Denver Nuggets Andre Iguodala reacts against the Golden State Warriors during Game 6 of their NBA Western Conference quarter-final playoff basketball game in Oakland

Report: Kings were in Andre Iguodala sweepstakes, then pull out


UPDATE July 3, 2:05 am: The Kings pulled their max offer to Iguodala off the table and now will no longer pursue him. This caught Iguodala off guard.

July 2, 9:58 pm: With Tyreke Evans reportedly receiving a high-priced offer to play in New Orleans, the Sacramento Kings are looking at going in a different free agent direction.

From Marc Stein of

The Sacramento Kings have made Denver Nuggets swingman Andre Iguodala their free-agent priority, according to sources familiar with Sacramento’s thinking.

Sources told the Kings, meanwhile, are leaning strongly against matching the offer sheet restricted free agent Tyreke Evans is planning to sign with the New Orleans Pelicans on July 10.

The Kings were thinking about matching the offer for Evans, which is in the neighborhood of four years and $44 million. While saying “that’s Stephen Curry money” is factually correct, Curry would have been closer to a max player had the Warriors not extended him at the beginning of last season, and before he was fully recovered from the ankle injuries he’d been dealing with since the year prior.

That’s still a ton of cash to throw at a player like Evans, who hasn’t evolved into the star most were projecting he’d become after his rookie season. Plenty of that can be blamed on injuries and the way that Kings ownership mismanaged the coaches and personnel in charge of his development, and perhaps he will improve to the point where he lives up to that contract.

But it won’t be in Sacramento, and that’s probably a wise choice for the new people in charge of running the Kings franchise.

As for Iguodala, the Nuggets have maintained all along that they’d like to keep him. But instability in the front office, with the loss of GM Masai Ujiri and head coach George Karl, may make Denver a less appealing destination.

Although if the dollars are anywhere near similar, and given the way the two rosters are currently constructed, it would be tough to envision Iguodala choosing Sacramento.

UPDATE: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the offer from the Kings is four years, $56 million. That’s a big number for Denver to match for someone with Iguodala’s skill set.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry
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The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi

Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.