Category Archives: Mobile Sports

WATCH: Auburn Fans Go Wild on Campus Celebrating Upset Over UNC

Auburn Tigers basketball wrapped up a statement victory on Friday night by upsetting No. 1 seed North Carolina in dominant fashion during the Sweet 16 of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels, who were a popular championship pick (after the Duke Blue Devils), were stunned and sent packing in a double-digit loss to Bruce Pearl’s squad.Not surprisingly, after the huge win, Auburn fans had plenty to celebrate, and they did just that on campus. As Sara Palczewski of the Opelika-Auburn News revealed, fans were wreaking havoc over their team’s Elite Eight trip.

This is what happens when you knock off a No. 1 seed in Auburn. 😳
— Sara Palczewski (@SaraPalczewski) March 30, 2019
Auburn’s Dominant Win Over UNCThe Tigers were up just two points at halftime but outscored the Tar Heels by 15 in the second half while pouring in 56 points over the final 20 minutes to win 97-80. They were led by a superb performance by Chuma Okeke, who scored 20 points with 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Unfortunately, he left the game with an apparent knee injury and there hasn’t been an update yet on his status.Along with Okeke’s impressive showing, Malik Dunbar scored 13 points while Bryce Brown added 12 points and four rebounds. Jared Harper did a bit of everything by scoring nine points with 11 assists.Auburn was simply on fire in this game, shooting 54.5 percent from the field and knocking down 17-of-37 from beyond the arc (45.9 percent). Along with the four aforementioned players, the Tigers got production across the board, including 40 bench points. Danjel Purifoy led the bench scoring with 14 points while J’Von McCormick tacked on 10 points.What’s Ahead for Auburn BasketballThe trip to the Elite Eight is a huge accomplishment, and the Tigers will now face the winner of Kentucky vs. Houston, which was the late game on Friday night. Whoever they face, that game will be played on Sunday, but the time has yet to be determined.As for the team specifically, attention will shift to Okeke, whose knee injury left obvious cause for concern as he needed to be helped off the floor. It was a tough scene to watch and came on a non-contact play, as seen below courtesy of CBS Sports.

Amazing sportsmanship from UNC’s players to greet Chuma Okeke as he made his way off the court
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 30, 2019
We’ll certainly monitor the situation, but it’s unlikely any major update on the forward’s injury will come until some point on Saturday. After the game, Pearl was asked about Okeke and couldn’t hold back his tears while attempting to talk about the injury.

“We’re going to rally. I’ll go hug on him.”
Bruce Pearl gets emotional discussing Chuma Okeke after @AuburnMBB’s win over North Carolina. 🙏#MarchMadness | #Sweet16
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 30, 2019
READ NEXT: Tacko Fall NBA Draft: Latest Mocks & Projections for UCF Center

WATCH: Duke’s Zion Williamson Flashes Insane Vertical on Block vs Virginia Tech

Category : Basketball , Duke , Mobile Sports , Sports

It didn’t take long for Zion Williamson to come up with a highlight reel play in the Sweet 16 showdown between Duke and Virginia Tech. At the 12 minute mark in the first half, Williamson rotated over to help and showed off his insane vertical leap by getting up and blocking a Kerry Blackshear Jr. shot that was at the top of the rectangle.

WATCH: Duke’s Zion Williamson Flashes Insane Vertical on Block vs Virginia Tech

Zion got UP for the rejection! 😱#MarchMadness | @DukeMbb
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 30, 2019

This isn’t the first time Zion has shown off his hops on the defensive side of the ball. A true two-way player who brings relentless energy on both sides of the basketball, Williamson has been known for his flashy defensive highlights almost as much as his legendary dunking. Most notably, Williamson closed out and got up on another insane block against Virginia back in January.

Insane block against UVA by #ZionWilliamson
— JULITO (@locosfgfan) March 21, 2019

Maybe Williamson has it out for schools in Virginia but the more likely answer is that Zion Williamson is an athletic freak of nature and unlike any other prospect that the basketball world has ever seen.

Zion Williamson Forced to Lead Duke over Virginia Tech Without Cam Reddish
With Cam Reddish out of the starting lineup due to a knee injury sustained in practice on Thursday, Zion is missing one of his most important supporting cast members. Despite the criticism cast towards Reddish this season and his subsequent slide down mock draft boards, he offered the Blue Devils their only reliable option behind the three-point line.
While Reddish’s skill set is a bit more suited for being a primary ball-handler as opposed to a spot up shooter, he still performed relatively well in his role and gave Duke an open option on almost every play (if he would knock it down or not is a different story). Without Reddish in the lineup, teams can get even more comfortable sagging off the three-point line and collapsing nearly the entire team into the paint when Williamson attacks the rim.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker NBA Draft: Latest Mocks & Projections

Virginia Tech Hokies guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker has impressed throughout the 2018-19 college basketball season. He’s played a huge role in the team’s success and helping the Hokie land a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament. The sophomore guard’s play has also resulted in his 2019 NBA Draft stock increasing quite a bit as well, and he’s currently a first-round pick in the eyes of many analysts.After a freshman season in which Alexander-Walker averaged 10.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists, he’s improved across the board. The 6-foot-5 guard has posted marks of 16.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists while shooting 47.8 percent from the field. He’s also showcased his ability to step out and knock down shots beyond the arc, shooting 38.6 percent over his first 66 collegiate games.We’re going to breakdown the latest mock drafts and projections for the Virginia Tech guard as the draft draws closer.Nickeil Alexander-Walker NBA Draft Projections & MocksThere are a number of interesting current mock drafts, but one specifically gives a decent amount of love to Alexander-Walker. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has him off the board at No. 16 to thee Detroit Pistons, ahead of a few big names in UNC’s Nassir Little (No. 17), Kentucky’s PJ Washington (19) and fellow guard in Duke’s Tre Jones (24).Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo has Walker-Alexander coming off the board at No. 20 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He details the belief that the Virginia Tech guard would play well alongside Thunders tar Russell Westbrook.Most have come to realize that Alexander-Walker profiles best as a two who can play off of a downhill-oriented playmaking ballhandler. With that in mind, he’d be a nice fit playing off of Russell Westbrook, which would create opportunities for him to attack defenses off ball rotation and remove the pressure to anchor possessions.A first-round outlook is realistic, and make a lot of sense based on his ability to do a bit of everything. Beyond that, Alexander-Walker’s size should transition well to the NBA level.Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s NBA Draft Big Board OutlookWith Alexander-Walker flirting with the potential to become a lottery pick, ESPN’s “best available” pegs him slightly lower than the above mock drafts. While they have the Hokies standout as one of the top-25 prospects, he comes in at No. 22. ESPN has him pegged behind Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura (No. 18), Kentucky’s Tyler Herro (20) and UNC’s Cameron Johnson (21), among other interesting names.On the opposite end of the spectrum, offers one of the most up-to-date big boards and has given Alexander-Walker an impressive outlook. They currently have the guard pushing for a spot in the top-10 and currently sitting at No. 12 while trending upwards.READ NEXT: Tacko Fall NBA Draft: Latest Mocks & Projections for UCF Center

Corey Davis Jr. NBA Draft Profile: Mocks & Projections for Houston Guard

The Houston Cougars have rolled through the 2019 college basketball season and it’s been thanks to a mixture of exceptional guard play and great defense. One name who’s stood out is senior guard Corey Davis Jr., who’s been red-hot through the latter part of the season. In turn, he’s put his name in the mix as someone to watch in the build-up to the 2019 NBA Draft.While Davis averaged 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, each of those numbers are an increase from last season. The 6-foot-1 guard is a tough player to gauge, as he’s actually attempted far more 3-pointers (8.0 per game) than shots inside the paint (4.9). In turn, this drives his overall shooting percentage down, but when looking at the two numbers on their own, neither is bad.From inside the arc this season, Davis has shot 49.4 percent while he’s knocked down 38.1 percent from deep. He’s showcased his ability to work inside the 3-point line as of late, which could be big for his draft outlook.Corey Davis Jr. NBA Draft Projections & MocksDavis comes in as the always fun/confusing player who simply wasn’t getting much attention on the NBA front prior to the 2019 NCAA Tournament. In turn, most big boards and mock drafts have left the Houston star off their list currently. Obviously, there’s a good chance that could change after the tournament wraps up, especially considering he’s been elite.Through the first two tournament games, Davis scored 47 combined points with 13 rebounds, eight assists and four steals. He’s knocked down 10-of-26 shots from beyond the arc while making seven in the opener against Georgia State.Davis is the type of player who could use the pre-draft process as a way to bolster his stock even more. Beyond that, there are a few areas of his game which need improvement, but many of them aren’t things that can’t be tweaked at the NBA level.Corey Davis Jr. NBA Draft ProfileThere’s no denying that when the Cougars guard gets hot, he can change games quickly. He’s an excellent shooter from outside, has shown the ability to finish around the room with decent consistency. Davis has the “it” factor teams look for, and only averages 1.4 turnovers per game through the first 36 games of the 2018-19 season.Davis has also improved as a free throw shooter and began getting to the line more in the current season. After making 80.8 percent from the charity stripe in the 2017-18 season, that number jumped to 87.3 percent this year.The concerns about Davis’ game may stem from the fact that he’s not necessarily a prototypical NBA point guard. He’s averaged 2.4 and 2.8 assists per game in the two years at Houston so his ability as a passer could become a question. As far as how his defensive skills will transition to the next level, that’s going to be a talking point. He weighs 190 pounds and plays strong, but would likely face guards who have a size advantage on him in the NBA.Overall, Davis has a realistic chance to push into the second round, especially for a guard-needy team or someone who wants to let him grow on their G League roster. He possesses plenty of upside and should be a “riser” throughout the pre-draft process.READ NEXT: Tacko Fall NBA Draft: Latest Mocks & Projections for UCF Center

5 Best Duke Players Currently in NBA

Category : Basketball , Duke , Mobile Sports , Sports

Although Duke has the second most active players in the NBA, they lack the NBA star power that some of the other “blue blood” programs have in spades. With a number of players going in the lottery in recent years, there are plenty of Duke players with enormous upside at the NBA level yet few have seemed to reach their full potential.With their strongest recruiting class yet in 2018-2019, there is a good chance we see some new names surface on this list over the next few years. Zion Williamson, in particular, could end up finding himself close to the top of this list as soon as next year if he ends up playing to his full potential.That leads us to the question, who are the five best Duke basketball players currently in the NBA?5 Best Duke Players Currently in the NBA5. J.J. Redick, SG
It seems almost insane that given the success of Duke and the fact that they have converted into a one and done machine over the past few years that J.J. Redick would find himself on this list. The last holdover from the old days of four-year players dominating Duke, Redick’s shooting has led him to have a late career renaissance at age 34. Since turning 30, Redick has morphed into a sniper from deep and has thrived in a floor spacing offensive role. 4. Justise Winslow, PG/SF
Heading into the 2018-2019 season, many considered Winslow to be a lottery bust. However, even though Winslow put up inefficient offensive numbers to start his career, his defensive play had carved him out a regular spot in the rotation. With an immense talent that he struggled to tap into as an off-ball forward, the Heat decided to test out running him in a point-forward role and saw fantastic results. Filling up the stat sheet with points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks on a nightly basis, Winslow is a swiss-army knife style player that can impact the game on nearly every front. 3. Brandon Ingram, SG/SF
Another former Dukie that the NBA was ready to label a bust, Ingram instead enjoyed a breakout season playing alongside LeBron James. Especially following the All-Star break, Ingram turned into one of the leagues most dangerous scoring options and gave LeBron a bonafide secondary scoring option. However, a scare with DVT would end his season but thankfully Ingram should be healthy and ready to go for next season. 2. Jayson Tatum, SF/PF
Taken third overall in the 2017 NBA draft, Jayson Tatum is one of the few Duke prospects in recent years that has lived up to the hype – and then some. After finishing third in rookie of the year voting behind Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell, Tatum would go on to outplay the both of them during the postseason and was a crucial cog to Boston exceeding expectations and making a deep run without Max Salary Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. 1. Kyrie Irving, PG
By far the best current Duke player in the NBA, Kyrie Irving is an All-Star, All-NBA player, and World Champion among others. After initially playing sidekick to LeBron upon the King’s return to Cleveland, Irving jumped ship to the Celtics where he could lead his own team and has seen fantastic individual stats. However, the Celtics have struggled to integrate him and Hayward back into the lineup after their injuries and Irving’s personal successes are coming at the expense of the team’s success. Honorable Mention: Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr., Jabari Parker

Zion Williamson NBA Comparison & Position Prediction for Duke Star

Category : Basketball , Duke , Mobile Sports , Sports

While listed as a small forward coming out of high school, Zion Williamson has played most of his college ball as an undersized (height-wise) power forward. Coming into Duke alongside top recruit (at the time) RJ Barrett and fellow top-five recruit Cam Reddish, Duke had a slight logjam at the small forward position. Barrett was afforded the opportunity to get the lion’s share of minutes as the primary scoring option on the wing, which forced Reddish and Williamson into unfamiliar roles. Cam Reddish has struggled in his role as a floor-spacing wing option, however, Zion has seamlessly transitioned into a once in a generation talent at his new position.This begs the question, what will Zion Williamson’s position be at the NBA level?Duke’s Zion Williamson Position Prediction in the NBADespite only standing 6’7″ and standing much shorter than nearly every other power forward in the league, Zion weighs an astounding 285 pounds. That would put Zion as the second heaviest player in the NBA. At the college level, Williamson’s strength and athleticism have allowed him to dominate despite his lack of height. Especially on the defensive end, Williamson is an immovable force down low who can close out shots on the perimeter with lightning speed. While it wouldn’t be realistic to expect Zion to physically dominate the game down low at the next level the way he is now, we really haven’t seen anyone with his physical tools before and he should be able to use those skills to his advantage from the jump. A lot of where Zion ends up finding himself playing depends on the team that ends up drafting him. For example, if Zion were to be drafted by the New York Knicks, he would seamlessly slot in at the power forward spot in the absence of Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks already have promising young scorer Kevin Knox manning the small forward position and have a gaping void in terms of a presence down low should DeAndre Jordan walk in free agency. On the other hand, if the Cleveland Cavaliers land the first overall pick, they already have an established All-Star power forward in Kevin Love. With a gaping hole at the wing, Williamson would fit the Cavaliers perfectly as an aggressive rebounding small forward whose defensive versatility could be deployed all over the court from his spot on the wing. Moreover, Williamson’s court vision and ability to collapse a defense would likely result in plenty of wide open looks (sounds like one of Love’s former teammates…) behind the three-point line for one of the surest shooting big men in NBA history. Zion Williamson NBA Player ComparisonAs far as a player comparison at the NBA level, there really isn’t any viable option as we haven’t seen anyone with the raw physical tools that Zion comes into the league possessing. Instead, you have to pick apart Zion’s game piece by piece to find a unique comparison for each aspect of his game.Athleticism: LeBron James This one feels almost a little TOO easy. Zion’s ability to get up to his top speed, leaping ability and body control are all very reminiscent of the King. While it may take a year or two for him to get comfortable with the speed of the NBA, he should establish himself as the premier athlete in the league from the moment he steps onto the court.

Insane block against UVA by #ZionWilliamson
— JULITO (@locosfgfan) March 21, 2019
Frame: Charles Barkley
Standing 6’7″, Zion Williamson’s frame basically looks like a jacked up Charles Barkley on steroids. A chiseled 285 pounds, comparing him to Chuck – who only weighed about 250 at his heaviest at Auburn – seems almost unfair. Offensive Skillset: Blake Griffin
While shorter (and heavier/stronger/more athletic) than Blake Griffin, Zion and Blake attack the basket in a very similar way coming out of college. Known exclusively as a dunker coming out of Oklahoma, Griffin flashed the ability (in small sample sizes) that he could one day possess a well-rounded offensive game. Fast forward to 2019 and Blake Griffin is a dynamic scoring threat with an outside shot! Expect a similar trajectory for Zion.Defensive Skillset: I honestly have no clue
This is where Zion loses me. From a defensive standpoint, there has never been a player with Zion’s physical tools that plays with such a high level of defensive intensity. Able to seamlessly transition between the perimeter and interior with the speed to cover guards and the size/strength to bang with the big men, Zion projects to be a once in a lifetime type of defender. His leaping ability gives him the chance to send back shots from players much taller than him while his initial burst of speed allows him to easily jump passing lanes and create turnovers in a variety of ways.

Zion Williamson NBA Draft Projections: Chances Knicks Land Duke Star

There’s little argument about the fact that Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson is the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The big question becomes who he’ll play for at the next level, and that will, of course, be decided by the NBA draft lottery. In turn, the door is open for a number of teams to have a chance at him, but the New York Knicks remain a top option to monitor.Although nothing has been openly stated about the Knicks’ draft plans, the chatter will begin to pick up in a big way after the lottery. But as things stand, there’s a silver lining in the team’s tough 2018-19 season, which is that they’re among the favorites to wind up with the first overall selection.We’re going to take a dive into the current NBA draft outlook and the latest chances for the Knicks to wind up with Zion on their roster heading into the 2019-20 season.Knicks’ Chances at No. 1 NBA Draft Pick, Zion WilliamsonThe lottery features a structure which will give the teams with the three worst records equal chances to land the No. 1 pick and also to wind up with a top-four selection. At the time this is being written, the Knicks hold the worst record in the NBA at 14-61, a mark which is 2.5 games worse than the next-closest team.As Tankathon shows in their latest NBA draft lottery breakdown, New York is incredibly close to being a lock for the bottom three. This means they would hold a 14.0 percent chance at the No. 1 pick and a 52.1 percent chance to wind up with a pick between one-to-four.Here’s a look at the standings for the 10 teams who have the best chance at a top choice, how many games back they are and their chances at the No. 1 pick.
No. 1 New York Knicks, 0.0 games back: 14.0 percent chance
No. 2 Phoenix Suns, 2.5 games back: 14.0 percent chance
No. 3 Cleveland Cavaliers, 4.5 games back: 14.0 percent chance
No. 4 Chicago Bulls, 6.5 games back: 12.5 percent chance
No. 5 Atlanta Hawks, 13 games back: 10.5 percent chance
No. 6 Atlanta Hawks from DAL, 15 games back: 9.0 percent chance
No. 7 Memphis Grizzlies, 16 games back: 7.5 percent chance
No. 8 Washington Wizards, 16.5 games back: 6.0 percent chance
No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans, 17 games back: 4.5 percent chance
No. 10 Los Angeles Lakers, 19 games back: 3.0 percent chance
Knicks’ Current Outlook for NBA DraftThe positive news following this NBA season is that the Knicks are primed with their best possible chance to land Williamson. Unfortunately, two other teams, likely the Suns and Cavaliers, are going to have the exact same chances, even though Cleveland has won five more games than the Knicks.Beyond that, the Bulls and Hawks holding chances justs lightly lower at 12.5 and 10.5 percent will make things even more interesting. Obviously, it’s just a matter of New York getting a bit lucky and having the ping pong balls fall the right way. Of every team listed above, it’s hard to envision any except a major point guard-needy team like the Phoenix Suns taking Ja Morant over Zion.If by some chance the Suns are sold on drafting the Murray State star and wind up with the top pick, the Knicks could make a play by attempting to trade into that No. 1 spot.READ NEXT: Ja Morant Over Zion Williamson NBA Draft Argument Goes Beyond Stats

5 Best Kentucky Players Currently in the NBA

Kentucky under John Calipari has produced more rostered NBA players compared to any other team as of the start of the 2018-2019. A factory for elite recruits and one and done superstars, Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats produce some of the strongest teams in the nation year in, year out. With yet another loaded roster this season featuring five players projected to get drafted in 2019, including three in the first round alone. PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson, and Tyler Herro are all expected to off the board early and should be able to provide quality minutes at the NBA level right away. That leads us to the five best Kentucky players currently in the NBA.5 Best Kentucky Players Currently in the NBA5. Devin Booker, SG

Devin Booker continues his 🔥 scoring with 30 PTS in the first half!
— NBA (@NBA) March 28, 2019
The youngest member of this list, Booker wasn’t the highest touted recruit out of Kentucky and ended up falling down to the 13th pick as his playing time was limited on Kentucky’s infamous 2014-2015 season. With so much raw talent on the roster, Calipari implemented a platoon system featuring two separate units. Booker functions best as a high volume scorer and once he reached the NBA level and was allowed that freedom began to excel.
4. DeMarcus Cousins, C
It pains me to put Boogie so far down this list given the fact that he has the skillset to be a top 10 player in the league. Unfortunately, Cousins was slowed down considerably by an Achilles injury while playing alongside fellow Wildcat Anthony Davis down the New Orleans. While Cousins has looked strong in his return so far, there is quite a bit of rust he still needs to shake off as he doesn’t look like the dominant all-around force he once was.
3. John Wall, PG
Despite suffering from a season-ending injury on the year, that doesn’t necessarily knock down Wall’s ranking on the list considering the two players above him are some of the most talented young stars the league has ever seen. Once known for his elite speed and breakneck pace of play, Wall has slowed down a bit in his older years but is still able to effectively run an offense while putting up huge point and assist totals. With his play trending down in recent years, it will be interesting to see how Wall returns and if he’s the same level of player that landed him on this list.
2. Karl-Anthony Towns, C

The @Timberwolves pick up the W in LA behind 27 PTS, 12 REB, 5 AST from @KarlTowns! #AllEyesNorth
— NBA (@NBA) January 25, 2019
Devin Booker’s one and done teammate on the 2014-2015 Kentucky team, Towns was so talented that he was taken first overall despite only playing 21 minutes per game in a timeshare with Willie Cauley-Stein. While stuck in a poor situation in Minnesota to start his career, Towns has steadily put up a steady stream of double-doubles while showing deadly shooting from deep. Towns gave the basketball world a taste of what he could do after Jimmy Butler and Tom Thibodeau left town and could be primed for some even bigger years moving forward.
1. Anthony Davis, PF
It is simply impossible to put anyone besides Anthony Davis at the top of his list. If not hampered by injuries and the whole “trade me to LA” deal, Davis would almost certainly be putting together an MVP caliber stat line in New Orleans. While he will most likely be gone this offseason, what Davis has accomplished in his short career is nothing short of spectacular and somehow he continues to get better each and every year. As good as Towns is and high his upside may be, Davis offers just a bit more.

LeBron James Reacts to Carmelo Anthony’s Standing Ovation at MSG

Carmelo Anthony was in attendance Sunday night at Madison Square Garden for the Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks game. While he was there to watch close friend Dwyane Wade in one of his final two games in the arena, the Knicks made sure to give Anthony some love as well.
Not only was there a video played of Carmelo’s 62-point performance, but he was shown on the jumbotron after the memorable moment in history. As you can see in the video posted by ESPN’s Ian Begley, the former Knicks star received a huge ovation from the fanbase.

Here’s the reception Carmelo Anthony received at Madison Square Garden when he was shown on the Jumbotron during Knicks-Heat:
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 28, 2019

Later in the evening, current Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James had a message about both the video and Anthony, tweeting that it was well-deserved for his friend.

Well deserved!!! 👏🏾🙏🏾‼️‼️‼️‼️@carmeloanthony
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 28, 2019

Anthony was recently traded from the Houston Rockets to the Chicago Bulls. He played just 10 games for the Rockets prior to the team opting to go in another direction. It’s expected that he will either be traded or waived before the upcoming deadline.

Carmelo Anthony’s Run With Knicks
Anthony, who’s 34 years old, was traded to the Knicks during the 2010-11 season from the Denver Nuggets. He spent seven seasons with the team, playing in 412 games and averaging 24.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Over the impressive stretch, Anthony shot 44.3 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from beyond the arc.
The Knicks made the NBA playoffs in each of Anthony’s first three seasons, with the best year coming in 2012-13. New York went 54-28 that season before losing in the Eastern Conference semifinals. That stretch also marked arguably the best of Anthony’s tenure with the team, as he averaged 28.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Latest on Carmelo Anthony-Lakers Rumors
While the Bulls are expected to part ways with Anthony soon, it’s led to plenty of speculation that he could wind up with James on the Lakers. Although there have been various reports and rumors pointing to both sides of that, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski sounded off on it shortly after Anthony’s trade to Chicago.
As he reported, the Lakers have interest in Anthony but don’t want to waive a guaranteed contract.

Sources: The Lakers maintain interest in Anthony, but do not want to waive a guaranteed player to create a roster spot for him, league sources tell ESPN. If a roster spot eventually opens with LA, yes, the Lakers are a possible destination for Anthony.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

This isn’t all that surprising, as the Lakers remain focused on landing a second superstar to pair with James. The focus has primarily been on Anthony Davis, and the bulk of the team’s current guaranteed contracts have at least some amount of trade value and upside, making them tough to part with.
On the opposite side of the argument, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports stated on the Nate Duncan podcast that the interest in Anthony may be more from James than the front office (per Clutch Points).
“Well, LeBron James is over there,” Haynes said on the Nate Duncan podcast. “And he’s made it quite clear that he would like to play with Carmelo Anthony. So if we’re going off of the past, LeBron typically has a strong voice and teams usually operate in a manner that’s going to appease him. So I will say that he definitely has interest.
“I don’t know necessarily that the Lakers brass is all that interested in bringing Carmelo Anthony on board.”
It’s an interesting situation and one that will be worth monitoring over the coming weeks. The Lakers could use depth at this point, specifically due to the injuries which have impacted the roster. Beyond that, if the team did swing a deal at the trade deadline, it could potentially open a roster spot for Anthony.
READ NEXT: 3 Anthony Davis Trades Involving Lakers’ Brandon Ingram

Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Suns; Latest on Kyle Kuzma Injury

The Los Angeles Lakers will play at least one more game without LeBron James when they host the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. It seems they also may be without another go-to offensive weapon as well in forward Kyle Kuzma. With the Lakers playing the final few home games before a road stretch ahead of the All-Star break, they’ll look to snap a three-game losing skid against a struggling Suns group.
After falling in overtime against the Houston Rockets last Saturday, the team has since dropped games against the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves, moving to 25-24 on the year. LeBron’s absence has been nearly impossible to overcome, and since the Christmas Day injury, the Lakers have posted a 5-10 record as they await the return of their star forward.
Before diving into the roster and starting lineup for the date with Devin Booker and company, let’s check out the latest on Kuzma’s injury which may hold him out Sunday.

Latest on Kyle Kuzma’s Injury
It seems Kuzma’s injury may not sideline him long, but there’s a chance he could sit this game out. The Lakers revealed that Kuzma missed practice on Saturday due to a hip strain and is currently listed as questionable.
Beyond that, Mike Trudell of the team’s official website revealed head coach Luke Walton said Kuzma “didn’t look right” against the Timberwolves. He was limited in that game and the injury has apparently been nagging him as of late.

Luke Walton said Kyle Kuzma, who’s been dealing with a sore hip, “didn’t look right” physically, and that Kuzma “truly loves to compete but wasn’t able to do what he wanted to.” Already down LeBron and Lonzo, it didn’t help to have Kuzma limited, though Minnesota was beat up too.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 25, 2019

If Kuzma is unable to go, it’ll be interesting to monitor how Walton and the coaching staff opt to approach the starting lineup. Fortunately, the Suns play a fairly small lineup so they may be able to get away with going even smaller than they have as of late.
UPDATE: Kuzma has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Suns

Expected Starter

Ivica Zubac
JaVale McGee
Tyson Chandler

Power Forward
Kyle Kuzma (Q)
Michael Beasley
Moritz Wagner

Small Forward
Brandon Ingram
Lance Stephenson

Shooting Guard
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Josh Hart
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

Point Guard
Rajon Rondo

There’s a chance Michael Beasley or Moritz Wagner could start, but the option to re-insert Josh Hart in the lineup with Brandon Ingram at the forward spots is more realistic. The Suns are likely going to start Josh Jackson at the four here, so putting Ingram against him defensively makes sense.
The obvious hope is that Kuzma can play, but with an upcoming stretch of six-straight games against possible playoff teams, it may be wise for the Lakers to give him the night off. After this game, Los Angeles will host the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
READ NEXT: 3 Lakers Trades for Anthony Davis Involving Brandon Ingram