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Fisher Believes Knicks Are Motivated After Trade

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“Probably what jumps out the most is you still have to work pretty hard to motivate and inspire guys at this level,’’ (Knicks Coach Derek) Fisher said.

You couldn’t help but think Fisher was referring to some of the guys who were gone — (Samuel) Dalembert, (J.R.) Smith and, to a lesser extent, (Iman) Shumpert, who could never be accused of having the highest basketball IQ for all his gifts.

Fisher also may be pointing to suddenly revived Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jason Smith. The remark showed Fisher was naïve when he took this job, thinking NBA players on guaranteed contracts were going to be supercharged for all 82 games.

Fisher talks about the basketball IQ and new mentality the new players have brought, making a statement Saturday in Charlotte that talent is not everything.

via Marc Berman of the New York Post

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Sources: Trail Blazers Expected to Pursue Danilo Gallinari

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Portland is also expected to pursue Oklahoma City’s Danilo Gallinari, according to league sources. The Blazers have options to help save their season following the Carmelo Anthony Band-Aid.

Source: Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer

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Sources: Rockets, Multiple Teams Interested in Robert Covington

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Playoff teams are monitoring the availability of Robert Covington, according to multiple league sources. Covington is one of the league’s better 3-and-D wings and could net a significant return that helps the Wolves build around Karl-Anthony Towns and their young core.

The Houston Rockets have serious interest in Covington, league sources say. The Rockets are in the market for wings; with James Harden having another MVP-caliber season, they’re a team that should go all in no matter who the target is. They have the ammo to do so: Despite the pile of picks it sent Oklahoma City in the Chris Paul–for–Russell Westbrook blockbuster, Houston can still dangle its first-round picks in 2020 and 2022.

Source: Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer

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Sources: Kevin Love ‘would prefer’ to Play for Trail Blazers

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[Kevin] Love would prefer to play for his hometown Portland Trail Blazers, according to multiple league sources.

Source: Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer

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