James Harden signed what was then a max contract extension with the Rockets back on Halloween of 2012. That netted him $13.7 million last season, and he will make $14.7 million next year.
However, the salary cap has risen quickly in recent years, so guys getting max extensions this year can make a little more — Chandler Parsons is also going to make $14.7 million next season, for example.
Rockets big man Donatas Motiejunas thinks Houston couldn’t match Parsons without ticking off Harden… and there may well be something to that. Here is what Motiejunas told Lithuanian basketball reporter Simonas Baranauskas (hat tip James Herbert at CBS’s Eye on Basketball).
Just to make sure we are accurate, Parsons will make $728,844 less than Harden this year.
It’s an interesting argument put forward by the Rocket big man, but it falls apart here: If Chris Bosh had signed with the Rockets (as they had thought would happen) then the Rockets were going to match Parsons. Harden would have been third for sure with Parsons right on his heels… and if the Rockets were winning he wouldn’t have really cared about the money.
I think what Rockets GM Daryl Morey said was the truth for him — Parsons is a good player but not the start they wanted to pay $14.7 million to and lock them into that big three. There’s some logic there.
But the Rockets bet big this summer and lost depth with Parsons (if last year’s Ariza comes to Houston that spot will be okay, but that’s an if), Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin all gone. Parsons is not an easily replaceable piece and the Rockets don’t look to be a better team then a year ago.
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was a pretty consistent player in the NBA. Save for his final injury-laden seasons and the lockout year of 2011-12, Bryant played in no fewer than 65 regular season games in a single season.
Coaches also had no reason or want to ask Bryant — a notorious worker — to sit out in order to rest. That wasn’t really on the menu, and Bryant knew that.
Speaking to ESPN’s First Take, Bryant said no coach really asked him to ever take a rest, “I’ve never been approached by a coach and asked to rest.”
Bryant remarked that he took queues from Michael Jordan during tough stretches of the season — back-to-backs or four games in five night scenarios — where he could switch his game up, floating from perimeter to post, in order to save energy during those matchups.
Bryant also said during the same interview that he understands the complexity of the modern game, and that players like LeBron James deserve to take a rest if they’ve earned it.
“LeBron has done so much for the game. He’s earned the opportunity to take a rest,” said Bryant.
The debate on this subject will continue, it seems.
New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis is the future of the franchise, so any time he’s upended and nearly lands on his noggin it’s a cause for concern. To say the least.
That’s what happened on Monday night, as Porzingis got turned upside down during a play near the basket during a game against the Detroit Pistons.
Porzingis was OK on the play, and Detroit big man Andre Drummond did his best to help catch him so nothing too scary happened.
Still, Knicks president Phil Jackson had a pretty hilarious reaction to the whole thing. I guess that’s what happens when you watch your basketball life flash before your eyes.
Porzingis was unhurt and played a full 37 minutes. New York beat Detroit, 109-95.
Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler is a smart dude. He’s spent years of offseason work turning himself into a max-level player, and that shows he knows not only how to work but how to attack the game of basketball.
He’s also smart enough to know he shouldn’t go poking the bear when it comes to two future Hall of Fame players in LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
When asked whether the Cleveland Cavaliers star or the Golden State Warriors scorer was the toughest matchup in the NBA, Butler made sure he wasn’t adding any kind of blackboard material to rile up either player.
The best way to defend LeBron or Durant: don’t make them angry.
Smart move, Jimmy.
This had long been expected, but now it is official.
North Carolina State freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has declared for the NBA Draft. He made the announcement on ESPN saying playing in the NBA is his dream, reports the News & Observer.
“It was definitely an obtainable dream for me,” said in an interview on SportsCenter. “I knew I would chase it with all of my might.”
Smith is considered a top-10 pick (DraftExpress.com has him going seventh currently).
Smith had missed his senior year of high school ball with an ACL injury, but was named ACC Freshman of the Year after averaging 18.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. He had two triple-doubles as a freshman. He was also inconsistent. Smith had brilliant games and ones where he looked disinterested.
Smith is unquestionably explosive and athletic, and that makes him a threat both in the open court and getting to the rim off a pick-and-roll. He’s got good handles, he knows how to draw fouls, and you can see his potential to get buckets at the next level. His jump shot needs to be far more consistent to thrive at the next level, however. The questions about Smith are more about his ability to make good decisions and be a floor general. He knows how to survey the floor and create for himself, but can he figure out when to pass to set up teammates? Can he defend consistently? He needs smooth out the rough edges of his game, but the potential to be very good is there.