Portland, coach Terry Stotts reach deal on multi-year contract extension

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UPDATE 6:05 pm: And it’s official.

The Portland Trail Blazers and coach Terry Stotts have reached a three-year contract extension, the team announced (this is reportedly a three-year deal, with a team option for the fourth).

“Terry has done an outstanding job during his first two years with the organization,” team GM Neil Olshey said in a released statement. “This extension illustrates our confidence in him as our head coach as well as the Portland Trail Blazers’ continued commitment to building a model of consistency and stability.”

“Portland is a unique and special place and I’m very proud to be the head coach of the Trail Blazers,” said Stotts in the same statement. “We started the process two seasons ago and laid the foundation for success. I look forward to the possibilities of the upcoming seasons.”

4:51 pm: Coach your team to a 21-game improvement, win 54 games and get to the second round of the playoffs with one of the most entraining teams in the league and you deserve a contract extension.

That’s what Terry Stotts did — and he’s about to get that payday.

Stotts was about to enter the third year of a three-year deal but he’s going to get a little more job security, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

After a remarkable franchise turnaround, Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts is nearing agreement on a multiyear contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The Blazers hold an option on the third and final year of Stotts’ contract for 2014-15, but that’ll likely be torn up and replaced with the new deal.

Blazers general manager Neil Olshey and Stotts’ agent, Warren LeGarie, have been working on the deal, and it’s expected to be finalized in the near future, league sources said.

Stotts has developed an offense around LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard that is one of the best in the league (fifth best in the league at 108.3 points per 100 possessions in the regular season). That offense got them past the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs.

There is a need for a better defense (16th in NBA) and more depth, but Stotts has earned the right to guide the team through that and see if he can help lift them to the next level (in a very deep West that t will not be easy).

Report: Enes Kanter not yet permitted to travel to Mexico, where Thunder scheduled to play

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Remember when Turkey revoked Enes Kanter‘s passport?

That looms over the Thunder’s Dec. 7 game against the Nets in Mexico City.

Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:

Without a valid passport, he is unable to travel to another country other than Canada, which allows entry from U.S. residents who have a Green Card. There is no such agreement with Mexico.

Kanter could receive a re-entry permit, a special document issued to citizens of other countries whose passports have been canceled for reasons the U.S. government deems unsuitable. The permit would allow Kanter to leave the U.S. for another country, such as Mexico, and still return. And the plan is for Kanter to acquire one before OKC’s game in Mexico City. Still, he is yet to receive a re-entry permit, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. There is, however, still ample time for that process to complete.

Kanter is a high-profile millionaire working for a billion-dollar company that has a vested interest in getting him to Mexico. He likely works this out.

Rumor: LeBron James and Kyrie Irving met in Miami

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LeBron James denied wanting to fight Kyrie Irving, but wanting to meet with his for-now Cavaliers co-star? That might be another story. Likewise, Irving – in light of his trade request – might not be eager to meet with LeBron.

But…

Tony Rizzo of ESPN Cleveland, as transcribed by Jackson Flickinger of King James Gospel:

“From very reliable sources. Plural. Kyrie and LeBron were in the same room over the weekend in Florida…Apparently these guys were in the same room and here’s the deal. I don’t know if there’s a thawing out process. All I do know is LeBron didn’t punch Kyrie the way Stephen A thought he would. I can report that. As for what they talked about or discussed…it was very cool. They didn’t get into any heated discussions.”

Did LeBron and Irving actually meet? Both were spotted in Miami, but maybe someone is just connecting dots that don’t belong connected.

Whether or not LeBron and Irving met, they might need to soon. Cleveland will have a tough time getting its desired return for Irving before the season, and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert discussed the possibility of Irving returning. LeBron isn’t getting traded.

No matter the disconnect between the two, LeBron and Irving might have to figure out how to work together a while longer. It’d be nice if that process has already begun.

Are Bulls and Dwyane Wade moving toward a buyout?

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About a month ago, the Bulls said they hadn’t discussed a buyout with Dwyane Wade.

Have the two sides progressed since?

Nick Friedell of ESPN:

Dwyane Wade isn’t long for the organization’s future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.

Expected by whom?

People with direct knowledge of momentum toward a buyout?

Or everyone who can see that a 35-year-old earning $23.8 million fits poorly on a rebuilding team?

For the Bulls to now drop their biggest name and a large expiring contract that could prove useful in trades should require Wade surrendering a large portion of his salary. He doesn’t sound like someone inclined to do that yet.

A few months is a long time. As long as Wade gets bought out by March 1, he could join another team’s playoff roster. It’d surprise nobody if he gets bought out after the February trade deadline, which we already knew. I don’t see strong indication of something more imminent.

LeBron James’ camp already shooting down leaving-Cavaliers rumor

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LeBron James has done a terrible job shooting down rumors about him leaving the Cavaliers

Except this one from Chris Sheridan, who cited a source saying LeBron would “100 percent” leave Cleveland next summer due to a rift with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Sheridan’s source saying LeBron is leaving doesn’t make that true. But other anonymous sources denying it doesn’t make the denials true, either.