Rather than just being a boost for the stretch run and the playoffs, John Salmons may be brought in to be a boost for a team for the entire next season.
Last year, he came to the Bulls near the trading deadline and helped them into the playoffs then take the Boston Celtics seven games. This year the Bulls traded him to the Bucks, who he helped take to the playoffs and push the Hawks to seven games (and if Andrew Bogut had been healthy….).
Salmons can opt out of his deal and told the Associated Press he’s probably going to test the free agent market.
Salmons has a player option for next season, or he can opt out of his contract to become a free agent. Salmons acknowledged that opting out was “a pretty good option” but wasn’t by any means ruling out a return, noting that the Bucks could contend with Bogut healthy.
“To have him back next year, who knows? We could become a real threat to teams in the East,” Salmons said. “We’ve got to see what happens.”
Salmons is wisely thinking that he doesn’t want to have to negotiate a new contract under the coming Collective Bargaining Agreement, he wants one now that will be grandfathered into that deal for a few years. Smart.
That deal may well be with the Bucks — he is a perfect fit with Brandon Jennings, giving them a good two-guard combo to balance Bogut inside. The Bucks will make an offer. But predicting now where Salmons will be playing next playoffs is a fool’s errand. Wherever he lands, however, it will be a fun first round series.
DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.
Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.
The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.
But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.
He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.
LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.
Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?
In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.
But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.
Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.
“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”