Storyline: Shabazz Napier Free Agency

8 rumors in this storyline

Wizards keeping Shabazz Napier?

John Wall’s return significantly elevates expectations surrounding the Wizards next season and will make the team’s offseason decision-making process that much more important. In the case of Napier and Bertans, Washington’s general manager Tommy Sheppard talked highly of both in a Q&A with Dave Johnson Thursday. “I think with [Napier and Bertans], when we acquired them not as rentals we acquired them to stay here,” Sheppard said. “I think the players that we acquired, they’re here to show that they can be here for the future. With Davis and Shabazz, they showed enough to us that certainly we would love to retain them. We plan to.”

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Napier started eight games and averaged 12.2 points, 4.4 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals while shooting 43.1% from the field and 38.1% from three. Based on production alone, it’s not that surprising Sheppard wants to bring the former UConn star back. However, if the Wizards can re-sign Napier this summer, they’d have quite a lot of viable point guards on their roster going into next season. Wall will be back and Ish Smith will be in the final year of his two-year contract.
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May 30, 2020 | 7:44 am EDT Update
The NBA is planning to resume play on July 31, according to media reports on Friday, and that can’t come soon enough for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton. “I would love to get back on the court, to get back with my team and just get that camaraderie back again,” Sexton told Justin Felder of WAGA-TV in Atlanta this week. “I know we just got a new coach, so we’re just pretty much trying to understand how he is and how he’s going to coach. Those games are definitely going to help us and help our future. If they say we can go play, let’s do it. I’m all for it. … “I definitely want to go out there and just work on my game, do some things and just whatever the team needs for us to win that game because I like to compete. I’m a competitor, and no matter the stage and no matter the game I’m going to come in each and every day ready to go.”
Despite not being a player for Washington, MJ use to come to practices and play. Hamilton and Laron Profit would often play Jordan and trash talk him. Until one day Profit stepped over the line after he got the better of the Bulls legend in one play. “Me and Prof [Laron Profit] used to play with him [Jordan] all the time,” Hamilton remembered. “We used to talk trash to MJ all the time but there were certain things that I wouldn’t say. And Prof sometimes would say a little of extra stuff that I wouldn’t go there.” “I remember when one time when we were playing in practice. And Prof might have hit a shot on MJ and he was like running down court “You can’t guard me with them old-ass knees.” And I’m like “Oh, stop, time out!” You don’t say that to the GOAT. MJ was heated.” Jordan was so mad that he traded Profit to the Orlando Magic.
Garza, who has entered the 2020 NBA draft while retaining his eligibility, told ESPN he’ll make his decision about returning to school or turning pro based on the conversations and interviews he’ll have with NBA executives in the coming weeks and months. He said the inability to meet with the NBA’s power brokers for workouts — if the current situation persists — will play a role in his decision. “I think it all depends on what teams are telling me in these interviews and what they’re seeing on film,” said Garza, the Wooden Award runner-up after averaging 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season. “I’m not leaving for an unknown or an uncertain.
Storyline: Draft Early Entries
May 30, 2020 | 2:12 am EDT Update
But it’s logical to think that those positions will at least be areas of interest for New York in the offseason. The New York Post reported that Rose told the Knicks in March that finding a scoring guard was the top priority in the draft and a shooting guard was the second priority. An SNY source said finding a forward who can knock down a shot — in the draft or free agency — is one item on the Knicks’ list.
One thing that achieved widespread consensus was the need for teams to have more flexibility with their rosters no matter how the league chooses to resume play. When asked if the playoffs should have expanded rosters or teams should have more of an ability to replace players sidelined by injury or illness, only two teams voted for neither option. Twelve voted for expanded rosters, and 16 voted for an increased ability to replace players who are injured or sick.
Storyline: Season Resuming?
“I’ve had some great players and I’ve never had one player that I have said is untradeable,” Karl told the Sacramento media at the time. “You always got to be ready for the possibility of a great trade that could come your way.” That statement didn’t sit well with the players, specifically Cousins or his agent, who had issues with the coaching legend in the past. Karl would later apologize for the comment, but not before trying to move his star player during the summer, which Walberg confirmed during the taping of the podcast. “The thought was maybe to try to do what we did in Denver when they flipped Carmelo, that changed Denver pretty big time,” Walberg explained. “See if there is somebody out there that would want to flip DeMarcus.” According to Walberg, then general manager Pete D’Alessandro was in the room for the discussion. He would leave the Kings organization shortly thereafter and made it known, at least to his new employers in Denver, that Cousins was on the block.
We would find out afterward that minutes before the media was allowed in, Cousins had unloaded on Karl in dramatic fashion. “As soon as [Karl] walks in DeMarcus just goes off, I mean, off,” Walberg explained. “Coach hasn’t even said a word and it’s ‘F you coach, you think you’re an F-ing Hall of Fame coach, all the hell you care about is your wins, you don’t give a s–t about us.’” According to Walberg, the rant from Cousins went on for nearly a minute. When the coaching staff went to management the next day expecting a 3-5 game suspension, they instead walked away understanding that Cousins wouldn’t be punished and their days as a coaching staff in Sacramento were numbered.
As we prepared to interview players, rap mogul Drake walked through a side door and into the locker room with owner Vivek Ranadivé and team executive Vlade Divac. The surreal scene played out in real time, as Drake tried to work the room and greet a completely silent locker room. His arrival was not well-received by the players ,and lasted only a minute or two before Drake hugged Cousins and then left the building. According to both Karl and Walberg, this was the beginning of the end for the coaching staff. “It was probably the rudest, the worst I’ve ever seen of any game in my life, what happened in that locker room after we played San Antonio that night,” Walberg explained.
“DeMarcus and I had a confrontation after the game and we meet the next morning and we have a long serious talk that we can turn this into a win,” Karl recalls. “Because we’ve got to suspend DeMarcus and whatever it is, for two or three games, and maybe he’ll wake up that he can’t be the boss. We went in and fought very hard that we had to suspend him.” That’s not the direction the franchise chose to take. Instead, they sided with Cousins and allowed him to resume playing under Karl. The message was clear. “How are you going to have control in the locker room when you’ve got a player that can say and do what he wants?” Walberg said.
One source said the idea of bringing back 20 teams — possibly a few more, but not all 30 — continues to resonate as the most likely scenario. Another plan discussed Friday, the source said, would bring any team within six games of a playoff spot back for the resumption of the season, a scenario where bassed on the current standings 13 teams from the Western Conference and nine from the Eastern Conference would return.
Storyline: Season Resuming?
The league has polled its general managers, who largely have voted with self-interest as a motivator. Reportedly, 53% of the general managers voted for the return to include only the 16 teams in playoff position. However, the general managers are under the impression that their opinions are merely that — opinions. League sources believe Silver, with broadcast partners and medical advisors shaping his thinking, ultimately will be the one to make the decision about how the NBA resumes play.
Lillard got a boost from Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes on Friday, with the veteran NBA champion backing up the Blazers star on Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck’s podcast “Full 48” (via SB Nation’s Sactown Royalty): “I think Dame is right. If you come back and play, you want to be playing for something.” “There’s no other simulation that we can get for games. This group, where we’re at, we need to play, we need to play together, and playing for something is important.”
Boston Celtics big man Enes Kanter said that while he and his Celtics teammates are looking forward to getting back on the floor, he mentions a friend on another team that is not exactly excited to play basketball right now: “This is my ninth year in the league, I have so many friends on different teams, right?” Kanter said on his podcast, via NBC Sports Boston. “I was actually talking to one of my friends and he said — I’m not going to tell who or which team — but he said, ‘There’s so many guys on our team, they’re not going to play.’ They’re actually in the Eastern Conference, they’re in a playoff spot, and they’re like superstars. Like, if I tell you who it is, you’d go crazy.”

Eric Gordon has lost weight

Gordon generally keeps to himself and has never been a huge social media presence but don’t take that as a sign that he isn’t working, because he is. According to a team source, Gordon has already lost 12 pounds off his frame by way of track sprints and diet. There’s a hope that with the weight that has come off him, he’ll be able to prevent further injury to his knees.
Speaking to Chris Long on the “Green Light” podcast on Friday, the now Golden State Warriors head coach detailed that there was definitely more to it than what was shown in “The Last Dance.” “I had a different memory from what Michael described on the show,” Kerr shared. “My memory was that Phil had gone upstairs to his office while we were scrimmaging because he had to take a phone call from the league or something, and that’s when we got into it. So, Phil came down to see what was going on. And I remember him coming over to me, he goes, ‘You’re gonna have to clean that up.’ And I go, ‘My eye or my relationship with Michael?’
May 29, 2020 | 7:47 pm EDT Update
Former NBA player Stephen Jackson spoke at a rally Friday afternoon in Minneapolis in remembrance of his friend George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in police custody after pleading that he could not breathe. “I’m here because they’re not gonna demean the character of George Floyd, my twin,” Jackson told supporters. “A lot of times, when police do things they know that’s wrong, the first thing they try to do is cover it up, and bring up their background — to make it seem like the bulls— that they did was worthy. When was murder ever worthy? But if it’s a black man, it’s approved.”
May 29, 2020 | 7:41 pm EDT Update
On Thursday, the University of Michigan released a study claiming that HGH could aid in the recovery of torn ACLs by preventing the loss of muscle strength in knees. Cuban funded that study, and went on to argue on its behalf on Twitter. “It’s time to recognize that HGH (Human Growth Hormone) can positively impact injury recovery,” Cuban wrote. “I funded this study so that athletes can get back to full strength and doing what they love.”
On an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump Friday, Cuban argued that the only reason HGH is banned by the NBA is because the World Anti-Doping Association banned it. “There really was no research or complete logic for doing it,” Cuban said. “So a couple of years ago, I said, ‘look, if there’s no data there to dismiss HGH, let’s find out if it can help for injury recovery because it’s been discussed as having that ability.’ So I worked with the University of Michigan and we put together a study, and as it turned out, comparing athletes vs. a placebo, there was a significant improvement in their recovery time and getting back to full strength. And so now, this is the first step towards offering data and hopefully the NBA, the Olympics and other leagues will look at this and say ‘let’s do some more studies.’ I’m willing to get involved with more studies financially, but if we can get the leagues to do it, the players I think will all be for it as long as you can prove that it’s safe.”
“Our hearts are filled with sadness, disgust and overall frustration as we continue to process the tragic and senseless acts of violence towards yet another individual of the African American community. Our sincere condolences go out to the members of the Floyd family and those who came to know and love him. This is a very important time in our history and the images of this incident as well as the countless others will blister a lasting image in our minds forever. What’s happening in our country today has left an emotional strain and unfortunately has shaped how we conduct our lives on a daily basis. We should not have to live in fear.”
Dr. Valerie Williams-Goss: Recently, my son, Nigel Williams Goss, was drafted into the NBA. When word got around that my son played professional basketball, I heard a plethora of racist comments congratulating me for having a white son playing in a predominately black sport. I had to tell countless people that my son is biracial and then used those moments to educate even my racist clients about what their words and behaviors meant to the world and how hurtful they were. I risked my job many times by confronting people about racist comments they were making, but I could not have kept silent because it was my job to speak up.
Dr. Valerie Williams-Goss: Since Nigel has been a professional athlete and has more money and nicer things, he has been stopped by the police more, asked senseless questions about where he got his car, why he was driving in that area, whether he has a license, all of the typical racist experiences other black drivers go through. However, I cannot interrupt that behavior. I cannot educate the officer harassing my son. I cannot tell my son what to say or how to act to the police, because I am fully aware that he could be doing nothing at all and still be killed. That is the reality that all mothers of brown children face.
May 29, 2020 | 6:35 pm EDT Update
Mark Cuban offered his predictions on ESPN’s “The Jump”. First: Aug. 1 will likely be the latest date the NBA could restart its season without significantly hampering future seasons, Cuban said. To calculate his timeline, Cuban “works backward” from the 2020-21 season, which he is in favor of starting on Christmas, rather than in late October under the league’s traditional calendar.
Storyline: NBA Schedule
“We can start playing in August, for that matter, because we don’t have all the travel restrictions,” Cuban said. “Everyone [will be] in probably one location. You don’t have to fly across the country, give everybody one day off. You can play multiple games in one day. You can compress it in ways we never were able to before, so I don’t think there’s a drop-dead date. … Starting by Aug. 1 in order to make it, so that gives us plenty of time.”
“Unique circumstances, unique opportunities,” Cuban said. “I’m confident we’ll take advantage of it and do something differently. … As long as you give players something to play for, they’ll recognize that this is an opportunity because it’s not inconceivable that a team that was at the bottom of the standings can all of sudden make a run and get hot. And really, coming back like this favors younger teams because it’s going to be easier for a young player to get back and get that athleticism going and get ready than it is for an older player, so anything’s possible.”
The death of George Floyd, the resulting firing of four Minneapolis policemen, the ensuing rioting and the ongoing racial tensions left Udonis Haslem compelled to turn to Instagram earlier this week to share thoughts that he understands will be viewed through numerous prisms. “I have close friends and family in law enforcement,” the 39-year-old lifelong South Florida resident posted. “This doesn’t apply to everyone. There’s a lot of [bad] people in this world, but I’m the first to tell you there’s some damn good ones wearing that badge and we appreciate y’all.”
Haslem offered perspective on the Minneapolis situation and the questioning of law enforcement. “I just think people have got to be very careful about how they move, based on what they just saw,” he said of painting all of law enforcement with the same broad brush. “You’ve got to be very careful, because if somebody breaks into your house and it’s a burglar, who you gonna call? So I think, people just got to be very cautious about what they’re saying and how they’re reacting to it.”