Some of the Kawhi Leonard-Spurs standoff has played out through anonymous sources, seemingly on both sides.
Other elements have come directly from people involved. Most notably, San Antonio president-coach Gregg Popovich said last week he expected Leonard to miss the rest of the season.
The latest anonymously sourced report has Leonard targeting a return next month. That’s now corroborated by a named, though secondary, source.
Spurs guard Danny Green, via Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:
“He said he’ll be back, so we knew he was going to be back eventually at some point — playing-wise, not just being around. If he’s that confident mentally, I know he’s going to get the work done to get it done physically.”
This ought to nip in the bud the idea Leonard – who has reportedly been medically cleared – will malinger through the rest of the season to set up a designated-veteran-player contract extension this season or for any other reason. I doubt Leonard would tell teammates he’ll return if he doesn’t truly plan to. That’d just create needless animosity.
When Corey Brewer got bought out by the Lakers, speculation immediately turned to the Thunder – whose coach, Billy Donovan, coached Brewer at Florida and who need help at shooting guard with Andre Roberson injured.
But Brewer reportedly planned to explore the market, to do his due diligence and/or avoid the appearance of tampering.
Still, that brief search will likely end where everyone expected.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The 31-year-old is a lousy 3-point shooter, and his defense has slipped. Maybe he can dial it up in limited minutes, but if he can’t, he might be unplayable in the playoffs. (With his lack of outside shooting, he might be unplayable in the playoffs regardless.)
Brewer’s most notable skill, transition scoring, is intriguing with Russell Westbrook. But it’s not clear Brewer can still run the floor like he did, and those opportunities shrink in the postseason.
Terrance Ferguson, Alex Abrines and Josh Huestis haven’t proven to be the answer at shooting guard. So, there’s value in Oklahoma City taking another swing.
The only concern is that Brewer is another miss and the Thunder waste time that could have been spent readying those three younger options.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Several NBA teams have played the so-called “Negro National Anthem” at games during Black History Month thanks to the urging of a retired Howard University professor.
Eugene Williams, who is 76, lives in Clinton, Maryland, made it his goal to get professional and collegiate teams to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during February. Williams says he learned the song has a kid and it has given him strength, and he wants it to do the same for others.
Williams says the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors have already played “Lift Every Voice and Sing” this month.
He will attend the game to hear the Washington Wizards play the song Wednesday for their game against the Warriors.
Williams is hoping next year even more NBA teams play the song during Black History Month. He is also pushing for universities to include the song during games.
When a report emerged last month Bucks forward Mirza Teletovic – who has been sidelined with blockages in his lungs and had blood clots in his lungs a few years ago – would miss at least three more months, I was surprised there was even a timeline.
Sadly, this is more believable.
105.7FM The FAN:
Teletovic denied it.
Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
The 32-year-old Teletovic has played six years in the NBA with the Nets, Suns and Bucks. At his peak, he was a dangerous stretch four.
Perhaps, he can get back. I hope he can get back. But the Chris Bosh situation seems predictive.
Teletovic is guaranteed $10.5 million next season. Milwaukee could apply Nov. 7 (one year from his last game) to have his salary excluded, the new panels potentially ruling whether he’s fit to play again. He’d still get paid, but the money wouldn’t count toward the salary cap or luxury tax. That obviously wouldn’t get the Bucks additional cap space this summer, but it could help them clear the luxury tax, which is based on team salary the final day of the regular season. However, the uncertainty of a fall ruling could still limit their offseason spending.
Even if Milwaukee thinks Teletovic is done, he says he’s not. This could get complicated.
In many ways, Boban Marjanovic is still the novelty he was as a rookie – a 7-foot-3, 290-pound behemoth with a soft touch and slow feet. He’s incredibly efficient in the right matchup, but quicker opponents absolutely expose him.
Last night, he found the right matchup.
The Clippers trailed Denver by 19 when they first inserted Marjanovic late in the third quarter. Over the next 13 minutes, L.A. swung the score to an eight-point lead.
Marjanovic flirted without outscoring the Nuggets himself in that span (18-26), and he actually singlehandedly outrebounded them (6-4).
Maybe Doc Rivers won’t wait until his team is getting blown out until trying Marjanovic next time.