Like it or not, there was legitimate interest in Matt Bonner. The guy may be an NBA punchline, but he’s a big body and a consistent outside shooter, which are two pretty valuable traits for rotation players. Though rather than signing as an afterthought with the Miami Heat or filling in as a designated shooter with a team like Dallas or Chicago, Bonner has agreed to a four-year extension with the San Antonio Spurs. Nothing to see here, just San Antonio holding onto a useful player, even if he is a tad limited.
The future of the Spurs’ power forward/center rotation is definitely worth keeping an eye on as free agency continues. Bonner is secured for next season, but there Ian Mahinmi and Tiago Splitter are still hanging in limbo. Mahinmi is a young big that could draw a decent paycheck if he chooses to leave the comfy confines of the Spurs’ bench, but San Antonio could keep him developing in their back pocket. Splitter is more of an immediate difference-maker. If S.A. can convince Tiago to take a pay cut and come to the states, he could make the Spurs a team to watch next season. Even with an aging core, San Antonio is still a team taht demands attention, and Tiago Splitter would go a long way toward pushing them into true contention.
The Spurs beat the Mavericks by 26 points on Friday night, a game all of the Dallas players would love to forget. But there was a funny moment for rookie big man Salah Mejri: after a dunk, he appeared to yell something at the San Antonio bench. Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan were completely nonplussed.
For what it’s worth, Mejri later tweeted that he wasn’t intending to be disrespectful.
Hassan Whiteside recorded a triple-double last night against the Hornets, and his tenth block was particularly impressive. He didn’t so much block Marvin Williams‘ layup attempt as pluck it out of the air with one hand. It almost looks like it should count as a block, rebound and steal at the same time.
The NBA world has taken notice of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In Thursday night’s home game against the Knicks on TNT, Pistons players wore warmup shirts that read “FLINT NOW,” and the organization announced a $500,000 donation towards providing clean water for residents of the town.
Former Pistons great and general basketball legend Rasheed Wallace went even further, according to a tweet from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina:
Sheed obviously has a connection to Michigan, having played in Detroit for six years (including on the 2004 title team) and serving as an assistant coach for the Pistons during the 2013-14 season. This was an incredible gesture by him for the residents of a town that has been without drinkable water for a long time.
The Kings are a complete mess right now. After a loss to the Nets on Friday night, the team is reportedly considering firing head coach George Karl, who has been with the team for just about one year, and DeMarcus Cousins says they have “a bigger issue than the players.”
But, on the bright side, Cousins is still a monster on the court. During the Nets loss, he posted a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, showing why he’s the one thing about this franchise that is going to be worth talking about long-term.