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Sunday Funday: News and Tidbits

A few goings-on from around the league

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

So the blockbuster trade that has sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics has taken an odd turn. Isaiah Thomas recently had his physical with the Cleveland Cavaliers and they seem to believe that his hip is in a worse condition than was originally claimed by the Celtics. Whether or not this is a long-term issue is unclear, but the gist of it seems to be that the Cavaliers feel like the timetable for his return may be longer than they were initially led to believe.

The Celtics, for their part, have stated that they were clear upfront about Thomas’ hip and thus there should be no cause for alarm.

However, the Cavaliers are now reportedly going back to the Celtics with the plan of asking for an additional asset in the trade to complete the deal.

I would imagine this asset is likely the protected Memphis Grizzlies pick or the LA Clippers pick, both of which are for 2019. The Celtics could play hardball and refuse to deal additional picks, but it is unclear where the negotiating standpoint is for both teams. It is hard to imagine that either team is comfortable with letting this trade fall apart. They both have essentially tipped their hands in their evaluation of these players and would have to deal with the fallout if they tried to incorporate any of these players back to their team.

The easy answer is for the Celtics to throw in a 2nd round pick, but it will certainly be interesting to see how hard the Cavaliers push and how firm the Celtics are in their resolve.

The other NBA news is with Nerlens Noel, who just signed a qualifying offer with the Dallas Mavericks for 4.1 million. This means that Noel will be an unrestricted agent in the next offseason.

It seems to be a bit contentious if this 17 million dollar offer was ever on the table, as I have seen reports going both ways.

If Noel turned down the 70 million dollar offer, that is clearly a mistake on his part. However, many players incorrectly (or were led to incorrectly) gauged the free agency market this offseason. For centers and big men in particular, the bottom has seemingly fallen out as many teams are increasingly concerned about the prospect of paying heaving money to players who may or may not be able to be on the court in crunch time.

The new NBA may not need a true center, but of course that idea can quickly change. Just last year Bismack Biyombo and Timofey Mozgov landed massive, if surprising deals, but it’s hard not be sympathetic to the idea that the league may have simply changed. Why pay Noel 17 million when you can get an approximation of him for much cheaper? Of course, Tom Thibodeau and the Timberwolves disagree with this assertion.

Game of Thrones Corner

Tonight marks the season finale of the penultimate season of Game of Thrones. Fans of the show, myself included, have rather mixed feelings about this season. The truncated season-length of seven episodes has felt rushed and a lot of the plotting that felt essential to the nature of Game of Thrones has been seemingly cast aside in favor of big-budget spectacles.

Now, for book readers this always seemed like it was going to be a problem. In the beginning of the series, the White Walkers were the clear threat, but the interesting part of the storyline was the political intrigue and plot machinations that spread across and increasingly strewn about landscape. The prospect of bringing all those threads together and somehow dealing with the more typical fantasy tropes of the great heroes and dragons against the army of the undead was going to be jarring. At some point, the subversion of normative fantasy storylines likely needed to morph into a story conclusion. We can just ask Stephen King how easy it is to wrap up big storylines like these.

But this makes tonight’s episode important, as it will likely lay out the roadmap for the rest of the series. Will it keep up with the transition into more normative fantasy storylines and frustrate (yet entertain) long-time fans or do the writers have a few more tricks up their sleeve?