Jameer Nelson has a decision to make — by Friday

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Jameer Nelson has a life-changing decision to make and not much time left to make it.

Nelson has a player option to make $7.8 million next season, or he can become a free agent. There would be some demand for him on the market — especially after a good playoffs where he averaged 15.6 points and 6.6 assists per game — but what he really would be looking for is a three or four year deal. He might give up a little money short term for some long-term security. (Although I doubt he’d give up much if any money, what he makes is the going rate for a quality starting point guard.)

But, he has to make the decision by Friday. From the Orlando Sentinel.

The Orlando Magic’s co-captain and starting point guard must make a decision whether invoke his player option for the 2012-13 season, and General Manager Otis Smith said that Nelson is contractually obligated to make his choice known within three days of the Magic’s final postseason game.

The problem for Nelson is, he wants to know little details like who the coach will be and who the general manager will be and maybe if Dwight Howard is going to be sticking around. And he’s not going to know any of that by Friday.

“I can’t make the decision until some other decisions are made around here,” Nelson said. “I want to be here in the Orlando Magic uniform. I love being here. I love being in the city.”

My guess is he declines the option, for a few reasons. One is he wants to be in control and if he picks up the option the Magic could trade him; as a free agent he can sign back up with Magic if they make moves he likes, or he can listen to other offers.

Another reason is he can get the multiple years he wants. Being in the last year of a deal can be good if you put up big numbers, but it comes with injury risks as well. Right now he is healthy, he can get a good deal.

The question is will it be in Orlando?

Charles Barkley on new schedule: “These poor babies can’t play back-to-back games”

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Training camp hasn’t even opened yet, but Charles Barkley is already in midseason “get off my lawn” form.

Barkley — the man who can’t stand jump shooting teams, or analytics, or LeBron James asking for better players, or your newfangled technology — went off on another tedious rant at an SMU event Wednesday, this time about the NBA’s decision to start the season a little earlier and have fewer back-to-backs and eliminate four-games-in-five-nights.

Ugh. Like a lot of former players — and a lot of non-athletes, for that matter — Barkley is convinced his peak as a player coincided with the greatest era of basketball ever. Things were never better than the way they did it in his day.

Which means facts — like pointing to the studies that show players both are less likely to be injured and play better and more efficiently when rested — don’t matter. Barkley did it, so players now should have to do it. Who cares if all these packed in games can shorten their careers?

Then again, maybe a few days off would have helped Barkley in the second half of his career.

B.J. Armstrong, former Jordan-era Bull turned agent, told me last year that if teams and players knew in his day what they know now about rest and injury, you would have seen stars like MJ rest. Over time we learn more information, and the smart people and organizations adjust.

Barkley will make far more headlines over the course of the season, he gets paid to be brash, say whatever pops into head, and be generally draw attention to himself. It makes him entertaining, and that’s what Inside the NBA is about. But I will defer to Steve Kerr’s comments from last playoffs on all these old “get off my lawn” players.

“The game gets worse as time goes on. Players are less talented than they used to be. The guys in the 50s would’ve destroyed everybody. It’s weird how human evolution goes in reverse in sports. Players get weaker, smaller, less skilled. I don’t know. I can’t explain it.”

For a couple grand, Warriors fans can have Larry O’Brien Trophy visit their suite

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There’s so much money floating around the Bay Area right now thanks to another tech boom, this price almost seems low.

If you have a suite for the Golden State Warriors home games this season — and those are pretty much sold out, the Warriors draw big from the Silicon Valley crowd — you can have the NBA championship Larry O’Brien Trophy visit your suite. All for just a couple grand. From Gilbert Lee, via ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

The best part is it includes champagne… do you get to spray each other with it as you hold up the trophy? Now that would be perfect (goggles included, of course).

Have an issue with this? Why? To the victor goes the spoils. The Warriors may be able to sell this package for years.

Sixers new “Spirit of 76” court is fire

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First, the Sixers nailed the Nike “statement” jersey.

Now, they have announced a new “Spirit of 76” promotion, with seven tribute nights this season honoring the history of the franchise and of the Philadelphia area (and there is plenty of history to honor).

The best part — the “Spirit of 76” court with the bell logo.

Here is the promo vid

I just hope the Sixers team can live up to all the hype.

Wizards’ Markieff Morris to have sports hernia surgery, miss start of camp

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When the Washington Wizards open training camp next Tuesday, starting forward Markieff Morris will not be on the court.

That’s because he will have surgery to repair a sports hernia, a story broken by Candice Buckner of the Washington Post and since confirmed by Chase Hughes at CSNMidAtlantic.com.

While we don’t have details on the surgery, often recovery time for this is just a few weeks, and Morris could well be ready for the start of the season.

Morris averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds a game last season, and the Wizards offense was 5.7 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the court last season. With him out, coach Scott Brooks can lean on Jason Smith or Mike Scott for traditional lineups, but don’t be shocked if he tries a little small ball with Otto Porter and/or Kelly Oubre at the three or four.

Morris also is in the midst of a felony assault trial in Arizona (one where he does not need to attend).