November 27, 2021 | 10:22 am EST Update
Two weeks after announcing his presence to the college basketball world with an impressive performance against Kentucky at Madison Square Garden, Duke freshman Paolo Banchero helped solidify his status as the presumed No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft with another breakout performance against No. 1-ranked Gonzaga in Las Vegas. “He will be No. 1 [because of] his size, strength and ability to score at all 3 levels,” one of the 60 NBA GMs and scouts said after Banchero’s performance Friday night in No. 5 Duke’s 84-81 win over the Bulldogs.
Hartenstein is currently earning the minimum but he is playing with a real-time contract of $7.5 million, which is equivalent to what teammate Ivica Zubac is making. His emergence can open up trade opportunities for the Clippers if they were to consider consolidating one of their other centers for an upgrade. If Hartenstein keeps this up, it will be hard for the Clippers to retain him without utilizing their taxpayer mid-level exception. Otherwise, due to his Non-Bird rights, the most they’d be able to pay him is 120 percent of his minimum salary, which is projected at $2.27 million.
Payton II has a real-time contract of $3.7 million, but he has room to earn more in free agency this offseason. With defensive specialist guards like Marcus Smart and Alex Caruso being rewarded with lucrative contracts last summer, Payton II could be looking at a long-term deal if he’s a major contributor to a deep Warriors playoff run. They hold his Early Bird rights this offseason, allowing them to re-sign him to up to a four-year deal that would be slightly higher than the non-taxpayer mid-level exception amount.
Should the Miami Heat retire Udonis Haslem’s jersey?? Dwayne Wade says it’s a matter of when, not if — telling TMZ Sports he knows his former teammate’s jersey will hang from the rafters in Miami one day.
November 27, 2021 | 3:43 am EST Update
There is also rising buzz in coaching circles about the pressure mounting on Frank Vogel given the Lakers’ worrisome 10-10 start … given L.A.’s lack of flexibility to make roster changes.
Iman Shumpert might’ve been focusing on mirror balls more than basketballs recently, but the NBA champ says he’s NOT done hooping … telling TMZ Sports he’s got a lot left in his tank. We caught up with the 31-year-old fresh off winning the 30th season of “Dancing With the Stars” this week … and we asked with all the moves he displayed on the dancefloor, is he going to take his talents back to the basketball court?? “Tryna see what we can get done,” Shumpert said, “I love basketball. I never stopped playing.”