Marcus Smart is an excellent defender, capable of guarding all three perimeter positions. He’s also over his head as a lead guard offensively, and his clunky 3-pointer is limiting. Between Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and maybe even Terry Rozier, the Celtics have higher priorities. But Smart still brings plenty of helpful production.
All of this is to say valuing Smart is difficult.
He says Boston isn’t even trying to do so in contract-extension negotiations.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
If the Celtics don’t extend him by the Oct. 16 deadline, he’d become a restricted free agent next summer. It’s not as if they’re at risk of losing him.
Perhaps, they want more time to evaluate him – especially his attitude and conditioning. The specter of a contract year could keep him sharp and in shape.
That delay could last until closer to the start of the regular season or all the way until next offseason. It wouldn’t be surprising if Boston offers him an extension in the next week. I wouldn’t even rule out discussions already occurring but Smart minimizing them in attempt to rally support and gain leverage.
The Celtics could face a sizable luxury-tax bill next season depending on Smart’s contract and other moves. There’s no rush to pay him, but it would be a little odd if they’re not even checking whether he’d lock into a moderate salary now in exchange for security.
Good thing J.R. Smith didn’t get into a “blank-measuring contest” with Dwyane Wade.
Because Wade has taken Smith’s job as the Cavaliers’ starting shooting guard.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
Smith is a better 3-point shooter and defender than Wade, making Smith a more natural fit next to LeBron James and a maybe-more-ball-dominant Kevin Love. But Wade has chemistry with LeBron after their time together with the Heat, allowing the pair to mesh better than their styles would suggest otherwise.
Wade is far more accomplished than Smith, and though current ability should matter, so does stature and ego. I also wonder whether the health of the 35-year-old Wade factored. Some players his age have trouble getting loose after sitting to start games.
If Derrick Rose exits early to lead reserve-heavy units (what his role should become when Isaiah Thomas returns) – with LeBron and Wade presumably leading the playmaking between – this might open the door for Richard Jefferson to stay on the team. The Cavs are in a roster crunch, but this rotation would leave less of a role for point guard Jose Calderon. Perhaps, this opens the door for Cleveland to waive Calderon instead of Jefferson, who has been useful on the wing against the Warriors in the Finals.
The Wizards’ fears about Sheldon Mac have been realized.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Just $50,000 of Mac’s minimum salary was guaranteed, but his salary will be fully guaranteed while he’s injured. With this injury sidelining him past Jan. 10 (when his salary would become fully guaranteed otherwise), let alone likely the entire season, Mac now has his salary effectively fully guaranteed.
In line to pay the luxury tax, the Wizards probably won’t waive him. They could trade him to another team, which could waive him without the tax hit. Washington would likely send that team Mac’s base salary plus a little extra money or a second-round pick for the trouble.
Mac appeared likely to make the Wizards’ regular-season roster with at least a chance of cracking the rotation. The Wizards will be fine with Jodie Meeks and Tomas Satoransky behind Bradley Beal at shooting guard.
This opens the door for two of Donald Sloan, Daniel Ochefu and Carrick Felix to make the regular-season roster.
This is Russell Westbrook‘s fondness for fashion at its most delectable.
In one of his infamous third-person tweets, Kevin Durant explained his problem with the Thunder’s supporting cast beyond Westbrook: “Kd can’t win a championship with those cats.”
Well, Westbrook showed up for a preseason game in an “ADPOT A CAT” shirt.
Erik Horne of The Oklahoman:
Coincidental? It’s technically possible, but after Westbrook wore a photographer’s vest to another game in an apparent shot at Durant, you’ll never convince me this shirt wasn’t also directed at the Warriors star.
Whether or not Westbrook and Durant are truly feuding, Westbrook appears to enjoy making understated public statements at Durant’s expense. So, that’s fun for all of us.
Jeff Green grew up in Maryland, went to Georgetown then returned to Washington to play the Wizards yesterday.
The Cavaliers forward dazzled in his homecoming with fantastic dunk over Ian Mahinmi.
Via NBC Sports Washington:
Nearly as good as the dunk? The Cavs bench’s reaction.