Dan Feldman

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 01:  The Atlanta Hawks introduced their secondary logo on t-shirts that were distributed to fans during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Indiana Pacers during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 1, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Hawks getting their own D-League affiliate

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The Hawks are the latest team to secure a D-League affiliate.

They also might wind up the last to actually get one.

NBA release:

The NBA Development League and the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club today announced that the Hawks have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA D-League team that will play in College Park, Ga., beginning with the 2019-20 season.  Additionally, the City of College Park has agreed to construct a 3500-seat arena in which the new franchise will serve as the primary tenant.

D-League expansion is happening rapidly. Just eight NBA teams – Hawks, Nuggets,  Clippers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Trail Blazers and Wizards – lack an affiliate. Denver will get one next season, and other teams probably aren’t far behind.

If the Hawks wait until 2019, other teams – maybe even all seven – could jump ahead to get affiliates sooner.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement is increasing the advantage of having an affiliate, allowing for two-way contracts. It’s only a matter of time until all 30 NBA teams have their own affiliate.

Ray Allen: Rockets made enticing offer, reportedly full MLE, in 2014

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 10:  Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics passes the ball as Kyle Lowry #7 and Jordan Hill #27 of the Houston Rockets defend on January 10, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Rockets defeated the Celtics 108-102. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
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Ray Allen finally announced his retirement after two seasons since his last NBA game.

He had offers all the way up until the end, but did he ever come close to accepting one after his Heat contract expired?

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

What was the right situation for Allen? He explained it was a combination of factors: offer, playing time, ability to help a team compete for a championship, playing for a coach who didn’t wear players out through grinding practices and family considerations.

Houston made an enticing offer in 2014, Allen said. But the deal – the full mid-level exception according to a person familiar with the situation – wasn’t enough to lure him into another season.

Allen doesn’t outright say the Rockets made the most enticing offer, but they are singled out here. Maybe I’m incorrectly assuming, but I’m inferring this one stood out.

That Houston team won 56 games and reached the Western Conference finals. Could Allen have put the Rockets over the top? He would’ve offered an intriguing contrast on the wing to Corey Brewer, who made just 29% of his 3-pointers in the playoffs. Allen might have even pushed James Harden to point guard sooner – a tweak that is paying big dividends this season.

Report: Rick Carlisle ‘on fairly solid ground’ with Mavericks

Rick Carlisle
AP Photo/Pat Sullivan
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Last year, Mavericks president Donnie Nelson said Rick Carlisle could coach Dallas as long as he wants.

That was a lot easier to say when the Mavericks had won a championship and 60% of their games and never had a losing season under Carlisle.

What about now that Dallas is 2-6?

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England:

Rick Carlisle’s future as the Dallas Mavericks head coach is still on fairly solid ground, and I’m told that’s not likely to change even as they endure what has been a historically bad start to the season.

Carlisle signed a five-year, $35 million contract extension last season that probably gets him plenty of security. It’s not just because Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is unwilling to eat the cost of firing Carlisle, but because Carlisle’s deal signals Dallas’ commitment to him. The Mavericks wouldn’t have granted that lucrative extension unless they believed in Carlisle.

Even if this season continues on the same path, one year would not be enough to undo all that.

The problem, though, is Dallas is both bad and old. That makes a turnaround difficult in coming seasons. Even if a lackluster roster isn’t Carlisle’s fault, it’s standard for the coach to take the fall.

That’s a way off, and the Mavericks could still build a better roster for Carlisle with shrewd drafting, signings and trades. Heck, the team could still right the ship this season.

So, Carlisle probably doesn’t need to worry about his future anytime soon. But if Dallas continues to decline, it’s only a matter of time until Carlisle is blamed.

Report: Mo Williams not welcome at Cavaliers’ arena, including for ring ceremony

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 05:  Mo Williams #52 of the Cleveland Cavaliers with the ball against Ian Clark #21 of the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter in Game 2 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 5, 2016 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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One by one, returning Cavaliers collected their championship rings on opening night: Jordan McRae,Channing Frye,Iman Shumpert,Tristan Thompson,Richard Jefferson,James Jones,J.R. Smith,Kevin Love,Kyrie Irving then LeBron James. The Cavs even welcomed back Dahntay Jones, whom they cut before the season.

But one player on both the 2016 playoff roster and the 2016-17 regular-season roster was notably absent: Mo Williams, who has forced Cleveland into a difficult situation by opting into the final year of his contract, not retiring and then undergoing surgery.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Bringing Williams to The Q never crossed the Cavs’ mind. He’s not welcome

Williams has a startling amount of leverage here. His salary is guaranteed, and if the Cavs waive him, the full amount would count toward the luxury tax. Because he just underwent surgery, it’s difficult to fine or suspend him for not reporting. The Cavaliers might just have to waive him, but first they’ll try to trade him and have someone else pay him (without as stiff luxury-tax penalties). All the while, Williams keeps drawing paychecks.

Keeping Williams from the banner/ring ceremony might be petty, but what other option did the Cavs have? What else can Cleveland offer that would convince Williams to forgo money besides a chance to participate in that ceremony? It was their best leverage of convincing him to reduce his salary in a buyout. (Predictably, it failed.)

I do wonder whether Williams got a ring, even if it wasn’t publicly presented. Approximately 1,000 workers got one. David Blatt got one!

Williams helped Cleveland win its championship. Even if it’s understandable why the Cavaliers don’t want him around the facility, even on a special occasion, it’s another level to deny him a ring entirely.

Hawks fan proposes to blindfolded girlfriend on court at game (video)

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God bless the people who appreciate this.