Michael Scotto: Thon Maker and the Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to a deal, league sources told @HoopsHype.
Chris Fedor: #Cavs have agreed to a training camp deal with Thon Maker, sources tell @clevelanddotcom.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Detroit Pistons aren't extending a qualifying offer to Thon Maker and he'll become an unrestricted free agent, source tells ESPN.
Maker, by default, was able to show more, but his future with the organization is also in limbo. Whenever free agency finally does open, Maker has a qualifying offer of roughly $4.9 million for next season. Sources told The Athletic earlier this year that it was “very unlikely” the Pistons would extend that offer, eventually turning Maker into an unrestricted free agent. I have no indication the team has changed its stance on that.
Thon Maker. Contract status: Restricted free agent this summer (qualifying offer: $4,861,854). Odds he returns: 50 percent. Analysis: Maker is all heart and hustle, and I believe that will keep him around the NBA for some years. As far as skills go, I don’t think he does anything particularly well, but he’s only 23 and has shown flashes of being a decent spot-up shooter from distance. I thought he was starting to figure out how to use his length and long arms more to his benefit this season, and I think he has a role as a bench player for some years. I don’t think, though, there’s any way the Pistons give him his qualifying offer, even with cap space to use and a rebuild ahead, which will make him an unrestricted free agent. I don’t see Maker being high on other teams’ free-agency boards. If he comes back to Detroit, it’ll be for less than $4 million a year.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced the NBA and almost every other sports league in the world to pause, however, the Makers are determined to stay fit and ready for the day they are allowed to compete again. All three Makers are approaching critical points in their careers. Detroit Pistons' Thon is in the fourth and possibly final year of his NBA contract. If the Pistons do not offer him a qualifying offer he can test the free market.
Matt Velazquez: The Bucks are picking up Thon Maker's fourth-year option as well as D.J. Wilson's third-year option. Bucks "love" both players and see them as important to the team both now and in the future. Deadline for deciding on options for players on rookie-scale contracts is tomorrow.
January 21, 2021 | 12:06 pm EST Update
Duane Rankin: Memphis next 3 games – 1-22 at Blazers 1-24/25 vs. Kings – have been postponed in accordance with #NBA health/safety protocols. They’re being postponed due to unavailable players for Grizzlies, contact tracing for other players on roster and to ensure health/safety of both teams
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA is erring on the side of caution with what still appears to be isolated COVID-19 exposure within the Grizzlies, sources tell ESPN. These postponements aren’t a result of several individuals being placed into the league’s Health and Safety protocol.
Chris Herrington: Per league source, the Grizzlies have one (and only one) active positive case. The rest of this postponement is due to contact tracing/caution. My sense is it’s another reflection of the league further tightening its protocols.
January 21, 2021 | 10:39 am EST Update
While the Nets starters tired and Harden, Irving and Durant played the final 18:45 together, Brooklyn’s best on-ball defender, Bruce Brown, sat on the bench. Brown’s 6-2 frame made for an ideal matchup to potentially cool down Sexton, who is 6-1, but after seeing the reserves struggle in the second quarter, Nash elected to tighten his rotations and play just nine all game. After the game, Brooklyn’s stars said Sexton hit a lot of difficult shots on them and his performance isn’t a total reflection of the defense. “He made some tough shots,” Harden said. “And if he missed those shots, is it good defense? No, he made some tough shots, everybody’s tired at that point, and I think we did enough, especially in the fourth quarter and first overtime. I don’t know how many points he had in that second overtime, but I think he had the majority of them. Chalk your hat up to him.”
Irving said his time in Cleveland with LeBron James and Kevin Love taught him that resolve, compromise and sacrifice was necessary for the Cavaliers to win at a high level. Irving thinks the same can happen in Brooklyn with his new star-studded team. Like his last one, it isn’t going to happen immediately. “We’ll have good nights, we’ll have great nights, but it’s how we galvanize as a group together,” Irving said. “It’s how we sacrifice and compromise for the greater good. And that still remains to be seen. Obviously, one game is out of the way, but I’m excited for what’s to come.”
His teammates have noticed a difference in him, too. Osman has noted the advancements in Sexton’s game from his rookie year to now. Sexton is competitive on the defensive end of the floor, he’s making the extra pass and his assists this season are up to 3.7 per game. “Obviously, last year he was better, and this year he’s even better,” Osman said. “He made like 14 or 15 points in a row, and then there was good defense on him, but then he found TP (new Cavalier Taurean Prince) in the corner for a 3-point shot that was wide open. That was a beautiful play from Collin. He could have taken that one too but saw TP was open, and that was the right play, so he made the right play. You can see from his first year until now — he’s just getting better every day.”
Meanwhile, Kerr says the Warriors focused the “vast majority” of their initial practices this preseason on defense so they can compete in early games while beta testing the offense on the fly. “Training camp before was just about getting in shape,” Curry says. “Now we gotta do that and figure out who needs to be where, what sets are going to be our bread and butter, defensive chemistry and communication — everything that makes a team great.”