There is not much room in the rotation, but there is room on the roster in New Orleans — they have only 13 spots filled.
Which leads us to this news about swingman Josh Childress:
The Kings and Sixers also reportedly had a little interest in Childress. But nobody has a lot of interest.
The Pelicans likely start Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans at the two/three spots, with Al-Farouq Aminu, Anthony Morrow and Austin Rivers (a point who can play off the ball) behind them.
Childress would be a guy deep off the bench playing for a minimum deal, and in that role he’s fine for New Orleans. Last season he played in just 14 games (and scored 14 points) for Brooklyn last season. Nobody questions the former Stanford stars athleticism, but rather how he uses it — he has gotten to the free throw line four times in two seasons (48 games, 591 minutes). In those two seasons he’s shot 45 percent overall and he isn’t strong from three. He needs to attack or hit his jumpers to have real value.
But again, at the end of the bench for a minimum deal this is fine.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.