Storyline: Jeff Green Free Agency

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Sixers interested in Luke Kennard, Langston Galloway and Jeff Green

What about Galloway’s Detroit Pistons teammate Luke Kennard or NBA free agent Jeff Green. Add those names to the list of wing players the Sixers have expressed interest in acquiring in a trade and/or free agent signees, according to multiple league sources. One source confirmed that Green worked for the Sixers in Miami while the team was there to face the Heat a couple of weeks ago.

In the hour before the Heat defeated Utah 107-104 at AmericanAirlines Arena, the Jazz traded point guard Dante Exum to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Jordan Clarkson. In the moments following that defeat, the Jazz waived forward Jeff Green, sources told The Athletic. And in the moments following that, the Jazz signed shooting guard Rayjon Tucker to a guaranteed deal for the remainder of the season. The flurry of moves can be traced to one constant, according to league sources: The Jazz have not been happy with their bench play.

Utah loved Green’s professionalism, sources say. But, at this point, the Jazz wanted to clear minutes for Georges Niang because of his shooting and the threat it poses to opposing teams. The Jazz are also very happy with rookie Jarrell Brantley, according to sources. Brantley, a 6-foot-7 power forward, has been a significant force for the G League Salt Lake City Stars. He’s currently on a two-way deal. And while minutes with the Jazz aren’t imminent, the Jazz clearly see him as a potential rotation player at some point.

But with a new front office leadership structure set to be installed, certainty isn’t offered for anyone. For Green, the Wizards’ new general manager will need to evaluate whether he was part of their problems. While Green probably exceeded expectations this season, he was on the floor when the team struggled to rebound the ball and defend just like his teammates were. The Wizards were 27th in the NBA in defensive rating this season at 112.8, according to NBA.com. Green’s defensive rating was 112.6. The Wizards and Green may ultimately not prove a fit in the eyes of the new GM. If that is the case, Green could move on to play in a new city, the ninth of his career.

The new-look Orlando Magic are hoping to get the Jeff Green that they got to see at his absolute best last season while playing for the Memphis Grizzlies. It was Jan. 25 of last season and Green proved to be a one-man wrecking crew for the Grizzlies in their 108-102 overtime defeat of the Magic in Memphis. With the Magic leading 100-96 in the final seconds, Green converted a dunk, stole the inbounds pass and hit a buzzer-beating jumper to send the game into OT. In the extra period, Green put the finishing touches on a 30-point, eight-rebound masterpiece that showed the allure that teams have looked for from him throughout his eight years in the NBA.

If the Clippers are unable to get Durant to agree to join the team, a move that would then trigger a flurry of other moves, they’ll turn their attention to their other top priority – re-signing their own free agents. With most of their salary cap – more than $70 million of it – going to Paul, Griffin, Jordan and Redick – the Clippers hope to keep their top three free agents – Jeff Green, Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers. The Clippers have “Bird rights” for Green and Crawford and “early Bird rights” for Rivers, enabling them to go over the salary cap to re-sign those players. The team also has interest in re-signing reserves Cole Aldrich and Wesley Johnson, though the fear is both players will be out of the Clippers’ price range once they hit the market. The Clippers will still meet with Aldrich, though. And just because the Clippers have the ability to pay Green, Crawford and Rivers, there are no guarantees they’re able to secure all three.

Doc Rivers would not get into specifics, other than to say his son is one of the players on the team he expects will “get deals this summer, and we’re hoping they’re here.” The salary cap is an issue. The Clippers — not including player options — have roughly $78 million in guaranteed contracts for 2016-17, when the cap is expected to rise to about $89 million. Jamal Crawford, Luc Mbah a Moute, Jeff Green, Pablo Prigioni and Jeff Ayers are free agents and Cole Aldrich and Wes Johnson have player options, so there are those considerations.

Green is open about his desire to stay in Memphis long-term and re-sign with the team next summer if the sides can come to terms. However, the forward also understands the business side of things and the fact that nine months (until free agency) is an eternity when it comes to roster decisions. “It’s too far [away] for me to think about,” Green said on his upcoming free agency. “You just have to take it one game at a time. If we do what we have to do and win, everything will take care of itself. My main approach is to continue to be Jeff Green, continue to be aggressive and more consistent. Then, everything will fall into place next summer.”
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April 7, 2020 | 4:32 pm EDT Update
For a scout used to being on the road 25 days a month, that’s a shock to his system in itself. He is not fully recovered yet, though. “I’m to assume that I still have it,” for at least 12 more days, Hanks said on Tuesday. But he’s not complaining. “It’s a lot better than the alternative,” Hanks said Tuesday morning. “A week ago, they gave me a 12% chance of walking out of the hospital. I’ve always been a glass half-full guy. And I still am. But now, if the glass is a quarter full, I’m happy with that.”
Storyline: Maury Hanks Health
What he’s sure of is that the coronavirus is nothing like the flu. He sees his experience as a cautionary tale for everyone. “It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on politically, people have got to take this thing seriously,” he said. “I really believe the next 60 days will be worse than the last 30. People have got to stay home and stay 10 feet apart, or whatever it is the doctors say we need to do. I can tell you first-hand, this is no joke. I don’t want anybody to go through what I went through.”
April 7, 2020 | 4:15 pm EDT Update
Last summer, Adebayo was cut from the USA Basketball tryouts for the World Cup. That only added fuel to his fire. “For me, it’s just going out there and proving people wrong,” he said. “I took that to the chin, and it gave me a bigger chip on my shoulder for the season.” It is why he is hopeful that this is not all there will be for the 2019-20 season. “I’m thinking bigger picture; I want a championship,” he said. “I feel like we can make a run and make noise and do a lot of things that people said we couldn’t.”
The coincidence in the Bulls’ search for a new head of basketball operations isn’t as much that Zanik interviewed Monday and is considered a finalist for the job. It’s that Josh Paxson and Kevin O’Connor enjoy a respectful professional relationship, and the family ownership structures and philosophies of the Jazz and Bulls are similar. The Reinsdorfs, like the leaguewide perception of Jazz ownership, are known for running the business side and letting basketball operations do their jobs.
Storyline: Bulls Front Office
The Reinsdorfs are known for their loyalty and Paxson, along with Gar Forman, who has held the general manager title since 2009, has headed basketball operations for 17 years. But the perception that Paxson will be some hovering presence, going kicking and screaming into the night, is simply wrong. Early this season, Paxson communicated his vision to ownership for a new-look, more modern front office. He initiated some of this need for change.
April 7, 2020 | 4:02 pm EDT Update
Families who live paycheck to paycheck are now scrambling to pay bills with no idea when they’ll be able to work again. It’s also impacting the finances of professional athletes at all levels. For those at the lower salary level, it is making a larger impact. And many are living close to a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum told former NBA player Jay Williams on “The Boardroom.” “I would say out of 450 players … 150 probably are living paycheck to paycheck,” McCollum said.
Abdul-Jabbar and his longtime manager, Deborah Morales, will be involved in similar donations at other hospitals in Southern California, according to the news release. Abdul-Jabbar’s most well-known charitable works are connected to his Skyhook Foundation, which, according to the NBA.com, “sends children from economically challenged backgrounds to summer camps focusing on science, technology and engineering.”
April 7, 2020 | 3:58 pm EDT Update
Mark Cuban sees the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses to try something new, including the NBA when and if the league picks up its suspended season. “Rather than looking at this as an ‘oh, no’ it is really an opportunity for entrepreneurs to say, ‘Why not or why not this or I have a vision. Let’s give it a try,’” he said Tuesday on KSL Newsradio’s “Dave and Dujanovic.”
On an Instagram Live with his Banana Boat buddy Chris Paul, Melo was asked how he is staying mentally prepared for the rest of the current season: “First of all, it’s very hard…due to the unknown. We don’t know if what’s going to happen. We don’t know when it’s going to happen. We don’t know how it’s going to happen. So that’s the hard part is dealing with the unknown. You don’t know how hard to go. You don’t know how many days a week to go, it’s just different things and different ways that you got to play with. But you also got to stay on point, you got to stay sharp.”
Storyline: Season Suspension
April 7, 2020 | 3:29 pm EDT Update
April 7, 2020 | 3:06 pm EDT Update
PARKS AND BASKETBALL courts are being closed in major cities across the country. Rims are being disabled — chained shut, boarded up or removed altogether. It’s happening at city parks in Fort Worth, San Diego, Memphis, New Orleans and Louisville. “I hate to say it. I’m sorry about it,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said at a press briefing on March 26. “But your life’s more important than the next pickup game.” It’s happening in basketball-crazed Indiana. “The patterns of use we are seeing in our parks concerns me greatly,” said Linda Broadfoot, the director of Indy Parks and Recreation, in a news release announcing the closures.
“It’s definitely crazy,” said Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, who grew up just outside of Houston, in Katy, Texas. As someone who loves the game, he is heartened by the fact that people still want to play. But he also realizes the severity of the moment. “It wouldn’t have stopped if they didn’t take the rims down,” Fox said. “People want to continue to play, but you have to think about the safety of others, the safety of people’s kids and the elderly. I don’t think it’s a bad idea. It shows how important the game of basketball is to people that they’re still trying to find a way to play. But it should always be safety first.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Also, social media allows sneakerheads to be more informed than ever. Not only can fans follow their favorite brands and players, top NBA reporters treat sneaker-deal terms as breaking news and it’s in their feed alongside other scoops (like trades and free-agent signings). Most people initially learned of Zion Williamson’s record-breaking rookie deal with Jordan Brand when Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted it to his four million followers. However, there are still quite a few misconceptions about sneaker deals and the industry as a whole, according to various NBA agents and shoe-company executives who spoke to HoopsHype.
“Fans think that every player is making millions of dollars and that every superstar player is making crazy money from their sneaker deal and that’s not the case,” one NBA agent said. “A lot of guys are in six-figure-and-below deals and when you’re looking at what a typical NBA player makes, that’s not anything to them. The guys who are in the millions are in a very rare class. There are the guys who have signature shoes, but the number of guys who make royalties or have minimum-guaranteed royalties from their signature shoe is even smaller. “There aren’t many guys who make $10 million per year or more from their sneaker deal and that’s around the average NBA salary now, so the impact that the sneaker deals have on these guys and how they operate isn’t as significant as people think. It’s good money, but it’s not crazy (in most cases).”
But it’s not just the fans who do this. Sometimes, players believe they’re going to get a ton of money from their sneaker contract only to be disappointed when that’s not the case. “I think there’s this expectation that everybody gets a big shoe deal, but not everybody can get that kind of contract,” NBA agent Roger Montgomery said. “I think that misconception hurts agents sometimes because every player thinks they can get a huge sneaker deal because they’ve heard about some of these big deals that other players got. They may just get a merch deal that only gives them free product. It’s still a shoe deal, but it’s not the piece of the pie that they expected.”
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.