It’s buyout season in the NBA, and what that largely means is that players who performed well below expectations all season long will now be suddenly coveted by multiple teams due to their minimum contract price.
The Knicks are reportedly in talks to cut ties with Metta World Peace, via ESPN New York, either through buyout or outright release — something confirmed publicly by the player himself.
Thank NYC for everything. Thanks for having me I will always be grateful… My agent is working on a buyout. No disrespect to the city Luv U
World Peace was expected to be an addition to New York’s regular rotation when he signed a two-year deal in the offseason, but he’s appeared in only 29 contests, and has averaged 4.8 points in 13.4 minutes per game this season.
The Knicks are also reportedly in similar discussions to part ways with point guard Beno Udrih, who was pressed into action earlier in the year due to others being injured, but was mostly dreadful in his 12 appearances in the starting lineup.
Neither of these moves are motivated by money, but what they will do is open up a roster spot or two for the Knicks to add other free agents in hopes of improving the talent in place.
After a tough double-overtime loss in Orlando on Friday, New York is 21-34 on the season, but still just four and a half games out of the final playoff spot in the East — so even the smallest of upgrades to the end of the bench is worth a shot.
There will be teams interested in World Peace, with the Clippers — who were interested last summer and have taken a look at seemingly everyone — likely at the top of that list.
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The Celtics established themselves as one of the NBA’s elite teams, a contender for the Eastern Conference title, during their 16-game win streak.
However, that hot streak to start the season will matter as much as Thanksgiving leftovers in the back of the refrigerator in April by the time the playoffs roll around. This is a team that still has work to do.
“There’s still a lot to accomplish going forward,” Irving said. “It was a nice streak. But it was time to come to an end.”
This team still needs to get better and more consistent. The Celtics had to come from behind in the fourth quarter in eight of the 16 wins, and while the team defense was impressive the offense still can be hit and miss. Al Horford and Kyrie Irving play well off each other, but this is still the 20th ranked offense in the NBA. They are taking more long midrange jumpers than most coaches want, but the bigger challenge is they have not been finishing around the basket.
Titles are not won in November. Irving gets that. Jayson Tatum will hit the rookie wall at some point (they all do) and he needs to prove he can break through. Al Horford is playing maybe the best ball of his career and needs to keep it up. The Celtics need to keep their defensive focus (the fundamentals are there to have a top five defense). I could go on but you get the point, and so does Irving — there is a lot of work for this team to do.
Boston is off to a fantastic start, but it’s just that.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: I’ve never seen injury like Kawhi Leonard’s
He’s the NBA’s most experienced active head coach. Before that, he was the Spurs’ general manager. Before that, he was an NBA assistant. Before that, he was a college head coach and assistant. Before that, he was a college player. Before that, he was a youth player.
The San Antonio coach has seen everything.
Except the right quadriceps tendinopathy suffered by Kawhi Leonard, whom Popovich said more than a week would return “sooner rather than later.” Yet, Leonard still hasn’t played this season.
“Never, never,” Popovich said when asked whether he has seen such a condition hampering one of his players. “What’s really strange is that [point guard] Tony [Parker] has the same injury, but even worse. They had to go operate on his quad tendon and put it back together or whatever they did to it. So to have two guys, that’s pretty incredible. I had never seen it before those guys.”
“I keep saying sooner rather than later,” Popovich said jokingly. “It’s kind of like being a politician. It’s all baloney, doesn’t mean anything.”
The 26-year-old Leonard is one of the NBA’s biggest on-court stars. He might be the league’s best defender, and he has built himself into an offensive force. The Spurs (11-7) have fared fine without him so far, but they’ll need him to accomplish their main goals – this year and beyond.
Hopefully, Leonard’s health is better than it sounds here, because Popovich’s answer sure isn’t encouraging.
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