Report: Trevor Booker, after Wizards decline to extend qualifying offer, receives larger contract from Jazz

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Trevor Booker, before teams could legally contact him or his agent about him, said he’d received a lot of free-agent interest.

That, after a small snag, foretold his free agency.

Booker received a larger contract than most expected, and logically, that was driven by competition.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Free-agent forward Trevor Booker has agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with the Utah Jazz, a league source told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday.

The Wizards declined to give Trevor Booker his $4,677,708 qualifying offer – a one-year offer necessary to make him a restricted free agent. Still, the Jazz gave him an even larger salary on a longer contract.Maybe Utah  just that much smarter than Washington, but it should be telling that the team that knows Booker best didn’t value him at $4,677,708 for one year. The Jazz should make their own evaluations, but they should consider outside factors – including Washington not extending a qualifying offer – as part of the equation.All said, Booker is a solid backup big man. He averaged 6.8 points on 55.4 percent shooting and 5.3 rebounds in 21.6 minutes game. At 26, he’s experience enough to help the Jazz if they’re surprisingly good next season and young enough to contribute down the road should their rebuild expectedly take multiple years.The Wizards should be OK. Nene and the recently signed Marcin Gortat are back, and Kris Humphries slides in to replace Booker. Restricted free agent Kevin Seraphin, whom Washington extended a qualifying offer, could also return.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.