Archive for the ‘NBA’ Category

D’Angelo Russell may be planning his own future superteam of sorts.

Russell opined during a video shoot featuring himself, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Devin Booker that the trio will play together one day, according to Slam’s Max Resetar.

“We gotta do this again, when we’re all on the same team,” Russell said in front of rolling cameras. “Nah, don’t cut it … y’all got it on footage. When we’re all on the same team – I ain’t gonna tell you which team because I don’t know – we’re gonna do this again.”

Russell, who is a member of the Golden State Warriors, made sure not to specify a team for which he would play with Towns, a Minnesota Timberwolves center, and Booker, a guard for the Phoenix Suns. NBA tampering rules forbid players or team personnel from making comments that attempt to lure other players.

Russell, Towns, and Booker are less than a year apart in age and were all drafted in 2015. Towns and Booker played together at Kentucky, but the three have known each other since they attended various basketball camps as teenagers.

The trio are under contract with their respective teams until at least 2023, when Russell’s current deal expires. Towns and Booker are signed through 2024.

The Indiana Pacers have engaged in trade discussions involving Domantas Sabonis, sources told The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

However, the Pacers’ asking price for the fourth-year player has thus far been reportedly too rich for prospective suitors.

Indiana and Sabonis are apparently at an impasse over his ongoing contract negotiation. Sabonis can receive an extension on his rookie contract up until Oct. 21. Otherwise, he must wait until next summer when he becomes a restricted free agent.

Through three seasons – the first with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the past two with Indiana – the son of Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis has grown into one of the league’s most efficient bench players. He averaged 14.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in just under 25 minutes per game last season, posting an effective field-goal percentage of 59.6%. 

Sabonis finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting in 2018-19.

The Pacers already have a significant amount of money invested in fellow big man Myles Turner. The 23-year-old’s own four-year, $80-million extension kicks in this season.

The college basketball coach best known for getting his players to the NBA doesn’t agree with the idea of expanding the pro draft.

“If anybody supports more rounds in the draft, those more rounds are to get kids to go to the G League,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Alex Scarborough. “You do not care about college basketball or you’re trying to ruin college basketball.”

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said earlier in October he thinks the NBA draft will likely be expanded at some point. But Calipari believes the college basketball environment provides a better system than the G League for athletes who aren’t surefire NBA players.

“After two years they don’t perform, what?” Calipari said. “The NBA is going to take care of them and hire them? No. It’s entertainment. You’re done.”

The NBA has limited its draft to two rounds since 1989. Prior to that, the selection featured seven rounds or more, with the vast majority of players chosen never playing in the league.

“If they’re not going to the NBA, if we’re really about young people, we should encourage them to go to college,” Calipari added. “And the reason is their way out is through education. Their way to break through to the American dream is education.”

Calipari has previously voiced support for allowing players to go pro straight from high school. He’s coached 38 players who have been selected in the NBA draft since he took over at Kentucky in 2009.

The Washington Wizards and guard Bradley Beal have agreed to a two-year maximum contract extension worth $72 million that also includes a player option for 2022-23, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 26-year-old Beal was previously set to hit free agency as part of the heralded 2021 class. He’ll now be under contract until either the summer of 2022 – if he does not exercise his option – or the following offseason.

The timing of the option year could be strategic. If Beal declines the option, which follows his 10th NBA season, he’d be eligible to re-sign with Washington on a five-year, $266-million contract. If he signs elsewhere that offseason, his maximum contract would be $198 million over four years.

“Brad has always made it clear to me, that in a perfect world, he would never leave Washington,” Bartelstein said to Wojnarowski. “He has felt an obligation to be the focal point in turning the Wizards into an elite team.

“He’s thrilled about all the resources that (owner) Ted (Leonsis) is pouring into the franchise and thrilled how committed (Leonsis) and (general manager) Tommy (Sheppard) are to building something special.”

By signing the extension, Beal tied his immediate future to Washington. He can’t be traded until after the 2019-20 season and his salary would immediately increase by 15% if he’s moved while playing under the deal, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Beal is coming off his best NBA campaign. The two-time All-Star averaged career highs in nearly every statistic, including points (25.6), assists (5.6), rebounds (five), steals (1.5), and minutes per game (36.9).

The Wizards said in June that they would offer Beal an extension as soon as they were eligible to, dispelling notions that the team would shop the former third overall pick in order to rebuild.

Beal had until Monday to accept Washington’s offer.

The Boston Celtics have extended a four-year, $80-million contract offer to forward Jaylen Brown, league sources told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.

However, Brown believes he has star potential and is pursuing a bigger offer, sources told Haynes.

The Celtics have rarely issued extensions to players in the midst of their rookie deals. Rajon Rondo was the last to receive one, agreeing to a five-year, $55-million contract extension in 2009.

If both sides are unable to come to an agreement before Monday’s deadline for rookie-scale extensions, Brown will become a restricted free agent following the 2019-20 campaign.

The former third overall pick is set to make $6.5 million this season.

Brown played a major role in Boston’s run to the Eastern Conference finals in 2017-18, finishing second in team scoring during the playoffs with 18 points per contest on 46.6% shooting from the floor.

However, he was relegated to the bench after a slow start to the 2018-19 campaign and saw his scoring and 3-point shooting numbers drop from the previous year. Brown eventually regained his starting role prior to the postseason.

The Toronto Raptors appear to be on the verge of locking up a key part of their future.

Pascal Siakam and the club have until Monday to agree on a rookie-scale extension and “it’s almost a certainty” that they’ll come to terms before that, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.

However, it’ll take a maximum contract offer to secure Siakam’s signature, league sources told Haynes.

The 27th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft is eligible to receive a five-year, $170-million deal from Toronto, whereas other teams can extend a maximum offer of four years and $130 million.

Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers and Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets are the only players from Siakam’s draft class who have received max contract extensions.

Siakam, 25, is set to make $2.3 million this season.

He’s coming off a breakthrough 2018-19 campaign in which he posted career highs in points (16.9), rebounds (6.9), and 3-point percentage (36.9%) en route to winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. The Cameroonian’s emergence as a secondary offensive option helped the Raptors earn their first NBA championship this past season.

Hong Kong citizens took to the streets Tuesday to denounce LeBron James following the Los Angeles Lakers star’s comments regarding Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, according to The Associated Press’ John Leicester.

Some protesters burned James jerseys and cheered for Morey. James said Monday that the GM “wasn’t educated” about the potential impact of his since-deleted tweet supporting pro-democracy protesters in the region.

“Students, they come out like every weekend,” James Lo, a Hong Kong web designer, told Leicester. “They’ve got teargassed and then they got gun-shot. … Police beating students and then innocent people, like every day. And then he (James) just comes up with something (like) that. We just can’t accept that.”

Hong Kong protesters have commended Morey for his statement. On Tuesday, they hosted a “Stand with Morey” rally in which they sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” according to the New York Times’ Daniel Victor.

On Monday, James addressed the ongoing rift between the Rockets, NBA, and China for the first time.

“I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke,” James said before Los Angeles hosted the Golden State Warriors. “So many people could have been harmed, not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually. …

“Yes, we do have freedom of speech but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that.”

Shortly after his comments, James issued a clarification specifying that he was referring to the potential consequences of Morey’s tweet as opposed to the subject matter.

Morey posted a graphic that said “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong” on Oct. 4, less than a week before the Lakers and Nets were set to play the first of two preseason games in mainland China. Chinese companies and the country’s basketball association suspended relations with the Rockets in response, and the preseason games were at risk of being called off.