Tim Duncan, Marc Gasol, Matt Bonner

One more time, report says Marc Gasol’s not leaving Memphis. Seriously. No kidding. For real.

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ESPN.com reports that there’s a high amount of skepticism around the league regarding Marc Gasol’s availability in restricted free agency outside of Memphis. In short, the Grizzlies have every intention of matching any offer for the young stud center.

Gasol is not the biggest name on the Grizzlies, with Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay, Mike Conley, and even Tony Allen, even, but he’s the core of their success. It’s his defense, passing out of the pinch post, and rebounding that provides the backbone of what the Grizzlies do. Behind Nene and Tyson Chandler, he’s the third best center in the market, and given his age and upside, might be the best overall value. There have been questions about if Michael Heisley would really come through on his word to pay for a contender if the Grizzlies made the playoffs last year. During their spectacular run, he granted Zach Randolph a long extension, after having given Gay and Conley similar deals in the past six months.

But it would all be for naught if he doesn’t do the same with Gasol. Locking in Gasol means the Grizzlies have their core for the next three years at least, assuming that ideas surrounding how Rudy Gay fits with the club are insane. On December 9th, Gasol is rumored to be hearing max offers from multiple teams, but the Grizzlies will likely match. Unlike with Mike Conley, who they gave an early extension to before he could hit the market and wound up getting a quality deal on him, Gasol was not eligible for an extension until after the season. As a result, the Grizzlies will let him take his offers from other teams, match within the new three-day waiting period, Gasol returns to Memphis, which he enjoys living in (more so than brother Pau did), and the Grizzlies will make another run.

Maybe last year was smoke and mirrors, but you have to say this. All signs point to Michael Heisley putting his money where his mouth is.

Thunder renounce Derek Fisher

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 25: Oklahoma City Thunder Derek Fisher #6 runs up the court against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Three of the Western Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 25, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Derek Fisher is already stumping for his second head-coaching job.

Fisher has done plenty since retiring as a player — getting hired by the Knicks, getting fired by the Knicks and in between being attacked by Matt Barnes and finding another controversy about player relations.

All the while, Fisher counted against the cap for the Thunder, his last NBA team.

Oklahoma City finally renounced him to sign Alex Abrines.

Albert Nahmad of Heat Hoops:

This is one of my favorite salary-cap quirks, explained in further detail here.

These are becoming fewer and further between, because teams are using cap room more frequently as the salary cap skyrockets. Gone are the days of a team operating above the cap for a dozen straight years.

There’s also even less utility in old cap holds now that a player must have played the prior season for a team to be used in a sign-and-trade. (Not that these holds were useful except the rarest of occasions prior, anyway.)

Fisher’s quick transition from playing to coaching helped make this an exception, allowing this weird (and trivial) transaction.

Report: Las Vegas also in contention for 2017 NBA All-Star game

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 25:  Bushwacker, a world champion bucking bull, appears at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign prior to the final ride of his legendary career on October 25, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Professional Bull Riders)
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Where will the NBA hold the 2017 All-Star game?

Charlotte? No.

New Orleans? Probably.

New York/Brooklyn or Chicago? Maybe.

One more maybe: Las Vegas.

Scott Kusher of The Advocate:

The NBA held All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas in 2007. By all accounts, it was wild.

I’d be surprised if the league returned the event to Las Vegas, but at this point, I’d really be surprised by any option besides New Orleans.

Report: 76ers, Sam Hinkie’s ‘handpicked analytics crew’ splitting up

Ben Mikesell/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP
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The 76ers hired Bryan Colangelo, and Sam Hinkie bounced.

Now, much of Hinkie’s front-office is also heading out the door.

Zach Lowe of ESPN:

that regime — including deposed GM Sam Hinkie’s handpicked analytics crew — will be mostly gone by the end of August, league sources say.

If Colangelo hires his own analytics staff and integrates numbers into his decision-making, this is no big deal.

If Colangelo leaves those positions vacant, Philadelphia will be working from behind.

I’m betting on the former. He isn’t Hinkie, but Colangelo has discussed the importance of analytics. Let Colangelo hire his own staff, and everything might even flow more smoothly.

Mike Krzyzewski: Team USA having too much fun, needs to tone it down

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 26:  DeMar DeRozan #9 of the United States Men's National Team looks on during a break in the action against the China Men's National Team during the second half of a USA Basketball showcase exhibition game at ORACLE Arena on July 26, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Mike Krzyzewski hates fun (even more than he admits).

So, the coach wasn’t thrilled after Team USA’s exhibition win over China, which included DeMar DeRozan nearly 360-degree dunking on someone.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

I want to see Team USA make highlight plays. Dunk from the free-throw line. Shoot from halfcourt. Throw behind-the-back passes. Show up weaker competition.

So, it’s hard for me to get behind Coach K’s criticism.

But I also want to see the Americans win gold medals in the Olympics, and I’ll blame Krzyzewski if they’re not adequately focused.

Fair? Not one bit.

Doesn’t change what I want, though.