NBA Notes: Knicks get Acy, Outlaw from Kings

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NBA Notes: Knicks get Acy, Outlaw from Kings

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks acquired forwards Quincy Acy and Travis Outlaw from the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday for guard Wayne Ellington and forward Jeremy Tyler.

Also, New York reduced the protection on a 2016 second-round draft pick it sent to Portland in 2012 and the Kings later acquired from the Trail Blazers.

The 6-foot-9 Outlaw has career averages of 8.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 622 games in 11 seasons with Portland, the Los Angeles Clippers, New Jersey and Sacramento. Last season for the Kings, he averaged 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 63 games.

The 6-7 Acy averaged 3.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 92 games in two seasons with Toronto and Sacramento. Last season, he averaged 2.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in 63 games for the Raptors and Kings.

Ellington has played five NBA seasons with Minnesota, Memphis, Cleveland and Dallas, averaging 6.4 points in 312 games. The 6-4 guard was acquired by the Knicks from Dallas on June 25.

Tyler has averaged 3.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in 104 games with Golden State, Atlanta and New York. The 6-10 forward averaged 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 41 games for the Knicks last season (see full story).

Cavs: Miller, Jones excited to rejoin LeBron
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Mike Miller and James Jones came to Cleveland to help LeBron James win an NBA title. They hope Ray Allen joins them.

Miller and Jones were introduced Wednesday by the Cavaliers, who remain interested in signing Allen, the most prolific 3-point shooter in league history.

Jones, who won two NBA titles as James' teammate in Miami, said he recently spent time with Allen in Connecticut. Jones said he would love to play with Allen again, but doesn't know if the 39-year-old will play another season.

Miller played with James on Tuesday at the superstar's high school alma mater in Akron and reported the four-time league MVP "looks good" following a recent weight loss.

Miller said James is "always driven" but that he's more committed than ever to bring a championship to Cleveland (see full story).

NBA: HOF beckons for Mourning
MIAMI -- It was arguably the signature moment of Alonzo Mourning's career. He blocked a shot in the final minutes of Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Finals, then wriggled on the floor in what appeared to be celebration for a few seconds.

Turns out, it was anger.

Mourning was unimpressed by his chase-down block of Dallas' Jason Terry with 8:55 left in the game where the Miami Heat would clinch their first NBA title. Instead, his memorable air-punching, arms-flailing reaction was borne from how Heat teammate Gary Payton had been part of a turnover seconds earlier and then argued with a referee at such a critical moment in the game.

His fire was on full display in that moment.

And it was that fire that led him to the Basketball Hall of Fame

"So I had to sprint back to try to cover his butt for making that mistake, and I was mad," Mourning said. "Then I got up and I was like, `Gary, what are you doing, man?' Oh, I was mad. Maybe like two people really know why I was acting that way. The thing is, I was cursing Gary out. That's what happened" (see full story).

Joel Embiid practices fully but doubtful for Friday and Saturday

Joel Embiid practices fully but doubtful for Friday and Saturday

Joel Embiid was a full participant Wednesday during the Sixers' first practice back from the All-Star break, but he's listed as doubtful for their games Friday and Saturday.

The Sixers host the Wizards Friday night (7/CSN) and face the Knicks Saturday night at Madison Square Garden (7:30/CSN).

If Embiid misses both games it would be 13 in a row and 16 of 17.

Still, it's a good sign he was able to practice in full Wednesday.

Ben Simmons, meanwhile, has a CT scan scheduled for Thursday in New York. The appointment should show whether his foot has healed enough for him to take the next step in his rehab.

Simmons did individual work at Wednesday's practice.

CSN Philly's Jessica Camerato contributed to this report.

NBA trade deadline: Buyer's market? Lakers got next to nothing in Lou Williams trade

NBA trade deadline: Buyer's market? Lakers got next to nothing in Lou Williams trade

If the two NBA trades this week indicate anything, it's that we're in a buyer's market.

Two days after DeMarcus Cousins was traded by the Kings to the Pelicans for a shockingly light return, Magic Johnson made his first move as the Lakers' new head honcho, shipping Lou Williams to Houston.

In exchange for Lou-Will, the Lakers got Corey Brewer and the Rockets' first-round pick, another surprisingly modest return.

Williams, 30, is having the best season of his 11-year career and it's not just because he was playing big fish on a bad team. You'd think the Lakers' lack of talent would result in somewhat inefficient scoring from Lou-Will, but that's not the case.

He's averaging a career-high 18.6 points, shooting a career-best 38.5 percent from three and 88.4 percent from the line. Only once, 2009-10 with the Sixers, did Williams shoot better than his current 44.4 percent from the field.

Because Williams signed his three-year deal with the Lakers before the salary cap spiked last offseason, he's underpaid in the current NBA landscape. He's owed just $7 million next season, a team-friendly salary for a player who can provide instant offense off the bench.

Brewer is a non-factor in the trade and won't have much of a future role with the rebuilding Lakers, so the trade was basically Williams for a very late first-round pick. The Rockets are 40-18 and would pick 27th if the season ended today.

Picks that late in the first round just aren't that valuable. Over the last five drafts, only eight of the 30 players selected in the 25 to 30 range have even cracked an NBA rotation. And two of them are Spurs, which is almost like its own separate category given how regularly San Antonio unearths talent in the draft.

Even those who've cracked rotations after being drafted 25-30 over the last five years are not impact players: Pascal Siakam, Larry Nance Jr., Andre Roberson, Miles Plumlee. Keep in mind that's a good scenario for that late of a first-rounder. The only two actual difference-makers drafted in that range the last five years are Rudy Gobert and Clint Capela.

Keep this return in mind when wondering what the Sixers might be able to recoup in a deadline trade of players like Ersan Ilyasova or Nik Stauskas. 

It's a worse return for the Lakers than the Kings received on draft night last summer for Marco Belinelli. Sacramento traded Belinelli, a journeyman bench player, for the No. 22 overall pick.

Could the Lakers have possibly gotten less than the 27th pick if they just held onto Williams and traded him in the offseason?

When I opined last night on Twitter that the Lakers didn't do well in the Lou-Will deal, a few people replied that the Lakers aren't trying to win, they're trying to finish with a bottom-three record and keep their pick rather than ship it to the Sixers.

But keep in mind that finishing with even the second-worst record in the NBA guarantees the Lakers nothing. The team that finishes with the second-worst record has a 55.8 percent chance of landing a top-three pick. The team that finishes with the third-worst record has a 46.9 percent of chance of landing a top-three pick.

Far from a sure thing.

One sure thing is the Lakers won't be catching the Nets for the league's worst record. Even if the Lakers go 0-24 the rest of the way to finish 19-63, they'd still need the Nets to go 11-15 or better. Brookyln's lost 14 games in a row, so that ain't happening.