O.J. Mayo unrestricted free agent, Boston Celtics interested

20 Comments

O.J. Mayo is on the open market.

Memphis made qualifying offers to Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur — they can now match any offers other teams make to those two — but chose not to make a similar offer to Mayo, tweets the Commercial Appeal.

That makes the four-year veteran an unrestricted free agent. Any team can bid on his service and the Grizzlies have no right to match.

Already Mayo is drawing interest from the Boston Celtics, reports A. Sherrod Blakey at CSNNE.com. The Celtics tried to get him at the trade deadline, they will make a run at him again.

There are a couple reasons Mayo was let walk by the Griz.

One is fit on the court — Mayo has not been bad in Memphis but he has struggled being the third or fourth option behind Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and sometimes Marc Gasol or Mike Conley. Mayo averaged 12.6 points per game last year but shot just 40.8 percent, with a PER pretty much at the league average of 14.8. Memphis tried bringing Mayo off the bench, but he never could find a groove. In a different setting, different system he could be more comfortable and produce more.

The other is money — if Speights and Arthur accept their qualifying offers the Grizzlies just crawl over the luxury tax line. If Mayo accepted his Grizzlies would be way over. And this is not a franchise that wants to pay the tax.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

Leave a comment

With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.

Bulls’ Kris Dunn dunks on T.J. Warren after savvy/explosive halfcourt drive (video)

Leave a comment

Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.

T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.

Orlando Magic will no longer host summer league

Getty Images
1 Comment

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Magic has decided to end their annual summer league.

Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said Sunday the trend of NBA teams playing in the Las Vegas Summer League led to the decision end Orlando Pro Summer League. Orlando’s Summer League, which showcased rookies and young players, began in 2002.

Las Vegas will host all 30 teams for the summer league beginning in the summer of 2018. The Orlando Pro Summer League began as a 10-team tournament but there were just eight participating teams this past summer.

The summer league in Orlando, which is played in the Magic’s practice gym, was the only one of three summer leagues that did not allow fans to come in to watch.

Kevin Durant misses game vs. Nets with sprained ankle, status vs. Thunder in doubt

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Not that the Warriors needed him with Stephen Curry going off again, but Golden State was without Kevin Durant on Sunday in Brooklyn due to a sprained ankle.

Durant is officially day-to-day, but that brings up the question of whether he will be ready to go Wednesday night when the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City to take on his former team. Chris Haynes of ESPN asked Durant about it.

While some blowhards will talk about him dodging the Thunder, the Warriors course here is obvious — they do not want to rush him back for any game in November. Even one against Russell Westbrook. Ankles with stretched ligaments are easy to re-injure if not fully healed, and the Warriors don’t want this to be chronic and last through more of the season.

Durant is averaging 24.9 points per game, 7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists, and — with all due respect to fellow former MVP Curry — he is the best player on the Warriors. Maybe the best player in the world right now, period. Durant can score at will, and he had become a key part of the Warriors’ fifth-ranked defense blocking 2.2 shots per game (their offense is No. 1 in the league).