The real question is what happens after. At one point, there was mutual interest in an extension. However, the sides have been far apart in those preliminary discussions, sources say. The Cavs recognize Drummond’s talent but they are also honest about his flaws, especially in this pace-and-space era, where bigs like him are easy to attain. They don’t want to commit to an unfriendly deal that could limit future moves, not after an eight-game sample size. Drummond, meanwhile, wants to be compensated for bypassing a chance at 2021 free agency, when many teams will have significant cap space. Given the differing, current monetary views, an extension seems unlikely.
December 2, 2020 | 3:37 pm EST Update
Shams Charania: LiAngelo Ball is signing a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Detroit Pistons, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
Shams Charania: LiAngelo Ball, the brother of Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (No. 2 overall pick in 2017) and Hornets No. 3 pick LaMelo Ball, is signing an Exhibit 10 deal, sources said. The Ball brothers are now all signed to NBA contracts.
A childhood lesson has come back to help Victor Oladipo amid rumors that the Pacers star wants out of Indiana. “Growing up, I was always taught not to engage in nonsense,” Oladipo said. “I never have. I never came out and said that I didn’t want to play for the Pacers or be in this organization, but, yeah, I’m focused on now. Here and now.”
“It’s very difficult, especially when things are said about you that’s negative,” Oladipo said. “I’ve been in the league for eight years now, this is my eighth year, and this is the first time anyone has accused me of anything like this. It’s very interesting to me, but at the end of the day, I can’t let none of the stuff that I can’t control make me lose focus of what really matters, and that’s this team, my teammates, this organization and making sure I’m healthy.”
But as he was formally introduced by the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, the 15-year veteran made sure to point out he isn’t looking at his job to just be a mentor. “Everyone always talks about what I can teach [Devin Booker] or teach some of these other guys, but they’re teaching me at the same time too,” Paul said. “I’m not James Naismith by no means. First things first, I’m not just coming in here trying to teach everybody. I’m his teammate. We’re here to hoop, we’re here to compete and that’s how I approach this.”
“I’ve known Book for a long time and he’s not only talented, he’s a dog. He’s really competitive. I know Book and when we hoop and play against each other we be about to fight,” Paul said with a grin. “And then looking at the staff, [coach] Monty [Williams] is an unbelievable person. Aside from being a great coach. It was a lot of things here.”
The New Orleans Pelicans’ star seemed at peace with his relaxed body language. Then, Zion Williamson confirmed it when answering how he feels after spending his rookie season dealing with a knee injury that limited his workload. “I feel great mentally and physically,” Williamson said Wednesday on a conference call. “Year one was a lot mentally and physically for me. But I needed that experience. It showed me a lot. Now I’m getting ready for year two.”