Mike Fisher: No offense to ESPN, but we’ve been writing about #Mavs interest in Jrue Holliday since April 6. Carry on, though. scout.com/nba/mavericks/… twitter.com/seanbush3/stat…
June 23, 2018 | 1:27 pm EDT Update
It’s only natural to wonder if James might partner with his best friend and fellow free agent in Paul, and we’ve been wondering for six months or so if that might be the case. But while the Rockets appear resigned to the fact that James won’t be coming their way, they also remain fully confident that Paul is going nowhere. When Paul pushed his way from the Clippers to the Rockets via trade last June, there was a mutual understanding about how his next contract would look. It remains to be seen if it comes in the form of a five-year, $205 million max deal – one that would have him making a whopping $46.7 million in the final year of the deal while nearing the age of 38 – but there remains a strong sense within Rockets circles that he’s staying put.
The Cavs have reportedly pursued a deal for Kemba Walker to bolster their pitch to James, but might they be able to swing a deal for Leonard instead? They might have a better shot than anyone in the West, but they’d be hard-pressed to compete with the kind of packages that teams like Boston and Philadelphia could put forth. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Cavs have inquired about Leonard but there is no traction on a possible deal. The Spurs have told teams to put forth offers without any indication of what might come next.
Even with the Thunder coming just two losses away from missing the playoffs, and then falling to Utah in six games during their first-round matchup, there is all sorts of optimism in Oklahoma City that George will re-sign. Conversely, there’s pessimism in James’ camp that George would leave Oklahoma City. George has raved about the Thunder since the beginning, making it clear to USA TODAY Sports in September that the organization had earned his confidence from the start. “I haven’t even gone through a season yet, and they’ve already proven everything on my check list (that) I can check off,” George said then. “That’s what feels good. That’s what makes me feel like, ‘Hey, this can be a landing spot for me, and somewhere I can call home for years.”
The Spanish superstar speaks up with a personal blog titled “The Last Taboo” for Expansion, about the importance of players speaking up about their mental health. In his entry, Gasol acknowledges the fact that the NPBA has now put solid foundations to a mental health program, which he is totally in favor of, following the stories of Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan. Gasol writes: “Throughout the history of sports we have seen numerous examples of professionals who have been affected by mental health problems and more and more are talking openly about it. Recently, after his retirement, my friend Andrés Iniesta commented without hesitation in several interviews about the depression he suffered a few years ago, accentuated by a series of injuries and the sudden loss of his friend Dani Jarque. Fortunately, his case is a story with a happy ending because, thanks to his effort and dedication, he managed to continue with his successful sports career.”
Gasol: “The NBA is the competition that dedicates the most effort so that players learn to coexist with the demands of professional sports. Examples of this are the programs for rookies that are normally carried out before starting their first seasons in the professional league or the Player Assistance Plan, which includes mandatory meetings for all players in the league during each season, that help us to be aware of the different factors and dangers that will affect us throughout our careers and beyond. But, undoubtedly, this new mental health program launched by NBPA is a milestone that will mark what are the steps to follow to improve the emotional and psychological well-being of athletes in all professional competitions around the world.”
June 23, 2018 | 12:43 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Sources: Carmelo Anthony has informed the Oklahoma City Thunder that he has opted into $27.9M deal for 2018-19 by not exercising his early termination option.