Report: Owners plan amnesty clauses in new CBA

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Back in 2005, when the last NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement was put in place — teams could waive one player and not have to pay the luxury tax on that player’s salary. (The player still got the money on his contract and the teams did not get salary cap relief.) Everyone called it the Allen Houston rule, except that Houston did not get waived by the Knicks (they waived Jerome Williams). The biggest names let go were Reggie Miller, Brian Grant and Michael Finley.

This time around, there could be two players let go.

According to a tweet from John Canzano of the Oregonian, that’s what the owners want.

NBA source: Owner consensus on two amnesty-type clauses in new CBA. One like before. Another gives cap relief also.

In his story in the Oregonian Canzano talks of only one clause, but one that would give actual salary cap relief not just luxury tax help.

The players union would need to agree to this, obviously. But it seems to be on the table and may be one of the things that comes up at Thursday’s meeting (or did in previous meetings).

It leaves some interesting decisions for teams out there. Canzano points to Portland, where the fiscally sound but emotionally hard move would be to waive Brandon Roy. That’s because Roy has four years and $69 million left on his current deal and with the current condition of his knees he’s no longer worth that kind of money.

Some teams would have obvious choices, but there could be some interesting ones out there as well.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?