Dan Feldman

Lou Williams hit halfcourt buzzer-beater (video)

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The Lakers lost to the Bulls, 118-110, yesterday, but the Lakers continued their brand of fun, confident, up-tempo basketball.

No shot exemplified that more than Lou Williams‘ halfcourt buzzer-beater to end the first quarter.

Kent Bazemore laughs before throwing alley-oop to Dwight Howard (video)

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 19:  NBA Player Kent Bazemore attend 2016 Atlanta Celebrates The Tour Championship! at College Football Hall of Fame on September 19, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Southern Company)
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Players laugh all the time to celebrate after making shots. See Carmelo Anthony on this first-quarter buzzer-beater against the Hawks yesterday:

But laughing before the shot – or even the pass to set it up?

That was what Kent Bazemore did once he knew he he’d be clear to throw an alley-oop to Dwight Howard:

Unfortunately for Atlanta, the Knicks got the last laugh with a 104-94 win.

Kevin Love says he doesn’t regret five-year contract with Cavaliers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 16:  Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers watches a free throw during the game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 16, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.    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 Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Kevin Love, then on an expiring contract, reportedly pledged to re-sign a five-year contract with the Cavaliers when they traded for him in 2014. After plenty of consternation – that Love might sign only a one-year deal or leave entirely – he re-signed a five-year max deal last year and called it an easy choice.

It paid off with a championship last year.

But it also left Love locked into a lower salary, because he signed before the new national TV contracts kicked in. He’s earning $22,642,350 this season. That could have been $26,540,100 if he signed a 1+1, opted out then re-signed. He’ll continue to miss out on a higher salary as his deal continues.

Does he regret missing out on a bigger payday?

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

“I have thought about it, of course. But I don’t regret anything,” Love said. “Everybody in my position did the same thing when you look at [LaMarcus] Aldridge, DeAndre [Jordan] and Marc Gasol. Players like that who are max players went ahead and signed [long term].”

“When it’s your time [to sign], it’s your time. You’ve got to figure it out,” Love said. “Maybe the shoulder had something to do with it, but you’ve got to think about risk adversity. How much risk do you want to take? Knowing I could be with this team, locking in for five years, it was an easy choice.”

DeAndre Jordan did take a shorter deal than he could’ve gotten, four years as opposed to five. Greg Monroe took a max 2+1. LeBron James signed a max 1+1.

So, there were some bigger risk-takers.

But Love obviously doesn’t have the cachet of LeBron, and Love was coming off a shoulder injury. So, I understand Love’s strategy.

And if he’s pleased with the outcome, good for him.

Report: Jazz prioritizing contract extension for George Hill over Derrick Favors

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 28: George Hill #3 of the Utah Jazz controls the ball during their game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 28, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 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 Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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The Jazz are more than $13 million under the salary cap – money that could go toward a renegotiation-and-extension for Derrick Favors or George Hill.

Essentially, Utah could provide a raise in salary this season – when it has a surplus of money to spend – in exchange for the player(s) locking up long-term. It’s the type of compromise, rarely available except in a year the salary cap boomed due to the new national TV contracts, that prompted revised deals for Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

The Jazz probably can’t renegotiate-and-extend both Favors and Hill, though. Utah doesn’t have enough cap room to offer either a max salary this season, and while it might not take a $13 million bump to entice one to sign (though it might), it’s hard to see enough money being left for the other.

So, Favors or Hill?

Marc Stein of ESPN:

According to the latest rumbles in circulation on the matter, Hill has emerged as Utah’s priority here.

Hill’s contract expires this summer, and Favors’ runs to 2018. So there’s more time to figure out something for Favors.

Favors might also be more reluctant to amend his deal now.

He’s in his seventh season, which would qualifying him for a higher max tier next season based on the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (though that could change). He’s also five years younger than Hill and has mostly been better. This might not be the time to lock in long-term.

Rudy Gobert‘s contract extension will cut into the their cap space next summer and Gordon Hayward‘s free agency will be a determining factor, but it’s at least possible the Jazz could renegotiate-and-extend Favors next summer. And at worst, they’ll have him another full season.

For a Hill extension, it’s now or never. That urgency – and potentially his greater desire to complete a deal – makes him the more likely candidate.

GM Bob Myers: Warriors aren’t trading Klay Thompson

klay thompson
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Brian Scalabrine lent credence to a Klay Thompson trade rumor so absurd, not only did anonymous sources debunk it, Scalabrine also did so himself.

Yet, that wasn’t enough.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers on 95.7 The Game, via CSN Bay Area:

“We’re not trading Klay, that’s the short answer. I don’t know what else you want to talk about.”

Myers also took Scalabrine to task for amplifying such a clearly made-up trade rumor, especially without calling to check its veracity.

But Myers didn’t have to say so unequivocally he wouldn’t trade Thompson. Myers was obviously never going to say he would trade Thompson, but the general manager could have remained vague.

The Warriors have two elite scorers in Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. Though still extremely helpful, Thompson has become more redundant. Its possible trading the shooting guard would strengthen Golden State.

Yet, if you take Myers at his word – on a pledge he made voluntarily – Thompson isn’t going anywhere.