Charlotte Bobcats v Milwaukee Bucks

Report: Diaw asks for buyout from Bobcats


UPDATE 4:08 EST: According to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell, Diaw and his agent have asked Bobcats GM Rod Higgins about a buyout:

Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins told the Observer Tuesday that he met with Diaw before the All-Star break about Diaw’s role and his expiring contract. Higgins said he has since had discussions with Diaw’s agent, Doug Neustadt.

“Boris and I had a meeting prior to the All-Star break, maybe Wednesday before. We talked about quite a few things,” Higgins said. “The issue with the buyout, it was raised on their side, from Doug. We haven’t gone down that road any further.”

This report comes from the French newspaper L’Equippe and website, and was helpfully translated for us by Ball in Europe:

The headline pretty much says it all, with France-based L’Equipe and Catch & Shoot today pretty much assuring that Team France captain Boris Diaw will make like the rat and leave the sinking ship known as the Charlotte Bobcats (4-31) within days.

Such a release from the ‘Cats would come six months before his contract with the team expires, yet Catch & Shoot reports that “The franchise would indeed be ready to release Diaw … if an agreement is reached between both parties.” Said Diaw to L’Equipe, “J’ai un choix à faire” (“I have a choice to make.”)

This would be a buyout where Diaw would take a little less money to go, but likely would get offers from other teams. Not for a lot of money, but it might be worth it to get off the Bobcats.

Diaw is a gifted and versatile player who could help a few non-horrible teams if they were willing to take a risk on him, but Diaw’s has been inconsistent ever since his breakout season in Phoenix, thanks in no small part to his issues with motivation and conditioning.

This season, Diaw has struggled as a member of the 4-31 Bobcats, and is averaging 7.7 points and 4.4 assists per game this season on 41.4%/27.1%/63.0%.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry
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The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi

Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.