Western Conference GM: “The contract is still too muc…

Western Conference GM: “The contract is still too much. That is going to remain their problem. OKC, if they trade him, they’re going to want something back. But if I am going to take Chris Paul, I am looking at it like, ‘I am doing you the favor here, I am taking all this money off your hands.’ I don’t see that changing, I think he stays put.”
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August 6, 2020 | 12:21 pm EDT Update

Jim Boylen a keeper?

But as the Sun-Times learned this week, even if Karnisovas didn’t like what he would have seen from Boylen he would likely be handcuffed from making a change. According to several sources, there is strong growing momentum that financial concerns the Reinsdorfs have about the 2020-21 NBA season will keep Boylen in his current seat, as well as most of the coaching staff.
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At 6-foot-5 with a 6-9 wingspan and 225 pounds, he could grow into what the Hawks need defensively at the two-guard position next to Trae Young. The problem is getting him to buy all the way in on that end of the floor. There are several skeptics who worry about Edwards’ effort and willingness to fully commit to giving his best effort defensively. From what I’ve been told, his work ethic is definitely a big question mark for many people in the league, including some in Atlanta’s organization.
This is where things get a little interesting for the Hawks. There are some folks inside the organization who firmly believe Ball is the best prospect in this draft class, and it’s not close, and there are others who are against taking him because of the fit with Young. Particularly, the defensive end of the floor scares them because they aren’t good on that end. From what I’ve heard, he’s not a total cross off for the Hawks, but a lot more evaluation and talks are going to have to happen to get everyone in agreement for him to be the choice.
Storyline: No. 1 pick
August 6, 2020 | 10:55 am EDT Update
Damian Lillard on high school basketball: The other thing that makes it sad is the level of complacency because you’ve been told like you’re gonna make it and you’re gonna be a draft pick and you know, you don’t got to earn nothing. You don’t feel like you gotta work for nothing. And it’s sad when it’s time for them to make the NBA and they don’t make it. Like, either they don’t get drafted. Or they get drafted and they ain’t built to survive where everybody’s good. You know what I’m saying? Like, you’re talented and you, you know, you got all these gifts, but everybody got that. You know, I mean, like, if you if you’re 20 years old, or 19 or whatever, and you think you either come in here and just do whatever you want against Chris Paul, Pat Bev… Like if you think you bout to come in here and have your way, you don’t get embarrassed. You know, I’m saying like… Don’t nobody care about the hype. I don’t care what your agent told you. I don’t care what your manager, whoever is the person had been handling you since 10th grade… I don’t care what they told you. Once you get up here, you got to do it. And if you’re not prepared for it or mentally build for it, you’re not gonna make it. And that’s where you see a lot of these dudes. They get here and they don’t stick because they’re not built to make it here. And a lot of that has to do with the culture of high school basketball.

Former G League player Aaron Craft retiring

Ohio State alum Aaron Craft is officially focusing on medicine, he announced via a post on his personal Twitter account. “The new chapter has begun!” he wrote, “Excited, a little nervous, and extremely grateful to start a journey I’ve thought about for so long. I’ve always liked our home white jerseys!” From the beginning of the 2019-20 season prior to the coronavirus pandemic, he revealed his intentions to retire as a player after being accepted to the medical school at Ohio State University.
Statement from ESPN senior writer Jackie MacMullan: About three weeks ago during a discussion on the podcast The Hoop Collective, I misspoke when I expressed my opinion regarding the business practices of the Indiana Pacers, and inferred that Larry Bird had been frustrated during his time as team president. It was a careless remark, based solely on my opinion, and therefore should have never been said. Larry Bird never expressed those feelings to me, and I apologize to both Larry and team owner Herb Simon for poor choice of my words.
August 6, 2020 | 9:51 am EDT Update

Kevin Durant surprised by Caris LeVert

ON CARIS LEVERT … KD was surprised at how good his new teammate is. “He is definitely better than I thought. He’s different. He can score that thing. He can pass it. He’s quick. His thing is about being efficient, and I think that’s what you’re seeing. The shots he’s taking now, it’s like all of his lane. Not a lot of threes, a lot in the mid-range, getting to the cup. I think his IQ is what surprised me the most.”
KD said he’s been playing some with other NBA players, including Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin and Allonzo Trier. “I’m playing a lot of one-on-one lately, so what comes with that is your handle is a little better, You’re more quicker with your moves. You’re less indecisive with what you want to bring out. So I’m just crafting that, that playground style of ball even more, just working out by myself or with two or three guys. “That’s the cool part about it because it’s hard to get that type of play in a regular season because you’re going through the team aspect, you’re training with the team and you want to preserve your body for the season. So if I’m playing 1-on-1 or 2-on-2s, it’s just going to help my creativity. That’s the timing thing that every injured player goes through. Just finding that rhythm again. Hopefully I gain it over time and once I get into real games it translates real fast.”
Kevin Durant and his manager Rich Kleiman have produced some interesting content through their company Thirty Five Ventures, from ESPN+ show The Boardroom to documentaries like Basketball County and Q Ball. And Durant has been a frequent guest on other podcasts, from The Bill Simmons Podcast to Pull Up With CJ McCollum to Knuckleheads (with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles) to Play For Keeps. Now, Durant and Kleiman are starting their own podcast network, and they’re teaming up with established podcasting company Cadence13 (now owned by radio conglomerate Entercom) for that. Here’s more from a Cadence13 release:
Dapper Labs has closed a $12 million funding round led by National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Iguodala, JaVale McGee, Aaron Gordon and Garrett Temple, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk. The funds will be used for further development of blockchain games including the eventual launch of NBA Top Shot out of private beta, Dapper Labs founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou told CoinDesk in a phone interview. “Sports are our most important vertical now,” Gharegozlou said.
Arenas also took a shot at Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams, who said he visited the Magic City strip club in Atlanta for food after leaving the bubble in Orlando for a funeral in July. “I would never eat at a strip club. I don’t go to the strip club to eat wings,” Gilbert told TMZ. “I can go to Wing Stop for some wings. I go to the strip club to see strippers.”
August 6, 2020 | 7:54 am EDT Update

Giannis Antetokounmpo very likely to win MVP, DPOY

If you thought this vote was going to be close based on LeBron James‘ run before the league’s stoppage, think twice. Per our poll, Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the near-consensus MVP after improving his scoring, rebounding and three-point percentage numbers from a season ago. By securing back-to-back MVP awards, Antetokounmpo will join Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as the only NBA players to do so.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 298 more rumors
What attracted you to Brooklyn? Was it Kyrie going there? Or what made you want to be there? Kevin Durant: We went together so I think we talked about it together. I think they had a young core that was hungry for success, that played in the playoffs before. They had some young coaches that was looking forward to a new experience in the NBA. You know, I felt like there was a fresh organization that needed like an extra push, you know. You get two guys that can score the basketball. It just felt right.
Storyline: Durant-Irving Dynamic
August 6, 2020 | 3:26 am EDT Update
“In this situation with the NBPA, he wasn’t the only one that had a problem with what was potentially going to happen in the bubble. Like, everybody had concerns,” Durant said. “But obviously, he’s Kyrie—the biggest one—and that’s going to sell papers. At this time, especially during the pandemic, nobody making money, so you get an opportunity to get some clicks, it’s easy to use Kyrie. But it’s 80, 90 players who had the same questions he had.” Contrary to reports that Irving organized a group of NBA players to express their disapproval for the NBA restart, KD says that things transpired in a more organic way. “Kyrie wasn’t the one, like, ‘Yo, let’s get everybody together,'” he said. “Five or six people called one another, like, ‘Oh shit, I’m feeling that way too.’ Then, another 10 people called…But Kyrie the biggest voice out of ’em all, and because he relates to everyone in the league.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Isaiah Thomas: I’m fine with being a backup, At the end of the day I want to be apart of something and when my name is called I’d be more than ready!!! That goes for any team

Storyline: Isaiah Thomas Free Agency
Chances are, if you are reading this story on Anthony, you’ve heard the noise. And chances are, several of you are part of the noise. “When we got him, everybody had something to say about him,” Blazers star Damian Lillard said. “What he gonna do defensively? … He’s older … He’s done … Where’s he gonna fit in? … How is he in the locker room? … Why didn’t it work out with these other teams?”
All that “noise” has long ago been dismissed by the 36-year-old Anthony. But it hasn’t been forgotten by his teammates, who have come to adore the player they once worshipped from afar. “I say everybody who was talking, or said something negative about him, they need to apologize, you know?” Gary Trent Jr. said. “It’s Carmelo Anthony. He went through tough times. He battled, stayed resilient and for him to come back and bounce back like it’s nothing? That’s why he’s Carmelo Anthony and why he does what he does.”
With one of the most open NBA postseasons in years, there’s no clear title favorite right now, but the LA Clippers picked up one big endorsement: Kevin Durant. “If I had to choose — and I hate doing that s— because you never know what could happen, you seen that with us last year — but if I had to choose, I’ll go with Clippers and Bucks for the championship,” Durant said on the “Play For Keeps” podcast. “And I’ll go with the Clippers.”

Gregg Popovich compares Nikola Jokic to Larry Bird

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. became only the third rookie since 2000 to post consecutive 30-point double-doubles but it was Nikola Jokic who left Gregg Popovich feeling like he had just faced a Hall of Famer. “Porter is a fine young talent,” the San Antonio Spurs coach said. “And Jokic, he’s like a reincarnation of Larry Bird. He does everything. He’s amazing. They were great.”
Bell was drafted by Chicago in the second round in 2017 and traded to Golden State on draft night. But after two seasons with the Warriors, he signed a free-agent deal with the Timberwolves last summer. Then, Bell was traded in February as part of a four-team, 12-player deal in which he was first traded to Houston and then moved to Memphis the next day. He experienced a flood of emotions as he processed the trade, and it opened his eyes to the “business” side of the NBA. “When it happened, I was down, I was sad, I wanted to cry,” Bell said. “I wanted to be mad, I wanted to cuss somebody out, I wanted to fight somebody. But I still had a chance to play basketball in the NBA. There’s not a lot of people who get to say that.”
So Zion is important and not just for the sake of the New Orleans Pelicans. The big question hanging over the league is whether he’s capable of shouldering it all. Dr. Brian Sutterer, of sports injury YouTube fame, has been watching intently and has his concerns. “He’s in a race against his own body,” Dr. Sutterer said over the phone. “If you go watch his Duke highlights compared to now, the difference is profound. In my opinion, his athleticism and conditioning have regressed substantially. He’s less explosive, less conditioned, slower on defense, has already had a portion of his meniscus removed from his knee after an injury, and he’s still under close monitoring from the medical staff.”
Storyline: Zion Williamson Injury
In a Wednesday morning telephone interview with Fox & Friends, Trump said he turned off N.B.A. games “when I see people kneeling” and “disrespecting our flag and disrespecting our national anthem.” Asked about Trump’s comments after the Lakers’ 105-86 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder later in the day, James fired back. “The game will go on without his eyes on it,” James said at his postgame news conference from the N.B.A.’s so-called bubble at Walt Disney World in Florida. “I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball: We could care less.”

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