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‘Kevin Love rule’ could help Timberwolves extend Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins under new CBA

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As the story goes, David Kahn was saving his five-year, designated-player rookie-scale extension (not to be confused with the new veteran designated-player rule) for Ricky Rubio. So, the Timberwolves general manager gave Kevin Love a shorter extension and embittered Love in the process. That led to Love requesting a trade and being sent to the Cavaliers.

Under the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams will no longer face that dilemma (not that Love-Rubio should’ve presented a dilemma).

Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post:

Teams can now give two players coming off their rookie contracts a five-year max extension. Previously, teams could only sign one of their players to such an extension.

This was always an overblown concern. It’s rare teams will have multiple players worthy of max contract extensions in such a short span. The flaw in the Love parable is that Rubio’s extension wound up far short of the max.

And even when teams stack first-rounders worthy of the max, there was a clear remedy. Designated-player applies only to extensions. Though teams could offer only one five-year rookie-scale extension, they could extend one player and then re-sign the other in restricted free agency to the exact same contract he would’ve gotten in an extension. It makes no difference in player compensation. In fact, that route can even help teams when a player’s cap hold is lower than his salary.*

*That’ll happen less often under the new CBA. As Bontemps reports, cap holds for players coming off rookie-scale deals were will increase from 200% (if above NBA-average salary) or 250% (if below NBA-average salary) of previous salary to 250% (if above NBA-average salary) or 300% (if below NBA-average salary) of previous salary.

The Wizards followed this route, making John Wall their designated player then re-signing Bradley Beal to a five-year max contract.

This new rule will help teams prevent players from reaching restricted free agency, where hijinks – accepting the qualifying offer, signing a short offer offer sheet – can happen. (On the other hand, a maximum qualifying offer – logical for a player a team was ready max-extend – already eliminates the one-year-qualifying-offer threat and makes those unpleasant offer sheets less likely.)

Coincidentally, Minnesota – with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins – could benefit from this change. Other candidates to benefit include the 76ers (Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons) and Pacers (Paul George* and Myles Turner).

*already a designated player

Watch Anthony Davis score 42 points in OT win over Celtics (VIDEO)

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New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis is on a bit of a tear.

Davis scored 48 points to go along with 17 rebounds on Sunday as the Pelicans beat the New York Knicks at MSG. Then on Tuesday night, Davis again went for 40+, scorching the Boston Celtics at TD Garden to the tune of 45 points, this time with 16 rebounds.

Alongside DeMarcus Cousins, who scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, Davis was the deciding factor in Tuesday’s game, helping to get early buckets in the extra time period.

The final result was impressive, and good news for the Pelicans as they continue to solidify their playoff position going into the All-Star break.

Watch the full highlights from Davis’ scoring outbreak in the video above.

Boston Celtics great Jo Jo White dies at 71

NBA.com
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BOSTON (AP) Basketball Hall of Famer Jo Jo White, a two-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and an Olympic gold medalist, has died. He was 71.

The Celtics announced his death Tuesday night. No cause was provided.

The team said it was “terribly saddened” by White’s passing, calling him a “champion and a gentleman; supremely talented and brilliant on the court, and endlessly gracious off of it.”

White played 10 seasons for Boston, which drafted him ninth overall from Kansas in 1969. He averaged 17.2 points per game over 13 years, also playing for Golden State and the Kansas City Kings before retiring in 1981.

The Celtics retired White’s No. 10 the following year, and he still was working with the club as a director of special projects at the time of his death.

White averaged 18.1 points as a member of the 1974 Celtics championship team and was chosen MVP of the NBA Finals two years later when Boston won again, scoring 33 while leading the Celtics to a 128-126 win in triple overtime against the Phoenix Suns.

Boston traded White to the Warriors midway through the 1978-79 season and he remained with Golden State through the following season. He played one final season in Kansas City, but was always beloved in Boston as a Celtic.

“His contributions to the team’s championship legacy may have only been surpassed by the deep and lasting impact that he had in the community,” the Celtics said in the statement. “The thoughts and sympathies of the entire Celtics organization are with the White family.”

White, who won an Olympic gold medal with the U.S. team in 1968, was a seven-time NBA All-Star. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015, when he recalled his performance in the triple-overtime victory over the Suns that put Boston one game away from winning another title.

White played 60 of a possible 63 minutes of the game. Former Boston coach and player Tommy Heinsohn said the induction into the Hall of Fame was long overdue for White, who was thrilled it happened after battling health problems, including a brain tumor, late in life.

“I absolutely adored playing this game,” White said.

Isaiah Thomas asks Celtics to skip video tribute to focus on Paul Pierce

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The Boston Celtics already conceded to the wishes of Isaiah Thomas, foregoing a video tribute the first time the Cleveland Cavaliers played the Boston Celtics this year at TD Garden.

Now, it seems that Boston might have to skip a video tribute for their former point guard altogether.

On Tuesday, Thomas took to Twitter to say that he’d rather defer to former Celtics forward Paul Pierce, who is having his jersey retired by the team that night and complained about Thomas’ tribute.

Via Twitter:

The odd thing about this whole tale is that Pierce changed his mind on this thing in a span of 24 hours. A Fox Sports radio host pointed out earlier this month that Pierce initially said that he was OK with Thomas’ video tribute.

The next day on ESPN’s The Jump, Pierce did a full 180° and instead said he wanted the treatment the Los Angeles Lakers gave Kobe Bryant, with multiple videos being shown during timeouts throughout the game.

This seems petty on the part of Pierce, but at least Thomas appears to be taking it with grace.

JJ Redick has crack in left leg, will be reevaluated in 10-14 days

AP
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The Philadelphia 76ers could use JJ Redick, but it appears that the sharp-shooting guard will be out for at least 10 days due to an injury he suffered on Monday.

The team says Redick sustained the injury late in the fourth quarter during Philly’s 117-111 win over the Toronto Raptors.

Redick finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds, and one assist in 28 minutes of play, but had to be replaced with a little more than four minutes to go by T.J. McConnell.

Via Twitter:

A bone edema is a bit of fluid collection in the marrow (inner) area of the bone. The cortical part of the bone is the harder outer surface. What appears to have happened is that Redick suffered a crack in the exterior portion of his bone that also caused some inner fluid collection.

None of that sounds fun, but Redick will apparently be re-assessed in 10-14 days, so hopefully for the team it’s less serious that all this medical stuff makes it sound.