From the refreshing change of pace category:
“Amir (Johnson) didn’t want to play the free agency game,” (his agent Kevin) Bradbury said. “He wanted to go back to Toronto. He’s young and he has security and a lot of basketball left in him.”
And so he has agreed to a five-year, $34 million deal, according to Marc Spears at Yahoo (he also gave us the quote above). The deal can’t be signed for a week, but everyone is on board.
And yes, that is an insanely large contract for a backup big man. That just seems to be the way of the world today, but you have to think the Raptors could have gotten him for less.
Johnson gave the Raptors a solid presence off the bench last year, 17.7 minutes at the forward spot, about 6 points — he doesn’t shoot a lot but when he does he makes it, hitting 62 percent last season — and 5 rebounds a game. Bottom line, he was efficient, reflected in his above average PER of 16.7.
Johnson could have a bigger role with the Raptors next season, depending on the makeup of the team in the wake of Chris Bosh leaving (we all know he’d leaving, right?). But $34 million?
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.
Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.
Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.