VECENIE: I have one particular deal I’ve been kicking around for a while, and I’ve floated it to a few people around the league who have found it interesting. The Golden State Warriors seem primed to use the $17.2 million trade exception that they created in last summer’s Andre Iguodala trade to Memphis. Typically, within a trade exception, you can’t take back more than the amount of the exception in a deal. Given that Aaron Gordon is set to make $18.1 million next year, you’d think he’s out of the running. Not so fast, my friend. The Warriors could swing what would amount to a sort of three-team trade that functions as two separate trades in actuality to make someone like Gordon fit into that exception. They could take back a big contract on someone’s books — say, Minnesota’s James Johnson after Johnson picks up his player option for $16 million next season — into that trade exception and actually use that contract in a separate trade to acquire someone making more than $17.2 million.
June 16, 2021 | 6:40 am EDT Update
Denver Nuggets star and 2020-21 NBA season MVP Nikola Jokic will not join the Serbian selection for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament nor for the Olympics in case the team qualifies, the player informed Wednesday, via a statement on Serbian state news agency Tanjug. “To my great regret, this is the moment when I have to announce that despite my great desire, I am not able to play for the national team. Simply, the condition of my body requires a longer absence from the court to recover. I have to accept that. I am sure that the guys have the quality to make a result without me, which will bring us all a lot of joy”, Jokic mentioned in his statement.
Mario Hezonja’s return to Europe with Panathinaikos after spending five seasons in the NBA has caught the attention of his former club FC Barcelona, which is looking to bring back the Croatian player next season. As reported by SER’s Pacojo Delgado, the 2021 Liga Endesa champions are close to bringing 26-year-old Hezonja back. On top of that, Barcelona has asked Cory Higgins for a 10% salary cut, and the player is likely to refuse and move on to Olimpia Milano.
“He was unfazed the entire game,” Harden said of Durant. “He was poised, especially in that second half. He started to take his time, he started to get to his spots and kind of like, I (saw) Kevin directing people to where he wanted them to be. Once Kevin gets that, he’s comfortable, he’s in the zone and it’s pretty much hard to stop him.”
Adam Zagoria: Former @StJohnsBBall and @OregonMBB wing LJ Figueroa will work out for the Celtics tomorrow, per source
Adam Zagoria: St. John’s F @JulianChampagn2 was invited to the NBA Combine and will work out for Boston tomorrow, per source. Has a couple other NBA team workouts scheduled. Will decide by July 7 whether to return to school or not.
June 16, 2021 | 1:47 am EDT Update
“One of the best players to ever play the game,’’ Antetokounmpo said after the Bucks fell into a 3-2 hole by blowing a 17-point lead. “He’s the best player in the world right now. We got to beat him as a team and make him make tough shots. And hopefully he’s going to miss. If coach wants to double him, we’ll double him”