Shannon Brown could be signed by the end of this week.
But with who? Brown’s agent, Mark Bartelstein wouldn’t get into details Monday, only to say that he and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak continue to talk.
“We’re working on it. It’s a work in progress,” Bartelstein said.
All that Brown has to is decide between a possible starting spot with either Cleveland or the Knicks or a smaller role and possibly less money to stay with the Lakers. CBSSports.com reported last week the Knicks have extended a formal offer to Brown.
After bouncing around the NBA for the first two and a half years of his career, Brown found a home on the Laker bench. Brown has tremendous athleticism and can knock down open threes if given enough time and space, which made him a good fit in the triangle, while his electrifying dunks made him a fan favorite at the Staples Center.
Both the Knicks and Cavaliers plan on playing uptempo basketball next season, and it’s clear that they think Brown’s athleticism would make him a great fit in a run-and-gun system. It’s a nice idea, although Brown’s inability to make plays off the dribble could be an issue if he’s given more offensive responsibility, even in a full-court system.
Matt Barnes already passed on the possibility of more money to play for the Lakers next season; even though Brown’s youth and athleticism give him the chance to be something more than a role player in the years to come, he may be best served by staying with the team he won a championship with.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.