CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 17: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers works around Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of their game on December 17, 2015 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Thunder 104-100. 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 David Maxwell/Getty Images)
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LeBron James has big lead as NBA’s highest-paid player, including endorsements

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LeBron James lost his spot atop the NBA’s list of most popular jerseys, but he’s still doing just fine financially.

In addition to its team valuations, Forbes also named the highest-paid NBA players. LeBron ($71 million) tops the list, ahead of Kevin Durant ($56.2 million) and Kobe Bryant ($50 million). In fact, LeBron is projected to earn more this season than fourth-place Derrick Rose ($34.1 million) and fifth-place James Harden ($32.8 million) combined.

Though Forbes lists only total compensation, we can use salary data to deduce how much each player earns from his NBA teams and endorsements. Here’s Forbes’ top 10, NBA salary in blue and endorsements in green:

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Player Salary Endorsements Total
LeBron James $22,970,500 $48,029,500 $71,000,000
Kevin Durant $20,158,622 $36,041,378 $56,200,000
Kobe Bryant $25,000,000 $25,000,000 $50,000,000
Derrick Rose $20,093,064 $14,006,936 $34,100,000
James Harden $15,756,438 $17,043,562 $32,800,000
Dwyane Wade $20,000,000 $12,000,000 $32,000,000
Carmelo Anthony $22,875,000 $8,025,000 $30,900,000
Chris Paul $21,468,696 $8,531,304 $30,000,000
Dwight Howard $22,359,364 $5,040,636 $27,400,000
Blake Griffin $18,907,725 $7,992,275 $26,900,000

Joe Johnson ($24,894,863) and Chris Bosh ($22,192,730) are the only players with NBA salaries over $20 million not to crack this list.

Report: Knicks “strong favorites” to sign Joakim Noah in free agency

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah dunks the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, and maybe Joakim Noah all on the same team? Now all the Knicks need is a DeLorean with a flux capacitor to get back to 2011.

Anthony remains under contract and the Knicks made a big trade to upgrade at the point and get Derrick Rose from the Bulls. Now the Bulls are looking very likely to land long-time Bulls big man Joakim Noah, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

The New York Knicks have emerged as strong favorites to sign free-agent big man Joakim Noah, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that multiple teams interested in Noah have all but conceded already that the Knicks are his runaway preferred destination in free agency.

Since the Knicks shipped out Robin Lopez (currently a better player than Noah), they need a new big in free agency. Noah, a native New Yorker”  is great in the locker room and he’s still fierce on the defensive end, but at 31 years old his body has started to betray him — he has missed 68 games in the past two seasons. He doesn’t move the same way and with the same athleticism that made him so special in the past.

How much will the Knicks offer Noah? More than $15 million a season? And for how many seasons? Noah is exactly the kind of player who gets overpaid — by a team picturing his past glories and not his current realities. The only question is will the Knicks be the team to do the overpaying, or will they strike a more reasonable (by this wild market’s standards) deal?

It’s going to be an interesting couple of days when the calendar flips to July 1.

Report: Iggy Azalea dumped Nick Young because Lakers guard impregnated ex-girlfriend, not because of D’Angelo Russell video

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 17:  Athlete Nick Young and musician Iggy Azalea attend the 2015 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
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D'Angelo Russell might be off the hook.

Iggy Azalea and Nick Young broke up after Russell recorded and published a video of Young discussing cheating on his former fiancée.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Life & Style:

Life & Style has exclusively learned the real reason Iggy Azalea broke off her year-long engagement to basketball player Nick Young: he once again impregnated his baby mama, Keonna Green!

“Nick waited until Keonna was four months pregnant to tell Iggy the news,” an insider reveals, adding that he told her “he was drunk and had a lapse in judgment.”

To whatever degree Young can compartmentalize this, it probably won’t affect his NBA career.

For Russell, the stakes are different. Some will still resent him for the video, but if it didn’t directly break up Young’s engagement, that reduces the scorn he’ll receive. It’ll still take time for this to pass, but the clock is shorter.

Report: Clippers promote Lawrence Frank, who will reshape Doc Rivers’ front office

Lawrence Frank
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The Clippers have dug themselves into a hole with their roster construction.

Barring Kevin Durant accepting seemingly unfavorable terms or a great trade for Blake Griffin emerging, the Clippers’ ideal offseason is probably just overpaying Jeff Green, Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford and hoping Cole Aldrich somehow accepts the mid-level exception. Too close to the salary cap and possessing the trio’s Bird Rights, the Clippers don’t have many other options.

One thing they can do: Try to avoid similar binds in the future.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Los Angeles Clippers have reached agreement with assistant coach Lawrence Frank on a promotion to executive vice president of basketball operations, reporting directly to president and coach Doc Rivers, league sources told The Vertical.

Frank will be charged with reshaping the franchise’s front office, including building out the infrastructure of its scouting, sports science and long-term strategic planning, sources said.

Rivers is a good coach, but he has struggled running the front office. It’s too much work for one person, and Rivers has just fallen into acquiring players he previously coached, had success against him or are related to him.

Maybe Frank, whose background is also in coaching, will do better. At minimum, the former assistant coach will be committed to just the one job.

Warriors interested in Stephen Jackson as coach, but he wants to make comeback as player

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15:  Steve Kerr #25 and Stephen Jackson #3 of the San Antonio Spurs celebrate defeating the New Jersey Nets in game six of the 2003 NBA Finals on June 15, 2003 at the SBC Center in San Antonio, Texas.  The Spurs won 88-77 and defeated the Nets to win the NBA Championship.  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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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What’s a wilder idea, a team wanting Stephen Jackson to coach or Jackson coming back as a player?

How about both?

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The 38-year-old Jackson last played in the 2013-14 season, when he played nine games for the Clippers. He announced his retirement last year. I’d be shocked if an NBA team signs him.

I’m also a surprised the Warriors want him as a coach.

Jackson feuded with coaches, good and bad. Their was a tenacity to his game that, while effective, doesn’t necessarily translate to coaching. Perhaps, he can harness it, but it’s an awkward fit on paper.