A lot is going on around the NBA as the season approaches the halfway point, and the trade deadline is about five weeks away. Here’s the latest news happening around the league this week.
Durant Passes Duncan on All-Time Scoring List
The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant moved to 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list on Monday, passing Tim Duncan during his team’s 125-117 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also passed another all-time great, Kobe Bryant, to move into 21st place in career three-pointers made. The 12-time All-Star has also won four scoring titles and two NBA championships.
Durant has defied age as the 34-year-old recovered from a torn Achilles to average 29 points per game while shooting better than 53% from the field in the last three seasons. He and Kyrie Irving have led the recent surge by Brooklyn, who is now just two games behind the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference and winners of nine straight games.
Doncic Posts Historic Triple-Double Versus Knicks
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic tied the NBA record for the highest-scoring triple-double in NBA history with his 60 points, 21 rebounds, and ten assists during their 126-121 come-from-behind overtime win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.
The 60 points tie James Harden, who had a triple-double in 2018 against the Orland Magic. Doncic joins Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to grab at least 20 rebounds while scoring at least 50 points during a triple-double.
At just 23 years old, Doncic already has six 40-point triple-doubles, which ties LeBron James for number five all-time. He also has scored at least 50 points in two of the previous three games.
Even after all the records set, the most impressive thing about the game was Dallas getting the victory after trailing by nine points in the final 35 seconds of regulation. It’s the first time a team has accomplished that feat in at least 20 years. During that stretch, teams in the same situation have lost almost 14,000 games with no victories.
Kuzma Likely Be Traded From Wizards
NBA insider Marc Stein reports that the Washington Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma will be on the trading block before the February 9 trading deadline. The Wizards want to give themselves a better chance to put together a roster for next season if they can get something for Kuzma, who will be a free agent at the end of the regular season. He is averaging 21.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists for Washington this season.
Kuzma is currently making $13 million on his current contract and has an option for next season for the same amount. He will almost surely reject this, knowing there’s a much bigger payday awaiting him in free agency.
There’s no doubt that many teams around the league have noticed his increased production this season and will be interested in trading for him. He will come at a price, though, as the Wizards hope to land a first-round pick in return.
There are many teams the Kuzma can help to improve their playoff standing, and he may even be a long-term solution for a contender interested in signing him for next season and beyond. But, unfortunately, while he’s been a significant part of the Wizards’ lineup this season, the team may not fit into the future plans of the 27-year-old small forward.