The feeling around the league is that by the Halloween deadline, the Chicago Bulls will reach some kind of contract extension to his rookie deal deal with Taj Gibson. They like him too much to risk losing him as a restricted free agent next year — he’s a lock-down defender, good athlete, solid rebounder and his offense is making strides in efficiency.
But these kind of talks go down to the deadline — this is not a James Harden “max or nothing” kind of situation, this is about Gibson’s agent and the Bulls finding a number that works for both sides. (While that puts cap pressure on the Bulls in a couple years, they have the relief valve of amnestying Carlos Boozer.)
Gibson didn’t really want to talk about it when Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com asked him about the situation.
“When you’re in this situation, a lot of people are more focused on it than you. You just have to let it slide off your shoulders. Joakim [Noah] was talking about to me about it a couple of days ago, but I always just shrug it off. I really don’t even think about it,” he continued. “When you think about it, it kind of takes you away from the basketball aspect of it. But you really can’t do anything about it, except worry about what you can take care of and that’s the court work. Your agent and the GM has to worry about that.”
That is right out of the textbook of what you’d expect him to say. Gibson and Harden — who played against each other in AAU ball and the then Pac-10 — form a mutual admiration society in the Sam story.
There are a lot of GMs around the league in that same admiration society and they hope the Bulls and Gibson don’t reach a deal, they would like to take a run at Gibson as a restricted free agent next summer. Who doesn’t need athletic, hard-nosed defending forward? And with Derrick Rose out more scoring could be asked of Gibson this season, increasing his stock and price.
After losing Omer Asik last summer to a Rockets bid, the Bulls don’t want to go down that road with Gibson. Look for a deal to get done.
Just don’t expect Gibson to talk much about it.
The Los Angeles Clippers have 14 fully guaranteed contracts on their roster, plus a partial guarantee for DeAndre Liggins (who likely is on the roster opening day). They also are pretty much set at center with DeAndre Jordan and Willie Reed (plus when they go small they can play Blake Griffin there, something I wish they’d do a little more).
That said, Doc Rivers — just a coach now — needs bodies for camp, so in comes former Duke star and Knick Marshall Plumlee, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Plumlee played in 21 games for the Knicks last season, logging a total of 190 minutes. He bounced between New York and the D-League Westchester Knicks, when down he averaged 12.3 points and 9.8 rebounds a game.
He’s not making the Clippers’ squad (barring injury), but he could show well and get noticed by other teams. Over the course of a season, there will be a need for bigs as guys go down injured, Plumlee is getting a chance to show how his game has developed. And he makes some money in the process.
Much like Kevin Durant, it appears that Kawhi Leonard is having a great summer.
In fact, this appears to be the Summer of Kawhi Smiling. Which, according to one of his longtime teammates, is a bit confusing.
When the Spurs posted a photo of Leonard with a big old grin on his face to their Twitter feed recently, San Antonio legend Manu Ginobili responded asking the team whether something was up.
Specifically, Ginobili said that he had seen more photos of Leonard smiling in the past two days then he had in six seasons as a teammate.
You can leave an anonymous tip about why Kawhi Leonard is smiling so much by contacting the produce manager at your local H-E-B.
“He played 20 years … I mean, yeah I guess.”
That’s what Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball had to say in this video after learning that Kobe Bryant was the all-time leader in steals for his franchise. You have to hand it to him, it is a little surprising. Even more surprising is that Bryant has 220 more than Magic Johnson at No. 2.
In a video posted to YouTube by Complex on Saturday, rookies tried to answer questions similar to the one Ball pondered over, like what team drafted their head coach, who the NBA all-time leading scorer is, and what day the first game of the season starts on.
A lot of the responses were pretty funny, including the guys getting wrong what year Adam Silver became NBA commissioner. Poor David Stern has already been forgotten about!
Meanwhile, Ball looked the sharpest. He’s going to come in handy when the Lakers play pub trivia.
It’s summertime in the NBA, which means a lot of us are just trying to find ways to keep our minds occupied until training camp starts.
Thankfully, some of us are artists, including u/bbnexus over at the r/NBA subreddit. Apparently they wanted to use some of the free time we have here during the NBA offseason for a little art project. Specifically, turning all of the remaining 29 NBA team logos into one featuring the Toronto Raptor.
The result is a pretty impressive amount of effort having gone into these logos. I personally think the edition for the Hawks, Timberwolves, and Celtics are the best ones.
A fun game to play here is to figure out which logo goes to which team.
Based on how some of the new Nike uniforms have turned out for teams this year, perhaps u/bbnexus should get the job designing a future ones based off of these logos.