Mychal Thompson says the players need to take 50/50 deal

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For a number of former NBA players, they don’t really get this lockout. Oh, they understand the mechanics of it; they just don’t get exactly what the players are fighting for and why. To them, the players are doing well and 50/50 sounds fair.

They sound like many fans.

Mychal Thompson, former No. 1 overall pick of Portland who went on to win some rings with the Showtime Lakers, is among that majority. He spoke about it during a promotional push for Radioflag.com (more on it below).

“Sure the players have to protect their interests… but from a players perspective, if I was in the league now, I’d think a 50/50 split is fair,” Thompson told ProBasketballTalk. “You work out the particulars from there. I don’t see how it cannot be worked out because there’s common ground.

“Okay, so (the players) don’t get everything we want, we sort of got all the gravy the last 10 years, now it’s time to readjust, reassess things and we may have to give back some money. But my goodness, we’re still going to be making a lot of money even if we have to take a 10 to 12 percent pay cut.”

“Even the guys on the high end of the luxury tax. Let’s say you’re making $15 (million) and you’ve got to take a 10 percent pay cut — my goodness young man you’re still bringing in $13 million bucks…

“I know we all want to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet someday, but you have to put it in perspective. If now I have to sign a five-year deal for $50 (million) as opposed to $60 (million) I think my life will be just fine.”

You have to wonder of Thompson’s son — Warriors first round pick Klay Thompson — feels the same way. Klay will feel the impact of the new labor agreement directly. Although, right now he’d just like to start collecting paychecks, his father said.

Thompson said he’s spoken to Klay about maintaining discipline and stay focused through the lockout so he is ready to go when it ends.

“He’s played in pickup games, very informal, but nothing like there would be if there was a normal summer league…” Thompson said. “He’s working to get stronger and quicker.”

Mychal is a fixture on the radio in Los Angeles, doing an afternoon talk show on 710 ESPN Radio for years as well as being the radio color commenter for Lakers games. That’s how he got connected with RadioFlag — a new app that both lets you listen to countless radio stations from your smartphone and is like social network for radio fans. It lets them interact with hosts and other listeners.

“It allows you to listen to live radio content in whatever genre you want — sports talk or news talk or music — and you can interact with other listeners who like what you do,” Thompson said.

Promoting RadioFlag is fun and all, but Thompson would rather get back on the road calling and watching basketball. Which is why he wants to see a deal done. You listening, players?

Bulls: No decision yet on Rajon Rondo’s future with team

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls are not ready to say whether veteran point guard Rajon Rondo will be back for a second season.

Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson says that “is still to be determined.” The Bulls can pay Rondo $13.4 million or buy him out for $3 million by Friday’s deadline.

Paxson spoke Tuesday during a news conference to introduce newcomers Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and rookie Lauri Markkanen, who were acquired from Minnesota for Jimmy Butler on draft night. The Bulls were planning to meet Tuesday with Rondo’s agent Bill Duffy, who represents LaVine.

Paxson also says a buyout on Dwyane Wade after he exercised his $23.8 million option “has not been broached.” Paxson says the Bulls, at least for now, assume Wade will play for Chicago.

Report: Chris Paul met with Clipper officials to talk future of franchise, himself

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Chris Paul is going to talk to a lot of teams this summer, but if you ask people around the league, most seem to think he will re-sign with the Clippers. The ultimate reason is money: As president of the players’ union he helped steer the new CBA negotiations, which included changing the “over 36 rule” — limiting max contracts to players who turn 36 during the time of the deal — into the “over 38 rule.” That meant 32-year-old Paul could sign one more five-year max contract.

Paul also wants to win, and it’s hard to see how the assembled team in Los Angeles — which is certainly a top 5-7 NBA team, maybe a little higher when healthy — picks up a ring. Especially with the Golden State juggernaut not going anywhere.

Paul has started talking to the Clippers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

I doubt that discussion was much about money — the Clippers will offer a five-year max contract. That’s not even up for debate.

The discussion was how to build the Clippers into a contender. Will Blake Griffin, also a free agent, be back and be part of that? What about J.J. Redick? Can the Clippers get the cap space to lure huge free agents in 2018? LeBron James reportedly wants to come to Los Angeles, although whether he wants to be a Clipper is another question. (For the record, I don’t buy the idea LeBron would “never” be a Clipper. While it may be highly unlikely, people I have spoken to around the league closer to LeBron’s thinking say he wants to keep every option open, play out next season, then see where things stand. He would not fully rule out playing with Chris Paul, who could still be in L.A.)

The Clippers have backed themselves into a corner by trading away picks for veterans, and not developing young players into guys who can contribute in the rotation. When was the last time the Clippers had their Patrick McCaw or Dewayne Dedmon? Without those young, affordable players, it becomes hard to put a good roster together and keep it together. It’s part of what Jerry West — with some help from GM Lawrence Frank — need to bring to Doc Rivers’ Clippers.

That’s likely part of the discussion, too.

There’s a lot for the sides to talk about.

Michael Jordan sent Russell Westbrook personal MVP congratulatory note

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Russell Westbrook is one of the biggest stars in the NBA, he’s now an MVP, and he wears Jordan Brand Nikes.

Still, it has to be a bit humbling to get a personal, signed note from Michael Jordan himself.

Which is exactly what he got on Tuesday, a congratulatory note from the GOAT.

The note said (in all caps):

Congrats Russell.

I got buy first MVP award before my first ring, too… keep going!

It was then signed by Jordan.

Westbrook could probably fill a second home with memorabilia from his career, but this is one he’s likely going to keep safe.

Report: At least seven teams will try to pick off free agent Andre Iguodala from Warriors

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Golden State has a lot of free agents to retain or replace this summer if they are going to keep their championship team together. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are the two biggest names, but both going to get massive paydays from the team and are not going anywhere. Then there are the role players teams could try to pick off: Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee, David West, plus Matt Barnes.

However, Andre Iguodala is the free agent most teams are targeting. At least seven teams have Iguodala on their radar, reports Chris Haynes of ESPN.

Andre Iguodala has become the foremost target in an attempt to weaken the Golden State Warriors’ chokehold on the NBA, league sources have told ESPN.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, LA Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz are among the teams interested in the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, sources tell ESPN. It is not yet known if Iguodala will take meetings.

Iguodala, who just finished a close second in the Sixth Man of the Year voting, still can hit threes and bring some buckets, but more importantly he brings defense, flexibility, and leadership. He’s crucial to the switching small-ball lineups the Warriors employ, and he stepped up his game last season when Durant was down. Losing Iguodala would be a blow to these Warriors.

Durant has said he will take a little less money and structure his deal so that the Warriors can retain Iguodala and Livingston, but both of them are unrestricted free agents with options.

Iguodala, 33, is coming off a four-year, $48 million deal and the Warriors would like to retain him in that ballpark of $12 million a year or a little less. The question is the years, Golden State may want to do two, Iguodala will want four, and the likely will settle at three, but that could change or have options.

For Iguodala the question becomes: what if another team comes in over the top, promising a few million more a year and a starting role? At this point in his career, does he want to stay with the Warriors and win, or would that tug on his pocketbook and ego be too much of a draw? Iguodala has said he and GM Bob Myers have been clear and up front with each other throughout the season and talked out scenarios.

Iguodala likely re-signs with the Warriors, but with a number of teams hunting him it may not be that simple a decision.