It’s the time of year when a young fan’s fancy turns to trades… but coach Erik Spoelstra says Heat fans shouldn’t bother.
Sounding like a guy whose team has won 21 of 22, Spoelstra said the Heat don’t need to make any trades right now, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
“(Pat Riley) asks me all the time, and that’s what I say. I feel like we have enough and I really would like to see what this looks like, anyway, with a healthy Mike Miller,” Spoelstra said.
“Trying to add another two or three players, that always becomes more of a challenge. And so it is easier for me when we’re focusing on just who we have and it’s been a good group.”
The question of additions is not for now, but for down the line when they could have to deal with Dwight Howard or the long front lines of Boston and Los Angeles in the playoffs. (Lakers, we should add, although the Heat get to see the athletic Clippers front line Wednesday night.) The remaining questions about this Heat team cannot be answered until the playoffs.
Not that the Heat can really make trades. They are over the cap and outside of the obvious three they are not giving up, only Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem would have real trade value on the market. And the Heat aren’t moving them, either.
Despite that, it’s hard not to appreciate Spoelstra’s point. It took this team a couple months to really blend and start to play defense together. To bring in a host of new players is to reset that clock. The Heat may be better dancing with this band this season and making the necessary moves this summer.
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.
The Spurs’ 94-87 win over the Mavericks on Wednesday didn’t produce the Gregg Popovich fireworks that followed San Antonio’s last win over Dallas.
But Wednesday’s game still featured a very strange moment, when a cameraman ran onto the floor during play.
I’m not so bothered by the cameraman. He clearly thought a timeout had been called, potentially getting confused by the shot-clock buzzer sounding. It’s not ideal, but mistakes happen.
But why did the officials allow play to continue? That was absurd (though, thankfully, irrelevant).
(hat tip: reddit user Pontus_Pilates)