Deadline passes for Lakers to use stretch provision on Steve Nash

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In a very honest part of a Grantland documentary that ran during the second half of last season, Steve Nash finds out about how the Lakers could use the stretch provision that’s offered as part of the collective bargaining agreement to waive him this summer, and pay out the remainder of his $9.7 million deal over the next three seasons for salary cap purposes.

Nash seems a bit shaken by the news, and admits he’ll take some chances where his recovery is concerned in order to expedite his return to the court.

But with the Lakers being unable to add much in the way of key pieces in free agency, the team is not expected to contend for much of anything in the upcoming season. For that reason, it’s better to take the cap hit for the final year of Nash’s deal all at once, and now that the deadline has officially passed, Nash will remain on the roster for next season.

From Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:

Had the Lakers waived Nash prior to September, they would have been able to stretch his salary over the next three years at around $3.2 million annually. …

The team considered increasing its spending power by stretching Nash’s salary, but when its top free-agent targets (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh) signed elsewhere, the Lakers chose instead to protect their cap space over the next two summers — sticking with the NBA’s oldest player for a final season.

This was a move that had been expected for a while, but became even more likely once L.A. was unable to entice any of the top free agents to sign on this summer.

Nash was only healthy enough to appear in 15 games for the Lakers last season, averaging 6.8 points and 5.7 assists in 20.9 minutes per contest.

PBT Extra: Fan votes from twitter on MVP, other awards

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We reached the middle of the NBA season, which is a good time to consider where things stand for the end-of-season awards such as MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Coach of the Year. We have made our picks and even broken them down in a podcast.

Now it was time to ask you who you thought should win awards.

I put it out there on Twitter in some polls, and I cover your responses in this PBT Extra. I’m with you on Brad Stevens for Coach of the Year, although I think it’s close. Did you choose LeBron James or James Harden for MVP? Watch and find out.

Michael Carter-Williams and Tim Frazier ejected for altercation, leading to hilarious Dwight Howard free throws (video)

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Jason Smith pushed down Michael Carter-Williams while going for a rebound. Carter-Williams pulled Smith to the floor. Tim Frazier flew in heated.

It was more than a typical NBA altercation – Carter-Williams clenched his fist, though never swung – but it wasn’t quite a fight. It was just reserves getting feisty late in a blowout, the Hornets’ 133-109 win over the Wizards on Wednesday. Carter-Williams and Frazier were given double technical fouls and ejected.

One catch: Smith was called for personally fouling Carter-Williams, who was due free throws. With Carter-Williams unavailable, Washington could pick his replacement at the line.

Wizards coach Scott Brooks chose Dwight Howard, a poor free-throw shooter who’d been resting the entire fourth quarter and surely figured his night was over. Maybe it was only about Howard’s team-worst 53% shooting from the line, but it’s also possible Brooks was trying to make an opponent uncomfortable.

The Charlotte crowd went wild, and Howard only added to the fervor.

He sunk both free throws – padding his stats (18 points, 15 rebounds, two blocks and two steals) – and blew Brooks a kiss. Howard might appreciate the extra points Brooks afforded him, but they’ll likely come at a cost. Howard celebrated with the Sam Cassell/big-balls dance, which usually draws a fine from the NBA.

Kent Bazemore hits game-winner to lift Hawks over Pelicans (video)

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Just when it seemed as if the Pelicans were rolling… they lose to the lowly Hawks.

This was the second game of a back-to-back after beating the Celtics in overtime, and New Orleans looked the part, blowing a 15-point lead in the final 19 minutes.

Kent Bazemore‘s jumper with 2.1 seconds left stood as the game-winner when DeMarcus Cousins missed a rushed post-up on the other end.

Jalen Rose calls Paul Pierce petty to his face (video)

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Paul Pierce is being petty about Isaiah Thomas‘ tribute video.

And that’s from someone who empathizes with Pierce’s point of view.

When retiring a player’s number, teams tastefully use stoppages to show highlights and tributes to the player. The whole night, not just the moment of raising a number into the rafters, can be about celebrating the player. It’s reasonable for Pierce to want the entire package.

But to go on television and advocate for not showing Thomas’ video? To continue the campaign after Thomas made clear how important his video was to him? To tell the Celtics not to show a short video for Thomas during introductions?

It’s way too far.

Too many people around Pierce enabled his flawed approach. Jalen Rose put that to a pointed stop.

Rose on ESPN:

I’ve got say a word for you, fam. I think it was petty.

On Paul Pierce’s part.

I love Paul. This is my brother. Because to me, there are going to be all type of announcements that happen in the 48 minutes during that game. All types. Including Isaiah Thomas could be one of them. It does not take away from your situation. Like Kobe’s, it happened during the game. Because they’re doing yours post-game.

The look on Pierce’s face while Rose was talking!