In this episode, Santiago and Hal recap the 2023 NBA All-Star Game and more NBA news!
Santiago Leon – @sleon
Hal Phillips – @mandarinhal
Russell Westbrook to Clippers
After completing a contract buyout, nine-time All-Star guard Russell Westbrook plans to sign with the LA Clippers, his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, told ESPN.
Once Westbrook and the Utah Jazz complete the buyout on the remaining $47 million owed on his expiring deal, the former NBA MVP will clear waivers and return to Los Angeles — this time with the Clippers.
The Clippers became increasingly interested with Westbrook as team officials, including coach Ty Lue and president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, dug into a series of conversations with Westbrook, sources said. Those discussions centered on Westbrook’s willingness to fit into a clear and specific role with the Clippers built around his playmaking, rebounding and toughness, sources said.
The Los Angeles Lakers traded Westbrook and a 2027 first-round round pick to the Jazz as part of a three-team deal on Wednesday. After a tumultuous season-plus with the Lakers, Westbrook took time to decompress and consider his possibilities. Westbrook embraced a sixth-man role for the Lakers, averaging 15.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists in 28.7 minutes per game.
NBA All-Star Rosters
Pos Player Team
F LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
F Nikola Jokić Denver Nuggets
C Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers
G Kyrie Irving Dallas Mavericks
G Luka Dončić Dallas Mavericks
F Anthony Edwards Minnesota Timberwolves
G Jaylen Brown Boston Celtics
F Paul George Los Angeles Clippers
G Tyrese Haliburton Indiana Pacers
F Julius Randle New York Knicks
G De’Aaron Fox Sacramento Kings
F Jaren Jackson Jr. Memphis Grizzlies
Head Coach: Michael Malone (Denver Nuggets)
Pos Player Team
F Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
F Lauri Markkanen Utah Jazz
G Donovan Mitchell Cleveland Cavaliers
G Ja Morant Memphis Grizzlies
G Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics
G Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers
G Jrue Holiday Milwaukee Bucks
G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Oklahoma City Thunder
G DeMar DeRozan Chicago Bulls
F Pascal Siakam Toronto Raptors
C Bam Adebayo Miami Heat
C Domantas Sabonis Sacramento Kings
Head Coach: Joe Mazzulla (Boston Celtics)
Team Giannis tops Team Lebron
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell combined for 95 points to lift Team Giannis to a 184-175 win over Team LeBron at the All-Star Game Sunday in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Tatum was named All-Star Game MVP after breaking the event’s scoring record with 55 points in a winning cause for Team Giannis.
Tatum scored 27 of points in the third quarter, also establishing an All-Star Game record.
Team Giannis 184, Team LeBron 175
Scoring by quarter: 46–46, 53–46, 59–49, 26–34
Pts: Jayson Tatum 55
Rebs: Jayson Tatum 10
Asts: Donovan Mitchell 10 Pts: Jaylen Brown 35
Rebs: Jaylen Brown 14
Asts: Kyrie Irving 15
Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
#30 John Goble #29 Mark Lindsay #38 Michael Smith
McClung wins 2023 Slam Dunk Crown
Philadelphia 76ers guard Mac McClung edged New Orleans Pelicans forward Trey Murphy in the Slam Dunk contest Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah.
McClung took down Murphy in the final with back-to-back perfect scores, finishing with 50s on all but one his four attempts on the night.
McClung signed a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this week to participate, and he did not disappoint.
McClung is an interesting story. He has only four games of NBA experience. He has spent more time in the G-League, currently with the Delaware Blue Hens, and previously with the South Bay Lakers, where he was the league’s rookie of the year.
But he didn’t stick with the Lakers, or the Warriors, who invited him to camp. McClung says he realizes he needs to improve his ball-handling, which is the only barrier keeping him from the league.
The other contestants in the four-player field were KJ Martin of the Rockets and Jericho Sims of the Knicks, who were eliminated in the preliminaries.
The judges were Wilkins and another two-time champ, Harold Miner, along with Lisa Leslie, Karl Malone and Jamal Crawford. The trophy was awarded by Julius Erving, the first dunk champion, and named after him.
Lillard wins 2023 three-point contest
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard captured the Three-Point Contest at All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, defeating Indiana Pacers duo Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton in the final round.
Lillard is the first player in his franchise’s history to win the competition. He registered a final-round score of 26, narrowly edging Hield with his final shot attempt.
Lillard made both of his “Starry” balls, while Hield went 0-for-2. Each of those 30-foot shots were worth three points.
Kevin Love to Heat
The Miami Heat are signing Kevin Love after the veteran forward received a buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers, per ESPN. Love, who was a member of the Cavaliers since 2014, was the last remaining player from Cleveland’s 2016 championship season.
It was first reported on Wednesday that Love and the Cavaliers were working toward a buyout, with the Heat viewed as the early favorites to sign him. He drew interest from several playoff-contending teams — and reportedly talked to the 76ers — but The Athletic reported that Miami’s pitch to the veteran forward involved a defined role on a squad primed to compete in the playoffs.
nine season with Cavs
Six seasons with Timberwolves
hasn’t played since Jan. 24th
RM at LFC
What is your favorite muffin?
Plain – 0%; Chocolate Chip Muffin – 25%; Blueberry Muffin – 75%; Banana Nut Muffin – 0
HP: Raisin Bran Muffin
Santiago Leon is the Founder and CEO of the Sports Cast. He covers NFL, NBA, and world soccer. He’s also founder of sleon productions, which he specializes in technology and serves clients with solutions to make their business grow.