Sefolosha’s $4 million settlement with NYPD raising eyebrows, it’s more than some men shot received

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NEW YORK (AP) — Thabo Sefolosha of the Atlanta Hawks surely suffered when police officers broke his leg arresting him outside a Manhattan nightclub in 2015. He needed surgery and sat out while teammates went deep in the NBA playoffs.

But the city’s decision to settle his wrongful arrest lawsuit Wednesday for $4 million still raised eyebrows. That’s more than the city has paid out in some of its most notorious police brutality cases.

Several unarmed men shot to death by New York City police received less money.

Legal experts say the large settlement is a reflection of lost earnings potential as a professional athlete, not any judgment that his leg was worth more than a man’s life.

“His injury probably shortens a career with significant dollars attached to it,” said attorney Michael Duffy, who specializes in malpractice and other litigation but had no role in the case.

Sefalosha, a 10-year veteran of the league, was acquitted of charges he disobeyed officers’ orders to leave the area around the club following the nonfatal stabbing of another NBA player, Chris Copeland. This year he has played 60 of 77 games for the Hawks, averaging 7.3 points a game, which is slightly higher than his career average.

Here is a look at some other notable settlements of police excessive-force cases in New York, all involving black men like Sefolosha:

RAMARLEY GRAHAM: The unarmed 18-year-old was trying to flush marijuana down a toilet in his home when an officer barged into the bathroom and fatally shot him in 2012. The city paid the family $3.9 million.

AKAI GURLEY: The 28-year-old was killed in 2014 by a ricocheting bullet when a police officer, patrolling an apartment building with his gun drawn, was startled and fired into a darkened stairwell. The city settled with his family for $4.1 million.

ERIC GARNER: The 43-year-old father of six died in 2014 after being placed into an illegal chokehold by an officer trying to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes. The city paid his family $5.9 million.

SEAN BELL: A groom-to-be, the 23-year-old Bell died in a hail of 50 police bullets fired into his car in 2006 as he left his bachelor party at a bar. Officers mistakenly thought they saw a gun. The city paid his estate $3.3 million. Another man in the car who was shot 17 times was paid $3 million. A third victim got $900,000.

ABNER LOUIMA: The Haitian immigrant was badly beaten and sodomized with a broomstick in a police station in 1997 by officers in an attack that damaged his colon and bladder. The city and police union agreed to pay $8.7 million.

OUSMANE ZONGO: The 43-year-old artist was working on restoring African artifacts in 2003 when he was shot and killed by a police officer raiding a warehouse, looking for counterfeit goods. His family settled for $3 million.

PATRICK DORISMOND: The 26-year-old was working at a security guard at a nightclub in 2000 when he was fatally shot during a scuffle with undercover police officers who had asked him where they could buy drugs. His estate was paid $2.3 million.

AMADOU DIALLO: An unarmed African immigrant, the 22-year-old Diallo was shot to death in the vestibule of a Bronx apartment building in 1999 by officers who mistook his wallet for a gun. His mother received a $3 million settlement from the city.

Report: Knicks have “legitimate” interest in re-signing Derrick Rose

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Were they watching the games last year?

Derrick Rose put up decent numbers last year — 18 points per game, PER of 17, true shooting percentage of 53 — but was a mess defensively and does not fit in the triangle offense. He’s a decent point guard now, a replacement level player who can help in the right system.

Since the Knicks point guard rotation right now consists of rookie Frank Ntilikina plus whoever the team signs this summer, turns out Rose is not out of the picture, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.

The New York Knicks have “legitimate” interest in re-signing Derrick Rose, league sources familiar with the matter said….

The Knicks’ interest in the point guard is dependent on several factors, including his health and his asking price. When asked last week about New York potentially re-signing Rose, team president Phil Jackson said “we’re listening.”

Money will be the key — it’s not going to be anywhere near the $21.3 million Rose made last season. No team is going to offer that.

Can the Knicks get him for less than $10 million? Will another team come in and offer $12 million or more for him? The market for point guards this summer is going to be interesting because after the big name on the free-agent market — Chris Paul (we’re not counting Stephen Curry, he’s not leaving) — there are some quality players out there that can help teams such as Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, George Hill, Patty Mills, Jeff Teague and Shaun Livingston. There aren’t that many teams with money to really spend on free agent point guards, so while a couple (Holiday, maybe Lowry) re-sign with their old teams there are a number of guys who may find the market softer than they expected. Rose is among them.

And that’s where the Knicks come in. Rose is far from a perfect fit, but if the soft market drives his price down closer to the midlevel ($8.4 million) or just above, that may be worth it for the Knicks for a year while they try to develop the rookie.

Report: Russell Westbrook may sign “designated player” extension with Thunder on July 1

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Russell Westbrook is your NBA MVP, coming off a historic season where he averaged a triple-double.

Westbrook also could see a massive pay raise this summer. Yes, you remember correctly that Westbrook signed one last summer after Kevin Durant left, but the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that kicks in July 1 grandfathered him (and James Harden, who also signed an extension last summer) in to get the “designated veteran” max contract. That would start at about $34.7 million (if the cap is at $99 million as expected) and go up from there.

Thunder management’s first call at midnight July 1 will be to Westbrook to offer the deal, and he may well take it reports Royce Young of ESPN.

Those close to Westbrook fully expect him to take the Thunder’s offer, quite possibly at 12:01 a.m., and stabilize the franchise and present a clear road map. Westbrook signed an extension last summer and invoked the word “loyalty” for a reason. He wanted to make a statement — a public declaration — and take on the burden of leading the franchise forward.

He likes the existing roster and has a close relationship and confidence in Presti and Weaver. He has built a strong bond with head coach Billy Donovan. He knew what he signed for and, with the Thunder coming off a successful first post-Durant season and with pieces in place to improve the team, there are a lot of reasons to commit again.

If Westbrook signs this, the Thunder can get on with the business of improving this roster — which will be next to impossible. The Thunder are capped out and have to re-sign restricted free agent Andre Roberson. Sam Presti is a smart man, but his hands are mostly tied due to some of the big contracts on the roster (ones that would have been no issue if Kevin Durant had stayed). The Thunder will make moves around the edges, but it’s going to take time to do anything substantial.

If Westbrook doesn’t sign this, more than just red flags will go up in OKC — this will be sirens and flashing red lights. The Thunder will be forced to think about trading Westbrook, or finding a way to keep him happy and in house. They will basically be right back to where they were last summer.

If Westbrook signs it — and he likely will, that’s a lot of money to leave on the table — it at least gives the Thunder a clear direction. Which is about all they can hope for this summer.

Bulls: No decision yet on Rajon Rondo’s future with team

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls are not ready to say whether veteran point guard Rajon Rondo will be back for a second season.

Vice president of basketball operations John Paxson says that “is still to be determined.” The Bulls can pay Rondo $13.4 million or buy him out for $3 million by Friday’s deadline.

Paxson spoke Tuesday during a news conference to introduce newcomers Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and rookie Lauri Markkanen, who were acquired from Minnesota for Jimmy Butler on draft night. The Bulls were planning to meet Tuesday with Rondo’s agent Bill Duffy, who represents LaVine.

Paxson also says a buyout on Dwyane Wade after he exercised his $23.8 million option “has not been broached.” Paxson says the Bulls, at least for now, assume Wade will play for Chicago.

Report: Chris Paul met with Clipper officials to talk future of franchise, himself

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Chris Paul is going to talk to a lot of teams this summer, but if you ask people around the league, most seem to think he will re-sign with the Clippers. The ultimate reason is money: As president of the players’ union he helped steer the new CBA negotiations, which included changing the “over 36 rule” — limiting max contracts to players who turn 36 during the time of the deal — into the “over 38 rule.” That meant 32-year-old Paul could sign one more five-year max contract.

Paul also wants to win, and it’s hard to see how the assembled team in Los Angeles — which is certainly a top 5-7 NBA team, maybe a little higher when healthy — picks up a ring. Especially with the Golden State juggernaut not going anywhere.

Paul has started talking to the Clippers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

I doubt that discussion was much about money — the Clippers will offer a five-year max contract. That’s not even up for debate.

The discussion was how to build the Clippers into a contender. Will Blake Griffin, also a free agent, be back and be part of that? What about J.J. Redick? Can the Clippers get the cap space to lure huge free agents in 2018? LeBron James reportedly wants to come to Los Angeles, although whether he wants to be a Clipper is another question. (For the record, I don’t buy the idea LeBron would “never” be a Clipper. While it may be highly unlikely, people I have spoken to around the league closer to LeBron’s thinking say he wants to keep every option open, play out next season, then see where things stand. He would not fully rule out playing with Chris Paul, who could still be in L.A.)

The Clippers have backed themselves into a corner by trading away picks for veterans, and not developing young players into guys who can contribute in the rotation. When was the last time the Clippers had their Patrick McCaw or Dewayne Dedmon? Without those young, affordable players, it becomes hard to put a good roster together and keep it together. It’s part of what Jerry West — with some help from GM Lawrence Frank — need to bring to Doc Rivers’ Clippers.

That’s likely part of the discussion, too.

There’s a lot for the sides to talk about.