Dan Feldman

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Report: George Hill advised he can get ‘much better deal’ this summer than Jazz offered now

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After last-day negotiations, the Jazz and George Hill didn’t agree on a renegotiation-and-extension.

Why?

Does he want to leave Utah? Do the Jazz not value him enough?

Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune:

That doesn’t mean Hill doesn’t want to stay with the Jazz, sources tell The Tribune. In fact, Hill is fond of the franchise and Salt Lake City. He has been a leader in Utah’s locker room and is very close to Jazz star Gordon Hayward — both are from the Indianapolis area. He has developed friendships off the court in Salt Lake, and he enjoys playing for the Jazz.

The Jazz, sources say, are prepared to do whatever it takes to keep Hill with the franchise.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

A much better deal? That might be in the eye of the beholder.

The most the Jazz could have offered Hill before last night’s midnight deadline was $88,684,652 — a $13,644,808 raise this season via renegotiation and a three-year, $75,039,844 extension.

As an unrestricted free agent this summer, Hill’s max contract projects to be worth about $177 million over five years if he re-signs or about $132 million over four years if he leaves.

Here’s what Hill’s max would have been in a renegotiation-and-extension and what his maxes project to be next summer:

Season Extension Re-sign Sign elsewhere
2016-17 $13,644,808
2017-18 $23,268,169 $30,600,000 $30,600,000
2018-19 $25,013,281 $33,048,000 $32,130,000
2019-20 $26,758,394 $35,496,000 $33,660,000
2020-21 $37,944,000 $35,190,000
2021-22 $40,392,000
Total $88,684,652 $177,480,000 $131,580,000

There’s no guarantee Hill will receive a max offer in free agency. Though he’s having an excellent season, he’ll be 31. Plus, he has played through multiple minor injuries this season. If one of those becomes major, he has no safety net.

And even if Hill receives higher-paying offers, those aren’t necessarily better offers. Does he want to leave Utah for the 76ers, Kings or Knicks? Those are the type of teams that are both desperate for a point guard and have max-level cap space.

Plus, if Hill signed a renegotiation-and-extension, he still could have earned some money on a new contract in 2020-21 and 2021-22. That has to be weighed against four- or five-year options in free agency.

I would have advised Hill to take the renegotiation-and-extension if the Jazz offered the max amount, but it’s an extremely close call. There’s definitely upside in Hill’s risk of bypassing an extension.

The best hope for Hill to secure a bigger contract with a good team is the Jazz. They hold his Bird Rights, so they can exceed the cap to re-sign him. They’re winning now, and he’s a big part of that. They also might have their point guard of the future already on the roster in Dante Exum. So, while a lucrative long-term contract for Hill might become an albatross on the backend, Utah would at least have the opportunity to reduce his role and elevate Exum rather than being stuck with no options.

Because Hill will be unrestricted, the Jazz should be proactive. They can’t idly wait for the market to determine Hill’s value and then try to match or barely beat it. By then, he might be gone.

Hill can use teams like Philadelphia, Sacramento and New York — maybe to get an offer he’s truly willing to accept, but at least to gain leverage over Utah.

There are many paths to Hill coming out ahead. Let’s acknowledge, though: Rejecting an extension is the more daring route.

Warriors: Kevin Durant out at least four weeks, could return in regular season

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The initial fears about Kevin Durant‘s knee injury might not be realized.

Warriors release:

This intentionally vague update still leaves many questions, the most important of which: How healthy will Durant be for the playoffs?

Durant is so skilled, even hobbled, he probably deserves a spot in the Warriors’ rotation if he can get on the court. But the degree to which he’s healthy could play a large part in whether Golden State wins a championship.

However much time Durant misses in the regular season, the Warriors can get by by leaning more on Andre Iguodala and signing Matt Barnes. Golden State is up four games for the No. 1 seed, a big advantage with a little more than 20 games remaining — especially considering the Warriors still have Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.

Plus, there’s a chance Durant returns to get acclimated before the playoffs — and maybe help Golden State

All in all, this is great news for the Warriors. They might not be the overwhelming favorites they were before Durant got hurt, but they’re still the most likely team to win the 2017 title.

That said, there’s still enough uncertainty about Durant’s recovery to leave the door open for the Cavaliers and a deep pool of Western Conference challengers.

NBA: Cory Joseph got away with key offensive foul late in Raptors win over Knicks

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The NBA’s Last Two Minute Report for the Raptors’ 92-91 win over the Knicks on Monday included three incorrect calls.

All three were Toronto guard Cory Joseph getting away with a foul.

He got away with an offensive foul on a possession where the Raptors didn’t score anyway. He got away with a loose-ball foul going for a rebound New York secured anyway and while the Raptors weren’t in the penalty.

But let’s focus on the missed call of consequence.

Joseph should have been called for committing an offensive foul on Lance Thomas with 33.3 seconds left, per the league:

Joseph (TOR) is not in a legal screening position and continues moving into Thomas (NYK).

A correct call would have ended Toronto’s possession with a turnover.

Instead, DeMar DeRozan came around Joseph’s screen and drove for a layup. That helped set the stage for DeRozan’s game-winner with 1.9 seconds left.

Report: Kevin Durant’s camp, Warriors fear he could miss rest of regular season — or more

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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Kevin Durant hyperextended his knee last night, and the early indications look bad for him and the Warriors.

Golden State is reportedly waiving not-yet-signed Jose Calderon to add Matt Barnes, another forward. And now comes this leak.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Durant underwent an MRI late Tuesday night to survey the knee damage, and team officials and members of Durant’s inner circle were expressing fear early Wednesday morning that the severity of Durant’s injury could preclude a return to the Warriors lineup before the start of the Western Conference playoffs in six weeks, league sources told The Vertical.

Some close to Durant feared the damage could sideline him even longer, league sources said.

Durant missing part or all of the postseason, or even not being fully healthy for it, would have major ramifications in the NBA’s balance of power.

A team led by Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson would still be pretty good. Remember, the Warriors also have Andre Iguodala at small forward.

But Durant’s injury could elevate the Cavaliers into championship favorites. It opens the door for the Spurs, Rockets, Jazz and Clippers in the West.

Perhaps the Warriors and Durant’s camp are just being pessimistic. Maybe this injury won’t turn out as bad as feared.

But the stakes are extremely high here, and Durant being sidelined long-term could be legacy-defining — in Golden State and beyond

NBA GM says he couldn’t reach Knicks’ Phil Jackson before trade deadline

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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Knicks president Phil Jackson isn’t always reachable.

But those complaints have come at lower-stakes moments, like when the team’s biggest star is upset, in the middle of the season and during a coaching search.

Surely, Jackson was available in the lead up to the trade deadline, right?

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

One NBA general manager told me last week in New Orleans that his team “can’t get a hold of Phil. It’s crazy.”

Jackson makes $12 million annually to delegate to Steve Mills. And their boss, Knicks owner Jim Dolan, says he’ll keep this arrangement in tact.

On one hand, good for Jackson bilking Dolan. Wouldn’t we all love a high-paying, barely-show job if we could get one?

On the other hand, this is just getting sad for the Knicks. They made no trades before the deadline then released Brandon Jennings. No-trade-clause-holding Carmelo Anthony, whose value is diminishing, can’t get on the same page as Jackson, because Anthony doesn’t even know what book the franchise readingJoakim Noah is likely out for the year, and the aging injured big man still has three more costly years remaining on his contract.

Just a few years of Jackson’s negligence could cost the Knicks deep into the future.

But at least he drafted Kristaps Porzingis.