goran dragic

Suns’ Goran Dragic to receive $1 million bonus if he makes the All-Star team


It’s common in the NBA for players to have performance-based incentives built into their contracts as a way for them to earn extra dollars.

It was even put into the latest iteration of the collective bargaining agreement, where players with at least four years of service are eligible for a higher maximum salary in their next deal if they have been named to an All-NBA team at least twice, been voted as a starter in the All-Star game at least twice (by the fans), or were named the league’s Most Valuable Player at least once.

Goran Dragic is past that point of his career, but he’s looking at a nice bonus if he can make the All-Star team as a reserve nonetheless.

From Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic:

“If they put me there, I’ll probably be the happiest guy in the whole world,” Dragic said. “For the first five seasons, I couldn’t even imagine or think about that I could be there. If that happens, I think I’m going to cry or something.” …

Dragic’s confidence remained so high that he had an annual All-Star bonus negotiated into the contract that he signed to return to the Suns in 2012.

If he cashes in on that $1 million bonus this season, Dragic would have a check to match his smile.

Dragic has played well enough to earn the spot, but the problem is that there might be too many players ahead of him to actually make the squad.

His best chance would appear to be to get in as an injury replacement. Remember, Chris Paul is out at the moment, though he wants to be back in time to play in the All-Star game, and Kobe Bryant, despite being voted in as a starter, would just rather skip it.

That could open the door for Dragic to be named as an injury replacement by Adam Silver (who will have taken over for David Stern as league commissioner by then), allowing him to cash that million-dollar check.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry
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The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.