Dan Feldman

Jeremy Lin airballs open layup (video)


Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Nets.

Blame Paul Pierce.

Paul Pierce says he talked Kevin Garnett into joining Nets rather than retiring in 2013

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Kevin Garnett said in 2012 he’d retire as a Celtic.

A year later, he was playing for the Nets.

Paul Pierce has taken credit for convincing Garnett to waive his no-trade clause and join him in Brooklyn. But Pierce apparently wasn’t just trying to get Garnett to leave Boston. Pierce convinced Garnett – who retired a couple weeks ago – to keep playing at all.

Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports:

It should have ended in 2013, in Boston, in the sports-starved city Garnett fed for six seasons. “People don’t know how close KG was [to retiring],” Paul Pierce told The Vertical recently. “He was done.” It was Pierce, knowing the Celtics stars were about to be sold off, desperate to build a title-ready contender elsewhere, who persuaded Garnett to come to Brooklyn, to squeeze more out of his breaking-down body.

Garnett spent a season and a half with the Nets then a season and a half with the Timberwolves. Neither team went anywhere, and Garnett achieved no legacy-altering milestones (unless you consider defensive rebounds legacy-altering). Aside from one magical night in his return to Minnesota, he didn’t get much in those final few years beyond more wear and tear on his body. I wonder whether he regrets continuing his career – though his competitiveness certainly explains why he did.

There’s no questions the Celtics are happy Garnett kept playing, though. They got great draft picks out of it.

Report: Bucks called Kings about Ben McLemore

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 28:  Ben McLemore #23 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on December 28, 2015 in Oakland, California. 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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The Bucks are looking for a wing with Khris Middleton sidelined nearly the entire the season. They could surrender Michael Carter-Williams (who has been available) and/or Greg Monroe (who has been very available), which gives an idea of the caliber of fill-in they’re seeking.

Someone like Jeremy Lamb… or Ben McLemore.

Zach Lowe of ESPN on the Bucks:

they’ve called the Kings about the ghost of Ben McLemore and are open to moving either Greg Monroe or Michael Carter-Williams in the right deal, league sources say.

A deal centered on McLemore-for-Carter-Williams could make sense. Both have fallen out of favor (if McLemore ever gained favor).

Milwaukee is desperate for wing help without Middleton. Carter-Williams is stuck behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Matthew Dellavedova.

Sacramento needs a point guard with Darren Collison suspended, and the 24-year-old Carter-Williams offers upside at the position that Collison, Garrett Temple and Jordan Farmar don’t. Ty Lawson could reclaim his near-star production, but that will require sobriety, focus and a reversal of last year’s massive decline.

I’d prefer Carter-Williams to McLemore in a vacuum, so the Kings should probably include more. But that’s the framework of a logical trade.

Michael Jordan to introduce Russell Westbrook at Oklahoma Hall of Fame induction

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook waves as he arrives for a news conference to announce that he has signed a contract extension with the Thunder, in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Organizers say Michael Jordan will introduce Russell Westbrook when the Oklahoma City Thunder star is inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame next month.

Hall of Fame officials announced the presenters Thursday for the ceremony on Nov. 17.

Jordan, who now owns the Charlotte Hornets, will introduce Westbrook, who signed a three-year contract extension with the Thunder in August. Westbrook is an ambassador for Jordan Brand.

Westbrook introduced Kevin Durant last year, when Durant said, “Hopefully we’ll be here next year for Russell Westbrook’s induction.” Durant left for Golden State in the offseason.

The 27-year-old Westbrook piled up 18 triple-doubles last season. The two-time All-Star Game MVP and former scoring champion averaged 23.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 10.4 assists last season and helped the Thunder reach the Western Conference finals, where they fell in seven games to Golden State.

Report: Kings rescinded Seth Curry’s qualifying offer as favor because he preferred to leave

DALLAS, TX - SEPTEMBER 26:  Seth Curry #30 of the Dallas Mavericks poses for a portrait during the Dallas Mavericks Media Day held at American Airlines Center on September 26, 2016 in Dallas, 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 Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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DeMarcus Cousins reportedly sought a trade from the Kings last year. They won’t deal him.

Rudy Gay seems to want out of Sacramento. He’s still there.

Yet, Seth Curry found an escape despite being a restricted free agent last summer.

The Kings rescinded Curry’s qualifying offer, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent and sign a two-year, $5,926,410 contract with the Mavericks. With the early returns in Dallas looking promising, how did Sacramento let him go so easily?

Kings TV play-by-play announcer Grant Napear:

That was pretty nice of the Kings and, I believe, also a miscalculation on their part.

If Sacramento knew Curry wasn’t in its long-term plans, OK, make his life easier and rescind the qualifying offer. But he’s a talented 26-year-old point guard who could help with Darren Collison suspended.

Instead, the Kings signed older Arron Afflalo, Garrett Temple and Matt Barnes to higher salaries than Curry got. We don’t know who else Sacramento was targeting, but forcing Curry to sign an offer sheet then not matching it was always an option. The Kings could have kept their options open longer – and maybe even wound up with a more valuable player in Curry if other targets passed.

He had some leverage as a free agent – far more than Cousins and Gay, who are under contract – but Curry’s restricted status could’ve helped Sacramento more than the team demanded. Remember, the Kings had Curry’s matching rights because they gave him his best contract offer last year. I don’t think they owed him this favor – unless they were set on not matching regardless.

There is value in appeasing agents. Relationships matter.

Having quality young talent on affordable contracts matters more, though.