The NBA season is heating up, with contenders looking to pull away from the pack and others struggling to keep up.
Check out the latest news and rumors below.
Lakers Should Consider Trading Kobe, Columnist Says
Kobe Bryant has become the subject of trade rumors as the Los Angeles Lakers keep losing and it becomes apparent they won’t make the playoffs.
The group, which some fans considered a possible contender for a low seed, lost Steve Nash and rookie Julius Randle in the preseason or early season, and sixth man Nick Young is also out due to an injury.
The rumors appeared to start with pure speculation from an ESPN reporter, but prompted Bryant to tell Yahoo Sports that he’s not going anywhere.
But Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated says that the Lakers should consider trading Kobe.
“The Lakers are bad. Really bad. They may not challenge the ’72-73 Sixers for the worst record of all-time, but at the very least they will keep pace with this year’s tanking Philadelphia team.The Lakers are inefficient on offense (No. 16 in the NBA), a disaster on defense and have a weird aversion to shooting the three, a weapon that virtually every successful team of this era has utilized in one form or another. Bryant has attempted nearly a third of the Lakers’ triples during their 0-5 start, suggesting that he has unilaterally decided there is still value in them,” Mannix said.
“It’s hard to see things getting much better, either. The schedule is brutal — a Nov. 28 home date with the Wolves is the Lakers’ first game against a non-playoff contender — and help isn’t exactly on the way. Steve Nash is gone, Julius Randle is out for the season, and if you are banking on Nick Young to make a measurable difference, well, I’ve got Ernie Grunfeld’s office number for you.
“So I’ll ask: Why not trade Kobe? Or, at the very least, have a real discussion with Kobe about if he wants to be traded.”
Ray Allen Spotted in Chicago?
One rumor going around is that Ray Allen, the target of many of the best teams in the league, was spotted in Chicago.
The Bulls, along with teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Washington Wizards are targeting Allen, an unrestricted free agent.
Allen played for the Heat the last several years but few expect him to return there since LeBron James left.
Marc Silverman of ESPN 1000 reported the rumor that Allen was spotted in Chicago on Wednesday.
Allen and his agent have maintained that the 3-point ace hasn’t chosen where to go.
Allen said in late October that he’s going to watch the season unfold before he chooses.
“I’ve just been home, taking my kids to school,” Allen told the Hartford Courant.
“I’m working out, taking care of my body. I’m in great shape. I’ll just watch how the season progresses, and if I do feel the desire to continue to play, then I’ll decide what situation is viable for me…”
Warriors, Rockets, Grizzlies Remain Unbeaten
The Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, and Golden State Warriors remain the only unbeaten teams in the NBA.
The Rockets are now 6-0 after trouncing the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night. The Grizzlies, also in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference, are 5-0. The Warriors are on top the West’s Pacific Division at 4-0.
All three teams look to be early contenders that can go deep in the playoffs, although the Rockets schedule in particular has been fairly weak so far despite four of the wins coming on the road.
The Warriors knocked off the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday to remain unbeaten. The 121-104 win seemed to be over early in the game.
Stephen Curry had 28 points and seven assists, and Draymond Green scored a career-high 24 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists as the Warriors showed off the swagger of a confident and complete contender.
They built a 25-point lead in the second quarter and held off the Clippers the rest of the way, getting a small slice of revenge after losing a heated first-round playoff series to Los Angeles last season.
“You’ve got to be able to enjoy it,” Curry said. “We’re playing well right now.”
A number of teams have only one loss, including the Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, and Sacramento Kings.