Report: Woman says Maurice Cheeks threatened her, pulled her hair and called her a (expletive)

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Maurice Cheeks’ pristine reputation as a class act took a hit when police questioned him about a possible domestic dispute this summer. He was not charged, and it appeared the matter might end there.

But new details will again bring questions to Cheeks’ character.

Tammy Stables Battaglia of the Detroit Free Press:

A 45-year-old Atlanta woman visiting Cheeks, 56, in August told Birmingham Police that she confronted him after finding a glass in the dishwasher rimmed with another woman’s lipstick, according to the investigation report released today under the Freedom of Information Act.“During the argument, (she) threw the glass down a flight of stairs, shattering it on the bottom of the staircase,” the officer wrote in the report. “She stated Cheeks was trying to prevent her from leaving and was taking her belongings out of the suitcase and throwing them around the bedroom … screaming at her to clean up the broken glass and calling her a (expletive).”The woman told police that Cheeks blocked her from leaving, pulling her hair and putting his fist against the side of her face. She said he agreed to let her leave when she agreed to clean up the broken glass. Instead, she fled and called 911. Police picked her up just after midnight Aug. 31, at the corner of Woodward and Bowers.

Cheeks has not been convicted of a crime, and it still appears he won’t be. It would be unfair to jump to any conclusions about what happened that night.But Cheeks was not charge because the woman refused to cooperate with investigators. That’s much different than Cheeks not being charged because he was investigated and cleared.The alleged conduct is unacceptable, but it’s important to remember it’s only alleged.For what it’s worth, I found no articles mentioning Cheeks being married, and the woman reportedly told investigators she was ending her relationship with him. As far as his personal life is concerned, it seems this matter might be closed.As far as his professional life is concerned, the situation appears similarly. Battaglia: 

Pistons spokesman Kevin Grigg today also declined to comment on the allegations released in the report.“This situation’s closed for us because nothing ever came — it was thrown out,” he said. “The issue’s closed for us.”

The Pistons are not required to act only if Cheeks is convicted of a crime. They are free to set their own values. However, it’s also not necessarily the role of an employer to punish employees for conduct outside work that does not involve a conviction for a crime.

This is probably where the trail ends. Cheeks’ reputation takes a hit, but he faces no legal or professional consequences.

And like so many stories involving sports and bad behavior, if he wins, it will be forgotten.

Pistons’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope suspended two games for DUI

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This is the standard penalty for coaches and players hit with a DUI. I don’t think the penalty is stiff enough in general for a serious issue, but this is the precedent that has been set.

Detroit Pistons’ guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been suspended two games by the NBA for “pleading guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, in violation of the law of the State of Michigan,” the NBA announced. He will miss the first two games of next season.

This will not stop Caldwell-Pope from getting PAID this summer.

A quality wing defender who hit 35 percent from three last season, he plays a position of need for a lot of teams and he is a restricted free agent. Other teams with cap space — Brooklyn and Sacramento come to mind — could step in and give him a max or near max offer. Then Stan Van Gundy needs to decide if he is going to match. He may not have much of a choice, if he wants to keep Andre Drummond and build an inside-out team around him, he needs Caldwell-Pope, and the Pistons don’t have the cap space to replace him.

One way or another, Caldwell-Pope is in line for a massive pay raise. This suspension will not slow teams, it just takes a little money out of his pocket.

 

Lonzo Ball tops Rookie of the Year early betting odds

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If you are betting right now on next year’s NBA Rookie of the Year award, you are a die-hard fan of your team and their new addition. Or, you have a problem and need to seek help. Maybe both.

Either way, the people at the gambling site Bovada have posted the early betting odds for the ROY award for next season.

Lonzo Ball (Lakers) 5/2
Ben Simmons (76ers) 3/1
Markelle Fultz (76ers) 5/1
De”Aaron Fox (Kings) 7/1
Josh Jackson (Suns) 9/1
Jayson Tatum (Celtics) 9/1
Jonathan Isaac (Magic) 16/1
Malik Monk (Hornets) 16/1
Dennis Smith (Mavericks) 16/1
John Collins (Hawks) 20/1
Justin Jackson (Trail Blazers) 22/1
Lauri Markkanen (Bulls) 22/1

Yes, Ben Simmons is in the mix.

The two bets I like here, if I were a gambling man, are Jackson in Phoenix and Dennis Smith in Dallas. I doubt Smith wins it, but Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after the draft Smith will start for them next year, which means he gets opportunities and can rack up assists feeding Dirk Nowitzki at the elbow for a year.

Jackson is going to be unleashed in an up-tempo Suns offense where he will be the defender they need on the wing, play with high energy, and get buckets in transition. Winning ROY is as much about fit and opportunity as talent, and Jackson has landed in a good spot.

Paul George-Gordon Hayward-Celtics rumor doesn’t add up

AP Photo/George Frey
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Paul George reportedly wants to play with Gordon Hayward. George is also reportedly willing to join his desired team (universally accepted to be the Lakers) by means that don’t guarantee the highest salary.

Could the Celtics – who are pursuing Hayward in free agency – leverage those conditions into getting George?

Adam Kauffman of 98.5 The Sports Hub:

I don’t what George would do, but it’d be a MAJOR financial disadvantage to go this route.

There a couple ways it could happen – George getting extended-and-trade or George getting traded then signing an extension six months later. The latter would allow George to earn more than the former, but even if he pledged to sign an extension, would the Celtics trade for him knowing he’d have six months to change his mind if he doesn’t like Boston as much as anticipated?

There’s a bigger issue, anyway. Both extension routes would leave George earning far less than simply letting his contract expire then signing a new deal, either with his incumbent team or a new one.

Here’s a representation of how much George could earn by:

  • Letting his contract expire and re-signing (green)
  • Letting his contract expire and signing elsewhere (purple)
  • Getting traded and signing an extension six months later (gray)
  • Signing an extend-and-trade (yellow)

image

Expire & re-sign Expire & leave Trade, extend later Extend-and-trade
2018-19 $30.6 million $30.6 million $23,410,750 $23,410,750
2019-20 $33.0 million $32.1 million $25,283,610 $24,581,287
2020-21 $35.5 million $33.7 million $27,156,470 $25,751,825
2021-22 $37.9 million $35.2 million $29,029,330
2022-23 $40.4 million
Total $177.5 million $131.6 million $104,880,158 $73,743,861

Firm numbers are used when it’s just a calculation based on George’s current contract. When necessary to project the 2018-19 salary cap, I rounded.

The Celtics could theoretically renegotiate-and-extend, but that would require cap room that almost certainly wouldn’t exist after signing Hayward.

Simply, it’s next to impossible to see this happening. It’d be too costly to George.

Dwyane Wade on why he exercised his player option: ’24 million reasons’

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Dwyane Wade said he wanted to see the Bulls’ direction – winning now with Jimmy Butler or rebuilding? – before deciding on his $23.8 million player option for next season.

While Chicago was actively shopping Butler (before eventually trading him to the Timberwolves), Wade opted in, anyway.

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

This is most real answer answer you’ll ever see. Props to Wade for his directness.

This also speaks to the unlikelihood of him accepting a buyout, no matter how poorly he fits with the rebuilding Bulls now – though maybe he’d accept a small pay cut to choose another team.