Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

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

Leave a comment

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

Grizzlies beat slumping Pacers, who fall into tie for final playoff spot

AP Photo/Brandon Dill
Leave a comment

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Conley matched his career high with seven 3-pointers on his way to 36 points, helping the Memphis Grizzlies rout the Indiana Pacers 110-97 on Wednesday night.

Vince Carter had 21 points and eight rebounds, and Zach Randolph finished with 17 points as Memphis snapped a four-game losing streak. Conley went 13 for 21 from the field.

Paul George led the Pacers with 22 points, Aaron Brooks, who provided an early spark from outside the arc, had 18 points, and Thaddeus Young finished with 16.

Indiana lost for the fourth time in five games.

Memphis played without All-Star center Marc Gasol, who missed his third straight game with a left foot strain. But Conley helped the Grizzlies get off the fast start, and Pacers were never able to catch up.

Memphis led by as many as 22 in the second quarter and carried a 72-53 advantage into the break. Conley scored 22 points in the first half, and the Grizzlies went 10 for 17 from beyond the arc in the first two periods.

Brooks made four 3-pointers and scored 14 in the first half for Indiana.

The Grizzlies led 96-79 after three, and the sliding Pacers never threatened in the fourth.

Indiana (37-38) dropped into a tie with Miami for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Both are two games behind Milwaukee and Atlanta.

The Heat, Bucks and Hawks all won Wednesday night.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Brooks made a 3-pointer in the first quarter to reach 800 for his career. … Indiana dropped to 0-8 in road games on the second night of a back-to-back.

Grizzlies: JaMychal Green was out with left shoulder soreness. That caused Memphis to use its 22nd different starting lineup this season. … Memphis scored 38 points in the first quarter, matching its highest point total for any quarter this season. … Memphis has made at least 10 3-pointers in 36 games. … In the third quarter, Carter passed Ray Allen (24,505) for 22nd in NBA history for career points scored. … Reserve guard Andrew Harrison left in the third quarter with a right ankle injury.

PACERS HOMECOMINGS

Pacers forward Thaddeus Young played high school basketball in Memphis and still lives there. Pacers guard Monta Ellis has a home in the Eads community east of Memphis.

HOME STRETCH

Memphis (41-34), which sits seventh in the Western Conference playoff race, has a beneficial schedule down the stretch. Of its seven remaining games, five are at home, and five are against teams with losing records.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Visit Toronto on Friday.

Grizzlies: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.

Three Mavericks teammates restrain Devin Harris, who still gets ejected (video)

Leave a comment

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Dallas guard Devin Harris was ejected from Wednesday night’s 121-118 loss to New Orleans after angrily protesting calls made by official Ben Taylor.

Harris was assessed two quick technical fouls by Taylor, the first after Harris protested Taylor’s decision to whistle him for a personal foul when he collided with Pelicans’ guard Jordan Crawford.

The impact with Crawford sent Harris crashing to the court, marking the second time in the period that Harris had gone down hard. The first time, no foul was called when a collision with Pelicans’ guard E'Twaun Moore left Harris flat on his back.

When Harris was assessed the first technical, he went into a tirade and had to be restrained by teammates as he advanced toward Taylor. That triggered his ejection.

Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon beats shot clock, Celtics with dagger (video)

2 Comments

Who should win Rookie of the Year?

Joel Embiid has been, by far, the best rookie while on the court, but a season-ending injury will limit him to just 31 games. Malcolm Brogdon has been next best over the full course of the season. Dario Saric is making a heck of a finishing kick, and with a couple weeks left, he can still catch Brogdon.

But Brogdon got his own late signature moment in the Bucks’ 103-100 win over the Celtics tonight.

With the Bucks up one in the final seconds and the shot clock nearing expiration, Brogdon hit an off-balance jumper with 3.9 seconds left to produce the final margin.

Milwaukee’s win drops Boston (48-27) to second in the Eastern Conference, behind only the Cavaliers (47-26). The Bucks (39-36) keep pace with the Hawks in a tie for fifth.

Russell Westbrook scores most points ever in triple-double, 57

4 Comments

Russell Westbrook led a double-digit comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Been there done, that.

Westbrook hit a defining buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Been there done, that.

Westbrook posted a historic triple-double. Been there, done that.

All three in one game?

That’s a new level for Westbrook, who lifted the Thunder to a 114-106 win over the Magic tonight while posting an incredible stat line: 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

James Harden scored 53 in a triple-double just this season, and Westbrook has already one-upped that record.

This MVP race is one for the ages.