When you see the play above most people who are not Thunder faithful thought Serge Ibaka punched Blake Griffin in the groin and should have been ejected. But he wasn’t, it was ruled a flagrant 1 foul, and Ibaka went on to make key plays down the stretch (including drawing Griffin’s sixth foul) that helped lift the Thunder over the Clippers Sunday.
So is the league going to step in and up the penalty and suspend Ibaka? Nope.
The league announced that it has upgraded the foul from a Flagrant 1 to a Flagrant 2, but Ibaka will only be fined $25,000 and not suspended for a game (Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported this was how it would go down). If the referees had called a flagrant 2 in the game Ibaka would have been ejected and maybe the end of the game plays out differently. The Clippers are shaking their heads at this one, and they should be.
My two cents: It was a bad call then and is a bad call now. It looks like what the league wanted was to make sure Ibaka was in uniform Tuesday night when the Thunder face the Lakers on national televisio.
Ibaka’s supporters say that he wasn’t throwing a punch, he was trying to dislodge Blake’s hand as he had a fistful of Ibaka’s jersey? My response is that fistfuls of jerseys are grabbed on better than half the rebound battles in the NBA, but you don’t get to take a swing to dislodge the guy’s hand.
That’s not how the league sees it.
We also are still awaiting word on if J.J. Barea will get a fine or suspension for his body check of Ray Allen on Monday night.
AP source: Bulls agree to 2-year deal with Mirotic
CHICAGO (AP) A person with knowledge of the situation says the Chicago Bulls and forward Nikola Mirotic have agreed to a two-year contract that could pay as much as $27 million.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity Sunday because the deal has not been announced. The Bulls hold an option on the second year.
The 6-foot-10 Mirotic averaged 10.6 points last season. He has scored 10.8 per game over three seasons.
The Bulls are rebuilding after winning 41 games and losing in the first round of the playoffs. They traded All-Star guard Jimmy Butler to Minnesota on draft night for three players 23 and younger – Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to No. 7 overall pick Lauri Markkanen.
Trump also decided to disinvite the Golden State Warriors after star Stephen Curry said that he would vote know heading into a team meeting to discuss whether they should visit the White House as the reigning NBA champions.
That prompted response from several players around the NBA and in Golden State, as well asWarriors coach Steve Kerr, who asked for Trump to remember that he represents the entire nation and not just his constituency.
Meanwhile, Game 1 of the Finals was pretty incredible with the Sparks winning thanks to a Chelsea Gray jumper with two seconds left to make it 85-84. LA leads Minnesota in the series 1-0.
Report: Chicago Bulls and Dwyane Wade reach agreement on buyout
According to Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bulls and Dwyane Wade and have reach an agreement on a buyout.
This has been coming for some time, as it does not make sense to have Wade in the fold for a young Bulls team moving forward. Both sides seem to have been at a stalemate for some time as Wade’s salary is $23.8 million for the upcoming season.
Wade will now be free to move to another team, and many people think that he will be headed to the Cleveland Cavaliers to join his pal LeBron James.
The Bulls and Dwyane Wade have reached agreement on a buyout, per sources.
The Cavaliers are over the cap, so the only deal Wade would be able to sign at the moment would be for the veteran minimum.
The full banana boat crew of Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Lebron, and Wade were not been able to get on a single team this offseason, so Cleveland does seem to be the most likely option.
What Wade can bring to the Cavaliers is another question. Cleveland has relied heavily on Richard Jefferson over the past two years, so it’s not out of the ordinary for them to use a veteran often. Wade has certainly declined in recent seasons but his per-100 possession statistics show he could still be useful for a championship-level team needing a bench ball handler and scorer.
Whether he would accept that role is another thing altogether, and if role is important to Wade moving forward he could end up in a different place than with James in Cleveland.
San Antonio is another interesting place for him to land, although so to is back home in Miami. We still have yet to see where Wade will sign, but this is just yet another item to declare this NBA offseason the greatest of all-time.
Report: Knicks wanted Cavs’ Tristan Thompson in potential Carmelo Anthony trade
Carmelo Anthony is now a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, but save for a refusal from the Cleveland Cavaliers he could have been playing with LeBron James this season.
According to Cleveland.com, the New York Knicks apparently tried to complete a trade with the Cavaliers before settling with the Thunder.
The centerpiece of the potential trade with Cleveland would have been power forward Tristan Thompson, a favorite of LeBron. The Cavaliers apparently decided against making that trade, which is how we wound up with Anthony heading to play with Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
The Knicks wanted Thompson, 26, a center who like James is represented by Rich Paul. The Cavs told them no. Thompson is under contract for three more seasons, beginning at $16.4 million this year. Cleveland was willing to do a deal that would’ve cleared some contracts off the books, such as sending Iman Shumpert ($11 million this year) and others.
New York also asked about one of Cleveland’s two first-round choices for 2018, and the Cavs weren’t about to part with either.
The Cavs view the Brooklyn pick they own for 2018 as invaluable for multiple reasons. Trading the Knicks their own first-round pick would prevent them from being able to move the Brooklyn pick later this season.
Obviously an important backstory here is how much LeBron likes Thompson, and that they share the same agent. Thompson remains a somewhat underrated part of the Cavaliers overall success during the regular season.
Thompson played much of the year at center for the Cavaliers last year, apparently making it his permanent position. Cleveland’s roster without Thompson but with both Kevin Love and Carmelo would have been an odd mix, forcing Love to likely be the person to play the 5.
It makes sense that the Knicks would want to Thompson, and it also makes sense that the Cavaliers refused.