NBA notes on a Sunday (as it should be)
Read on for all the latest around-the-league trade and free agency buzz (Lakers, Nets, Knicks, Clippers, Jazz, Hornets, etc.) with less than a month to go now before training camps open
There is a belief in modern publishing, at least in some corners, that posting stories on weekends is ill-advised.
Such thinking holds that giving the audience stories to read Monday through Friday, when we are all more apt to be connected to our preferred reading device and perhaps even looking for distractions from work (shhh!), is the smartest way to engage.
Regular readers of this Substack, however, know that I am an extreme nostalgist who named this column in honor of Mel Allen and his incomparable This Week In Baseball show and holds a deep fondness for Sunday notes columns. I love that my pal Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe still churns out a robust Sunday notes compendium every single week year-round. NBA notes on a Sunday is what I grew up on and what I proudly supplied for a few years for The Dallas Morning News working for the legendary former Globe sports editor Dave Smith, who helped usher Sunday notes packages to prominence in the 1970s when he had Hall of Fame national writers like Peter Gammons, Will McDonough and, of course, noted hoops scribe Bob Ryan.
Consider all that my long-winded way of saying that, on this Sunday, I decided I just HAD to publish NBA notes instead of waiting until Monday. Reason being: I've got some stuff in my notebook and the season is starting soon and, well, I didn't want to lose this feeling.
So let's hoop ...
🏀 If the Knicks manage to win the trade race for Utah's Donovan Mitchell, or even if another team unexpectedly beats them to Mitchell, league sources say there's a decent chance that the Lakers will be involved in the deal. The two future first-round picks that the Lakers possess in 2027 and 2029 are the kind of top-shelf draft picks that Jazz CEO Danny Ainge is believed to covet. Russell Westbrook's $47 million expiring contract and those picks could be the Lakers' entree to a potential three-team swap ... depending on the players that would land in Los Angeles.
🏀 The Lakers, I'm told, continue …
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Question of the Week
We're just wrapping up Week 2 of Substack's test pilot program for its new Substack Threads feature.
Substack Threads is only available by using the Substack app, but I plan to keep dropping Question of the Week there throughout the testing period so we can all continue to get a better handle on the functionality and areas for improvement (and praise) to share with the engineers responsible for making it happen.
The goal, remember, is that Substack Threads morphs into our very own Slack channel/chat room for subscribers to The Stein Line. You will see this week's QOTW in the app and check out an earlier thread about Kevin Durant's détente with the Nets here.