Richard Jefferson has certainly had an odd go of it with the Spurs. When he was traded to San Antonio by Milwaukee last summer, it was thought to be one of the off-season’s greatest moves, and combined with the Spurs’ other acquisitions, was supposed to thrust San Antonio back into contention. It didn’t quite work out that way. Jefferson was a flub in his first season as a Spur; he was unable to hit the corner three consistently, didn’t really create offense on the drive, and wasn’t even a plus defender.
So naturally, he opted out of his $15.2 million salary for next season…because he was so likely to earn that back by signing a new deal. Player value this summer definitely seems to be inflated, but even with those standards in mind it’s tough to say if Jefferson would even be worth the full mid-level.
Well, Spurs fans, after enduring a year of Jefferson’s misfitting skills, are likely about to find out what he’s worth. According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, the odds of RJ coming back to play for the Spurs next season are at 95%. It seemed that Jefferson’s opt-out was motivated by an intent to sign a long-term deal before the inevitable lockout/new CBA, but it’s unknown how long or valuable a new deal with the Spurs would be. He’d likely need a three year deal for something close to the mid-level to equal the $15.2 million he left behind, but at this stage is Jefferson really worth that much of an investment?
This not only changes the Kings dreams of making the playoffs in the West, it also alters the trade deadline and free agency.
Rudy Gay, the Kings wing and second-leading scorer, has been diagnosed with a torn left Achilles tendon, according to the team. During the third quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers, Gay drove out of the right corner and, untouched, fell to the floor hard. He had to be helped off the court by teammates.
Team doctors made the initial torn Achilles diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed by an MRI scheduled for Thursday. He would be out not only for this season but likely the start of the next one as well.
Without Gay, a lot more will fall on Matt Barnes and, once he returns from his calf injury in a couple of weeks, Omri Casspi. Those two are a drop off from what Gay brought to the Kings, and with that team’s playoff chances have taken a hit (they are 1.5 games out of the eight seed after Wednesday’s loss to the Pacers). Don’t be surprised if the Kings look to add a scorer at the trade deadline.
Gay was not happy in Sacramento and said he planned to opt out of the $14.3 million final year of his contract to be a free agent next summer, which made him someone potentially traded before the deadline (although the Kings being in the playoff hunt impacted that). Gay averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for the Kings, and while his game was a little old school — more isolation and midrange shots than teams prefer — he put up points. Enough that he was drawing trade interest heading toward the deadline from Oklahoma City and other squads.
That is all off the table now. At age 30, if Gay does still opt out of his contract for next season this will impact what he would make on the free market.
Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.
Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.
Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.
That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?
It just won’t die.
Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.
Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.
76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.
It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.
The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.
Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).