Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers

Deadline passes for Lakers to use stretch provision on Steve Nash


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.

Thabo Sefolosha found not guilty

Thabo Sefolosha
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Thabo Sefolosha clearly believed in his innocence.

The Hawks wing rejected a plea deal of only day of community service and six months probation. That probably would have been easier than a trial.

But Sefolosha opted to fight the charges – misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Today, he was vindicated.

Robert Silverman:

Sefolosha, who missed the playoffs due to a leg injury that seemingly occurred during his arrest, has made his case clear: New York police targeted him because he’s black. Given everything else we know about policing habits, that’s certainly believable.

We’ve also seen video of multiple officers literally pulling Sefolosha in different directions and one striking him in the leg with a nightstick. We don’t know what preceded that video, but especially given the information revealed at trial, it’s difficult to justify that use of force.

This verdict probably sets up Sefolosha’ to sue the NYPD.

Report: Some Hawks executives doubt Danny Ferry’s contrition

Danny Ferry, Mike Budenholzer
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Since his racist comments about Luol Deng, Danny Ferry has mostly avoided the public eye.

He apologized through a couple statements released around the beginning of his leave of absence. He met with black community leaders. He claimed “full responsibility.”

A cadre of NBA people vouched for him. A law firm the Hawks hired to investigate themselves essentially cleared of him of being motivated by racial bias.

But there’s another side.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Ferry’s efforts at contrition sometimes fell short to some inside the organization. Several Hawks executives were at times put off by Ferry’s behavior during a compulsory two-day sensitive training session, especially since they considered his actions triggered the assembly in the first place. He came across as inattentive and dismissive of the exercise, some said, and fiddled with his phone quite a bit. Ferry contends he was taking notes on the meeting.

“It was awkward for everyone because I had not seen or been around Hawks employees for three months,” Ferry told ESPN this summer about the sensitivity training. “I took the seminar seriously, participated in the role-play exercises and certainly learned from the two-day session.”

the Hawks satisfied Ferry on June 22 by releasing both the written Taylor report and a flowery press release in which Hawks CEO Koonin was quoted saying, among other things, that “Danny Ferry is not a racist.” Some Hawks executives grumbled that the team overreached in exonerating Ferry, but doing so — not to mention paying Ferry significantly more than the $9 million he was owed on his “golden ticket” deal — was the cost of moving on.

I don’t know whether Ferry has shown the proper level of contrition, whether he was playing on his phone or taking notes.

But I know what he said:

“He’s a good guy overall, but he’s got some African in him, and I don’t say that in a bad way other than he’s a guy that may be making side deals behind you, if that makes sense. He has a storefront out front that’s beautiful and great, but he may be selling some counterfeit stuff behind you.”

He was not reading directly from a scouting report. He did not stop when his paraphrasing repeated a racist trope.

That’s a problem.

I don’t think Ferry intended to say something racist – but he did.

It’s a fixable issue, though. Through introspection and a desire to change, he can learn from this mistake. Maybe he already has.

That some around him don’t think he took that process seriously is worth noting. They might be off base, and Ferry obviously disagrees with their perception. But this is a two-sided story despite the common narrative focusing on Ferry’s redemption.

It’ll be up to any potential future employers to sort through the discrepancies.