Bill Oram: Julius Randle walked into arena wearing a sweatshirt that said “PAY ME” on the back. Asked him about it and he seemed unaware of that fact and said he bought it last year. When I said some may interpret it as some kind of statement, he said, “You can interpret it how you want.”
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While the Lakers have had conversations with Randle and his representatives about an extension, the team has made it very clear that it plans to do everything it can to maintain its cap space to go after a couple of stars in free agency next summer. That means Randle will likely have to wait before getting the extension he wants.
“If it is right for both sides, we’ll see,” Randle said of trying to get a contract extension done early. “All I can really focus on is playing basketball. I can’t really focus on the contract situation. At the end of the day, I am letting my agent handle all of that,” Randle added. “We have great communication and we are on the same page and he is in communication with the front office about that. Because if I think about that day in and day out, I will drive myself crazy.”
Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers: Talks have just begun in earnest, but the Lakers have, as we all seem to know, plans for next summer, when they hope to sign two max free agents. Tying up any money for anyone else, including Randle, seems unlikely until Los Angeles makes its moves in 2018.
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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.”