Phil Jackson says he will decide about next year within week of the finals ending

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Thumbnail image for pjackson_finals.jpgThe thing is, Phil Jackson doesn’t really know what Phil Jackson is going to do next year. He may have a leaning, but he’s not telling T.J. Simers no matter how many times he asks.

His return to the Lakers has always been more about his health than salary or other opportunities, and he said as much in an interview with FanHouse today.  Don’t forget, Jackson has had both hips replaced (that’s the reason for his
sideline throne). This summer, he might have to have knee surgery. He
has the body of a man that played professional sports a few decades ago
and the wear-and-tear is catching up with him.

He also said he will let the Lakers know within a week of the finals ending his plan for next season.

“As soon as the season is over, within a week, I’ll have some answers,” Jackson said Thursday in an interview with FanHouse. “It has to be real short.”

“I told Dr. Buss I don’t want to sit in a situation that happened with George Karl,” said Jackson, a free agent after the season. “I think that’s putting a team under jeopardy and those are things that are my responsibility to do to make sure there’s nothing lingering here that I can find. So that’s my first priority, and then I’ll give him an answer within a week.”

“I have a timetable after the season,” Jackson said. “Go get medical reports and sit on it and think about it for a couple of days and come back with some answers. … (Jackson’s health issues) are the priorities. Then after (Jackson gets the medical reports), that’s a decision I’ll do or don’t (want to coach). If I do want to or I don’t want to.”

As has been the case all season, people around the Lakers have the feeling Jackson will be back. This is as healthy as he has been during a season and playoffs. Plus, he is a competitive person and it will be hard to walk away from a team capable of winning more titles (regardless of how this finals ends).

He will likely be back. But predicting anything with certainty around Jackson is impossible. As it will be with this.

Report: Rockets will leave Donatas Motiejunas’ offer sheet open

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12:  Donatas Motiejunas #20 of the Houston Rockets and Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Brooklyn Nets fight for the loose ball at the Barclays Center on January 12, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.The Houston Rockets defeated the Brooklyn Nets 113-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Donatas Motiejunas’ agent, B.J. Armstrong, said he knows their rights.

Apparently, so does Houston.

Motiejunas has refused to take a physical with the Rockets since they matched his offer sheet from the Nets. So, Houston will hold him on that offer sheet indefinitely.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

Motiejunas can’t sign an offer sheet with another NBA team. He probably can’t even join an overseas team in a FIBA-accredited league, because his NBA holdout will prevent him from getting clearance.

All he can do is submit to a physical or negotiate a new deal with the Rockets.

Motiejunas could undergo a physical anytime between now and March 1. If he passes, he’d join Houston on the terms of his matched offer sheet. If he fails, he’d go to Brooklyn on the original offer-sheet terms (which are $6 million apart).

Motiejunas could also negotiate a new deal with the Rockets. They have immense leverage with his matched offer sheet in place, but perhaps a compromise could be forged. Motiejunas obviously wants a chance at that $6 million, but he’ll have to concede something in exchange. Maybe that’s a later guarantee date on his 2017-18 salary. If both sides agree to a different contract, Houston would withdraw its match, which would make Motiejunas a restricted free agent. Then, the Rockets could re-sign him.

They sure aren’t letting him out of this limbo just to seek a better offer sheet from another team. A new contract must already be agreed upon.

In the meantime, Motiejunas will continue to count toward the Nets’ team salary while the offer sheet is open, which is a nuisance but not hugely disruptive. They have plenty of cap space anyway, and the odds of adding significant salary in a trade are low.

Houston will continue to play without Motiejunas. That’s also not ideal for the Rockets, but they’ve been fine without him so far.

The qualifying offer will expire on March 2, when Motiejunas will no longer be eligible to sign an offer sheet with another team. He’d still be allowed to re-sign with Houston, though. Failing that, he’ll re-enter free agency next summer, when the Rockets could again make him restricted, and we’ll start the process all over again – with the caveat that the Nets can’t sign him for one year after his offer sheet expires.

Maybe something will break before it gets to that point, but Houston and Motiejunas have trudged deeper into this standoff than ever imaginable.

Stephen Curry skips pass between DeAndre Jordan’s legs, gets Zaza Pachulia a layup (video)

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Nicolas Batum wasn’t the only player to bounce a pass through an opponent’s legs last night.

Stephen Curry nutmegged DeAndre Jordan on this sweet assist to Zaza Pachulia.

Clint Capela and Montrezl Harrell take turns dunking on Julius Randle (videos)

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05:  Head Coach Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Julius Randle #30 during the second half of a 107-101 Jazz win at Staples Center on December 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Rough night for the Lakers, who lost 134-95 to the Rockets.

It was particularly harsh for Julius Randle, who got dunked on by Clint Capela:

And then Montrezl Harrell:

Giannis Antetokounmpo called for 10-second violation on free throw (video)

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This Giannis Antetokounmpo 10-second violation was a year in the making.

Unfortunately for the Trail Blazers, it was too little, too late. Antetokounmpo still finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, four blocks and two steals in the Bucks’ 115-107 win.