Iguodala was an hour away from signing with Dallas then Warriors trade went down

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Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks were thisclose to signing Andre Iguodala.

Instead, a capped-out but aggressive Golden State ownership pulled together a three-team trade that gave them the room to add Iguodala to an already strong Golden State roster and makes them far more dangerous in the West.

Iguodala wanted to be a Warrior, but to get there he had to leave other offers on the table while the Warriors pulled the complex trade together. And he did just that according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

To get here, he turned down a four-year, $52 million deal that Sacramento offered July 2 and then pulled, a five-year, $60 million front-loaded deal that Denver had on the table throughout the process, and a lucrative deal with Dallas that Iguodala almost signed an hour before the Warriors were able to create the necessary cap space to offer him four years and $48 million….

Finally, an hour before Iguodala was to sign with the Mavericks, the Warriors made two concessions in the deal with Utah and were able to send Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush – along with two first-round picks and two seconds.

A day later, Denver wanted to be part of the deal, and the Warriors gave up a third second-round pick to the Nuggets in order to make it a sign-and-trade deal that afforded them use of the full mid-level and bi-annual exceptions and granted traded-player exceptions for $11 million and $4 million.

Iguodala would have been a good signing for Dallas, but not the lone guy they could rebuild around. Iguodala brings a lot of important skills to the table, but he needs to be paired with a guy who can put up a lot of buckets. It would have been a good starting place for Dallas, but there would have been a lot more work to do.

For Iguodala this landing makes more sense — he is on a team that is up and coming in the West. They still have to prove themselves — Oklahoma City with a healthy Russell Westbrook remains the team to beat, San Antonio is going to be good again, the Clippers and Rockets are improved, and the list goes on.

Iguodala also is in a city he has wanted to be in for some time, trying to find his way there several times in the past but it never worked out. He took less money to get there.

Report: Clippers take Chris Paul-to-Spurs rumor ‘very seriously’

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Want to laugh off that Chris Paul-to-Spurs rumor?

The Clippers aren’t joining you.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Clippers should be concerned. Losing Paul would unravel their entire foundation, dropping them from the fringe of championship contention to out of the title picture completely. It could even help usher out Blake Griffin, who will also be an unrestricted free agent this summer. (To be fair, Paul leaving could also help convince Griffin to stay.)

About a month ago, the Clippers reportedly expected Paul to stay. They even reportedly struck a verbal agreement with him to re-sign before that. But they can’t officially sign him until July, and that leaves the door open for him to leave.

The Clippers should be heartened by their advantages – a prime market and a projected max offer of $205 million over five years.

The most another team projects to be able to offer is $152 million over four years, and San Antonio will have a hard time doing that. Even if they trim their roster to Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Danny Green and Tony Parker, the Spurs would still have to shed two of those players to clear max cap space.

So, never say never, but the Clippers’ concern might be rooted more in the dire consequences of Paul leaving rather than the likelihood of it.

Report: Raptors, Magic can’t trade with each other for a year

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The Magic will send the Raptors a 2018 second-round pick for hiring Jeff Weltman, who was Toronto’s general manager.

But that’s not the only consequence of hire.

Yahoo Sports:

The move invoked the NBA provision that Toronto and Orlando are not permitted to trade players with each other until the earlier of May 24, 2018, or the conclusion of the 2017-18 season for either organization, league sources told The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

The NBA made a similar ruling when the Clippers sent the Celtics a first-rounder to hire Doc Rivers, and I don’t like it now, either. It’s needlessly restrictive, preventing talent from flowing to the optimal locations.

At least Orlando isn’t a logical destination for the Raptor most likely to be dealt: Jonas Valanciunas. The Magic already have enough centers with Nikola Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo – a lesson that influenced their last trade with Toronto, dealing Serge Ibaka.

2017 NBA playoffs have been historically uncompetitive

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The NBA Finals so many wanted to see – Cavaliers-Warriors III – is here.

At least it will be.

Today is the first of six off days before the 2017, which begin June 1 in Oakland.

The lengthy delay is the product of an underwhelming postseason featuring few competitive series and numerous blowouts.

Golden State swept its way through the West, and Cleveland dropped only one game (to the Celtics in the conference finals) while winning the East. There have been only two Game 7s, but considering the magnitude, neither felt that compelling. Blake Griffin‘s injury undercut the Clippers against the Jazz, and Celtics over Wizards felt inevitable with home teams winning each game of the series. Between, there have been several lackluster games and series.

There have been just 74 playoff games this year – the fewest before the Finals since since the NBA instituted a best-of-seven first round in 2003:

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That’s 74 of a possible 98 games – 76%, the lowest since 1999 and seventh-lowest ever.

Even if the Finals go seven games, it will be the fewest games in a postseason since 2007. If the Finals go five or fewer games, it’ll be the shortest postseason in this playoff format.

And it hasn’t just been quantity. The quality of games has been lacking, too.

Though there were more blowouts last year by nearly any measure, the 2017 postseason’s average margin in pre-Finals games (13.5) is fifth-highest all-time and second-highest since 1959 (behind 2016, 14.2).

Combine the two factors, and these are the drabbest playoffs in nearly 50 years. Here’s each postseason plotted by average margin in pre-Finals games and percentage of possible games pre-Finals:

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This probably just confirms what you’ve seen: The 2017 playoffs have been in a rut.

We’re all counting on the Cavaliers and Warriors to salvage this postseason, but considering how deep the hole is, anything less than an epic Finals probably won’t cut it.

Kyrie Irving crosses over Avery Bradley, hits 3-pointer (video)

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Avery Bradley got around one screen then, thanks to Kyrie Irving‘s excellent ball-handling, lunged at another that wasn’t coming as Irving hit a 3-pointer.