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Report: J.J. Redick expected to leave Clippers in free agency

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Plenty of attention has, deservedly, been paid to whether the Clippers will re-sign Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

But J.J. Redickan underrated part of L.A.’s success – will also become an unrestricted free agent.

Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times spoke to “several NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter because of the sensitively of contract talks” and found:

J.J. Redick, who is an unrestricted free agent, is looking to earn $18-20 million per season, according to the officials. The Clippers probably won’t pay that much, the officials said, but the team won’t rule out re-signing Redick for the right price.

Re-signing just Paul and Griffin would push the Clippers into the luxury tax. Also keeping Redick would vault them into historic spending, especially considering they’d be subject to the repeater tax rate.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer will reportedly pay whatever it takes to keep Paul and Griffin. That doesn’t necessarily apply to Redick.

Letting Redick walk rather than meet that price tag makes some sense. He’ll turn 33 before free agency, and he declined this year.

He didn’t create as much separation with his off-ball cutting. His drives against closeouts weren’t as emphatic. He had a tougher time keeping up defensively.

Redick was still effective, but not quite as much, and everything looked like a battle, especially in the playoffs. That doesn’t project to improve as he ages. Re-signing Redick wouldn’t give the Clippers the same player they’ve had the last few years.

But they’d be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception ($5,192,000 starting salary) to replace him. Even if Redick is overpaid on his next contract, he’ll probably still be better than whomever L.A. signs with the taxpayer MLE.

If the Clippers re-sign Paul and Griffin to go with DeAndre Jordan, the goal is a championship. The odds might be slim, but that’s at least a core with a fringe title chance at. Repeated playoff flameouts create an appetite for a shakeup, but the Clippers need better breaks more than a massive overhaul.

Losing Redick wouldn’t shake the Clippers into being better. It’d just mean they’re losing a good player.

Perhaps that’s a financial necessity, but that’s what it’d primarily be.

Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan fined $15,000 for criticizing referees

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The Raptors lost to the Warriors on Saturday, and DeMar DeRozan – despite his own brilliant performance – was irked.

The Toronto guard seemed particularly upset about a review of an out-of-bounds call in the final seconds. After initially giving the ball to the Raptors, officials said it touched DeRozan while he was out of bounds and granted Golden State possession:

The NBA’s replay guidelines say (emphasis mine): “Referees can only initiate a review on a called out-of-bounds play (for example, not one where an out-of-bounds might have occurred) and only those involving doubt as to which player caused the ball to go out (not those, for example, where a player stepped on the line).”

DeRozan

I mean, it’s frustrating being out there feeling like you playing 5-on-8. It’s just what it feel like, period. Some of them calls was terrible, period.

I thought you couldn’t even do that. I’m not even a referee, and I know that rule. So, somebody correct me if I’m wrong.

The NBA corrected him in the two-minute report, saying “After communicating with the Replay Center, the ruling on the floor of Raptors possession is overturned and the Warriors are awarded possession because the ball touches DeRozan’s (TOR) leg while his body is out of bounds before Curry (GSW) knocks the ball out. Referees were able to review two aspects of this out-of-bounds play since they were part of the same sequence.”

Then, the league fined him.

NBA release:

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan has been fined $15,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The comments were made following the Raptors’ 127-125 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, Jan. 13

Saying “5-on-8” seems to be a secret code word for getting fined. I’m not sure whether the rest of DeRozan’s comments would have gotten him fined, but that phrase almost certainly did him in.

Kyle Lowry on plan to meet Ben Simmons after ejections: ‘Put it this way, I was back there’

AP Photo/Rich Schultz
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As Kyle Lowry and Ben Simmons were ejected late in the 76ers’ win over the Raptors yesterday, the players appeared to challenge each other to meet in back.

Lowry eagerly left the court and headed through the tunnel. Simmons appeared much more reluctant at that point.

Despite a report of a confrontation in the hallway, Simmons said nothing escalated, as he went to his locker room.

Michael Grange of Sportsnet

TKO.

Warriors complained of no hot water in showers in Cleveland

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The Cavaliers are clearly frustrated.

Did someone in Cleveland take out that frustration on the Warriors after they beat the Cavs last night?

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

Players were complaining about there being no hot water in the visiting locker room showers. When they walked in, they could be heard screaming in discomfort. Most of the players emerged shivering from taking a quick wash-off.

“Man, they got to do something in ‘The Q.’ Somebody call Bron!” Kevin Durant yelled, referring to LeBron James.

No one seemed angry; the situation was more humorous.

That’s the right approach. Whenever the hot water is out in a visiting locker room, the finger is pointed at the home team for sabotage. Sometimes, heating systems just fail.

Giannis Antetokounmpo assists fastbreak dunk with football-style long snap (video)

AP Photo/Nick Wass
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Giannis Antetokounmpo is scoring more in the post, the basketball analogue of football’s trenches.

Apparently, he’s taking the comparison to the next level.

In the Bucks’ win over the Wizards yesterday, Antetokounmpo played the part of a long-snapping center to set up Khris Middleton in transition.

NBC Sports Washington: