Storyline: Fred VanVleet Free Agency

23 rumors in this storyline

I’ll mention one other guy since I’ve heard his name connected to the Knicks: Fred Van Vleet. He would likely be a decent value. I have him projected at a $20.7 million valuation next season, and the Knicks would be buying his age 26 through 29 seasons on a four-year deal — presumably his prime years. The Knicks should walk away if the annual price gets too high, but at something around $20 million a year, he’s a solid value who still lets the Knicks have max room in 2021.

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VanVleet is in the midst of his best season, averaging 17.6 points and 6.6 assists per game in his first year as a full-time starter. He’s in position to command a significant raise on his current $9.35MM salary, but reduced revenue due to the league’s hiatus figures to lessen the value of his next contract. “I think about it. I’m human,” VanVleet said. “I feel like I worked myself in good position. I was having a hell of a year and I was planning on having a great playoffs to cap that off. I think I was in good shape. And I think, more so than worrying about what would’ve, could’ve, should’ve happened is more so like, what’s going to happen? Are they going to move the dates around? Does free agency move? How does it affect the cap? Those types of things are more so what I’m thinking about versus, ‘Oh, woe is me.’”

VanVleet is in the midst of his best season, averaging 17.6 points and 6.6 assists per game in his first year as a full-time starter. He’s in position to command a significant raise on his current $9.35MM salary, but reduced revenue due to the league’s hiatus figures to lessen the value of his next contract. “I think about it. I’m human,” VanVleet said. “I feel like I worked myself in good position. I was having a hell of a year and I was planning on having a great playoffs to cap that off. I think I was in good shape. And I think, more so than worrying about what would’ve, could’ve, should’ve happened is more so like, what’s going to happen? Are they going to move the dates around? Does free agency move? How does it affect the cap? Those types of things are more so what I’m thinking about versus, ‘Oh, woe is me.’”
7 months ago via TSN

The 25-year-old could be raising his price tag with each passing game, especially over this last month, but that’s a good problem for the Raptors to have and something they’ll happily worry about in seven months from now if it means VanVleet continues to blossom in front of their eyes. “I think he’s a heck of a player, man,’ Nurse said. “He guards, he shoots, he runs the team, he’s a winner, makes big shots. I just think his numbers and minutes are way up because the opportunity presented itself and like a lot of guys he’s taking advantage of the opportunity.” “I’m just trying to continue to be better and be a leader on this team and help contribute to wins,” VanVleet said. “I’m most happy with the wins so that’s all that matters.”

Fred VanVleet is now on the final year of his of a two-year deal he signed with the Toronto Raptors last season. Given his stellar performance which paved the way for the franchise’s first-ever title, the guard may be it for a huge payday. He understands, however, that his future is still not etched in stone. There are things that could happen that might lead him to a brand new team. But in a ‘perfect world,’ VanVleet wants to be a Raptor long term. “I’ve been here. This is the team that gave me my chance, I think we understand that. I’m not gonna speak too much on free agency this year just ’cause it’s a business and I have to do what’s best for me and my family,” VanVleet said during an appearance on Tim and Sid on Wednesday. “But, I mean, I’ve been on record about how I feel about this place. This organization knows how I feel about this place. So in a perfect world, we know what would happen.”

HoopsHype: Overall, how was your free-agency experience? I know restricted free agency can be tough for some guys, but it seemed to be pretty easy and quick for you. Fred VanVleet: It was a good experience. I didn’t really know what to expect going into it. But, like you said, it went by pretty easy and fast. It was over with pretty quick. I was kind of anxious going into it, just not knowing what to expect or how things might shake out. I knew where I wanted to be and I had a feeling what Toronto was going to do, but you never really know until it’s actually time to get a deal. Then, once [the free-agency period started], it wrapped up pretty quick.

HoopsHype: Were there any surprises? Everyone imagines free agency, but then sometimes it’s different than they expected. Did any aspect surprise you? Fred VanVleet: You never really know what’s going to happen until you’re actually in it. I had been given some indications [that certain teams would pursue me] from different people around the league. We had a network of people around the league so we could find out what other teams might be interested. But, again, you never really know [if the interest is real] until they actually throw an offer at you when free agency officially starts. There were some surprises right at midnight, right after free agency started, but nothing serious enough to where I wanted to change my plan and not re-sign with the Raptors. It was flattering; it’s always nice to be wanted and to see teams calling and inquiring about you and trying to find a way to add you to their team. But, like I said, it wasn’t anything substantial enough and it didn’t happen fast enough for me to stray from my plan [of re-signing with Toronto]. If I wanted to explore those options, I would’ve had to put the Raptors’ things on hold and stall them out to see if these other things would fall into place and that just didn’t really make sense to me.

When you talk about your free agency, knowing you’re restricted, is it still your top preference to come back? […] Fred VanVleet: “Nothing’s changed for me. [Dwane Casey] was a big part of that, just my familiarity and comfort level and obviously, I was playing a lot of minutes, and, you know, a coach could come in and it may not work out that way. But I can’t worry about that. I’m going to be loyal to the organization that gave me a chance and I love the city of Toronto, I love the fans, I love the people here, and I would love to be back. So hopefully it can work out. Obviously, you’d like to be wanted. You want all parties to find a way to make it work. And that’s what we’re gonna shoot for. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.”

VanVleet is 24, and will be among a crowd of restricted free agents who should get more attention than usual this year because so many teams are tight against the luxury tax, including Toronto. VanVleet is likely to command an offer in the $12 million-per-year range, and matching it would require the Raptors to shell out exponentially more than the contract’s value — around an extra $20 million in taxes for the first season. Center Lucas Nogueira is the only other free-agent decision to be made. He can be a restricted free agent and has a $4.1 million qualifying offer for next year.
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July 2, 2020 | 9:18 am EDT Update
Do you have a timetable? Like when you say, ‘I’m done’. Jamal Crawford: I don’t know if I have a timetable but I would think for me, it would probably be at some point next season. Like it may not be the beginning of next season, maybe a team that fighting for the playoffs later on in the season. And at that point, probably if it doesn’t happen, I would probably say, ‘Okay, that’s it’.
Storyline: Jamal Crawford Retirement?
Booker became a first-time All-Star this season, and was averaging 26.1 points, 6.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor when the league shut down. Williams envisions Booker aiming to make another push for league-wide respect during this restart. “He wants to go to Orlando and cement himself as one of the better players in the league in a different way,” Williams said. “He made the All-Star team. Now he’s probably got his eyes set on All-NBA, and he’s more than capable.”
Monty Williams did not confirm nor deny if he typically enjoys roller-coaster intergalactic adventures. But the Suns coach emphasized that he will not be partaking in any during his team’s stay in Orlando beginning next week. “We’re not going to ride on Space Mountain and do the Disney thing,” Williams said Wednesday during a videoconference call with local reporters. “This is freakin’ ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Gladiator’ stuff that we are trying to will onto other teams, and that’s the mindset.”
The New Orleans Pelicans star and the 2019 No. 1 overall pick has been named the NBA 2K21 cover athlete on next-generation consoles. “Realizing that I am going to be on the cover of NBA 2K21 was one of those moments that I am still processing,” said Williamson over a Zoom chat with Sports Illustrated. “I dreamed about being on the cover and for 2K to give me this honor, it means a lot because I have always played 2K with teammates and all my friends growing up. 2K has always been there with me. Looking at each cover and thinking maybe one day I could possibly be on the cover of one of these and for it to actually happen is a lot to process.”
If basketball icon LeBron James gets his way, NBA arenas and other sports venues around the country will be mega polling sites for the November general election. James and his voting rights group, formed this spring with other black athletes and entertainers, are joining with other professional basketball leaders and Michigan’s top elections official to push for mega voting sites to accommodate in-person balloting amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More Than A Vote, the James organization dedicated to maximizing Black turnout in November, shared its plans with The Associated Press on Wednesday after the Detroit Pistons became the second NBA franchise to announce plans to use its arena for voting later this year. In Georgia, Fulton County elections officials this week approved the Atlanta Hawks’ proposal to use State Farm Arena as a polling site. Plans call for the arena to serve as a countywide early voting site ahead of Election Day.
July 2, 2020 | 3:44 am EDT Update
Back in 2010, James met with the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls in addition to the Knicks and Heat as he contemplated his future. It’s easy to forget that James was said to be seriously considering the Knicks at the time. In fact, there was even a strong rumor that LeBron was going to choose the Knicks. So what happened? Bill Simmons said on his podcast that the Knicks’ meeting with James was a “disaster.” “They had a legendary meeting. Donnie Walsh was in the wheelchair, and (James) Dolan was Dolan. And it was just a complete – they didn’t have anything prepared. And it just couldn’t have gone worse, by all accounts. It was a disaster,” Simmons said.
The Decision was incredibly ill-advised and self-indulgent, but we all knew it was coming. Gilbert’s scathing reaction was somewhat predictable, since he found out LeBron was leaving at the same time as the rest of us. But that rally was so over-the-top. I will never forget the look on Pat Riley’s face when they panned to him in the stands. He looked mortified. Riley told me years later he was so busy making sure all the contracts for LeBron and Chris Bosh were in order that he didn’t pay much attention to what the team had planned. It showed.
As coronavirus cases rise in different regions across the United States, commissioner Adam Silver has made clear that the league is monitoring the numbers as it prepares to head for Orlando. Silver has described to league executives on conference calls recently that his goal is for the Disney World campus to be the safest place in the U.S. “We have confidence in the plan that we’ve built,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told players and teams on a call this week, according to sources. “It was designed for this.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Operating the three-month completion of the NBA season at the Walt Disney World Resort will cost the NBA more than $150 million, sources told ESPN. The league is housing 22 teams plus support staff at three resorts, has arranged for seven practice courts and is playing games at three arenas during the quarantine. It is also providing meals, daily coronavirus testing and other medical support, security, transportation and entertainment for more than 1,500 people during the height of the event.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble

Victor Oladipo not sure about playing

Indiana Pacers All-Star Victor Oladipo isn’t ready to commit to playing at the NBA restart in Orlando even though Wednesday is supposed to be the deadline for the 22 participating teams to declare their traveling list of 35. Except, league sources tell IndyStar, it’s not a firm deadline. “Nothing is locked in like a normal roster deadline,” one of the sources said.

Nikola Jokic feeling 'great'

Denver Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic is feeling “great” and is expected to return to the United States in time to join the team flight to Orlando, Florida, according to coach Michael Malone. Jokic had his return to Denver delayed after testing positive for the coronavirus in Serbia, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst reported on June 23. “Nikola feels great,” Malone said in a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday. “We are working on getting him back here. Next Tuesday we depart for Orlando; the hope and expectation is that Nikola Jokic will be with us on that plane. From everything that I have heard and talked to him, he feels great, he feels fine and is excited to get back.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 263 more rumors
Paul shared details on that night in what was the catalyst for the domino effect that before the night ended would lead to the NBA season suspension. Like many of the fan base, Richardson and Miles were watching and noted seeing Paul approach Joe Ingles at center court to ask where Rudy (Gobert) was. Even after nearly four months, the events of March 11th remain confounding for Paul who explained his feelings at the moment. It was crazy, and I tell you a little bit about it, but to tell you the truth it’s crazy man I’m doing a documentary about it, like a movie, like a movie about a sports stop with Antoine Fuqua and Brian Grazer. We doing a whole thing about that like getting perspectives from athletes of what happened.Man, listen, I ain’t never seen nothing like it. Never seen nothing like it.
Jared Weiss: Walker isn’t concerned about going into COVID hot zone: “I think we’re going to be pretty safe and secluded in the bubble.” Kemba: “I’m a single man with no kids, so I’ma be fine. All I do is stay in the house anyways, so there’s nothing wrong with me staying in the room. I’m actually looking forward to it cause I’m ready to play basketball. And it’s going to be set up so we can have fun.”
Here is how the coaches voted in The Athletic’s anonymous poll. When players received votes at more than one position, they were slotted at the position where they garnered the most votes. It is no surprise that Gobert and Antetokounmpo received the most first-team votes at their respective positions and led all vote-getters in total overall points. Gobert, the reigning two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, ranks fourth in rebounding (13.7 per game) and sixth in blocks (2.0 per game). Antetokounmpo is the top defender on the Milwaukee Bucks, who lead the league in defensive efficiency. The Greek Freak also ranks third in the league in rebounding (his 13.7 boards per game edging Gobert’s average by 0.027 boards per game).
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Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search

Storyline: Media Layoffs
July 1, 2020 | 9:33 pm EDT Update
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Storyline: Orlando Bubble
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July 1, 2020 | 7:17 pm EDT Update
Not only is Howard juggling his responsibilities as a father with preparation for the finale to the season, but as a Black man he has also been deeply affected by the social unrest facing this country, according to Howard’s agent, Charles Briscoe. “Basketball, or entertainment period, isn’t needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction,” Howard said in a statement issued to CNN through Briscoe last month.