David Kahn is not a big fan of the marijuana. Nor is he a fan of his new acquisition, Michael Beasley, being a fan of the marijuana. It’s okay though: SuperCoolBeas swears his days of using the marijuana are behind him, so he and Kahn are free to ride off into that point guard-obsessed and small forward-infused Timberwolves sunset together.
As long as Kahn agrees to pay the toll, first. According to a league press release, Kahn and the Timberwolves have been fined $50,000 apiece, in what seems to be more than a slap on the wrist for an odd comment (and Kahn’s comments were definitely kind of odd). It’s not explicitly stated in the release nor has it been reported elsewhere, but it’s possible that Kahn’s fine isn’t a result of his comments per se, but rather his disregard for the confidentiality of player drug tests.
Otherwise, what’s the purpose of fining the Timberwolves as an organization? Most infractions trapped between quotation marks are easily attributed to an individual, who is then held responsible. Yet in this case, there seems to be something more than Kahn simply mentioning Beasley’s past habits. The team is somehow involved, and the most logical inference is that Kahn — and the Wolves — have likely violated Beasley’s privacy by disclosing drug test results.
One can only hope that though $50k poorer, Kahn doesn’t turn into any less the quote machine he’s been of late. The man never ceases to amaze with his sound bites, and while it may be best for him to stay away from this particular topic as much as possible, I anxiously await Kahn’s next press appearance with bated breath.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.
Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard was widely panned – including by me – for trading Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
Oladipo and Sabonis are killing it while George has underwhelmed.
Upon George’s return to Indiana, Pritchard took the opportunity to gloat. The Pacers general manager recently liked these tweets (hat tip: Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation):
This is petty – and I love it. Pritchard earned the victory lap.
Paul George has been pretty open about his plans.
He told plenty of people – including the Pacers – he planned to leave for the Lakers in the summer of 2018. Even after the Thunder traded for him, George spoke of the lure of playing for his hometown team.
Of course, George also left the door open to re-signing with Oklahoma City. He proclaimed he’d be dumb to leave if the Thunder reached the conference finals or upset the Warriors.
So far, Oklahoma City (12-14) doesn’t even look like a playoff lock, let alone a team capable of knocking off Golden State or reaching the conference finals. So, cue the inevitable speculation.
Sam Amick of USA Today:
Rival execs still expect Paul to head for the Lakers in free agency
Do these executives have inside information into George’s thinking, or are they just speculating based on already-available information? Some executives are incentivized to drum up the Lakers threat, because they want to trade for George themselves now. If these executives insist George will leave for Los Angeles regardless, they might pry him from Oklahoma City for less.
There’s also a theory George is hyping his desire to sign with the Lakers so a team would have to trade less for him. That got him to the Thunder for what looked like a meager return (but hasn’t been). It might get him to a more favorable situation before the trade deadline without hampering his next team long-term. Of course, this theory isn’t mutually exclusive with George actually signing in Los Angeles. It could just get him better options to choose from this summer.
Surely, the Thunder are trying to parse all this noise. If their season doesn’t turn around, they should explore flipping George rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer. But they should also be wary that he’ll bolt for Los Angeles at first opportunity just because rival executives predict it.