Ridiculous rumors: No, Kyrie’s not going to New York in two years; Kevin Martin not mad at OKC

25 Comments

One of the first words of advice I got from a boss when we started ProBasketballTalk was to write about what people are talking about. Even if they are talking about something stupid.

Which brings us to two stories working their way around the Web Monday: The idea that Kyrie Irving could bolt for New York in a couple years, and that Kevin Martin took a shot at Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Both are just steaming piles of uncastrated male cow manure.

Let’s start with Irving, because that is the worse of the two. The Cavaliers are off to a 2-2 start, now this shows up from Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News (via Eye On Basketball):

Is Cleveland, which is building around Irving with a young team and perhaps Andrew Bynum — if his knees manage to hold up — headed for another round of heartbreak? There’s long been talk that Irving, a West Orange, N.J., product, wants to come home and play for the Knicks.

The earliest he can leave Cleveland is July 2016, after playing this season and the next two seasons for the Cavs. It’s down the road, but it’s not very difficult to imagine a scenario with Irving ending up in the Garden.

No. Not going to happen. Not in 2016 anyway. That’s not a pipe dream, that’s a Twin Peaks run-it-in-reverse dream.

Kyrie Irving is on his rookie deal and next summer he will get a max contract extension offer from the Cavaliers — and he will sign it. If you’ve followed the NBA over the years you know that the first chance a rookie gets at a max contract extension he takes it because that is “set your family up for generations” money and you don’t risk walking away from that. Before you compare Irving to LeBron James remember LeBron signed an extension after his rookie deal (with an out after three years, which he used).

But let’s play the game of New York exceptionalism and say Irving does care about being a Knick. Well, he would have to play the next two seasons at his rookie salary rate — leaving a lot of money on the table — to get out. That would be two seasons of potential injury (and he has some history there) without the guarantee of a huge payday at the end of it. If it sounds rare, it’s more than that — no elite NBA guy on a rookie deal has ever done it. None. Zero.

Not going to happen.

Now lets move on to Kevin Martin, who made an innocuous comment.

Some have construed that as some kind of shot at Oklahoma City.

No. First off Martin plays with the guy leading the NBA in scoring (at least going into Monday night) in Kevin Love. Second, ever since he left OKC he has nothing but positive things to say about the team and experience. He’s been the model of the diplomatic former teammate.

Martin played on other teams as well; he knows what it’s like to be on a team that’s not fun, now he’s having fun. That’s it. No dig at Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook (the latter being the guy that holds the ball).

Nothing to see here, just move along.

Report: Cavaliers signing Kendrick Perkins

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kendrick Perkins spent fewer than four months with the Cavaliers, including the 2015 playoffs. But nearly a year later after Cleveland let Perkins walk in free agency, LeBron James was still bemoaning Perkins’ absence.

Are the Cavs righting a wrong?

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Kendrick Perkins joined the Cavaliers at LeBron James’ minicamp in Santa Barbara, Calif., and will come to training camp next week, sources told cleveland.com.

The Cavs now have 18 players with standard contracts, and 15 – the regular-season limit – have guaranteed salaries. I doubt Cleveland wants to waive the two without guaranteed salaries, Kay Felder and Edy Tavares, either.

In other words, Perkins is a longshot to stick into the regular season.

Perkins was washed up when with the Cavaliers two years ago. The 32-year-old who sat out last season hasn’t produced on the court in several years. He’s tough and well-liked in the locker room, which might give him a chance of sneaking onto the regular-season roster.

But the Cavs should focus on developing toughness and chemistry among their rotation players. Perkins is just a crutch, most likely one who’ll be yanked away by cut-down day a few weeks from now.

Report: Lakers sell jersey ad for $36M-$42M over three years

Elsa/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Lakers are a financial behemoth, though that’s tied to a local-TV deal signed when they were still good.

How do current conditions value their brand?

John Lombardo and Terry Lefton of SportsBusiness Daily

The Lakers have signed a jersey patch deal with S.F.-based e-commerce company Wish. The three-year agreement, according to a source, is between $12-14M annually

That’s the second-richest known jersey-ad deal – behind only the Warriors ($20 million annually) and ahead of the Cavaliers ($10 million annually).

It clearly pays to be Los Angeles, though don’t discount the role of the Lakers’ fantastic history and intriguing future.

Rumor: Carmelo Anthony to accept trade to Trail Blazers if Knicks and Rockets don’t strike deal

AP Photo/Steve Dykes
1 Comment

Carmelo Anthony trade talks between the Knicks and Rockets appear to be going nowhere.

Yet, Anthony’s camp is reportedly cautiously optimistic he’ll get dealt by Monday.

This might explain why.

Jason McIntyre of Fox Sports:

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have recruited Anthony to Portland. The Trail Blazers have plenty of expendable players who could be aggregated to matching Anthony’s salary – Evan Turner, Maurice Harkless, Meyers Leonard, Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis – plus lower-paid players to give New York value. This certainly looks plausible.

It’d make sense for Anthony to hold out as long as possible for Houston, his ideal destination. He can use his no-trade clause to force the Knicks to deal with only the Rockets.

But what if that fails?

I’m skeptical New York, Portland and Anthony all agree to a deal. There are just too many sides to please.

The Knicks will need more than just bad contracts to move Anthony, and the Trail Blazers don’t need more scoring enough to relinquish significant assets. Anthony would also have to approve, and as miserable as the Knicks have been, the New York market still matters.

Again, this is plausible, but I’m doubtful. Either way, we should know soon with training camp around the corner.

LeBron James reportedly “invested” in helping Derrick Rose get next big contract

Getty Images
2 Comments

Reality smacked Derrick Rose across the face last summer.

Last season, the former MVP made $21.3 million in the final year of a five-year rookie contract extension, and while injuries had slowed his game he was playing better. Combine that with seeing the drunken sailor spending spree the previous summer, and he was hoping for — if not a max contract — still a healthy eight digit one. Instead, he signed a one-year deal at the veteran minimum, $2.1 million, to play for the Cavaliers.

LeBron James wants to see his man Rose get paid again, Dave McMenamin of ESPN said on The Jump.

“I’ve heard that for the first couple of days, Derrick Rose has been ‘killing it.’ I’ve also heard that LeBron is invested in Derrick Rose’s career so that he can get that next contract.”

The first part of that, the “killing it” part, you can just throw out. Maybe Rose looks great at the mini-camp LeBron is hosting for the Cavs in Santa Barbara, I hope he is, but preseason everybody is “killing it” or “has lost/gained 15 pounds and is in the best shape of his life” or “has worked hard and now has an impressive jump shot.” Rose probably does look great in Cavaliers camp against Jose Calderon, let’s see how he looks once he has to go up against real NBA players.

Rose’s next contract will be interesting. Maybe LeBron can set him up to look better this season, but it’s going to be on Rose mostly. Once healthy (whenever that is), Isaiah Thomas will be the starting point guard in Cleveland, plus as always LeBron James will have the ball in his hands a lot. (Which he should, he’s the best player on the planet.) But that means Rose needs to learn to work off the ball with LeBron more, and when LeBron (and eventually Thomas) sit, Rose needs to take over and show he can get a team buckets for a 5-7 minute stretch. Do that and he has a role that will get him some money. I’m not sold Rose can do much more than that at this point in his career.

How much money Rose will get is another issue. It’s going to be a tight market next year where only a few teams have much money to spend, and Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Cory Joseph, and maybe Rajon Rondo (depending on how he does in New Orleans) will be higher on team’s boards than Rose.

But if LeBron is “invested” that could help Rose make a little more green next season.