Summer League Rumors
Q: What did you see, if anything, that was different about the Knicks’ offense during the summer league compared to what you saw last season? Walt Frazier: Sometimes in summer league they weren’t using the triangle and they seemed to have better continuity. When they go to the triangle they seem to be more methodical, apprehensive. So that’s what the coaching staff has got to work out. Q: Do you think that sticking solely with the triangle, as the Knicks did last year, would work if they weren’t as methodical or do you think it’s wise to work in some pick and roll to speed things up? Walt Frazier: You’ve got to have versatility, especially with the guys that they have. They’re not as adept as the guys Jackson has had in the past. If that’s not working, you’ve got to go to Plan B.
Veterans with four or more years of service are at a clear disadvantage when it comes to preparing for training camp. The current rules state that only rookies and minimum players with three years or less in the league can be reimbursed for travel, meals and lodging for the four weeks leading up to camp. If you are Reggie Williams of the San Antonio Spurs and have six years of service in the NBA, then you are on your own dime getting prepared for training camp.
Ask any front office executive what is the worst part of their job and the majority will tell you it’s cutting a player during training camp. There is nothing worse than releasing a player from a job they love. In my 20 years with the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, I was the unfortunate participant in many of those roster cuts. Releasing Williams in 2006 is the one that still haunts me to this day. Williams had worked vigorously to get back on the basketball court, but his injuries wouldn’t allow him to get back to a high level. After Williams was released, I knew that his professional basketball career was over.
The common misconception is that players who sign non-guaranteed contracts to participate in training camp will receive a salary. They don’t. Like summer league, players will receive roughly $127 in per diem, hotel and all travel expenses to take part. The one added bonus is that players are eligible to receive $2,000 in camp compensation per week for roughly four weeks.
Guard Josh Richardson, who impressed the Heat during summer league, agreed to a three-year, $2.5 million contract Tuesday with the Heat. He will assuredly be on Miami’s roster this season; Miami loves his upside as a defender and a combo guard. Richardson will earn the rookie minimum $525,093 this season; that money is guaranteed. The second year of the contract, worth $874,636, is partially guaranteed. The third year is likely going to be a team option at $1.1 million, though the exact structuring of it was still being worked on.
His agent, Scott Nichols, explained it thusly: “The decision was made because while we could have waited until August 1, James and I are traveling to Australia to do some basketball clinics and promotional work and we didn’t want to have this looming over our heads while we are here. Also for James he didn’t come to the Heat to just make the team and get a partial guarantee. “He is fully confident like he was last year that he will come to training camp ready to make a bigger impact this year and help the Heat win. He expects not only to be on the Heat opening night but to be a big part of the rotation.