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Friday Cup of Canis

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News and notes from the NBA and the WNBA

WNBA Finals - Game Five Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Happy Friday friends. A reminder that with tomorrow being Bastille Day, it’s time to storm the barricades.

NBA News

Meanwhile, several transactions in the NBA yesterday, mostly involving the Brooklyn Nets and Denver Nuggets.

The Nets sent Jeremy Lin to the Atlanta Hawks in a roster clearing move. A few second round picks are going back and forth in the deal, but mostly it’s the Nets off-loading Lin. The Hawks are expected to follow that up with a Dennis Schroder trade at some point this summer.

The Nets and Nuggets then completed a deal in which the Nets take on Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur, who are owed a combined $21 million this season, and will receive a 2019 protected first round pick, and a 2020 second round pick for doing so. This will relieve the Nuggets of a significant tax burden.

Finally, the Nuggets have agreed to sign Isaiah Thomas to a minimum deal. It’s been quite a rough year plus for Thomas, who played through injury for the Celtics in the 2017 playoffs, was cast off to Cleveland in the Kyrie Irving trade, had trouble getting healthy then integrating with the Cavs, was shipped to the Lakers at the deadline, and went from looking like a max or near max player to a guy scrounging for a minimum deal in the course of about 14 months.

If he is somehow healthy, however, he will add an element to the Nuggets offense. Of course, the Nuggets offense was not the problem. Similar to the Wolves, they were able to score, but they were unable to stop anyone else from scoring. Thomas....does not help in that area.

Finally, the Heat have re-signed Wayne Ellington to a one year deal valued at over $6 million. The deal pushes the Heat over the tax line, though the luxury tax isn’t calculated until the end of the regular season, so they have until then to get back under and avoid the tax.

Lynx Update

I thought I’d give an update on the professional basketball team that is actually competing at the moment in the Twin Cities. Neil has been doing a great job recapping their efforts, but if you have not been following him (@Lynx_Dynasty) or reading his recaps here, you should be.

It’s been a hyper-competitive season in the WNBA so far, a little more than halfway through. The Lynx have struggled at times, and are not the dominant force they have been over the last seven seasons, but remain in the mix at 12-8 on the year. That puts them in a tie for third best record in the league with the Washington Mystics. Unlike recent seasons, nobody is running away with the league, the competition is too solid night to night. The Seattle Storm, behind Breanna Stewart, top the league at 15-6, with the Phoenix Mercury at 14-7 just behind. It’s a scrum, with six teams with eight to ten losses.

The Lynx have clearly taken a step back. There are still nights when they look championship caliber, including recent wins over Seattle and Phoenix. But they have been very inconsistent. Their age, especially in the back court, has finally caught up with them, as Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus are no longer difference making players most nights. Both have seen their minutes down significantly. Sylvia Fowles remains one of the dominant forces in the paint, but isn’t quite at her MVP level of a year ago, and Maya Moore has been up and down with her scoring, which the Lynx absolutely need every night.

Years of low draft picks and commitment to this core meant eventual regression was inevitable. They are trying to transition to some different players in the back court, with Danielle Robinson taking more minutes at the point.

Still, they remain a dangerous team, and will look to put it together in advance of the playoffs. When you have Fowles and Moore, you have a fighting chance against any team in the league.

They host the Las Vegas Aces tonight, who feature the incredible A’Ja Wilson, who will certainly be Rookie of the Year, and looks like the next big thing in women’s basketball.

WNBA League Pass remains the best deal in sports television.

What’s on your mind today?