It seems the Lakers could have a clean slate at point guard. With Derek Fisher an unrestricted free agent and Jordan Farmar a restricted one, L.A. was set to move forward into the off-season with Shannon Brown as the sole PG secured for next season. However, apparently Brown has decided that he will “probably” turn down his $2.2 million player option for next season to become a free agent, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles.
If nothing else, Brown should be able to sign a longer deal in anticipation of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is likely to not only curb max contract size and length starting in 2011, but also have a trickle-down effect to players in Shannon’s tier.
If Brown wants to re-sign with the Lakers, the initial year of his new deal could only be worth about $2.6 million, unless L.A. plans to use part of their mid-level exception. With Los Angeles so far over the cap, the only reason they can re-sign Brown at all is using a salary cap exception of some sort; if they choose not to cut into the MLE, they’ll be able to re-sign Shannon to a new deal (starting roughly at the aforementioned $2.6 million) because they hold his Early Bird rights.
However, the Lakers could surely seek PG help from elsewhere. Fisher seems like a lock to return, but L.A. could still play the market with their MLE. There are likely plenty of free agents out there who wouldn’t mind snuggling up with the champs. Although point guard isn’t exactly the deepest position in this summer’s FA class, there are still a few viable candidates. Raymond Felton (UFA), Kyle Lowry (RFA), and even Steve Blake (UFA) could provide interesting alternatives, should the Lakers prefer them to Brown.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.
This news is just sickening. In a world with just too much sickening news.
According to NBC 5 in Chicago (which spoke to police), Dwyane Wade‘s first cousin Nykea Aldridge was pushing a stroller down the street when she was shot and killed as an innocent in the crossfire of a gang shooting.
The 32-year-old woman, whom family identified as Nykea Aldridge, was apparently the unintended victim of a gang shooting, police said. She was walking around 3:30 p.m. in the 6300 block of South Calumet when two males approached another male and opened fire, police said.
Wade tweeted this.
Aldridge was on her way to a local school to register her kids (they had just moved) when the shooting took place. There has been a rash of gang and gun violence in Chicago in the past year, and Dwyane’s mother Jolinda Wade had just been on a panel on ESPN’s Undefeated talking about it.
Wade is coming to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls this season.
Our thoughts are with Nykea Aldridge’s family and friends.