Sixers, Bynum not talking extension. Which is to be expected.

4 Comments

Andrew Bynum is not going to sign an extension with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Will. Not. Happen.

Not sure how this keeps being news and being reported as such, or why newly minted Sixers GM Tony DiLeo is being asked about it, but we’ll walk everyone through it one more time.

Don’t get me wrong, Bynum very likely stays in Philly after this season, but it makes no financial sense for him to sign an extension. In fact, he couldn’t do it right now if he wanted to. And he doesn’t want to because it would be a stupid financial move.

Here’s why: As of Feb. 10 (six months after they traded for him) Bynum could sign a max extension, which is three years at just shy of $60 million. However, thanks to the quirks of the new CBA, if Bynum becomes a free agent in July (just five months later) he can re-sign with the Sixers for five years, a little over $100 million. Wait five months, get $40 million more guaranteed. Not much of a decision there. (Bynum could leave as a free agent at that point, but other teams can only offer four years, closer to $80 million. And Bynum is motivated by money.)

DiLeo confirmed all this at his introductory press conference Monday said he and Bynum’s agent haven’t even talked extension, reports the Courier Times at Phillyburbs.com. And he’s not worried.

“His agent said he wants to come to the surroundings and see the team, see the atmosphere,” DiLeo said. “He’s been very, very happy. His agent said he hasn’t seen him this happy in a long time.

“I think everything will work out. I think we’ll like Andrew and Andrew will like it here. At the appropriate time, we’ll do the negotiations.”

DiLeo will go through the motions of making the offer of an extension, which will get rejected. It’s part of the game. But unless Bynum hates Philly by next summer, he will re-sign to stay with the Sixers.

So, can we just kill the extension talk? For Bynum and Dwight Howard (who is in the same situation with his contract)? Not going to happen. This is an issue for next July.

By the way, DiLeo confirmed that Bynum is back from getting that experimental, Kobe Bryant knee treatment done and is back in the states. He will be ready to go for training camp.

Stephen Curry drains shots from near half court during warmups like they’re layups

Getty Images
3 Comments

Stephen Curry‘s pregame warmups draw people into the arena early, it’s a show in and of itself.

Before Game 4 Monday night, Curry was taking a couple shots from the center-court logo. And draining them. Like layups. Because he can.

We’ll see if he can put on that kind of show when the game tips off.

Gregg Popovich makes it official: No Kawhi Leonard for Game 4

2 Comments

This was expected. It still sucks to hear.

Kawhi Leonard is out for Game 4 vs. the Warriors Monday night.

Leonard has sprained his left ankle in Game 5 against the Rockets and sat out Game 6 of that series (a San Antonio win), then returned for Game 1 against the Warriors. He re-injured his ankle twice in that game — once stepping on David Lee‘s foot, once when Zaza Pachulia slid under him on a jumper and took away his landing space. Leonard left that game with his team up 23 points, but the Warriors rallied back to win Game 1 and have controlled the series ever since. Leonard has not returned to the series.

San Antonio will play with pride on Monday night, but it may not be enough. You can bet the Warriors were reminded all day about taking their foot off the gas after what happened with Cleveland Sunday.

Report: Orlando hires Toronto GM Jeff Weltman to be president of basketball operations

Leave a comment

In Toronto, Masai Ujiri is the head of basketball operations and the guy with the hammer on deals. Jeff Weltman was his right-hand man and team GM.

Make that was his right-hand man, Weltman has been hired by the Orlando Magic to run its basketball operations, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The Orlando Magic have hired Toronto Raptors general manager Jeff Weltman as the franchise’s president of basketball operations, league sources told The Vertical.

Weltman met with Orlando CEO Alex Martins and ownership on Monday, finalizing a five-year deal, league sources said.

Orlando officials had been intrigued with Cleveland GM David Griffin, but moved steadily toward Weltman as they became further engaged with his candidacy in recent weeks, league sources said. Weltman has been deeply involved in every aspect of the Raptors’ front office under president Masai Ujiri as Toronto became a perennial Eastern Conference contender.

Making a move now is smart in this sense: The Magic have the No. 5 pick in this draft and would want the guy making the big picture decisions about this roster on board to make this selection.

That roster already has some quality pieces — Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, maybe Elfrid Payton — but has underachieved. There were questions about the culture and a lack of accountability, and that blame ultimately fell on GM Rob Hennigan and he was let go. Frank Vogel is locked in as

Frank Vogel is locked in as coach, so how well Weltman and Vogel work together — and share a vision — will be key.

Weltman is well-respected around the league. He spent five seasons as an assistant GM in Milwaukee, and has been with the Raptors since 2013 as that team has risen up the Eastern Conference standings and had its best run in franchise history. He also has worked with the Clippers and in Denver. He’s been one of those guys expected to get a chance in the big chair for a few years now.

He’s got it, and it’s an interesting challenge in Orlando.

Celtics’ Guerschon Yabusele has foot surgery, expected to be ready for training camp

Leave a comment

When the Boston Celtics head to training camp next fall, all eyes will be on Markelle Fultz whoever the Celtics take with the No. 1 pick. He will be the guy expected, in a few years, to lead the Celtics to the top of the mountain in the East (assuming LeBron James ever leaves that space).

But they will have another high first round pick coming in: Guerschon Yabusele, a 6’8” power forward out of France. The Celtics drafted him No. 16 a year ago, then had him go get a year of seasoning in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Yabusele is having foot surgery but is expected to be ready for training camp, reports Chris Forsberg of ESPN.

Guerschon Yabusele, a 2016 first-round pick of the Boston Celtics, underwent surgery recently to remove bone spurs from the top of both feet and will not participate in summer league, according to a league source.

Yabusele, the 16th overall pick in last year’s draft, spent much of his first professional season stashed in China. He came stateside in March and latched on with the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s D-League affiliate.

For a team that lacks rebounding, Yabusele could be a fit in Boston. He has the build of an old-school power forward, but he has a face-up game on offense, a quicker first step than people think, and he can shoot the three.

The Celtics also have Ante Zizic, last year’s No. 23 pick, who played last season in Turkey. The Celtics are a deep team, will they have a roster space for Yabusele or Zizic next season? Or will at least one of them play another year overseas, stashed away and waiting for their chance? There are a lot of questions about the Celtics’ plans this summer, that is just one of them.