Inside the locker room, Leonard’s free agency is rarely discussed, even if everyone is wary of the consequences. “We need him to stay,” says Ibaka. “He keeps everybody safe—no one is safe if he leaves.” Ibaka has been one of Leonard’s strongest new connections. In Leonard, Ibaka sees shades of Westbrook and Kevin Durant, his former teammates in Oklahoma City. “They have a similar mind-set, where if they want to do something, they know they can.” In San Antonio, Leonard was known as the Claw. In Toronto, Ibaka has tried to make Deadly Zombie (self-explanatory) and Cape Town (the city in South Africa) stick. “I don’t know why, but he keeps telling me he’s from Cape Town,” says Ibaka, who was born in Congo. “Of all the places. . . . Maybe he just wants to visit there someday.”
August 5, 2021 | 7:30 pm EDT Update
The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent guard Ben McLemore, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.
August 5, 2021 | 6:55 pm EDT Update
Fred Katz: Sources: The Wizards are rescinding Garrison Mathews’ qualifying offer, which will make Mathews an unrestricted free agent. The 24-year-old Mathews shot 38 percent from 3-point range last year and started 24 games as a two-way player.
Josh Halickman: Jacob Evans signs with Hapoel Eilat for the 21/22 season. The @GoBearcatsMBB guard was drafted by the Golden State Warriors and also played for Minnesota. Good Luck @JacobEvans_1 , Welcome to Eilat & Israel!
Tragedy has struck the Colorado men’s basketball family. According to a news release from the Department of Defense, Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Tresse King, the mother of former Buffaloes star George King, died on Tuesday while deployed in Kuwait. No details were released other than saying King died “in a noncombat-related incident” at Ali Al Salem Air Base.
King recently passed through Boulder while making his way to Portland, where he was set to play for the Trailblazers’ NBA Summer League team. Head coach Tad Boyle shared a lunch with King, and on Thursday on behalf of the entire program Boyle expressed his condolences to the King family.