May 17, 2021 | 7:44 am EDT Update
Birch certainly gives the impression that he would love to be back with Toronto and it’s hard to imagine the Raptors wouldn’t have a role for him. But he’ll be 29 next season, so the contract will have to be right also. He’s coming off a two-year deal that paid him $6 million and would doubtless like some security on his next deal. “I think [on-court] fit and financial is probably what’s tied right now,” said Birch. “I’ve seen a lot of guys who actually go for financial but they get flushed out after their contracts [are over]. So I think fit is very important because I don’t want to just be the kind of guy who gets money and gets flushed out. I actually want to have a career and play a big part on a championship-level team or just win. That’s my goal.”
Sports tech company Genius Sports is partnering with the National Basketball Association’s league in Africa, which will see the firm provide official real-time stats and incorporate new technology. The agreement, announced Monday, could be the first step in introducing a wave of new sports data and gaming features for media and betting companies.
Genius is a major player in sports. This deal will allow the company to innovate with BAL and create second- and third-screen engagement for viewers. Genius has clients including top sports betting companies Penn National, DraftKings and Fan Duel, and networks including Disney’s ESPN and ViacomCBS.
May 17, 2021 | 4:43 am EDT Update
With a first-round rematch between their teams set, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic said there are no hard feelings remaining from the heated rivalry that he developed with LA Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. during last season’s playoff series. According to Doncic, Morris apologized to him during a game earlier this season about stepping on the back of Doncic’s left ankle in Game 5, a controversial play that the Mavs considered dirty with their star playing on a sprained ankle.
“He’s a hell of a player, hell of a defender,” said Doncic, who averaged 31 points, 9.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game in last season’s series during his first NBA postseason. “Trash talk is always there, and if it’s not, you’re not really competing. It’s going to be great.”
When The Athletic recently asked Martins whether the team intends to extend Weltman’s contract, Martins said it is team policy not to comment publicly on contract discussions. But Martins also indicated that he and the DeVos family have been pleased with the performance of Weltman and GM John Hammond.