Chris Andersen to opt out of contract

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The Birdman never really took off during the NBA Finals.

Chris Andersen rebounded a bit, but he shot just 3-for-12 and failed to provide much defensive resistance. The Heat were outscored by 33 in his 90 minutes (as opposed to their -37 net rating in the 210 minutes he sat).

But facing a $1,448,490 player option for next season – the league-minimum salary for a player of his experience – the 35-year-old Andersen will take his chances.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Forward-center Chris Andersen will opt-out of his contract to become a free agent, a source said.

Essentially, Andersen is definitely making one bet and possibly another.

1. He believes he will play in the NBA next season.

2. If he wants to stay in Miami, he believes the Heat will give him a roster spot.

I’d say No. 1 is correct. Andersen has played solidly overall the last couple years, and a disappointing end to the season – even though he’ll turn 36 before next season – won’t push him completely out of the league.

If Andersen signs somewhere this offseason, there’s no way he’ll lose money, because his option year called for the league minimum. Can he get more than that – either in a higher salary or a multi-year deal? Maybe, but probably only if he’s willing to leave Miami, and even then it’s a 50-50 chance. But he should have multiple suitors offering a one-year, minimum-salary contract.

Will Andersen have the opportunity to re-sign with the Heat? Miami must get younger, and replacing Andersen could be a step in that direction. The Heat might wait until later in the offseason to determine whether they have room for Andersen. This isn’t last offseason, when Miami rewarded Andersen for his championship contributions by quickly re-signing him.

The Heat certainly embrace Andersen’s decision, because it just gives them more flexibility. If they want to pursue Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all terminating their contracts is the big domino, but Andersen opting out helps, too.

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.)