According to Wasch, the biggest gap a team has overcome to make the playoffs, with 15 games left in a season, is four games. (It’s happened twice.) So the league is using that four-game gap as the gauge for “still in contention.” And when the league hit the 15-game mark last week, 24 teams were either firmly in the playoff field or, at worst, within four games of 10th place. Yes, league officials looked it up. And yes, they’re quite pleased with that stat—and with the rules changes that fostered it.
August 2, 2021 | 1:37 pm EDT Update
The Heat, I’m told, are likewise strong favorites to re-sign restricted free agent sharpshooter Duncan Robinson with or without the addition of DeRozan and are believed to be attempting to make all of these moves without surrendering Tyler Herro via trade. Longtime Heat executive Andy Elisburg, regarded as one of the league’s foremost salary-cap savants, will only add to his legend if Miami can get all that done.
The Kings are said to be preparing an offer in the $50 million range to bring back in-demand center Richaun Holmes – with Holmes said to be seeking bigger numbers.
Rival teams interested in Bobby Portis are highly pessimistic that they can pry Portis away from Milwaukee, despite the Bucks’ financial constraints in trying to keep him, and Dallas is even more of a lock to re-sign Doncic’s close friend Boban Marjanovic. Beyond the extension for Doncic, retaining Marjanovic is the one certainty about the Mavericks’ offseason that has already seen them move away from a planned pursuit of Lowry.
A source familiar with the situation told PhillyVoice the reporting was not accurate and suggested the intel likely dates back to last season. That was when, according to the source, Harris’ name was brought up as part of a larger deal with the Houston Rockets, briefly discussed during the Sixers’ attempt to trade for James Harden. But a Harden deal never got there, and many iterations like this one were never particularly close.
Marc J. Spears: The Toronto Raptors say Patrick Mutombo will return as head coach of Raptors 905. Mutombo will also serve as head coach for the Raptors at NBA Summer League 2021 in Las Vegas. The full coaching staff for Raptors 905 will be released at a later date.
Marc J. Spears: Kiki VanDeWeghe has decided to transition from his position as the NBA’s Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations to a new role as a special advisor to Byron Spruell, the NBA’s President, League Operations. VanDeWeghe has held the EVP role since August 2015.