Draft class of ’08 not getting many contract extensions

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Pop quiz: How many players out of the 2008 NBA draft have gotten the early extensions to their rookie deals as of now?

Answer: One. Derrick Rose.

That could change a little over the next 10 days — Jan. 25 is the deadline to do an early extension — but only a little.

As David Aldridge points out at NBA.com, the trend in recent seasons of few rookies getting early extensions to their max deals remains.

At the moment, only a handful of players — Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Denver’s Danilo Gallinari and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook — are even in the hunt to get deals, though several players’ agents are engaged, or will soon engage, in conversations with their respective teams. But so far, no one’s betting on the come for an Eric Gordon, or a Roy Hibbert, or a JaVale McGee. There’s always someone that gets a deal below the radar, as when Phoenix’s Jared Dudley got a five-year, $22.5 million extension last year….

Last year, only five of the 30 first-round picks in the 2007 class got extensions: Kevin Durant (five years, $85 million), Atlanta center Al Horford (five years, $60 million), Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (five years, $40 million) Bulls center Joakim Noah (five years, $60 million) and Dudley. That was one fewer extension than the 2006 class…

“No one wants to set the market,” a team executive texted Sunday night. “They would rather wait and try and let the guy get a deal and match. Also make sure the guy doesn’t get hurt.”

Teams are being cautious, the lockout is part of that but teams should be careful. How many players out of the first 30 in 2008 would you really want to lock in long term? Rose for sure, and I would say Love and Westbrook should get deals as well. I’d give Danilo Gallinari a deal if I thought the price were fair, same with Nicolas Batum, Serge Ibaka, O.j. Mayo and Hibbert. But after that? No way J.J. Hickson or Brook Lopez or Brandon Rush get locked up — give them a qualifying offer so you can match anything from another team, but why over commit?

A few more will come in the next few days, but that don’t expect to see many.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)