The new ownership of the Sacramento Kings has made it clear that they want to build their franchise around DeMarcus Cousins (have fun with that), and a player with his skill set, despite his considerable baggage, will command in the neighborhood of a max contract when the time comes.
Talks were reportedly underway this week, and a deal was expected as soon as the start of training camp, which will open in Sacramento on Sept. 30.
It now appears that things may be wrapped up even sooner.
From Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee:
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the deal is a four-year, $62 million max extension, with no opt-out after year three.
From a franchise front office perspective, there’s still no good argument for handing out these max extensions a year before they become necessary.
If the Kings and Cousins didn’t agree on an extension by the Oct. 31 deadline to do so, Sacramento would have been able to match any offer Cousins would receive at the end of the season by making him a restricted free agent.
The Kings could still have given Cousins a max contract at that point after an additional season of evaluation, if that was their choice. But with the emotional wreck that Cousins has proven to be on the court in his NBA career thus far, it’s probably wise to remove the distraction of a new contract from the equation as soon as possible. For better or worse, that appears to be the decision that’s been made in Sacramento.
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.