DeMarcus Cousins

Wall, Sanders got their rookie extensions, what about the other rookies?


John Wall will be with the Wizards for five more seasons, making $80 million. Larry Sanders will be with Milwaukee for four more years, $44 million.

Those are the first two extensions to the rookie deals out of the 2010 draft. They were both expected and both got done early — teams have until Oct. 31 to make the call and they usually pull the trigger about when you buy your Halloween costume (admit it, that gets done on the 29th if you’re early).

So what about the other guys in the draft class? Let’s take a look at the top 15 picks:

1. John Wall (Wizards). He got his, five years at $80 million.

2. Evan Turner (Sixers). We’ll be kind and say not likely. Turner may have some value to the rebuilding Philly team but they are not going to extend him, rather they will let him become a restricted free and see what price the market sets for him. And then they may let him walk.

3. Derrick Favors (Jazz). Drafted by Nets, he was one of the big pieces that moved west in the Deron Williams trade. This season with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap gone, Favors is going to get a real opportunity to show what he can do. Don’t expect the Jazz to pay him before he proves it however, he will be a restricted free agent and how he plays this season will determine how much he makes down the line.

4. Wesley Johnson (Lakers). Drafted by the Timberwolves but they didn’t keep him around and the Lakers picked him up on a minimum deal. He can’t get an extension even if he deserved it.

5. DeMarcus Cousins (Kings). Expect this one to get done. Cousins should have been a top three pick in this draft — when on he may be the single best player in this draft. While there are serious questions about maturity, the rebuilding Kings need Cousins. They need him to grow and evolve personally and his game, but they need him. The question will be price, but the Kings will likely sign him to a healthy contract.

6. Ekpe Udoh (Bucks). Drafted by the Warriors and now in Milwaukee. Don’t expect and extension here, the Bucks see Sanders and John Henson as their front line of the future.

7. Greg Monroe (Pistons). This is an interesting one. The Pistons see Monroe along with Andre Drummond as a potential front line of the future, but with some big money owed Josh Smith, a healthy chunk to Brandon Jennings and the Drummond extension coming up how much will Detroit offer Monroe? A deal could get done, but if the market sets Monroe’s price next summer there are questions if the Pistons will pay it.

8. Al-Farouq Aminu (Pelicans). He was drafted by the Clippers but traded in the Chris Paul deal. The Pelicans would love for him to find a good role for this team off the bench, but he’s not getting an extension.

9. Gordon Hayward (Jazz). The two sides will talk and while the Jazz want to keep him the question will be price. This may be a case where he becomes a restricted free agent next summer and the Jazz match any offer, but they may find it hard to find common ground now.

10. Paul George (Pacers). This is the one other lock extension — Indiana will give him one and it will be at or near the max. The details just have to be worked out.

11. Cole Aldrich (Kings). He started in Oklahoma City and had a stint with the Rockets as well. He does not have a contract anywhere for next season; the Kings did not pick up their option year.

12. Xavier Henry (Pelicans). Does not have a contract for next season, did not have his option picked up.

13. Ed Davis (Grizzlies). He was drafted by the Raptors but was traded to Memphis in the Rudy Gay deal. I think he’ll have a kind of breakout season off the bench for the Grizzlies, he can play in this league, but he’s not getting an extension.

14. Patrick Patterson (Kings). Drafted by the Rockets now in Sacramento. No extension here.

15. Larry Sanders (Bucks). He got his, four years at $44 million.

If you’re looking for a couple dark horses how could get extensions (not likely but could at the right price), try Avery Bradley with Boston (the No. 19 pick) and Greivis Vasquez of the Kings now.

JaVale McGee apparently makes Warriors regular-season roster

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 15:  JaVale McGee #1 of the Golden State Warriors brings the ball up the court against the Los Angeles Lakers during their preseason game at T-Mobile Arena on October 15, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Golden State won 112-107. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Steve Kerr warned us, but it’s still difficult to digest.

The NBA’s best team will have the league’s most foolhardy player.

Yes, the Warriors are apparently keeping JaVale McGee.

Golden State waived its other three players without guaranteed salaries today: Elliot Williams, Phil Pressey and Cameron Jones. That drops the Warriors’ roster, including McGee, to 15, the regular-season limit. Unless Golden State prefers to open the season with a vacancy, McGee made the team.

McGee earned the job with a strong preseason. No Warriors match his rim protection, giving him clear value in certain matchups

Zaza Pachulia remains Golden State’s starting center, and Draymond Green will play plenty at the position. But I wouldn’t be surprised if McGee outperforms an aging Anderson Varejao (whose primary skill is flopping) and a rookie Damian Jones (who’s recovering from injury) to become a rotation regular.

McGee also has potential to add comic relief to what’s already a tremendous viewing experience.

Report: Kings and Thunder were ‘seriously engaged’ on Rudy Gay-Cameron Payne trade until Payne got hurt

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 03:  Rudy Gay #8 of the Sacramento Kings during the first half at American Airlines Center on March 3, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The Kings are still looking for answers at point guard.

Darren Collison? Not for the season’s first eight games, at least.

Ty Lawson? Um…

Seth Curry? Too late.

Ricky Rubio? Not right now.

Goran Dragic? I mean, maybe, I guess.

Cameron Payne?

If it weren’t for Payne’s foot injury, perhaps Rudy Gay would play for the Thunder.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Kings were seriously engaged with Oklahoma City on a Rudy Gay deal that would’ve included the Thunder’s second-year point guard, Cameron Payne, but those talks stalled after Payne broke his foot in September, league sources said.

This suggest the Kings are not as steadfast on keeping Gay as they’ve suggested, so perhaps we’ll see more trade rumors involving him.

A deal based around Gay and Payne would’ve made sense for both teams.

Sacramento would get a younger player (22 to Gay’s 30) and someone under greater team control (three more years on a rookie-scale contract then restricted free agency rather than Gay planning to opt out and become an unrestricted free agent). Payne would give the Kings much-needed hope at point guard, and he could grow with a team trying to retool around DeMarcus Cousins.

Oklahoma City is far more capable of winning now, even without Kevin Durant, and Gay would help by replacing some of Durant’s scoring punch at small forward. Such a deal could hinder the Thunder down the road, but they seem so intent on making a statement behind Russell Westbrook this season. The bigger concern than swapping Payne’s future for Gay’s present might be Gay opting in and interrupting Oklahoma City’s bigger goals for next summer.

Alas, Payne’s injury puts such a trade on hold, if not closing the window for it entirely.

Elton Brand retires ‘for real, this time’

BOSTON, MA - MAY 12:  Elton Brand #42 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates a shot in the first quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Elton Brandretired” last year, though he left the door open for a return.

The 76ers, desperate for a veteran presence, signed him last January. They even re-signed him this offseason.

But Brand wont stick with Philadelphia into the regular season.

Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:

Brand had a $1 million guarantee on his contract. It’s unclear how much, if any, of that money he’ll get. The first $980,431 would come from the 76ers, any more would come from the league. Philadelphia is far enough below the salary floor to give him a parting gift with minimal team-building constraint.

There had been talk of Brand surviving from the 20-man offseason roster to the 15-man regular-season roster, but this provides clarity for the 76ers. Undrafted rookies James Webb III, Brandon Paul, Cat Barber and Shawn Long are the other likely cuts.

If this is truly the end for Brand, he had a fantastic career since the Bulls drafted him No. 1 overall in 1999. Neither his peak (seventh in 2006 MVP voting, leading the Clippers that year to their first playoff-series victory in Los Angeles) nor longevity (17 seasons, including eight averaging at 20 points and nine rebounds per game) have been properly appreciated.

J.R. Smith denies racism toward Jeremy Lin

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 19:  Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks reacts with teammate J.R. Smith #8 during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden on February 19, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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Jeremy Lin sensibly noted how his Asian-American heritage has influenced his basketball career, for better or worse.

Among the negatives: It made it harder for Lin to gain acceptance as a basketball player.

But did J.R. Smith show that prejudice against Lin while they played together with the Knicks? That’s what Craig Carton claimed when Lin appeared on Boomer & Carton.

  • Carton: “Let me say directly what we think went on, and you tell me if you felt it or if I’m right. There’s the thought – and I believe this, so I’ll say it’s my thought, maybe no one else’s – that there’s a racial component that because you’re a Chinese-American player, that certain African-American players in your locker room, J.R. Smith being one of them, did not want to accept you as a ballplayer. And when you were offered money to play and this big contract comes your way, there’s resentment because of where you’re from and who you are. Did you ever feel that?”
  • Lin: “Yeah, I don’t know. That’s such a hard question, because I’ve never spoken to him or anybody directly about it. So, it’s all speculation. Do I think that – I’ve never spoken to J.R. about it. I’ve never spoken to whoever else you might think about it. And so it’s hard for me, because I don’t want come out and speculate. I will just say, the one thing I will say is that race has been a huge part of my journey ever since I was a child trying to play basketball. So, I do think there’s always that type of component that would be involved, but again, I’ve always said, it’s a double-edged sword. It comes with the good. It comes with the bad. And the bad is, yeah, sometimes I’m different. I look different, and I’m treated different, and that’s a negative thing. And in some ways that’s a really positive thing, too. Linsanity wouldn’t have been Linsanity if I was white or black or whatever. Part of the reason why it was so crazy is because I’m Asian. So to answer your question, I do think race definitely plays a part into it. I think it always has. And to what degree or to how much or to who felt what, that I can’t really specifically give a good answer for you.”

Smith responded emphatically:

I can’t speak to what’s in Smith’s mind, but I’m going to need better evidence than Carton’s unsubstantiated claim that Smith showed racism toward Lin before I believe it.