Jimmy Butler a keeper?

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July 7, 2015 | 9:15 am EDT Update
SLAM: Specific skill-wise, what are you going to be working on this offseason? Bradley Beal: Putting the ball on the floor a little more, being able to create more to help John out a little bit, to create for my teammates a little bit better and for myself as well. Defense is also a big one. SLAM: How do you work on that? BB: Just working on my moves, just doing whatever it takes. Just making sure I’m doing the right thing. Just basic stuff, it’s really more confidence than anything. Just making sure you have good belief in yourself when you handle the ball that you’re not going to turn it over and that you’re going to make the right decision. That’s something that needs to get better.
The former Jazz center was back in Utah to preview the first night of the Utah Jazz Summer League, sign autographs, pose for photos and even give some advice to Utah’s latest crop of young talent. “I’m blessed, coming out here,” Okur told KSL Sports. “Believe it or not, from the first time I got here, to get to see the same fans and new faces, it’s great to be back, get to know them and sign pictures and basketballs. “I’m excited. I’m really looking forward to seeing them play in the coming season. They’ve been incredible, fun to watch, and we’ve got new draft picks that should be a lot of fun.”
July 7, 2015 | 4:00 am EDT Update
Leandro Barbosa reached agreement on re-signing a one-year contract with the Warriors, the guard said Monday. The deal is worth $2.5 million, according to ESPN.com. “I’m just very happy to renew my contract and be able to stay with the Warriors family, stay in the Bay, where I already consider my home,” Barbosa wrote in a message. “That’s what I wanted the most. I just follow my heart. What we had accomplished is very special, the most important title of my career.”
J.J. Barea is sticking with the Dallas Mavericks. The point guard said via text message on Monday that he will sign a new contract with the Mavericks starting at $2.8-million for the coming season. The deal is for two years, the maximum length allowed for the cap-room exception. The total worth is believed to be slightly over $5.6-million. “It’s not official yet,” Barea said. “But yeah, I’m coming back to Dallas.”
The Trey Lyles contract situation may be quickly headed toward a resolution. “We’ll have some news for our fans here real short, so no worries,” Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey told 1280 The Zone on Monday evening. Lindsey has previously said that, while there were some ongoing negotiations, the primary the hold-up in getting the team’s first-round draft pick signed lay with Jazz management, who wanted to keep the player temporarily out of contract in order to maintain a small amount of extra cap space.
Speaking on Tim and Sid on Sportsnet on Monday, Williams admitted he was “kind of a little disappointed I wasn’t allowed to stay in Toronto, but things happen, you move forward.” Williams said he even offered the Raptors a chance to match the Lakers deal, but Masai Ujiri and Co. told him to take the offer. “I think the playoffs just left a sour taste in everybody’s mouths,” Williams said, before adding, “we were all disappointed with how the playoffs ended. When things like that happen, you don’t know what to expect. I really wanted to be a part of what they were building there.”
Manu Ginobili: Out of respect for the franchise, I couldn’t delay my decision much longer. They need time to form a new team. If I decided to stop playing, they had to look for another option. I could wait and see what happened with Aldridge, if he was coming or not. That was my deadline. Once he said yes, it was my turn to decide. I’m staying in because I don’t see myself away from basketball yet. Two months passed, enough time to stop the ball and think.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 6 more rumors
Manu Ginobili: I believe this is a nice opportunity. I am excited about the new team and I didn’t want to miss the fun. Knowing that they were so sure about keeping me in the team was definitely a crucial factor. If they harbored doubts, the decision making process would have been faster. But knowing that they wanted me was nice, it made me feel respected, and the decision comes more freely. It must be pretty hard to retire because you don’t have the choice to continue. Luckily, that was not the case. I didn’t watch the second round of playoffs, nor the Conference finals. I was still I bit hurt. Then, when I watched the finals. I missed it a little. I felt that itch telling me I wanted to play again. The fire is still burning.
Jackson doesn’t have to wonder where the next transfer takes him now. He’s Stan Van Gundy’s man to run the Pistons’ offense. “I’m just blessed, not just because of the money, but because they wanted me here, and I wanted to be here,” Jackson said here Monday during Orlando Pro Summer League. “A chance to do some special things in Detroit in the next five years is everything I could have asked for.”
The Lakers did not accumulate the talent they wanted, striking out on free agent bigfish named LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe and DeAndre Jordan. But the Lakers collected a decent consolation prize in Lou Williams, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year who could ease Bryant’s workload because they both share the same position and love for scoring. “When he goes out, I’m sure I’ll be coming in,” Williams said of Bryant in a phone interview on Monday with Los Angeles News Group. “That’s how it will work. We won’t have too many lapses. We’ll be able to keep the scoring level going and give him an opportunity to get a breather and then he’ll come back in.”
Randle then had graded himself a “C,” believing the lack of training stemmed from a contract delay and rehab surrounding his right foot slowed his progress. But Randle also followed through on the Lakers’ insistence, led by strength and conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco, to cut out sweets in place of grass-fed food. Randle reported those efforts ensured that he lost 15 pounds in fat, resulting in a slimmed down and chiseled frame that can adapt both to Byron Scott’s conditioning-heavy practices and actual games. “The credit goes to my coaches for staying on me and not letting this down time being injured be a step in the wrong direction,” Randle said. “I’m taking advantage of it the most that I could. It’s also me with my drive and will and people supporting me. The credit goes to all of them.”
Okafor certainly offered a glimpse at why expectations for him are so sky high in his first NBA action on Monday night. He opened up the three-day Utah Jazz Summer League with 20 points on 10 of 22 shooting and nine rebounds in a 74-71 loss to the San Antonio Spurs (see Instant Replay). After a rough first half in which he had just six points and shot just 27 percent, Okafor got his internal engine running smoothly in the second half. He showed flashes of dominance around the basket during key stretches. “I just got more comfortable,” Okafor said. “I haven’t played 5-on-5 since the national championship game. I am just getting adjusted and getting some of the rust out. Just talking to my teammates and figuring it out. It’s a process. I hope I can play better the next game.”
Though Rozier admits the speed of the NBA game has him recalibrating the concept of pace, beating everyone down the floor is not among his worries. He smiled when asked about his speed. The 21-year-old always has been the fastest player on the floor. “Have to admit, I’m pretty fast,” he said before scoring seven points in last night’s 100-82 loss to the Jazz. “Not trying to sound all cocky, but I’m pretty fast, and I’ve been like that since I was young. I’m fast with the ball and damn fast without the ball.”
At 6-foot-11, 231 pounds, Reed has been a dynamic post player for the Heat early in summer league. He put up 13 points and 11 rebounds in Monday’s 78-73 win over the Pistons at Amway Center and consistently looks out of place in games featuring mostly rookies and fringe players. In the first two games, he totaled 24 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in 48 minutes. “He brings us a shot-blocking presence around the rim and he’s a high-motor big,” said Heat assistant Dan Craig, head coach of the summer team. “It’s contagious with everybody else. He gives you extra possessions with his offensive rebounding. He’s been tremendous.”
Reed’s career got off track beginning with a sexual assault allegation — charges were not pressed — that led to him being kicked off the team at St. Louis University. He declared for the 2011 draft, did not get picked and entered the D-League with the Springfield (Mass.) Armor. He earned a training camp invite from Sacramento in 2012 and was cut just before the season started. The same thing happened with Memphis a year later and in Brooklyn last fall. He also played for the Pacers’ summer league team last year. “The process has really helped me become the person I am now,” Reed said. “I’m glad I learned from it and became a better man and a better man of God. Now everything’s starting to turn around.
Bonner, who was a 41.4 percent three-point shooter going into last season, shot just 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. He blames Apple for going bigger with the iPhone 6. Via the ConcordMonitor.com: “You’re about to get an exclusive here. I hate to make excuses, I was raised to never make excuses, but I went through a two-and-a-half month stretch where I had really bad tennis elbow, and during that stretch it made it so painful for me to shoot I’d almost be cringing before I even caught the ball like, ‘Oh, this is going to kill.’ Everybody is going to find this hilarious, but here’s my theory on how I got it. When the new iPhone came out it was way bigger than the last one, and I think because I got that new phone it was a strain to use it, you have to stretch further to hit the buttons, and I honestly think that’s how I ended up developing it.”
T.J. Ford has about as good a read on Toronto’s new point guard tandem as anyone. That’s because the former Raptors standout once mentored free agent signee Cory Joseph and forged a close relationship with incumbent starter Kyle Lowry through four years of hard off-season training. “I really like the combination and I think they did a good job and I think it’s a good fit,” Ford told the Toronto Sun Monday over the line from Charlotte where he is helping with a basketball camp.
July 6, 2015 | 10:08 pm EDT Update

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