NBA Rumor: G League Bubble

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Dennis Smith to play in the G League bubble?

Eager for reps and an opportunity to demonstrate he’s still an NBA prospect, Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. has requested to play in the G-League bubble, the Daily News has learned. The former ninth overall pick hasn’t cracked Tom Thibodeau’s rotation and logged his ninth straight DNP in Friday’s victory over the Cavs. He’s appeared in only three games this season for a total of 28 minutes.

Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-3, 18-year-old basketball phenom who is on a path to becoming the first native-born son of the Philippines to play in the NBA, is opting out of the start of the NBA G League bubble in Orlando next month in order to meet contractual obligations with the Filipino National Team — the Gilas. Instead of entering the G League bubble on Jan. 26 with the G League Ignite team, Sotto will travel to the Philippines and play with the Gilas when they host Korea (Feb. 18 and Feb. 22) and Indonesia (Feb.20) at Clark City in Pampanga. “The G League agreed for me to meet my previous commitments to play for the national team,” Sotto said via direct message. “They have asked for me to immediately report back to the bubble after my last national team game.”

The NBA G League announced today that 18 teams, including 17 NBA G League teams and G League Ignite, will take to the court in February at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. The top eight teams will advance to a single-elimination playoff. “We worked closely with our teams, the Basketball Players Union, and public health experts to develop a structure that allows our teams to gather at a single site and safely play,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “We are thrilled to get back to basketball and to fulfill our mission as a critical resource for the NBA in developing players, coaches, referees, athletic trainers and front-office staff.”

The 17 participating NBA G League teams are: Agua Caliente Clippers (LA Clippers), Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs), Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers), Delaware Blue Coats (Philadelphia 76ers), Erie BayHawks (New Orleans Pelicans), Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana Pacers), Greensboro Swarm (Charlotte Hornets), Iowa Wolves (Minnesota Timberwolves), Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic), Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets), Memphis Hustle (Memphis Grizzlies), Oklahoma City Blue (Oklahoma City Thunder), Raptors 905 (Toronto Raptors), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets), Salt Lake City Stars (Utah Jazz), Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors), Westchester Knicks (New York Knicks)

Preliminarily, 10 teams, including the South Bay Lakers and the Maine Red Claws (the Boston Celtics’ affiliate) indicated they will opt out, sources told ESPN. The G League has received commitments from about a dozen teams, including the Ignite, sources told ESPN, and await final decisions from a handful of other franchises. With the details surrounding the upcoming season being so fluid, the teams on the fence are not sure what exactly they would be committing to, sources told ESPN.

The G League, the NBA’s developmental league, is made up of 28 teams who are each affiliated with one NBA team as a sort of minor-league feeder system for parent organizations to develop young talent and look for diamonds in the rough. The G League suspended its 2019-20 season on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic before canceling it entirely on June 4. Unlike NBA teams — who fly in private jets and are thus more easily and safely able to isolate during travel — G League teams have always flown on commercial airlines, making getting anywhere during a pandemic a much less safe proposition for them than it is for their parent teams.
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September 23, 2021 | 11:46 am EDT Update
Though it doesn’t look good right now, the Sixers continue to insist that their preferred outcome at this point is to bring Simmons back and try to work through this. Embiid has publicly stumped for Simmons and privately insisted they can turn this around if they simply get him back in the gym and around the team. Rivers does not believe this will be an issue in the locker room, using an example from his own playing days to show these situations can be rectified. “The San Antonio Spurs traded Sean Elliott,” Rivers said. “You remember that? Traded him to Detroit, he failed the physical, didn’t want to come back, came back and they won the championship the next year, so these things can happen.”
Storyline: Ben Simmons Trade?
“That may be where he’s at today, that may not be where he’s at tomorrow. You just don’t know, and that’s why we got to keep communicating and see where we can take this,” Rivers said. “He has four years left on his contract, it’s in our hands…once we get him back in the fold, then we can get to work. If that doesn’t happen, I don’t have an expectation. Because I don’t know where we would go. That will happen if it happens, but right now Ben is still part of this team, and I’m gonna focus on that part of it.”
Yossi Gozlan: The Pelicans ended up operating over the cap after clearing a lot of money in their trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. While they couldn’t get an All-Star caliber player with their flexibility, they might have better fits on their team now that they have more shooting to surround Williamson. They could be primed for a significant in-season trade with many young players, draft picks and tradeable salaries in their arsenal. Satoransky and Josh Hart could be particularly expendable due to New Orleans’ glut of guards, with Hart being an intriguing name to keep an eye on due to his unique salary structure.
Yossi Gozlan: Robinson is currently eligible for an extension worth up to $55.6 million over four years. Since the Knicks exercised his team option for this season, he will become an unrestricted free agent in 2022. This could incentivize them to extend him before the end of the season. A two-year deal that aligns his contract with the rest of the core could make sense. The Knicks won’t be losing any cap space since they’re capped out until at least 2023. They also must decide whether or not to extend Kevin Knox before the start of the regular season.
Storyline: Mitchell Robinson Extension?
Ownership was made aware of Rosas’ transgressions with the staffer when team officials were provided with photographic evidence of their connection, sources said. It seems few if any in Minnesota and around the league had general knowledge of Rosas’ relationship until Wednesday, when the news quickly spread throughout the organization, and to rival team personnel, like wildfire. Rosas and the woman, each of whom is married, were seen kissing in a suite during a Minnesota United FC game last Saturday at Allianz Field​​, sources said. The soccer club was told to reserve luxury seating for several Timberwolves players and personnel, including assistant coach Pablo Prigioni. Two seats were filled by Rosas and the staffer.
Those pictures have been obtained by Bleacher Report. One photograph is a close-up shot, clearly showing Rosas and the woman sitting beside one another in light blue cushioned seats, behind the suite’s protective plexiglass. A second photograph follows, where the two have leaned towards one another for a romantic embrace. Minnesota’s statement announcing Rosas’ departure provided no further context behind its decision, and as word of his affair swirled around the league Wednesday, several executives noted how Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor did not thank Rosas for his time atop the team’s basketball department, as is customary in the business.
Storyline: Timberwolves Front Office