This was expected, we were just waiting for it to become official.
It will on Tuesday — the Bulls will not match the three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet the Rockets gave center Omer Asik, reports K.C. Johnson at the Chicago Tribune. Asik will become a Rocket on the exact same deal that make Jeremy Lin a Rocket.
This clears the way for the Bulls to sign Kirk Hinrich and make other promised moves.
The Tribune reported on July 8 that Hinrich verbally agreed to a two-year deal, but it’s closer to $8 million in value, sources said…. The Bulls will add another shooting guard as well, with the imminent signing of Marco Belinelli for the biannual exception of $1.9 million.
We have noted that the Bulls have made moves like these that kind of tread water right now on the court but will all expire in the summer of 2014 (along with the deals of Luol Deng) and once you amnesty Carlos Boozer suddenly the Bulls have the money to go after a max-deal player to pair with Derrick Rose.
Ironically, while not really getting better this year on the court the Bulls will pay the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history. But just a few million, by using part of the mid-level exception on Hinrich and the biannual on Belinelli to go over the luxury tax threshold ($70 million) the Bulls put a hard cap on themselves of $74.3 million. They cannot exceed that. So they couldn’t bring back Asik.
He’s now a Rocket. And with their new deals Asik and Lin will now make close to $30 million combined in the 2014-15 season. That should be fun for Houston to find a way out of.
This upcoming season will be a huge test for Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins.
After a couple years of steady improvement, it appeared that Wiggins started to level off in his third season. Yes, he increased his 3-point shooting percentage but dips in his free-throw rate and VORP were a tad disappointing considering his usage even as he contributed more points per-game. Many in Minnesota expected him to be a superstar, and now it’s possible he ends up simply as a perennial rotation guy.
Still, the new season for the Timberwolves should be pretty interesting as they have added new pieces to the roster, including former Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler.
The video above includes 10 of Wiggins’s best plays from the 2016-17 NBA season. Hopefully Wiggins will be able to build on this type of play as the roster around him and gets better and expectations rise.
Doc Rivers no longer has the hammer on trades and player moves in Los Angeles, that has been wisely handed over to Lawrence Frank, the team’s new president of basketball operations. He has Jerry West as a consultant — who will have the owner’s ear — working with him.
Frank now has a new right-hand guy, one of the better respected, up-and-coming front office people in the league, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The LA Clippers have offered Oklahoma City Thunder executive Michael Winger its general manager’s job, league sources told ESPN. A deal could be finalized soon, league sources said…
Winger, 37, has spent the past seven years with Oklahoma City, working closely with Executive Vice President and GM Sam Presti.
ESPN’s Thunder reporter Royce Young chipped in with this.
This is a good hire by the Clippers, bringing a smart young executive from a well-respected organization into the fold to help energize their front office.
This past summer the Clippers lost Chris Paul (traded to Houston, because he was leaving as a free agent otherwise), locked up Blake Griffin long-term, and now have to decide on a future direction. DeAndre Jordan has a player option next summer, do the Clippers want to max him out or move another direction? The Clippers need to inject some younger, more athletic players into their roster and move out of the win-now, trade youth for vets mode Rivers had them in. The Clippers have done a poor job developing young talent and using that to supplement their stars (something teams like the Warriors and Spurs have done well over the years).
Winger should help change that dynamic.
I’m not sure it’s possible to argue that LeBron James is not the most important player in the NBA, even in 2016-17.
Yes, others have won the MVP award in years past, but each and every postseason you understand just how important LeBron is to every roster he is on. NBA players even voted him as the player they would most secretly want on their team.
That’s why it’s pretty easy to galvanize that opinion when you watch a 20-minute highlight video of LeBron’s best plays from each game of the past season.
Summer is upon us and even preseason seems like a long way off. Thankfully, we will be able to get to see plays like this here in what feels like the near future.
I think we’ve all been in the situation that C.J. McCollum found himself in recently.
Whether you are a hardcore NBA fan, a blogger, a professional writer, or a basketball player, when folks interested in the league find out about your passion, they often try to connect with you about it. Which is great! Especially as sometimes you get cats like the one who was driving the Portland Trail Blazers star guard in the video below.
Now, I have to warn you about some NSFW language, but what the guy had to say was pretty great. Hilarious, even.
The topics ranged from superstars being on the same team, to hating the Golden State Warriors, to the future success of the Blazers themselves.
Again, some extremely NSFW language ahead but also some serious laughs to be had.
I’m dying. This guy is the best.