On paper it’s an impressive front line — Andrew Bynum and Josh Smith.
On the court… that would have been interesting. I mean, assuming Bynum ever gets back on the court. Like the Bucks backcourt, it could be both amazing and painfully bad, not even game to game but quarter to quarter.
We will not find out what a Bynum/Smith pairing would have been like.
However, we almost did reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Sources from both teams confirmed that the Sixers and the Hawks were close to a deal that would have sent Sixers Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes to the Hawks for forward Josh Smith.
I would think the Hawks asked for more here. Spencer Hawes is solid and has one more year after this at $6.6 million. Turner was slumping around the deadline and the Sixers have real questions about his place next to Jrue Holiday down the line. That’s not a great haul for the Hawks. Then again it’s not nothing either, and that’s what the Hawks got for the free agent to be in Smith. Danny Ferry clearly looked at his options at the deadline and chose cap space over Hawes and Turner.
For the Sixers, it would have meant two unrestricted free agents in Bynum and Smith that were going to cost a lot of money to keep this summer. They have rolled the dice since reaching the second round of the playoffs last year and thinking that was max for what that old roster could do. But this would have been doubling down on a bet that didn’t work yet the first time.
Maybe it’s best both sides walked away here.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.