Former Trail Blazers point guard Sergio Rodriguez on Saturday said he is mulling a return to the NBA this summer and will wait “to see how the market is” after the free agent period opens July 1. Since leaving the NBA in 2010, Rodriguez has become one of the best players in Europe. Rodriguez led Real Madrid to the 2015 Euroleague championship and was the 2014 Euroleague MVP. He says he has three years left on his contract, but said his contract has a reasonable buyout.
September 1, 2015 | 6:03 pm EDT Update
The NBA today released its 2015 preseason schedule that tips off on Friday, Oct. 2 and features three top international teams — Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, Maccabi Haifa, and Paschoalotto/Bauru — traveling to the U.S. for six games against six NBA teams. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, a six-time Turkish League champion, will be the first international team to play in the U.S. this preseason, taking on the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 5 at Barclays Center before meeting the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 9 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
September 1, 2015 | 4:00 pm EDT Update
But there is one near certainty: Tomas Satoransky’s arrival. Wizards officials met with Satoransky, 23, earlier this month when his native Czech Republic played against Marcin Gortat’s Polish national team in preparation for the upcoming EuroBasket tournament and Washington expects him to join the team next summer, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Satoransky is now entering the second and final year of his contract with FC Barcelona in the Spanish League. He has started 42 of 71 games for Barcelona, one of the top clubs in the second-best league in the world, at point guard last season, averaging 8.1 points and 3.3 assists in 20.3 minutes. He shot 54.2 percent from the floor, including 43.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 83.9 percent from the free throw line. Satoransky figures to become John Wall’s primary backup. Wall’s current backup, Ramon Sessions, is in the final year of his contract.
Carmelo Anthony has teamed up with VICE SPORTS for a series of videos — called “The Clubhouse,” looking at the intersection of sports and culture — and in the first one ‘Melo heads to Cuba to talk about how soccer has caught on with the youth of that nation. For years, when you thought of sports in Cuba you thought baseball and boxing, but a younger generation has started playing soccer in the streets, and the popularity is growing.
September 1, 2015 | 1:29 pm EDT Update
Consider one example: Durant’s max salary for 2016-17 will be about $25 million, leaving $15 million or $20 million to split between Wade and Whiteside. That won’t do it, unless Wade takes a massive hometown discount. (By the way: Rail against the Durant rumor mill if you want, but you’re kidding yourselves if you don’t think Riley will set Miami up to make a run at him.)
To get to the MAX level money Thompson’s camp is said to be seeking, the Raptors have to pass on retaining DeMar DeRozan and renounce his rights to clear his $15 million cap hold. The Raptors would also have to not extend Terrence Ross now, which opens up a bidding situation to retain him next summer. And they likely have to decline the options on their two promising Brazilians. All of that could get them within the margin of error on a starting salary in the $16 to $18 million range.
It’s not impossible to think the Raptors would make those kinds of sacrifices, especially if Thompson continues his upward trend. But it is somewhat off base for anyone to believe that the Raptors have the cash to add Thompson. Raptors President Masai Ujiri has been pretty adept at finding creative ways to land players he covets, but it’s not a home run that Thompson can just walk to Toronto without the Raptors having to make some hard cap decisions, even with the salary cap expected to balloon to roughly $90 million next season.
The Heat have tried to trade Chris Andersen and Mario Chalmers to anyone who would have them, per sources around the league, but if they deal them now to trim their repeater tax bill, they’d also thin their bench to red-alert levels. Gerald Green and Tyler Johnson will help, but it’s too early to count on them.
In signing LeBron and Bosh, Riley engineered the greatest free-agency coup in sports history, and as February’s trade deadline approached, other suitors for Dragic backed away, sensing the Heat’s don had the Suns point guard in the bag for the long haul, according to sources across the league. The Heat deny they discussed Dragic’s next contract during trade talks — “There was no deal,” a Heat spokesman says — and the league says it never received any official complaint about tampering. Dragic may have liked the Heat from the outside, but things can always go haywire once a player actually arrives on a team. Miami wagered on its culture and the lure of the five-year contract only it could offer.
Former Georgetown player Patrick Ewing Jr. has joined coach John Thompson III’s staff as Director of Basketball Operations. The program is set to make a formal announcement Tuesday afternoon. Ewing Jr., the son of legendary former Hoyas center Patrick Ewing, played for Thompson’s 2007 Final Four team. He graduated from Georgetown in 2008 and briefly played in the NBA before professional stops overseas.
The Charlotte Hornets and Lowe’s today announced they will award $50,000 for education-related projects in Mecklenburg County this fall as part of the longtime partners’ education grant program. For the third consecutive year, the grants will fund high-need projects at public schools and nonprofit education programs in the Charlotte area. Charlotte-area public schools (K-12) and all 501(c)(3) organizations that support public education in Mecklenburg County are eligible to apply for a grant at hornets.com/2015-16-education-grant-application. The application period is open now and will run until September 25. Proposals will be evaluated by a review panel established by the Hornets and Lowe’s, and grant recipients will be announced during the 2015-16 NBA season.
September 1, 2015 | 10:38 am EDT Update
Shams Charania is a 21 year old who fits the bill of the latter. That’s right, one of the league’s most relevant reporters is only a college junior. How you ask? Hard work and an unending drive to be the best. It sounds cliche and maybe it is, but that’s the story — Shams is outworking everyone and making a name for himself in the process. Even more scary than the fact that Shams is only 21: He’s already got three years under his belt as a full-time, salaried reporter for RealGM.
(USA Today Sports’) Jeff (Zillgitt) was discharged from the hospital this afternoon – seven days after being admitted with an intestinal obstruction caused by the cancerous tumor in his colon. After some experimenting, the doctors found the perfect cocktail of medications to alleviate Jeff’s post-surgery pain, stomach cramps and nausea. Our fingers are crossed that this cocktail continues to work at home.
September 1, 2015 | 6:37 am EDT Update
The answer isn’t nearly as straight forward as the question. There are a number of factors that contributed to Bennett’s forgettable rookie and sophomore seasons, health and conditioning among them, but the word he frequently uses to explain his improved play this summer should not be overlooked. Confidence. “[I’m] just playing with confidence, pretty much,” the 22-year-old forward responded. “Just going out there, playing defence, running the court. Just doing the little things first and trying to make offence come to me.”
The smile has returned – you’ll rarely catch him without it. He’s healthy, he’s slimmed down considerably and he has that bounce in his step again. “It feels great,” Bennett told TSN in a sit-down interview earlier this month. “My body feels great. I feel like I’m 100 per cent right now. Just getting out and running like I did at UNLV.” “It looks like he’s loving basketball again,” Triano added. “And I think that was the big thing for us. We try to make it fun for him, try to simplify it. He’s so talented in a variety of areas that we needed to just simplify what we expect of him. If he does that, the rest of it is gonna fall into place.”
The other thing Barlow made abundantly clear was that Andersen made a conscious choice to play in Europe rather than pursue an NBA career earlier, despite being drafted by Atlanta back in 2002. “To put that comment about him being the best player in Europe into perspective. That was at a time when guys were choosing to be in Europe rather than the NBA because they were getting paid way more. It was around the time [Josh] Childress gave up huge money in the States to sign in Greece.”
The public’s first opportunity to formally comment on part of a $500 million funding plan to build a new Milwaukee Bucks arena attracted an overflow crowd Monday evening, with one group questioning how the city has enough money to help pay for the project but not neighborhood or school investments. The packed City Hall meeting began the final stage of a process that could see Milwaukee keep or lose an NBA franchise that has called the city home for nearly 50 years. Without a new arena by 2017, the NBA has said it will buy back the team and move it. The Bucks currently play in the 27-year-old BMO Harris Bradley Center.