Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like kids love pizza.
• Knicks coach Mike Woodson was wearing a T-shirt with his face on it. That may be the best coach shirt ever.
• Here is your Greg Oden update, from long-time NBA writer Shaun Powell: Agent Mike Conley says Greg Oden will not decide on his next team until July. Cavs, Heat and Celtics in running.
• I’d still bet on the Cavaliers winning that. Oden is in Ohio right now plus they can offer more money than those other teams.
• If you watch one player interview today, it should be Kenneth Faried — the Nugget forward who has two moms — talking homosexuality in sports with friend of this site Kevin Arnovitz at ESPN.
• A great look at Daryl Morey in Houston by my man Zach Lowe at Grantland, where everybody was frustrated with Morey but now the Rockets look good — they are playoff bound, they have James Harden, they just nabbed Thomas Robinson and they have enough cap space to offer a max deal to someone this summer. I’m looking at you, Dwight Howard.
• My guess is that the Rockets will not sign anyone this summer, they will carry over that cap space and look at the 2014 and 2015 classes. But as the Rockets win they will get attention from free agents. When LaMarcus Aldridge was asked what he told potential free agents to get them to Portland, his response was “We have cap space.” Guys will play where the money is.
• Former WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw has been indicted in a shooting incident with her girlfriend.
• If you want an early look at how the NCAA Tournament brackets will break out, here is the current CollegeBasketballTalk thinking.
• I’m not sure he stays this summer, but Al Jefferson has a soft spot for Utah: “Utah’s been the best thing that ever happened to my career. This team has been the best thing that ever happened to me.”
• For masochistic Magic fans, J.J. Redick reflects back on the whole “Dwightmare” situation.
• Michael Jordan purchased a new $2.8 million home in North Carolina. I bet it’s nicer than mine.
• Finally, Sixers coach Doug Collins says his team being young is no excuse for playing like…. fertilizer.
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Shortly after winning a title with the Cleveland Cavaliers, veteran guard Mo Williams picked up his $2.2 million option for next season, choosing to take the guaranteed money on the table for him rather than test free agency at age 33. But he might not be with the Cavs this season — the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Joe Vardon reports that Williams is considering retiring from playing due to lingering knee problems, and the Cavaliers could waive him under the stretch provision in the coming days.
Williams, 33, a 13-year veteran and former All-Star who played a supporting role in the Cavs’ 2016 NBA championship, is strongly considering retirement, multiple sources told cleveland.com.
From Williams’ side of this, he battled a left-knee issue for most of last season while playing in just 41 regular-season games, as his playing time dwindled once Irving returned from knee surgery and the coaching staff chose to stick with Matthew Dellavedova as Irving’s backup.
Sources said his balky knee, desire to coach — especially younger players and children — and the obvious chance to go out as a champion are weighing heavily upon him.
Vardon reports that the Cavs are considering stretching him before the August 31 deadline, but are holding off for now because they want to leave open the possibility of a trade with another team to take on his salary. Either way, it looks as though Williams is done after 13 seasons in the NBA.
I’d say the obvious — it’s sickening to turn a murder of a mom of four, a genuine tragedy, into a political opportunity — but that has become the way of politics. What line of decorum?
None the less, it’s sickening. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tweeted about the tragic death of Dwyane Wade‘s cousin Nykea Aldridge, who was pushing her stroller down a Chicago street this week when two men got into a gunfight (reportedly gang-related) and a bullet killed Aldridge.
Trump tweeted what you see below (actually, what is below is a tweet edited by his staff, the original one misspelled Wade’s first name, putting “Dwayne” instead):
Later, this Tweet came up, again from his staff.
(So you know, you can tell which tweets come from Trump and which from his aids based on the device used to post it.)
Trump’s Tweet is part of his recent apparent attempted outreach to minority voters, which is not about them and more about trying appease concerns of white, middle-class suburban voters (for example, outside Philadelphia, in a swing state). Polls show Trump struggling with those suburban voters, in part because they see him as bigoted.
As you might expect, Twitter unloaded on Trump for his tone deaf and incendiary Tweet. Not that he cares, people are talking about him and that seems his primary goal. Actor Don Cheadle was one of the most prominent.
It’s sad this has become a focus and not Nykea Aldridge — and what can be done to prevent the next Nykea Aldridge.
The relationship between Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler was the subject of much scrutiny last season in Chicago. Reports of tension between the two stars never fully went away, and they proved to be an awkward fit together on the court. But any hard feelings between the two of them appear to be in the past as Butler posted a photo on Instagram of the two former teammates (and Rose’s son, P.J.) hanging out together at a Dodgers game in Los Angeles, where they both work out in the summer.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.