Rob Schaefer: Bulls minicamp scrimmage starting lineups WHITE: Ryan Arcidiacono, Shaq Harrison, Otto Porter Jr., Thad Young, Cristiano Felicio BLACK: Tomas Satoransky, Denzel Valentine, Chandler Hutchison, Lauri Markkanen, Daniel Gafford
December 5, 2020 | 8:42 pm EST Update
Ujiri is a pending free agent again. His eighth season with the team is also the final year of his current contract, and all signals are that he is in no rush to sign an extension. The people he works for? They would have signed him yesterday if they could. “I can promise you, it’s not [MLSE],” said a source with knowledge of the ownership’s thinking. “They’d have to be nuts not to [want to sign him]. It’s not like there’s a Plan A and a Plan B. There’s only Plan A, and it’s him. But he’s a very deliberate guy, and the kind of guy you have to respect his space.”
The two sides haven’t talked in depth about his contract since February, according to sources. “I think there’s just been so much that I know I’ve pushed it out ’til I think we get through a lot of this,” he said Saturday. “There’s just so much going on with this relocation and the focus, and I don’t want to be distracted that way.”
In conversations with other NBA executives and other league insiders, the consensus is his track record — his teams have made 10 consecutive playoff appearances and averaged more than 50 wins — and league-wide profile, combined with the leverage he has, will almost certainly make him the highest-paid executive in the league for now and into the foreseeable future. The bidding will start at $12 million a year.
“He was high on Philly’s list before I took the job,’’ Doc Rivers told The Post. “It was one of the guards they wanted. When I took the job, I said, ‘You don’t want that. You got too many other things we have to deal with.’ For Austin it’s better. He’s his own player. Unfortunately for him, me being the dad, he’s just an easy guy to target. I have felt since the separation, it’s been really good for him.’’
“I kept telling him, ‘New York is a great place,’ ’’ Doc Rivers said. “I had a great experience there. That’s what I shared with him. It’s a tough city — in a positive way. He said, ‘What do you mean by that?’ I said, ‘It’s similar to Boston and Philly. Their fans are real. They want you to play hard, give you everything you can and play like a team.’ told him, ‘The Knicks fans are still Red Holzman’s Knicks fans. They remember how that basketball was played. They want team basketball, hard-nosed, tough basketball.’ ”
Tristan Thompson has only been a Celtic since November, but it appears he’s wanted the Celtics to win their 18th title well before he came to Boston. A tweet Thompson sent out in 2010 resurfaced this week, in which Thompson made it clear on which NBA team he was a fan of.