Report: Gordon Hayward agrees to max offer sheet with Hornets

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Update: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

If the Jazz match the offer, they can’t trade Hayward without his consent for a year, and they can’t trade him to Charlotte in that span. That rule — plus Hayward’s player option and trade kicker — make him tougher to move.

Utah must really want to keep him.

 

Gordon Hayward’s visit with the Hornets must have gone well.

Despite the Jazz threatening to match any offer he receives, Hayward has convinced Charlotte to navigate the treacherous road of restricted free agency.

Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer:

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

A projected max contract would pay $14,756,881 starting and $63,011,880 over four years. Anything less and Hayward would have probably held out for one of his many other suitors – including the Celtics, Cavaliers and Suns. As soon as he signs an offer sheet, he’s locked into those contract terms – whether it’s with the team signing him or the Jazz should they match.

And I bet Utah matches within its three-day limit. Hayward is too valuable to let walk with no return. Besides, where would the Jazz spend the money they’d save, anyway? They don’t need to hoard cap space.

Hayward can’t officially sign until Thursday, and I figure Charlotte and Utah will discuss a sign-and-trade beforehand. By committing to sign Hayward, the Hornets give themselves a little leverage. Maybe the Jazz would find a sign-and-trade preferable to paying Hayward so much money. There’s a little time to sort all that out, but once Hayward officially signs an offer sheet, a sign-and-trade is no longer possible.

At least everything is in motion now. Hayward will almost certainly play for the Hornets or Jazz next season.

LeBron James blows wide-open dunk (video)

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J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”

Report: Raptors’ Delon Wright out a month

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Raptors guard Delon Wright dislocated his shoulder, but at least he won’t need surgery.

Raptors media relations:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Raptors (11-5), off to a surprisingly strong start, are second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve bought themselves margin for error. All in all, a month-long absence for Wright isn’t so bad.

Wright had been a key part of an excellent all-bench unit that included Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Jakob Poeltl. Two-way player Lorenzo Brown has assumed Wright’s role, and Norman Powell – returning from his own injury – will provide a boost. Toronto can also stagger Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan more.

The chemistry of the bench mob was something to behold, but the Raptors should withstand this.

Report: Clippers PG Patrick Beverley out rest of season

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Clippers point guard Patrick Beverley underwent knee surgery – never a great sign.

The prognosis is about as bad as could be expected.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

This injury isn’t just a setback for this season. It could derail the Clippers’ long-term plan.

They’ve already lost nine straight, and Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic are injured. If they fall further out of playoff position, they could become sellers before the trade deadline, especially with DeAndre Jordan ($24,119,025 player option for next season) and Lou Williams ($7 million salary on expiring contract).

Health was always the major question with this team, and it won’t soften as Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari age through lucrative contracts.

The final year of Beverley’s contract is guaranteed for just $5,027,028 next season, and the 29-year-old will spend most of the summer recovering from this injury. That salary is probably low enough that the Clippers will keep him without hesitation.

Until then, down a couple point guards, the Clippers have no choice but to continue leaning more on Austin Rivers. That also means greater roles for second-round rookies Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell. That’s just too many players facing outsized responsibility.

The Pelicans, Grizzlies, Jazz and any other team competing for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference ought to feel better about their chances. They’re still competing with each other, and it’s doubtful all three make it. But Beverley’s injury helps clear the way.

The Clippers, who didn’t want to take a major step back after Chris Paul‘s departure, must confront an even more uneasy reality.

Giannis Antetokounmpo out for Bucks-Suns Eric Bledsoe revenge game

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Giannis Antetokounmpoone of the NBA’s best players – won’t help new Bucks teammate Eric Bledsoe in a revenge game against the Suns tonight.

Not only is Milwaukee missing Mirza Teletovic and John Henson (and Matthew Dellavedova and Jabari Parker), Antetokounmpo is out.

Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Antetokounmpo will miss Wednesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns due to right knee soreness.

Antetokounmpo says his knee soreness is the same injury he dealt with in the off-season, which caused him to withdraw from the Greek national team.

“It feels good,” Antetokounmpo said after sitting out shootaround. “I’m just trying to be careful with it and not make any damage. That’s it, because it’s a long season and I’m trying to be careful.”

The Bucks have been outscored by 18.6 points per 100 possessions without Antetokounmpo this season (and are +2.3 without him). Phoenix isn’t good, but neither is Milwaukee without Antetokounmpo.

I don’t think Bledsoe will mind a chance to get more aggressive tonight, though.