It is still an “if” — if the Lakers amnesty Metta World Peace.
The report came out Monday night that the Lakers were leaning that way, jettisoning World Peace to save a few bucks (isn’t that just like corporate America). But nothing is decided yet.
However, if World Peace is set free he would like to land with the Knicks, reports Jared Zwerling at ESPNNewYork.com.
Amid rumors that Metta World Peace will be released by the Los Angeles Lakers via the amnesty clause, his longtime friend and head of his foundation, Jose Morales, said the forward “hopes to land with the Knicks.”
“If the Lakers do amnesty him, he might want to retire,” Morales said. “If one of these small-market teams picks him up, he won’t be happy with that. He doesn’t want to play there.”
Morales said World Peace would also be open to playing for the Clippers, but if he can’t stay in Los Angeles he would only want to play in New York, his hometown.
When a player is amnestied he goes on to a waiver wire where a team under the salary cap can bid and pick him up and take over a portion of his old salary (the player still gets paid his full salary, the remainder is picked up by the team that amnestied him). Which is to say, when/if the Lakers amnesty World Peace he could get picked up by the Bobcats or Suns. Which would force World Peace’s hand.
But if he gets through the waiver process he is an unrestricted free agent. Then it’s just a matter of money… and the Knicks don’t have much.
New York could offer the veteran minimum or whatever is left of their mini midlevel of $3.2 million. But that’s it. Not that it really matters too much as World Peace would get paid anyway.
It is something to watch, if he is amnestied (and it looks like he will be).
Just a suggestion for rookie Dejounte Murray: Don’t do this in front of Gregg Popovich. You may not like his reaction.
That said, the Spurs needed to get more athletic this off-season — landing Pau Gasol certainly didn’t help that cause — so enter first-round pick Murray, who pulled this off in a recent pickup game.
Murray is going to be brought along slowly in a backcourt where Tony Parker and Patty Mills will be splitting time at the point. Murray is more of a combo guard and is going to have to shoot a lot better than he did in college (28.8 percent from three) to get some run. But this is a situation where the Spurs can groom him, bring him along slowly, and see if they have another draft steal.
He’s certainly got the athleticism.
James Harden‘s defense is not as bad as its reputation.
Well, at least it wasn’t two seasons ago — his near MVP season he was in good enough shape that he could put in a respectable effort on that end and still handle his massive offensive load. There were still some mental lapses, but his focus was better and his improvement lifted the team defense. Last season, he regressed back to youtube “highlight” defense Harden — his conditioning was not where it needed to be, he didn’t expend as much effort on that end, and it showed.
Harden got a massive contract extension this summer, and Dwight Howard is Atlanta’s problem — now Harden has to lead the Rockets. By example. Corey Brewer told ESPN you’re going to see that on defense.
“I think this year he’s going to play better defense, We’re going to let the past be in the past. It’s the future of the Rockets, man. James is going to play defense this year.”
We’re all Missourians on this one: Show me.
Remember that the Rockets will be out and running — Mike D’Antoni is the coach now, and Daryl Morey is going to get the up tempo ball he wants (which Kevin McHale had them doing, but Harden didn’t like him so…). D’Antoni’s teams in Phoenix played better defense than their reputation — points per possession they were middle of the pack — but that has never been his focus.
Will Harden be able to run like he needs to on offense and still defend at a reasonable level?
If he can, it’s a big step toward the Rockets being a dangerous team in the West because if he does it others will follow. Otherwise, every Rockets game will be a shootout, which is entertaining but not going to get a team deep into the playoffs.
I can see the questions on Twitter/in the comments already so let me save you some time.
Because it’s summer.
Because it’s Drake (he’s a celebrity and an NBA hanger-on with some quasi-official position with the Raptors).
Because Stephen Curry did it, too.
Because what other hoops are you watching on a late August afternoon?
And besides, you clicked on it. You know you want to see it.
So here it is, Drake, hitting a halfcourt shot while doing a sit up. Enjoy.
Mario Chalmers was thriving with the Grizzlies after a midseason trade from the Heat when a torn Achilles ended his season.
Not the way Chalmers wanted to enter free agency.
Still unsigned, he says he’s progressing.
Can he go 100%, though? If not, when?
A few teams could use another point guard. If Chalmers shows his health, he belongs in someone’s rotation. But that might require taking a low-paying deal and working his way up from the third point guard spot – or even just onto the regular-season roster.