NBA And Players Representatives Meet To Discuss Possible Settlement

Wednesday morning one liners (now with extra rumors)

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Our morning look around the NBA with stories that are not their own post here at PBT.

In case you didn’t get it in your inbox, here is David Stern’s letter to fans sent out yesterday.

After the lockout and months of talk of change, does the new NBA feel any different than the old NBA?

Travis Outlaw is 10 days away from being cleared for contact basketball due to his broken hand. That groan you just heard was Avery Johnson.

Rumors are out there that the Nuggets will make a big offer to Thaddeus Young, which the Sixers will have to match or let him go. And they don’t want to let him go.

Jared Jeffries is all but formally signed with the Knicks.

The Celtics are willing to roll the dice with Chris Paul and the new CBA.

Mike Miller talking about his situation in Miami. He is staying, not being waived.

Shannon Brown’s agent has talked to the Heat about his client. Same with Kwame Brown.

Miami being over the salary cap is making it very hard for them to land the free agents that they want.

Conventional wisdom is Jason Richardson is leaning Bulls, but the Magic would like to bring him back.

Is this the year Tyreke Evans makes the leap? Or does he trip up again?

Talking Washington Wizards rookies.

Reggie Williams and the Bobcats are flirting with each other.

Looking more and more like Tracy McGrady ends up in Atlanta.

Things are “awkward” around he Magic facilities right now. Ya think?

Michael Redd to the Dallas Mavericks? They do like shooters (who will take a one-year deal).

Here is one vote against Caron Butler as a Clipper — the wise D.J. Foster questions the fit. To me, Tayshaun Prince needs to be the Clips primary target.

There have not been a lot of Kris Humphries rumors out there, and while he comes with that Kardashian baggage the guy can play. So what is up?

Another guy flying under the free agent radar: Mario Chalmers.

And what about Rodney Stuckey?

If they will not keep Tyson Chandler (and it looks like they will lose him) the Mavericks may try to get Jeff Foster.

The Hawks Marvin Williams says he is feeling good after June back surgery.

Visa issues have Rudy Fernandez stuck in Spain, for now.

Kwame Brown met with and could return to the Bobcats.

Leon Powe would like to return to the Celtics. He is working out at the Lakers facilities right now, however.

The Hornets reportedly have interest in Aaron Gray.

LeBron James posts photo with Tristan Thompson, sends message to Cavs

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.

Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.

But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.

LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.

However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.

For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.

Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.


Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.