Author: Brett Pollakoff

Brooklyn Nets v Orlando Magic

Report: Tobias Harris turned down max contract offer from Kings


Tobias Harris was a restricted free agent this summer, before reportedly agreeing to a four-year deal worth $64 million to remain with the Magic.

Because of that restricted status, which meant that Orlando could retain Harris by simply matching any offer he received, there weren’t a ton of teams outwardly clamoring for his services.

But he did have at least one lucrative offer to play somewhere else.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:

Hearing Tobias Harris received MAX offer from the Kings, strongly considered it. Appeal of staying in Orlando and a solid offer sealed deal

A representative for the Kings called us to firmly deny that any offer was made.

If you trust the national reports , this marks the third player to durn down more money in Sacramento than they ended up with on their new deals with different teams: Monta Ellis took less to play for the Pacers (which the Kings also deny), while Wesley Matthews did the same to join the Mavericks.

It isn’t difficult to figure out why.

The Kings are a mess right now, a directionless franchise that frequently changes course seemingly on the whims of its owner. We had three different head coaches in Sacramento last season, a redistribution of decision-making power in the front office, a flirtation with yet another change there, and the current coach shopping around the franchise player in trade scenarios by contacting other teams.

Sacramento can try to throw money at its many problems. But until things calm down there a little, and a long-term plan is put into place, players are going to continue to be wary of signing up to play there willingly — and justifiably so.

Report: JaVale McGee ‘a serious consideration’ for Clippers

Indiana Pacers v Philadelphia 76ers

When DeAndre Jordan left the Clippers to take a four-year max contract with the Mavericks in free agency, it created a huge hole in the Los Angeles lineup.

Jordan was key to what the Clippers did on the defensive end of the floor, and was a capable enough finisher at the rim to end the year leading the league in field goal percentage, thanks to plenty of perfect passes from the game’s best point guard in Chris Paul.

But perhaps more importantly, the way the salary cap works, the Clippers could have exceeded it to re-sign him. Now that he’s gone, and with very little money available to commit to a potential replacement, it’s easy to see why L.A.’s search is already becoming a bit desperate.

Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Free-agent center JaVale McGee is a serious consideration for the Los Angeles Clippers, and plans to have a telephone conversation with president and coach Doc Rivers on Saturday, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Clippers, who lost center DeAndre Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks in free agency, are taking a strong look at McGee, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The Clippers have roughly $2.2 million in exception space left to pay a player beyond the league’s minimum salary slot of $1.4 million.

McGee is someone who is currently out of the NBA, after he was traded from Denver to Philadelphia last season and reached a buyout agreement in March. If he could have realistically contributed anything of value, a playoff team would have snatched him up to bolster its postseason chances. But unfortunately, he’s never developed as expected, and has become known for making low-basketball-IQ plays more than anything else.

The Clippers may be able to switch gears and go small next season with lineups that feature Blake Griffin at center; they had some success doing that in the playoffs, specifically int he first round against the Spurs. But they will need to add a big body at some point for some depth off the bench — just don’t expect whoever that is to be able to provide anywhere close to Jordan’s level of production.

Jordan McRae shatters backboard at Sixers practice

Delaware 87ers v Oklahoma City Blue

Jordan McRae was a late addition to the Salt Lake City Summer League squad for the Sixers, but he wasted little time in making a strong impression.

From Max Rappaport of

McRae went up for a dunk on one of seven baskets that line the floor of the team’s practice facility, but as he hung on the rim he felt something give. Moments later, he was showered with glass from the backboard above him. Evidence courtesy of Sixers equipment manager Scott Rego:

McRae was the 58th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and spent this past season playing in Australia and for Philadelphia’s D-League team. He is one of many trying to make the opening day roster, but being involved in this unique incident will, at the very least, get him a brief amount of time in the spotlight.

Report: C.J. Watson agrees to three-year deal with Magic

Chicago Bulls v Indiana Pacers

Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:

The Magic has agreed to a three-year, $15 million deal with guard C.J. Watson, a source told Yahoo.

Orlando has nice young point guard talent in Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton, and Watson’s veteran presence can potentially help them along.

Watson will be playing for his fifth team as he enters his ninth NBA season, but has earned positive reviews and a solid reputation everywhere he’s been.

Watson averaged 10 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 24.9 minutes per contest with the Pacers last season, while knocking down 40 percent of his shots from three-point distance.

Report: Lakers, Pacers reach deal to trade Roy Hibbert to LA

Minnesota Timberwolves v Indiana Pacers

The Lakers’ chosen path of rebuilding, where they target the biggest names on the market and then lose out on all the lesser ones while they wait for a player who ultimately never comes to make his decision, hasn’t worked out as planned.

Their only recourse, then, is to try to add assets by trading for talent instead.

But while L.A. certainly has the cap space to absorb players on big-money deals, they lack anything of substance to offer for guys who are truly valued in their current situation. For that reason, the Lakers are looking at a reclamation project like Roy Hibbert by talking trade with the Pacers.

Marc Stein of

ESPN sources say that the Lakers and Pacers are actively discussing a trade where L.A. would take Roy Hibbert into salary-cap space

After missing out on all of their free-agent targets, Lakers are talking trade with Pacers which would land them the former All-Star center

Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report:

Hearing the Lakers-Pacers deal is done involving Roy Hibbert. Just a matter of the assets involved now.

You’ll recall that Pacers brass did everything they could to dissuade Hibbert from opting into the final year of his contract, one that is worth more than $15.5 million for next season. Head coach Frank Vogel intimated that Hibbert could be benched next year as his team looks to play faster, while team president Larry Bird’s quote on Hibbert’s contract decision amounted to “whatever he does, he does.”

Since there’s only one year remaining on Hibbert’s deal, this is worth the risk from the Lakers’ perspective. Best case scenario is that Hibbert provides rim protection alongside Julius Randle in the frontcourt, and helps a defense that finished last season ranked 29th out of 30 teams in efficiency.

If it doesn’t work out, the Lakers finish in the lottery once again, and can continue to rebuild through the draft. Given the way the team has chosen to conduct its rebuild, there aren’t a whole lot of other appealing options.