Dan Feldman

LOUISVILLE, KY - FEBRUARY 20:  Chinanu Onuaku #32 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrates during the 71-64 win over the Duke Blue Devils at KFC YUM! Center on February 20, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Report: Rockets sign No. 37 pick Chinanu Onuaku to fully guaranteed three-year contract

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No. 37 pick Chinanu Onuaku couldn’t immediately cash in on the market conditions absurdly favorable to second-round picks, because the Rockets barely had more than minimum-salary cap space.

So, he got something else: Security.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

The Rockets reached agreement with second-round pick Chinanu Onuaku on a three-year, fully guaranteed deal, using their remaining cap space to come to terms on the kind of contract they hope will provide time to develop the 19-year-old center.

It’s rare for second-rounders to get three guaranteed seasons. One guaranteed year and one partially guaranteed year is far more common.

But with the cap escalating, Onuaku was in position to demand it. Houston didn’t want him choosing the alternative to a multi-year contract: the required tender. The tender is a one-year contract — surely unguaranteed at the minimum — a team must extend to keep draft rights on a player.

The Rockets had $543,772 in cap space available ($301 more than the $543,471 rookie minimum), according to Yahoo Sports. So, at most, Onuaku will get $1,704,725 over three years.

I might have preferred the tender, even though it guaranteed no money, because it presents a far quicker path to free agency — i.e., the ability to bargain with all 30 teams instead of only one. But at least Onuaku got a high amount of security instead.

For Houston, even with his salary fully guaranteed, waiving Onuaku wouldn’t hurt much against a salary cap that will exceed $100 million in coming years.

The biggest winner in all this: everyone who gets to continue watching Onuaku attempt underhanded free throws.

Report: Spurs hiring Pistons exec Brian Wright as assistant general manager

Cecilio Santibanez
AP Photo/Eric Gay
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The Spurs have become the NBA’s model franchise, where teams turn when they need a new coach or executive.

The Pistons have flipped the script a little this summer.

After the Kings poached Detroit assistant general manager Ken Catanella, another Pistons assistant general manager — Brian Wright — is headed to… San Antonio.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Wright has worked his way up focused on college scouting, and he deserves this bigger opportunity. The highlight of his resume? The Spurs hiring him. They’re still the model franchise, after all.

San Antonio needed to hire another executive after losing Sean Marks to the Nets and Scott Layden to the Timberwolves.

Mike Krzyzewski: USA Basketball double-checked with Kobe Bryant before naming Olympic team

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski gives Kobe Bryant #10 a high five late in the fourth quarter against Argentina in the Men's Basketball semifinal match on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the North Greenwich Arenaon August 10, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant withdrew from Olympic consideration just a couple days before USA Basketball named finalists for the Rio roster. He then followed through on his plan to retire, leaving the Lakers with a memorable final game.

Even after all that, Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said Kobe still received some Olympics consideration.

Arash Markazi of ESPN:

I dunno. It always seemed Kobe withdrawing from consideration was a coordinated announcement because he got tipped off that he wouldn’t be selected. If so, this is just another way to boost Kobe’s image.

But Team USA had a surprisingly high number of players pull out — to the point Kobe might have made more sense than expected when he withdrew. He still wouldn’t have been one of America’s 12 best players, but the gap between his ability and the player he would’ve supplanted would’ve been smaller.

DeMarcus Cousins: Comment about not understanding Kings’ draft night was twisted into negative

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins walks up court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Saturday, March 5, 2016, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 104-94. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
AP Photo/Darren Abate

Another DeMarcus Cousins controversy, another instance of Cousins saying we all misunderstood his words.

The latest: Cousins said of the Kings’ draft-night moves, “I don’t really understand what’s going on. I just control what I can control; I let them do their jobs.”

Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports:

Despite expressing his support for the team’s additions of more defensive-minded veterans in Arron Afflalo, Matt Barnes, Garrett Temple and Anthony Tolliver, and also describing first-round pick Skal Labissiere as “very impressive,” Cousins was disappointed with the backlash to his overall comments about doing “my job.”

“I’m trying to figure out what I said wrong. Of course, they’ve twisted it into something negative, in some type of way,” Cousins told The Vertical. “I’m clueless. It’s to the point now, where I don’t want to say anything about any situation. Then I’ll be the bad guy about that as well. Anything I do. Anything I do, it’s … it’s whatever, man.”

Most players have learned to avoid this situation by just offering praise by default. Cousins, for whatever reason, has not.* Add a history of criticizing his own team, and he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt.

I can’t say what was in Cousins’ mind when he said,”I don’t really understand what’s going on.” I interpreted it to mean he — like many of us — didn’t understand Sacramento’s draft-night plan because it seemed non-sensical on the face. If he meant he didn’t understand because it’s not his role to understand, OK, I guess. Kings executives should probably explain their strategy to their franchise player, but that’s their problem.

*If it’s because he’s bluntly honest, great. I’m all for that. If it’s because he’s a poor communicator, that’s also fine. He’s a basketball player, not a public-speaking specialist. But he should also realize that’ll lead to complications like the one here.

Florida delegate brags about LeBron James’ Heat championships at Republican convention roll call in Cleveland (video)

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 19:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is seen speaking on a screen from New York City, on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sick burn, bro.

(hat tip: SB Nation)