Author: Brett Pollakoff

DeMar DeRozan, Gerald Henderson, Bismack Biyombo

Report: Bismack Biyombo agrees to two-year deal with Raptors


Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Free-agent center Bismack Biyombo has agreed to a two-year, $6 million contract with the Toronto Raptors, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Biyombo joins forward DeMarre Carroll as the second free agent to agree to a deal with the Raptors this week. Together, Biyombo and Carroll – who agreed to a four-year, $64 million deal – are expected to play a part in reshaping the Raptors’ defense next season.

Bringing in Biyombo will certainly help defensively. He’s undersized at the center position, but is an active rebounder who isn’t afraid to do the dirty work down low, and has a knack for blocking shots.

Two years for $6 million in total is a bargain for the Raptors for someone who can provide you with 20 solid minutes off the bench — as long as he’s not expected to score.

Biyombo has played all four of his NBA seasons in Charlotte, and averaged 4.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots in 19.4 minutes per game for the Hornets last season. Toronto is looking to improve a defense that finished the year ranked 23rd in efficiency.

LaMarcus Aldridge has chosen to sign with Spurs

Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Three

LaMarcus Aldridge was the biggest name in free agency this summer, at least in terms of players who were expected to change teams.

He met with several suitors, a list that included the Suns and the Lakers.

But the favorites all along were the San Antonio Spurs, and that’s where Aldridge has chosen to sign.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Free agent LaMarcus Aldridge will sign with the San Antonio Spurs, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

Aldridge will sign a four-year, $80 million maximum contract with San Antonio, league source tells Yahoo.

Aldridge deal will include a player option after the third year, source tells Yahoo Sports.

Aldridge himself:

I’m happy to say I’m going home to Texas and will be a Spur!! I’m excited to join the team and be close to my family and friends.

If Aldridge was about winning above all else, then he couldn’t possibly have made a better choice.

The Spurs have been the model of success in the NBA for the past 18 years. They’ve won at least 50 games in every one of those seasons, except, of course, during the lockout-shortened 1999 campaign that lasted 50 games in total. But even that season, San Antonio emerged as NBA champions.

The Spurs will bring Tim Duncan back, and while nothing has been made official regarding Manu Ginobili, it would be difficult to see him turning down the chance to try to win one more title with an even more stacked roster than usual.

With the addition of Aldridge, San Antonio immediately joins the Warriors and the Cavaliers at the top of the list of favorites to take home a title in 2016.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on DeAndre Jordan: ‘We see him as Shaq-like’

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Four

DeAndre Jordan turned down max money with the Clippers to sign in Dallas as a free agent this summer, and did so for a couple of reasons.

The reported locker room rift between Jordan and Chris Paul was a factor, but that may not have been the primary one in his choosing to play somewhere else.

Playing in Los Angeles alongside Paul and Blake Griffin, Jordan was never going to get the opportunity to be the focal point of the offense. Mark Cuban sold him on precisely that point while convincing him to join the Mavericks, and believes Jordan can immediately become a dominant presence.

From the Los Angeles Times:

In an interview with the sports-talk radio station The Ticket, Cuban said he sees DeAndre Jordan as a franchise player. …

“We see him as “Shaq-like” but never having been given the opportunity,” Cuban told the radio show. “We told him if he came to the Mavs, he would be a focal point. He would grow into being a franchise player.” …

“We told him that you’e capable of being a 20-20 guy,” Cuban told the radio show. “You’re just not being given the opportunity.”

Cuban said that Jordan was “like the eighth option” on the Clippers, and he could be the first option on the Mavericks because superstar 37-year-old Dirk Nowitzki was no longer interested in that role.

Jordan led the league in field goal percentage last year, shooting a ridiculous 71 percent on the season. But a big reason for that was the attention Paul and Griffin demanded from opposing defenses, which freed up Jordan to be the recipient of all those lob passes from one of the best point guards in the game.

There’s also the not-so-small matter of Jordan’s free throw shooting. He made only 39.7 percent of his foul shots last year, an embarrassingly low number any way you slice it. It’s worth wondering whether you can realistically give Jordan an increased number of touches on the offensive end of the floor unless this number comes up somewhat significantly, but the plan in Dallas, at least at the moment, is to certainly give it a shot.