How much is Scott Brooks worth as a coach?
Remember his contract is set to expire on July 1. He guided the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA finals with a young core. While you can question his basketball Xs and Os — and there are plenty of basketball people who do — this team really relates to him and plays hard for him. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden like him. And, he made the adjustments necessary to beat Gregg Popovich, the best coach on the planet right now. But his rotations in the finals were confusing. At best.
Well, what Brooks thinks he is worth and what Thunder management have turned out to be two very different things and the two sides are nowhere near a deal, reports David Aldridge of NBA.com.
Sources confirmed a Yahoo! report that Oklahoma City is now offering Brooks a four-year deal, after staying at three years during the last several months of negotiations, and a league source said that Oklahoma City is now willing to discuss a deal that would get Brooks in the $4 million per year range.
Brooks believes that his performance in developing the Thunder’s rotation the last three years warrants a deal that would make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the league. A source with knowledge of the negotiations said that the Thunder’s current offer would not get Brooks into the top 10 of the league’s top-paid coaches, based on this past season’s coaching salaries.
Welcome to coaching in a small market.
In the end, you have to think both sides will get this done. Brooks isn’t doing this just for the money, he really likes this team. He’ll come down some. The Thunder know Brooks has the pulse of this team and they have gotten better for him each year (and he has gotten better). It’s a match.
Besides, if the Thunder are going to replace Brooks at this point that only works if you are going to go big with a name coach who can walk in the door, instantly command the respect of the locker room and take them to the next level. And if you think Brooks is asking for too much money, wait until you talk to those guys.
Figure it out, guys.
Joel Embiid could be the best player on the Philadelphia 76ers in a couple of years — many scouts had him the highest rated of all the first-round draft picks the Sixers have had in recent seasons.
But after two foot surgeries and two seasons sitting on the sidelines, we don’t know how good Embiid can be. We should find out starting in October when Embiid is part of the Sixers training camp. Embiid says he feels 100 percent, but he expects there will be restrictions on him at first, he told Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com during the Sixers Beach Bash community event this weekend.
This is the smart move by the Sixers — they are not competing for a title, the games in November have minimal meaning long term, bring him along slowly and make sure he can make each step along the way. Let’s see what he can do, then worry about how much run he can get in games that matter.
It’s going to be interesting to watch how Embiid, Ben Simmons, Nerlens Noel, and Jahlil Okafor all fit together up front — and which one of them gets traded this season.
Avery Bradley was first-team NBA All-Defensive team last season, and his coach Brad Stevens lobbied for him to get the honor. Bradley picks up guys full court, pesters, and plays physical — we can debate if he is as good defensively as his reputation, but guys like Damian Lillard think he’s tough to go up against.
Bradley, for his part, says he has no fear going up against the best. Here is what he said to Tom Westerholm of Masslive.com.
“I love the challenge,” Bradley said on Friday, making an appearance at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “I love going up against the best players. I don’t care who it is. I don’t care about getting embarrassed. I don’t care. Kyrie Irving, none of those guys scare me. I know some players in the NBA probably get butterflies before the game, but not me. I’m licking my lips. I come excited. They need to prepare for me at the end of the day. That’s how I think.”
That’s exactly the attitude you want an elite defender to have.
Bradley injured his hamstring in the first game of the playoffs last April and sat the rest of the Celtics’ one series. Then this summer his name came up in potential Jimmy Butler trade rumors (that deal never actually came close to getting off the ground). Expect Bradley to put that all behind him by the time training camp opens.
LeBron James was dominant — the clear best player on the planet — when the Cleveland Cavaliers needed him most. That’s the reason Cleveland got its first major sports title in 52 years.
It’s the dead part of the NBA season — training camps don’t even open for a month — so why not enjoy a look back at LeBron’s amazing run to a legacy-defining NBA ring. Like you don’t have 15 minutes for this. What are you going to do, watch more preseason football?
It’s a summer tradition — tall NBA players swatting away the shots of young kids at camps/clinics.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid has yet to step on an NBA court — this fall, finally? — but he is part of the youth tradition now, destroying this young man at the Sixers Beach Bash event Saturday.
This summer Embiid has arm wrestled Justin Bieber and looked good working out in an empty gym, and to add to that list here is Embiid overpowering an average guy at Beach Bash then throwing it down. The man at least provided a little more resistance than a chair.