Results from the first few weeks of All-Star balloting are in and… well, it’s exactly what you’d expect. Pretty boring stuff, really. Lots of Heat, Celtics, Lakers and Chinese voters.
For the Eastern Conference, LeBron James would start at forward in the East with Kevin Garnett (Amar’e Stoudemire is third among East forwards), the guards would be Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo (Derrick Rose is third), and the center is Dwight Howard (Shaq is second but well back).
Kobe Bryant has gotten more votes than anyone else with 722,682. He would start at guard for the West with Chris Paul (Manu Ginobili is third ahead of Steve Nash, which shows you guys have been watching the games, bless you). Pau Gasol and Kevin Durant would be the starting forwards (Carmelo Anthony and Dirk Nowitzki trail them in the deepest position in the balloting, good luck cracking that group Blake Griffin) and Yao Ming would be your starting center, just ahead of Andrew Bynum.
Yao and Bynum have played seven games between them. We would take back what we said about you watching games, but really your other choices don’t impress. Brendan Haywood is third, which proves that medical marijuana prescriptions and voting go hand in hand for some people. Then comes the two guys who have earned consideration so far, Marc Gasol and Emeka Okafor. Vote for one of them. I suppose Yao and Bynum will be healthy by February, but come on, vote for the guys doing it on the court so far.
Voting remains open on line or at NBA arenas. The All-Star Game itself is Feb. 20 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
When a player says he doesn’t want to stay in a city — *cough* Rudy Gay *cough* — it’s news. Aside from that, a player saying he want to spend the rest of his career with the team he is currently on is right out of the Crash Davis/Bull Durham book of clichés.
Derrick Rose has read that book. He’s said those words before. However, it sounds like he was sincere in telling Peter Walsh at SLAM he likes what he sees with the Knicks and wants to stay in the city that doesn’t sleep.
“We’re building the culture,” Rose said. “We’re building the foundation now. I’m under a one-year contract so of course I want to play the rest of my life here. But it takes time, it takes patience to figure out how every one is going to fit, if it is going to fit and going from there.”
Here’s the question Phil Jackson (or whoever is in charge next summer should he opt out) needs to ask with every player/personnel move made going forward:
How does this person fit with Kristaps Porzingis?
That man is the future in Madison Square Garden. Frankly, he’s the present, too — he’s better than Carmelo Anthony right now. The Knicks need to make moves going forward that highlight Porzingis’ strengths (like playing him at the five).
Rose should fit fairly well with that right now as a pick-and-roll point guard to pair with Porzingis’ ability to pop out to the arc or roll to the rim. That said, when Rose and Porzingis have been paired on the court this season, the Knicks have been outscored by 3.9 per 100 possessions, mostly because the team defense has been a disaster. That doesn’t mean it can’t work, so long as you’re not going to run a lot of triangle, Rose understands he needs to feed Porzingis a lot, and there are other shooters on the floor. Rose can be a solid point guard for the Knicks going forward. At least as long as he can stay healthy.
Whether he comes back to New York will really come down to money — the Knicks should make a fair offer for a solid starting point guard in the NBA, then if another team comes in over the top live with it.
But for Rose, he’s in a New York state of mind.
The Grizzlies have searched high and low for a point guard after Mike Conley‘s injury.
It seems they’ve found one:
Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com:
Memphis will be eligible to add a 16th player as long as it has four players who’ve missed three straight games and will continue to miss time. Brandan Wright, Chandler Parsons and James Ennis already qualify. Conley and Vince Carter would qualify by not playing tomorrow.
Andrew Harrison has played well since Conley went down, but over a larger sample, the team has struggled with him or Wade Baldwin running the point. Douglas – who has played for the Knicks, Rockets, Kings, Warriors, Heat and Pelicans – is fine. At this point, the Grizzlies will probably take fine and drop Baldwin from the regular rotation.
Other Memphis players could get healthy before Conley returns and put the team in a roster crunch once it no longer qualifies for hardship. Drop a better player or run short on point guards? But that’s a future problem. Adding Douglas will immediately strengthen the Grizzlies – once they can officially sign him.
The 2016-17 NBA season began Oct. 25 – which was the earliest start date in 36 years. Only 1985-86 even matched it.
But with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement bringing a shortened preseason, the league will begin regular-season play even sooner in coming years.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
League sources say there’s a strong likelihood that the start of the 2017-18 season will be moved up a week to 10 days
We’re hearing that opening night next season is likely to fall in the Oct. 15-20 range
With the exception of a lockout producing a Christmas opening day in 2011, the season has started on a Tuesday for the last 18 years. Assuming that continues, the 2017-18 season would begin Oct. 16.
This seems like a good change. A full season has generally been 82 games in 170 days. Fitting those 82 games into a longer span allows for fewer back-to-backs. The preseason is too long, anyway. Teams often sit their top players for those exhibitions. As long as training camp begins the same time, this won’t shorten the offseason. Everyone will just have a less grueling regular season.
Maybe teams will even rest players during games less often.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement will reportedly allow for two-way contracts – deals that pay one salary while a player is in the NBA and another while he’s in the D-League.
But what will that compensation look like?
Currently, players are on either D-League or NBA contracts. Players on D-League contracts will earn $26,000 or $19,000 this season. Players on NBA contracts have a minimum salary of $543,471. Even when assigned to the D-League, players on NBA contracts continue to receive their D-League salary.
Marc Stein of ESPN provides a couple details on the new CBA:
- Players on D-League contracts will continue to receive similar salaries.
- Players on two-way NBA contracts will earn a salary of about $50,000 to $75,000 while assigned to the D-League. Presumably, that amount will be prorated.
That’s less than I expected for the D-League salary in two-way contracts. The big thing keeping down salaries for players on D-League contracts is that they’re NBA free agents. Why pay much for a player whose NBA rights you don’t hold, even if he’s on your affiliate? But players with two-way contracts will be beholden to a certain NBA team. I figured that’d earn them more than this.
At least they’ll likely receive a higher minimum while in the NBA.