The Knicks have become the ultimate leverage for free agents — flirt publically with the big market team trying to rebuild through free agency and watch your current team up their offer to keep you. Ask Rudy Gay how that works if you’re unsure.
Marc Gasol of the suddenly hot Memphis Grizzlies is a guy the Knicks actually covet — he can defend big guys in the post, protect the rim on defense, is a good passer (runs in the family) and can knock down a mid-range jumper. He is exactly the big man the Knicks need.
And he’s a free agent after this season. Restricted (at least under the current CBA), so the Grizzlies could match any offer, but he can test out the market.
But Gasol is not playing the flirting game. This is what he told Alan Hahn of Newsday about this summer and the Knicks.
“I’m not worried about it,” Gasol said of his status as a restricted free agent. “I’m just trying to enjoy my situation right now and make the playoffs. That’s the only thing that I really care about right now.
“When the time comes, we’ll see what happens and we’re going to study every situation by itself,” he added. “But right now, we’ve got too nice of a present to worry about the future.”
Who knows what the free agency landscape will look like under a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. (Or when it will be, for that matter.) But you can bet that no matter what there will be plenty of interest in Marc Gasol. And the Knicks will be one team flirting with him.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.