Malik Beasley: The expectation with us going into the season was we were all underdogs. Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, and Jarred Vanderbilt. Me and Jarred came from playoff teams. I’m not saying we were the main factors, but we did play a nice part in changing Denver into a playoff team and then Minnesota. When we came in, we heard what was expected out of us to be a tanking team, but a lot of the guys in the locker room during training camp said, “Let’s be great.” We have a nice team. If we put it together the right way, we could be really good. To start off, none of us had egos. We all wanted to prove that we’re a special team.
December 6, 2022 | 5:47 pm EST Update
Indiana: Tyrese Haliburton (sore left groin) and Myles Turner (sore right hamstring) have been upgraded to questionable for Wednesday’s game against Minnesota. TJ McConnell (non-COVID illness) and James Johnson (right elbow sprain) are also listed as questionable.
Jonathan Feigen: Just a few incorrect no-calls in LSM report of Rockets-Sixers. Jalen Green was fouled on turnover (Sixers turned it back over) and on a missed shot in Q4 (Rockets got the rebound.) Rockets got away with a foul on a Melton turnover but missed the shot for game-winner at Q4 buzzer.
Orazio Cauchi: After a meeting with coach Gianmarco Pozzecco and general director Salvatore Trainotti, Paolo Banchero “once again expressed his openness to the Italian project, reserving the right to give confirmation during the sporting season”, the Italian basketball federation announced.
December 6, 2022 | 5:26 pm EST Update
Far more crucially: Dec. 15, 2022, is also the deadline in the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement for both sides — either the league or the players — to give notice that it is opting out of the existing labor deal. The NBA’s current labor pact runs through the 2023-24 season, but an opt-out from either side in the next nine days would sound immediate alarm bells because A) it essentially breaks the contract effective at the end of this season and B) it’s a measure that instantly makes the threat of a lockout tangible.
With the sides nowhere close to a new deal, according to sources briefed on the talks, it would appear that an extension to that deadline will have to be announced very soon for the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association to extend the runway toward hashing out a new labor pact during the 2022-23 season with any semblance of cooperative spirit.
Sources say that the league’s increasingly determined pursuit of an Upper Spending Limit as we revealed in October — its version of a broad Hard Cap without calling it a Hard Cap — remains the No. 1 stumbling block in recent negotiations. There are certainly other issues, such as the ongoing wrangle about the league’s desire to lower the draft-eligible age limit back to 18 and (among numerous related concerns) how that would impact subsequent rookie scale contract lengths, but the USL is clearly Obstacle No. 1.