Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett leaves game with right calf injury

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UPDATE #3 11:18 pm: Here is a post-game quote from Doc Rivers on Garnett, via the Associated Press:

“It is a muscle injury, not a knee,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said. “You always worry when a guy goes down without anyone around him, because those always seem to be severe injuries, so that was the first thing that went through my mind. We don’t think this one is too bad, but we’ll see. He’ll probably miss some time, and we’ll have to adjust.”

UPDATE #2 10:16 pm: Comcast New England has confirmed that this is an injury to the right calf of Garnett. No injury is good but the Celtics and their fans will take calf over a knee every single time.

UPDATE 8:45 pm: Comcast New England is reporting that the X-rays came back negative, meaning no fracture, but he will have an MRI back in Boston on Thursday. The Celtics are emphasizing this is a lower right leg injury (calf, not knee it turns out). The X-ray results are a good sign that this may not be anything long term. Garnett will not return to this game.

Garnett had surgery on his right knee in May 2009, after he had missed much of the latter part of the season and the playoffs that season. This injury is the same leg but appears unrelated.

A tweet from a Celtics announcer who talked to Boston players said they don’t think it was as serious as it first looked.

8:32 pm: In Detroit Wednesday, Kevin Garnett went up for a first quarter dunk off a pick-and-roll with Ray Allen, he hung on the rim for a second and when he came down he was favoring his right leg. He hobbled to mid-court, committed a foul to stop the game and came out.

It didn’t look good. He left the game immediately and limped back to the locker room for X-rays (which turned out to be negative, no fracture). He is not returning to this game. The medical staff for the Celtics seemed to focus on his knee but the team is saying it is a “lower leg” injury, whatever that means.

If this turns out to be anything serious it would be a huge blow to the Celtics. Garnett was moving the best he had since the 2008 Celtics championship year this season, and the result was the Celtics once again with the top defense in the league.

We will update this story as it develops.

LeBron James posts photo with Tristan Thompson, sends message to Cavs

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.

Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.

But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.

LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.

However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.

For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.

Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.


Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.