There is still an opportunity to win this series but the Celtics have to use their two days off to reflect on their recent slow starts. And they also likely have to move on without Avery Bradley, who suffered a right hamstring strain and will have an MRI on Sunday, a test that will likely reveal a significant injury.
May 29, 2017 | 10:01 am EDT Update
At least one NBA veteran sees the Miami Heat as a potential Plan B in free agency when it comes to Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin. The question therefore could become whether Pat Riley again allows his team to be put on hold, as was the case last summer with the failed pursuit of Kevin Durant, who instead can be found in this week’s NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors. Although he ultimately expects his former teammate to sign back with the Clippers, Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley said if Griffin does decide to head elsewhere that the Heat could be the best alternative. “Miami,” Dudley said on an ESPN podcast, “is the only case scenario to be able to do if you say, ‘Hey, you know what, I want to be the man of the team.’ “
“My whole thing is of where you want to live at?” said Dudley, who spent 2013-14 as Griffin’s Clippers teammate. “He lives in L.A., which he loves, Miami is a good place. So Miami is understandable: Pat Riley, they would make the playoffs with him, so that’s the only one I could somewhat see. “You’re not going to Dallas if you’re Blake Griffin. You’re not going to Houston. New York Knicks? You’re not going there.”
A source from another NBA team (not the Mavs) tells me that there will be “multiple” clubs willing to pay Noel his max once he hits the restricted-free-agent market on July 1. And just so there is no confusion as to what that “max” is: Assuming the cap at $101 million, as the NBA is expecting, Noel’s contract can start at 25 percent of the cap with eight-percent annual raises. That equals $25.25 mil as his starting salary and about $146.45 million over five years.
So, if my league source is correct, Noel is about to get a $108.575 payday if Dallas balks at paying him … because somebody else will do so.
“I will play my best basketball when I return in January”, Parker told L’Equipe. After his injury in the NBA playoffs, the player is on the road to recovery and already wants to give it all for next season. He is expected to make his return with the Spurs in about six to eight months, and he still feels frustrated with the injury: “The first thing that came in when I got injured, was frustration. I was super good and we had the chance to go until the end and get the title.”