Dan Feldman

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 28: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz looks to pass 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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Report: Just $90 million guaranteed in Rudy Gobert’s $102 million contract extension


Rudy Gobert signed a four-year contract extension worth $102 million.

Correction: Could be worth $102 million.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

These incentives are reportedly classified as unlikely, which means Gobert wouldn’t have triggered them last season. But that means only so much. Limited to just 61 games due to injury, Gobert posted several marks he should easily eclipse this year.

Without knowing the exact incentives, it’s impossible to say precisely how they impact the deal. Suffice it to say: I liked the extension for the Jazz when it appeared all the money was full guaranteed. I like it even more for Utah now.

Cody Zeller on contract extension: ‘$56 million is crazy – I would play this game for free’


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cody Zeller said he’s always considered himself a simple kid from Indiana.

Well, now he’s a simple rich kid from Indiana.

The 7-foot Zeller signed a four-year, $56 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets. The four-year deal was announced Tuesday and Zeller himself confirmed the overall value.

“You know, $56 million is crazy – I would play this game for free,” Zeller said during a press conference. “… This is way more money than I would spend in three lifetimes.”

Zeller has improved statistically every year since coming into the league as the fourth overall pick in 2013 NBA draft.

General manager Rich Cho called Zeller a high character guy who plays both ends of the floor, and said he considers him a “big part” of the team’s core group moving forward.

“We felt it was important to get him locked up to an extension rather than have him be a restricted free agent next summer,” Cho said. “With the cap next summer along with Cody’s value around the league as a young, versatile athletic big we felt he would have been a target for a number of teams.”

Zeller said he spent Monday stressing out about the contract negotiations simply because he wanted to know what his future held. The two sides ultimately reached a deal just before midnight .

“More than anything I like the insurance of knowing that I will be here long term,” Zeller said.

Zeller, who starred collegiately at Indiana, has appeared in 220 games with 109 starts during his four-year career with Charlotte. He has averaged 7.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 21.5 minutes per game.

Last season he started 60 games and posted career highs of 8.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 24.3 minutes per game as the Hornets finished tied for the third-best record (48-34) in the Eastern Conference.

Zeller said Hornets coach Steve Clifford and the organization has shown the utmost confidence in him ever since they drafted him, which is one of the reasons he wanted to stay in Charlotte. He started his career with the Hornets as a power forward, but has since moved almost exclusively to center.

He’s currently splitting time in the starting lineup with Roy Hibbert.

This is the third consecutive season the Hornets have taken at least one player off the market before they’ve completed their rookie contract and were allowed to become restricted free agents.

The others were Kemba Walker in 2014 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeremy Lamb in 2015.

“We wanted to make sure we had some continuity with our core moving forward,” Cho said. “And the other piece is any valuable player who goes into restricted free agency, he has a chance to get a big offer sheet. If you give an extension you more or less control the situation a lot better than have to match an offer sheet. It only takes one team, and there are some teams desperate to get restricted free agents.”

Bryan Colangelo: ‘Not a chance’ 76ers tank this season

Dwayne Casey
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn

Former 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie didn’t shake up the NBA simply by tanking. Teams tank all the time.

What set Hinkie apart: He entered multiple seasons with the intention of losing and securing a better draft pick.

Most tankers, though certainly not all, begin the season intent on winning. But when that fails and playoff dreams fade, teams switch focus.

The 76ers certainly didn’t begin this season planning to tank. They signed veterans Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson and Sergio Rodriguez in the offseason, just traded for another in Ersan Ilyasova and desperately wanted to change perception of the team.

But Philadelphia is 0-2. Ben Simmons, Nerlens Noel and Bayless are hurt.

Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times:

would president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo now consider tanking this season in an effort to potentially make things better in future years?

“Not a chance,” Colangelo replied Monday via text message.

File this under: What else is he supposed to say?

Not only do sitting general managers never admit tanking on the record, Colangelo wants to change the 76ers’ losing culture. And again, this team is trying to shed its image.

But will Philadelphia actually tank if the season continues to go south? It probably depends how you define tanking.

How I define tanking: Any decision a team makes that is motivated – even if only partially – by a desire to lose more and improve draft position.

So, yes, I believe, if the 76ers continue to stink into 2017, they will tank. That could mean playing youngsters even more, experimenting with unconventional lineups or resting top players even more.

And that’s all fine.

Philadelphia was in too deep of a hole to dig itself out in year one. It’s admirable to enter the season with that hope, but circumstances can change. Better to position the team for greater future success than chase a couple hallow victories late in a lost year.

Two more things to keep in mind:

1. The season isn’t lost yet. The 76ers have played just two games, and they can turn it around. That’s unlikely, but they don’t need to start tank anytime soon.

2. Colangelo admitted to tanking with the Raptors. If the situation dictates tanking, he’s not above it.

Report: 76ers trade Jerami Grant to Thunder for draft pick, Ersan Ilyasova

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 26: Jerami Grant #39 of the Philadelphia 76ers controls the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center on October 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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. The Thunder defeated the 76ers 103-97. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Jerami Grant is 22 and athletic, has a track record for improvement and is on a team-friendly contract.

So, the 76ers are trading him.

But is this a continuation of Sam Hinkie’s Process or a departure? The deal with the Thunder for Ersan Ilyasova includes mixed signals.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

Marc Stein of ESPN:

On one hand, the 76ers might have been selling high on a player whose flaws could be exposed with more playing time – a deal in the spirit of the Michael Carter-Williams trade for the Lakers’ protected first-rounder. A former second-round pick, Grant is a woeful outside shooter who is thoroughly limited due that shortcoming.

But even so, he’s on a great contract – two more seasons including this one at a minimum salary – and just 22. Philadelphia shouldn’t trade him for a 29-year-old Ilyasova. Ilyasova is an underrated veteran, but on an expiring contract, he’s not changing the 76ers’ course. Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor need talent around them in two years, not a stretch four at their side now.

The draft pick could justify dealing Grant, but it’s impossible to say without knowing more about the protections.

Grant will help the Thunder replace Kevin Durant at forward, joining a rotation that includes Andre Roberson, Kyle Singler and Domantas Sabonis. Grant is an exceptional shot-blocker for his position, and his defense will get him on the court and give his offense an opportunity to develop. He adds athleticism to a team that already features Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo and Steven Adams.

Oklahoma City will have two choices with Grant next summer:

  • Exercise his 2017-18 minimum-salary team option, let him become an unrestricted free agent in 2018
  • Decline his 2017-18 team option, make him a restricted free agent in 2017

There’s no clear answer yet, but the Thunder gained substantial control over a promising young player. Now, we’ll need to learn exactly what it cost them.

NBA to host televised award show June 26

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 11:  Adam Silver, the Commissioner of the NBA, gives the MVP Award to Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors before their game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2016 at Oracle Arena 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)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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The National Basketball Players Association hosted a televised award show two years ago. It largely flopped, and the union announced its awards on social media last season.

Now, the NBA is trying its hand at a televised award show.

NBA release:

The NBA announced today that the first-ever NBA Awards Show will take place in New York City on Monday, June 26, 2017.  Televised exclusively by TNT, the show will feature current and former NBA players, coaches and celebrities.

The league will honor the:

  • Most Valuable Player
  • Defensive Player of the Year
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Sixth Man Award
  • Most Improved Player
  • Coach of the Year

As is, this is scheduled for after the Finals (beginning June 1 and ending by June 18) and after the draft (June 22). But when this idea was discussed a couple years ago, part of the plan was pushing back the draft and free agency.

By June 26, most fans are celebrating a championship or already focused on the offseason. How many people will be excited about regular-season awards at that point?

I’m not totally convinced this show will pay off, and the schedule is only part of the problem.

In previous years, the league announced award winners one at a time early on various days throughout the conference playoffs. People debated the selection throughout the day. The player was honored at a press conference and/or before his game that night or a day or two later. Each award generated a ton of exposure for the league, and collectively, that exposure built over a long period of time.

Now, that all gets folded into a single day.

Maybe TNT paid enough for broadcast rights to justify the NBA’s choice. The league will certainly cash in more directly this way.

But the risk of creating an apathy around the awards is high enough that I’m not totally convinced this is a wise move.