Asked Friday how much longer he wants to play, he said he doesn’t expect to play after the 2018-19 season. “This is a very difficult question,” Marcin Gortat answered. “The way NBA politics goes right now, I’m afraid that next year might be my last year. This is how I feel right now. Obviously, we’re going to have a summer, then another year of basketball and then I’m going to think about it. But the way I feel right now, it’s like next year might be my last year of my career.” Asked to explain why he thinks 2018-19 likely will be his last season, he said, “I’m not saying 100 percent. I would say ‘probably.’ The way everything goes, the way the NBA goes right now and everything that’s going on, I just don’t feel like I’m going to stay in this league for much longer.” He declined to elaborate further even after he was given opportunities to do so.
June 22, 2018 | 6:18 am EDT Update
Nearly one week before LeBron James must inform the Cleveland Cavaliers whether he intends to pick up the option on his contract with the Cavs for next season, Cleveland general manager Koby Altman said he and James’ camp have already established a “good dialogue.” “We continue to have good dialogue with his management team,” Altman said Thursday after the Cavs drafted Alabama point guard Collin Sexton with the No. 8 pick. “I think LeBron has more than earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does. He’s done that before, so this is nothing new for us.
Cleveland went into the draft without knowing James’ intentions for next season; he has spent this week on a family vacation, multiple sources told ESPN. James has until midnight on June 29 to pick up the option or choose to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said Thursday night that the franchise’s desire is to keep disgruntled All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard in the fold but that the club “will explore all of our options.” Among the issues Leonard has had with the Spurs is his frustration with the team’s handling of a quadriceps injury that kept him out of action for all but nine games this past season. Leonard wants to be traded to Los Angeles, preferably to the Lakers, sources have told ESPN.
According to Robinson, Kawhi has to take responsibility and step up as a leader of the franchise if he wants to be viewed on the same level as LeBron James. “If you want to be a top two or three player in the league, you’ve got to be a leader. LeBron doesn’t sit around waiting for people to talk for him. LeBron gets out there and says ‘hey, this is my team, this is what’s happening.’ And I think that’s where Kawhi is. He’s meant so much for our franchise. We love him, we all want him to be there next year. But we want him to be there and take control.”
Has Riley had any conversations with Dwyane Wade, who is contemplating retirement, recently? “I haven’t talked to Dwyane,” he said. “I’ve talked to his agent. I think now over the next nine days between now and July the 1st, now we can focus on all these things. We’ve shared texts. He’s communicated on a regular basis with a lot of people in the organization, but nothing has been decided with Dwyane. We want to have Dwyane back obviously, but there’s been no discussion about next year.”
Alessandro Gentile asked the Rockets for an invite for next training camp, according to La Prealpina. Gentile was supposed to join the Rockets Summer League team in Las Vegas but he suffered a thumb injury and underwent surgery. The Italian forward will return in mid-august from the injury and would love to have a chance in the NBA.