The Warriors depleted their bench while upgrading their top six, which is a pretty good tradeoff. In the playoffs, where Golden State is and should now be focused, rotations shrink and a team’s best players matter more.
But it doesn’t hurt to have depth, and this should help bolster the Warriors’ bench.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:
It’s not immediately clear how much the contract is worth, but Marreese Speights to declined to opt into the final year of a contract that would have paid him $4,515,000, so that hints at what he was seeking.
Speights can step into Carl Landry’s role as a pick-and-pop power forward who can rebound, and that’s nice fit with Stephen Curry. Speights can also play center, which is a nice fit with the injury-prone Andrew Bogut.
Because Jarrett Jack is headed to Cleveland, Speights’ old team, perhaps the Cavaliers and Warriors can work out a sign-and-trade, allowing Golden State to maintain its full mid-level exception and the ability to further re-assemble its bench.
If the Warriors play their cards right, they could dump their bad contracts, get Iguodala and Speights and still have $5.15 million to spend on another free agent.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.