Kosta Koufos agrees to three-year extension with Nuggets

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While we were all focused on Kevin Love and Eric Gordon’s contract extensions (well, in the case of Gordon the lack of extension), there were a few other notes that flew under the radar.

For one, the Denver Nuggets extended center Kosta Koufos for three years, $9 million, something first reported by Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated. Koufos is only averaging 10 minutes a game for the Nuggets, but he brings real size to the table and they lock up a reliable backup big man at a good price (bigs always get more than you first thing they should).

In other contract extension news and notes.

• New Jersey decided not to extend Brook Lopez. He will be a restricted free agent after this season. Not a shock here, the Nets would like to bring him back but at a lower price than he would ask.

• Orlando decided not to extend Ryan Anderson. Having the best season of his career, but his value as a stretch four in Orlando goes way down if they can’t keep Dwight Howard. But he’s playing his way into a nice payday this year.

• Indiana decided not to extend George Hill and Roy Hibbert. Indiana is going to let the market determine their worth, but they hope to keep both of them this off-season. Hibbert, in particular, is having the best season of his career and is playing himself into a pretty big deal. (If D’Andre Jordan makes $10 million a year….)

• Houston did not extend Jonny Flynn, Courtney Lee, Hasheem Thabeet and Terrence Williams. Again, no real shocks. None of them should have been extended, but the Rockets want to keep Lee around.

• Washington did not extend JaVale McGee. So much talent but so inconsistent and undisciplined. You can’t give him big money right now. Let the market set his price.

Report: Wizards signing Donald Sloan

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The Wizards look like they solved their backup-point-guard problems with Tim Frazier.

But they also looked like they solved their backup-point-guard problems with Trey Burke and then Brandon Jennings last year – and look how that turned out.

So, even after trading for Frazier, Washington is still trying to increase stability behind John Wall.
CSN Mid-Atlantic:

The Wizards added some depth to their backcourt on Thursday by signing veteran guard Donald Sloan to a one-year deal, CSN’s Chris Miller confirmed on Thursday night.

The 29-year-old Sloan has played for the Hawks, New Orleans Hornets, Cavaliers, Pacers and Nets in a five-year NBA career. He spent last season in China.

Sloan isn’t much of a scorer, and he’s only a decent distributor. But he makes up for it with all-around adequacy, highlighted by his rebounding for his position.

The veteran will compete with second-year Sheldon Mac, whose salary is just $50,000 guaranteed, to be Washington’s third point guard.

Report: Knicks sign Nigel Hayes to partially guaranteed deal

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Nigel Hayes became a cult hero at Wisconsin for bringing a “BROKE COLLEGE ATHLETE ANYTHING HELPS” sign to GameDay and soliciting Venmo donations, challenging the stenographer in a press conference and “accidentally” calling a stenographer beautiful in front of a hot mic.

After going undrafted, Hayes and his colorful personality are headed to New York, where Knicks fans are starving for fun.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Could Hayes stick into the regular season? The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one more spot for a player on an standard contract. Chasson Randle has an unguaranteed salary that becomes partially guaranteed around the time training camp opens. The Knicks could also sign other players, though they’re down to just minimum exceptions.

Hayes – a 6-foot-8 forward – has a chance, but he’s most likely ticketed to New York’s minor-league affiliate after being waived by the parent club.

Who is betting favorite to win Rookie of the Year? Lonzo Ball? Ben Simmons? Depends.

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The Rookie of the Year race is wide open heading into next season.

It’s that way every year — if you had predicted Malcolm Brogdon was going to win a year ago, you would have been laughed out of the building — but this coming season has a lot of talent at the top of the board who could win. Lonzo Ball, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Jayson Tatum all have a real shot — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Who is the better favorite? Depends on where you do your betting.

The William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook (which works with a number of Las Vegas casinos, such as the SLS), has this (hat tip ESPN):

Lonzo Ball 9-5
Ben Simmons 5-2
Dennis Smith Jr. 4-1
Markelle Fultz 13-2
De'Aaron Fox 8-1
Jayson Tatum 8-1

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas has Simmons as the betting line favorite at 9-4

The online betting site Bovda.lv has this line

Lonzo Ball 9-4
Dennis Smith 3-1
Ben Simmons 5-1
Jayson Tatum 5-1
Markelle Fultz 8-1

Traditionally, Rookie of the Year goes to a guy who has the ball in his hands, is aggressive, and puts up raw numbers. It celebrates scorers.

This year a whole lot of guys can fit that bill, more than are mentioned here. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Check out the first NBA 2K18 trailer (VIDEO)

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The NBA season is coming… and that means NBA 2K18 also coming.

To whet the appetite of you gamers out there, check out the first trailer for the upcoming game, with music by Mobb Deep.

You can pre-order the game now.