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NBA News and Notes: February 12, 2019

With the dust settling from the NBA trade deadline, let’s take a look at some of the biggest names to be traded.

Kristaps Porzingis traded to the Dallas Mavericks

This trade seemed to come out of nowhere and came about quickly. Porzingis, who is out for the season with a torn ACL, voiced his concerns with the direction of the Knicks and, in turn, the Knicks sent him packing. He was sent to the Mavericks, along with Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke for Dennis Smith Jr, DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and 2 future 1stround picks. For the Knicks it is a huge salary relief, as they can now offer two max contracts, and for the Mavericks, the option to pair Porzingis with Luka Doncic is awfully enticing.

Tobias Harris traded to Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers are putting together a decent little team, and the acquisition of Tobias Harris to go along with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Jimmy Butler could be a big one. Harris is averaging 20.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists this season, and while his numbers won’t be that high with the 76ers, it makes Philadelphia all the more dangerous. The full trade included Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and four draft picks.

Toronto Raptors get Marc Gasol

Prior to the deadline, the Raptors showed they were going all in by also trading for Marc Gasol. In a deal that saw them send Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles, and a 2024 2nd round pick, the Raptors solidified their interior with the veteran Gasol. On the season, Gasol is averaging 15.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists. Throw him in with the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry and the Raptors are certainly a feared team in the East.

While there were other big trades, like the trading of Nikola Mirotic to the Bucks or Otto Porter Jr. to the Bulls, these three were probably the biggest of the three trades from the very busy deadline.

NBA All-Star Selections Create Buzz

The NBA All-Star selections have been made by team captains Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo and while the game itself is nothing more than just an exhibition game, the selections have created some buzz. Most of the reason for the buzz is the soon-to-be free agents that are on Lebron James’ team. With Lebron looking to recruit for his Los Angeles Lakers, this may have been the perfect opportunity. Players like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Klay Thompson will all be rolling with Team Lebron. Oh, and then there is that guy Anthony Davis, who the Lakers tried desperately to trade for only to be refuted by the New Orleans Pelicans, yeah, he is on Team Lebron too.

Throw in players like James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Karl-Anthony Towns and Team Lebron is stacked. That is not taking anything away from Team Giannis, though, as he will be rolling with the likes of Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Kemba Walker, Nikola Jokic, and others. Regardless, the NBA All-Star game should be a lot of fun.

A Couple Streaks Still Intact And Breaking Records

On Monday, there were a couple streaks that were in jeopardy of ending that live to see another day. The first of the two actually made their record books. Russell Westbrook broke the NBA record for consecutive triple doubles, breaking a 51-year record that was held by Wilt Chamberlain. It was Westbrook’s 10th straight triple-double and, amazingly, his 23rd of the season. In fact, he is averaging a triple-double at 21.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per game. On the season, his Oklahoma City Thunder are 37-19, good for 3rd in the Western Conference and 3.5 games behind the first-place Warriors.

The other streak that continues on is James Harden’s streak of consecutive games scoring 30 or more points. There was a little more drama in this one as he had to score 11 points in the last few minutes to keep this one alive, but alive and well it is. If he hits 30 in his next game, he will be tied for the second longest streak with Wilt Chamberlain at 31 straight games, but would still need 34 more games to tie first place, also held by Wilt Chamberlain, of 65 straight games of 30 or more. On the season, Harden is averaging 36.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists and should be a solid contender in the MVP race once again. His Rockets currently sit at 33-23, good for 5th in the Western Conference.

Pacers Add Wesley Matthews

Veteran guard Wesley Matthews officially signed with the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. After being traded by the Dallas Mavericks in the Kristap Porzingis trade, the Knicks waived the veteran guard. The Pacers were quick to snag him up as they continue to try to lessen the blow of losing All-star Victor Oladipo, who ruptured his quad tendon in his right knee. On the season, Matthews is averaging 12.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. For the Pacers, they currently sit at 38-19, good for 3rd in the Eastern Conference. With Milwaukee and Toronto loading up for the postseason, the Pacers know they will have their work cut out for them in what is becoming a relatively formidable Eastern Conference.

VanVleet To Miss A Few Weeks

On Monday, the Toronto Raptors announced that they were signing guard Jeremy Lin and a little later, they may have revealed why. Guard Fred VanVleet looks like he will be out for a few weeks with a partially torn ligament in his left thumb, an injury suffered on Saturday in a game against the New York Knicks. On the season, VanVleet is averaging 10.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists for the Raptors. The Raptors are currently 42-16 and sit just one game behind the Milwaukee Bucks for first place in the Eastern Conference.

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