Stuff the Chris Paul trade chatter. He belongs with Thunder.

In today’s often hyperbolic, social media-driven world, we revel in extremes in the NBA, particularly on the negative end of the spectrum. A team is either a title contender or it sucks and should tank. A coach is either a mastermind or incompetent. A player is either a star or garbage. This is especially true when it comes to appraising trade values of players near the February 6 deadline. A player is either underrated because he’s on a great contract or he’s “the most untradeable contract in the league.” And once a player is designated as having an untradeable contract, he’s nothing more than dead weight sinking his team’s salary cap.  John Wall, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love -– they will all be synonymous with the phrase “horrible contract” until the expiration of their current max deals. And then there’s the curious case of Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul. CP3 has accomplished the unthinkable over the past six months, dragging his trade value from the Seventh Circle of Hell into a strange purgatory where he c

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Surging Utah rises to near top of West. The hard part comes later.

Like a cup of Postum at a Salt Lake City diner, the Utah Jazz are scorching hot, winning 10 straight and rising to second in the Western Conference. After a disappointing start to the season, Utah (28-12) is in the middle of the playoff picture, and its fans are clamoring for respect. Have we all been sleeping on the Jazz, and is this the season the team finally makes noise in the playoffs? Joe Ingles is superbly running the offense, Rudy Gobert is shutting down the paint, and Donovan Mitchell is playing like an All-Star on both ends of the court. The team’s leading scorer averages 24.2 points per game (up from 23.8 last in 2018-19), shooting better and more efficiently than he did last season. Mitchell is nearly unstoppable from mid-range (55% on shots 10 to 16 feet from the basket), and he’s playing better without Mike Conley, sidelined since mid-December with a hamstring injury. The Jazz went all-in this season on Conley, sending players and picks to Memphis for the 32-year-old. A better shooter than Rick

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Chief reasons why Tennessee (or Kansas City) will win AFC title game

Yardbarker NFL writers Michael Tunison and Chris Mueller address some of the hottest issues in the league. This week’s topic: Who has the edge in the AFC Championship Game? Tunison: Having dispatched No. 3 seed and defending AFC champ New England and No. 1 seed Baltimore on the road, the Titans are enjoying the kind of momentum that suggests they’re going to upset the Chiefs in Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game. All the narrative hooks are there: sixth-seeded Tennessee spectacularly ending the recent drought of wild-card teams making the Super Bowl by beating the top three seeds in the conference and Titans QB Ryan Tannehill returning to South Florida to flout his status as a dismissed washout with the Dolphins.  NFL playoff schedule And why not?  What’s one more road win at this point, no less against a Chiefs franchise that is known for choking in these situations, with a head coach in Andy Reid who has always let the big one elude him? One big reason why not is that the third-seeded Chiefs showed r

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