Miroslav Raduljica, Omri Casspi, Donatas Motiejunas

Clippers will stretch Miroslav Raduljica, too

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Update:  The Clippers have officially waived both players.

 

The Clippers – who traded Jared Dudley and a first-round pick for Carlos Delfino, Miroslav Raduljica and a second rounder – never planned to keep the payers they acquired.

It’d already been reported Delfino would be stretched and Raduljica would be waived, and now, we’re learning all the specifics.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

https://twitter.com/latbbolch/status/505401156051292160

What does that mean for the Clippers?

To start, they’ll be $4,449,228 below the hard hap, which they trigged by signing Spencer Hawes to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception. They can still offer only minimum-salary contracts, but they now can add four players. Prior to this sequence, they could have added only one.

With just 11 players left after the the stretchings, the Clippers will definitely add at least two to meet the league minimum. Considering they could have just kept Raduljica – who had a decent rookie year with the Bucks last season – and still sign three new players, four seems most likely (though they had to stretch him by Sunday, so they might just be biding time).

Chris Douglas-Roberts and Ekpe Udoh are known candidates.

I wouldn’t surrender a first rounder just to dump Dudley and add players of that caliber, but Doc Rivers has the authority to do as he sees fit.

One one-possible positive of the trade is also diminished with this route.

Dudley has a $4.25 million early termination option for 2015-16, and he’s unlikely to exercise it, so he effectively has two years left on his deal. Delfino and Raduljica have fully unguaranteed 2015-16 salaries, meaning the Clippers could have kept both and then gotten those full savings next summer.

Instead, the Clippers stretching those two means their remaining guaranteed money will be spread evenly across the next five seasons (twice the number of years remaining on their contracts plus one).

That comes out to $950,000 per year through 2018-19. That’s a long time to carry that dead weight.

But at least the Clippers will get Douglas-Roberts, Udoh and/or a couple other veterans like them.

Emotional DeMarcus Cousins near tears saying goodbye to Sacramento after trade

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Kings’ general manager Vlade Divac took a parting shot at DeMarcus Cousins‘ character when he spoke to the media about the deal.

Cousins could be challenging in the locker room, but he was committed to Sacramento in ways most teams wish their star would be. He was active in the community, did charity work, and was not one of the players that alerted the media and dragged along a video crew when he did. Cousins loves Sacramento.

You can see it as he tears up when saying goodbye to those close to him in this video.

On the court, the trade to New Orleans and the chance to play next to Anthony Davis could be a huge boost for Cousins’ career. We’ll never know what could have been if the Kings knew how to draft or stuck with a system/coach.

But off the court, Sacramento will miss him. And he will miss them.

All-Star game television ratings are best since 2013

Western Conference forward Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans (23 ) slam dunks during the first half of the NBA All-Star basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, Pool)
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NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA All-Star game drew an average audience of 7.8 million viewers, making it the most-viewed All-Star broadcast since 2013.

Turner Sports announced the numbers on Monday. The number of viewers peaked at 8.5 million and the total audience was up 3 percent from last year’s game.

The hype surrounding the game centered on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook playing on the Western Conference team together. Durant left Oklahoma City last summer to join Golden State, leaving his longtime teammate Westbrook behind with the Thunder. Westbrook did not hide his dissatisfaction with Durant, which ratcheted up the intrigue heading into the game on Sunday.

The two shared the court for just 81 seconds and Oklahoma City posted the highest local market rating with a 10.9.

Report: Timberwolves, Knicks discuss Derrick Rose trade

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02:  Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks takes a shot as Kris Dunn #3 of the Minnesota Timberwolves defends at Madison Square Garden on December 2, 2016 in New York City.The New York Knicks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-114. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
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The Timberwolves — 3.5 games and five teams out of playoff position — have made reaching the postseason this year a priority.

So, within that nonsensical goal apparently comes a nonsensical idea: Trading for Derrick Rose.

Ian Begley of ESPN:

The Minnesota Timberwolves have reached out to the Knicks recently to discuss potential trades for New York point guard Derrick Rose, sources told ESPN.

The Timberwolves, sources say, are among several teams to reach out to the Knicks asking about potential trades for Rose.

Rose, of course, played for Timberwolves president/coach Tom Thibodeau with the Bulls. That makes this report both plausible and something the Knicks would leak to drum up interest.

I can’t imagine a market especially eager to acquire Rose, who will become a free agent next summer. His $21,323,252 salary is difficult to match in trades without sending out too valuable of players. Rose has become a good downhill driver, but the rest of his game is lacking after years of injuries.

The Timberwolves have nearly $13 million of cap space, which could be useful in facilitating a deal. But they also have three intriguing point guards: Ricky Rubio, Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones.

If Minnesota really wants Rose, it could just sign him this summer. His Bird Rights shouldn’t matter much. Who would give the 28-year-old a five-year contract?

Rubio for Rose straight up works financially, for what it’s worth. The Timberwolves shouldn’t do that, but we don’t know enough about Tom Thibodeau running a front office to assume they won’t.

Report: Pelicans trying to trade Terrence Jones

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After their trade today, the Pelicans have the NBA’s most dynamic big-man tandem: Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.

Davis and Cousins are tall, athletic and skilled in a combination we might have never seen from any power forward-center duo since Charles Barkley-Hakeem Olajuwon. New Orleans’ two could thrive together, and while they develop chemistry, they’ll each likely get minutes without the other.

That doesn’t leave much playing time for someone like Terrence Jones.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

Jones settled for a one-year minimum contract after an injury-plagued and inconsistent tenure with the Rockets. His inconsistency remains, but considering his salary, his highs more than justify dealing with the lows. At just 25, Jones could still figure out how to reliably contribute.

Jones’ contract dictates he be rental, which will lower his trade value. But he could help teams trying to win down the stretch — including New Orleans.

Dante Cunningham seems more favored at power forward, and Donatas Motiejunas can fill in. But the Pelicans could still use Jones.

Shopping him might be a favor to the player, but we’ll see whether an actual trade is part of the gesture.