Tyler Ford had kicked his leg while he was laying on the baseline immediately after the gruesome injury.

Nurk says he"can't get over" that incident.

Plus, the Bosnian Beast let’s us know what he has been up to while self-isolating, which he says he is now an expert at since he has pretty much been a homebody for the past year rehabbing his leg.

Oh and, Nurk is like all of us – “Thank god for Netflix.”

Check out the entire Jusuf Nurkic interview above. 

The NBA sorted into Hogwarts Houses: CJ McCollum is a Hufflepuff?

The NBA sorted into Hogwarts Houses: CJ McCollum is a Hufflepuff?

Quidditch isn’t the only sport in the wizarding world of Harry Potter anymore.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Harry Potter franchise that has forever changed the reality we live in today, Hogwarts is the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The school is divided into four houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin.

Upon arrival for your first year at Hogwarts, students are placed into one of the four houses based upon character and personality traits. 

Gryffindor: brave and daring

Ravenclaw: wisdom and willingness to learn new things

Hufflepuff: described as loyal, just, hardworking and nice

Slytherin: sly, cunning and would do anything to achieve their own goals

Ever wonder which house your favorite NBA player would be sorted into? Look no further.

This post on Reddit sorts the NBA into their houses.

It includes the founder of the house (formally Godric Gryffindor; Rowena Ravenclaw; Helga Hufflepuff; and Salazar Slytherin) but now listed as NBA greats Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan, as well as a house ghost (Nearly Headless Nick, Gryffindor; Helena Ravenclaw, Ravenclaw; Fat Friar, Hufflepuff; and the Bloody Baron, Slytherin) now listed as more recently retired NBA veterans.

The editor's notes are from our producer Ashley Young.

Enjoy.

GRYFFINDOR

Founder: Bill Russell

House Ghost: Kevin Garnett

Coach: Doc Rivers

Starting five: Russell Westbrook (PG), Damian Lillard (SG), Jayson Tatum (SF), LeBron James (PF), and Bam Adebayo (C).

Bench: Kyle Lowry, Ja Morant, Donovan Mitchell, Victor Oladipo, Jrue Holiday, Draymond Green, Zion Williamson.

Editors Note: Okay I’m sorry, but no way Russell Westbrook and Draymond Green are in Gryffindor.

RAVENCLAW

Founder: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

House Ghost: Tim Duncan

Coach: Erik Spoelstra

Starting five: Chris Paul (PG), Steph Curry (SG), Luka Doncic (SF), Kawhi Leonard (PF), Giannis Antetokounmpo (C).

Bench: Ben Simmons, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Smart, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Editor’s note: Couldn’t agree more with Duncan being the house ghost of Ravenclaw.

HUFFLEPUFF

Founder: Wilt Chamberlain

House Ghost: Shaq

Coach: Brett Brown

Starting five: Kemba Walker (PG), Klay Thompson (SG), Khris Middleton (SF), Anthony Davis (PF), Nikola Jokic (C).

Bench: Bradley Beal, Karl Anthony-Towns, D’Angelo Russell, Devin Booker, Rudy Gobert, Kevin Love, CJ McCollum.

Editor’s note: Completely agree with Jokic being in Hufflepuff although he does have some Slytherin tendencies; Kevin Love I would argue being a Ravenclaw.

SLYTHERIN

Founder: Michael Jordan

House Ghost: Kobe Bryant (Full disclosure: I worried it wasn't in good taste to have Kobe here, for obvious reasons. However, given his public admiration for the HP Universe and just saying in January that he took a house quiz and was sorted into Slytherin, it felt right to include him.)

Coach: Mike D’Antoni

Starting five: Kyrie Irving (PG), James Harden (SG), Jimmy Butler (SF), Kevin Durant (PF), Joel Embiid (C).

Bench: Trae Young, Goran Dragic, Lou Williams, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kristaps Porzingis, Zach LaVine.

Editor’s note: Couldn’t agree more with this starting five.

MUGGLES (aka non-magic folk)

Paul George and Andrew Wiggins.

Editor’s note: OMG.

Click the Reddit link for full sorting descriptions. 

Anfernee Simons wants multiplayer in Modern Warfare 2 Remastered

Anfernee Simons wants multiplayer in Modern Warfare 2 Remastered

With the NBA season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, many NBA players have a lot of newfound free time on their hands.

Including Trail Blazers point guard Anfernee Simons who has been streaming on Twitch games such as Madden and the newly released Call of Duty: Warzone. He's even streamed with Blazers Outsiders host Danny Marang lately.

Given Ant's age of 20, it checks out he'd be attracted to playing Call of Duty since he grew up in the golden age of Call of Duty between Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare up until Call of Duty Black Ops II during his late elementary to high school years.

The installment from that time that's usually seen in the highest regard is Activision's sequel to Modern Warfare; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which broke the record as the biggest entertainment launch in history at the time. In less than three months, the game had generated over a billion dollars in revenue and that doesn't include microtransactions. 

Also, personally, as I'm just a few years older than Simons, some of my fondest memories growing up was playing Modern Warfare 2 with my best friends online all night, so when a remaster of the game got leaked last month, I was hyped. The campaign was fun, but what made the game iconic was the most fun multiplayer the series has ever produced. 

Well, Monday afternoon, the Playstation Store in Germany accidentally leaked the reveal trailer for a remastered version of Modern Warfare 2 with one catch: it's only the campaign which disappointed many, including Simons.

How u gonna drop just the campaign? Y’all playing with my emotions

He wasn't alone in his disappointment.

Someone even started a petition.

However, it makes sense for the game to not offer multiplayer since Call of Duty: Warzone, a multiplayer-only experience, came out earlier this month of March 10 to great success. Activision doesn't want to split the player base by offering two competing titles within the same franchise. 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered will launch one day after the leak of the trailer on March 31, 2020.