Report: NBA, players to meet Tuesday, maybe Wednesday

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So if you’re looking for few rays of sunshine poking through the clouds of the lockout, here you go — the two sides are going to meet again Tuesday. Things have not gone well at recent sessions, but at least they are talking.

If that bargaining session goes well they could meet again on Wednesday, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

With the prospect of two days of negotiations as the calendar marches toward the eventual canceling of regular season games in less than three weeks, National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter has postponed a regional meeting that had been scheduled for Tuesday in Miami and will stay in New York for talks with the league, the person with knowledge of the meeting said.

These are the small group negotiations that seemed to give rise to hope, at least until more owners and players were let into the room, anyway. But still, at least they are talking.

As former NBA union director Charles Grantham told PBT, the first thing the two sides must do is figure out how to define then divide “basketball related income.” It’s how you split up the pie that matters. (He also said canceling games would not put pressure on the talks.)

Last meeting, Berger reports the owners increased their offer to give the players 46 percent of the BRI, but the players’ most recent offer was 53 percent (maybe 52). While there had been reports that the two sides were close on the economics, it doesn’t sound like it (although the type of salary cap can tie into this debate). The real issue is if the revenue that goes to players is tied to the league’s income as it has been. Some owners want the players to have flat revenue over much of the deal, allowing the owners to pocket increase from future television deals and he like.

If the two sides figure out the BRI question, the cap and other issues will be tied in and likely resolved fairly quickly.

The two sides have a ticking clock on the regular season and they remain far apart, but at least they are talking.

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?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”

 

Danny Ainge says Celtics will apply for Disabled Player Exception

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It’s not likely Gordon Hayward returns this season. His agent said as much, although a return in March is not out of the question. (It’s better PR wise for the Celtics to say he is out for the season, then if he returns early great, it’s better than setting a deadline he doesn’t meet.)

With that, the Celtics are going to apply for the Disabled Player Exception, which could help them land a replacement player, Danny Ainge told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Globe on Friday the club is applying for the Disabled Player Exception, which would provide the Celtics $8.4 million to pursue a player to fill Hayward’s roster spot.

“We’re in the process of doing that,’’ Ainge said. “We have a while to do that. There’s no urgency, but we will apply for that.”

There are limits to what that money can get the Celtics. The money is the same as the mid-level exception, the Celtics can go over the cap to use it, and the player can be obtained via free agency or trade. However, the player must be in the last year of his contract.

It gives the Celtics options. It also does not mean Hayward cannot return, it only means NBA-approved doctors determined he is not likely to return before a mid-June deadline.

Kings hire former WNBA Seattle coach Jenny Boucek as assistant

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The NBA now has a third female assistant coach.

The first was Becky Hammon, who has been part of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff for several years (and has coached their Summer League team). The second was Nancy Leiberman, who has been on the staff in Sacramento for a couple of seasons now.

Now the Kings have hired former Seattle Storm coach Jenny Boucek as an assistant coach on Dave Joerger’s staff. She will work as an assistant player development coach.

A former WNBA player in the league’s inaugural season, the past three years she has coached the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (she was fired midway through the last season), and prior to that had been the head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09.