Author: Brett Pollakoff

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Five

Report: Clippers set meeting with DeAndre Jordan, want him to reverse his decision to join Mavericks


DeAndre Jordan agreed to a free agent deal with the Mavericks, but due to the NBA’s moratorium period which doesn’t end until July 9, new contracts can’t yet be signed, and teams can get into trouble for discussing the agreements before they become official.

There’s also nothing binding, here — technically, Jordan could choose to back out of his verbal commitment, and the Mavericks would have no recourse.

Evidently, it’s something that’s now being considered.

Marc Stein of

The Los Angeles Clippers are trying to convince DeAndre Jordan to reconsider his decision to sign with the Mavericks after Jordan verbally committed to join Dallas last week, according to league sources.

Free agents are traditionally considered off limits once they strike a verbal agreement with a team during the NBA’s annual moratorium period, but sources said that the Clippers have pushed to secure a meeting Wednesday in Houston for coach/team president Doc Rivers and possibly owner Steve Ballmer to make one last face-to-face pitch to Jordan in an attempt to convince him to walk away from the four-year, $80-plus million max deal he committed to with the Mavericks and instead stay with L.A. …

Sources told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that Jordan has told people close to him since picking Dallas that he’s still “torn” and “unsure” about his choice.

Jordan can make more money on a max deal with the Clippers than he can anywhere else, but his initial decision to bolt for Dallas was motivated by other factors. He reportedly wanted a bigger role in the offense and more recognition for his contributions — things that would never happen playing alongside Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in Los Angeles. And, the reported tensions between Jordan and Paul were real enough to be a factor, as well.

There are other components in play behind the scenes. The agents who represent the athletes are more heavily involved in personnel moves than fans would like to believe, and there would be a significant amount of trust lost in Relativity Sports should Jordan’s deal to Dallas end up falling apart.

It wouldn’t be unprecedented for a player to renege on this type of commitment, but it almost never happens. The fact that the Clippers are getting an unusual final shot at convincing Jordan to do so, however, does make it a real possibility.

Report: Kevin Garnett will move to management role if he can’t play second year of contract with Timberwolves

Kevin Garnett

It had been expected for some time now that Kevin Garnett would re-up to play with the Timberwolves next season.

But when the news became official and it turned out that the deal was for two years, it raised at least a few eyebrows.

Garnett only appeared in five games after being traded to Minnesota last year, and sat out his team’s final 21 contests, reportedly due to injury.

As he enters what will be a record 21st NBA season, it’s worth wondering whether Garnett will hold up physically in order to play a 22nd. But whether he does or he doesn’t, he’ll remain employed by the Timberwolves.

Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune:

Kevin Garnett will return for a 21st NBA season on a two-year contract, according to a league source with knowledge of an agreement that’s been considered mostly a formality for weeks.

Like the three-year deal the Wolves and Nemanja Bjelica agreed to, Garnett’s deal can be signed according to NBA rules starting on Thursday.

The agreement likely has a provision that Garnett will move into a managerial role with the team if he is not healthy enough to play the 2016-17 season.

Garnett eventually landing in the Timberwolves front office has always made some sense. He began his NBA career in Minnesota, and was considered the face of the franchise for 12 seasons. Even in merely an ambassador role, Garnett would be a welcome addition to the team’s operation once his playing days are done.

Report: Dario Saric wanted to join Sixers this season

Dario Saric

Dario Saric was selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but the plan was for him to remain in Europe for at least two more seasons.

That’s probably part of the reason the rebuilding Sixers traded for him on draft night, given their propensity for selecting players who aren’t ready to contribute to the team’s win total in the immediate future.

Saric, however, was ready to make the jump now. But he couldn’t get out of his current contract in order to make that happen.

From David Pick at Basketball Insiders:

“Saric told people he wanted to join Philadelphia now, but couldn’t because his contract had no out-clause,” a source told Basketball Insiders.

Despite the Sixers’ late push to bring him over as soon as possible, negotiations with Turkish finalist Anadolu Efes failed to materialize. Saric is handcuffed overseas until 2016, but it was clear, sources familiar with his wishes said, that he wanted to join Philadelphia.

I asked Saric for his thoughts about moving to the U.S. and the situation with his Turkish club.

“It’s really hard for me to answer that,” Saric said. “I can’t comment.”

Tanking jokes aside, the Sixers did seem to want to add Saric to the roster this season. It’s time to start developing all that young talent in order to begin to turn things around — even though the 6’10” power forward is a duplication of sorts, alongside Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and the newly-drafted Jahlil Okafor.

Kyrie Irving says Cavaliers ‘definitely would have won’ the championship if they had everyone healthy

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers won two games against the Warriors in the NBA Finals, and did so with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love both sidelined due to injury.

Had they been healthy, could they have won two more? Irving believes the answer is a resounding “yes.”

In an appearance on The Big Podcast With Shaq, Irving answered a question about his involvement in getting Kevin Love to re-sign by saying how great things were in Cleveland last season, and that they should bring everyone back because had they been healthy, the title would have been theirs.

“I’m more of the voice of reason,” Irving said. “I’m always going to be a straight shooter with everyone and give them my honest opinion. Obviously, we have a great thing in Cleveland, and we dealt with everything together.

“I feel like we definitely would have won an NBA championship if we had everyone healthy,” he said. “But almost doesn’t count.”

It’s interesting to consider, because the Cavaliers morphed into a very different team once Love and Irving were out of the lineup. They became tough and defensive-minded, with Tristan Thompson emerging into a dominant force on the boards once he was given a starter’s share of the minutes.

But the Warriors were the best team in the league all season long, by a somewhat comfortable margin. Things would have played out differently had Cleveland had its full complement of players available, certainly. But a banner in Golden State still would have been the likeliest of results.

[via SLAM]

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry wants Anthony Davis to shoot more threes next season

Houston Rockets v New Orleans Pelicans

Anthony Davis is already viewed by many as being one of the top few players in the league today, a dominant big man that has the ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor at an absolutely frightening rate.

And the new head coach of the Pelicans, Alvin Gentry, wants to make him even more difficult to deal with by extending his range to the three-point arc.

From John Reid of

In a conference call to season-ticket holders on Tuesday night, Gentry says he has already told Davis that every day he works out in the gym this upcoming season he wants him to make 150 corner 3-point shots from each side of the court.

”That’s got to become a consistent shot for him,” Gentry said. ”I don’t think he’s going to have any problem doing it. If you go back and look at his high school days, he was a very good 3-point shooter. But all of sudden he decided to grow six or eight inches. He still has that range, but I don’t think it has been incorporated in the offense in college or the pros that he’s been in.

”We want him to shoot that shot. So I think you probably see him make more 3s than he’s made his entire career.”

Gentry has had success doing this in the past. As head coach of the Suns in 2010, he got Channing Frye to launch 392 three-pointers, after he had made just 20 in total during his first four NBA seasons. Frye shot 43.9 percent from three-point distance that season.

Davis made only one three-pointer last season on 12 attempts, but it turned out to be the difference in sending New Orleans to the playoffs because it ultimately gave them the tie-breaker over the Thunder in the standings.

Davis is already unstoppable on the offensive end of the floor, so adding yet another weapon to his arsenal seems almost unfair to the rest of the league. With Gentry looking to create even more of a monster here, a famous quote from the  Bhagavad Gita delivered by one of the men who invented the atomic bomb comes to mind: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”