Dan Feldman

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04:  Nikola Jovanovic #32 of the USC Trojans controls the ball against Tony Parker #23 of the UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion on March 4, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Pistons sign Nikola Jovanovic

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The Pistons will probably use their final regular-season roster spot on a third point guard behind Reggie Jackson and Ish SmithRay McCallum, Lorenzo Brown or Trey Freeman.

But in case Detroit wants another big man…

RealGM:

Nikola Jovanovic signed a contract with the Detroit Pistons.

Jovanovic went undrafted out of USC this year, and he’s most likely destined for the Pistons’ D-League affiliate. Not only would Jovanovic have to prove he’s far more NBA-ready than most realize, shooting guards Michael Gbinije or Darrun Hilliard would have to prove capable of being the third point guard or Stan Van Gundy would have to be comfortable with just two point guards. The odds are against each of those scenarios individually, let alone a combination of them.

At 6-foot-11, Jovanovic used his size and skill to make a difference inside in college. But neither trait stands out enough to translate to the NBA with his subpar athleticism.

Derrick Rose accuser’s attorneys say NBA hasn’t contacted them, either

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 07:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls looks on during a game against the Miami Heat  at American Airlines Arena on April 7, 2016 in Miami, Florida.  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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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The attorney for the woman accusing Derrick Rose of rape said the Knicks never contacted him before trading for the point guard.

That apparently puts the Knicks in the same company as the NBA.

Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated:

Doe’s attorneys revealed that neither officials from the NBA nor Knicks have contacted them.

Julia Marsh of the New York Post:

NBA spokesman Mike Bass said, “Although no charges were brought against Derrick Rose, we continue to monitor developments regarding this litigation.”

To be clear, Rose is facing a civil lawsuit – not criminal charges. The NBA can’t be in the business of punishing players anytime they get sued – no matter how heinous the allegations are.

If Rose is found liable for sexual battery, the league could take action. The Collective Bargaining Agreement allows the commissioner to fine and/or suspend a player who “shall have been guilty of conduct that does not conform to standards of morality or fair play, that does not comply at all times with all federal, state, and local laws, or that is prejudicial or detrimental to the Association.”

Would Adam Silver use that clause to punish Rose? I have no idea. But the time for exploring it isn’t until the court makes a determination. I just don’t see the purpose of the NBA investigating the accuser’s claim now.

The Knicks – who will pay Rose more than $20 million this season and acquired him to represent their franchise – are another story. They’re entitled to play him without further inquiry, but that just seems like bad business.

Steven Adams on Kevin Durant leaving Thunder for Warriors: ‘If he’s happy, all good’

DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 05:  Kevin Durant #35 and Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder are introduced prior to facing the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on April 5, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Thunder defeated the Nuggets 124-102. 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 Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Kevin Durant‘s former Thunder teammates were reportedly bothered by some aspects of how he left for the Warriors.

None are saying it publicly.

Russell Westbrook downplayed any beef (and Durant said they’re still cool). Anthony Morrow said he didn’t feel betrayed. And now Steven Adams is wishing Durant well.

Adams, via Erik Horne of The Oklahoman:

“It was a surprise, mate, but yeah … oh well,” Adams shrugged. “If he’s happy, all good.”

I’d be surprised if there weren’t more lingering resentment privately – or maybe we just haven’t heard yet from the most-aggrieved Thunder players.

But I also tend to think players tend to give other players the benefit of the doubt. They understand what it’s like to live that life.

Still, if Markieff Morris can be so mad about Durant leaving, at least some Oklahoma City players can be somewhat bitter. At minimum, I bet they’ll work themselves into a fervor when they play Golden State.

51Q: Are the Wizards doing anything more than treading water?

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26:  Bradley Beal #3, Paul Pierce #34 and John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards celebrate in the fourth quarter against the Toronto Raptors during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the NBA playoffs at Verizon Center on April 26, 2015 in Washington, DC. Washington swept the series 4-0.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
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We continue PBT’s 2016-17 NBA preview series, 51 Questions. For the past few weeks, and through the start of the NBA season, we tackle 51 questions we cannot wait to see answered during the upcoming NBA season. We will delve into one almost every day between now and the start of the season.

The Wizards and Clippers were the only teams to win playoff series in 2014 and 2015, but neither advanced past the second round. With both teams trying to break through, Paul Pierce exemplifies the difference in strategy.

The Clippers identified Pierce as someone who could help and offered whatever they could to get him (a three-year contract). That fit a plan of throwing small forwards against the wall to hope one sticks. They also traded for Lance Stephenson and Jeff Green.

The Wizards, on the other hand, were much more prudent. They signed Pierce to just a two-year deal to preserve 2016 cap space, and Pierce opted out after only one season. In fact, they got Pierce only after refusing to give Trevor Ariza a long-term contract.

Why was Washington so intent on keeping its book clean? Kevin Durant.

Durant would’ve lifted the Wizards into the NBA’s upper echelon and made them a true threat to LeBron James‘ Cavaliers in the East. Even if the odds were against Washington landing the superstar, the upside justified the pursuit.

Unfortunately for the Wizards, their hometown savior opted for the Warriors. All that careful planning went to waste.

What now?

Washington spent the bulk of its cap space on former Pacers center Ian Mahinmi. Mahinmi is a standout defender, and his offense has developed nicely. But how much value does he add on a team that already has Marcin Gortat? At 29, Mahinmi probably won’t provide more than he has already shown.

Beyond that, the Wizards signed Andrew Nicholson, Jason Smith and Tomas Satoransky and traded for Trey Burke. All are fine. None move the needle. It mostly appears Washington just rearranged, if not downgraded, reserves with Jared Dudley, Nene, Garrett Temple and Ramon Sessions departing.

There are reasons for optimism. The Wizards’ core – John Wall (26), Bradley Beal (23) and Otto Porter (23) – is young enough to improve naturally. Kelly Oubre (20) has plenty of raw potential. Washington went 18-13 after trading for Markieff Morris last season, and he returns. Scott Brooks should be an upgrade over Randy Wittman.

But this still looks like a team that will top out with a playoff-series win or maaaybe two – which is right where the Wizards were two and three years ago. They accepted a step back last season in hopes of something bigger. It didn’t work.

Back at square one, do they have another plan forward? Or are they content biding their time after shooting for the moon led to a disappointing season outside the playoffs?

Report: NBA revenue projected to reach $8 billion next season

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Update: The $8 billion refers to a calculation of total revenue that is not synonymous with BRI, according to a source.

 

The NBA’s 2017-18 salary-cap projection dropped from $107 million to $102 million.

It might be time to re-adjust – significantly upward.

Darren Rovell of ESPN (hat tip: Nate Duncan of the Dunc’d On podcast):

If Rovell is referring to Basketball Related Income, which might exclude some money that goes to owners, this would be a HUGE increase.

Here’s the history of BRI, according to Larry Coon’s NBA Salary Cap FAQ:

image

A lockout is still possible with either the owners or players capable of opting out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by Dec. 15, but this type of revenue incentivizes both sides to strike a deal. Why turn off the faucet when it’s gushing this strongly, even if the other side gets a little more than you deem fair? Everyone is getting rich here.