Ed Davis was the Grizzlies’ big haul in the Rudy Gay trade.
About seven weeks before the deal that sent him from Toronto to Memphis, Davis moved into the Raptors’ starting lineup and averaged 13.1 points on 56.1 percent shooting and 7.7 rebounds per game. At just 23, he looked like a solid starter for years to come – at minimum.
But his development has really stunted in Memphis, as he never really got in a groove behind Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. With the option of giving Davis a $4,361,789 qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent, the Grizzlies are passing.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
This doesn’t mean the Grizzlies will let Davis leave. It just means they don’t think he’s worth $4,361,789 next season.
On one hand, Davis is likely headed out the door, because I’d think another team would offer Davis that much – especially because the Grizzlies can’t match to keep him. On the other hand, might potential suitors worry the team that knows him best doesn’t want to keep him for that price?Davis’ best shot of drawing offers is convincing teams Memphis declined to extend a qualifying offer due to luxury-tax concerns rather than his production (5.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season). I project the Grizzlies will fall $6,403,959 below the projected luxury-tax line. If he had taken the qualifying offer, Davis would have eaten into a large majority of that buffer.Memphis could gain a little more leeway by waiving Kosta Koufos (just $500,000 of $3 million guaranteed until tomorrow, when the contract becomes fully guaranteed) or making some other move, like stretching Tayshaun Prince. The tax doesn’t apply until the last day of the regular season. Teams have plenty of time to tinker in relation to the tax.Obviously, the Grizzlies didn’t think Davis was worth that risk.In one sense, they’re correct that Davis doesn’t warrant playing the tax. But I think he’s valuable enough to toe the tax line for the time being rather than substantially increasing the chance he leaves with no compensation in return.
The Rockets bench made a big production when an intentionally fouled Andre Roberson kept missing free throws in the Thunder’s Game 4 loss to the Rockets yesterday.
Russell Westbrook stuck up for his teammate.
Royce Young of ESPN:
I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it at all. Probably the guys that don’t play, probably over there the ones laughing, if I had to guess.
Good guess. It appears Montrezl Harrell and Bobby Brown – whose only playing time this series came late in Houston’s blowout Game 1 win – led the jeers.
But the most important thing for the Thunder is Roberson making his free throws. They need him on the court to defend James Harden, which exposes him to hacking. If Westbrook deflecting attention onto the Rockets’ benchwarmers helps Roberson at the line, great. But if not, the Rockets will keep having reasons to laugh.
Paul George-to-the-Lakers rumors have swirled for a while.
New Lakers president Magic Johnson will only fuel them.
Asked how he’d interact with the Pacers star to avoid tampering if they ran into each other, Johnson said on Jimmy Kimmel Live:
We’re going to say hi, because we know each other. You just can’t say, “Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers,” even though I’m going to be wink-winking like [blinks repeatedly]. You know what that means, right?
In explaining how he’d avoid tampering, Johnson probably tampered. Accidental tampering appears to be his specialty.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement says team employees can’t permissibly “induce, persuade, or attempt to entice, induce or persuade, any Player who is under contract to, or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by, any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiate or contract for such services.” But the league arbitrarily enforces tampering, so who knows whether he’ll be punished?
Johnson almost certainly could have gotten away with the hypothetical conversation he laid out. But going on television and describing it — even as fantasy, even not directly to George — could constitute tampering in itself,
If Johnson helps attract George to Los Angeles, it’d well be worth it. At least he’s trying something.
There have been bigger injuries in the Clippers-Jazz first-round series: Blake Griffin‘s toe, Rudy Gobert‘s knee and Gordon Hayward‘s stomach.
But Clippers guard Austin Rivers has yet to play due to a strained hamstring.
It sounds as if that will change tomorrow.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
This is neither as big a deal as the Clippers will make it out to be nor as meaningless as Rivers’ many detractors will claim.
The 6-foot-4 Rivers will provide an important defensive upgrade on the perimeter. The Clippers haven’t successfully hidden Jamal Crawford and Raymond Felton, allowing Utah too many quality looks. Here how the Jazz have shot when defended by each, per NBA.com:
- Crawford: 18-of-36 (50%), including 7-of-17 on 3-pointers (41%)
- Felton: 13-of-24 (54%), including 5-of-8 on 3-pointers (63%)
Rivers needn’t be great to help behind Chris Paul and J.J. Redick.
Russell Westbrook might not want to talk about his supporting cast distinctively, but it’s a real issue for the Thunder, who trail the Rockets 3-1 in their first-round series.
Even Andre Roberson, who has impressively defended James Harden, brings a glaring weakness: free throws. Roberson is 2-for-17 from the line in the playoffs, including 2-for-12 in Game 4 yesterday. Houston even repeatedly intentionally fouled him late.
It was agonizing for all but the most partisan Rockets supporters – though even Houston’s bench, while at least implicitly mocking Roberson, appeared put off that he missed yet again.