Sarver denied Watson’s characterization of the incident: “This is absolutely untrue. I remember the game and topic clearly. I of course never used the word myself. During this conversation, I said ‘N-word’ without saying the full word. The word itself never crossed my lips. “Let me be crystal clear: I never once suggested on that night (or ever) that I should be able to say the N-word because a player or a Black person uses it.” The player, through his agent, told ESPN that he thinks using the N-word might have contributed to the technical foul but does not recall speaking to Sarver that night. Watson told ESPN there was no player in the room when Sarver made the comment.
June 28, 2022 | 6:30 pm EDT Update
According to an NBA source familiar with the situation, the Miami Heat are willing to extend a fully guaranteed contract for the maximum-allowable three years to free-agent power forward P.J. Tucker. The Heat’s offer is built off the $8.4 million non-Bird salary-cap exception, which would put the team’s standing offer at $27 million over three years.
Should the Heat lose out on Tucker, the team, according to an NBA source, is considering either a trade for former Heat power forward Jae Crowder, who is entering the final year of a contract that pays $10.2 million next season with the Phoenix Suns, or a possible free-agent move for Indiana Pacers forward T.J. Warren.
Starting guard Jalen Brunson hasn’t informed Dallas’ front office about where he plans to sign in what’s become a head-to-head pursuit between the Mavericks and the New York Knicks, a source told The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday. But the source said the Mavericks expect Brunson will choose the Knicks — and their family- and stardom-related perks — when the league allows players and teams to start verbally agreeing to new contracts at 11 p.m. Thursday.
After moving Kristaps Porzingis at the deadline, the Mavericks extended the same four-years, $55 million offer to starting wing Dorian Finney-Smith, who signed immediately despite potential to earn more as an unrestricted free agent this summer. Another source said Brunson was prepared to do the same — but the Mavericks didn’t offer the extension.
JD Shaw: The Philadelphia 76ers have received a summer league commitment from guard Grant Riller, agent Scott Nichols of @Rize_Management tells @HoopsRumors. The 25-year-old spent time on a two-way contract with the team this past season.
June 28, 2022 | 5:31 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac has agreed on a three-year, $33 million extension, his agents Jeff Schwartz and Mike Lindeman of @excelbasketball tell ESPN. The Clippers declined his $7.5M team option for 2022-2023, clearing the way for Zubac’s new deal.
Law Murray: Source confirms to @Theathletic that LA Clippers center Ivica Zubac is getting a raise. 3-year, $33 million. @Wojespn first. No options, fully guaranteed, hits market 2025. Not trade eligible this offseason. Longest-tenured Clipper returns as unquestioned starting center.
Tim Cato: I’ll add to the chorus: the Mavericks have had a belief for at least the past couple weeks, multiple sources tell me, that Jalen Brunson would sign with the Knicks. at this point, it’s seen as a certainty.