Lance Stephenson wants to remain with Pacers, agent says

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You know what Lance Stephenson really wants this summer? To get paid. He is going to go to the team that offers him the most money. Now, if a couple teams are close on money then team quality, lifestyle, state taxes, weather and all the rest of it come into play, but it’s about the money. It’s always about the money.

Stephenson is an unrestricted free agent. Pacers’ president Larry Bird said he wants to bring his young swingman back, but the question ultimately becomes about cost — how much would you pay Stephenson? Will some GM come in over the top and really invest in Stephenson, betting on him and his game maturing.

All things being equal, Stephenson would love to return to the Pacers, his agent told Zagsblog.com.

One day after Larry Bird said he wants Lance Stephenson back with the Indiana Pacers, Stephenson’s agent told SNY.tv the two sides hope “to get a deal done.”

“They are a quality organization from the top down,” Alberto Ebanks told SNY.tv of the Pacers. “We are going to try to get a deal done. The communication has been there for the last four years with the Pacers and it has been beneficial for the Pacers and for Lance. I hope we can come to terms.”

The Pacers are already over the salary cap before they re-sign Lance Stephenson and they are not going tint the luxury tax. Which means they either need to re-sign Stephenson or find his replacement for the mid-level exception. Or get incredibly creative with a trade. The Pacers need more shot creation and Lance provides that, if inconsistently and with some antics.

Right now everything is just puppy dogs and rainbows as the Pacers and Stephenson’s representatives and the Pacers. Of course it is, there is no money on the table. We’ll see how the relationship is com July 7 or so.

Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah to be suspended 20 games for violating league drug policy

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Joakim Noah hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since Feb. 4, and his season was all but ended when he had knee surgery at the end of February. It was a $72 million gamble that has not worked, and left New York with an anchor o a

Tomorrow it will be official he is done for the season, but not because of the Knicks or his injury.

During his recovery, Noah violated the NBA’s drug policy and will pay for a 20-game suspension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is prohibited under the outgoing Collective Bargaining Agreement, league sources said.

Noah, 32, is expected to serve 10 games of the suspension to finish out the 2016-17 regular season and 10 games to start the 2017-18 season, league sources said.

The National Basketball Players Association’s investigation concluded that Noah hadn’t “knowingly or willingly” violated the policy and cooperated fully with the league’s probe, league sources said.

Over-the-counter supplements could be something put in his regular workout recovery drinks that he was unaware of, although we are unsure of the details.

Traditionally, the player has to be healthy enough to play before the league starts the suspension. Noah has been out for more than a month, but if a league doctor says he is healthy enough to play the then the clock on the suspension can start. But that is interesting.

 

 

Devin Booker drops 70 points for Suns in loss to Celtics (VIDEO)

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.

Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.

His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.

Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)