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?
Joakim Noah hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since Feb. 4, and his season was all but ended when he had knee surgery at the end of February. It was a $72 million gamble that has not worked, and left New York with an anchor o a
Tomorrow it will be official he is done for the season, but not because of the Knicks or his injury.
During his recovery, Noah violated the NBA’s drug policy and will pay for a 20-game suspension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is prohibited under the outgoing Collective Bargaining Agreement, league sources said.
Noah, 32, is expected to serve 10 games of the suspension to finish out the 2016-17 regular season and 10 games to start the 2017-18 season, league sources said.
The National Basketball Players Association’s investigation concluded that Noah hadn’t “knowingly or willingly” violated the policy and cooperated fully with the league’s probe, league sources said.
Over-the-counter supplements could be something put in his regular workout recovery drinks that he was unaware of, although we are unsure of the details.
Traditionally, the player has to be healthy enough to play before the league starts the suspension. Noah has been out for more than a month, but if a league doctor says he is healthy enough to play the then the clock on the suspension can start. But that is interesting.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.
Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.
His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.
Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.
Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.
As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.
Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.
Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.
Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.
Maybe a little too pumped.
That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.
Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.
(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)