Donovan Mitchell Traded To Cavs ... In Massive Deal

Donovan Mitchell's days in Utah are over -- the NBA star has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a huge deal on Thursday.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted out the bombshell news just minutes ago -- the face of the Jazz franchise is officially on the move to northeast Ohio.

Mitchell -- who was drafted by the Nuggets out of Louisville -- spent all 5 of his seasons with the Jazz after being traded on draft night ... where he established himself as one of the game's best young stars.

The Cavs are sending Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji and three first-round picks to Utah ... and the rights to swap two other future picks in the deal.

The Knicks had been floated as a potential landing spot for Spida ... but their dreams were officially squashed after the Cavs -- who made the play-in tournament last year -- sealed the deal.

Utah appears to be in complete rebuild mode -- the team traded away Rudy Gobert, a 3-time Defensive Player of the Year, and now have shipped Donovan out of town as well.

Mitchell will join a young Cavs team that showed promise under head coach J.B. Bickerstaff -- and will now suit up alongside guys like Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley.

Nikola Jokic Wins NBA's MVP ... Accepts Award After Riding Horse In Serbia!!!

HERO'S WELCOME
Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic will truly never forget winning the 2021-22 NBA MVP award ... because the Denver Nuggets surprised him with the trophy while he was out riding a horse in Serbia!!

The surreal moment was documented by the team on Wednesday ... showing Jokic was (seriously) out on a horse carriage in his home country when the NBA officially named him the league's most valuable player.

And, when Jokic returned from his jaunt ... he teared up at the sight of the trophy -- with Nuggets video revealing the 6-foot-11 center was very emotional outside of his horse stable.

In the clip, you can see Jokic wiped away tears and hugged all of his family and friends in attendance ... and even earned an "M-V-P" chant from some of them while he admired the trophy.

Jokic went on to do an interview with media members from inside the stables ... where a coughing dog actually interrupted one of his answers!!

Of course, Jokic is used to all the animal chaos ... he's owned horses for years and has talked repeatedly about how amazing the pets have been for him.

The MVP award, meanwhile, is the second one in as many years for the 27-year-old ... and, it was expected. After all, Jokic killed it this year, averaging 27.1 points per game, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists.

Congrats to Jokic ... and his horses!

Lakers' Wayne Ellington Fined $20,000 ... For Threatening Nuggets Player

Lakers guard Wayne Ellington just got slapped with a $20,000 fine by the NBA ... after he threatened to put his "hands on" Facundo Campazzo following an incident between the two during a game over the weekend.

NBA exec Byron Spruell announced the fine on Wednesday afternoon ... reprimanding Ellington for his threatening tweet.

If you missed it, during the Lakers vs. Nuggets game on Sunday, Campazzo intentionally shoved Ellington in the back -- sending him crashing to the floor.

At the time, Campazzo was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected from the game -- but Ellington clearly didn't think that penalty was enough ... 'cause he tweeted afterward he wanted some street justice.

"When I see you I’m putting my hands on you @facucampazzo," Ellington said.

In addition to fining Ellington for the tweet ... the NBA also said it's suspending Campazzo for one game without pay for the shove.

Campazzo will serve the ban on Friday ... when the Nuggets begin their playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.

Austin Rivers Ben Simmons' Sixers Career Is Over ... Doc Wanted To Keep Him

NOT HAPPENING
TMZSports.com

Ben Simmons' time in Philadelphia is up ... at least that's what Austin Rivers truly believes, telling TMZ Sports he doesn't see the 3-time All-Star suiting up for the 76ers ever again.

Of course, the Denver Nuggets guard's dad, Doc, has been trying to mend the relationship between Ben and the Sixers org. for months now ... but BS has yet to play a minute of hoops for Philly this season.

And when we asked Austin about the situation, he says he doesn't see Simmons playing for the Sixers ever again.

"No man, probably not. I don’t think so," Rivers answered. "If he hasn’t suited up by now, then I don’t think so."

Austin says his dad and the team have done everything in their power to retain the 25-year-old ... despite Simmons' desire to be traded.

"S***, they tried, bro," he said. "Look how long it’s been. I think they tried to keep him. He wants to go somewhere else obviously."

Rivers ultimately wishes BS well saying ... "I just want the young man to be happy. He’s talented. He’s a great player."

6/29/21
BEN'S A BEAST
TMZSports.com

As we previously reported, Doc told us he'd love to have BS back with the Sixers. But so much has transpired since then ... and with neither side budging, it certainly feels like Austin's right.

BTW -- Austin recently got engaged ... so we asked him who would be a dream performer he wants to see at his wedding ... and he's got some big names in mind.

Austin Rivers Gets Fans Ejected ... After He Says 'Punks' Heckled His Family

Austin Rivers had two fans removed from their seats on Wednesday ... after he claims the "punks" and "clowns" would not stop heckling him about his family.

The Nuggets guard snapped in the fourth quarter of Denver's loss to the Thunder in Oklahoma City, grabbing a ref after he made a 3-pointer and telling him to eject two fans from their seats immediately.

In video of the play, you can see Rivers was irate -- pointing out the fans who appeared to yell about his dad, Doc Rivers, in the middle of his shooting stroke.

After the game, Austin explained the situation ... saying every time he ran down the court, the two talked trash about Doc -- and even began mentioning his sister, Callie Rivers, who's married to Steph Curry's brother, Seth Curry.

CANCELING THE COOL KIDS
Denver Nuggets

"I don't mind it most nights," a clearly ticked-off Austin said. "But, it was constant. Every time down the floor, they were saying something about my dad. Somebody said something about my sister. That's when I was like, 'OK. I've had enough.'"

Austin continued, "You could say I suck, that's fair game. But, you talk about my family? Like, what are we doing here?"

"Imagine me showing up to where they work and I'm just talkin' s*** about their family the whole time while they're trying to work. I don't know. It's just weird, man. Bunch of punks."

Of course, this is far from the first time an NBA player has done the same this season ... both Tristan Thompson and LeBron James had fans ejected from games earlier this year for heckling, too.

In those cases, the guys and their teams -- like Austin and the Nuggets on Wednesday -- said the fans just went too far with the chatter.

Nikola Jokic Won't Win MVP If Nugs Keep Losing ... Says Kenny Smith

WIN GAMES, GET RECOGNITION
TMZ.com

Nikola Jokic is having an insane season, but Kenny "The Jet" Smith says the Nuggets superstar won't get his second-straight MVP if his team keeps losing ... telling TMZ Sports the award needs to go to one of the best players on the best teams.

Jokic is balling the hell out this season ... averaging 26 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists and a player efficiency rating of a whopping 33.8.

The "Inside The NBA" analyst said despite the incredible numbers the 26-year-old is putting up, he can't call him the MVP of the league if his stats aren't resulting in W's for the Nuggets.

"Yeah, [his numbers are good], but they're not winning," Smith said. They're not winning."

"Best record in the league. Best players get the rewards," Smith added. "Same way with him last year. They were the best team. He got the award."

Of course, Kenny is referring to Jokic winning his first-ever MVP award last season ... leading Denver to a 47-25 record.

Smith said that guys like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul would be at the top of his MVP list ... 'cause their teams all have great winning records.

But, all hope isn't lost -- Smith said Jokic and the Nuggets haven't even hit their peak yet ... and they've still got time in the second half of the season to figure things out as a team.

He also offered some advice to Joker ... telling the Serbian big man that if he wanted to secure the MVP award, the key is staying healthy for his team and winning more games.

"You gotta play the whole season. You play the whole season and your team wins, we'll be screaming your name."

George Karl I'm Getting Death Wishes ... For Calling Melo A Ball Hog, 'S****y' Defender

Ex-NBA coach George Karl says more than 100 hoops fans want to see him 6-feet under ... revealing he's been on the receiving end of death wishes for bashing Carmelo Anthony on Twitter.

Karl coached Melo on the Nuggets from 2005-2011 ... and while Denver made the playoffs for most of their time together, the two never really got along.

Of course, 70-year-old Karl hasn't held back when criticizing Melo in the past ... saying he was selfish and a liability on defense, which ruined the Nuggets' chances at an NBA title.

Now that Melo is hoping to help LeBron James and the Lakers win a championship in 2022, Karl has fired off some shots at the 37-year-old ... trolling Anthony's comments about losing sleep over his quest for a ring.

But, Karl wasn't all negative about the guy ... backpedaling a bit and saying, "I've said it before -- one of the great scorers the game has ever seen. He’s a HOFer and his Jersey should hang in Denver."

And then, Karl went right back to critique mode ... even referencing his battles with neck and throat cancer.

"He Wasn’t a team first player or good defender here in Denver," he added. "And it upset us when he asked for a trade especially after I was sick."

Karl faced a ton of backlash from Melo stans for his jabs ... and addressed the angry fans with yet another tweet Tuesday night.

"I think at least 100 people told me on here to die or rot in hell in the past 24 hours," Karl said. "Cmon folks. That’s not kind or cool."

"Lighten up and celebrate life!!"

When a user asked what he said, Karl didn't mince his words.

"That Melo was a ball hog and s****y defender in Denver."

Melo fans are known for being some of the most passionate backers out there ... so who knows if they'll take Karl's advice.

But yeah, come on, people ... let's chill a tad.

Devin Booker Sending WCF Tix, Autographed Jersey ... To 'Suns In 4' Fan

UPDATE

10:24 AM PT -- 6/17 -- Devin Booker is hitting the "Suns In 4" guy with the ULTIMATE hookup -- sending the dude an autographed jersey and tickets to the upcoming Western Conference Finals!!

UPDATE

Of course, multiple eyewitnesses say McKellar was purely acting in self-defense, so it's not like the baller is rewarding the fan for wildin' out.

UPDATE

Booker posted on social media earlier this week asking to get in touch with the guy ... and it didn't take long at all for him to connect and give McKellar an awesome "thank you" package, according to ESPN.

UPDATE

So cool!!!

The famous "Suns In 4" guy is FINALLY opening up about his violent brawl with Nuggets fans ... claiming the whole thing went down because the Denver dudes poured beer on him.

Nick McKellar joined Barstool Sports' "The Dave Portnoy Show" this week and broke the whole fight down from start to finish ... explaining he was NEVER the aggressor in the situation.

McKellar claims he showed up to Ball Arena for Game 3 last Friday and made friends with nearly everybody around him right away.

But, he says when he started lightheartedly joking with two Nuggets fans toward the end of the game ... that's when things turned contentious.

"These guys are walking past me and obviously they didn't think it was funny," McKellar said. "Meanwhile the whole crowd that I made friends with, initially they were laughing, having a good time."

"I wasn't being annoying. So, these guys were like, 'You know what, I'm taking offense to this.'"

McKellar says the two Nuggets fans then got in his face, talked smack, flaunted money at him ... and then tugged on his jersey and poured beer on him.

That's when McKellar says the action picked up on video ... and the rest is history.

"Instincts of self-defense kick in," McKellar says.

McKellar told Portnoy he was escorted out of the arena by cops after throwing the haymakers, but says he was NOT arrested because witnesses told the officers he did nothing more than protect himself in the skirmish.

As for if Devin Booker ever got a hold of him, McKellar said he has been in contact with the Suns superstar -- and told Portnoy there could be a future collab between the two in the future.

Originally Published -- 6/16 8:04 AM PT

Phoenix Suns Crazed Fans Swarm Streets to Greet Team ... After 4-Game Sweep!!!

PHOENIX POPS OFF!
@deandreayton / Instagram

The Phoenix Suns returned home to Arizona late Sunday night to ONE HELL OF A WELCOMING PARTY ... where fans were going crazy after the team's 4-game sweep of the Denver Nuggets!

Check out this crazy footage of Sun Nation showing out to greet stars like Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker, Chris Paul and more ... just losing their minds at the players trying to leave the airport.

The 6'11" Ayton opened up his sunroof and screamed back at the fans -- everyone was hyped! It was awesome!!!

When CP3's car drove up, the fans began the "MVP" chant!

The Suns swept Denver in 4 games -- impressing the NBA world considering they were playing against league MVP Nikola Jokic and stars like Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr.

The Suns are now headed to the NBA Western Conference Finals to face the winner of the L.A. Clippers vs. Utah Jazz series. The Jazz are currently leading 2-1.

Suns fans have been making almost as many headlines lately as the team -- especially after that fight in Denver where a man in a PHX jersey beat up two men in Utah jerseys and then screamed out, "Suns in 4."

Welp, he wasn't wrong.

NBA's Jamal Murray Shows Off ACL Surgery Scar ... 'Brand New'

Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray is officially on the mend after suffering a torn ACL earlier this month ... and he's showing off his badass scar from surgery!!

The 24-year-old baller went under the knife last week after going down with the injury against the Warriors on April 12 ... and he appears to be in great spirits as he kickstarts the recovery process.

Murray showed off some post-op pics on Tuesday ... captioning them with a positive note -- "Brand new."

Of course, the injury happened in the final minutes of Denver's loss to Golden State ... when Murray's leg buckled after he drove to the basket.

The scene was tough to watch -- even for the broadcasters, who were audibly emotional over the injury.

But, Murray will recover and get back to the court ... just with a new-look knee next time around.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Sports stars like Odell Beckham and Joe Burrow have showed off their ACL surgery scars in recent months ... and it's safe to say Murray's is the least gnarly, so that's a plus for the hooper!!

It's always bad to see any athlete go down, but it was especially tough to see Murray get hurt -- the guy has been tearing up the league over the past 2 years.

Here's hoping for a speedy recovery, Jamal!!

NBA Star Jamal Murray Gruesomely Injures Knee In Game ... 'This Is Awful'

Denver Nuggets superstar Jamal Murray tore up his knee in such a scary fashion Monday night ... even the game's broadcasters were having trouble watching a replay of the injury.

"This is awful," one said ... while another added, "He's in a lot of pain. I don't even know if I want to watch this."

The gruesome play all went down in the final minute of the Nuggets' loss to the Warriors ... when Murray was driving to the basket at full speed.

You can see in clips of the play, as Murray planted his left leg to try to explode upward ... his knee just simply gave out on him.

The 24-year-old -- who had a breakout season last year and helped lead Denver to a Western Conference Finals appearance -- immediately crumpled to the hardwood in pain.

He let out several screams, pounded the floor ... and needed several trainers to help him get up.

A wheelchair was ultimately brought out for Murray ... but he refused to get in it -- and instead, hobbled off the floor and into the locker room.

The severity of Murray's injury was not yet known immediately after the game -- he'll undergo further testing Tuesday -- but it was clear to all involved it could be a devastating one for the Nuggets' star.

"Keep Jamal in your thoughts and prayers," Denver head coach Michael Malone said, "and hopefully we'll get some good news."

Added Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, "We hope he's not injured, that was a really scary fall and there was silence in the gym. Everybody is so concerned for him, so fingers crossed."

Steph Curry, who was just feet away from Murray when he suffered the scary fall, said he, too, was hoping Murray avoided catastrophic knee damage.

"My heart goes out to him," Curry said. "I hope that he gets the best news possible."

Murray had averaged 21.2 points per game this season ... and helped Denver to a 34-20 record. Most believed with a healthy Murray, the Nuggets had a great chance to win the Western Conference.

Get better soon, Jamal.

Damian Lillard Rips MPJ's 'Selfish' Post-Game Comment ... 'He Is Wrong'

Damian Lillard is giving rookie Michael Porter Jr. a quick lesson in what NOT to say to the media ... calling out the Nuggets baller for "selfish" comments he said after Wednesday's loss to the Clippers.

MPJ was an open book to reporters after Denver's 96-85 loss to LA ... questioning coach Mike Malone's game plan and suggesting he should get the ball more in order to win.

"I just think to beat that team, we've gotta get more players involved," MPJ said ... essentially saying he wanted the rock in his hands more often.

When asked if it were his place -- as a rookie -- to speak up to the coaching staff, 22-year-old Porter doubled down.

GET MORE INVOLVED
Courtesy Of NBA

"If Imma be out there on the court playing a lot of minutes, I think I should voice that."

Enter Lillard -- who got wind of MPJ's comments and immediately let his feelings known by tweeting out, "Smdh ..."

Several Twitter users clapped back at Dame, saying Porter's comments weren't wrong, it just wasn't the right time to air out his feelings.

"Yes he is wrong," Lillard responded. "If you know you know and ima leave it at that" ... adding, "clearly y’all mfs think on a selfish level to think this is coo ."

Lillard explains his problem with the comments ... saying, "If I want to win ima have this conversation with my coaches and teammates and express that."

"This is their second time being down 3-1 so if [Nikola Jokic] and [Jamal] Murray didn’t carry them here we wouldn’t be having this convo."

Others cited Kobe Bryant's "Mamba Mentality" when defending MPJ's comments ... but Dame says this is NOTHING like that.

"The disrespect smh."

Unclear if MPJ will address Dame's comments ... but the dude's got bigger problems right now -- the Nuggets are one loss from being eliminated from the playoffs, so maybe he'll focus on that for now.

Denver Nuggets Speak W/ MPJ Over COVID Conspiracy ... 'Population Control'

7/29/20
HERE'S WHAT I THINK...
UPDATE

1:58 PM PT -- Nuggets head coach Michael Malone says the team talked to MPJ about his comments ... but made it clear he's "not the thought police."

UPDATE

"I'm not going to tell any of our players what they can and can't say," Malone said. "All I would say is just be sensitive to the current situation in our country and throughout the world in regards to coronavirus."

UPDATE

Malone says MPJ met with Tim Connelly, Denver's president of basketball ops, about his comments ... but denies it became a distraction with the team.

UPDATE

"If somebody has a strong belief on something, they have the platform and freedom to use that," Malone added. "We will just try to educate guys so that they understand the impact of what they may be saying."

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. believes COVID was secretly created for global "population control" ... and warns things are about to get much, much worse.

It was all part of a bizarre Snapchat Q&A session on Tuesday -- when the 2018 1st-round NBA Draft pick decided to go full conspiracy theorist when asked about the pandemic.

"Personally, I think that the coronavirus is being used obviously for a bigger agenda," 22-year-old Porter said from his room in the NBA Bubble in Orlando.

"It’s being used for population control in just terms of being able to control the masses of people."

More than 661,000 people have reportedly died from COVID around the world since the pandemic began -- with more than 16.7 MILLION cases.

Porter thinks it's all part of some diabolical plot for global control.

"Because of this virus, the whole world is being controlled. You’re required to wear masks, and who knows what’ll happen when this vaccine comes out. You might have to have the vaccine in order to travel. That’d be crazy."

And yeah, that's when Porter pivoted into some anti-vaxxer talk ...

"I've never been vaccinated in my life. I've never had any shots or anything like that. So, it could get crazy."

FYI, it seems impossible for Porter not to have been vaccinated at some point in his life since basketball players at Missouri (where he played college ball) were required to comply with the 2-dose MMR Immunization Policy -- which essentially requires proof of vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella.

Still, Porter continued his rant ...

"It's definitely an agenda behind everything that's going on right now and all you can do is sit back and watch what's going on."

"Don't get too emotionally involved," Porter warned ... "but yeah, I mean it is a serious thing -- it's a real thing but yes it's being overblown."

Sidenote -- please be safe out there.

Nikola Jokic Playoff Pump Up Talk ... From Caron Butler

NOT JOKING AROUND
TMZSports.com

Caron Butler says there's a diamond in the rough in the NBA playoffs ... a guy he says is "so special" the Trail Blazers better not sleep on him -- and that dude is Nikola Jokic.

The 7-footer from Serbia has emerged a force to be reckoned with this season -- and Butler says it's no fluke.

"He's so special," Butler tells TMZ Sports ... "I spent some time with the Denver Nuggets and his versatility is just amazing because he's able to shoot the basketball, ultimately facilitate and he has a high basketball IQ. He's just tough to stop."

24-year-old Jokic put his talents on display during Game 1 of his series with Portland -- pounding the Blazers for 37 points, 6 assists and 9 rebounds.

Game 2 is set for Wednesday night -- and Caron expects more of the same ... Jokic domination.

He even dished out a mini-pump up speech for the guy ... not that he needs it!

Nick Young Investigated for Robbery ... Allegedly Struck Man in Genitals

NBA star Nick Young has been named a suspect in an alleged robbery that went down last week -- in which Swaggy's accused of striking a guy in his testicles and stealing his phone.

Law enforcement sources tell us ... the LAPD received a call on Jan. 4 from a man who claims he was assaulted by Swaggy P when he tried to take his photo at a popular L.A. car wash.

We're told the alleged victim does not appear to be a paparazzo -- just a basketball fan who recognized the former Lakers star and wanted a photo.

The man acknowledged Young didn't want to be photographed but he snapped a pic anyway -- and that's when Young snapped ... confronting the fan, allegedly firing off a nut shot and swiping the phone.

We're told cops took a report and are investigating. So far, no arrests have been made.

It's not the first time Young has been accused of wrongdoing -- he was arrested in August 2018 for obstruction of justice after he was pulled over by police.

And in 2016, Young was sued for allegedly attacking a man at a pickup basketball game at a church.

We've reached out to Young for comment -- so far, no word back.

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