Some might think the coach and the Sixers’ mutual attraction was a negotiating ploy for both parties, and that the Sixers could use interest in D’Antoni as a way to lower Lue’s asking price of $7 million and D’Antoni could use the Sixers’ interest as a way to raise his price tag. But sources are saying he backed away from the Pacers gig because the Sixers’ interest is real.
January 25, 2021 | 1:29 am EST Update
The Kings picked up the final year of Bjelica’s contract during the offseason, which pays him $7.2 million this season. He is an unrestricted free agent this summer and at 32 years old (33 in May), it’s unlikely that he’s part of the plan going forward, especially with Bagley developing and playing major minutes at the power forward position. With Sacramento currently sitting at 6-10 on the season, there is a very good possibility that the team will be active between now and the trade deadline. Players like Bjelica, Robinson III, Joseph, Whiteside and Jabari Parker all are in the final year of their contracts.
Brooklyn center DeAndre Jordan affectionately shooed Adebayo away as well with a pat on the head. The scene after the Nets’ 128-124 win Saturday night at Barclays Center was surreal, but encapsulates the COVID era we’re living in. “I just want to follow NBA protocols,” Irving said with a wan laugh, before adding as he left the Zoom call “I have the jersey, by the way.”
When asked if Irving ever got that pink-and-blue Heat jersey, Adabayo just shrugged his shoulders and threw his hands up in the air, looking over at a Heat staffer and eventually bursting out into laughter. “Oh yeah, he definitely wants it. I’m going to send one on my own time,” Adabayo said of Irving. “Just want to do that on my own time, and have a special 41 up there, you know?”
Do the Sacramento Kings have a Nemanja Bjelica problem? The veteran forward has sat out the last six games as a healthy scratch. According to Luke Walton, Bjelica still is part of the team’s plan, but he’s dealing with a personal issue, which has played a role in his absence from the rotation. “There is some personal stuff and I’m just going to leave it at that,” Walton said earlier in the week when asked about Bjelica. “We have been in communication and we are very confident in the player he is still.”
While the team is focused long term on building around Fox and the team’s young core, including Tyrese Haliburton and Marvin Bagley, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports California that Bjelica does have a personal issue that is playing a role in his absence from the court, although the exact nature of the issue is unknown at this time.
“Like I said before, it’s personal, I’m not going to get into somebody else’s personal business,” Walton said. “I’ve continued to say that I love coaching Bjelly. He’s a very good player and I look forward to having back on the court again.”