Barring a major injury, it seems almost inevitable at this point that the Warriors will surpass the 1996 Bulls’ record of 72 wins in a season and vault themselves into the conversation of the greatest NBA teams in history. All year, members of that ’96 Bulls team have weighed in comparing the teams, but one guy who hasn’t given his thoughts publicly is Michael Jordan.
Apparently, during All-Star Weekend in Toronto, Jordan gave Klay Thompson his blessing for the Warriors to go for 73. Via CSN’s Rosalyn Gold-Onwude:
Not that the Warriors need anybody’s permission to go after the record, obviously. But it had to be cool for Thompson to hear directly from Jordan that he respects what the Warriors are doing and wants them to break his own record. In all likelihood, they’ll do it.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Hornets say forward Frank Kaminsky will undergo a “minor procedure” on Wednesday to repair a small pocket of air between his lung and chest wall and will not participate in the Pro Summer League in Orlando.
The recovery time for the procedure is approximately six weeks, the team sad Tuesday.
The Hornets say Kaminsky could have played with the issue, but the procedure will help relieve some discomfort.
Kaminsky averaged 7.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 21.1 minutes per game as a rookie last season, appearing in 81 games with three starts.
He was one of only two rookies to total more than 600 points, 300 rebounds and 50 three-point field goals last season. Kaminsky made 68 3-point attempts, which ranked fifth among NBA rookies.
The Hawks want Kevin Durant.
If they can’t have him, Plan B might be Dwight Howard.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
If the Hawks are unable to thrust themselves into the Durant bidding, sources say that one countermove Atlanta is weighing strongly is the free-agent pursuit of Atlanta native Dwight Howard to play alongside Horford in the frontcourt.
Howard would make much more sense as an Al Horford replacement if Horford leaves in free agency. Horford is better at center than power forward. Paul Millsap is better at power forward than small forward. Howard would give the Hawks the ability to play another style, and that’s helpful. But there’s probably more utility in keeping Kent Bazemore or getting a replacement wing if he leaves.
That said, if Atlanta is interested in Howard, Howard might reciprocate. He reportedly considered his hometown in 2013 free agency and had interest in being traded there last season.
Mostly, though, Howard might just pick whichever team offers him the most money. The Hawks can decide if that’s them.
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James will continue to soar over downtown.
Sherwin-Williams announced Tuesday it has changed plans to remove a 10-story banner of James hanging from the side of its headquarters. The paint company had intended to detach the banner and replace it with one celebrating its 150th anniversary.
However, public outcry caused Sherwin-Williams to alter those plans and remove the likeness of James for only a few weeks. Now, the banner, which hangs across the street from Quicken Loans Arena, home of the NBA champion Cavaliers, will be untouched.
“We’re committed to doing the right thing for the people of this great city,” said John Morikis, the company president and CEO. “For the last year, we’ve been planning to hang a celebratory banner outside our building during the summer months. But what better way to celebrate our 150th year than with a NBA championship.”
Also, Sherwin-Williams is donating $150,000 to the LeBron James Family Foundation.
The area below the banner has become a tourist stop, with visitors taking pictures under the giant mural of James spreading his arms. During the Cavs’ downtown parade, which drew an estimated one million spectators last week, James posed near the banner mimicking the artwork.
Jordan McRae signed with the Cavaliers at midseason and went along for the ride en route to their championship.
He’s on track to help them defend it.
Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:
The Cleveland Cavaliers will exercise their 2016-17 team option on guard Jordan McRae, league sources informed cleveland.com.
McRae’s salary ($874,636) is still only partially guaranteed, according to Haynes.
On one hand, Cleveland locks up a player on a minimum salary. That’s nice for a team facing a monstrous luxury-tax bill.
On the other hand, the Cavs are now committed to paying a fringe player some money. If they waive him later, his guaranteed salary will increase their tax.
It’s only Dan Gilbert’s money. The Cavaliers are better off with McRae off the market. They can always let him go later. If the owner is willing to accept that cost, there’s no downside.