clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Around the NBA: Lillard rumors, Giannis returns, LeBron-Brooks fallout and more

The Sixers may be on a break until the second round, but the rest of the league is still generating headlines.

Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers have earned themselves a week off as the only team to sweep their opponents in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Meanwhile, the rest of the opening round continues around the league, bringing with it injuries, drama, coach firings, and even some future trade rumors.

While the Sixers get some rest, let’s take a look at what’s happening around the rest of the league.

Portland Trail Blazers’ star Damian Lillard trade rumors

The prospect of a Damian Lillard trade away from the Portland Trail Blazers has recently caught fire online after the star was spotted courtside for Game 3 between the Brooklyn Nets and Sixers. ESPN’s Frank Isola threw more fuel on the flames on Monday morning, claiming he thinks Lillard will be traded and specifically into the Eastern Conference.

Super early rumors, of course — and we’ve been here many times before — but something to watch as the postseason and offseason progress.

Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo to return for Game 4 vs. Heat

After being spotted at morning shootaround, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Greek Freak will return to the Bucks lineup after missing both Games 2 and 3 with a lower back contusion suffered in Game 1.

Antetokounmpo exited Game 1 of the Bucks-Heat series in the first period after colliding in midair with Kevin Love and taking a hard fall onto his lower back. Since then, the Bucks have fallen to a 2-1 series deficit.

Game 4 is set to tip off on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. ET in Miami.

Atlanta Hawks’ Dejounte Murray takes issue with ref

Following the Hawks’ Game 4 loss to the Boston Celtics, video surfaced of Atlanta’s Dejounte Murray getting in the face of a referee at the conclusion of the contest.

Following the video going viral, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps reported that the NBA would be looking into the incident.

The Hawks currently trail the Celtics 3-1 in the series.

No word from the NBA so far on if a similar incident from earlier in the game will be reviewed, where Boston’s Jayson Tatum appears to bump a ref while yelling at another.

Nick Nurse fired by Raptors, top candidate for Rockets’ job

As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Friday morning, head coach Nick Nurse has been fired after 10 years with the organization (five as an assistant coach) as of last Friday.

The decision comes just weeks after Toronto failed to make the playoffs after a 41-41 campaign. They also missed the playoffs in 2021. Last season, the Raptors clinched the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, but fell in the first round in six games to the Philadelphia 76ers.

However, opportunities appear to be on the horizon for Nurse, who is reportedly a top candidate for the head coach opening in Houston:

As far as the void left in Toronto is concerned, reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggest that former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is strongly being considered for the slot:

In other coach search news, the Detroit Pistons recently received permission to interview New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach Jarron Collins for their open head coach position:

Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks avoids suspension, whines to media about being a villain

Dillon Brooks has avoided suspension by the NBA after receiving a Flagrant 2 foul for this groin shot to Los Angeles Lakers’ star Lebron James.

After a practice on Sunday, Brooks decided to hop on his soapbox about how him being a “villain” is basically everyone’s fault but his own:

Forget the fact that Brooks led the league in technical fouls this regular season with 18. It’s all just a persona the media and fans are painting on Brooks. I think this says it best:

Brooks and the Grizzlies currently trail the Lakers 2-1 in the series. Game 4 is set for Monday night at 10 p.m. ET.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liberty Ballers Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Philadelphia 76ers news from Liberty Ballers