The safe assumption is the Nets will make strong offers to both Lopez and Young once they opt out of their current contracts and become free agents July 1. All signs point to Lopez, despite his worrisome injury history, declining his $16.74 million option for next season and heading to the open market after responding to a near-trade to Oklahoma City with a monster second half. Young, despite his status as a longtime King favorite, is likewise believed to be leaning toward bypassing the $10-ish million he is owed for 2015-16 to do the same.
September 28, 2016 | 3:52 pm EDT Update
The post Tim Duncan transition may be easier than expected. Duncan, who retired after last season, was on the court with the Spurs during day 2 of training camp Wednesday, watching the team scrimmage and standing with a small group of guys, including Manu Ginobili, as they shot around. Spurs’ Coach Gregg Popovich joked that he and Duncan have spent the past few days arguing over fines for Duncan’s absence. Popovich had said Monday that he’d fine Duncan $2,500 a day for each day he missed. “Most people under contract are required to show up for their jobs,” Popovich said Wednesday. “He said he didn’t have a contract, but I told him I thought we had a verbal contract, and I thought that was just as good as written. We’re having a tough time right now, the two of us, trying to get him straight. He’s always been tough to manage but especially so now that he’s retired.” Popovich said that Duncan doesn’t have an exact title yet, and that he’d be the “coach of whatever he feels like.”
Spurs’ general manager RC Buford echoed those sentiments during an interview with a handful of reporters Wednesday. “Whatever he decides it will be,” Buford said. “I think he’s learning about life after playing. He can impact us in so many ways. I think we need to sit back and get a better understanding of how he feels like he wants to fit in, and what works for his family, and then we’ll figure it out from there. The gym feels better when he’s in it.” Duncan spent his entire 19-season career with the Spurs, leading them to five NBA championships. Buford said when Duncan decided to retire, he had a private conversation with Popovich. “You tried to prepare for it, and you tried to be ready to transition, but you never wanted to hear those words,” Buford said.