The Los Angeles Lakers' winning run came to an end in the NBA, while Giannis Antetokounmpo was again dominant for the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

The Lakers saw their seven-match winning streak ended in a 113-104 loss to the depleted Toronto Raptors.

Without the likes of Kyle Lowry (thumb) and Serge Ibaka (ankle), the Raptors got past the Lakers thanks to Pascal Siakam (24 points and 11 rebounds) and Fred VanVleet (23 points and 10 assists).

Lakers star LeBron James went five-of-15 for 13 points, while he also finished with 15 assists and 13 rebounds.

Anthony Davis contributed 27 points for the Lakers (7-2).

Antetokounmpo starred with 35 points and 16 rebounds to help the Bucks edge the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-119.

 

Embiid lifts 76ers as Booker, Rubio shine

Joel Embiid had 18 points and nine rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers ended a three-game losing run by beating the Charlotte Hornets 114-106.

Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio starred for the Phoenix Suns. Booker had 27 points and nine assists and Rubio a double-double of 22 points and 12 assists in a 138-112 thrashing of the Brooklyn Nets.

Trae Young had a double-double of 35 points and 10 assists, but the Atlanta Hawks suffered a 124-113 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

 

Morris unable to lift Knicks

Marcus Morris went three-of-12 for nine points in the New York Knicks' 108-87 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Jokic steps up again

Nikola Jokic hit his second game-winner in as many matches, seeing the Denver Nuggets edge the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-98 after overtime.

Sunday's results

Denver Nuggets 100-98 Minnesota Timberwolves
Indiana Pacers 109-102 Orlando Magic
Philadelphia 76ers 114-106 Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks 121-119 Oklahoma City Thunder
Cleveland Cavaliers 108-87 New York Knicks
Phoenix Suns 138-112 Brooklyn Nets
Portland Trail Blazers 124-113 Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors 113-104 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Raptors at Clippers

Kawhi Leonard faces his former team, the Raptors (7-2), when the Los Angeles Clippers (6-3) host Toronto on Monday.

The Los Angeles Lakers made it seven straight wins in the NBA, while not even a monster performance from D'Angelo Russell could lift the Golden State Warriors to victory.

The Lakers were too strong for the Miami Heat 95-80 on the back of strong displays from LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

James finished with 25 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Davis had 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

The Lakers improved to 7-1 to be top of the Western Conference.

The Warriors again fell short, slipping to 2-7 after a 125-119 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Russell delivered 52 points, nine rebounds and five assists, but the Warriors were beaten again.

 

Lillard magical for Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard finished with 60 points, but the Portland Trail Blazers suffered a 119-115 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Nikola Jokic had a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds in the Denver Nuggets' 100-97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Luka Doncic again starred with a triple-double of 38 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, but the Dallas Mavericks were upset by the New York Knicks 106-102. The 20-year-old became the youngest player in NBA history to record four triple-doubles in the first eight games of a season, according to NBA Stats.

The Toronto Raptors overcame the New Orleans Pelicans 122-104 as Pascal Siakam had 44 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Miserable Memphis

The Memphis Grizzlies were thrashed by the Orlando Magic 118-86 as Dillon Brooks went 0-for-seven for just three points in 22 minutes.

 

Bogdanovic buzzer-beater

Bojan Bogdanovic hit a buzzer-beater to see the Utah Jazz edge the Milwaukee Bucks 103-100.

Friday's results

Indiana Pacers 112-106 Detroit Pistons
Orlando Magic 118-86 Memphis Grizzlies
Cleveland Cavaliers 113-100 Washington Wizards
Sacramento Kings 121-109 Atlanta Hawks
Minnesota Timberwolves 125-119 Golden State Warriors
Toronto Raptors 122-104 New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks 106-102 Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets 100-97 Philadelphia 76ers
Utah Jazz 103-100 Milwaukee Bucks
Brooklyn Nets 119-115 Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Lakers 95-80 Miami Heat
 

Celtics at Spurs

The Boston Celtics (6-1) and San Antonio Spurs (5-3) look to continue their fine starts to the season.

LeBron James posted his third successive triple-double as the streaking Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 118-112 against the Chicago Bulls.

James stayed hot with 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Lakers to their sixth consecutive victory in the NBA on Tuesday.

The Lakers trailed the Bulls by 19 points before a fourth-quarter comeback ensured Los Angeles extended their winning run.

Kyle Kuzma helped lead the rally with 11 of his 15 points in the deciding quarter in Chicago.

Zach LaVine had 26 points but the Bulls fell to their fifth loss in six games.

 

Hayward ties career high

Gordon Hayward was the start of the show with 39 points in the Boston Celtics' 119-113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a career-high night for Hayward, who made all 16 of his two-point attempts.

Devonte Graham scored a career-high 35 points as the Charlotte Hornets outlasted the Indiana Pacers 122-120 in overtime.

Trae Young fuelled the Atlanta Hawks with 28 of his 29 points in the second half as the hosts topped the San Antonio Spurs 108-100.

 

Magic's struggles continue

At 2-5, it has not been an easy season for the Orlando Magic. In 2019-20, the Magic are yet to reach 100 points in a game following their 102-94 defeat away to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

Young with the fancy feet

LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills and the Spurs had no answer to Young in Atlanta.

 

Tuesday's results

Charlotte Hornets 122-120 Indiana Pacers (OT)
Boston Celtics 119-113 Cleveland Cavaliers
Atlanta Hawks 108-100 San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder 102-94 Orlando Magic
Los Angeles Lakers 118-112 Chicago Bulls
Denver Nuggets 109-89 Miami Heat

 

76ers at Jazz

Coming off their first defeat of the season, all eyes will be on the Philadelphia 76ers and how they respond. The championship hopefuls had opened the season with five straight wins before falling to the Phoenix Suns. The Utah Jazz also have a point to prove after back-to-back losses.

LeBron James posted a triple-double as the in-form Los Angeles Lakers topped the San Antonio Spurs 103-96 in NBA action on Sunday.

James record his second successive triple-double courtesy of 21 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds to lead the Lakers to their fifth consecutive victory.

Star team-mate Anthony Davis chipped in with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Dwight Howard had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers – who improved to 5-1.

The Spurs were led by Dejounte Murray's 18 points and 11 rebounds in An Antonio, where Rudy Gay added 16 points off the bench.

Kawhi Leonard put up 30 points as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the visiting Utah Jazz 105-94 – the home team using a 40-point final quarter to get the win.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler impressed in the Miami Heat's 129-100 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Butler had 18 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and four steals for the Heat, who raced out to a 46-14 lead after the opening quarter and never looked back to register a third straight win.

James Harden scored 29 points for Houston, while Russell Westbrook was held to just 10 on three-of-11 shooting.

 

Doncic fuels Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic scored 29 and added 15 assists and 14 rebounds — his second straight triple-double — to key a 131-111 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Porter has game to forget

Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. hit one of 10 shots in a 108-95 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

 

Windmill!

De'Aaron Fox stole the ball and had plenty of time to plan the perfect dunk for the Sacramento Kings, who beat the New York Knicks 113-92.

 

Sunday's results

Indiana Pacers 108-95 Chicago Bulls
Miami Heat 129-100 Houston Rockets
Sacramento Kings 113-92 New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers 103-96 San Antonio Spurs
Dallas Mavericks 131-111 Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Clippers 105-94 Utah Jazz

 

76ers at Suns

The Phoenix Suns have been a minor surprise, winning their last two despite the suspension of center Deandre Ayton. The Philadelphia 76ers are still perfect, but have had a couple of close calls against the Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers.

Brooklyn faced adversity early against Houston on Friday night, but they rebounded to claim a 123-116 victory at Barclays Center.

The Nets fell into a hole early and trailed by as much as 15 in the first half before it found scoring from some surprising places.

Taurean Prince unexpectedly led the way offensively with a team-high 27 points for Brooklyn while Garrett Temple chipped in with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Brooklyn still called Kyrie Irving's number down the stretch and he sealed the game with a step-back dagger on a corner 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. He finished with 22 points on the night.

James Harden continued his ridiculous run at the charity stripe, tallying 36 points and eight rebounds while sinking 14 free throws. But he struggled from deep and made only two of his 16 long-range shots.

Houston has made a name for itself by shooting a large number of threes, but shooting at a 25 percent clip against a Brooklyn team that converted 59.4 percent from downtown didn't help their chances.

The Rockets dropped to 3-2 in the western conference, while the Nets improved to 2-3 in season 2019-20.

Kemba makes himself at home in the Garden

Kemba Walker scored 33 points in the Celtics' 104-102 win over the Knicks at TD Garden.

Russell Westbrook totalled 27 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, and four steals against Brooklyn.

Andre Drummond tallied 25 points and 24 rebounds as the Pistons fell to the Bulls 112-106.

Lopez and Garland wayward

Brook Lopez went 1-of-7 from the field and scored three points in the Bucks' 123-91 rout of the Magic.

Cleveland's Darius Garland missed all 10 of his shots and notched just two points in his team's 102-95 loss to the Pacers.

Tatum ices the game for the Celtics

Jayson Tatum scored 24 points and nailed the decisive basket as the Celtics snuck past the Knicks.

 

 

76ers at Blazers

Philadelphia is undefeated but they face a talented Portland team without Joel Embiid who is serving a two-game suspension for a skirmish with Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns. How will the 76ers respond without their dominant post presence and defensive stud down low? Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum certainly won't make things easy for the Eastern Conference powerhouse.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have handed a long-term contract extension to general manager Koby Altman.

Despite struggling last season in the wake of LeBron James' move to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has insisted he has faith in Altman to turn their fortunes around.

Altman bucks a trend in Cleveland, having become the first GM to receive an extension since Gilbert bought the team in 2005.

Gilbert said: "Koby has been a culture-driver and an innovator who has built a fresh, new foundation and environment for our front office and team that inspires everyone involved.

"He is a passionate leader who is executing a very dynamic, strategic plan for the future of the team and our vision for growth and success.

"Koby's collaborative approach has also extended beyond the team and had a consistent, positive impact across our entire organisation.

"I look forward to seeing his hard work and creativity continue to make us better and help guide the team towards reaching our goals for years to come."

Altman, who has worked in Cleveland's front office since 2012, was promoted to his current role in July 2017 and received a three-year deal at the time.

"I'm truly humbled and excited to sign a long-term extension with the Cavaliers and I look forward to continuing the overall development and growth we are experiencing with this team," Altman said.

"We have a first-class organisation, led by our chairman Dan Gilbert, an extraordinary fanbase and a great team behind the team, who provide incredible resources and opportunities for us to be successful."

The 37-year-old watched his team plummet from their third consecutive NBA Finals appearance against the Golden State Warriors in his first full season at the helm to a 19-63 record last year after James departed for the Lakers.

This past off-season, Altman hired veteran coach John Beilein, sending a signal that player development was a priority for the franchise moving forward.

James Harden almost scored 60 points as the Houston Rockets won a high-scoring thriller against the Washington Wizards, while the Golden State Warriors' season went from bad to worse after Stephen Curry broke his hand.

Harden posted 59 points to lead the Rockets to a stunning 159-158 victory over the Wizards in NBA action on Wednesday.

MVP in 2017-18, Harden was 18-of-32 shooting while going 17 of 18 from the free-throw line as the Rockets registered a franchise-record score.

Rockets team-mate Russell Westbrook had another triple-double, scoring 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Wizards star Bradley Beal had 46 points of his own on 14-of-20 shooting, including seven of 12 from beyond the three-point line.

Curry, meanwhile, suffered a broken left hand in Golden State's 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns midweek.

The Warriors star landed heavily on his wrist in the third quarter and did not return as Golden State lost for the first time in four games.

It is another huge blow for the Warriors, who are already without injured All-Star Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant – who left for the Brooklyn Nets.

As for the Los Angeles Clippers, they lost 110-96 to the Utah Jazz after resting superstar Kawhi Leonard.

 

Siakam soars as Raptors roar

Pascal Siakam recorded 30 points for defending champions the Toronto Raptors, who topped the Detroit Pistons 125-113. Andre Drummond had 21 points and 22 rebounds in a losing effort.

Tristan Thompson posted 23 points and 10 rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 117-111 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Orlando Magic were 95-83 winners against the New York Knicks.

Kemba Walker put up 32 points, six rebounds and six assists as the Boston Celtics overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-105.

 

Wiggins highlights Timberwolves' woes

Andrew Wiggins had decent offensive numbers with 19 points, but the Minnesota Timberwolves were minus-27 with him on the floor in a 117-95 loss to the unbeaten Philadelphia 76ers.

 

Sabonis sizzles

Domantas Sabonis had 29 points and a nifty move to the basket in the Indiana Pacers' 118-108 win over the Nets.

 

Wednesday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 117-95 Minnesota Timberwolves
Cleveland Cavaliers 117-111 Chicago Bulls
Orlando Magic 95-83 New York Knicks
Toronto Raptors 125-113 Detroit Pistons
Boston Celtics 116-105 Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers 118-108 Brooklyn Nets
Portland Trail Blazers 102-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Houston Rockets 159-158 Washington Wizards
Utah Jazz 110-96 Los Angeles Clippers
Charlotte Hornets 118-111 Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns 121-110 Golden State Warriors

 

Nuggets at Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are still trying to get their first win of the season and they welcome a talented and deep Denver Nuggets team for the late game on Thursday.

Trae Young recently told a reporter the Atlanta Hawks will surprise everybody this season.

That's big talk for a player on a team that won only 29 games last season but the Hawks have backed it up so far. They were 2-0 entering Monday's home matchup with the favoured 76ers and they pushed the Eastern Conference title contenders to the buzzer before falling 105-103.

Joel Embiid hit a pair of free throws with just over five seconds remaining to seal the win as the 76ers rallied from eight points down in the final five minutes. Embiid led the way for Philadelphia with 36 points and 13 rebounds as the 76ers (3-0) remain the last unbeaten team in the eastern conference.

But the Hawks once again showed they are much improved from last year. Young had 25 points and nine assists, while John Collins (16 points, eight rebounds) and De’Andre Hunter (14 points, nine rebounds) played well.

De’Andre Hunter nailed a clutch three-point shot off the assist from Vince Carter tonight to finish with 14 points, nine rebounds and the team’s best +/- at +10.

The Hawks eventually lost 105-103, but Young's Hawks continue to be one of the surprises of the early season.

Russ and James lead the way in win over their former side

James Harden scored 40 points and Russell Westbrook scored 21 points, adding 12 rebounds and nine assists to key a 116-112 win over his old team, the Thunder.

Knicks forward Bobby Portis collected 28 points and 11 rebounds with a plus-31 rating in a 105-98 win over the Bulls.

Pistons forward Christian Wood had 19 points and 12 boards in 21 minutes off the bench in a 96-94 win over the Pacers.

JJ has unusually bad night from three-point land

JJ Redick hit only one of his 10 shots as the Pelicans fell to the Warriors.

Ingram gets high and jams

Brandon Ingram drives and extends for a big Pelicans slam.

Kawhi Leonard shows some nice touch around the basket here.

Monday's results

Indiana Pacers 94-96 Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls 98-105 New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers 105-103 Atlanta Hawks
Orlando Magic 95-104 Toronto Raptors
Oklahoma City Thunder 112-116 Houston Rockets
Cleveland Cavaliers 112-129 Milwaukee Bucks
Golden State Warriors 134-123 New Orleans Pelicans
Portland Trail Blazers 110-113 San Antonio Spurs
Utah Jazz 96-95 Phoenix Suns
Denver Nuggets 101-94 Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets 96-111 Los Angeles Clippers

Mavericks at Nuggets

Young stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are off to hot starts for the Mavericks with averages of more than 26 points per game, while the Nuggets have six players in double figures, led by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

The Los Angeles Clippers suffered their first defeat of the NBA season after losing 130-122 to the Phoenix Suns.

Kawhi Leonard had led the Clippers to back-to-back wins to start the campaign, however, they went down to the Suns on Saturday.

Devin Booker scored 30 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 20 as the Suns snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Clippers.

Leonard put up 27 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the visiting Clippers in Phoenix.

The Miami Heat spoiled the Milwaukee Bucks' home opener after prevailing 131-126 in overtime.

Giannis Antetokounmpo's Bucks held a 21-point lead in the third quarter but still lost to the rallying Heat, who were led by Goran Dragic's 25 points off the bench.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo finished with 29 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists to go with eight turnovers before fouling out late in overtime.

 

Westbrook surpasses Magic

Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook passed Magic Johnson for second place on the NBA's all-time triple-doubles list with his 139th. Westbrook had 28 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in the 126-123 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Trae Young might not have won Rookie of the Year last season, but he might be the NBA's MVP through two games (take that for what you will). The Atlanta Hawks guard scored 39 points while adding nine assists and seven rebounds in a 103-99 win over the Orlando Magic.

Kemba Walker scored 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting in the Boston Celtics' 118-95 victory against the New York Knicks.

 

Osman underwhelms despite Cavs win

Cedi Osman's four-year extension with the Cavaliers netted Cleveland one point and one rebound in 28 minutes in a 110-99 win over the Indiana Pacers.

 

DeRozan dazzles

DeMar DeRozan produced a nice layup through traffic to seal the deal for the San Antonio Spurs with five seconds remaining in a 124-122 win over the Washington Wizards.

Saturday's results

Miami Heat 131-126 Milwaukee Bucks
Philadelphia 76ers 117-111 Detroit Pistons
Atlanta Hawks 103-99 Orlando Magic
Boston Celtics 118-95 New York Knicks
Houston Rockets 126-123 New Orleans Pelicans
Toronto Raptors 108-84 Chicago Bulls
Cleveland Cavaliers 110-99 Indiana Pacers
San Antonio Spurs 124-122 Washington Wizards
Utah Jazz 113-81 Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns 130-122 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Trail Blazers at Mavericks

The Kristaps Porzingis era is off to a great start in Dallas as the Mavericks are unbeaten through two games. But Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has come out strong, too, and he presents a very interesting backcourt matchup opposite Luka Doncic.

The Philadelphia 76ers opened their NBA season with a 107-93 win over rivals the Boston Celtics, while Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets lost.

Ben Simmons led the way with 24 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as the 76ers topped the Celtics in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Celtics debutant Kemba Walker – acquired to replace Irving in Boston – scored 12 points on four-of-18 shooting and one-of-six shooting from beyond the three-point line.

Irving made history in Brooklyn's 127-126 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves midweek.

Nets star Irving recorded the most points by a player on his team debut in NBA history after scoring 50 in the OT defeat.

The six-time All-Star broke Kiki VanDeWeghe's record, which was set in 1984 after the German-American posted 47 points for the Portland Trail Blazers.

 

Washington dazzles on Hornets debut

PJ Washington set a Charlotte Hornets rookie record by making seven three-pointers in the team's 126-125 win over the Chicago Bulls. He also had 27 points in his NBA debut.

Andre Drummond had 32 points, 23 rebounds and four blocks in the Detroit Pistons' 119-110 win over the Indiana Pacers.

 

Holiday highlights Pacers' woes

Indiana Pacers guard Aaron Holiday scored zero points on 0-of-six shooting and 0-of-one shooting from beyond the three-point line. That is probably the reason he only played seven minutes.

 

Fultz shows signs of life on Magic debut

Markelle Fultz's career with the Orlando Magic is off to a good start after a 94-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former number one pick, who struggled at the 76ers, also threw one down in transition.

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 94-85 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 119-110 Indiana Pacers
Minnesota Timberwolves 127-126 Brooklyn Nets (OT)
Charlotte Hornets 126-125 Chicago Bulls
Miami Heat 120-101 Memphis Grizzlies
Philadelphia 76ers 107-93 Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks 108-100 Washington Wizards
San Antonio Spurs 120-111 New York Knicks
Utah Jazz 100-95 Oklahoma City Thunder
Denver Nuggets 108-100 Portland Trail Blazers
Phoenix Suns 124-95 Sacramento Kings

 

Bucks at Rockets

It is Russell Westbrook's Houston Rockets debut and now we get to see how he will work with James Harden. The two played together in Oklahoma City, but their usage rates were not nearly as high then as they are now. Oh, and we will see how reining MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo's shot has improved and if he will be more willing to shoot from beyond the arc.

David Griffin wants people to know he maintains a "positive relationship" with LeBron James.

Griffin received scrutiny after comments regarding the Los Angeles Lakers and former Cleveland Cavaliers star were published in a recent Sports Illustrated story.

Griffin – who spent nearly a decade as an executive in Cleveland's organisation before joining the New Orleans Pelicans – said he was "miserable" during his time with the Cavaliers.

His comments shocked James, according to ESPN, and Griffin said on Friday his feelings were unrelated to the NBA superstar.

"The fact that there was so much scrutiny in everything that we did, when I was speaking about being uncomfortable and being miserable, it was my inability to deal with that media scrutiny," Griffin told ESPN.

"It wasn't the man himself. It was everything that came with a team led by LeBron James. It had nothing to do with being miserable with LeBron. We had and have a very positive relationship."

Griffin thought the article was going to focus on New Orleans as he helped rebuild the roster by sending Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and three first-round picks as well as the addition of Derrick Favors and JJ Redick and former Duke star Zion Williamson with the top pick in the 2019 draft.

Former Cleveland Cavalier big man Samardo Samuels is expected to return to United States to join the Big 3 basketball league.

The professional 3-on-3 league founded in part by rapper Ice Cube has been attracting several former NBA players since its inception in 2017.  The move will see Samuels, the former Louisville centre, return to play basketball in the United State for the first time since 2013.

The 6’9, 270-pound big man signed for the Cavaliers in 2010 after going undrafted but failed to hold down a spot despite playing for three years with the Cavaliers. 

Since then the much-traveled Jamaica, who has had a tumultuous past several years, had plied his trade all over the globe.  The 30-year-old has stints in the NBA Development League, Israel, Italy, Spain, China, Italy again, Belgrade, and France.

Samuels is expected to join the Trilogy where he has been drafted to replace Patrick O’Bryant.  The competition’s eight-game regular season is scheduled to get underway on August 3.

 

The NBA summer league is winding down, as the preliminary round of games ends on Thursday.

Only the top eight seeds will advance to a single-elimination tournament set to begin on July 13, so quite a few prospects will have to wait until the preseason begins in October to return to the court.

Some players have surpassed expectations in July while others have not. Success in the summer league does not necessarily translate to the regular season, but let's take a look at who is hot and who is not so far.

 

Hot

Tyler Herro, Miami Heat

Herro's criticism ahead of the 2019 NBA draft was based on his poor defense and lack of efficiency, despite his reputation as a sharpshooter. The summer league has allowed him to showcase that he has more to offer than shooting, though.

The 6-5 guard initiated the Heat's offense early and often and helped lead the team to a 3-1 record in the preliminary round. He showcased his playmaking ability out of pick-and-roll sets and has averaged 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals.

Herro probably is not close to becoming a primary option for the Heat, especially since Miami already have Goran Dragic, Jimmy Butler and Justise Winslow on board. But Herro's versatility is a good sign.

Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs

Walker had his rookie season derailed by a meniscus tear, but he appears like he is poised to have a great sophomore campaign.

The 6-5 guard entered Thursday tied for first in the summer league in points per game (30.0) and he has been ridiculously efficient. Walker shot 58 per cent from the field in his two appearances.

His team went 2-2, so it is not likely he will play again in the tournament.

The Spurs will have some serious battles in their 2019-20 backcourt, as Walker will compete with the likes of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and DeMar DeRozan for time after playing in just 17 regular season games last season.

Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have found yet another diamond in the rough.

Boucher, 26, has played in 29 regular season games and is routinely dominating the summer league by averaging 22.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest. Toronto have the NBA's reigning Most Improved Player in Pascal Siakam, and Boucher could be up next. 

The 6-10 big man is fresh off a season in which he was crowned MVP and Defensive Player of the Year of the G-League, playing for Toronto 905. He won his second straight NBA title with the Raptors in 2018-19, as he played for the Golden State Warriors in 2017-18.

The departure of Kawhi Leonard could clear space for him to break into Toronto's rotation.

Not

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks

New York were initially favoured to win the summer league championship but went an underwhelming 1-3.

Barrett, the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, averaged 14.0 points and 8.8 rebounds but shot 30 per cent from the field with genuine rotation players around him.

The Knicks could be in a lot of trouble if his shooting struggles linger.

Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers

Many felt Portland got a steal when they selected Little with the 25th pick in 2019 but he definitely has some work to do.

The 6-7 wing has tallied 22 minutes per contest through three games. He is averaging 4.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 33 per cent from the field. 

Little has shown flashes of his athleticism and is still figuring out how to fit in offensively.

Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers

Wade went undrafted after four years at Kansas State, so there were not lofty expectations for him.

However, the Cavaliers have not received much from him in the 27 minutes he has averaged through three games.

The 6-10 forward is averaging 5.7 points and 5.7 rebounds but is only shooting 26 per cent from the field. That is a big drop off for a player who was the first option in college and hovered around 50 per cent shooting.

The Oklahoma City Thunder appear to have entered rebuild mode - and Russell Westbrook could be the next star out the door.

With Kawhi Leonard having persuaded Paul George to leave the Thunder and join him at the Los Angeles Clippers, eight-time All-Star Westbrook is understood to be open to the idea of ending his stay with the franchise.

The 30-year-old point guard, who has undergone a series of operations on his right knee, could prove difficult to move on, though. He has four years and over $160million remaining on the mammoth contract extension he signed in September 2017.

Still, we take a look at the teams that could offer Westbrook a new home.

 

New York Knicks

After trading away franchise player Kristaps Porzingis, losing out on top free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to the Brooklyn Nets and missing the chance to draft Zion Williamson, the Knicks will no doubt be keen to get a star on board.

They would have to wait until December to put together a package including players who they have recently signed, however.

 

Miami Heat

Having already signed Jimmy Butler in free agency, Miami is understood to be a destination that appeals to Westbrook.

The Heat have already got Hassan Whiteside off their books and could offer the favourable contracts of talented duo Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow, but a lack of draft capital to offer may prove troublesome.

 

Detroit Pistons

A move for Westbrook would likely require the Pistons' All-Star center Andre Drummond to head the other way. Still, Detroit's issue is the other salaries they could use in any deal; those contracts run for longer than the Thunder will surely have in mind for any new arrivals.

However, combining the former MVP with Blake Griffin would offer them a greater chance of success in a much-changed Eastern Conference.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves reportedly narrowly missed out on signing D'Angelo Russell, who joined the Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade deal that sent Durant to the Nets.

Exchanging Andrew Wiggins' contract, which has four years and more than $120m remaining, for Westbrook undoubtedly presents them an improved chance of contending this season.

Yet such an agreement would again rely on significant draft picks being offered.

 

Other contenders

Putting Westbrook on a team with two other ball-dominant players in James Harden and Chris Paul sounds like a crazy idea, but that has not stopped the Houston Rockets reportedly taking an interest. The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to trade Kevin Love and focus on a rebuild at some stage, though they could scrap that and pair him with Westbrook to make themselves relevant once again.

LeBron James made his home debut at Staples Center but it did not go according to plan after the Los Angeles Lakers lost a feisty game against the Houston Rockets. 

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