Dan Feldman

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Report: Optimism for new Collective Bargaining Agreement by December

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Either the owners or players can opt out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by Dec. 15, but they’ve been working to avoid that.

Maybe they will?

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Silver and a group of owners who make up the labor relations committee have been regularly meeting with Roberts and her staff in recent months to work on a new collective bargaining agreement. Those talks have been productive, and there is optimism that the sides may be able to work out a new deal by December, sources said.

The CBA needs major work. An influx of unforeseen money from the new national TV contracts has warped the system. I can’t see owners or players wanting to keep the system in tact, though both sides should be inclined to continue receiving billions without interruption.

Even if one side opts out – the only opportunity to do so before the CBA expires in 2021 – the agreement will run until June 30. There’d still be plenty of time to strike a deal before a work stoppage, and the pressure of that deadline could help.

But a signed, sealed and delivered CBA before Dec. 15 is the golden ticket – a way to preempt lockout hysteria before it has a chance to get going.

Kevin Durant on Stephen Curry shoes: ‘They were bad’

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Sound the alarms. The Warriors have their first public dispute.

Put four stars – Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson – on a team, and they’ll argue about more than who’s best. They’ll cut into deeper issues.

Like shoes.

Joined by Durant and Nas on Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, Simmons asked Nas his opinion of Curry’s shoes – the ones Curry defended as fire and most certainly were not fire. In fact, Simmons specifically said he couldn’t ask Durant the question.

Durant answered anyway:

They were bad.

The sneaker wars are an under-discussed element of Durant’s move to Golden State – especially because Durant (Nike) and Curry (Under Armour) are each so intertwined with the other company. Durant agreed to a massive Under Armour contract in 2014, but Nike exercised its matching rights to keep him. Curry, a former Nike endorser, left for Under Armour after Nike botched its presentation by leaving Durant’s name on a slide.

Through Curry, Under Armour rode the Warriors’ rapidly increasing popularity. Now, Durant has Nike cutting into the action.

On one hand, Durant made a dig several had made before. On the other hand, he’s disparaging a product designed to make Curry and his corporate partner a lot of money – while working with a competing company.

Curry and Durant are teammates in Golden State. They’re competitors in the shoe industry. That can create a real tension.

I really doubt this causes their bond to snap, but it also might seem like more than a harmless joke to some involved.

Report: Cavaliers concerned about Iman Shumpert beyond DUI

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Actress Teyana Taylor (L) and NBA player Iman Shumpert attend the Globe Fashion Week X China Moment fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Art Beam on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
Mireya Acierto/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows
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Iman Shumpert was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of DUI and reportedly cited for marijuana possession.

Terry Pluto of The Cleveland Plain Dealer on the Cavaliers:

That part is not huge unless it’s something that’s reoccurring. They are concerned about Shumpert in general.

That sounded ominous, but it was also possible Pluto – speaking in a video – didn’t intend to give that impression. Well…

Pluto:

There is a lot of drama and gossip about Iman Shumpert and actress/singer Teyana Taylor. I’m not getting into all that, you can search it on the web if you care about the details.

The Cavaliers guard also was arrested for a DUI for being high on marijuana in August.

Are there reasons for concern about Shumpert? I briefly discussed that in a video earlier in the week. I’ve since done more checking, and there are indeed some issues.

Now, I’m fairly certain Pluto is trying to relay there’s something going on here, or at least that the Cavs are worried something is going on here. What that is, I’m not sure. Pluto never overtly says, but he hits on three themes:

  • Shumpert signed a four-year, $40 million contract then had an down season.
  • He arrived at training camp with a broken wrist from a pickup game.
  • The Cavs want Shumpert to focus on shooting 3s and defending, not taking a larger offensive role.

If Shumpert just had a down year, maybe due to multiple injuries, fine. That happens to players, and it’s not always cause for greater concern. But the insinuation here seems to be that the Cavs are worried what caused Shumpert’s injuries and/or his diminished production.

Cleveland reportedly shopped Shumpert before the trade deadline. I wonder how actively they’ll pursue a deal this year.

NBA arenas getting new cameras for stat, player tracking

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 09:  Amir Johnson #15 of the Toronto Raptors pretends to take a picture with a remote camera that was kicked onto the floor during a game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on April 9, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Raptos defeated the Bulls 101-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The NBA will have a new distributor for its statistical information and its player tracking data starting in the 2017-18 season.

The league announced deals with Sportradar and Second Spectrum on Thursday that it says will expand the distribution of statistics and data across the globe. Sportradar will distribute statistics for the NBA, WNBA and the D-League to people in more than 80 countries.

In addition, the NBA will switch from SportVu to Second Spectrum for player tracking information. Second Spectrum will spend this season installing tracking cameras in every arena in the league. It can provide highly detailed data on player movement, including how much ground they cover, where they touch the ball most and the ability to guard the pick-and-roll.

Report: Rockets trade Michael Beasley to Bucks for Tyler Ennis

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 14:  Michael Beasley #8 of the Houston Rockets drives with the basketball against Ray McCallum #5 of the Memphis Grizzlies during their game at the Toyota Center on March 14, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
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The Bucks wanted to trade for wing help after losing Khris Middleton for most of the season.

So, they’re dealing point guard Tyler Ennis for… Michael Beasley?

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Beasley found a niche as a high-volume, surprisingly efficient scorer off the bench for the Rockets last season.

I’m not sure how that translates to Milwaukee.

Beasley did most of his damage in Houston at power forward. Shifting up to small forward will take away his speed/ball-handling advantages. He won’t replicate Middleton’s floor spacing or defense – especially his defense.

Still, Ennis was superfluous with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Matthew Dellavedova and Michael Carter-Williams at point guard. The Bucks are probably better off taking a chance on Beasley on the wing rather than leaving Ennis to rot on the bench.

Ennis won’t step into a clear role with the Rockets, but he’s just their third point guard with a guaranteed salary, joining Patrick Beverley and Pablo Prigioni. Gary Payton II, Isaiah Taylor and Bobby Brown loom on what will likely be less than fully guaranteed deals.

The No. 18 pick in the 2014 draft, Ennis has yet to find his footing in the NBA. He’s in the final guaranteed season of his rookie-scale contract, and the Rockets have a team option on his $2,666,707 salary for 2017-18 they must decide on by Oct. 31. If Ennis makes the regular-season roster, they could exercise the option just because it’s so cheap in case he breaks out. See Solomon Hill. But first, Ennis must prove he’s more valuable than Payton, Taylor and Brown.

This might also suggest Houston is close to a deal with restricted free agent Donatas Motiejunas, who could step into Beasley’s backup power forward role.