Finally — and this factor should not be underestimated even though economic globalization has been slowed by a political backlash — the NBA has more of a global following than any other sport other than soccer. The NBA’s global success is heavily attributed to the fact that its players increasingly come from abroad. In the 2018 playoffs, for example, the number of international players hit a peak of 62, originating from 33 different countries. The winner this year, the Raptors, not only for the first time came from outside the U.S., but also their roster is heavily international, including center Marc Gasol, rising star Pascal Siakam and several players on its bench, notably Serge Ibaka and OG Anunoby (who was injured in the playoffs but is sure to get much more playing time this year). In 2017-18, the number of international players in the league topped 100, for the fourth straight year.
NBA.com’s John Schuhmann compiled data on every team’s “continuity ranking” and the Nuggets finished No. 1. They’ll have 12 players returning from their roster last season, the most of any team in the league. Expect to hear the continuity refrain a lot this season. Other highlights from Karnisovas’ conversation with Woj: The Nuggets watched extensive film of Marc Gasol before drafting Nikola Jokic. They tried projecting whether Jokic’s athleticism would hinder his ability to play in the NBA.
Why hasn’t Jeremy Lin been signed? Maybe he’s just a backup now, but he has been a productive starting point guard for much of his career. — Robert Chen (Taipei) STEIN: Lin, remember, earned only 27 minutes of playing time during Toronto’s entire playoff run — and just one minute during the N.B.A. finals. Those were strong hints Lin would struggle in free agency after the Raptors acquired him in February shortly after trading for Marc Gasol. The reality is that Lin’s movement, at nearly 31, isn’t what it once was. Teams are unsure if he still has the mobility to play such a demanding position.
Storyline: Jeremy Lin Free Agency
“I’ve given more of myself to God every single year and every year it gets harder. In English, there’s a saying, and it says, ‘once you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way is up,'” Lin said at an event in Taiwan. “Rock bottom just seems to keep getting more and more rock bottom for me. So free agency has been tough, because I feel like in some ways the NBA’s kind of given up on me. I always knew that if I gave anyone a reason to doubt, they would.”
Leonard was in a jovial mood Wednesday and was more talkative than usual. He was finally home. The joy shined through, except when mentioning the fallout in the aftermath of selecting the Clippers. “I didn’t lead anyone on,” Leonard told Yahoo Sports. “I took my time in free agency, as I should, to make sure I made the best decision for myself and my family. I feel like some of the media coverage over it made it feel that way, with people saying I’m signing with Toronto 99 percent or I’m going to the Lakers 99 percent. I don’t ever want to have that bad karma come back on me trying to make the Lakers miss out on players they should have gotten or vice-versa with the Raptors.”
Leonard wasn’t done setting the record straight. “Y’all kept saying that me and Paul’s favorite team growing up was the Lakers. I’m not going to say [Yahoo Sports], but whatever media outlet was out there saying that Kawhi prefers the Lakers over the Clippers, or Paul loves the Lakers, was wrong,” Leonard told Yahoo Sports. “I wasn’t a fan of the Lakers growing up. Not saying that’s why I didn’t choose them, but that’s not what it is. I wasn’t a fan of them, and [Paul] just told you guys he was a Clippers fan.”
Vince Carter is one of the best Toronto Raptors of all time. The legend has played 21 successful seasons in the league and is currently a free agent. Carter spoke on the possibility of returning to where his career started and bringing his legacy full circle: “It would be a cool situation,” Carter said. “It’s all about if the situation works, if that’s something Toronto wants to do — obviously, the fans kinda want that to happen — but it has to be something the organization wants and feels they need my services.”
Storyline: Vince Carter Free Agency
Ben Golliver: USA Basketball’s updated World Cup training camp roster: Kyle Lowry, Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart; Donovan Mitchell, Jaylen Brown; Khris Middleton, Harrison Barnes, Jayson Tatum; Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma, PJ Tucker, Thaddeus Young; Andre Drummond, Myles Turner, Brook Lopez, Mason Plumlee
Although a delayed decision may have prevented the Lakers or the Toronto Raptors to sign certain players, Leonard told Haynes that he was not attempting to sabotage any opposing team’s ability to fill out a roster: “I don’t want to ever have that bad karma come back on me, trying to make the Lakers miss out on players they should have gotten or vice versa with the Raptors. That’s just bad karma for me to try to just hold out longer just because they won’t get players and they won’t be competitive or whatever. I never thought of that. It was about just making a choice for me and my family. … I don’t ever want to screw nobody over. I just feel like that’s bad karma.”

Kevin Love to withdraw from World Cup?

Shams Charania: Sources: Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love is expected to withdraw from Team USA’s training camp for World Cup. Toronto Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry remains committed on USA roster and is expected to be recovered from thumb surgery and return midway through camp in L.A.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 578 more rumors
Harding began her time in Philadelphia as a scout with an eye toward a career in the front office. But she pivoted into a coaching role toward the end of the season and in the playoffs. The opportunity to join Luke Walton’s staff in Sacramento came up very recently while she was at summer league in Las Vegas. She’d previously worked with Kings assistant coach Jesse Mermuys, when they were both on the Toronto Raptors summer league staff, and he recommended her for this position. In addition to being an assistant, she will be a player development coach as well.
2 months ago via ESPN
After the way the season concluded for him, Gasol feels blessed that the Grizzlies “ignored him.” “There have been few players that haven’t been traded over the years in the NBA. If it had been depended on me, I wouldn’t have been traded. I always thought I could reverse the situation there [in Memphis] and bring the team to the top. But, thank God, they ignored me,” Gasol said to reporters in the Antiga Fabrica Estrella Damm in Barcelona, per the Europa Press news agency.
The remainder of the midlevel was used on sharpshooter Matt Thomas and second-round pick Dewan Hernandez, which might surprise some. Both players signed partially guaranteed three-year deals for the minimum salary. (Thomas has a fully guaranteed $900,000 for 2019-20, $725,000 guaranteed for 2020-21 and no guarantee for 2021-22. Hernandez has $500,000 guaranteed for 2019-20 and no guarantee beyond that.) The minimum salary exception — which allows teams to fill out rosters with minimum salaries if they’re over the cap — only allows for deals up to two years in length. To tack on a third year, the Raptors had to dip into their midlevel.
After winning the NBA championship title with the Toronto Raptors, Marc Gasol wants to add another prize in his trophy case this summer: A medal with the Spanish national team in the upcoming World Cup (China, 31/8 – 15/9). “I’m going to try to keep this successful streak going by coming back home from China with something, a medal for example, that would be amazing,” Gasol said to FIBA. “I just won an NBA title, and I really want more and more. I’ve won a lot with the national team since I first played at senior level, but I want to keep winning and be with the guys to keep making history for Spanish basketball.”
Kawhi Leonard may have played the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency. A report on Friday suggests the Lakers think Leonard manipulated them throughout the process, all the while knowing he wouldn’t be picking the franchise in the end. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported the following on Friday: “I’ve heard complaints in the days after the signing. I heard complaints from the Lakers that they got played. I heard complaints from the Raptors that Kawhi came in and asked for the sun, the moon, the stars then left them at the altar.”
This year could end up being the best of all for the Toronto Raptors center, who recently captured his first NBA crown. A strong showing at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China would certainly make the year even better. “I’m going to try to keep this successful streak going by coming back home from China with something, a medal for example, that would be amazing,” Marc Gasol said with a smile to FIBA.basketball. “I just won an NBA title, and I really want more and more. I’ve won a lot with the national team since I first played at senior level, but I want to keep winning and be with the guys to keep making history for Spanish basketball.”
2 months ago via FIBA
“I’m always very motivated to play with the national team, and my love for the game is huge,” he said. “I’m driven by the goal of winning and having the most complete career I can have, and I still feel that passion and motivation to keep working hard and playing to win medals and titles. I’m very motivated for this summer and I can’t wait to compete with the guys in China. It’s going to be a very competitive tournament, probably one of the best ever, and we are all very excited to wear the national team jersey and try to make another great run at a FIBA World Cup.”
2 months ago via FIBA
Storyline: World Cup
The Oakland Police Department has handed its investigation into Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri over to a district attorney, following a physical altercation last month between Mr. Ujiri and an unnamed sheriff’s deputy over access to the court following the NBA Finals. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley received the police report into the dispute this week, her office confirmed. The DA’s office has asked the police to conduct additional investigations, said spokeswoman Teresa Drenick, and has not yet made a decision on whether to charge Mr. Ujiri with any crime.
Storyline: Masai Ujiri Case
The Oakland Police Department has handed its investigation into Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri over to a district attorney, following a physical altercation last month between Mr. Ujiri and an unnamed sheriff’s deputy over access to the court following the NBA Finals. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley received the police report into the dispute this week, her office confirmed.
Storyline: Masai Ujiri Case
On Wednesday, Nurse joined SN 590s Jeff Blair and Richard Deitsch on Prime Time Sports, where he answered a pair of questions regarding the Raptors future following Leonard’s departure. “Listen, there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it now that it’s over. You know, we’ve got guys here and nothing changes much for us – we’re into development, we’ve got some good looks at some guys at Summer League, we’ve got a bunch of guys getting together here for our regular summer workouts, et cetera so we just move on and progress towards training camp… I probably haven’t given it that much thought.”
Nick Nurse: “I think aggressive defence, I think playing a lot of people throughout the regular season, changing defences, being really good late game. None of that stuff changes for me. I think that’s what we want our team to be and where we go from there. Now, listen, you can say [Leonard] made a lot of big buckets and he was clutch in the late game and all that kind of stuff but we’re gonna have to develop that from somewhere else.”
Can you clarify for me why there aren’t any tampering charges toward Kawhi or the team he signed with? — @Jay_Since82 from Twitter League officials generally won’t open a tampering investigation until there is formal complaint by at least one team — accompanied by some worthy evidence. The Toronto Raptors have not taken such a step. Nor is there any indication that an official complaint is looming from one of the league’s other 28 teams that did not land Kawhi Leonard. It would be a significant step for the Raptors or any other aggrieved team to push for an actual probe.
Siakam — the NBA’s most improved player in 2019 — was out in L.A. when we asked about The Klaw bailing on the 6 right after he helped win them a title … and he’s not sweatin’ it one bit. “We’re still the champs right now, so I’m still enjoying that,” Siakam said. “Imma figure out next season, next season.” The 25-year-old is coming off a breakout year for the Dinos … and even being the center of trade talks ain’t bothering Siakam. “It’s the NBA … sh*t happens. It’s the NBA. It’s a business.”
The first day of Fred VanVleet’s third annual basketball camp at the UW Health Sports Factory couldn’t end without campers getting to scrimmage against the Toronto Raptors point guard. “I’m not too good to go up-and-down with them,” VanVleet said with a smile Saturday. “It’s fun for them to compete against someone who is in the NBA and it’s fun for me to beat up on them and show them that they’ve got a long way to go.”
Antetokounmpo said he wishes Leonard had remained in Canada instead of going to the Clippers with George. “For me personally, I would love for Kawhi to stay in the East and stay in Toronto because I would love to go through the series [with them] again,” Antetokounmpo said. “But unfortunately, this is the NBA we are talking about. Moves happen. People change teams. But we got an opportunity right now. We got to take advantage of it, and hopefully we can seize the opportunity and make big things happen.”
2 months ago via ESPN
“Luckily, people respected what he did enough last year when he was a starter to put some faith in him,” Rozier’s agent, Aaron Turner said as he stood courtside after a Hornets summer league game. “People say, ‘Oh, Terry only shot this percentage.’ The Hornets are bringing him in to start. Look at his numbers as a starter. He’s right there with the elite, the [Mike] Conleys, the [Kyle] Lowrys. He’s not far behind Kyrie. He’s elite as a starter, and that’s what they’re bringing him in to do.”
2 months ago via
The Toronto Raptors won the NBA Team Partnership of the Year Award and the Phoenix Suns received the inaugural NBA Changemaker of the Year Award as part of the NBA Team Partnership Awards. The Minnesota Timberwolves earned the NBA Event of the Year Award, the San Antonio Spurs were honored with the NBA New Sales Campaign of the Year Award, and the New Orleans Pelicans received the NBA Group Sales Program of the Year Award as part of the NBA Ticket Sales & Service Awards.
The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed guard Terence Davis. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Davis, 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, averaged 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 24.3 minutes in 121 career games (82 starts) during four seasons at Ole Miss (2015-19). He shot .445 (549-1,234) from the floor, including .339 (176-519) from three-point territory. Davis left the Rebels ranked seventh in school history in three-point field goals (176), 10th in steals (140) and 12th in points scored (1,512).
They were confident going into free agency and remained confident until late in the process. That confidence began to waver after they met with Leonard and his uncle Dennis Robertson in Toronto last Wednesday, sources told TSN. That’s when they first questioned the intentions of Leonard’s camp. Was Leonard upfront with Ujiri and the Raptors throughout the process? “I think he was,” Ujiri responded, before pausing. “Kawhi was.” Was anybody not? “I know what we’re dealing with here and I appreciate what the process was,” he responded. “I know free agency, I know how it works. It’s not my first rodeo. You know things are going to go up and down. This was a different kind of free agency. It was high stakes and we understood that.”
2 months ago via TSN
The natural assumption is that Ujiri was making reference to Uncle Dennis. Robertson has a reputation for being hard to deal with and would have been hands on throughout the process. According to sources, Leonard and his camp – namely Uncle Dennis – asked for a lot from the Raptors in that meeting, things players don’t generally ask for in standard contract negotiations. In some cases, they were asking for things that Ujiri – one of the most well-compensated executives in the league – wouldn’t have even had at his disposal. Their requests were “unreasonable”, a source said, which made the Raptors wonder whether Leonard was seriously considering them at all.
2 months ago via TSN
He’s gone, having acted professionally in a strange, but effective regular season and then during as dominant a playoff run as the NBA has seen in some time. But there’s clearly a belief in Toronto that his uncle and chief adviser, Dennis Robertson, a man who more than wore out his welcome in San Antonio with the Spurs and that fan base in trying to force a Leonard move to the Los Angeles Lakers over a year ago, may not have been operating in a straightforward manner in dealing with the Raptors. That’s the sense one gets having spent nearly a week here in Vegas and talking to a variety of league sources either from the Raptors or other organizations.
Ujiri was asked if he thought Leonard had been up front throughout a long free agency process that involved flights to and from Los Angeles to Toronto and a lot of waiting as Leonard worked behind the scenes to find a way to team up with another superstar, be it Kevin Durant, Paul George or perhaps somebody else (though sources say a deal with Oklahoma City for George or Russell Westbrook was never going to happen, for various reasons). Ujiri said “Kawhi was,” before smirking and pausing. Which led to the follow-up about somebody potentially not being up front. “Ha, either way I know what we’re dealing with here and I appreciate what the process was and I know free agency, I know how it works,” Ujiri said. “It’s not my first rodeo. You know things are going to go up and down. This was a different kind of free agency. It’s high stakes and we understood that.”
And here recall the use of “high stakes” in Ujiri’s media appearance. Multiple sources here in the desert, where the entire NBA is assembled, said Uncle Dennis was asking for the moon, or something equivalent, from any pursuing franchise. Things Ujiri – and those above him – either couldn’t, or wouldn’t offer. Things beyond just straight greenbacks. It’s here that we might point out that Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is worth somewhere around $50 billion U.S. We’ll put this as delicately as possible. Free agency and tampering in the NBA continues to spin out of control and it’s all but impossible to enforce gifts or promises to family members. There’s no evidence to suggest that happened here, just that it wouldn’t shock anyone in this day and age, given the deep pockets of some owners.
Another point: Leonard, Durant and Irving have the luxury of leaving elite teams because all three have won championships. “These guys are now saying, ‘Well, I’ve already achieved what I need to achieve,'” the agent said. “‘Now, what are the outside factors that can influence my life? I want to be home, I want to do movies, I want to be in music, I want to be in venture capital,’ whatever the case may be. And I think at this point, those are factors that you can’t determine.” They also are factors some teams can’t satisfy. “Masai can’t change the fact that Toronto is not Southern California,” the agent said. “I mean, Kawhi had an entire country that was behind him, and he chose to go close to home. … You can’t compete with that.”
We still don’t know when the Toronto Raptors and LA Clippers will play each other for the first time next season but Norman Powell is already looking forward to playing against his former teammate Kawhi Leonard. “We’re just happy for him,” Powell said of Leonard in an interview with ESPN at Summer League. “He gave everything he had in that first season with us and he brought home the championship. We’re just wishing him the best in his choice and his new opportunity with the Clippers.”
Spain have announced a star-laden squad for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, one that has plenty of NBA players and also several standouts from their European Qualifiers campaign. Recently crowned NBA champion Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors, along with Ricky Rubio (Phoenix Suns) and the Hernangomez brothers, Willy (Charlotte Hornets) and Juancho (Denver Nuggets), are on the 16-man list. A couple of other former NBA players, Rudy Fernandez and Victor Claver, are included as well.
2 months ago via FIBA
Pau Gasol, the MVP in 2006, several weeks ago had to rule himself out of the World Cup due to injury. “Marc Gasol is destined to take a leadership step, is ready and is looking forward to it,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said. “He’s going to be an important reference offensively and defensively, but he’s not the only one that has to fill the void. His great talent and capacity is that he wants to generate for the team.”
2 months ago via FIBA
As it turns out, Green was also in the dark with the rest of us when it came to Kawhi’s decision. “I had no idea,” Green said of the Kawhi announcement and the George trade on the latest episode of Inside the Green Room. “See, I talked to him in between meetings, ‘Oh I just got out of this meeting.’ ‘Alright, well how did it go?’ ‘Alright, it went good.’ ‘So, are you ruling this team out? Are you ruling this team out? Because I need to know man.’ And he’s like, ‘No, they’re still up there, they had a good meeting, we have another meeting tomorrow.’”
Danny Green: “So we’ve got to wait another day? And it seemed like forever, it’s only been five, six days really but damn. Day three you’re like, ‘Come on dude!’ Like, damn, feels like a month. But, I mean, I understand why he was waiting. I think he was waiting for both, or all three parties, to make moves — except for the Lakers — but the Clippers and Toronto, see what moves they’re going to make, what pieces they’re going to add to improve, or I guess to surround him. Especially in L.A.”
If Green was in the dark about Kawhi, it only makes sense for the rest of the Raptors roster to be out of the loop as well. Green had apparently been keeping contact with his teammates but just like Kawhi, he apparently kept his cards close to the chest. And when the dust had settled, Green’s former teammates were nothing but supportive. “I had reached out to them [Raptors players] earlier though in the process. ‘Fellas, this is what it is, these are the teams that are interested. I don’t know if I’m going to be back in Toronto, doesn’t seem likely with the cap space and et cetera.’ So they were like, you know, ‘we support you, we’re happy for you, go do your thing, get what you gotta go get.’”