Among the no-brainers out there is that Kevin Love is deserving of a max contract extension off his rookie deal. He’s entering his fourth year as an All-Star and double-double machine who has improved his game this season. He will be at the core of any Timberwolves turnaround.
But he hasn’t gotten even the offer of a contract extension, reports Peter Vecsey in the New York Post. Yes, you should look at the author and publication and take it with a grain of salt, but it’s still worth noting.
According to the messenger, All-Star Kevin Love has not been offered an extension….
You got that right; according to my source, if one isn’t submitted by Jan. 15, 10 days before the league deadline to enrich players in Love’s position (Russell Westbrook is another), then don’t bother.
This sounds a whole lot like an agent trying to pressure a team into making an offer sooner rather than later. (Love’s agent is Jeff Schwartz, I don’t know Vecsey’s sources but draw your own conclusions.) The team is taking its time (they have until the 25th), the player and agent want to move things along, so they set an artificial deadline. They threaten not to sign qualifying offers and try to get out of town.
None of this is going to happen, Love is going to get his extension. For all the laughing at Wolves GM David Kahn over the years (and there have been good reasons to do so) he has built a good young team with Love, Ricky Rubio and some solid players around them (and Michael Beasley). It took a while for Love to get out of Kurt Rambis’ dog house, but he has blossomed. You don’t let Love go, not even Kahn would do that. The deal will happen. This is just the blustery negotiations.
When De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk declared for the NBA draft, they jumped in with both feet, hiring agents.
A third Kentucky freshman, Bam Adebayo, took a more cautious approach – until now.
Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports:
Adebayo is a borderline first-round pick.
He’s a ferocious dunker. All his best skills – motor, explosiveness, physicality – come together to produce slams.
But Adebayo is an underwhelming shot-blocker and rebounder, and those same tools should translate. That speaks’ to his focus.
He has a center’s game. But at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-1.5 wingspan, does he have a center’s size? Adebayo can’t step away from the basket or handle the ball, so if he can’t bang with NBA centers, he’s in trouble.
The Rockets were trying to protect a two-point lead as they inbounded with 7.8 seconds left in Game 4 against the Thunder on Sunday, and James Harden wanted the ball. So, the Houston star pushed off Alex Abrines.
The play still turned chaotic – Russell Westbrook tipping the inbound pass and Eric Gordon recovering the loose ball – but it never should have gotten that far. Harden should have been called for an offensive foul, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:
Harden (HOU) pushes off Abrines (OKC) to create space during the inbound.
A correct call would have given Oklahoma City the ball down two with 7.8 seconds left and a real chance to tie or take the lead.
Instead, the Thunder had to intentionally foul Gordon, who hit two free throws to effectively ice a 113-109 Rockets win. Houston now leads the first-round series, 3-1.
The Cavaliers outscored the Pacers by just 16 points in their first-round series – tied for the narrowest margin ever in a four-game sweep. (The Warriors also outscored the Washington Bullets while sweeping the 1975 Finals.)
So, each Cleveland-Indiana game was close, including Sunday’s Game 4, which the Cavs won 106-102.
LeBron James hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 left to put the Cavaliers up 103-102, and they added a few free throws after intentional fouls to produce the final margin. But LeBron travelled with 1:14 left while making his move to get that 3-pointer, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:
James (CLE) moves his pivot foot at the start of his dribble.
A correct call would’ve ended Cleveland’s possession and given Indiana the ball with a two-point lead. Instead, the Pacers had only one possession before they had to begin intentionally fouling.
Would Indiana have won if the travel were called? Probably, though the odds would have been only slightly better than a coin flip.
Would the Pacers have won the series if the travel were called? Probably not. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit, and even a Game 4 win was far from guaranteed with a travel call. But they might have at least felt better about not getting swept.
“Give all praise to Norman Powell with his energy, his athleticism, his passion, just everything he brought to us this series.”
That was Kyle Lowry talking about what his Raptor Norman Powell, who put up a career playoff best 25 points in the Raptors’ Game 5 win. Powell played good defense on Khris Middleton and drained some deep threes to help Toronto pull away in this one. Lowry was so impressed after the game at a press conference he told the media to ask Powell questions, not him.
Oh, and Powell threw down some huge dunks, too. Just check out the video.