The Brooklyn Nets are happy with the work of Billy King.
Shake your head if you want, the Nets are about to extend the contract of their general manager, reports Adrian Wojnarowskiof Yahoo Sports.
The Brooklyn Nets are finalizing a multiyear contract extension with general manager Billy King, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. A formal announcement is expected in the near future, sources said.
King’s contract was set to expire this summer, but talks have been ongoing since the fall on a new deal.
When Mikhail Prokorov bought the Nets, King was tasked with putting together a team that could open the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn in style. King made the blockbuster trade for Deron Williams. He made a good run at Dwight Howard but when that didn’t work he kept Brook Lopez in house this summer (on a max deal). He grabbed Joe Johnson by trade last summer and had also traded for Gerald Wallace.
If you look at it in terms of raw numbers the moves worked — the Nets have improved 27 games from last season, jumping all the way up to four seed in the East. They are currently locked up 1-1 in the first round with the Chicago Bulls.
But the Nets are going to pay a steep price to make that leap — they took on the worst contract in the NBA in Joe Johnson (three years, $70 million left on the deal after this season). They are going to pay Kris Humphries $12 million next season, they have Gerald Wallace for three more years at $30.3 million dollars. There’s also Brook Lopez on with three years, $47 million after this season, but with his production as a scorer there is value there.
Basically, what you see is what you get with the Nets for a few years — they are locked into this roster. They are limited in who they can pick up as a taxpayer and they are not going to get value back in a trade for any of those contracts. The Nets are not a bad team, but they are not a contender and they are what they are for the next few seasons.
The other question that remains for King and Brooklyn — is P.J. Carlesimo the right coach for this team? The deal for the interim coach is up at the end of this season.
We’ve seen this movie before.
There is all sorts of buzz around the league that LeBron James has one foot out the door in Cleveland. While people around LeBron denied he the rumor he is “100 percent” leaving, good luck finding any league source who thinks he is staying put next summer. Nothing is set in stone, his options — including staying — remain open, but we’ve all been down this road before.
The hometown fans are going to do their part to urge LeBron to stay.
Fan sentiment has some pull with LeBron (he came back to win the city a title). However, what matters more is a sense of a plan to keep the Cavaliers as title contenders for the coming years — and that is more than just Dan Gilbert paying the tax. The Cavs did nothing this summer that got them closer to beating Golden State, and while they swung for the fences with Paul George, what they really needed was wing defenders and athletes, and they didn’t get those either. Luc Mbah a Moute signed a one-year deal for the minimum somewhere else. Instead, Cleveland overpaid Kyle Korver.
Despite all that, the Cavs remain the team to beat in the East. If Cleveland gets to the Finals — LeBron’s eighth in a row — and they win or make it close, he may see staying as his best option. A season can be a lifetime in the NBA in terms of shifting attitudes. Still, I wouldn’t bet the rent on 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.