Well, so much for the whole Chris Paul thing.
The Clippers put in the high bid among multiple teams to claim Chauncey Billups off waivers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
Now the real question — will Billups retire or will he play for the Clippers?
Billups has threatened retirement if he didn’t get sent to a team he wanted to play for, he wanted to be a free agent Wojnarowski says was leaning towards the Lakers or the Heat, two contenders who need point guards. But a lot of players — including CP3 — have expressed interest in the Clippers thanks to Blake Griffin. Is that and Los Angeles attractive enough to Billups, or would he retire?
Another question: Do the Clippers really need him? They already have two good point guards on the roster in Mo Williams and Eric Bledsoe.
Billups was on the waiver wire because the Knicks used their amnesty on him to clear the way for signing Tyson Chandler. Under the terms of the new CBA, teams under the salary cap could bid on the rights to that player for a portion of the season (the bid would be the price that team would pay of the salary, the Knicks pick up the rest).
The Clippers did not get Billups as a trade chip — players grabbed off amnesty cannot be traded until July 1 next year (when Billups would be a free agent anyway). They want him for the season.
The Clippers were able to bid because they were under the salary cap… at least until they would have matched the bid the Warriors put in on DeAndre Jordan. Which L.A. had not yet done. The Clippers had up to $3.5 million to bid.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.