So, if I’m really being honest with myself, I want to play basketball, but if I had to sign today or tomorrow, the answer would be “No!!” I look at it like this: I’m not willing to play the role that I’ll be needed for right now, which is to provide veteran leadership, a locker room presence, insurance in case someone gets hurt, etc. In a few months, if the right team that has an identity and a need for what I bring calls me, then maybe. Rosters are full and everybody is trying to figure out what type of team they want to be. I’ve watched training camp practices on NBA TV and I don’t have a desire to go through that right now. I don’t think I need to be on a roster – and go through pre-season – for a team that doesn’t quite need me yet, doesn’t have an identity or know what they are going to be in the future. I have an identity and I know what I bring to a team. I’d rather sit back and enjoy my family and see my kids off to school every morning than sign with a team that has so many unknowns.
May 30, 2017 | 8:51 am EDT Update
First, everything about what Dion Waiters might (or might not) realize on the free-agent market at this point is speculation. And the NBA types I have spoken to believe that some of the speculation is at a far higher rate than Dion might realize, considering the limited market last summer and the small sample size this past season due to injury. But often none of that matters, since it only takes one suitor to set the market, with plenty of cap space available around the league. Ultimately, it could come down to Dion’s preference of cash or contention.
“His first couple of years, he might try some things that weren’t really his game,” said Jai Lucas, who played with Thompson at Texas and remains close with him. The Cavs didn’t mind Thompson’s exploration. They stunk anyway, and he stayed mostly within himself. The only statistical goals he ever mentioned were averaging a double-double, or snagging five rebounds per quarter, coaches and teammates said.
Defend LeBron James and all that shooting for 20 seconds, and here comes Thompson to extend the possession, or end it with a shot that might make the bottom of the last page in a scouting report. He is perhaps the most demoralizing player in the league, and there may be no more demoralizing NBA moment than Thompson hitting a floater at the end of the shot clock. “I get it,” Thompson said, laughing. “I’m last on the checklist. That’s fine with me. I love seeing all the energy and hope come out of the other team.” “Everything he does,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey, “is so deflating.”
May 30, 2017 | 5:58 am EDT Update
The 7-footer’s rugged professional path has landed him at seemingly the perfect stop: in the Bay Area with the NBA’s best. Just don’t call him a journeyman. “I’ve never considered myself a journeyman in the first place,” McGee said after a practice this weekend. “Whatever y’all want to call me y’all can call me. The number of teams I’ve been on was in like one year. I’ve been with three teams in two years.”
The Nets’ last-place campaign doesn’t seem to have dimmed Brook Lopez’s spirits. Lopez — whose name came up at the trade deadline, and surely will again this offseason — is convinced his team laid a positive foundation in coach Kenny Atkinson’s first year, and he’s all in for the second. “I think there’s a lot of positivity. Our record wasn’t spectacular, but we all felt we grew a lot, we really improved, and our team never showed any quit. Those are important things to have,’’ Lopez said Monday according to Inquirer.net. “We believe we’re building that foundation and it’s in place and we can do something down the line if we continue to play for one another.