There wasn’t a story bigger than Luka Dončić’s performance last night, so let’s start this week’s ATA right there.
NBA World Reacts to Luka’s Historic Night
By now, you’ve seen the highlights of Luka Dončić’s historic night. Dončić scored 60 points, logged 21 rebounds, and 10 assists in a win over the New York Knicks, and as evidenced by the featured photo for this story, he baffled everyone, including Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau.
After one of the most mind-blowing performances in NBA history, the 23-year-old superstar just wanted a beer ….
Honestly, I can’t say that I blame him. I needed a recovery beer just watching, so I’m sure he could use a nice cold one after that. Dončić ‘s historic performance had the rest of the NBA world needing one as well, and they made sure to share their amazement on Twitter last night.
Here are a few of the reactions from the NBA world last night:
Oh, and for his future “recovery beer” needs, he’s in luck:
In Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype‘s NBA notebook, there were a trio of forwards named as players that executives around the league are keeping an eye on as we inch closer to the NBA trade deadline. Kyle Kuzma, John Collins, and Jae Crowder were the trio of forwards, each of whom could be moved before the deadline.
Crowder hasn’t played for the Suns since last season as the team looks to shop the veteran forward, something Scotto notes and Shams Charania echoed on a recent episode of The Rally on Bally Sports.
“The Suns remain engaged with multiple teams about moving Jae Crowder,” Charania said. “They’re talking to Milwaukee right now [and] Atlanta. One scenario I was told recently was between Utah, Phoenix and Atlanta. That deal would have sent John Collins to Utah. Those three teams discussed a potential deal in the last month or so. I’m told the deal failed to gain traction when Utah asked for multiple first-round picks … Phoenix would have gotten Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt, who they really like in a potential deal.”
“There’s really no issue with Jae Crowder, the issue is not on his end. I talked to teams around the league, executives they say he’s desirable as ever. He’s a guy that’s changed culture for a lot of teams. We’ve seen what he’s done the last three years in the NBA … So there’s no issue with Jae Crowder, a hard-nosed guy that impacts winning. This is really about Phoenix delaying as much as they can to get exactly what they want but they have not yet.”
Charania’s December 26 report lines up with Scotto’s hypothetical three-team trade in his Wednesday notebook, which also named Lauri Markkanen, Crowder, and Kyle Kuzma as players on the radar of the Atlanta Hawks. Any trade involving the Hawks for any of those players would likely involve John Collins.
According to Shams, a three-team deal between Atlanta, Utah, and Phoenix would have sent Malik Beasly and Jarred Vanderbilt to the Suns while Utah would have received John Collins.
As far as Kuzma is concerned, Marc Stein recently reported that there was “a rising belief that Kuzma is gettable between now and the February 9 trade deadline.” However, some believe that the Wizards internally see Kuzma as “a big part of the future.”
Booker, Beal, and Other Injury Notes
Devin Booker left Sunday night’s game against the Nuggets in the first quarter with a groin injury and did not return. Booker had missed the three previous games with that groin injury, and the team believes he has re-aggravated the nagging issue. Booker hasn’t played since and will miss at least four weeks, according to Shams:
Stephen Curry is reportedly “making good progress” in his rehab on his left shoulder subluxation that caused damage to his labrum against the Pacers on December 14. Curry will not need surgery and will be reevaluated in two weeks, the team said on Saturday.
Bradley Beal left the Wizards’ Tuesday night game against the 76ers with a hamstring injury, and Washington head coach Wes Unseld Jr. says that the severity is unknown at this point. Beal exited the contest after colliding with Joel Embiid with 4:17 left in the fourth quarter.
- Shams Charania has the latest on Myles Turner, who is reportedly open to extension talks with the Pacers:
- Really cool story here from Jamal Collier:
- More on Banchero and the red-hot Magic who have won eight of their last 10 games, largely due to the impact of the rookie of the year favorite:
- A few more looks at Luka’s ridiculous game-tying shot last night:
- Luka’s teammate Christian Wood has had a pretty nice run of things lately:
- PUT IT ON A POSTER!!!