What is holding up the Xavier Henry signing? Well, can he make the All-Rookie team?

1 Comment

Thumbnail image for henry_Stern.jpgMaybe the definition of the NBA silly season has been the Xavier Henry contract situation.

To recap: Henry has not signed his contract. There is a rookie contract scale in place so the NBA doesn’t look like the NFL with guys who never played a down holding out, Henry is slotted for just shy of $1.7 million. The Grizzlies can offer from 80 to 120 percent of that figure, but teams traditionally give the 120 percent. It is not uncommon for teams to sign a guy for 100 percent but let him make the extra 20 percent with incentives, but those are traditionally things like making a number of public appearances or other very obtainable goals.

Henry and his agent Arn Tellem have balked at what Memphis put up as the incentives and were very public about it. But we never knew what the incentives were until Tellem told the Associated Press.

Henry would have to be invited to be part of the rookie challenge at All-Star weekend, be named to one of the All-Rookie teams at the end of the season, or play at least 15 minutes in 70 games.

Henry was drafted No. 12 by the Grizzlies. There are about nine players invited to the All-Star Weekend challenge, and 10 on the end-of-year teams (voted on by coaches). In addition to the guys drafted this year, Blake Griffin and Tiago Splitter are considered rookies.

The goals set out by the Grizzlies are not wildly unrealistic. They will not be simple to reach either, which has been the tradition with rookies when giving them bonuses. The Grizzlies had never done performance bonuses in rookie deals before.

It’s a debate you can make from either side, but for Memphis they are pissing off their new rookie and a powerful agent over $300,000. After giving out some huge contracts this summer. It just does not come off as a smart allocation of resources. Not wildly out of line, but not the smart play.

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

From Sacramento Kings
1 Comment

The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.

 

 

Video of Kawhi Leonard struggling to board team plane concerning

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The San Antonio Spurs have been very tight lipped about how serious Kawhi Leonard‘s ongoing quadriceps issue is. He hasn’t played in the preseason or now the start of the regular season, with no timetable for his return. Part of that is the nature of the Spurs organization, but it leads to the feeling there is something more there.

Now surfaces this video of Leonard gingerly, slowly making his way up some stairs to the team plane, and it’s concerning.

To be fair, there is a real lack of context here, but according to the San Antonio Express-News, he had just come out of a rehab session. That means he might have been especially sore (and could have been iced up for the flight).

Still, this video makes one think it could be a while longer before we see Leonard back on the floor for San Antonio. (By the way over the past three seasons, including this one, the Spurs are 15-4 when Leonard sits. They will be fine short term.)

Nike “very concerned” after LeBron James’ jersey rips on opening night

Getty Images
5 Comments

In the team’s first preseason game, the jersey of the Lakers’ Tyler Ennis was torn in the back with a tug from an opponent. Everyone made tearaway jersey jokes and moved on, thinking it was a one-off situation.

Then LeBron James‘ jersey ripped down the back on opening night, on national television.

Now Nike is looking into the issue, reports Darren Rovell of ESPN.

Nearly three days after one of its jerseys tore in the first regular-season game of its new deal with the NBA, Nike released a statement Friday expressing worry about the issue, without offering insight as to what happened or what will be done.

“The quality and performance of all our products are of utmost importance,” the company said in a statement. “We are obviously very concerned to see any game day jersey tear and are working with the NBA and teams to avoid this happening in the future.”

This is the first year Nike has the NBA apparel contract, having just taken it over from Adidas. They made the jerseys similar to what had been done for the 2016 Rio Olympics, where there were no issues, but these jerseys are lighter than the former Adidas ones. It’s unclear what, if any, changes could be coming.

Like many of the jerseys from opening night, LeBron’s ripped one is being auctioned by the NBA to raise money for hurricane relief.