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Lakers want Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso

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According to the latest NBA rumors, the Los Angeles Lakers seem more interested in trading for Chicago Bulls guards DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso than Zach LaVine.

During a guest appearance on “Hoops Tonight,” Jovan Buha of The Athletic mentioned that Los Angeles is reportedly targeting DeRozan and Caruso instead of LaVine.

“I’ve actually heard that they’re more interested in DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso. A.C., he’s the one that got away,” Buha said.

“Lakers fans, it still bothers them. Inside of the organization, it’s still a very divisive topic. And then DeMar is someone the Lakers have courted for several years now.”

Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Los Angeles Lakers hold seventh-shortest odds to win this season’s 2024 championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, and Philadelphia 76ers.

LaVine, 28, is owed $129 million over the next three seasons. The two-time All-Star is earning $40.06 million this season and $43.03 million in 2024-25. His deal also carries a 2026-27 player option worth $48.9 million.

Meanwhile, DeRozan is earning $28.6 million this season. The three-time All-NBA member is in the final season of the three-year, $81.9 million contract he inked with the San Antonio Spurs as part of the sign-and-trade agreement with Chicago. Also, Caruso is making $9.46 million this season and is slated to earn $9.89 million in 2024-25.

NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers pursuing DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso, not Zach LaVine trade

“Both of those guys are on more manageable contracts,” Buha added. “Alex has a partial guarantee for next season, DeMar is an expiring contract. DeMar comes in, he’s that over-the-top shotmaker that the team seemingly doesn’t really have outside of when LeBron’s jumper is falling.

“And then Alex Caruso, one of the best point-of-attack defenders in the league, one of the best perimeter [shooters] in the league, period. We’ve seen the success he’s had next to LeBron and AD in a Lakers jersey.

“So I think both of those guys make more sense within what the Lakers need. There’s real interest in all three guys, but from what I’ve heard DeMar and Alex are higher on their priority list.”

Through 18 starts this season, LaVine is averaging 21 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 35.3 minutes per game. He’s also shooting 44.3% from the field, a career-low 33.6% outside the arc, and 86.6% at the foul line.

In Chicago’s 124-97 blowout loss to the Boston Celtics, he scored only two points on 1-of-9 (11.1%) shooting from the field and missed three 3-point attempts in 25 minutes of action. LaVine left with a sore right foot and did not return.

The Bulls will likely trade LaVine this season, but his new team might not be the Lakers.

More NBA rumors are on the main page.





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Tyrese Haliburton’s 17.5 assists per 48 minutes tied for 6th all time

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Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton is averaging 17.5 assists per 48 minutes this season, tied for the sixth best in NBA history. The two-time All-Star trails only John Stockton (19.1 AP48M in 1987-88, 18.7 AP48M in 1989-90, 18 AP48M in 1990-91, 1991-92) and John Lucas (17.9 AP48M in 1983-84).

Haliburton, 23, could also become the sixth NBA player to average at least 12 assists per game in a season. He would become the first since John Stockton. The Iowa State product was averaging 12.6 assists per contest in January. By mid-February, his season average dropped to 11.7 assists per game.

In addition to Stockton, he would join Isiah Thomas, Kevin Porter, Magic Johnson, and Kevin Johnson. Stockton holds the top-two spots for the most assists per game (14.5 APG in 1989-90, 14.2 APG in 1990-91) in a season.

Per a few NBA betting sites, the Pacers hold 15th-shortest odds to win the championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat.

Thomas (13.8 APG in 1984-85) is second, followed by Porter (13.4 APG in 1978-79) and Magic Johnson (13 APG in 1983-84). Of course, Kevin Johnson averaged 12.2 assists per contest in 1988-89.

In 82 games played, Stockton set the all-time record for most dimes in a single NBA season with 1,164 in 1990-91. Haliburton has notched 502 assists through 43 appearances this season.

Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton averaging career highs of 21.8 points, 12.7 assists per game

Through 43 games (42 starts) this season, Haliburton is averaging career highs of 21.8 points and 12.7 assists, along with 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 32 minutes per game.

Haliburton is also shooting 49.2% from the floor, 40% from 3-point range, and 85.3% at the foul line. In Indiana’s 140-126 win over the New York Knicks on Dec. 30, 2023, the four-year veteran recorded a career-high 23 assists.

Moreover, Scott Skiles set the single-game assists record with 30 in 44 minutes played in the Orlando Magic’s 155-116 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 30, 1990.

Haliburton currently leads the NBA this season in assists per game (11.7) and assist percentage (49.8%).

Not to mention, he ranks second in assists (502), seventh in player efficiency rating (25.3), second in offensive box plus/minus (8.9), and sixth in offensive rating (132.5).

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young is the league’s assists leader with 546. Tyrese Haliburton was ahead last month until he suffered a Grade 1 left hamstring strain in a Jan. 8 win over the Boston Celtics.

Furthermore, he missed the next five games before returning to action with 21 points and 17 dimes against Portland on Jan. 19. Then he was out for five more contests after playing the Trail Blazers.

In Indiana’s 142-130 win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 3, he became the first NBA player to post 31 points, 12 assists, three blocks, and five 3-pointers with zero turnovers in a game.





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Stephen A. Smith says LeBron James is responsible for Slam Dunk demise

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Just a year ago, the press was talking about how Mac McClung saved the Slam Dunk Contest, which for years has become a rather boring segment of the All-Star Weekend. This past weekend, the media is already making drastic statements again, assuring that the competition is back to being a disgraceful part of the show. 

This year, the contest proved again that it lacks star power, despite the participation of Jaylen Brown who ranked second. However, Stephen A. Smith believes that there is only one athlete responsible for the Slam Dunk’s demise, and it is LeBron James.

According to the ESPN analyst, the Lakers superstar’s refusal to participate in previous events during his prime has contributed to many other great players rejecting the opportunity. “LeBron James is directly responsible for ruining the slam dunk contest… The slam dunk contest, from 1985 to 1997, five of the 13 contests were won by future Hall of Famers…,” he assured.

“Every high-jumper, skywalker, and above-the-rim talent, salivated for the opportunity to participate in the dunk contest. It stopped when LeBron said I’m not doing it… There is no one who knows basketball that would refute what I am saying. LeBron James refusing to participate was the beginning and the spark plug of its demise. Period! There is no one who can dispute that,” Smith added.

There’s no doubt that the four-time champion has been one of the NBA’s best dunkers in the past two decades, and fans have implored him to take the Dunk Contest stage. LeBron once committed to the contest but then refused to participate, which has only increased the frustration.

According to the insider, the entire All-Star Weekend should be cancelled altogether, as the competition’s quality has dropped drastically in recent years. Stephen took the mic on Monday’s episode of First Take to voice out his thoughts.

“What transpired last night was an absolute travesty,” Smith expressed. “Nearly 400 points were scored. No defense, no effort whatsoever. This is the ultimate indictment against NBA stars who show up on NBA All-Star weekend—you play harder in the summer when you’re training.”

LeBron has previously explained why he never participated in the Dunk Contest despite fans’ requests

The purple and gold star has addressed this issue many times in the past, as he’s been heavily criticized for not prioritizing a special All-Star tradition that many Hall of Famers participated throughout the contest’s history.

“I don’t think it was something I wanted to accomplish in my career; it’s not a goal of mine, and it never was coming into the NBA to be a part of the Dunk Contest, you know? Making the NBA All-Star Team was, being the league MVP, winning Defensive Player of the Year, and winning NBA Championships…? Those were some goals of mine. The NBA Dunk Contest was never a goal of mine so, it wasn’t something that I had too much passion for,” he shared years ago.

Vince Carter, one of the greatest dunkers of all time, once gave insight on how the NBA would look for ways to incentivize the league’s stars to participate in the competition. The league reportedly even offered $1 million to athletes to compete.

“I know for a fact, some years back, the NBA tried this tactic as far as upping the ante a little bit, a million dollars. They threw around some names, I remember it was LeBron, Kobe, T-Mac—my name was thrown in there of course, and it was a few other people for $1 million. But you obviously couldn’t get the commitment of everyone to do it,” shared the Raptors icon.





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Giannis Antetokounmpo redeems promotion code for free Wingstop

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Milwaukee Bucks superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is a two-time MVP. He’s earned roughly 234.5 million dollars throughout the course of his career (it’ll be 459.1 million once his extension is completed). His net worth is estimated to be worth between 60 and 70 million dollars. And he’s created a media company with Jay Williams.

Simply put, Antetokounmpo is incredibly well-off financially. However, even with his fortune, Antetokounmpo is not above getting some free Wingstop.

Bucks In-Game Wingstop Promotion

The Bucks run a promotion during home games where fans get free Wingstop when a player on the opposing team misses both of their free throws. On January 27, 2024, with 2:46 left in the fourth quarter of a blowout, New Orleans Pelicans forward Naji Marshall missed both of his free throws – unlocking the Wingstop promotion.

When the promo code showed up on the jumbotron, people all across the stadium pulled out their phones to redeem the deal. And one of those people was, of course, The Greek Freak himself (a link to the video can be found here).

What Flavor Did Giannis Get?

Antetokounmpo eventually used the code he received at the game to get him some free Wingstop. But what flavor wings did he get?

According to Antetokounmpo’s Instagram, he treated himself to some Lemon Pepper wings (whether the wings were boneless or traditional is not known). Antetokounmpo said in the video he posted, “You know I can’t go nowhere without my lemon pepper wings, baby! I got ’em! Some people have them for lunch. I have them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”

He captioned the post, “I’m bringing the flavor to Indy,” in reference to the 2024 All-Star game being held in Indianapolis.

On the year, Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.8 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 6.2 APG, and 1.1 BPG on 65.1% true shooting. Most sportsbooks currently have him as the third favorite to take home the 2023-24 MVP award.





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