“No matter how (the season) ends, I think Timmy is going to look at (retirement) again,” Popovich told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “And if you ask me, my guess is that he’ll go for another one because he has been so consistent this season. It’s just consistent stuff: another double-double, over and over and over again. Because of that, I think in his mind that if it continues through the rest of the year, I think he’ll say, ‘I’m going to go another year and see what happens.’ Because what he has told me is that the minute he feels like he’s a hindrance to his team or he’s not on the positive end or helping him, he’s going to walk right off the court. It might be during the third quarter of a game. He’s not going to hang on to finish a contract or make the money or have the notoriety that you know he doesn’t give a (expletive) about. So the way he’s playing now, he’s going to look in the mirror and say, ‘Hey, I’m doing all right.’ ”
February 10, 2016 | 6:53 am EST Update
Wade told me this week that he does not want to even test the free agent market and instead wants to wrap up a new deal with the Heat without the drama of last offseason, when the sides initially were far apart before agreeing on a one-year, $20 million contract. “The whole free agency thing, I didn’t want to be in it last summer; I don’t want to be in it this summer,” he said. “I don’t want to be on the market at all…. I’m not curious at all. I want to get to it [with the Heat]. I want to be able to sign my deal and move on and not have to deal with any rumors, any free agency, any this, any that. This is where I want to end my career. So we’ll figure it out.”
New York faces long odds to land Durant to begin with. But they took a hit after Derek Fisher was fired, league sources say. As noted here previously, Fisher was going to be a factor in Durant’s free agency this summer. But hiring Brooks could get Durant’s attention.
Even with his early Bird restrictions looming in the offseason, keeping Whiteside is Miami’s best chance during the playoffs. With Whiteside signed to a minimum contract, it will be hard to get equal value back in a trade. Teams are also leery to take on Whiteside, knowing they will inherit the same contract issues Miami could face this summer.
Last week ESPN reported the Raptors were looking into Suns forwards P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris and while the source is credible, it should be noted that Toronto’s front office doesn’t leak that sort of information – they haven’t since Ujiri took over. If it’s not coming from the Raptors, it’s likely coming from the Suns, or an agent, both of whom could be using the report for leverage.
Martin, 32, has seen his overall play nosedive this season. With a player option hanging over his head this summer, Martin still has value for playoff teams looking for shooting. Martin has a $7 million cap hit for the current season as well as next year if he opts in.
We hear Miami simultaneously has been aggressively trying to trade salary at the end of its bench, primarily Chris Andersen and Jarnell Stokes, because it wants to lessen its luxury tax burden. Miami knows it has a better chance to dump Stokes (earning less than $1 million) than Andersen ($5 million). Dealing Stokes without taking a player (or money back) would also open a roster spot.