Chris Paul, Greivis Vasquez, Blake Griffin

Kings’ Vasquez will sit out FIBA Americas tournament

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Greivis Vasquez has put club (and paychecks) before country, which should go over very well in Sacramento.

The likely Kings starting point guard has decided not to play for his native Venezuela in the upcoming FIBA Americas tournament, instead focusing on recovering from off-season surgery to help the Kings next season, reports (via Hoopshype).

The report says that Vasquez has been cleared to get back on the court and be involved in basketball activities (lateral movements, pick-and-roll plays) but it will take him a little while to get up to speed. He’s not going to do that in a tournament setting.

This is good for the Kings, who will likely start Vasquez and will bring Isaiah Thomas off the bench, plus rookie Ray McCallum behind him. Oh, and Jimmer Fredette would like to get into that rotation, too.

But know part of this is financial — Vasquez is coming up on the end of his rookie deal. Technically he could get an extension this summer but more likely next summer he will be a restricted free agent. Have another strong season this year like he did in his last campaign (13.9 points and 9 assists a game, shooting 34.2 percent from three) and he will get paid pretty well. He can play. So long as he healthy.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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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.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

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 basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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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.