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.
November 28, 2015 | 8:02 pm EST Update
Atlanta Hawks coach and former Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer met with reporters before tonight’s game with his former team. Here’s the transcript from that session. Q: Even with Kawhi Leonard’s improvement and LaMarcus Aldridge’s arrival, how important does Parker remain for Spurs? Mike Budenholzer: “I think he’s very important. The way they play, they’re all very important. They work well together. But Tony has been the guy that kind of starts the engine when he’s aggressive and in attack mode. He can really set everybody up, including himself. He has been and always will be critical to them.”
Q: What has impressed you watching Leonard’s growth from afar? A: “Everything. Just the growth from his first two or three years to now. Defensively, he’s always been really special. To see how he has taken a lot of responsibility offensively, making tough shots and putting the ball in his hands and creating, he’s just a physical force at the small forward position. He’s really grown. It’s impressive.”
What was discussed isn’t exactly clear, but Jackson seemed to be talking to the rookie about the proper way to hold the ball when after receiving a pass. Porzingis appreciated the advice. The rookie says Jackson is “always there, around, always helping with little details, telling me stuff.” “Who’s a better mentor, a better coach than Phil Jackson?” he adds. “It’s the best place for me to be in now, alongside with him. He can help me with everything.”
Here’s one example of the advice Jackson’s offered Porzingis. “He was telling me just about the triangle, how to do certain things a little better, just little details (about) where to be all the time,” Porzingis said. “He’s very specific, and that’s what made him win 11 championships — all the little details. To get that advice almost every day from him, it’s huge for me.”