That’s terrific for Bell, who wildly outperformed his minuscule $815,000 salary in his rookie season and will only make $1.3 million next season as he steps into an even bigger role. If he performs, Bell will put himself in position for a payday next summer, at 24, instead of a third straight season making below his value. “It can be good or bad,” Bell told The Athletic this week. “It’s kind of like betting on yourself. Some people, if you have a longer contract right away, four years (like all first-rounders), you have a longer time to develop. Two-year contract, you gotta perform both years if you want your money in that free-agency year. I don’t mind betting on myself, though. I think it was a good thing for me, especially at my age.”
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“Yeah, (I) definitely (want to stay),” Bell said. “I don’t like moving, I like the team we have, I like the way things are run. Just like everyone else here, really, nobody wants to leave Golden State. We’ll see how this year turns out, how I play, all that stuff.”
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July 22, 2018 | 12:15 pm EDT Update
What does the late Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss have to do with LeBron James joining his team in 2018? The query sounds like a trick question, but a new story has come to light that makes it seem as though Dr. Buss was the one to kickstart the Lakers’ eventual pursuit and signing of their now-superstar all the way back in 2010. The Lakers didn’t have nearly enough cap space then to actually be a serious threat to sign James. But according to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times, Buss was thinking beyond that: Buss thought about calling James anyway. Over lunch with his kids, he mentioned the idea, offhandedly. “It’d be good to know that guy,” his son Joey recalled him saying.
League rules allowed teams to meet with any free agent. Why not meet with James to introduce him to the Lakers’ vision? Why not sow the seeds of a future partnership? “LeBron was always somebody that he was interested in,” said Buss’ daughter Jeanie, the Lakers co-owner.
One colleague during that period was Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who was an assistant with the Cavaliers from 2005-10. Impressed with Fernandez’s development in the organization, Malone hired Fernandez as an assistant coach in 2016. “He gets his foot in the door,” Malone said of Fernandez, “and he’s going to find a way to continue to fill gaps and do things that are necessary for the team and the staff to move forward.”
Now, the 35-year-old Fernandez is regarded as an up-and-comer in his field, perhaps a future NBA head coach. There are two primary reasons why. One, he has a thirst for knowledge. And two, as one former boss said, he’s the ultimate “people coach.” “He’s been around Hall of Famers, but he’s also been around the last guys in the G League,” said Mike Gansey, the Cavaliers’ assistant general manager. “Whoever walks through that door, he can relate to them … he’s either watched it, lived it or seen it. That’s why he’s so valuable. “He gives more than basketball. That’s why I think our guys got so much better and people liked him so much … He could read people and knew when he had to get on them and when not (to) and how to treat them to get the most out of them.”
July 22, 2018 | 5:42 am EDT Update
The Thunder, Hawks and Sixers agreed on a deal that involves sending Anthony to the Hawks, and the Hawks plan to buy out Anthony, per USA TODAY Sports. It’s reported that the Rockets are the favorites to sign Anthony once that happens. Morey was asked, “So are we for sure getting Carmelo Anthony?” He responded, “In the mix.” Morey also said, “Yes,” as a reply to, “Does Daryl still have something up his sleeve?”
“It would be a great acquisition for us,” said Harden, who did run into Anthony at Paris Fashion Week last month when Harden was making the rounds with teammate P.J. Tucker. “Melo’s a proven vet. He just wants to win at this point, so it would be great for him to be on our team. The current roster we have now, we’ve got good guys back and we keep making forward progress.”
Italian team Fiat Torino announced the signing of Molloy product Jaylen Morris. Morris had a good rookie season in the NBA G League with the Erie BayHawks as he averaged 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. In late February, he was called up by the Atlanta Hawks.