Scott Kushner: Alvin Gentry told reporters in Minnesota that PG Elfrid Payton (out, ankle) is “really close” to returning and that “it would be ridiculous to take any chance at all”. Gentry said that ultimately the decision was his.
August 18, 2022 | 8:53 pm EDT Update
L.A. has nonetheless pledged to James that it will indeed continue to aggressively pursue upgrades. League sources say James, in fact, has been assured that the Lakers are willing to trade both of their available future first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 if a trade that costs them both picks can realistically position the Lakers to return to contender status.
The Nets’ current stance, sources say, is that they are unwilling to send out Irving in a trade if the deal solely brings back future assets. They apparently want win-now talent in return to part with Irving, despite all of the turmoil that has engulfed the Nets for months.
Yet sources say that the prospect of acquiring a focused Irving, or a similarly splashy acquisition, does still hold that kind of appeal to the Lakers even at the costly price. Sources confirm that they would be willing to surrender both firsts in tandem with Westbrook’s $47.1 million expiring contract to acquire Irving (although it’s unclear if the picks would be unprotected or protected). I’m told, however, that the Nets have steadfastly rejected that pitch.
The Nets have consistently rebuffed the idea of taking on Westbrook and insist they won’t be swayed by mere draft compensation … attractive as it is. It would thus require a third team, barring a change in Brooklyn’s approach, to facilitate an Irving-to-the-Lakers move.
Ky Carlin: Notable free agents still available: LaMarcus Aldridge Dwight Howard DeMarcus Cousins Montrezl Harrell Hassan Whiteside Carmelo Anthony Trevor Ariza Blake Griffin Paul Millsap Rodney Hood Andre Iguodala Jeremy Lamb Ben McLemore DJ Augustin Dennis Schroder Rajon Rondo
August 18, 2022 | 7:29 pm EDT Update
Keep in mind that if the Heat wait on an extension, it means Tyler Herro remains trade eligible at any point during the season, potentially a chip to put in play at the February NBA trading deadline. The risk is losing Tyler as a restricted free agent next summer. But that also almost never happens, as evidenced this summer with the Suns and Deandre Ayton. Either way, it appears it will be a decision that will come much closer to the Oct. 18 extension deadline. There simply is no urgency from the Heat’s perspective at the moment.
“All those guys were very encouraging and motivating. Steph, Draymond, all them,” Wiggins said of Golden State’s veterans on The VC Show. “They all did a lot for me in a lot of different ways. One thing they all do is they all hold you accountable. When you do something wrong, they’re gonna get at you. But the thing that I love about them is that when you do it right, they’re gonna be the first people to come up to you and congratulate you. I feel like that goes a long way. They’ve taught me a lot on and off the court, so I cherish those guys.”
While external hope bubbled for a possible postseason return, Murray conceded that the conservative approach was ultimately the right path with an eye to the future. “It was tough, but I just wanted to wait until I was healthy, until I could play the game without thinking about it. I didn’t want to be doing both out there, especially in the biggest time of the year for basketball,” he told ESPN during a trip to Australia. “It was smart of me to miss the playoffs and get my knee right, now I can go into the next season with a lot more confidence.”