Storyline: DeMarre Carroll Free Agency

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Asked if a buyout is a possibility, a tricky situation given how much money remains on his contract, Carroll said he visited with his agent, Mark Bartelstein, in Chicago during All-Star Weekend. “He is handling that,” Carroll said. “Him and (Spurs general manager) Brian (Wright) and all of them. I don’t know what direction we are going to go. But at the end of the day, at 33, I don’t want to waste my talents just sitting at the end of the bench, knowing I could help a team produce.”

Regarding your future in free agency, what’s going through your mind as we’re nearing it? DeMarre Carroll: I think the biggest thing for me is to try and enjoy it. This might be one of my last big free agency deals that I get, so I’ve got to try and enjoy and let my wife enjoy it because she didn’t get to enjoy the last one. I think she’ll probably get to pick this one, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens. We’re just excited to go into free agency.

What are you looking for in free agency? DeMarre Carroll: At the end of the day, I’m just looking for stability and just to make sure my family is happy. Like I said before, this is going to be my last kind of big deal, so I’ve got to make sure I set myself up financially on this deal. We’ll see what happens. How many more years do you want to play in the league? DeMarre Carroll: I really haven’t thought about it. At the end of the day, you let your body do a lot of the talking. This performance staff in Brooklyn really helped me gain more years and got a lot more out of my body and I know the things to do. I’m just excited to go into free agency. I think I’ve got a good relationship with this performance team here in Brooklyn. They really helped me put more years on my career, so I’m happy about it.

Following Carroll’s estimated annual salary on his next contract has been like tracking an internet stock you didn’t buy soon enough. Since opening night, he’s risen from a candidate for a contract in the neighborhood of the midlevel exception (which would still represent more than double his current paycheck), to someone who has a reasonable claim on an eight-figure salary. Sources say the Hawks are bracing themselves for an asking price of 4 years and $50 million — and given the postseason Carroll put together and the interest around the league, possibly even more. If the price tag is much higher than that, there’s good reason to believe the flexibility-minded Hawks could bow out, though their strong preference is to retain Carroll, who has been an essential cog in their two-way success.

“A player has few opportunities to hit the free-agent market and get a contract to take care of his family,” said Mark Bartelstein, Carroll’s agent. “However, there are a lot of elements to consider other than pure economics. The Hawks have been sensational with DeMarre’s development in so many ways. They deserve a lot of credit. At the same time, DeMarre’s work ethic and his relentless pursuit of greatness is why he continues to get better every single year, and I know it will just continue. We will weigh everything in making a great decision for DeMarre.”

“I think I have a lot more to come,” Carroll told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “I think I can be an All-Star player, like Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard. I see myself as one of those guys, but in order for me to get to being on the elite level, like Paul George, you have to be consistent. People got a glimpse of it this year. I still feel like there is work to be done. I still feel I can get better on the pick-and-rolls. I’m shooting the ball well, but I feel like I can shoot it even better. I can finish better. I can do the little things to help my teammates.”
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April 7, 2020 | 2:29 pm EDT Update
John Paxson isn’t just trying to play good soldier and say the right thing. The Bulls vice president of basketball operations isn’t wired that way. The Sun-Times was told by a source on Tuesday that not only is Paxson all for stepping aside from his position and acting more as an adviser to the Reinsdorf family when the front-office restructure is finalized, but would even completely step down from the organization if the Reinsdorfs and the new-look executive group deemed it better for the rebuild to continue.
Storyline: Bulls Front Office
And stuff like this really distracts people and entertains people. At our company, to be honest, there’s a similarity. We’re trying to still tell stories and offer something different and remind people that it won’t always be like this. Not to be too deep, but was that part of your mindset at all? Mattise Thybulle: It was moreso just as a distraction. As it was for me, a distraction that gave me something to do and to occupy my time, and the videos also serve as a distraction and entertainment for people who are also at home. I mean, you could even relate it – and this could be a stretch – but to basketball in general. It’s something that we love as basketball players to do, and we pour all of our time into, and at the end of the day it’s also serving the purpose of entertaining people at home and giving them something to look up to or cheer for or put passion behind. So not to say that TikTok is like basketball, but in the sense of how I deal with it mentally, it kind of serves the same purpose.
April 7, 2020 | 1:21 pm EDT Update
The Warriors weren’t making the playoffs even before the shutdown. So they only missed out on seven regular-season home games, accounting for an estimated $25 million or so in lost profit. That stings, but it can be weathered, if that was the only financial ramification of this crisis. It is not. The Warriors, who privately own the massive San Francisco arena they just spent around $1.4 billion to construct, will spend all summer canceling concerts and events and, at this point, can’t be too confident that next season’s 41 home dates at Chase Center will begin as scheduled in October. Add to that: The league-wide lost revenue, which will dent each franchise’s pocketbook and, particularly if the playoffs aren’t salvaged, take a chunk out of next season’s projected salary cap, lowering the point at which a team enters the luxury tax, spiking penalties.
Here’s what the Warriors owe, combined, to Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green next season: $130.1 million. For four players. Before all this, the tax line was a projected $139 million. So, yes, they’ll be in the tax, no matter how cheaply they round out the roster. But how deep into it? That depends on how far Joe Lacob’s ownership group is willing to go. If the Warriors use their high first-rounder (fixed salary in the $5-$9 million range), the $6 million taxpayer mid-level and the $17.2 million trade exception, that bill is going to be steeeeeeeeeep.
Last we checked publicly, Lacob said the franchise ducked the tax this past season (escaping the punitive repeater penalties) so the Warriors could spend big this offseason, using all those available, expensive roster-building tools. Has that mindset changed? There’s no way to be sure until the financial wreckage of this ongoing, unprecedented and uncertain crisis is fully understood. But if they emerge still willing to use the trade exception — even if it means a $30+ million tab for a seventh, eighth man in the rotation — they should enter a buyer’s friendly market, where taking salary off of someone else’s books increasingly looks like it’ll be a larger favor.
April 7, 2020 | 12:54 pm EDT Update
To be going in with this vaunted class — with Kobe and Duncan — how special does that feel? It’s perhaps the most star-studded Hall of Fame ever. Kevin Garnett: The achievement itself is supremely over the top and the culmination of the things I’ve worked on, the countless hours you’ve put into a craft. It’s something special. The way I came in: Not going to college, taking a real bet on myself and betting on my work ethic and pushing myself night in and night out, being a professional and doing it the right way. Never taking shortcuts. Going hard as I can, you want to be able to look back on it and say that it was worth something. To meet Kobe early, we had a friendship and a real bond. To go up against Timmy and the countless battles, it’s just … I couldn’t put this story, with all the minor details … I couldn’t make this story more compelling than it already is. This is the perfect way to end a dope story.
Storyline: Hall of Fame Selections
You had a rivalry with Tim throughout your career, mostly because of the beast that was the Western Conference and the power forwards across the conference, including him, Rasheed Wallace and Chris Webber. How ironic is it now that you and Tim are going in together? Kevin Garnett: Yeah, man. In the sense of having a career, you never know how long it’s going to go. You don’t even know if you’re even going to have one. So to have one, and be pretty good at it and you can look back at accolades and won some things and most importantly, left your print on the game … Timmy, for me, him and Rasheed were always the pinnacle. They were always the more tougher matchup for me personally. Lot of times going into matchups, I had a lot of upside when I came in. I can say that these two were one of the difficult ones for me.
The Celtics announced in February that they will retire your No. 5 jersey during the 2020-21 season — but your jersey still isn’t hanging in the rafters in Minnesota. How soon will we see that take place and where do you stand on it? Kevin Garnett: Glen knows where I’m at, I’m not entertaining it. First of all, it’s not genuine. Two, he’s getting pressure from a lot of fans and, I guess, the community there. Glen and I had an understanding before Flip died, and when Flip died, that understanding went with Flip. For that, I won’t forgive Glen. I won’t forgive him for that. I thought he was a straight up person, straight up business man, and when Flip died, everything went with him.
Kevin Garnett: There’s no reason to complain. Just continue to move on. My years in Minnesota and in that community, I cherish. At this point, I don’t want any dealings with Glen Taylor or Taylor Corp. or anything that has to do with him. I love my Timberwolves, I’ll always love my guys, I’ll always love the people who fuck with me there. I’ll always have a special place for the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in my heart. But I don’t do business with snakes. I don’t do business with snake mu’fuckas. I try not to do business with openly snakes or people who are snake-like.
April 7, 2020 | 11:57 am EDT Update
So many events that we’re so used to coming aren’t going to be there. How do you have a season? Do you think they should, by any means? There’s been talk about going to Vegas or Atlantic City or something, some neutral site? Is that feasible? Jared Dudley: Vegas is the only place that you could do this at. And the reason why, because it is the only place that has the infrastructure of hotel rooms, convention centers, where you don’t even have to go outside to be able to play a basketball game, eat food, sleep in a hotel room. You got the Mandalay Bay, Delano and the Four Seasons, you don’t have to go outside. You can go to every arena. So, if you wanted to bunker down, lock everybody down, to be able to play in there, no one in, no one out.
Storyline: Coronavirus
Jared Dudley: But then, the question is, are we going to be a society by June, July, that we have enough testing for security, hotel personnel, cleaning crew? And now they can’t leave, because if they go home … they have to stay on site for 60 days, maybe 90. And that’s where I get to the point, are we going to get there. Because it’s a ticking thing. You have to be able to July 1, start the season, maybe July 15 to have the season and not affect it. So, you have a time date. We hear the president, we hear Dr. Fauci, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Are people still not working? Are you allowed to do your job? Are you (reporters) not going to be able to cover it at the arena? No. It makes it less and less likely. For me being less optimistic. I’m hoping we find a vaccine. But if something crazy doesn’t happen, I just don’t see it. And another thing people aren’t talking about, one of the biggest things, let’s just say, “Hey, as a society, yes, we can do that.” Are the players going to be ready when you’re not allowed to use any facilities to work out? We have a stay at home order in California. I technically can’t work out. I have a treadmill and I have an elliptical.
Oh no. Jared Duley: I’m not allowed to shoot a basketball. For four months! And you’re going to give me two to three weeks? To be ready for playoffs and regular season? And be able to have my body play without injuries? That’s the last component where you’re like, “Hey, what’s feasible?” Because the NBA will give you two weeks, that’s not enough. You will 100 percent see injuries you haven’t seen because of that.
You talked earlier about how you felt this was a real championship team. If this doesn’t come back, you may have missed out on your best shot. How much do you want a season knowing this opportunity might be lost? Jared Dudley: Man, I was just thinking about it. Especially after us just beating the Clippers and Milwaukee the way we did. The adjustment we made thinking come playoff time, most likely, we’re going to have to get through these teams. And this is how it is. We saw the adjustments we made, winning at home to Milwaukee and having the success we had defensively against them and beating the Clippers at their arena, even though we might have majority fans, the way we did it. LeBron guarding both Kawhi and Giannis. That probably shocked them, like, “He’s taking the challenge.” And us going to the locker room like, we know it’s just one regular season game, but it meant more. It set a tone mentally, because the Clippers beat us twice. They’re thinking, they beat us three times, “Oh, they got us.”
Jared Dudley: So, for us, I’m not going to say this is it. Even if we win the championship next year, that’s not saying this would not have been our best chance. This would have been our best chance to win, even if you go into the future. The optics and everything was set up. We’re going to have homecourt and we don’t know how it would’ve been. Milwaukee might lose a few more games. We might have caught them. Probably most likely not, but you just don’t know. The momentum we were carrying going into it, it’s hard to repeat that. You see LeBron James teams. He’s had teams that were No. 1. He’s also had teams that slipped up in the regular season and then caught wind in the playoffs. You don’t know next year, we may be the three seed. Yeah, we may beat these other teams in the playoffs, but it’s a lot easier when you have homecourt throughout.
April 7, 2020 | 11:06 am EDT Update
But many other players do still have visceral memories of the first time they [dunked a basketball]. The Athletic collected these anecdotes throughout the season, and we’re releasing them now because, hey, why not? Michael Porter Jr.: I think I was in sixth grade in the summer going into seventh grade. It was outside. We had this hoop outside our house and I had spent all day trying to dunk. I got my first one that summer. I knew it was coming. I felt good that day. I forget what happened, but I just went outside because I had all this adrenaline. So I just tried to dunk and I got it. I was probably 6-foot or 6-1. In eighth grade, I was 6-3, so I was probably around 6-foot.
Mason Plumlee: I was in eighth grade. It was a tip dunk and I surprised myself. It was exciting. I was 6-4. I had dunked on my own, but it was different getting one in the game. Then, when I was in a freshman in high school, and this tells you how small of a town I grew up in, I had a dunk and it was like one of the first ones at the high school. Everybody made a really big deal out of it. It was funny.
The National Basketball League (NBL) and LaMelo Ball’s camp avoided a potentially awkward and damaging situation over the weekend. After a surprise involvement in the purchase of the Illawarra Hawks, Ball’s manager Jermaine Jackson jumped the gun by declaring everything a done deal. The NBL immediately pushed back, noting a miscommunication as the source of the confusion before committing to continue negotiations with Ball. On Monday, NBL commissioner Jeremy Loeliger joined SEN’s morning radio show to talk about the situation, his reaction and where the two parties stand now.
“We’re committed to ensuring Illawarra remains in the NBL and remains there for a long and fruitful future. We don’t want to see any club go under as a result of the coronavirus. There are a number of parties interested including LaMelo Ball and his management and we’re continuing to have discussions with them. Since LaMelo Ball’s team made those comments, we’d had another two or three expressions of interest from very significant offshore investors as well as another two or three locals who have put their hand up to show interest. These are really well-credentialed individuals and organisations so it’s a very promising sign.”
April 7, 2020 | 8:13 am EDT Update

Klay Thompson fully recovered from injury?

95.7 The Game: “He says he’s feeling great and he’ll be ready to go at full speed next year.” Mychal Thompson provides an update on Klay. “He’s feeling good, he’s working out on his own, he’s doing all of his drills. He says he feels good, he walks around without any kind of limp, no kind of soreness.”
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When Warriors rookie Eric Paschall attacks the rim, you hardly ever see him leave the ground off one foot. The No. 41 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft almost always explodes towards the basket off both legs. That is by design. “I actually used to be a one-foot jumper,” Paschall told NBC Sports Bay Area during a Zoom conversation Monday afternoon. “I’m scared of getting hurt. I feel like with one foot you never know what’s gonna happen. “So that’s why I’ve become a very two-foot jumper because I know where my legs are gonna be. With one foot, somebody could bump you — one leg comes down … that scares me.”
Thomas thought Garnett would still be available with the seventh pick in the 1995 NBA draft because he felt that other teams would be hesitant to draft a skinny kid straight out of high school. Shortly before the draft, his old friend Kevin McHale (who was then VP of the Minnesota Timberwolves) called to ask what he thought about the young Garnett. Thomas told McHale: “If you don’t draft him, I will.”
The 20,000 refunds will be paid out to those who purchased floor-level seating for the games. Despite a mock-up depicting tiered seating, the seats used were in flat rows, lower than the court and, in some cases, more than 30 metres from the action. “Consumers paid a premium for floor-level seats, ranging between $895 and $3,995 for a hospitality package, and may have done so as a result of misleading seating advertising,” said Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. “In our view, TEG Live’s conduct was unacceptable.”
TEG Live’s statement echoed Sims’ comments. “We acknowledge some fans were disappointed that the USA Men’s Basketball team that competed in Australia in August did not include some of the NBA’s biggest stars,” it read. “Based on the information provided to TEG Live by USA Basketball, we had expected these stars to play.”
Isiah Thomas: When Stan Van Gundy took over the Pistons, the one thing he said he wanted to do, which a lot of us disagreed with, is change the culture. Then the new regime comes in and where are you in terms of culture? Culture is a big word. It’s one we throw around in sports but when you look it up and define it, it’s different than what people think. When you talk about changing or establishing a culture, those are pretty big words. They’re in the process of establishing (culture) because you had one, then Van Gundy changed and now you’re trying to establish a new one.
Beard: Andre Drummond was the longest-tenured Pistons player before his trade at the deadline. How much did that set back the culture the new regime is trying to build? Isiah Thomas: It took us a long time to build a culture in Detroit, with a belief system, celebrating tradition. Before you celebrate, have to establish something to celebrate: a language, colors — the flag you represent. That’s what we had built in Detroit and that gave us an identity. Whether winning or losing, when you talk about Pistons Bad Boys culture, that is still relevant and talked about to this day. Van Gundy came in and said he wanted to move away from that and build something else. What he was tearing down and trying to build, it wasn’t complete. Drummond as a player and talent coming into one culture of this is who Pistons are and then the change in regime says a new culture. The heartbreak that Andre Drummond feels I understand from a player perspective, but from an organizational perspective, it led to where they are now.
Isiah Thomas: Where they are now is what they’re trying to build now. That’s still being determined. That goes a long way in whom to draft Ben Wallace is the perfect example of what Detroit culture was and what it is. Ben Wallace in any other NBA city may not have been as great as what he became. What he brought to Detroit was much more appreciated because of his style. (Dennis) Rodman, (Bill) Laimbeer and (Ben) Wallace was how we won.
Danilo Gallinari: I’m from Italy. My country had been dealing with COVID-19 issues for more than a month at that point. Sporting events there had come to a stop. I figured maybe something had happened over here, too. But no one was telling us anything, and none of my teammates had any sort of personal experience with what the virus was doing to people like I did. So when they sent us back to the locker room, I don’t think anyone else on our team was thinking what I was thinking. They were just really confused. And the scene was unlike anything I’d ever been a part of. Our arena gets so loud during our games, but while we were walking off the court, it was like you could hear a pin drop. Back in the locker room, it seemed like we were waiting forever to find out what was going on. We were all just sitting around trying to predict what was up. After a minute or so, I spoke up. “Guys,” I said, “my guess is that this is something related to that virus. The coronavirus.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Danilo Gallinari: As soon as I finished that sentence, a bunch of players started asking me questions. I was in the middle of the locker room just fielding questions from everybody. Guys just wanted to get information. For the most part, I wouldn’t say that anyone was scared. Me, though? I actually … was scared. I knew what was happening back in my country, and I’d had that feeling about what this might be. So I was definitely worried and scared, but mainly I just wanted to get information, too.
Danilo Gallinari: When my friend’s grandma died, the family couldn’t even see her one last time to say goodbye. The hospitals over there, they transport any deceased patients to a quarantined location for burial. But they don’t want anyone getting too close, so they don’t even tell the families where their loved ones are being taken. Can you imagine how hard that must be? Someone you’ve known and loved your entire life is just … gone. Forever. Just like that. And that situation is happening to so many families all over Italy. Once you have a parent or a loved one who is affected by the virus and they end up at the hospital, there’s a real chance that you may never see them again.