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Dewayne Dedmon opting out of Spurs contract

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Dewayne Dedmon made quite a ruckus during the playoffs – especially if you consider all the noise he prompted from people calling for the Spurs to include him more regularly in their rotation, particularly against the Rockets.

Those minor controversies in big moments overshadowed a quietly productive season in which Dedmon ranked second among centers in defensive real plus-minus (behind only Rudy Gobert).

Now, it’s time for Dedmon – who signed a two-year deal last summer that would have paid $3,028,410 next season – to capitalize.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

San Antonio Spurs center Dewayne Dedmon will decline his $3 million player option for next season and become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told The Vertical.

Dedmon is in line for a major raise – one San Antonio might not be able to afford. Some teams might even rate him as starting-caliber, but unless those teams need a center and have cap space – a rare combination in this market – Dedmon might have to settle for something like the non-taxpayer mid-level exception (which offers a starting salary of $8,406,000). This is probably the last chance for Dedmon, who turns 28 before the season, to get a big contract.

The Spurs have Dedmon’s Non-Bird Rights (technically a form of Bird Rights), which allow them to exceed the cap to pay him a starting salary of $3,477,600 (120% his previous salary). Any more and San Antonio would have to use cap space or its own mid-level exception.

Perhaps, Dedmon warrants that.

The athletic 7-footer is a mobile defender, good rim protector and quality rebounder. But he still fouls too much, and he hasn’t displayed quite enough defensive awareness to earn a coach’s trust.

Dedmon is limited offensively, but he finishes well on pick-and-rolls. He can play a role on that end.

Dedmon’s 18 minutes per game this season were a career high. Would his production hold up with more responsibility?

His defensive versatility is welcomed on a team with LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol and David Lee (the latter two of whom can also become free agents). But Dedmon might have become a luxury the Spurs can no longer afford – especially if they chase Chris Paul.

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: