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  • 12/16/17--15:10: Article 0
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  • 12/19/17--09:24: Article 0
  • Steve Kyler: There has already been some speculation that Jordan could be on the move to the Milwaukee Bucks in a package built around John Henson and possibly Jabari Parker, who is getting closer to returning to action after a second ACL tear. The Cleveland Cavaliers have also been in the mix with an offer built around guard Iman Shumpert, Tristan Thompson and a first-round pick. It’s been reported that pick was possibly the Brooklyn pick obtained in the Kyrie Irving trade, although sources close to the situation say it was never discussed and that the Cavs were open to moving their own pick in any trade scenarios.


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  • 12/20/17--17:01: Article 0

  • i_77_e4_4e_tristan-thompson.pnghhapiprodi_77_e4_4e_tristan-thompson.pnghhapiprod

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  • 12/21/17--07:12: Article 0
  • Khloe Kardashian is pregnant. The reality star confirmed Wednesday on Instagram that she is expecting her first child with boyfriend Tristan Thompson. She included a photo of her pregnant belly with the post. The 33-year-old Kardashian said she is “thankful, excited, nervous, eager, overjoyed and scared all in one” and called the pregnancy “my greatest dream realized.”


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  • 12/25/17--17:58: Article 2
  • Even though Durant was in a vulnerable situation, he said he didn’t fear an ejection. “Hell nah. They’re not tossing me in the first quarter,” he told ESPN. “They’re not tossing me in the first quarter over a little bump. And I heard Isaiah Thomas and Tristan Thompson talking to the ref [to toss me out]. You can ask [Dwyane Wade], [LeBron James], Kevin Love, them dudes, they didn’t want me out the game at that point. I wouldn’t want them out the game. That’s not what it’s about. We’re trying to have some fun and hoop out there and that’s what we did.”


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    Isaiah Thomas has not yet made his debut at point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Is there a chance his stay is shorter than expected?

    Thomas, who is nearing good health and his season debut, seemed like the biggest return when the front office traded Kyrie Irving. But it seems the Cavaliers placed just as much value on the first-round pick they received from Brooklyn Nets as well as starting forward Jae Crowder.

    While it seems Cleveland is reluctant to trade the draft selection they will receive from the Nets, many believe they could pursue Los Angeles Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan if they think he is the “missing piece” to complete their roster. He and James could dominate in the paint, which is an area where the Warriors struggle.

    Timothy Rapp wrote about why it would not make sense to trade the coveted Brooklyn pick for Jordan (via Bleacher Report):

    “Jordan has a $24.1 million player option in his contract for next season, meaning he could easily opt out and leave the Cavaliers high and dry. In turn, if James decides to leave in free agency, the Cavaliers still have Brooklyn’s pick to begin their rebuild. By giving it up in a trade for Jordan, however, they would be risking losing [LeBron] James, Jordan and Thomas in free agency this summer without much of a contingency plan.”

    Instead of offering their asset in the draft, it might make more sense to include Thomas — who will be a free agent in the offseason.

    The team has played well without him, as they have won 20 of their last 24 games (the best record in the NBA during that stretch). Perhaps it is not crazy to think they are listening to offers when other teams come calling.

    Thomas will have less of an opportunity to shoot the ball playing next to James and we don’t know his status after his injury. Rather than risk him walking or having to decide whether or not he is worth a max deal, they could see what kind of return he could yield before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.

    A recent report suggested the Clippers “may end up taking what they can get” for Jordan as they have not yet reached a contract extension agreement.

    Cleveland would still have a draft pick almost assuredly in the lottery to rebuild their roster in case James leaves. They would also be able to negotiate a deal with Jordan, who would offer an entirely different skill set than what is provided by potential teammate Kevin Love, once James make a decision.

    The Clippers, meanwhile, could have a talented guard to match with star forward Blake Griffin. Rather than two big men as their identity, they could have potential All-Stars who play a remarkably different style but both score in bunches.

    The Clippers could use a point guard of the future after trading away Chris Paul. Thomas was a fantastic player for Boston and someone Los Angeles may be willing to try out.

    For the trade to work within the CBA, the Cavaliers would likely need to include Tristan Thompson alongside Thomas in the deal. Another option could be packaging Thomas with Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye (or anyone else on their roster except Love).

    In a recent column by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, young players Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic were included as potential attractive trade chips for Cleveland. They could also include their own first-round draft pick, though that value is not fantastic.

    This would leave Cleveland with Love and Jordan in the frontcourt as well as a lottery pick even if James leaves.

    The Clippers would then have a duo of Griffin and Thomas that is sure to sell seats in Los Angeles. It may not be the most likely scenario, but stranger things have happened in the NBA.

    NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Boston CelticsbryankalbroskyNBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Boston Celticsbryankalbrosky

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  • 12/28/17--12:08: Article 0
  • The Cavs’ bench, which came into the trip as the third-highest-scoring bench in basketball with an average of 40.6 points per game, followed a 21-point performance on 6-for-26 shooting against Golden State with just 32 points on 12-for-28 shooting against Sacramento. Meanwhile, the Kings’ bench scored 68 points, led by Vince Carter, who became the first player in league history to score 20-plus points off the bench at age 40 or older. “We’re out of rhythm,” said Dwyane Wade, the leader of the Cavs’ second unit. “We had a flow going, we had a rhythm going, but then things changed a little bit. You trying to bring new guys back. Tristan [Thompson] came back, and then the lineup was different. And you try to figure out your game. That’s the part of it when you have guys who you know that was out, and then they come back in. So we out of sorts a little bit, we out of rhythm, and we got to find it back. We will.”


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  • 01/03/18--10:12: Article 1
  • Tristan Thompson is only a few months away from adding another title to his resume: Dad. The Cavaliers player posed with girlfriend Khloe Kardashian for this photo on the reality TV show star’s Instagram account.


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  • 01/04/18--09:10: Article 0
  • Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson are expecting a baby together, but don’t look for them to walk down the aisle anytime soon. The reality show star told Ellen DeGeneres in a show that aired on Wednesday that she didn’t want to repeat certain past mistakes, a comment everyone took to mean her marriage to Lamar Odom after only a short time dating.


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  • 01/12/18--08:48: Article 6
  • As teams pick up trade activity before the trade deadline, the Cavaliers are shaping up to be perhaps the most fascinating contending team. They have two first-round draft picks — including the heralded Brooklyn Nets’ selection via the Irving trade — but the superstar player whom the franchise could pursue with that pick has not been made available. Multiple NBA teams have cited Tristan Thompson as an asset Cleveland is willing to move in the right deal, such as one for the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan.


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  • 01/13/18--07:03: Article 5
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  • 01/13/18--07:03: Article 4
  • League sources told weeks ago that the Cavs would consider trading him to the Clippers as a part of a deal to bring DeAndre Jordan to Cleveland. Similar reports resurfaced Friday. “It doesn’t bother me at all,” Thompson said. “At the end of the day you only control what you can control. That’s when coach calls me in the game, go out and play hard and compete. That business side, people get paid to do that stuff. I get paid to be out there on the court and compete and do my job. Guys get paid to make decisions and move pieces around.


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    As February approaches, with it comes the arrival of the NBA’s silly season. This year, Feb. 8 marks the league’s trade deadline – the final day on which teams are allowed to swap players until the offseason.

    Last season’s deadline was an active one, as we saw a blockbuster transaction come to pass during the All-Star Game, when DeMarcus Cousins got shipped off to the New Orleans Pelicans. Apart from that, the Houston Rockets acquired Lou Williams and the Toronto Raptors traded for Serge Ibaka.

    Although this year’s deadline is projected to be a bit more calm, daily rumors regarding potential swaps have began to flood everyone’s timeline.

    With some teams underachieving and others overachieving, there is still going to be a solid market for potential moves.

    We break down the likeliest buyers and sellers heading into the home stretch before the trade deadline.


    Chicago Bulls

    Prime trade candidate(s): Justin Holiday, Robin Lopez, Nikola Mirotic

    Since the return of floor-spacing big man Nikola Mirotic, the Chicago Bulls have been on a tear.

    However, even despite their 60.8 percent win rate over their past 22 outings, Chicago still sits six games behind the No. 8 seed Detroit Pistons for a spot in the playoffs, while boasting the league’s third-worst net rating at -6.3.

    As of now, the Bulls possess just a 6.1 percent chance of landing a top-three pick in the stacked 2018 NBA Draft; their highest odds, currently, dictate they receive the ninth pick.

    That’s all to say: Chicago is trending too far in the wrong direction.

    For a rebuilding organization, along with developing young talent, the most important objective is to secure the highest possible draft pick. The Bulls, obviously, aren’t doing that.

    One way Chicago could get “back on track” is to be aggressive at the trade deadline in finding suitors for their more veteran players, such as Mirotic, Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday.

    Mirotic is the likeliest of the bunch to get moved, as it has been reported he’s more than willing to waive his no-trade clause to find a new team. Reports also state the Utah Jazz, with a hole to fill at the 4-spot, are interested in the stretch power forward.

    The fit makes sense, as Mirotic is a career 36.1 percent three-point shooter, and would fit in wonderfully next to the behemoth known as Rudy Gobert.

    Finding a suitor for Lopez may prove more difficult, not because of his play, but rather due to the $28.2 million still left on his deal.

    With the value of the paint-bound center dwindling in today’s NBA, Lopez’s deal may be too rich for other teams to undertake, even if they were interested in his scoring and rim protection.

    Holiday, meanwhile, provides size and athleticism from the 2-guard spot, as well as above-average three-point accuracy. Signed to a modest two-year, $9 million contract, it’s not all that likely Chicago deals him, but it’s not totally out of the question, either.

    Los Angeles Lakers

    Prime trade candidate(s): Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle

    The Los Angeles Lakers have their eyes set squarely on the summer of 2018.

    With superstar talents like Cousins, LeBron James and hometown favorite Paul George set to his unrestricted free agency, team president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka are looking to make a major splash.

    Adding a pair of free agents of that caliber, to go with their solid young core, would quickly bring Los Angeles back to basketball prominence, something the city is starting to get antsy for. And with a bit of creative maneuvering, the Lakers may be able to do just that.

    To get to that point, however, the Lakers are going to need to shed some money off their books. Considering Luol Deng‘s albatross of a contract has proven impossible to move, Johnson and Pelinka are going to need to look elsewhere on their roster for salary cap relief.

    Enter Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle.

    The former, despite tailing off a bit recently, is having one of the better years of his career thanks to improved shooting and play-making.

    The latter is enjoying similar success, and has played his way into potentially garnering a large contract offer once he hits restricted free agency this summer.

    If Los Angeles doesn’t want to deal with Randle’s impending free agency, especially since they’ll be busy enough trying to lure the aforementioned big-name superstars to join their ranks, they could decide to trade the promising power forward now and avoid having to rescind his qualifying offer ($5.6 million) later.

    Reports state Randle’s hometown Dallas Mavericks are interested in bringing the 6-foot-9 power forward back to his city of birth, but it’s more likely they wait until he hits restricted free agency rather than give up an asset to acquire him now.

    Unlike Randle, Clarkson is already signed for the long haul. The Mizzou product is owed another two years and $25.9 million after this season, which may not be all that easy to move, unless the Lakers sweeten the deal by adding draft picks to the transaction.

    Nevertheless, young, rebuilding teams such as the Orlando Magic could see some value in the young bucket-getter, and help Los Angeles clear cap space by trading for him.

    Memphis Grizzlies

    Prime trade candidate(s): James Ennis, Tyreke Evans, Marc Gasol

    Despite Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace’ aversion to blowing his team up and starting over, it’s starting to appear he may not have another choice.

    His team boasts the league’s eighth-paltriest net rating (-3.0), they sit 14th out of the 15 teams in the Western Conference playoff race and no one’s really sure when their best player – the vastly underrated Mike Conley – will be returning from injury.

    The better plan moving forward for Memphis would be to initiate the tank job and land the highest pick possible in a draft full of franchise-changing talents, especially among the Top 7 selections.

    Trading away the likes of James EnnisTyreke Evans or even organizational cornerstone Marc Gasol would be one way to do just that.

    Ennis is a solid two-way swingman who can knock down shots from beyond the arc (36.6 percent accuracy from deep over the past two years) and who is still just 27 years old. Since his contract is expiring, that could attract contenders lacking depth on the wing to acquire the Long Beach State product.

    Evans, meanwhile, is having the best season of his career in terms of efficiency and three-point shooting. His 19.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per contest make him look like the first-year version of himself, when he won Rookie of the Year and appeared headed for stardom.

    It’s been rumored Memphis wants a first-round pick in exchange for their two-guard; whether a rival front office sees that as fair or too bold will be interesting to note as the next few weeks unravel.

    Finally, Gasol is the least likely of the trio to move, as the Grizzlies front office still very much believes in their former All-Star center, and consider him part of their long-term plans.

    But could a contender lacking a game-changing big man make a late push to acquire him anyway?

    Only time will tell.


    Cleveland Cavaliers

    Prime trade candidate(s): Iman Shumpert, Tristan Thompson, Brooklyn Nets’ No. 1 pick

    After their latest defeat at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, anonymous Cleveland Cavaliers players took to the media and voiced concern about the team’s chances to win a title this season (via ESPN):

    “Several prominent players, speaking on a condition of anonymity to ESPN, and The Athletic, expressed doubt that the problems — an aging roster, defensively-challenged personnel and a glut of redundant role players — could simply be worked out through patience and a chance to coalesce when fully healthy.”

    Although this may sound like the annual bit of Cavs turmoil when they hit a rough patch, it’s hard to say this doesn’t feel a bit different than prior seasons.

    As a way to re-energize the team (and at least try to fix their 28th-ranked defense), general manager Koby Altman could take a gander at the trade market for help.

    There have already been rumbles regarding a potential Tristan Thompson-DeAndre Jordan swap, but would trading one offensively limited center for another really change their fortunes?

    It wouldn’t be surprising to see Iman Shumpert, who has fallen completely out of Ty Lue’s rotation, dangled in trade talks as well. But in reality, what kind of interest would he – and the approximately $21 million left on his contract – really garner?

    The biggest wildcard for the Cavs, which would not only change their trade market but potentially trigger a domino effect of moves around the league, is the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick they have in their back pocket.

    Though Brooklyn has fared far better than anyone expected this season (Tankathon has them with the highest odds for the No. 7 pick in June’s draft), they will likely still finish with a mid-lottery selection which any rebuilding team would covet.

    Could we see Cleveland shop the uber-valuable asset before the deadline and make a splash move to compete with Golden State?

    It’s certainly possible, especially if they don’t turn things around soon.

    Indiana Pacers

    Prime trade candidate(s): Bojan Bogdanovic, Darren Collison, Thaddeus Young

    Despite the fact no one expected much out of the Indiana Pacers after they traded away their best player this past offseason, the play of the two guys they got in return for George has changed their outlook – both in the short- and long-term.

    Domantas Sabonis looks like a beastly finisher and the pick-and-roll and a serviceable paint protector, while Victor Oladipo appears to be someone Indiana can legitimately build around.

    The Pacers, at 24-20, sit at No. 6 in the East, while actually possessing the NBA’s eighth-mightiest net rating at +2.1.

    So although there isn’t much scuttle about them being active on the trade market, who’s to say they don’t make a move to get Oladipo some help, especially with the Eastern Conference as open as it appears to be?

    Among players the Pacers could shop around are Darren CollisonBogdan Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young. All three are on relatively team-friendly deals that end after next season, and all three fill three different niches.

    Collison, the above-average floor general, Bogdanovic, the floor-spacing wing and Young, the crafty forward with loads of playoff experience could all entice rival teams with specific needs.

    Milwaukee Bucks

    Prime trade candidate(s): Malcolm Brogdon, John Henson

    Despite a talented roster with an MVP candidate on it, the Milwaukee Bucks are barely over .500, sit at No. 7 in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt and boast a net rating of 0.0 – which all amount to a decidedly mediocre campaign thus far in 2017-18.

    Their troubles can’t be pinned on just one player, and it’s not like they’re getting zero production out of their center position; as a full-time starter, John Henson is averaging a respectable 9.3 points, 7.1 boards and 1.4 blocks per outing.

    Nevertheless, according to recent scuttle, the Bucks, much like the Cavs, are quite interested in acquiring the services of Los Angeles’ All-Pro seven-footer.

    According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, on a recent podcast:

    “100 percent the Bucks are interested in (DeAndre) Jordan and they are probably as interested in him as anyone.”

    Would adding Jordan, who’s basically a souped-up version of Henson, really change the Bucks’ fortunes? Or their 24th-ranked defense?

    Probably not. But Milwaukee does place 27th in total rebound rate (48.1 percent), while Jordan ranks second overall in the same metric among qualified players (25.5 percent). If the Bucks simply end more possessions with defensive rebounds, their rating defensively will see a major uptick.

    To get the Clippers to even consider such a deal, Milwaukee will need to send them Henson as well as a solid young piece like Malcolm Brogdon in return, on top of another future asset or two.

    Their Eric Bledsoe acquisition would help soften the blow of losing Brogdon, and adding Jordan would prove to Giannis Antetokoumpo that the Bucks are serious about winning, so making such a move would be beneficial on multiple fronts.

    You can find Frank Urbina on Twitter @frankurbina_.

    HoopsHype’s Alberto de Roa contributed to this article.

    Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celticsfau09fsuCleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celticsfau09fsu

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  • 01/18/18--19:00: Article 2
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  • 01/19/18--16:27: Article 1
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  • 01/19/18--17:17: Article 0
  • On Thursday night, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue unveiled his new-look second unit. Derrick Rose was back in the mix after missing more than two months recovering from an ankle injury. While the Cavaliers were certainly excited about his return, seeing how hard he worked to overcome his latest setback, it caused another shakeup with Lue’s ever-changing rotation. The new five-man group features Rose and Dwyane Wade together once again — a combination that didn’t work very well in October — along with Kyle Korver, Jeff Green and Tristan Thompson.


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  • 01/20/18--11:58: Article 1
  • The Cavs contacted Sacramento about a possible trade for guard George Hill, and the New York Times reported that Cleveland has also engaged the Los Angeles Clippers about DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams. The Times said the Cavs have floated J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, and Iman Shumpert in possible trades — all of them have been here for each of Cleveland’s last three Finals runs and have seen their roles diminish this season for one reason or another. The Cavs are 1-4 in their last five games and privately their marquee players have suggested the team needs a roster upgrade or two. “I like our group,”Tyronn Lue reiterated. “Until we figure out rotations and getting guys healthy and what we have … I like what we have.”


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    The NBA’s Feb. 8th trade deadline is rapidly approaching, so there was plenty to talk about in this week’s NBA Rumor Roundup episode of The HoopsHype Podcast. In this episode, Alex Kennedy is joined by USA TODAY’s Sam Amick to break down the latest news and rumors circulating around the league. Here’s what Kennedy and Amick discussed…

    2:05: Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Kawhi Leonard and his camp are “distant” and “disconnected” from the Spurs organization. Sam shares what he has heard about this situation and what it means for both parties moving forward.

    5:50: Leonard has one guaranteed year remaining on his contract after this season and then he can opt out. Given this reported rift and his contract situation, is there any chance that the Spurs consider trading Kawhi?

    7:25: Could the Spurs be a legitimate suitor for LeBron James this summer?

    9:45: The Cavaliers have been aggressive, being linked to players like DeAndre Jordan, Lou Williams and George Hill among others. Sam discusses what he’s hearing about the Cavs’ options and current approach, and predicts what they’ll do prior to the deadline.

    12:15: Sam recently interviewed Lou Williams about his monster season and future. Because Williams is playing the best basketball of his career, on a great contract and on a Clippers team that’s going younger, Sam believes Lou will be traded.

    14:40: Sam shares his thoughts on whether Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins will be traded prior to the deadline, and explains why DeAndre Jordan could make sense for Cleveland.

    15:20: Sam says that while the Bucks have been linked to a number of notable players, they aren’t making any of their core pieces available in trade discussions so most of their conversations haven’t gotten very far.

    17:20: Sam addresses the rumors that the Hornets are shopping Kemba Walker, and discusses some destinations that could make sense for the veteran point guard (such as Detroit and New York).

    20:55: Marc Stein recently wrote about the possibility that the Blazers would trade either Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum – if not now, then maybe over the offseason. Sam and I discuss the likelihood of a trade and where Portland currently stands.

    26:30: Sam breaks down what the Kings may do before the deadline, with George Hill, Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos among the players who are potentially available.

    28:25: Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the Jazz are increasing their efforts to trade Rodney Hood and that a deal involving Hood will likely happen prior to the deadline. Sam confirmed this and said he’s also hearing that Derrick Favors and Ricky Rubio could be had for the right price as well. We discuss what Utah will do in the next few weeks.

    30:45: What are the Lakers looking to do at the deadline? Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance, Jr. have been mentioned as possible players on the move. Sam breaks down LA’s thinking as the deadline approaches.

    33:48: Evan Fournier seems to fit the mold of a player who could be on the move. Sam discusses Fournier’s future and what the Magic may do at the deadline.

    36:10: Who are some players that could very well be available, but aren’t being talked about enough as the deadline approaches?

    37:15: How Tyreke Evans‘ terrific season and bargain contract make him an interesting player to watch since he could help a playoff team that’s a buyer.

    40:20: Sam analyzes the 2018 free agency class. First off, does LeBron James leave the Cavaliers and, if so, which teams are the most likely suitors?

    46:40: The rumor that LeBron was touring schools in Los Angeles may have been a big misunderstanding. A source told Sam that LeBron was shooting a commercial nearby and only went to the school because he wanted to put up shots during a break in the commercial shoot and that was the closest gym. Then, people saw he was there and everybody jumped to conclusions.

    49:50: Will Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins stay with their respective teams this summer or will they sign elsewhere?

    This episode is sponsored by Seat Geek. Download the Seat Geek app, pick out an event and enter the promo code HOOPSHYPE for $20 off your first ticket purchase!

    Kawhi LeonardalexkennedynbaKawhi Leonardalexkennedynba

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    One of the top commodities heading into the home stretch before the 2018 NBA trade deadline is Los Angeles Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan.

    And with good reason.

    Jordan has been nothing short of fantastic this year, averaging 11.8 points, 14.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 66.1 percent from the floor and a respectable 60.4 percent from the foul line.

    He boasts playoff experience, understands his role and excels in various play-types, such as finishing out of the pick-and-roll and in transition.

    Jordan defends at a high level, attacks the glass with aplomb and is the type of player who can absolutely change a team’s fortunes merely with his massive presence manning the paint.

    So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that various teams with serious postseason aspirations are reportedly interested in acquiring his services.

    Each of the involved parties has different assets they can offer Los Angeles, whether they be high draft picks, young players with upside, grizzled veterans who can help teams win now, or a mixture of all three.

    We break down some of the best packages Jordan’s top suitors could theoretically put together.

    Cleveland Cavaliers

    The Cleveland Cavaliers are built to win now.

    As such, their roster is filled with veteran role players whose purpose is to make LeBron James’ life easier on the basketball court, but who may not be all that appealing to franchises with different goals.

    The easiest (or only?) way for Cleveland to get into the Jordan sweepstakes is if they include the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, which they received from the Boston Celtics as part of the Kyrie Irving trade.

    On top of the Nets’ first rounder, the Cavs also have a couple of favorable assets in the form of two young players: Ante Zizic and Cedi Osman. The former is a 21-year-old Croatian big man with strong rebounding acumen as well as soft touch near the rim, while the latter is a 22-year-old Turkish wing with 3-and-D potential… whose jumper isn’t all that reliable just yet.

    Packaging either of those players, along with the Nets’ first-round pick, could entice Los Angeles to get a deal done. But to make the salary swap work, Cleveland will need the Clippers to also take Tristan Thompson as part of the transaction.

    Thompson, due to injury as well as head coach Tyronn Lue going in a different direction with his starting lineup, has seen his role diminished this season. Nevertheless, he’s still a player who has value as a rebounder and finisher near the rim.

    Swapping Jordan for Thompson wouldn’t be a complete like-for-like exchange, but Thompson could at least somewhat fill the same role the Clipper big man currently maintains for his team.

    A deal with that foundation legitimately helps both teams: Cleveland, by acquiring an elite shot-blocker, rebounder and pick-and-roll finisher, who would help turn their 29th-ranked defense around, and Los Angeles, by landing what is projected to be a mid-lottery pick, a young player with upside and a veteran big man who can help them keep pace in the tight Western Conference playoff race.

    It should be noted, though: The Cavs are taking a major risk if they do include the Nets’ pick in a Jordan swap. The seven-footer has a player option on his deal for 2018-19, and it’s likely he will opt out of his contract this summer in search of a payday. Isaiah Thomas will be an unrestricted free agent. Ditto James.

    If things go south for Cleveland in the postseason even after acquiring Jordan, they could easily see him, Thomas and James walk in free agency, get nothing in return and not have the ultra-valuable lottery pick, which they could have used to begin a rebuild, to fall back on.

    It goes without saying, that would be disastrous for their short- and long-term future.

    At the same time, if the Cavs’ front office stands pat even despite their recent turmoil, and Cleveland winds up losing to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals yet again, would that show James a lack of commitment from his organization’s brass?

    No matter what the team decides to do, it’s going to be an extremely difficult situation for general manager Koby Altman to circumvent, and one that will be fascinating to monitor over the coming weeks.

    Final package: Ante Zizic (or Cedi Osman), Tristan Thompson, Nets first-round pick

    Milwaukee Bucks

    Along with the Cavs, one of the most heavily talked about teams regarding a potential Jordan swap are the Milwaukee Bucks.

    The fit is logical: The Bucks are among the league’s worst on the glass (27th in rebound rate at 48 percent), while Jordan is one of the NBA’s best at securing misses (2nd in rebound rate among qualified players at 25.5 percent).

    Along with an outdated defensive scheme involving an overreliance on trapping (which probably won’t be a problem anymore after news of Jason Kidd’s firing), part of the reason Milwaukee struggles defensively (25th in efficiency despite having so many long-armed athletes) is their inability to secure boards.

    The Bucks’ point-stopping prowess would greatly improve just by having Jordan there to end possessions with the ball in his mitts.

    As far as what Milwaukee could offer Los Angeles in return for their All-Star big man, they have a few young, enticing options to present.

    The likeliest package, though, would almost certainly contain both John Henson and the reigning Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon.

    Henson’s lack of mass hurts him as a rebounder, but he makes up for it by being an excellent lob-finisher, as well as a respectable rim-protector and underrated passer. Brogdon, on the other hand, is a more than serviceable floor general who can slot into either guard spot, defend at a high level and knock down the three-ball.

    That likely wouldn’t be enough for Milwaukee to land Jordan, though.

    So to sweeten the deal, the Bucks are going to need to add another asset to the pot, either in the form of Jabari Parker or their 2020 first-round pick.

    By CBA rules, they aren’t allowed to trade their 2019 first rounder, since their 2018 first-round pick belongs to the Phoenix Suns (as a part of the Eric Bledsoe trade) if it falls between selections 11-16. If it doesn’t, then Phoenix gets the Bucks’ 2019 first pick outright.

    Parker, on the other hand, presents an interesting case because he was enjoying the best season of his career in 2016-17, averaging 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds nightly while showing improved defense, before his campaign ended last February with another tear of his left ACL.

    He is set to return soon, and by all accounts, his recovery has been a rousing success.

    Regardless, his consistent lack of health will be an issue for any team acquiring him in a trade.

    Additionally, Parker becomes a restricted free agent this summer, which will be a headache for whichever organization he’s a member of to deal with. It’s not a certainty he’ll land a max offer sheet since there is a serious lack of spending money league-wide, but it can’t be totally ruled out either.

    Even so, his next team would also acquire his Bird Rights, meaning they can go over the cap to re-sign him.

    Parker has his issues, but he can score and provides superb size on the wing – two traits that are very much coveted around the Association. If the Clippers believe he can maintain some semblance of health over the coming years, it could be a worthwhile gamble.

    The Bucks don’t have to fret that much over potentially losing Parker, considering they already have their off-ball starters set for the foreseeable future in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. And Tony Snell, with his pristine three-point stroke, gives them additional depth on the wing as well.

    Final package: Jabari Parker, Malcolm Brogdon, John Henson

    Portland Trail Blazers

    The New York Times’ Marc Stein surprised basketball aficionados with the following news on Jan. 22:

    The report came as somewhat of a shock because the Portland Trail Blazers like to tout their Big Three of Damian LillardCJ McCollum and big man Jusuf Nurkic as their building blocks of the future.

    It’s only right, as the trio did make a nice run late last season after the team acquired the Bosnian center from the Denver Nuggets.

    This year, however, the same success has been hard to come by.

    The Blazers boast a mediocre 104.5 offensive rating in 2017-18, the league’s No. 16 mark, and for a team with two scorching scorers like Lillard and McCollum on the roster, that’s simply unacceptable.

    The dirty secret for Portland is that Nurkic has struggled mightily this season.

    Although his play picked up a bit recently, the Blazers are actually 2.3 points per 100 possessions worse with their starting center on the floor.

    Among 5s who attempt at least 10 shots nightly, Nurkic has the sixth-lowest field-goal percentage at 47.1 percent. Even more damning: Of the five centers who shoot a lower percentage, all of them attempt at least three triples per contest; Nurkic has taken seven all year long.

    His blend of awkward flip shots near the rim and long 2-pointers have made him a greatly inefficient player in his fourth campaign, so it makes sense why Portland may quietly want help down low.

    To acquire Jordan as Stein suggested, a package of Nurkic, Shabazz Napier and Evan Turner checks out financially.

    The Blazers would be savvy to sell high on Napier, who finally, in his age-26 season, is starting to resemble the prospect who made LeBron tweet the following back in 2014:

    But on top of those three players, since the Clippers would be doing Portland a major favor by taking Turner’s bloated contract off their hands, the Blazers are probably going to have to add their 2018 first-round pick to the pot as additional sweetener.

    Would that big of a haul be worth it for Los Angeles’ behemoth?

    It’s tough to tell, but at the very least, adding a veteran like Jordan, who’s so aware of his limitations and plays to his strengths so exquisitely, would give the Blazers’ offense a much-needed jolt of life. And he would only help bolster their seventh-ranked defense.

    Meanwhile, in return, the Clippers would get an exciting, relatively young point guard, a serviceable wing, a starting-level center and a premium asset in the form of an unprotected first-round pick.

    Final package: Evan Turner, Shabazz Napier, Jusuf Nurkic, 2018 first-round pick

    Washington Wizards

    The Washington Wizards have been close to an unmitigated disaster this season.

    Their only saving grace is that they somehow don’t have a losing record at this point, which is an insane benchmark considering their payroll and the expectations they had coming into 2017-18.

    Most recently, the Wizards got blown out by the rebuilding Dallas Mavericks 98-75. More interesting than the result of the game, however, were the remarks JJ Barea made after the outing:

    To that, veteran reporter Stein added:

    It’s tough to say a trade will help sort those types of problems, the kind that lie ingrained deep within a team’s culture, out. After all, head coach Scott Brooks seems exasperated at what’s gone on with his unit; multiple team meetings have already failed, the most recent in spectacular fashion.

    But a trade could help kick-start a resurgence for Washington, especially since Jordan is thought of as a great locker room presence.

    In return for their center, the Wizards could offer Los Angeles their own starter at the position, Marcin Gortat.

    Along with Gortat, Washington could also include third-year pro Kelly Oubre, who’s really starting to look like a player this season, to a potential Jordan deal. The Kansas product is averaging 12.2 points and 4.9 boards per contest, while knocking down an outstanding 40.5 percent of his three-point looks.

    Oubre’s size on the wing, defensive potential, ability to play small-ball power forward and three-point shooting makes him a highly coveted archetype – and the Clippers would be thrilled to land the 22-year-old as part of a Jordan package.

    To make the salary swap work, Washington would need to add Jodie Meeks to the trade, but even then, Los Angeles would be getting an experienced center who would help them win games now, as well as a young two-way wing on an extremely team-friendly contract.

    And considering the Clippers’ utter lack of youthful building blocks, the latter would be extremely appealing.

    Final package: Marcin Gortat, Kelly Oubre, Jodie Meeks

    You can find Frank Urbina on Twitter @frankurbina_.

    HoopsHype’s Alberto de Roa contributed to this article.

    NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rocketsfau09fsuNBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rocketsfau09fsu

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