Behind door No. 1, David West has a $7.5 million option to return to the New Orleans Hornets.
Behind door No. 2, free agency. Which is a big risk —West was the Hornets leading scorer and due for a big pay increase, but then he blew out his ACL in March. Combine that with the unknown world of the new post-lockout Collective Bargaining Agreement and behind door No. 2 could be the Let’s Make A Deal goat.
West’s agent tells the Times-Picayune West has yet to choose a door. He has until June 30.
“We’ve talked about it, and I think he’s going to wait until about a week before that to see where his knee is and how it feels and make an educated decision about where to go from there,” (Lance) Young said. “We really haven’t discussed it because we have some time.”
If he can demonstrate he’s healthy, an All-Star power forward and a great pick-and-pop partner will draw more than $7.5 million on the open market, and for more years. But it’s about health. He’s smart to wait.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.