Kevin Love

Kevin Love among four NBA players to get flop warning


Kevin Love is leading the league in points per game (29.7), second in rebounds per game (14.7) and so he wanted to be one of the first to get a flopping warning from the league also.

Well, congratulations, you’ve done it.

Love was one of four players to get a flopping warning from the league on Monday. The others were Love’s teammate Corey Brewer, Patty Mills of the Spurs and the Bucks’ Zaza Pachulia.

Love’s came in the third quarter against the Knicks. He had the ball out by the three point line and Kevin Martin came around him, using Love as a screen. Rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. was on Martin and ran into Love, and the much larger Love went down pretty easily.

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Brewer’s flop came in the fourth quarter of the same game, when he tried to follow his man Carmelo Anthony, went too low and Tyson Chandler set a screen that was giving Anthony an open look. Not able to contest the shot, Brewer ran into Chandler and tried to sell the foul as he acted like he ran into a brick wall.

Mills’ flop was Friday against the Lakers. He rotated over to just outside the restricted area as the Lakers’ Jordan Hill went up for a shot, and when touched he went down. Honestly, I could go either way on this one, it didn’t strike me as that big an embellishment, at least compared to the first two here.

Pachulia’s flop came Friday against Boston. He was standing near the elbow on defense waiting for his man Jared Sullinger to come down, and when Sullinger touched him Pachulia fell like a car hit him. It was a flop — it also worked, he got the offensive foul call.

The first time a player is deemed to flop by the league he gets a warning, the second time it is a $5,000 fine and the fines go up from there by $5,000 increments. We saw last year this was largely ineffective but the league decided to stick with the same plan that wasn’t working this year. Expect more of these warnings and some fines to come. Not that it changes anything.

LeBron James posts photo with Tristan Thompson, sends message to Cavs

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.

Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.

But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.

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

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.

LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.

However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.

For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.

Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.


Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.