Although Gordon’s and Payton’s situations could change, it seems unlikely that the Magic will reach extension agreements with either Gordon or Payton before Monday’s deadline.
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OrlandoMagic.com: A couple of your young guys, Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon, are eligible for their contract extensions. How do you approach that and how much do you need those two players to make another huge jump this season? Jeff Weltman: “I won’t speak publicly about free-agency issues about our own players. We’re in contact with their agents and if something gets done, that’s great. If not, that’s great too. I’m really eager to get to know them as basketball players. I’ve gotten to know them a little, but they are two sensational kids who are extremely talented and their hearts are in the right place in terms of being just about winning. How does that look out on the court and in our locker room? I’m eager to see how that works, but I’m happy to have them here and I’m eager to see how they develop this season.’’
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February 22, 2018 | 9:29 am EST Update
Shams Charania: Sources: The Hawks plan to sign guard Antonius Cleveland to a 10-day contract. Cleveland went to training camp with Golden State and spent time with Dallas in regular season.
An outdoor amphitheater on Capitol Mall. Autonomous vehicles shuttling tourists from Sacramento International Airport to Golden 1 Center. A waterfront festival along the Port of Sacramento accommodating hundreds of people staying on luxury cruise ships. Sacramento’s bid to host the NBA All-Star Game in 2022 or 2023 is a mix of high-tech flash and outside-the-box concepts aimed at bolstering a proposal seen by many as a long shot. The bid, revealed to The Sacramento Bee late Wednesday, will be formally introduced Thursday at a press conference outside Golden 1 Center and delivered to the NBA the following day. The bid package will include virtual reality tours of event spaces and testimonials from team officials, local political leaders and former Kings legends.
Another topic at the first practice back was the prime topic in the country right now: Gun control. In the wake of the latest massacre in Florida, some high schoolers who survived the shooting have spoken out loudly about the issue, drumming up more conversation and potential change than at any other point. Kerr, who is passionate about the issue, was asked about the ongoing dialogue. “I think it’s phenomenal,” Kerr said. “What those kids are doing is heroic, it’s heartfelt and I think it’s the beginning of some change. I really believe that. I’m amazed every time I see on TV or online, it’s heartbreaking but inspiring all at once.
“I feel very encouraged. We’ve got a generation that’s grown up with these school shootings and mass shootings and they’re fed up. Historically, it’s a young generation that has to initiate change. You think about the Vietnam war. “All the old white guys who kept sending the troops over to fight this ridiculous war, it was all the young people who protested, had to make change, communicate. It’s the young people in the country now who are going to create the change we need in terms of how we handle gun violence and how we do our best to curb it. It’s amazing to watch.”
February 22, 2018 | 5:06 am EST Update
He also mentioned talking with Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, although that conversation didn’t have as much depth to it. “He told me I should trust the process and come play for Philly,” Antetokounmpo said with a chuckle, drawing a laugh. “That was my reaction — I just laughed.”