(Jusuf) Nurkic hasn’t been happy with his role there. He was asked at the end of their season if he wanted to be back next season and he replied, “In the right situation, yes.” The follow-up to that was what’s the right situation? He said, “We’ll see. I don’t know yet because this is not it.” He has a non-guaranteed $12 million salary next season and people around Nurkic think Portland is going to keep him at that salary.
Bleacher Report NBA: Dame Lillard requests meeting with Blazers’ owner Paul Allen, per @johncanzanobft Damian Lillard: His word ain’t one to follow. Dude is a clown
Lillard is a nice player. A superb offensive player. And he's carried a Blazers roster that is marginal outside of guard CJ McCollum. But if he's one of the five best players in the NBA, then the Blazers first-round sweep in the NBA Playoffs is a bigger catastrophe than we previously imagined. Also, it would signal that Portland GM Neil Olshey not getting Lillard a supporting cast should be elevated from sin to cardinal sin. "I hear that he is asking for another meeting," an NBA front-office source told me on Thursday.
In fact, Lillard may have already requested a follow-up meeting with owner Paul Allen, the source indicated. Apparently, the source said, Lillard's agent Aaron Goodwin is whispering as much. If so, great. Because Goodwin might seize on the good news and utilize Thursday's All-NBA announcement to push that Allen-Lillard meeting into fruition.
Lillard on Tuesday confirmed an ESPN report that he met with Allen on Jan. 18 to discuss the future of the franchise. The gist of the meeting? “Very simple,’’ Lillard told NBC Sports Northwest. “What are our plans to get closer to becoming a contender?’’
Lillard on Tuesday said he would not reveal the details of his meeting with Allen, and he was vague in identifying what changed in those 13 days, when his interactions with the owner went from surface level, and then escalated to a private meeting. “Opening up the line of communication,’’ Lillard said. “I don’t think there is anything wrong with communication.’’
The ESPN report says Lillard questioned some of Olshey’s moves in the meeting, including the 2015 trade of Will Barton to Denver. But Lillard on Tuesday said that is not entirely accurate. “The only thing I said about Will Barton is that he could be good on our current roster,’’ Lillard said. “Never once mentioned having an issue with the trade. That was three years ago.’’
Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard met with team owner Paul Allen to gather an understanding of the organization's direction, league sources told ESPN. The two met discreetly for approximately one hour in Allen's office at Moda Center prior to hosting the Indiana Pacers last Thursday, sources said. It was the first home game Allen attended in 2018.
According to sources, the meeting was held without knowledge of anyone else in the organization. Allen notified the Trail Blazers' basketball operations and business branch afterward. In the weeks leading up to the meeting, Allen feared Lillard would request a trade, sources said, but a trade request was not made. The two-time All-Star made it clear, though, that he has championship aspirations and wanted to fulfill those lofty goals during the remaining years of his prime window.
In addition, Lillard sought an explanation from Allen as to why Will Barton was traded to Denver in February of 2015, sources said. Lillard made it known he didn't agree with the move. Barton is a penetrating, spot-up shooter -- the type of player Portland could use on the wing.
Jason Quick: Lillard on whether he addressed team after Tuesday's loss: "I didn't feel like it was 1 of those moments. Our coaches said enough. When it feels like we are playing without desire, I will say something. That wasn't a moment to say more. We just had bad game"
After suffering a challenging, 115-107 loss to Milwaukee, Ezeli, in street clothes, addressed the team in the locker room with a stern speech centered on playing with urgency, sources told ESPN. And then two games later, after a crushing defeat in Memphis, Ezeli once again ventured into giving a team speech. But this time, he was cut short. McCollum interrupted Ezeli in mid-sentence and told him that was enough, sources told ESPN. Portland was in the midst of an emotionally draining December, losing 11 of 13 games. Players were desperately pouring out every ounce of effort trying to change the trajectory of the season, and being lectured by someone who wasn't even playing wasn't received favorably.
July 27, 2021 | 2:34 pm EDT Update
Bobby Marks: Toronto had until 5PM ET. on Tuesday to make a decision on the $10,851,246 contract for 2021/22. The guaranteed date has now been pushed back to August 3. The guaranteed dates of Baynes, Boucher, Watson, Bembry and now Hood are after FA begins.
Tom Moore: #NBA source: #Sixers are more likely to trade the No. 28 pick in Thursday night’s draft than they were a few weeks ago. They apparently have been getting some solid offers for their late first-round selection. #NBADraft
So while Cunningham may share traits with Magic and Bird, the view of him as a can’t-miss prospect is much easier to process because of current-day players like Jokic—and, in particular, Luka Doncic. In broad strokes, Cunningham and Doncic may well be geminis of a very specific playmaking archetype. It’s rare to see perimeter players leverage their size, strength, and stride to create space in the way that both players seem innately aware and capable of. “As prospects, I do think Cade has a pretty similar baseline in terms of the vision and the way he sees the court, the way he processes how everyone is moving,” Zaucha said.
One watches Cunningham expecting a beeline to the right decision; one watches Doncic expecting the seas to magically part, showing another way. But the stylistic difference may not have much effect on substance. “I wonder if there really is a gap in their creativity—the way they manipulate defenders, especially—or if it’s some sort of aesthetic bias at play,” Zaucha said. “Because Luka loves to make those creative decisions, and then sell it with a behind-the-back pass or some wild delivery that the defense doesn’t expect. Whereas I think Cade—from a decision-making perspective, I think Cade solves problems in creative ways, he just doesn’t always make them look creative.”
Who are some of the NBA guys that you like to watch to help improve your game? Jeremiah Robinson-Earl: Two players I really like to watch are Draymond Green and Bam Adebayo. Draymond is a two-way player but defensive-minded and gets everything going for the team. He is very much a facilitator and he is able to find guys but still be aggressive to get his shot or to attack the goal. He is the glue to the team that is really important. I enjoy watching Draymond a lot because he’s just elite at facilitating, defense and being able to guard one through five. Bam, offensively, he is able to score at all three levels. He is able to have mismatches in the post and he is quick on his feet. He is able to hit tough turnaround shots. I like how he gets a lot of play out of the mid-post. I got a lot of that at Villanova this past season. I’m able to watch him get a lot of plays out of the midrange area with jab jumpers and rips to the goal for a dunk. He’s a playmaker, too, and he’s able to stretch to the three.
What about your game do you think will translate best to the next level in the pros? Jeremiah Robinson-Earl: I take a lot of pride in defensive and rebounding. I feel like, at every level, those are two things that can get you on the court. Coach Wright had a triangle for success and at the bottom of the triangle was defense and the next one was rebounding. If you can’t defend or rebound for Coach Wright, you’re not going to be in a position to be on the court. I know that’s gotten me to where I am today. I take a lot of pride in it and I want to keep doing what got me to this position today and keep being myself. I’m in a position to be drafted. Now is not the time to start doing things that I don’t normally do. I just need to keep focusing on doing what I do really well and knowing that what’s gotten me here has gotten me here. I’m going to keep excelling at that to the fullest. My weaknesses, I’ll get better at those on a year-to-year basis. I want to just keep gradually getting better and better.
Junior Robinson might be the only player in the history of college basketball to actively reduce his height in college, only to get taller as a pro. But the notion of players and coaches fudging their proportions is nothing new. Indeed, the basic assumption is that everyone is lying. This is college basketball, after all. Everyone’s looking for any tiny edge. Why would this be any different? So when I explain this idea to some coaches — that I researched the last 11 seasons of NBA Draft Combine height measurements, compared that to the prospects’ college figures and put it all in one big spreadsheet to see where the data would take us — they chuckled knowingly. “This is a great idea,” one coach said, “if you want to see how full of shit coaches really are.”
“It’s not always the kid,” Xavier coach Travis Steele said. “You’ll get a mentor or a parent in there saying, ‘Our Jimmy Joe is 6-foot-5!’ And you’re like, no, he’s 6-foot-3.’ We’ll get hit by parents who are sure their kid is taller than that. And it’s like, no, he’s really not.” There are other gambits, too. “You get kids who are 17 and they’re 6-foot-3, and they say, ‘Oh, (the doctor says) I’m going to be 6-foot-6,’” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “You know, ‘My growth plates are wide open.’ When I first got into coaching 30 years ago, I believed those kids. None of them — OK, very rarely — do you get a David Robinson. It just doesn’t happen.”