Latest NBA News and Notes
The second half of the NBA season is set to begin this week, and the push for the playoffs will continue in both conferences. The Cleveland Cavaliers begin the second half just three games out of a playoff spot in the East, but there is a loaded group in front of them.
Team LeBron won the 2021 NBA All-Star Game by a score of 170-150, and LeBron is now 4-0 when being a team captain for the event. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was named MVP of the All-Star Game after going a perfect 16-for-16 from the field in the win.
Even though there were no games over the last few days, there were still some big news stories coming out of the league.
Heat Investigating Leonard
Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard is being investigated after apparently using an anti-semitic slur during a live-stream on Twitch. Leonard has built up a large following on the streaming platform but has now come under fire for his offensive language.
The NBA has announced that it will look into the matter, and the Miami Heat are asking Leonard to remain away from the team during the investigation. Leonard has issued an apology statement on Instagram where he has admitted guilt, and the Heat also released a statement acknowledging the act.
Leonard could face possible sanctions from the league because of the incident, and that could include a fine or a suspension. The league is also likely to require Leonard to undergo some sort of sensitivity or diversity training.
Griffin Signs With Nets
The biggest news of the weekend came just hours before the start of the All-Star Game, and it could have a huge impact on the NBA title race this season. The Brooklyn Nets and former All-Star forward Blake Griffin have agreed to a deal after Griffin was bought out by the Detroit Pistons.
Griffin will now be reuniting with DeAndre Jordan as the two were a big part of the “Lob City” Clippers that dominated the league in the early part of the decade. It is unclear what role Griffin will have with the Nets, but it adds another veteran presence on that roster.
There were several teams interested in signing Griffin, but the forward ultimately chose the destination that would give him the best chance to win a championship.
Cavs Still Looking to Deal Drummond
The news of Blake Griffin signing with the Brooklyn Nets should provide a little bit of clarity to the Andre Drummond situation with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team is still holding Drummond out of games and practices as they look to trade the veteran center.
The Cavaliers have made it clear that they would prefer to trade Drummond as opposed to buying him out, but that might not end up being an option. Potential NBA Championship contenders would love to add the center but are hopeful to be able to sign him through free agency.
The NBA Trade Deadline is set for March 25, and Drummond is expected to have a new team by that time.
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