Most of the absences have been tied to contact tracing, according to the spokesperson, who added that the league expects all 10 of the referees currently sidelined to be available for the playoffs, which start in less than a month. “We at the NBA have taken a very strong stance, especially with referees traveling commercial, that we want referees and the teams that they are serving to be safe,” Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s vice president of referee development and training, told ESPN. “And so with an abundance of caution, we pull people out on contact tracing, if there’s even the smallest inkling [of an issue].”
May 28, 2023 | 12:26 pm EDT Update
Sasha Vezenkov on NBA opportunity: I will decide how to continue when the time comes
Sasha Vezenkov’s future is most likely tied with the NBA and the Sacramento Kings organization. The Olympiacos leader’s rights belong to the Beam Team, and they’re reportedly willing to bring the forward to the US. Asked about it, Sasha wasn’t ready to fully commit to it. “I’m only thinking about how to become the champions of Greece and what will be the right decision for me at this moment,” he said. “Nobody knows what will happen in a few years, so I will decide how to continue when the time comes.”
“I feel very good when specialists and coaches say nice words [about me] but I know it’s a business and it’s all about how, what, and when. We agreed that it would be fairest to finish the EuroLeague season and then talk. We’ll see if they have a specific offer,” Vezenkov continued. “I’m ready for new challenges but, as I’ve said before, Athens and Olympiacos are my home and I feel great. For me, the most important thing is what’s best for my future.”
Victor Wembanyama’s story continues as he dominates in the semifinals of the domestic competition. The future No.1 pick records another double-double that was too much for ASVEL to handle in game 1 as Metropolitans 92 won the game 75-69.
Victor Wembanyama played 35 minutes and inked 19 points and 14 rebounds. DeVante Jones and TaShawn Thomas followed with 12 points each. Former Chicago Bulls players Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah had front-row seats for the Wembanyama show.
Former Louisville guard and Arkansas transfer El Ellis is expected to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft, according to CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein. Ellis also tweeted soon after Rothsteinn’s announcement, “Razorback Nation, I’m here.” The nation’s No. 67 transfer has one season of eligibility remaining.
The National Basketball Association’s Larry O’Brien trophy will attend the 2023 Indy 500 red carpet as part of its “2023 NBA Finals Bucket List Tour.”
May 28, 2023 | 10:23 am EDT Update
The early around-the-league reaction to Washington’s hiring of Michael Winger to take over its front office: Pretty much every rival team I’ve spoken to is already expecting aggressive activity from the Winger-led Wizards. Don’t forget, though, that Bradley Beal can’t be in play for a trade unless he wants to be. Beal holds the NBA’s only active and full no-trade clause as he enters Year 2 of a five-year, $251 million contract, so Washington can’t send him anywhere without Beal’s consent. Also TBD: Is Kristaps Porziņģis still a near-lock to receive a contract extension from the Wizards, as it appeared earlier this season, or likely to join the in-demand Kyle Kuzma on the Wizards’ list of marquee unrestricted free agents?