December 3, 2022 | 9:36 am EST Update
The consensus around the league is that Horford, even at his advanced age, left money on the table to remain with the Celtics. “I think he could have got more,” the executive said. “This is definitely a hometown discount, it’s like Dirk (Nowitzki) or Tim Duncan (both signed team-friendly contracts late in their careers). But, look, the teams with money next year are mostly young teams. So maybe Horford was looking at the landscape and saw who had cap space and wound up saying, ‘I do not want to go to Houston, man.’ It is a win for both sides, really, but if he wanted to chase money, he could have gotten more.”
As far as Williams, executives have told Heavy Sports in recent weeks that a deal starting in the $18-20 million range, while obviously very high for a player averaging 8.8 points and 4.6 rebounds this season, could be enough to scare off the Celtics from matching an offer for Williams, a restricted free agent. “I don’t know that they would go into $20 million a year for Grant Williams,” the executive said. “I don’t know that anyone else would, either. But they have some cushion. If it winds up being $15 million a year for Grant, they can match that and still be in a position where they’re not adding to that (tax) burden.”
Jorge Sierra: LEBRON JAMES More points than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. More assists than Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. More steals than Allen Iverson and Karl Malone. More rebounds than two-time rebounding champion DeAndre Jordan. More blocks than Bill Walton.
Vaughn stepped in as the interim head coach on Nov. 1, inheriting a 2-5 mess. Since then he’s engendered players’ trust and commitment, earned the permanent job and changed the vibe inside the HSS Training Center halls and Barclays Center walls. Oh, and gone 11-6 in his first month (and a day) on the job. “They’re in the process of establishing that identity,” Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said of Vaughn, his former boss. “You’re seeing that on the defensive end. I don’t know how much is different, but a little bit more buy-in, a little bit more commitment. You can tell there’s more intent.
Vaughn’s age isn’t just visible in a beard flecked with gray. It showed up as a wiser coach during his 7-3 interim stint in 2020. And a more experienced one that ended Friday 9-4 since having the interim tag removed on Nov. 9. “In today’s NBA, [it’s important to have] the ability to communicate with guys on as small as things as what time do we want to leave, to big things as pick-and-roll coverage and lineups on the floor,” said Vaughn. “It’s OK to have that kind of communication. “I might’ve resisted that as a young coach, where I thought I had to prove to everyone that I knew every answer all the time and wasn’t vulnerable to ask someone a question and get an answer from a player. That’s changed.”
Clutch Points: Anthony Davis and LeBron James did separate postgame interviews and Lakers head coach, Darvin Ham videobombs both of them 😆 pic.twitter.com/LJjfMpo2rt
December 3, 2022 | 8:33 am EST Update
“To know that I’m in the conversation or about to get to a point that I’m breaking a record that he set for this franchise — and I’m not comparing myself to Magic with this franchise, what he did, sheesh. “Him, [James] Worthy, Kobe [Bryant], Shaq [O’Neal], those guys are synonymous with this franchise. But it’s just pretty cool, always, when I’m able to see my name with some of the greats that have played this game,” James told ESPN this week when asked about the accomplishment he was approaching.