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Post-All-Star Rumor Roundup

Isaiah’s emoji eyes, Carmelo’s Instagram followers, and a Bulls reunion in Minnesota

(AP Images/Ringer illustration)
(AP Images/Ringer illustration)

Monday night, for one brief moment, the world was beautiful again. Conjuring emotions not felt since the heady days of Blake Griffin maybe barricading DeAndre Jordan in his Houston home; Dallas owner Mark Cuban allegedly driving around H-Town in tears, looking for Jordan’s residence; and the Los Angeles Clippers descending on the city, en masse, after a series of emoji bat signals, has there been a more exciting moment that was experienced purely through Twitter. At 5:23 p.m. PST, Boston guard Isaiah Thomas tweeted this:

And we all put on our tinfoil hats, for all the right reasons.

If you’re an NBA rumor monger, you live for this shit. As MassLive Celtics reporter Jay King pointed out, the last time Isaiah posted emoji eyes during a time of player movement, Al Horford shipped up to Boston …

Episodes of Billions were paused. Plates of leftovers were pushed aside. Knuckles were cracked. It was time to get to work (refresh Twitter a lot). At first, there was a feeling that finally, after all these years, Celtics president Danny Ainge might actually move some of his assets for a superstar. I was no longer going to have to leave the note, “Let’s think of another way to say treasure chest,” in a Kevin O’Connor piece. BILL SIMMONS WOULD CHILL. TONIGHT WAS THE NIGHT.

Still riding a contact high from the late-night fireworks of Sunday’s DeMarcus Cousins trade, many assumed this meant the Celtics had put together a deal for Jimmy Butler. Twitter went nuts. We were all looking for Woj like ….

Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren tweeted this:

Celtics blogs were tweeting out THE ACTUAL MATRIX:

Then, no sooner had the Jimmy Butler rumors begun, some budding Philip Marlowe figured out that the Celtics had just started following Carmelo Anthony on Instagram:

Had Melo waived his no-trade to join the Celtics? While I was doing Carrie Mathison corkboard work, looking through follower lists, and earning an associate degree in digital forensics, another story dropped.

Trade machine proposals of Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio, and filler for Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose started flying through cyberspace. Thibs was getting the very old band back together. This was good for the Timberwolves. This was terrible for the Timberwolves. Was it a move to make a playoff push this season? One last-ditch effort to revitalize Rose’s career? Would Ricky get his second chance in New York? I asked Jason Concepcion for his immediate take on Rubio: “Upsides: great passer, relatively young. Downsides: can’t shoot, Brandon Jennings mocked him openly earlier this season. Also, pre-NBA Ricky Rubio was one of the great love affairs of my life.” So there you go. On to some other rumblings …

Lopez on the Move?

In what will no doubt be a major part of the Why Paul George Left the Pacers story when it gets written, Indy is rumored to be in the Brook Lopez market. I am repeating this rumor because it comes from Peter Vecsey, and I think that’s just great.

According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Pacers want to use their 2017 first-round pick to get George help.

It Pays to Stay

It’s fun imagining new homes for big stars, but according to Basketball Insiders, many of the NBA’s biggest names in this summer’s free-agency class will be staying put. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have reportedly verbally agreed to extensions, Kyle Lowry is going to get the Brink’s truck treatment in Toronto, and the Pelicans want Jrue Holiday throwing entry passes to Cousins and Anthony Davis for the foreseeable future.

6 Man

The name you hear the most, outside of the dark twisted Melo/Jimmy Butler fantasies is Lakers guard Lou Williams. Washington is in the mix, but it would have to give up a pick. The newest name in the Williams sweepstakes, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley, is Utah. I LOVE THIS. Lou Williams in Utah. Let’s do it.