Author: Dan Feldman

Sergey Karase, Marcus Smart

Report: Nets declining Sergey Karasev’s option

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The NBA salary cap is rising so much, even the Nets project to have cap space next summer.

So, cheap rookie-scale contracts are becoming more valuable. Salaries for first-round picks were determined before the new national TV contracts, making rookie-scale contracts even more relatively deflated than usual.

Still, not every rookie-scale deal is team-friendly. Hence, the Nets are declining Sergey Karasev‘s $2,463,754 fourth-year option for next season.

Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops:

Karasev, who has yet to crack the rotation after dislocating his patella and tearing his MCL last March, will become an unrestricted free agent.

Maybe Brooklyn sees Karasev has lost some of the athleticism that makes him intriguing at age 22. Otherwise, I’m not a big fan of declining this option.

If Karasev develops a more reliable outside shot and better feel for the NBA game, his salary would be a tremendous value. Most players his age improve.

If Karasev struggles, the downside of waiving him and eating his salary – maybe even in stretching it – isn’t that costly. Karasev needn’t a likely success to justify that small outlay.

Again, the Nets should know Karasev better than the rest of us. If they don’t think he’s worth even $2.5 million, that’s probably telling.

Overrated? Carmelo Anthony ‘shows what you’re made of’ against Jared Dudley

Carmelo Anthony; Jared Dudley

Jared Dudley called Carmelo Anthony the NBA’s most overrated player.

The Knicks star did all he could to prove Dudley wrong in New York’s 117-110 win over the Wizards yesterday.

Anthony scored 37 points on 18 shots, grabbed seven rebounds and dished four assists. He made 2-of-3 shots – including a jumper that put the Knicks up for good – and drew three fouls while being guarded by Dudley. After one, the forwards chirped at each other and drew technical fouls.

Though Dudley already apologized for his remarks, they clearly fueled Anthony.

Anthony, via Ben Standig of CSN Mid-Atlantic:

“It got back to me. It definitely got back to me. I might not look at and read all that stuff. It gets back to me.”

“It becomes competitive at that point and shows what you’re made of,” Anthony said. “Tonight was one of those nights. It had nothing to really do with him, but this was a game that I circled on my calendar. I’ll see him three more times.”

Bad news for Anthony: The Knicks have just two more games against the Wizards – Feb. 9 and March 19.

But if he keeps using this as motivation, maybe New York will meet Washington in the playoffs.

I think Anthony is overrated, but he’s also darned good and has played extremely hard when healthy the last couple years. The Knicks are a different team when he’s on the court and engaged, as Dudley saw firsthand.

Report: Wizards not extending Bradley Beal

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards-Game Six
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Bradley Beal‘s contract-extension negotiations with the Wizards were going nowhere. Then they were going nowhere. And then they were going nowhere.

Unsurprisingly, they’ll end up nowhere.

David Aldridge of

This is probably related more to salary-cap logistics than Washington lacking a desire to pay Beal major money.

Without an extension, Beal’s cap number will be $14,236,685 next summer until he’s renounced or signed. So, the Wizards can use their cap space on free agent – ahem, Kevin Durant – and then exceed the cap to re-sign Beal.

If he’d signed an extension, Beal’s cap number would have been his starting salary. The max projects to be $20,947,250, and that’s about what Beal deserves.

Plus, Washington can give Beal a five-year contract as a free agent. Because John Wall is already the team’s designated player, a Beal extension would’ve been limited to four seasons.

There’s always risk this plan goes awry for either side.

Beal could get hurt and get even less than whatever the Wizards were offering now. But assuming their offer was prudent for them, that’s far less than Beal deserves. This is the right time to roll the dice, especially with so many teams having max-level cap room.

Beal could also look to leave Washington sooner. But he’ll be a restricted free agent, limiting the Wizards’ exposure. He can’t sign an offer sheet for fewer than two years before options – three if Washington extends a maximum qualifying offer, though that could immediately raise his cap number. Beal could accept the qualifying offer to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017, but that’d mean taking $7,471,412 over what could be a $120 million offer. That’s a huge risk, far bigger than this one.

It never made enough sense for the Wizards to extend Beal at a price he’d accept. But it’s still likely he remains in Washington long term.

Rick Carlisle (Mavericks), Dwane Casey (Raptors) set all-time franchise wins records

Rick Carlisle
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The Mavericks’ 103-93 win over the Lakers and the Raptors’ 106-87 win over the Bucks last night gave a couple coaches franchise milestones.

Rick Carlisle passed Don Nelson for most coaching wins in Dallas history, 340. Dwane Casey took the Toronto record from Sam Mitchell with his 157th win.

Here’s each team’s franchise leader in coaching victories:


ABA wins are includes for the Pacers and Nets.

Carlisle has done a fantastic job in Dallas, where he guided the Mavericks to their only title in 2011. He has grown tremendously, becoming a better communicator and more creative offensive coach. Combined with the defensive chops he showed with the Pistons and Pacers, Carlisle has cemented himself as one of the NBA’s best coaches. Carlisle should have a chance to build on his record.

Casey had the lowest bar to clear to become a franchise’s wins leader, and that’s reflected in his tepid job security. He has put a floundering team on track, though the Raptors surprisingly regressed defensively last season. And Casey has yet to win a playoff series despite holding home-court advantage the last two years. If Toronto’s defensive improvements hold up, he should keep his job beyond this season. But for a franchise’s all-time wins leader, he still must prove himself.

76ers CEO: Joel Embiid ahead of schedule

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid underwent foot surgery Aug. 18, and it was estimated he’d miss 5 to 8 months.

76ers general manager Sam Hinkie said he expected the center to miss the season.

But could that timeline be changing?

76ers CEO Scott O’Neil, via CSN Philly:

Our doctors are saying it’s going ahead of schedule. At the end of the day, we know we have to show you and not just tell you. I will tell you that he is an elite talent, and I think he’ll be an elite player in this league.

I’d still be surprised if Embiid plays this season. The 76ers are going to be cautious, especially because they’re so far from contending regardless.

But this should raise some major questions if Embiid isn’t ready to begin next season.

As O’Neil said, we need to see proof at this point. Trusting Embiid is on the right track is no longer enough.

However, O’Neil – as Philadelphia coach Brett Brown did previously – defended Embiid’s work ethic after a report said Embiid didn’t wear his boot enough after his first surgery.

O’Neil also said Embiid grew two inches over the offseason. If Embiid ever gets healthy, he could be a heck of a player. But that’s still a big if.